Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 397

Sunday, February 27 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 00:46:16 -0500
From: sambo@charm.net
Re: (Fwd) Off Topic: Shabbat Zemirot

Carl Sherer wrote:

> This was posted on tachlis this afternoon. If anyone has any ideas,
> please send them to me and I will forward it onwards.
> Does anyone else on the list have the minhag of singing the zemira R'
> Yehuda Halevi's 'Al Ahavatekha' on Friday night?
> Does anyone know of a still in print siddur, birkon or zemirot book that
> contains this zemira?  If so, please could they pass on details of the
> publisher, edition etc.

Yes, and yes. It's not a minhag so much, but it's in my siddur. Ish
Mazliah, of course. Published by Machon Harav Mazliah, B'nei Berak Tel.
03-6767163-4. Orderable from 
Mekor HaSefarim
1987 Coney Island Avenue
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. 11223

Or probably all over Israel, if that's where she happens to be, or
anyone wants to ship her one. I don't have an extra handy, and won't be
back in New York until close to Pesah.


Go to top.

Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 01:46:26 -0500
From: sambo@charm.net
Re: diyukkim

Aryeh Stein wrote:

> Here's one more diyuk that I recently saw (from R' SZ Auerbach):  Near the
> end of Modim in Shemona Esrai, we say "V''al nifl'oesecha v'tovosecha
> shebechol ais erev v'voker v'tzahariyim ha'tov...."  According to Artscroll,
> there is a period/pause after "v'tzahariyim."

We have a period in the sefaradi nusah. In fact, many siddurim have an
exclamation mark after Hatov! and Hamerahem!

We read ...erev wavoker wezahoraim. Hatov! ki lo chalu rahamecha,
Hamerahem! ki lo tamu hasadecha, ki...

(I but the "w"s there because "vavoker" just doesn't look right for some
reason. No offence intended.)

> According to R' SZA, the phrase "erev v'voker v'tzahariyim" relates back to
> "Nodeh l'cha, oo'nasaper t'hilasecha..." and does not relate to "shebechol
> ais"

I never thought of it the other way. Interesting.

> Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this is the "right" way
> <g>....all I am doing is pointing out what RSZA held.

R' Ovadiah Yosef and R' Mazuz say it's right.


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Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 14:40:07 +0200
From: "Kira Sirote" <ksirote@fenics.com>
TIDE and TuM

Regarding the Rambam's view:  I took a course once with R' Yitzchak Twersky
(ztz"l - too recent to assume it),  where he showed that Rambam held that
the study of science is to Maaseh Breishit is as the study of Kabbala is to
Maaseh HaMercavah - ie, the highest level of Talmud Torah.  This is in the
Yad, in Hil Talmud Torah, and I can find the exact reference if you'd like.

Does that mean that it has keddusha like Torah?  or that it IS Torah?  Looks
like the latter.

But that's the Rambam for you.


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Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 15:10:10 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
Beis Din in Civil Court

The article below (I've taken out some of the names) appeared in 
today's Jerusalem Post (paper and online). IMHO it is a Chilul 
Hashem that it has come to this. The entire parsha is, IMHO, a 
violation of "v'hyeesem n'kiyim." Be that as it may, I am hopeful 
that the reaction of people like R. Asher Dovid Zweibel (quoted 
extensively in the article) may bring about a change. Anyone else 
feel the same way?

-- Carl

Front Page Feature: Suit against
               religious court rattles New York
               By Marilyn Henry

               NEW YORK (February 27) - [Name deleted]'s bitter 
divorce has shaken the rabbinical courts in the US, now that a 
Manhattan civil judge has allowed her $11 million defamation suit to 
proceed against a beit din (rabbinical court), saying the US 
Constitution "was not intended to shield bribery and harassment." 

               The sensational case of one hassidic couple sits smack 
at the nexus of highly sensitive areas in the Diaspora Orthodox 
world: how the community arbitrates disputes, the role of the civil 
courts in the process, the integrity of the rabbis who serve as 
judges, and the laws of Jewish divorce. 

