Forum Replies Created
chochmas odom–If the lyrics are the problem, then there is no need to say “as a rule”. It depends on the lyrics. Why ban all music (or literature, or anything else) because certain pieces of it are trash?
I would not allow certain current popular “music” into my home–specifically because of the lyrics.
However, Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy (the choral part of Beethoven’s Ninth) is one of the has nothing objectionable to me, and the Ninth itself is one of the great works of mankind.
First you put the frame together, and then attach the walls.
Wood will take longer than cloth. It’s customary to begin on motza’ei Yom Kippur. Many people, however begin even earlier.
The do the lighting, if necessary.
The schach can go up erev Sukkot, and the decorations follow.
I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip.
Some people try to solve problems in a creative way. People in a neighborhood get together and manage their time problem in the friendliest manner, thanks to the goodness of one of them.
So then someone with too much time on their hands (nudnik) calls in the authorities who have to invoke a law that certainly was not made for this purpose, to disrupt the entire thing. <shakes head> There’s always someone…….
Sorry, Joseph, I do not agree that “Only an Amorah can argue on a Gemorah, and only a Rishon can argue on Rashi.” This is not a question of Halacha, and about matters like this, Chazal are not infallible. We have seen writings of Rav Avraham ben haRambam and Rav Saadia Gaon arguing against this topic–would you say that they are not Shomrei Torah?
I have read Rav Avigdor Miller’s books, and I find him less than informed on scientific matters. He cites many sources out of context, and I must beleive that he was misinformed or mistaken. In Contrast, Have you ever read Rav Aryeh Kaplan’s books?
Concerning your information about C-14 dating–yes, it does depend on a constant rate of decay. However, we have no evidence whatsoever that the rate of decay changes. All of our assumptions are based on evidence–whereas yours have none to back them up. And there is nothing in Torah that says that we should disregard the evidence of our eyes.
About the fossil; record. You claim that there should be many “in-between creatures” and ones whose lines died out. There are indeed many of the latter forms found. As far as the “in-between” creatures–i.e. transitional lifeforms, there are reasons that we do not find them.
The conditions for fossilization are complex. The remains of an animal or plant must find themselves on the bottom of a body of water, and get covered so they are not consumed by scavengers or decay. (The vast majority of fossils are marine organisms. We have relatively few records of land animals and even fewer of delicate land animals such as birds.) The hard parts of bodies are fossilized relatively easily, while the soft parts are not. So that creates a bias in the record. We have lots of bones and teeth, but little record of jellyfish, worms, and other fragile creatures. We estimate that the vast majority of life was soft-bodied, so the fossil record must be sparse.
Once fossilized, the remains must survive the moving of the earth (shifting, folding, breaking, etc)which will eliminate many fossils. Then, of course, the fossil must be discovered, and we have not exactly been looking for very long. Under these circumstances, it is amazing that we have found the fossils that have, and it is not surprising to think that it is not complete.
As far as the continuity of the fossil record–do you think that it is coincidence that fossils found at similar levels are thought to have existed at the same time? The science of paleontolgy is built on very careful examination of evidence, and each bit is incorporated into the theory of life. When contradicting evidence is found, we let the preponderance determine, or wait for that crucial third bit to settle the matter.
And while we are on the topic (if A600KiloBear) does not mind) what is considered “an unkosher source”?
I am not trying to be argumentative, just curious as to what the forumites think.
Bemused–regarding logic–While it is indeed not a solution to every intellectual problem that we encounter, it is certainly an ability granted to us by HKB”H and should not be disregarded nor considered posul. Please remember that the entire Talmud is based on logical rules, for the purpose of interpreting laws and phrases that can be obscure. Without these rules, we are unable to interpret how the Torah applies to new situations, and determine practical Halacha. Where would we be without the logical thought of Chaza”l?
It is not a matter of “Our SIMPLE “logic” versus the greatness of our Creator and all that He wills to happen.”– I think that the word “versus” is incorrect here. We use logic to attempt to understand the works of the Creator.
Joseph posted: “the entire concept of measuring the age of the world the way the scientsts do is based on the assuption that the world was not created by a Creator.”
