- The discussion on whether Yoga is kosher continues in the comment section of my last news roundup. Also, see this post at Shirat Devorah. And at Mystical Paths, Chi Kung, Tai Chi, and Idolatry. Some excerpts:
Here is the definition of "Chi Kung" according to one of the many Web sites that promote it... "If you only do the physical you are not really doing Chi Kung."Also, from the comment section, responding to a comment asking about some kosher version necessary for old people, and people seeking graceful movements and breathing exercises:
With Chi Kung you can "tap energy from the cosmos."...
Again, and to reiterate most clearly, any practice that is entirely physical with absolutely no association with other religions is assumed to be perfectly alright. However, the minute you include even a slight reference or association to those other religions, you are endangering your spiritual life.
Remember, there are many perfectly fine, non-spiritual systems available. There is no reason to look to the ways of the East.
Anonymous, well R' Lazer Brody has a video on his site of a movement meditation that looks similar to Tai Chi, which he refers to as a "ancient Hebrew meditation."
Someone could ask him where it comes from if they're interested (the martial art Abir, maybe?). You could also look at the many interesting suggestions in R' Locks' fascinating book, Taming the Raging Mind (also check out his autobiography!). Psychologists have also come up with totally secular meditation techniques for the purposes of clinical research projects, which go by various names -- but these don't tend to involve movement. These are the kinds of things the Lubavitcher Rebbe was calling for, and they do exist now.
LOL. I have a feeling that these ancient Jewish meditations aren't so ancient and Jewish. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But it would indeed be nice to hear Rabbi Lazer Brody weigh in on this matter.
Similarly, I would be interested in hearing from Reb Gutman Locks about the meanings of the motions in the above video.
- You probably already saw the video of the smashing of the computer at the Baal Teshuva yeshiva in Israel.
See Rabbi Yair Hoffman's condemnation of it, in this editorial. (And see Wolfish Musings.) Vos Iz Neias has an exclusive interview with the rabbi in the video, in charge of all this.
- Frum N' Flipping on the Yeshiva Boy Auction:
In the audience, Ruchy Kahn says a short Kapittel of Tehillim. There has to be one boy here, for her. There had to be one boy, with a low enough asking price. Mammy and Tatty have already explained to her, as gently as possible, that they only have a small amount put aside. It sounds like a lot of money to Ruchy. But they look worried.
Hirsh consults with Reb Greenbaum, in a hushed tone. They come to an understanding, a price they can both agree on, taking into account the Greenbaums boy's average intelligence, and the time he spends learning, three full Seders, no more, no less. 100, 000 USD, the price of an apartment in Kiryat Sefer, is the starting price they settle on.
- Rabbi Yair Hoffman has an opinion piece saying that the Jewish community's response to the (then) pending execution of Martin Grossman.
With this in mind, how is it that the brightest and the best minds in our orthodox Jewish organizations attempted such a campaign when they new there was zero chance of it coming to fruition? The political damage to Orthodox Judaism was enormous.He took a lot of flack for this. Subsequently, he appeared on the Dov Hikind Show to defend his position. The preceding link includes the audio of the show. Also, at the Daat Torah blog, a text summary of the contents of the show, in the post and continued into the first comment.
He's makdim with showering praise on attorney Zweibel and the Moetzes, that he agrees with them on everything except this. A smart move since he would be blacklisted otherwise or worse.
He cites the Noda Bihudah that murderers must be killed otherwise murders will become a hefkerus.
He says that rabbonim were misled with biased information from Grossman's lawyers overstating the case in favor of their client.
He argues there are so many other causes of pikuach nefesh we should get together to fight for first before Grossman - causes that are 100% justified and not "ekeldik" where someone beat a woman to death and burned her body.
This case created tremendous aivah since...
- Balashon, the meaning of pereg, and the connection to hamantashen.