         	   [Name deleted], of Borough Park in Brooklyn, is suing 
the [Name deleted], its beit din, and five rabbis for defamation and 
emotional distress. 

               She argues that the religious court accepted a $50,000
bribe and defamed her in the course of issuing a "heter mea 
rabbanim," which permitted her husband to remarry while the two 
were negotiating a divorce. 

               Throughout the American Orthodox community, 
prominent rabbis, lawyers, and judges emphatically state that the 
case should never have gone to a secular court. They insist that 
Jewish matters be handled within the community. 

               But the case has also become something of a lightning 
rod for observant Jews' grievances and lack of confidence in the 
beit din, and has become the main topic in the community. 

               "As far as Jews are concerned, she has no business 
being in a secular court suing another Jew for anything," said J. 
David Bleich, a professor at the Benjamin Cardozo Law School of 
Yeshiva University, as well as the head of yeshiva at YU. "That 
belongs in a rabbinical 	court." 

               However, Orthodox authorities also concede that the 
Diaspora, unlike Israel, cannot police its rabbinical courts, despite 
widespread dissatisfaction with those courts and rampant rumors 
of corruption that stretch far beyond the [Name deleted] case. 

               "If the secular courts can't be the watchdog over the 
integrity of the beit-din system in cases such as this, then who is 
the watchdog?" asked David Zwiebel, general counsel of Agudath 
Israel of America, which has not taken a position on the [Name 
deleted] case. "We don't have a great answer to that right now." 

               The fractured Orthodox community is "incapable of
policing the beit-din system," said a prestigious rabbi who, like 
many others, did not want to be identified. "It's just like we have no 
way to get rid of people who are purveyors of bad kosher food, and 
we don't know what to do about rabbis who are quacks." 

               The beit din's rabbinic organization is also known as
[Name deleted], which is distinct from and older than the [Name 
deleted]. In the [Name deleted] case, they are represented by 
Nathan Lewin of Washington, who is appealing the court ruling. He 
said there are constitutional bars to having the civil court intrude. 

               Lewin also warned that, if [Name deleted] prevails, rabbis 
will always be at risk of lawsuits. This would be a major setback for 
women seeking a get, a religious bill of divorce, because rabbis 
would be in constant fear of legal action by recalcitrant husbands. 

               "If women's rights groups are favoring this, they are
making a big mistake," Lewin said. "If the door is opened to this 
kind of a lawsuit, every husband who has any kind of compulsion 
[to give a get] by a rabbi, by a synagogue, by a community, will be 
able to take the case to court and claim that this interferes with his 
rights and defames him." 

               In her complaint, [Name deleted], a businesswoman who 
also is known as [Name deleted], made the following charges: In 
September 1997, she received a letter stating that her husband, 
[Name deleted] (who is not a party in the civil suit, requested that 
she participate in a beit din, conducted by [Name deleted], to 
resolve issues in their divorce. She declined because she believed 
that the group has "a reputation for corrupt conduct." 

               Instead, [Name deleted] said, she and her husband 	
agreed to a zabla, a type of arbitration in which they would both 
name an arbitrator, and those two arbitrators would then select a 

               While the zabla was being arranged, [Name deleted] paid
the rabbis a $50,000 bribe to have them issue a heter, said [Name 
deleted], who called the heter "a license designed exclusively to 
permit a husband to enter into a polygamous marriage as a 
consequence of his wife's mental incapacity or misconduct." 

               The heter falsely states that [Name deleted] did not 
attend the mikve, did not respond to a summons from the beit din,
refused to accept a get from her husband "unless he gave her all 
his possessions and money," and "turned her house into an 
'insane asylum,' " according to [Name deleted]'s lawyers. 

               She alleged that the heter was signed by rabbis in New
York and Israel, and that she did not know of it until she was told 
by members of her community. She also contended that she has 
become a pariah in her own community. 

               [Name deleted] insists she respects the institutions of 
her community but is pursing the case to clear her name. 

               Lewin called the bribery charge "ridiculous" and
"defamatory," but he was arguing against the larger principle that 
the case should be dismissed because it was not the business of 
the civil courts. 