Sorry, Joseph–the concept of measuring the age of the world is based on a desire to understand the way the world works. There are many scientists that do not have such assumptions, a number of us are Torah-observant Jews, and we see no problems with these measurements of the world’s age–nor their conclusions. In fact, I would assume that you object to any such measurements, or anything else than blind acceptance of your postulates. If I am mistaken in this, I would be happy to listen to any measurements that you would propose, since physical, paleontolgical, and geological measurements are abjectionable to you.
And yes, I have read your postings (numerous times) about great Rabbanim saying that the world was created in six 24-hour periods–and I have seen numerous others about other great Rabbanim who do not believe this.
The word “theory is often misused when referring to the scientific sense of the term.
All kinds of knowledge are based on assumptions, including Torah knowledge.
A scientific theory is never proven. It is an explanation that accounts for the facts observed. A theory may be disproven, when scientific observations demonstrate that it cannot be. In general, theories are modified as more scientific information is acquired. No scientific theory is expected to be final, as we will always be increasing our levels of accuracy of measurement, as well as designing new methods of measurement. When measured observations contradict a theory, it is the theory that must be modified to fit the observations, not vice-versa.
Of course, conflicting theories about a given topic may exist. The conflict can remain until a set of experiments can be devised that disproves one or the other. Other than that, usually the one that has the preponderance of evidence supporting it will prevail.
I am not sure why Joseph is posting EDITED about scientific theory. Is he trying to show that scientific knowledge is acquired in a different manner than is Torah knowledge? We all know that.
I find the above post by bein_hasdorim interesting in that he seems to misunderstand the view that scientists have of science. We recognize that our conclusions are not timeless.; they are based on observation and therefore, can be only as accurate as the instruments that we use. When we discover new methods of measurement or improve the accuracy of our measurements, we can see things that we previously could not, and we thus change our conclusions. This is why science itself continually evolves. The important thing about the science is the data, not the theory. the theory has to fit the data, not the other way around. And we all understand that we do not have the complete story in any scientific discipline.
Those of us who are religious scientists do recognize the difference between scientific knowledge and Torah knowledge. We argue that there is no contradiction between them, not that there is no difference in the type of information involved.
bein_hasdorim wrote: “Dealing with a universe so vast, their intelligence so limited, their lifes so short, how can they possibly figure out the complexities that are astoundingly larger then
their mere pathetic finite lives.””
We understand this about the universe. However, one could also say the same about Torah. How could our limited intelligence understand a Torah so vast, with our short lifetimes–how could we figure out the complexities of Torah that are astoundingly larger than our mere pathetic lives?”
There–now does anyone disagree with that? Yet nobody would say that we should not study Torah. Just because we cannot finish the task does not excuse us from the work. And the same applies to science.
Scientists are not naive about science, nor are we “Am Haaratzim playing guessing games”, as bein_hasdorim would know if he knew exactly what is involved in science. If I may pose a question to him, do you use the words “Am Haaratz” and “shtuss” when you refer to medical advances made by scientists within your brief lifetime? Ones that might save the lives of you or one of your family members? Yes, everything was created by HKB”H–but keep in mind that He chose to reveal it through scientists using the scientific method, which you refer to as “shtuss”.
in response to your posts, yes, the expense of research is quite high, a a great deal is paid for by the taxpayer. The vast majority of this is biomedical research, as funded by the NIH. The studies funded are the basis of hope for cures and treatments. They are the reason that many types of cancer are not immediate death sentences any more. Most of us know someone who has had cancer and is still alive 5 years later.
As you posted, “there are drones sitting in koilel”. True, there are mediocre people everywhere, and every system can stand self-examination and improvement–the Yeshiva and University worlds are no exceptions. However, we would not judge the Yeshiva world by the mediocre talmidim within, nor by the ones just marking time Nor should we judge the scientific world by the nonproductive people working there. Without the Yeshiva world, what happens to Torah? Without the University system, what happens to science–and thus medicine? Despite the fact that neither world is perfect, they are both necessary for our way of life.
