Avodah Mailing List

Volume 05 : Number 020

Saturday, April 15 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 06:47:15 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Avodah V5 #16

On Thu, Apr 13, 2000 at 06:02:25PM +0200, Shoshana L. Boublil wrote:
:                                             Going back to when I was
: in elementary school in Petah Tikva, at least 20% of the class were
: not religious, and I think the percentage was larger....

I think it's interesting to note that from the descriptions here it would
appear that there is greater pressure within the frum community to place
your kids in schools of your own flavor than there is across the dati --
eino dati line.

Yet another example of why a kid who doesn't fit in one niche is likely to
dump it all rather than explore the others? Almost like, "if it's all treif,
why not choose the one without all those pesky mitzvos?"


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 12-Apr-00: Revi'i, Metzora
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Rosh-Hashanah 23b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Melachim-II 25

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 13:28:09 +0300
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il>
Tal Commission

> From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
> I would like to not a nuance of the CI/REED (that's Chazon Ish/ R' E. E.
> Dessler)  philosophy of education. To the best of my understanding, the
> CI/REED were not anti-parnosso, nor anti-craft/trade/farmwork. I think you
> must go back to the Nefesh Ha'Chaim for that philosophy. Rather, they were
> against easy access to *higher* and, more importantly *formal* and
> *degree-granting* education.
> The CI/REED philosophy is very much pro-manual labor or even "unskilled"
> business professions. The CI was very much involved with the nascent PAI and
> AI moshavim and kibbutzim, and joined forces with Polish Chassidim to build
> a city of artisans and shopkeepers. This is not necessarily a paean to
> socialism (although it might be), as, we see in Chicago, many people can
> become quite affluent in business occupations that require no degrees nor
> significant advanced education. I think the CI encisioned a society in EY
> where most people would work, constructively, in occupations ranging from
> farms to shoemaking, from factories to groceries, with a small but leading
> Torah elite.

Today the Tal commission officially came out with their recommendations.
Basically at the age of 23/24 it would give Charedim the option of joining
the work force after doing a minimal army or public service duty. While it
is reported that Rav Eliyashiv, Rav Steinman and other gedolim are in favor of
the compromise it also reported that many other rabbonim oppose the compromise.
Their position is that no one should leave the yeshiva, ever, for any reason.
It certainly has nothing to do with manual labor versus university learning.
It particular some of the Brisker robbanim wanted to prevent anyone from
talking to the givernment about any compromises.

As an example I know of a boy from my shul who decided to learn full time
in yeshiva after graduating from the local Bnei Akiva yeshiva. After a few
years of full time learning he felt he was burnt out and wanted to join the
army. The rosh yeshiva tried very hard to convince him to remain even though
it was obvious that the boy could no longer continue. The boy decided that
the path of honesty was to go to the army if he felt he was no longer really
learning full time. I am sure that this boy will be a great influence on
the chilonim that he will meet in his army service and may return to the
yeshiva after taking a break.

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 13:38:28 +0300
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il>

I recently attended two very different shiurim about the fours sons in the
Haggadah. One point that both rabbonim stressed was the importance of asking
questions. Rav Berel Wein in particular came out very strongly against
segments of the orthodox community that try and discourage children from
asking questions. His contention is that the question persists and all one
has accomplished is to prevent the child from getting responses.

Sorry to say, even on Avodah, sometimes when someone brings up a question in
Emunah the immediate response is that Gadol X does not allow those kinds of
questions to be discussed. R. Wein went into great detail about the tremendous
harm that such a approach can lead to.