               He contended that the freedom-of-religion clause of the
First Amendment to the US Constitution bars state intrusion into 
religion and that the rabbis' actions were thus protected. 

               The court, in a ruling earlier this month that stunned the
Orthodox establishment, disagreed. 

               The case does not require an interpretation of religious
doctrine and practice, but whether there was a violation
of [Name deleted]'s secular rights, ruled Justice Martin Schoenfeld
of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan. 

               "The publication at issue here allegedly included such
statements as that [Name deleted] turned her house into an 
'insane asylum' and is unable to care for her children," Schoenfeld 
wrote. "Such accusations are secular in nature." 

               Further, he referred to the allegation of a bribe, noting
that the Constitution "was not intended to shield bribery and 

               Here, too, Bleich argued that Sieger's allegation belonged
in a beit din. 

               "Bribery is a serious offense in Jewish law, and if she has
evidence of bribery, she has a duty to bring it to a rabbinical court 
immediately, not a civil court," Bleich said. 

               However, in the US, where the Orthodox community is
fragmented and observant Jews voluntarily choose the religious 
institutions that suit them, there is no independent Jewish authority 
monitoring the religious courts and available to handle grievances 
and appeals. 

               Stories of corruption in the rabbinical courts abound. 

               Some observers say the corrupt courts should collapse
from disuse. Instead, they endure, sending a message that 
someone can buy the rabbinic ruling they want. 

               According to a number of authoritative rabbis, the idea of
sanctioning a religious court remains purely theoretical. None of 
the dozen rabbis contacted could identify a case where one beit 
din publicly judged or criticized another. 

               In American law, the beit din is recognized as an
arbitration panel, and the civil courts have been used to enforce the 
beit din's judgments, primarily in commercial disputes. Civil courts 
intervene in religious disputes with the greatest reluctance, in part 
because of the separation of religion and state. 

               Some in the Orthodox community have said that if the 
rabbinical courts can rely on the civil courts, individuals should be 
able to as well - especially given that there is no policing of the 
religious courts. 

               Zwiebel, of Agudath Israel, noted the quandary. On one
hand, the Orthodox leadership encourages its followers to take 
their disputes to a rabbinical court. 

               "But are the batei din really qualified, competent people
who act with integrity in these types of disputes?" Zwiebel asked. 
"Unfortunately there are a lot of concerns that have been expressed 
about that. 

               "The reality is that public confidence in our community in
the institution of beit din has significantly eroded in the last years. 
That is a major challenge to us, to figure out ways to restore public 
confidence, particularly if we are going to encourage our people to 
take their disputes to batei din instead of secular authorities." 

Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Telephone 972-2-625-7751
Fax 972-2-625-0461

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.
Thank you very much.

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 15:16:08 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
Re: TIDE and TuM

On 28 Feb 00, at 14:40, Kira Sirote wrote:

> Regarding the Rambam's view:  I took a course once with R' Yitzchak Twersky
> (ztz"l - too recent to assume it),  


where he showed that Rambam held that
> the study of science is to Maaseh Breishit is as the study of Kabbala is to
> Maaseh HaMercavah - ie, the highest level of Talmud Torah.  This is in the
> Yad, in Hil Talmud Torah, and I can find the exact reference if you'd like.

Please do.

-- Carl

Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Telephone 972-2-625-7751
Fax 972-2-625-0461

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.
Thank you very much.

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 09:50:01 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Egyptian mythology

In a message dated 2/25/00 9:42:53 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
micha@aishdas.org writes:

> :> I just noticed that both in the case of the eigel and the korban there's 
>  :>  shift from adult to child (ox -- > calf; ram -- > lamb)
>  : And see Rashi Bamidbar 19:2 (second time around after Possuk 22).
>  I miss your point. That (well known) Rashi relates the Parah Adumah to 
>  the parent of the eigel. IOW, because Binei Yisrael (BY) chose a child,
>  an eigel, for their avodah zara, HKBH uses the mother of an eigel to clean 
> up
>  the effects of that cheit.
>  It does not explain why BY chose an eigel to begin with. If they lifted the
>  idea from the cult of Apis, they should have chosen a bull.
My intention was not to explain WHY rather to bring proof that the term Eigel 
as child is Bkavana (as I wrote "And" see vs. See), as I once indicated that 
there is benefit in prooving that a certain observation is true (while we 
have the Kllal of Lomoh Li Kra Svora Hu, we also find MIno Hani Mili Damrei 
Inshi etc.), WRT the Eigel we also find the Loshon Shoir (Bsavnis Shoir 
OIchel Eisev) and they wanted to conect to the Pnei Shoir Shebimerkava, 
(Interesting enough the change was to Apei Zutrei Al Derech Eigel).