Regarding the relative contributions to biomedical advancement by the university communities versus the pharmaceutical companies–if you were referring to the same source that I was–sure, she has a political agenda. However, the numbers that she cites are correct. Far more major advances in biomedical science take place in the university system–precisely because of the funding system and the fact that in the university sector, we are well aware that science is a long process, and it can take a long time. We have the advantage of recognizing the value of research and knowledge for its own sake. This can often lead to very significant biomedical advances. Who could have thought that a jellyfish protein could lead to cancer treatments, or Alzheimer’s Disease early diagnostics and potential treatments?
you are absolutely incorrect. Most major medical advances did not come from drug companies, they came from University and Hospital research laboratories. A detailed sudy of this has been done by the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, and the data are very clear about this. (Reference upon request)
I would say that I know a good many scientists; they are my colleagues and I would not classify any of them as “drones”, any more than I would classify my friends who study full-time in Yeshiva as “drones”. And, by the way, even with tenure, there is no job security in university research; if you actually knew anything about the subject, you would certainly know that. Perhaps this is not true “where you are” but it certainly holds for the US, most Western European countries, and Israel. And the system works best in those places.
How many original medical articles do you read every week? How would you know where the advances in medicine come from? If you were familiar with the literature, you would know that the things that you post are simply untrue.
A 600KiloBear posted:
My point in bringing up Rav Firer is that his Torah education and perspective is what enables him to understand whatever sources he uses to look up the information he needs to save Yiddishe neshomos. I know full well how he obtains this information. Anyone can obtain it nowadays online. I have a friend who is a professor in Ein Karem, and when I need advice he sends me right to the NIH website. I understand about 60% of it which is more than I need to know whether or not something I am eating is causing me some nuisance health problem. And that 60% is probably enough to pass med boards if I spent time learning it for every condition that a particular specialist needs to know.
On the other hand, Rav Firer is not a scientist who learns science so he can get a grant and perhaps find out how simian behavior mirrors human behavior, and then use that worthless information to prove that we are just animals chas vesholom. “
No, actually looking at the NIH website is not enough to help one pass the boards. (By the way, how do you think that the information gets to the NIH website? By the virtue of scientists, who are more than happy to share their information. In any event, it is the more specialized knowledge that one needs, and that is why Rav Firer (and others) actually take the time to talk to the scientists who do actually study these things full-time. He also understands that scientists do not “learn science so that we can get a grant”. You can learn all the science that you wish–that will not get you a grant–and it does not matter if you are affiliated with Brisk or Bar-Ilan. You get grants so that you can perform studies to obtain specific answers to specific questions. That usually means experimental studies. The reason for the grants is that the experiments cost money to perform. So we get grants to do science–not do science to get grants.
A number of those experiments have lead to amazing health advances. Your idea of scientists trying to prove that “men are just animals” is ridiculous. Do you really think that the average scientist spends 60+ hours/week in the laboratory for that? Why don’t you look at cancer survival rates from 20 years ago and today? The same goes for a number of(non-cancer)childrens’ diseases. This is the result of scientific investigation, of which you are so contemptuous. Perhaps this has not affected you personally–but every time anyone goes into a hospital and sees a child who has benefitted from one of the treatments that keep them alive, one should keep in mind that that treatment started in the laboratory of a scientist. A scientist who, in all probability, did not make any money by making it freely available. That is why we spend 60+ hours/week in the laboratory–for knowledge, not grant money.
Numerous examples upon request.
Poshite Yid 613–again, you are misinterpreting. I am not saying that today’s scientists “know better” than Chazal. I am saying that today’s scientists have access to information that Chazal did not. Those are two very different things, and my statement implies no disrespect.
I could not comment on the Chazon Ish. I do not know which surgeons he advised, nor which advice he gave–I have not heard anything about that. If you have any more detailed information, I would appreciate it if you would post it.
My comment about Rav Firer is based on personal knowledge, not on anything that I have heard.
Since this thread was originally about astronomy, allow me to make a suggestion for those who with to do some scientific observation of the Heavens, along with a Jewish source to accompany them:
Find a clear spot to observe the night sky. Take along a star map to help you locate big dipper, Orion, and the Pleiades. Take along a Tanach and open it to Sefer Iyyov, Perek 38.