The other speaker, pointed out that though in other circles children are
encouraged to speak their mind and bring up questions. Nevertheless, when a
child asks a serious question in Emunah the immediate response of the parent
is to wonder why the child has such problems. He asked the question of
why we attack the rasha rather than trying to be mekarev him. His response
was that the answer to the rasha is that basically he excludes himself from
the Jewish community. The purpose of the question is to see the response.
If the rasha answers "who cares" then there is no purpose in continuing the
conversation. If however, the rasha answers that he is a Jew but his defintion
of Jew is different than ours than there is a purpose to continue the dialogue.

kol tuv,
Eli Turkel

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 13:49:58 +0300
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il>
attitude towards secular studies

> The chinuch in RW American yeshivos may be non-Desslerian, but only by
> default -"English" is forced on to the Yeshiva curriculum for various
> external reasons, not because of any intrinsic appreciation of secular
> studies or due to a rejection of R. Dessler's approach. However, the
> philosophy of RW Yeshivos in general is "super-Desslerian" in it's rejection
> of the significance of secular studies, and goes beyond what R. Dessler
> wrote in his teshuva.  All the issurim of chillul Hashem somehow do not seem
> to apply when it comes to "English" in yeshiva - it seems to be a mitzva to
> show chutzpa to English teachers and to cheat as a way to demonstrate the
> utter insignificance of secular studies in one's life.

I would like to second Arnie's remarks. When we were on sabbatical a few
years ago in the US my daughter was shocked by what went on in the secular
classes in her high school. The kids were very chutzpahdik and certainly no
one really paid attention.

How such an atmosphere contributes to the middot of the girls (or boys)
is beyond me.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 09:21:20 -0400
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Re: Toupees, Beged Ishah, and Double Parking

RA Davidson wrote:

>>The 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe (whose Yahrtzeit comes up this Tuesday), the Tzemach
Tzedek held that a male being clean shaven is also begged isha.>>

There are also poskim who hold that using a mirror is begged isha.

RA Davidson wrote:

>>Somewhat relatedly, am I the only person who rolls his eyes when I see someone
double-park and see someone wearing a yarmulke walking out.? 

RS Katz wrote:

>>No not by any means. One might say that this and other such offenses border on
chillul hashem.>>

I have to disagree.  I thought this was the case when I first moved to Brooklyn 
and I would circle for a long time looking for parking spots.  Now that I've 
lived here for a few years and have more responsibilities, it is impossible to 
accomplish anything when in order to drop something off at someone's house I 
have to circle for over half an hour for a parking spot.  There are too many 
people and not enough space.  Add to that alternate side of the street parking.

Maybe it is different depending on the place but in many places in NY it is 
standard practice for anyone, Jew or gentile, to double-park and the police 
don't ticket it because they know it is impossible to conduct a normal life in 
NY without doing it.  

Al tadin es chaveircha ad shetagi'ah limkomo

Gil Student

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 10:02:59 -0400
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
Arami Oved Avi

> C1A1Brown@aol.com wrote:
> The Rambam brings the din of 'kol hamarbeh harei zeh 
> meshubach' in two places: in 7:2 as a general rule for
> the mitzva of haggadah, and interestingly as a seperate
> din 7:6 in being doreish the parsha of arami oved avi 
> as much as possible.   
> Not sure why the need to repeat the din as a specific
> prat of the chiyuv to be doresh arami oved.
	I saw the Ohr Sameach discusses this. He says acc. to one shitta in
the gemara matzah is lechem oni because "Onin alav devorim harbeh". He says
this can't be referring to hallel cause hallel is derabanan. It can't be
sippur yitzias mitzrayim cause you already have a pasuk of v'higaditah
l'binchah. Therefore, it must be referring to Arami oved avi esp. since the
pasuk says "V'anisa v'amartah" So you see there is special chiyuv to be
marbeh on arami oved avi.

	I thought the teretz might be that in actuality the ikkur sippur
doesn't start till arami oved avi. Everything is else is just a hakdamah and
is theer for various reasons (maschil b'genus etc.) Therefore, the chiyuv of
kol hamarbeh applies esp. to arami oved avi.