As to the reason there are sources that they followed what the Mitzriyim were 
Oveid, IMHO it may depend on who made it see Rashi Shmos 32:4 D"H Eigel 

Kol Tuv

Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 10:15:40 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: Beis Din in Civil Court

In a message dated 2/27/00 8:11:31 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il writes:

                The fractured Orthodox community is "incapable of
 policing the beit-din system," said a prestigious rabbi who, like 
 many others, did not want to be identified. "It's just like we have no 
 way to get rid of people who are purveyors of bad kosher food, and 
 we don't know what to do about rabbis who are quacks." 

Any ideas on the desire for anonymity?

Kol Tuv
Joel Rich

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Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 18:37:26 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: Study of History

In message , Eric Simon <erics@radix.net> writes
>>I wish I could agree with this, but I can't. The ideal of truth -- truth
>>a novelist's eye, gut truth, truth as HaShem has given us the power to see 
>>the truth, i.e., real emes -- is absolute.
>While I am generally sympathetic to making allowances in biographies and
>history for the sake of truth, I can't help but feel the above comment goes
>too far.  If the power to see "real truth" is absolute, how do we explain
>HaShem's avoidance of lashon hara vis-a-vis Avraham and Sarah? 

One the one hand this cite supports the idea that one does not always
tell the truth (even HaShem lied for Shalom Bayis), but in other ways,
it seems, if anything to undermine the discussion we have been having
on Loshen Hora and toeles.

After all, while I fully understand why it is that Hashem said what he
said to Avraham - what I don't really understand is why, you and me, and
everybody else who reads the Torah from Moshe's day until ours, needs to
know that Sara Imanu spoke Loshen Hora about Avraham Avinu.

Now yes, the toeles is clear - in that we can learn from this episode
that one can (and should) act in the way Hashem acted - but if, as Carl
suggests, where there are two ways of teaching something, one that
involves publicising loshen hora, and another that doesn't, you should
choose the one that doesn't, then why is it that we know that this ever

Surely the Author of the Torah could have chosen another way of teaching
us this lesson - eg stating it explicitly as a command, without a
ma'ase, or alternatively not telling us *who* the couple in question
were. (The same question also has always bothered me about Miriam,
although I supposed there that since the loshen hora was spoken
publically, ie all bnei Yisroel knew about it, then it was considered to
be "in the public domain" and hence not loshen hora to put it in the
Torah - even though you and I would never have known about it if the
Torah had not told us about it).

Since, however, I have a great deal of difficulty (British
understatement here!) in attributing loshen hora (or, alternatively,
unnecessary loshen hora) to HaShem, can somebody help me out of my
perplexity by explaining why it was mutar to write the Torah in the way
it was written (especially as the easy answer, ie you can say loshen
hora about dead people appears, from what people have said here, not to
be valid).

>- -- Eric

Kind Regards


Chana/Heather Luntz

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Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 23:06:38 +0200
From: D & E-H Bannett <dbnet@barak-online.net>
Re Motzaei Shabbat

Almost a month ago, R' Rich Wolpoe wrote concerning the Israeli radio and television 
habit of calling Saturday Shabbat until midnight of motzaei Shabbat, while yom shishi, 
also called incorrectly leil shishi, goes on until Friday midnight at which time Shabbat 
begins. He says:
>all kidding aside, isn't a midnight to midnight view coincide with >Tzadukim or 
Karaim?  I vaguely recall something like this...