Let me know then if science leads to emunah, or kefirah.
How sad that someone can glory in their ignorance, and be happy that he has no knowledege of physics, biology, or chemistry–since his faith is so small that it might make him “mevazeh Chazal”.
Of course, if one thinks that thinking that Chazal did not know everything (literally)is “mevazeh”–this is another matter. Lack of access to modern technological means (microscopes, telescopes, brain scans, radiolabelling etc does not lessen the learning or midot of Chazal, or change their place as the the religious leaders of Am Yisrael.
A600Kilo-Bear posted that” “Rav Firer from Ezra uMarpeh could probably pass (language barrier aside) with a higher score than many US medical graduates and with a far higher score than the South Asian graduates who work in US emergency rooms (or much of the flotsam and jetsam with unpronounceable names and unverifiable credentials who wear name tags with “Dr” and hang around Maimonides beis refuah in BP). Something tells me he is not the only one. “
Rav Firer consults with a number of scientific and medical authorities to gain his knowledge. In addition, he arranges for many lecture series by scientific and medical authorities. I would say that he has pursued a pretty strenuous, if unconventional, scientific education.
Of course, if one takes the Torah to be a blueprint for the world, one can say that all knowledge is included within. However, that knowledge cannot be easily accessed. To say that *all* scientific knowledge was known to the Gdolei Hador ascribes to them supernatural powers that border on avoda zarah, and to believe in Rabbinic infallibility in nonhalachic matters is, in my opinion, reminiscent of a tenet of a religion other than ours.
We certainly know Rabbinic sources that were geniuses, and remarkably well-learned. Some of them were remarkably well-learned even in the natural sciences. How much of that scientific knowledge was passed on to us? Do you really think that any of the Rishonim knew about the causes and cures of diseases? Many of these things we have learned through empirical–i.e. scientific study. Does anyone think that the Gdolim of times past had this information and would not use it to save their fellow Jews from the horrors of disease?
One can certainly take the approach of refusal to learn science out of fear that it would cause one to lose faith in Torah. In my opinion, this implies little faith in the Torah and one’s education.
However, to come up with statements that “there is no evidence for evolution” is nonsense. There are hundreds of scientific papers published on evolution every year. I would be willing to bet that the people who make statements about the lack of scientific evidence are not familiar with that scientific literature. In other words, they are arguing about a subject of which they are ignorant. The people who work on evolution are quite familiar with the rules of scientific evidence, thank you.
There are a good many shomer mitzvot scientists who have no problem whatsoever reconciling their faith and the scientific process. of course, we know that there are Rabbinic sources forbidding such knowledge, and insisting that the Rabbanim knew more in every sphere than anyone else. however, there are Rabbinic sources arguing against such theories as well, as was cited by Charlie earlier in this thread. It is clear that those of us who choose scientific study for our live (in addition to Torah)would not accept the former. One does not learn about immunology from the Gemara, nor does one learn about red shift. It might be possible to do so, but we have lost the knowledge of how to do it, if we ever had it.
If, on the other hand, you have a question about WHY the universe was created, there is no way to address this through scientific inquiry. The methodology involved (and the rules are very strict)simply cannot address this question, just as it cannot address the question of the existence of a Creator, or moral issues.
My apologies for my typographical error in my post (last line) regarding Rav Schwadron.
estherh–I had the honor of listening to shiurim by Rav Schwadron in my youth.
The presence of greatness was unmistakable.
??? ????? ????
I don’t think that it will be easy to find, but you could read the memoirs of Gluckl of Hamelin.
She was a Jewish woman born in the 1640s, if I recall, and kept a diary of her life. It provides an amazing picture of a Jewish community in those times, as well as many other parts of Europe, as her husband’s business was wide ranging.September 7, 2009 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm in reply to: Budget Crisis! Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Cannot Open Yet This Year #658236
Most hospitals that I have experience with would not hire a radiation therapist without an academic degree.