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 10:33:03 -0400
Re: ROY and RSL

----- Original Message -----
From: SBA <sba@blaze.net.au>
To: avodah <avodah@aishdas.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2000 3:01 PM
Subject: ROY and RSL

> I don't know how well it is known that Chaim Moshe Shapiro
> (and I think Zerach Warhaftig as well) when visiting the US, had
> audiences with the Satmar Rebbe zt'l.
> I don't think anyone would in any way suggest that by agreeing
> to meet them, the SR gave his approval to the Mizrachi - or that
> he had  swayed to the left.

    The issue is who cam to see who?    Has RSL journeyed to see ROY, I
would agree with the above analogy, but that is not the case.


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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 11:17:05 -0400
From: Eric Simon <erics@radix.net>
kiruv, was: C, was: sefardim and ashkenazim

>	C laity,  OTOH,  is the victim of the most abysmal ignorance in the
>history of Judaism.  Same for Reform laity.  There is nothing in their
>movement like the emphasis on study that is the hallmark of O,  and they
>don't bother.  They attend C services when it's convenient,  either for
>their conscience or their geography.  Learning about Yiddishkeit takes
>too much time.  They might increase their observance if a proper kiruv
>approach were taken;  teenagers and young adults are much less a victim
>of this ignorance and more open to Jewish education.  Most of these are
>truly tinokos shenishbu.

I think this last point is essential.  So many of these Jews really do care
passionately about their Judaism, but are so ignorant that they don't even
know that studying and learning is valuable.

They are indeed tinokos shenishbu.  I know.  I used to be one.

>I also get the feeling that many other list-members don't interact with
>Conservative Jews very often, if at all.

And vice versa.

Tell me, how are charedi portrayed in the media?

Now tell me, what do you think that Reform Jew, even one who is
open-minded, whose leaders preach against tradition,  thinks about charedim
-- especially if they've never met a serious Orthodox Jew in their life?

This is why I think kiruv is so important.  There are a gazillion other
Jews who can be redeemed with the proper effort.

(I feel awkward making the following comment, because I do not want to
appear to be seeking attention, but because I care so passionately about
it...)  I elaborate on this at length in the Feb 2000 issue of JO (an
article called "Of Coats and Fires").

Kol yisroel areivim zeh b'zeh.  I think we all need to ask ourselves: are
we doing anything for the millions of tinikos shenishbu?

<soap box mode off <g>>

-- Eric

| Eric Simon     | erics@radix.net                         |
| proud daddy to Joshua (4/18/93) and Eliana (3/12/95)     |

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 11:18:49 -0400
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Dor Revi'i on relations with reshaim (aka secular Zionists)

In view of the recent thread on Rav Ovadiah Yosef's public comments
about Yossi Sarid, I thought that a short passage from the Dor Revi'i's
essay on Zionism (Hebrew Title:  Ha-Tzionut b'or ha-Emunah) might be 
of interest to the list.  The passage comes toward the end of the essay, 
in response to an announcement of a public meeting of Agudat Yisrael 
in Grosswardein in Transylvania.  The Dor Revi' criticizes at length the 
policy of Agudat Yisrael of isolating itself from contact with the 
non-Orthodox.  As we have already established, the Dor Revi'i was a 
gadol, but not exactly a mainstream gadol.  So in the spirit of eilu v'eilu,
 I hope that on the eve of Shabbat ha-Gadol we can all find 
something to learn from in what follows, which is my own quick and 
dirty translation of the Hebrew translation of the German original.  

Herewith the Dor Revi'i:

Since I finished this small work, here at the resort, an invitation to the 
national assembly of Orthodox communities has reached me from the 
Orthodox community of Grossvardein.  The purpose of this assembly 
is to found an Orthodox alliance, modeled on the old Hungarian Irgun.  
To this invitation was appended a "kol kore" of the Chief Rabbi of 
Grosswardein [R. Binyamin Fox], in which the adherents of Torah are 
called to joint the Agudat Yisrael, which has become the union of 
Orthodoxy independent of the Zionist organization, for only through 
absolute isolation can loyal Judaism ensure its survival.