Actually, in the old days, almost everybody measured time in hours from dawn and 
from dusk.  This includes Tzedukim, Karaim, Rabbinic Jews, Arabs, and early 
Christians. The reason is that dawn and dusk are events that can be seen so we 
begin to measure time from the occurrence of that visible celestial reference point.

Nothing happens at midnight so how does one know from when to start measuring. 
Remember ba-chatzot and ka-chatzot? Even Pharaoh didn't know when midnight 

If I remember correctly, it was in the 10th or 11th century CE that some church official 
in Italy (Pope?) decided that just as they counted years from JC's birth, and months 
from JC's birth, they should count days as well. Since their tradition is that he was 
born at midnight, the new day was made to start at midnight despite the lack of a 
celestial sign at that time. 

So, not only is what some call the "luach ezrachi" really very Christian, so is your wrist 


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Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 23:06:45 +0200
From: D & E-H Bannett <dbnet@barak-online.net>
minor corrections re: Mendelsohnn

After a month of rest, the Mendelsohnn thread is now ancient history, Despite that I'd 
like to point out a minor inaccuracy..

Mendelssohn wrote the German translation in his Chumash.  Contrary to what some 
posters have written. He did not write most of the Biur commentary. The chumash 
includes Mendelsohnn's German translation, Onkelos, Rashi, a Tikkun Sofrim, and a 
commentary entitled Biur.  Mendelssohn wrote the beginning of the perush on 
Bereshit, while Reb Shlomo Dubno wrote most of the rest.. R' Sh. Dubno wrote the 
commentary on Shemot with a few, usually short, parenthetic emendations by 
Mendelssohn. As R' Sh. Dubno then quit his job, the other three books were farmed 
out.  Vayikra was written by Naftali Hertz Wiesel (Hartwig Wessely), Bamidbar by 
Aharon Yaroslav, and Devarim by Hertz Hamburg. All have some parenthetic remarks 
by M. The different books show the different styles and attitudes of the authors 
although there was supposedly some general editing by M.

R' Sh. Dubno also wrote the Tikkun Sofrim for Bereshit and Shemot and did a much 
finer job than the replacement who followed.  Although some attribute Reb Shlomo 
Dubno's  disassociation from M to pressure from  RW opposers, the evidence seems 
to point to financial differences .


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Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 23:06:36 +0200
From: D & E-H Bannett <dbnet@barak-online.net>
More on diyyukim

I just spent a few weeks with a very nasty flu. Not being allowed to do much else, I 
had time to read Avodah.  This explains my leaving the land of the lurkers lately and 
adding my two cents to old threads.

I sometimes wonder why, in the diyyukim postings, so little reference is made to the 
characteristics of the Hebrew language.

For example: In Hebrew, the concept of the word "very" is often expressed by doubling 
the word.  Very much is m'od - m'od, as in gaveru ha-mayyim  m'od - m'od, va-yifrotz 
ha-ish m'od - m'od and  tova ha'aretz m'od - m'od. When something arrives after a 
very long time we say, sof - sof. To point out a very specific person we say hu - hu 
ha'ish and to include every person we say ish - ish.

If you misbehave, the  tokhecha in Ki Tavo states that the ger in your midst ya'aleh 
'alekha ma'la - ma'la ve-ata tered matta - matta.  And if you will glance aside in your 
Chumash and look at the Targum you will see ma'la - ma'la translated into Aramaic 
as le-eila le-eila.  So why would we say le-eila ul'eila

[Okay, so my mention of ish - ish weakens my argument.  I admit that on Purim we 
will hear "kil'shon ish va-ish", but  my computer tells me that expression appears only 
four times in the Tanakh while ish - ish appears 18 times, so I'm still ahead.]

And, a comment on another thread: 
Sometimes postings do not even consider the peshat of the words.  As a phrase, 
meshuleshet baTorah means tripled in the Torah. But the priestly blessing is not 
repeated three times in the Torah. It appears only once. So how can one say: Bless us 
with the berakha that is meshuleshet baTorah when that berakha is not meshuleshet 

The berakha is, however, a three-part berakha, that is a berakha meshuleshet. It has 
three statements, three sentences. We even answer  a separate Amen for each of 
the three sections.

