Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bobov45 Rebbe: Gedolei Yisroel will decide whether we accept the psak of the Beis Din

For those who haven't been following the story after the previous Bobover Rebbe died, both the Rebbe's son-in-law and brother claimed the throne. This caused a split in Bobov (Bobov48 and Bobov45) and they even went to court to resolve the dispute. The judge (a religious Jew) sent them out of court to a Beis Din which has been working on the case for 9 years. The Beis Din just released a psak in which Bobov48 came out the winner.

You would expect that a Chasidic Rebbe would respect the psak of a Beis Din win or lose and move on, but no, he doesn't like the psak so he is consulting with Rebbes in Israel on what to do.

Many are claiming that the Beis Din was corrupt and that the psak is one sided. It is no wonder that many religious people have no faith in the Beis Din system. If the Bobover Rebbe (45) can't get a fair hearing and is thinking of ignoring the Beis Dins psak what should the average person think and do?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Hamodia reader was very upset that the newspaper referred to the Israeli Army as כוחותינו, our forces

Here is the letter from Hamodia.

"The Real Power"

As subscribers to your important newspaper, Hamodia, the newspaper of Charedi Jewry, I was very surprised to see time after time during the military operation the words, "our forces" ...
It is important to point out that we never relied on or put our trust in flesh and blood and our true forces are -- only Torah learning and the students who learn Torah.

IMHO this letter is idiotic for a number of reasons:
  1. The fact is that whether you like it or not, the soldiers are fighting for every Jew who lives in Israel and if given the chance Hamas would slaughter the Haredim just as much as they would slaughter any other Jews.
  2. Did Moshe Rabbenu not raise an army to fight Amalek, Midyan, etc.? Did Yehoshua, Dovid Hamelech etc. not fight wars? Why didn't they just sit and learn? The answer is very simple, we need to do our hishtadlus when it comes to war (just like anything else) and that means having an army and fighting. Why does the writer see a contradiction between our army and faith in Hashem?
  3. Why can't the writer show a little hakaros hatov to those who are putting their lives on the line so that he can sit and learn?
Source: Kikar Shabbat

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Yeshiva Gedola with secular studies planned to open in Israel - fierce Charedi opposition

The yeshiva is supposed to be modeled on YU where the boys learn Gemara in the morning and secular studies for a degree late afternoon and night. However, it is meant to be a Charedi yeshiva appealing to the Charedi world. The reaction in the Charedi press has been swift and fierce as expected.
The following are from today's Yated:

There are a number of questions that need to be answered about this new Yeshiva.

  1. How will it work with army? Will the students still get an exemption?
  2. Who is it aimed at? The logical target crowd are the American Charedim who send their kids to high schools like Maarava and get a bagrut. The question is will it be able to expand past that group.
  3. Does it have any Rabbinic support? 
It will be fascinating to see how this plays out.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Misleading statements in the name of Achdus

Jonathan Rosenblum wrote a column describing the efforts of Mrs. Sharon Issacson a member of the "Charedi" community in Ramat Bet Shemesh, to help out women whose husbands were called up to the army to fight in Gaza. The point of the article was to show how the Charedi community has stepped up to the plate and is showing achdus with the soldiers and the Israeli people.

There is only one problem. Mrs. Sharon Issacson is not your typical Israeli Charedi. In fact, it would be hard to call her Charedi at all given her background and life today. She was raised in a Modern Orthodox home in NY and attended a co-ed elementary school and YUs Stern College. Her husband is a graduate of MTA and YU and has a law degree from Columbia NYU. He is currently the Rosh Yeshiva of Mevaseret, a 1 year American Yeshiva for modern orthodox boys in Israel. Her 2 sons went to Maarava for High School. There is 1 even more startling fact that is missing, her son is currently serving in the Israeli Army in Nachal Haredi. 

Given all of the above is it not very misleading to simply call her "Charedi"?

It seems that every time the Charedi world tries to appeal to more moderate Americans they bring examples that fall into one of 2 categories:

1. Baalei teshuva
2. They grew up in modern homes

A few years ago, Aish Hatorah published an article Women at Work which claimed that Orthodox women can work at any job that they want.

Let's get something perfectly clear: Jewish women work. One of my neighbors is a nuclear physicist. I'm a zoo veterinarian.
And nowadays, like women all over the Western world, they work in every field. Some run their own businesses or are part of a larger corporation. Here in Israel one of my neighbors is a nuclear physicist. Another is a school principal. Several good friends are lawyers. One's a pediatrician. Two are successful artists. I'm a zoo veterinarian.
My point is, little is forbidden to us. We work in the fields we want. We have open choices. We can choose to work part-time or full-time.

As I pointed out then (See Misleading statements in the name of Kiruv) if Aish Hatorah was a Modern or Centrist Orthodox institution then these statements would be perfectly true and not misleading. However, Aish Hatorah is a Charedi institution and it's goal for it's students is that they join Israeli Charedi society. The fact is that if Elizabeth had been born to a Charedi family she would not have had a choice to be a veterinarian, a nuclear physicist or anything other then a school teacher. University study is strictly prohibited. In Yerushalayim and Bnei Brak even getting a high school diploma is prohibited (see this post No Bagrut for Beis Yaakov girls?).

I find it very offensive when Charedi institutions use examples of Baalei Teshiva or people who were brought up in a more Modern home, as Rosenblum does in this case, to try to make a point about the Israeli Charedi community. It is simply not true, the are not really in the same Charedi community. A "real" Israeli Charedi would never marry any of their children for example. Americans, either Baalei teshuva or those coming from a more modern home, have a very different world view and certainly do not represent Israeli Charedi society.