I cannot conclude this pamphlet without responding to this "kol kore."  
My greatly esteemed colleague invokes the slogan "the nation of 
Torah" intending thereby to justify the position of isolation.  Let us 
reflect on the fact that the Jewish nation is indeed the nation of Torah, 
because the spirit of the Torah beats within the least of the nation.  For 
that is why our Sages say, "Even though he has sinned, he remains an 
Israelite."  Even in a Jew who sins it is possible to find a storehouse of 
the ethics of the Torah, as our Sages said: "ki-pheilah ha-rimon 
rakatekh" (Shir ha-Shirim 4:3) Even the empty among you are as full of 
mitzvot as a pomegranate.  And they also said: "The wicked are full of 
remorse."  And also: "Havor atzabim Ephraim, hanakh lo" (Hoshea 4:17) 
Even if they worship idols, as long as they are united, leave them alone.  
Even if the whole nation, G-d forbid, were to forget itself to such an 
extent that it worships idols - as long as it guards its unity, it is certain 
that it will return to itself.  The Jewish nation is the nation of the Torah, 
because it suckled the ethics of the Torah, that was passed down 
through its holy ancestors with its mother's milk.  And that is why 
Moshe Rabbeinu alav ha-shalom pushed aside the advice: "hanikha 
li . . .va-akhaleim v'e'esseh otkha l'goi gadol."  And Hosea the prophet 
was punished because he advised "ha-aviram b'umah aheret."  And 
Hashem yitbarakh answered him: "Yisrael she-hein banai, b'nei b'honi, 
b'nai Avraham, Yitzhak, v'Ya'acov, lo ukhal l'hahlipham b'umah aheret."  
Also Isaiah the prophet was punished and died a terrible death because 
he detracted from the honor of the Jewish nation when he called it "am 
t'mei s'phataim."  And my lord, my colleague, the Rov, and those who 
share this opinion, wish in the name of the Torah to come to the nation 
of the Torah, at the moment when it seeks to restore its glory, to split it 
into factions and disturb it in the act of rebirth?  You wish to render the 
nation into two peoples contrary to the verse "u-mi k-amkha Yisrael goi 
ahad ba-aretz." and contrary to the holy Zohar which says "kudsha 
b'rikh hu, oraita, v'Yisrael had."  Or perhaps you intend to say, with this 
slogan of Hirsch ("the nation of the Torah") that the Orthodox 
organization, Agudat Yisrael, has become the essence of the Jewish 
people, even though it only encompasses within it a minority, because 
all the rest does not belong to the nation?  Nonsense such as this I do 
not want to attribute to his honor, because the doctrine of isolation, as 
it is understood and interpreted in practice in a country that has both 
Orthodoxy and Neologism (Reform) cannot be compared to the doctrine 
of isolationism from the entire Jewish nation.  To achieve this kind of 
isolation you and those who share your opinion . . . are too weak.

The nation is not given to be separated and divided.  And also those who 
do not believe and those who are not pious, the children of Avraham, 
Yitzhak and Ya'akov, will not be excluded from it.  It is possible and 
necessary to sacrifice everything for the survival of Torah.  But not Israel 
itself!  See Midrah Kohelet, chapter 1, d.h. "v'ha-aretz l'olam omedet."  
Amar R. Shimon ben Yohai: k'tiv "ki ki-mei ha-etz y'mei ami . . ." v'ein etz 
ela Torah . . . v'khi mi nivra bishvil mi?  Ha-Torah bishvil Yisrael o Yisrael 
bishvil ha-Torah?  Lo Torah bishvil Yisrael?"  Tana d'vei Eliyahu, chap. 14.  
"v'amar li, rebi: Shnei d'varim yesh ba-olam va-ani ohaveim b'l'vavi ahavah 
g'murah, v'eilu hein: Torah v'Yisrael, aval ein ani yodea eizeh mei-hen 
kodeim.  Amarti lo: b'ni, darkan shel b'nei adam omrim: ha-Torah kadmah, 
she-ne'emar, ha-Shem kanani reishit darko.  Aval ani omer, Yisrael kadmo, 
she-ne'emar, kodesh Yisrael la-ha-Shem, reishit t'vuato. . . ."  And so the 
Torah was given for the sake of Israel and not Israel for the sake of Torah.