Many years ago, I read (source long forgotten) that the original nusach was that the 
three part berakha was ha-ketuva baTorah al yedei Moshe.  That word order, 
however, might be interpreted as that only the berakha meshuleshet was written in 
the Torah by Moshe.  To avoid this, the words ha-ketuva baTorah were transposed. 
The improved nusach, its present form, states that the berakha meshuleshet is in the 
Torah that was (all) written by Moshe.

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 16:27:25 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: diyukkim

Back to "anu vi'amru"...

What about comparing the telling of keri'as yam Suf in the Birchas Ge'ulah
of the evening Shema with that of Shacharis? In Shacharis we clearly devide
"anu" from "amru" -- "... licha anu shirah bisimcha raba vi'amru chulam..."


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 22-Feb-00: Shelishi, Sisa
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 118b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         

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Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 17:10:08 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Facing the Truths of History

I just read the lengthy TuMJ  article by Rabbi Jacob
J. Schacter (RJJS) entitled "Facing the Truths of
History".   His message is right on target. As a
matter of fact I think it is a masterpiece of writing
and argument.  He makes his points clearly and
brilliantly, documenting virtually all his of his
sources. I can't think of one thing I disagree with!
Nor do I believe they are arguable.

For those who do not have either the access to, or the
time to read his essay, let me review the essential
elements. He writes that the concept of not telling
unflattering truths about Gedolim, (even posthumously)
has  serious backing from Gemmoros, which he cites. 
Basically,  the purpose of biographical truth is to
help one's Avodas HaShem.  To know about the Aveiros
of great people is, therefore, counterproductive since
they are our ultimate role models. 

But RJJS very convincingly points out that this is not
what the sanitized bios of today do.  They are not
excising information of theAveiros from the bios of
great people.  They are instead cleansing their bios
of hashkafos that they do not agree with.  This, to
me, is an outrage.  Bios such as these do not even
qualify as  hagiographic, hagiography being a history
of a saint. What those authors are doing is cleansing
the "Saints" of deeds which only THEY deem unsaintly. 

If a Gadol had a positive attitude about Limudei Chol,
it is grossly dishonest to omit that fact because of
an agenda that wants to eliminate Limudei Chol from
the RW school system.  It is unfair  not to include it
as the view of that Gadol.  This is not the same as
saying a Gadol committed some grievous aveirah and
revelation of that fact can hurt Yahadus by
disillusioning his Talmidim.  That would be Lashon
Hara and assur on those grounds and on the grounds of
denigrating Torah and it's scholars. 

It is quite a different matter to omit the following:

R. S.Y. Zevin praised Medinas Israel.

Or to refute that the Gra had a positive  thought
about learning Mada,.

Or to deny that R. S.F. Mendlowitz, the great RH of
Yeshivas Torah VaDaas, was in the forefront of trying
(unsuccessfully, in the end) to create a fully
accredited College ultimately containing three
separate graduate schools.

Or that the Netziv's wife learned Mishnayos and Sifrei

Or that R. Eliahu Meir Bloch, the Rosh HaYeshiva of
Telshe participated fully in 1954 in a Yom HaAtzmaot
celebration in Cleveland.

Or to spin R.S.R.Hirsch's great Hashkafa of TIDE was
only a Bidieved stopgap against the encroachment of

Or to say that the Rav's attitude about Secular
studies was not L'Chatchila (or that he only went to
University to escape the Polish Draft!)  

(Interestingly, a Sefer was recently published with
the Rav's Torah where he was ONLY identified as the
Rav of Boston.  His long standing position as RH of YU
that of which he  was so proud  is totally ignored. 
The fact that the vast majority of his life was spent
disseminating Torah from YU is totally overlooked. Is
this an early attempt to revise history so that
generations form now the Rav can be claimed as a
saintly Gadol of the R.W.?)