However, that is not what I was asking. I was asking about the attitudes of Hareidi Yeshivot toward college education. Not to provoke an argument, but because I want the information, and I do not wish to prejudge. I have some idea, but I am not sure, and perhaps my information is out-of-date. I imagine that people hon this forum could provide me with some information.September 7, 2009 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm in reply to: Budget Crisis! Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Cannot Open Yet This Year #658228
It seems to me that another major change over time was that, at one time, one could find a reasonable parnasa with a minimal level of secular education. You did not need a University education to have a good job. Of course, this became less true with the passage of time.
As I understand it, many Roshei Yeshivot were against higher (secular) education. While I imagine that this also changed with the times (since it was recognized that education is necessary for a good job), how quickly did that change take place? Do the large Hareidi Yeshivot still discourage University education?
Of course, I know that there is large variablity in hashkafot, but if folks here have personal knowledge, please pass it along.
Personally, I think that searching for possible consequences of talking during chazarat hasha”tz such as losing one’s place in olam haba is not addressing the point. We do not understand such consequences of our actions.
However, we do understand other consequences of our actions. If we talk during chazarat hasha”tz, or kaddish, we are negating our entire reason for davening with a minyan. The whole idea of tfila b’tzibur is the “tzibur”–and talking during the parts of the davening in which you are represented by a shaliach or others negates that concept.
If one has difficulty concentrating on these parts of the davening, bring a sefer. Learn a few mishnayot. It may not be what you are there for, butr at least you will not disturb others.
It is quite possible to live a good life in Medinat Yisrael; but of course if one expects to see only bad, this is what one will see.
Jobs are somewhat tight right now (just as everywhere else), but they can be found, depending on one’s field. NBN and AACI do have excellent bulletin boards.
Quite a few Anglos lead good lives here, and you can’t beat the price of the Jewish schooling.August 30, 2009 1:03 pm at 1:03 pm in reply to: Budget Crisis! Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Cannot Open Yet This Year #658086
Also, for the sest of us auslanders, how far, on average, is it to the neighboring schools?
Is safe public transportation available? Would a bus have to be arranged? As with everything else, this costs money.August 28, 2009 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm in reply to: Budget Crisis! Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Cannot Open Yet This Year #658049
I would think that it would be very difficult for folks to compare
the economic situation of NY schools tho those outside. there are a great
number of variables to take into account, aside from the relative cost of living:
supply and demand (is that school the only option for that community)
Just to name a few.August 27, 2009 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm in reply to: Budget Crisis! Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Cannot Open Yet This Year #657977
I have no idea of what a Jewish school administrator makes in the US,
although the few that I have known do not live a luxurious lifestyle.
I suppose that many here would consider this a crass question–what is
the range of salaries for teachers and administrators in Jewish schools?
By the way, let us keep in mind that these teachers and administrators have
the same financial problems as the rest of us–how to fincance their children’s
tuition, etc.August 27, 2009 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm in reply to: Budget Crisis! Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Cannot Open Yet This Year #657975
I am afraid that I was not clear in my post.
Of course (we) MO people ask our Rabbanim shailot.
There a 2 major differences, as far as I understand:
First of all, they will probably not be the same Rabbanim;
people tend to pick a Rav whose Hashkafa is fitting for them.
Secondly, most MO people that I know tend not to ask shailot
in matters not directly related to Halacha. Of course, there ia a wide
range of hashkafot in the MO world, just as in the Hareidi world.
The point that I was making is, since many Hareidim accept the opinions
of their Gdolim in all matters, this provides a real opportunity
for the Gdolim to solve this (and perhaps other) problems that are critical
to the Hareidi world.August 27, 2009 1:04 pm at 1:04 pm in reply to: Budget Crisis! Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Cannot Open Yet This Year #657972
I do not think that tis is a problem that is correctable with the school system.
Yes, cutbacks are needed, and trimming pennies saves dollars. However, if I understand correctly, the financial problems run deeper than that.
I previously suggested that this is a problem for the Hareidi community at large; they need to determine their priorities. If a limited amount of money is available, people must think about where they wish to allocate. In one of the rplies, I was told “2 Jews, 3 opinions”–i.e. that it’s not gonna happen. I tend to agee with that poster—but that leads me to my next question: why not?
The thing that distinguishes the Hareidi world from, say, Modern Orthodoxy, is the idea of “Daas Torah”–the willingness to obey the Gdolim on each and every question.