I should have liked to recommend to my colleague and those who share his 
opinion to read a short composition rich incontent.  I am referring to "Tomer 
D'vorah" which was authored by Rabbeinu Moshe Cordovero, z.l., one of 
the great masters of kabbalah.  This is book now happens to be in my 
possession, it would be worthwhile for all of you would learn from it how to 
think about Israel and about those of its children that are not pious.  Here is 
a fragment.  

And so should a person be, even should he encounter the wicked.  He 
should not be cruel to them but he should have mercy upon them and say 
they are after all the children of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya'akov.  If they 
are unworthy, their ancestors were worthy, and one who disgraces them 
disgraces the ancestors.  I don't wish that their ancestors should be 
disgraced because of me.  And he covers up their shame and corrects it 
to the best of his ability.  (Chap. 1) 

So should a person be benevolent to everyone and no man should be 
disgraced in his presence, but even the most insignificant of creatures 
should be very important in his eyes and he should focus on it and should 
provide for everyone who requires his benevolence.  And this will follow 
from his always being peaceful toward all people, for if he is conduct is 
harsh toward people, they will not be reconciled to him.  And this is the 
meaning of the Mishnah "kol she-ruah ha-b'riot nohah mimenu, ruah 
ha-Makom noha mimenu."  That his ears should always be directed 
toward hearing good, but if he hears falsehood or unpleasantness, he 
should not go into it at all.  And he should never be angry, but he 
should only exhibit vitality and goowill to fulfill every request and to 
support the downtrodden, to always forgive sins and never to be angry 
with those who do wrong to him.  He should always be conciliatory and 
seek kindness to provide satisfaction to all.  He should train himself to 
bring the love of mankind into his heart, even the wicked, as if they were 
his brothers until he fixes in his heart the love of all mankind and he 
should love even the wicked in his heart. (Chap. 2)

If our leaders took these holy words of gold to heart, they would know 
how to save the true Judaism in a different fashion from that of isolation, 
for then they would be able through actions intended to advance the 
physical well-being of the nation to conquer the hearts of the unbelievers.  
And through the power of that love they could turn the ears of the 
children of their nation to their words.  Just as we know that Aharon 
ha-Kohen was a lover of peace and a pursuer of peace, a lover of 
mankind who brought them closer to Torah.

End of fragment

David Glasner

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 09:39:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Tal Commission

--- Eli Turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il> wrote:
> it
> is reported that Rav Eliyashiv, Rav Steinman and
> other gedolim are in favor of
> the compromise it also reported that many other
> rabbonim oppose the compromise.
> Their position is that no one should leave the
> yeshiva, ever, for any reason.
> It certainly has nothing to do with manual labor
> versus university learning.
> It particular some of the Brisker robbanim wanted to
> prevent anyone from
> talking to the givernment about any compromises.

I know of at least one Brisker, R. Aaron Soloveichik.
He would support such a compromise.  His Grandson, R.
Yitzchok Zev HaLevi Soloveichik, is presently in the
Hesder program at KBY.

It would be nice to be Mefarsem this information to
the Israeli branch of the Family.


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Send online invitations with Yahoo! Invites.

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 09:47:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: attitude towards secular studies

--- Eli Turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il> wrote:When we
> on sabbatical a few
> years ago in the US my daughter was shocked by what
> went on in the secular
> classes in her high school. The kids were very
> chutzpahdik and certainly no
> one really paid attention.
> How such an atmosphere contributes to the middot of
> the girls (or boys)
> is beyond me.