Lest someone say that the above facts are well known
but insignificant or trivial, and therefore tobe
discounted, I beg to differ. Take, for example, the
tendency amongst Right Wing (R.W.) Yeshivos  to
totally eliminate secular studies from their
curriculum. In Israel this is already an accomplished
fact to the extent that any institution that tries to
add some sort of general studies program is ostracized
and labeled "out of the mainstream" at best and put
into Cherem at worst (as is the case with Marava).  In
the US the trend has already begun. Yeshivos of the
R.W. that include secular studies in high schools are
becoming dinosaurs. Of course deleting any positive
statements about the Limudei Chol of previous
generations about secular studies helps to achieve
those ends. Including them would only serve to hinder
them. Hence facts that will hurt those goals... are
gone, eliminated, erased, as if they never existed.

The letter to the editor of Yated Neeman criticizing
the article in a previous Yated about revealing the
fact that R. E.E. Dessler read "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and
like secular books speaks volumes about the mind-set
of a large segment of the R.W.. To them the "danger'
of such knowledge is so great that it needs to be
obliterated from our collective consciousness. Those
members of the Right, in their complete ignorance,
consider this type of knowledge harmful to Avodas
Hakodesh. They have no regard for a view that might be
different from their own and would rather revise
history then admit that there is another legitimate
point of view.  No view is legitimate to them except
the "Torah only" view. 

And it is the R.W. who is guilty of intolerance here
not the so called Left Wing (LW).  The left wing as
far as I am aware, agrees that there is more than one
approach to Torah Judaism. The great Centrist thinker
and advocate of Torah u Maddah, Dr. Lamm has stated
that the "Torah Only" view is legitimate. He, of
course,  advocates his own view that Torah u Maddah is
the correct one but does not deny the legitimacy of
other points of view.  But the R.W. seems to do just
that. They deny all legitimacy to the Torah u Maddah
approach and have done their level best to obliterate
all positive reference to it by Gedolei Hador of
previous generations.  I don't think I am being too
harsh.  I think I am just being appraising the
situation as I see it.  I am being honest.

I'd like to be proven wrong.  I would love to hear
even one R.W. Rosh HaYeshiva (RH) say that even though
he doesn't agree with the TuM philosophy itself that, 
it is never-the-less a legitimate approach.  I don't
remember R. Svei or anyone else on the Right ever
saying that. 

Please do not accuse me of R.W. bashing. I have great
respect and admiration for the Torah learning these
R.W. institutions and their RH's are able to teach and
spread.  No one is a bigger "fan" of the Chicago
Community Kollel (Lakewood) then I am.  I ‘ve attended
Shiurim there. I Daven Mincha there every day. I honor
and respect the Roshei Kollel (RK) there as well as
the Avreichim.  R. Zucker, one of the RK, is a first
rate Posek to whom I will go with Shailos if R. Aaron
Soloveichik is unavailable. (BTW, he is the only one
that I am aware of that has publicly condemned the
condemners of books like "My Uncle the Netziv") I am
not capable of bashing Gedolei Israel.  I am simply
disappointed that some Gedolim so stridently bash the
ideologies of the LW. And I'm further disappointed
that in private conversations with R.W. RHs and RKs
where they HAVE conceded to some of the I've  points
made , that they didn't want their views to be made

Finally, his apology at the end of his essay about
publication of the Sridei Eish's (SE) private
correspondences.  I felt a sincere attempt by RJJS to
address the only concern I ever had about the
publication of those letters... the concern that the
SE wouldn't have necessarily wanted them released to
the public at large.  He honestly believed that the SE
would have wanted his views to be known because of
very public statements he (the SE) made about certain
of the issues brought up in those letters. But in
light of a letter of protestation he received from a
very near and dear Talmid of the SE's he had second
thoughts and indeed ended up at the Kever of the SE
asking Mechila.

So,  RJJS's essay is of paramount importance. It makes
the case for public condemnation of the sanitized,
incomplete, and agendized bio of Gedolei Israel.  The
sin of omission in these bios is nothing more than the
furtherance of a specific Hashkafic agenda to the
detriment of any other legitimate agenda.  These bios
tend to de-legitimize any Hashkafa that is at odds
with their own.  It is unfair, dishonest and in the
end will be counter productive to the very ends that
they seek to achieve.  I hope


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