In that case, why do these Gdolim not lead? why do they not say that elemetary education is more important than kollel–(or vice versa, if that is their opinion)? why do they not offer their counsel on how to solve the crisis in their own community?
We hear many voices from the Hareidi leadership giving advice to other portions of the Jewish community; whether it is about chilonim driving on Shabbat (assur–big surprise there) girls serving in the IDF (please see above). People in these other communities are hardly likely to pasken (in cas of MO) or listen (in case of chilonim) to Hareidi Rabbannim with different hashkafot from their own. Yet the Hareidi Rabbanim continue to issue proclamations about the lifestyles of other communities.
Why do they not address these crises in their own communities? I am not posting this to be critical of the Hareidi Rabbanim–I am seriously wondering why thye do nto address this and other issues, before their system collapses. People are in such financial trouble that they are faced with the choice of religious schools for their children versus other critical Jewish values. And let’s face it–the closing of a Bet Yaakov will not affect anyone in the MO or chiloni world–we do not send our children there. (However, our hearts go out to our Hareidi brothers and sisters who are faced with these difficult problems.) This affects the Hareidi world. One thing that the Hareidi world has is leadership. In my opinion, leadership comes from above-but I have not seen anything at all in this case.
I understand the difficulties here. Nobody wants to cut back on any educational services. However, the system is stressed to its breaking point, and should be fixed, however painfully, before it collapses completely.
Magazines generally will not accept an item for submission if it is being considered for publication elsewhere. You can enquire from the editor of a specific amgazine, but I suspect that the answer will be the above. You can only submit to one at a time.August 24, 2009 4:07 pm at 4:07 pm in reply to: Budget Crisis! Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Cannot Open Yet This Year #657939
I do not think that the idea of resource allocation is easy. However,
the alternative is indeed expecting others to bail them out. I like this
idea even less.
One of the things that distinguishes the Hareidi community is that they
look to their Rabbanim for leadership–not only in Torah, but in all matters.
Well, this is the time for such leadership. Resources are fewer, and demands
are not getting less. Some things have to be changed, lest the entire system
I am not Hareidi, and do not send my children to Hareidi schools. Nevertheless,
I would like to see those of my fellow Jews who do choose this way of life to
be able to continue to do so, and would not want the system to break down
I do fear that if any cuts are made, it will be at the elementary education
stage, or at the expense of girls’ education specifically. I persoanlly think
that this would be a disaster. For one thing, since the girls in many cases are expected towork while their husbands learn, cutting their education will inevitably lower their ability as wage-earners, and further deepen the Hareidi world into financial crisis.August 24, 2009 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm in reply to: Budget Crisis! Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Cannot Open Yet This Year #657935
I am new here, and have been reading many threads to get to know my way around. One of the threads that I read with great interest was the closed “Zionist quote” thread in which several members posted their disgust for the State of Israel and all its institutions.
In the State of Israel, we have many problems, but we do not have the problem that is the subject of this thread. We solve the problem of Bet Ya’akov tuition by spreading it over the entire tax-paying Israeli population. Most Israelis do not agree with Hareidi education–but support it anyway, via our taxes. Our schools are poor, and education does not have the importance that I personally would prefer, but we will not face this problem. It is a matter of community priority.
So how do we translate this solution to the problem in the US? There is a more-or-less fixed pool of money available for Hareidi institutions. The Hareidi world is more centralized than any other in the Jewish community, as final authority is invested with the Gdolim. It should not be that difficult to convene a group of Rabbanim selected by those Gdolim whose job it would be to prioritize the funds available for Jewish education. (X amount or percent for elemetary education, Y amount or percent for Yeshiva G’voha, etc)This is clearly a priority for all concerned, and if the leaders of Hareidi Judaism cannot work together to solve it–oi v’avoi lanu.
Why boycott Ikea? Did they publish this nonsense?
Do they advertise in that “newspaper”?
The people who organize boycotts of Israel wish to
completely isolate Israel–economically and socially.
All this does is help them accomplish their goals.
Boycott that “newspaper”? Sure.
Blame the entire country for the actions of
an antisemitic “reporter” and his rag?
That makes no sense.