It's not beyond me.  The hebrew faculty (Rebbeim, and
Roshei Yeshiva) in RW Yeshivos so demonize goyim that
it is a natural outcome for Bachurim to say that Goyim
(i.e. the secuklar studies teachers) are nothing more
than Behemos, and to say they are MIchuyav Misa anyway
because they most likely violated one of the Shiva
Mitzvos Bnei Noach. This attitude  is rarely


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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 14:34:53 -0400
From: "Zuckerman, Jeffrey I." <JZuckerman@CM-P.COM>
MO are not religious?

	In V5 #15, a first-time poster wrote that <<Secularists are fighting
for one definition [of the term <<Jew>>], and religious for another, and
Modern Orthodox for a third, and so on.>>  What have we MO done now to get
ourselves excluded from the camp of the "religious"?  Can we still do
teshuva, or have we reached the status of Acher?

	A gut Shabbos to one and all.

Jeff Zuckerman

This e-mail, including any attachments, may contain information that is
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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 15:05:19 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>

I think I have fulfilled all the requests I can for now, for the essay.
Perhaps in EY I can get to some, but, in the meantime, Micha has the essay,
as do several subscribers - you may get it from them. Micha also will IY"H
after Pesach clean it up so it can be sent out on Avodah.

Wishing everyone a CKvS and a Good Shabbos,

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila    ygb@aishdas.org

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 23:08:51 EDT
From: DFinchPC@aol.com
Re: Fw: Ruchani Eye on Rabbi Ovadaih Yosef, shlita

In a message dated 4/11/00 11:06:04 PM, micha@aishdas.org writes:

<< One wonders how someone who thinks that the people who coin halachah are
motivated by "vanity, ego, self-idolization..." could be motivated to follow
the laws they institute. >>

I've never understood that anyone has permission to "coin" halachah. If 
halacha isn't received, then what it is? Are we supposed to be motivated by 
*any* form of religious "coinage"? Perhaps the notion of "coining" the rule 
of law betrays its openness to corruption.  

David Finch

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 23:26:05 EDT
From: DFinchPC@aol.com
Re: sefardim and ashkenazim

In a message dated 4/13/00 9:20:54 AM, sambo@charm.net writes:

<< Because from the Conservative people I interact with, I get the feeling
that they just don't *know*. That their Judaism is a *thing*, not the
actual definition of who they are. 

I also get the feeling that many other list >>

It's not fair to say that Conservative Jews don't define themselves by their 
Judaism. Most don't, but some do. For some, it is the center of their lives.

It's hard to generalize about Conservative Jews without risking inaccuracy.

David Finch

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Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 23:56:38 EDT
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Re: Children at Risk JO issues

I think that the JO , together with Nefesh , deserve a huge yasher koach for 
placing the issue of children at risk("COR") on the community's horizon . I 
heard Dr. Norman Blumentha, a pscychologist involved in a COR program 
(TOVA)and in a special ed program (CAHAL) tell an audience that he had an 
audience together with some of his peer with the Novominsker Rebbe and that 
the Novominsker was very interested in implementing a TOVA  type program in 
Flatbush or Boro Park. The fact that the first issue was given to every 
participant at the most recent Agudah convention is evidence enough that this 
issue is viewed as a major problem. 
I read the most recent issue.The responses from the parents and the kids were 
moving and made me think that we could all benefit from really thinking that 
all of our kids fit into some cookie cutter model . I think that we are 
deluding ourselves into thinking that this  is a RW trend. I think that kids 
in MO schools face the same problems. This problem is complex and does not 
lend itself to simple bromide solutions . For this reason, we owe a real debt 
as parent and educators to the JO , Nefesh and courageous individuals such as 
Rav Wolbe ,,Rav Weinreb,and Rabbi Twerski. 
                                Steven Brizel

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