- This week's Haveil Havalim.
- Considering whether Tu Beshvat is a Sabbatean holiday:
Ya'ari, however, notes the first mention in connection to a celbration or the like is in the 16th century. Specifically, R. Issachar ibn Susan (c. 1510-1580) in Ibur Shanim, published in 1578 (the book was published earlier, in 1564, this was done without the knowledge or R. Issachar and according to R. Issachar, with numerous errors) he mentions "the Ashkenazim have the custom [on Tu-beshevat] to eat many fruits in honor of the day." Mention of this custom also appeared in a Jedeo-German Minhagim book first published in 1590. "The custom is to eat many fruits as it is the New Year of the trees."This precedes Shabtai Tzvi.
- Rav Elyashiv tells the author of Meshaneh Halachos that we cannot pasken that mashiach should come.
Rav Elyashiv politely refused, stating, “We cannot pasken [that the geulah should come], but rather, we should believe in and anticipate [the coming of the geulah].”.
- Rabbi Ginzberg in the Five Towns Jewish Times:
This would seem to suggest that once "the gedolim" tell us that it is X, there is no room for disagreement.
In a Letter to the Editor, Zeev Gold writes at length, but as part of it, asks:
And so on and so forth. In that same piece, Rabbi Ginzberg replies at length, but his response includes:
Bolding is mine. There is also an halachic analysis by Rabbi Yair Hoffman. See there. But I'd like to focus for a little bit on the paragraph above, and what it reveals. Too often we hear the refrain that gedolim never really said it? What about the statement cited in Rav Chaim Kanievsky's name, the same gadol he is relying upon, that כל מה שאומרים בשמי הוא שקר!? Unless he wants to say that Rav Kanievsky never said this?
This rav has been asking Rav Kanievsky questions for 25 years, and does not see fit to make certain that Rav Kanievsky is aware of the nuances of the case?! Certainly there have been instances in which gedolim have not looked sufficiently into matters. For example, just as he is paskening that Rubashkin is a case of pidyon shevuyim, so too Rav Kanievsky paskened that Elior Chen was a marbitz Torah, and is innocent of all charges! I am certain that where he thinks he does not know something, and needs clarification, he is unabashed to ask for it. However, in this particular case, the chareidi press in general has put forth a concerted campaign in favor of his innocence, in terms of the anti-Semitism of the judge, in terms of the horrible conditions he is being subjected to, etc., etc. It is quite possible that Rav Kanievsky is unaware that there is another side to it. And in posing the question, there is no devil's advocate. By way of comparison, there is no Rav Belsky presenting his side regarding anasakis worms in fish. A dayan is supposed to hear both sides, but for an emotionally charged case such as this, it makes a lot of sense that it is possible that only one side is being heard. And so, to ask a brief question and accept the be-vaddai? And to assert that it is a lack of kavod to start questioning Rav Kanievsky to make certain that he is aware that there is another side -- that he could well be guilty, that the prison sentence is within guidelines and that the lengthy sentence compared to others convicted of the same crime likely came about because he refused to plea bargain, that the jail conditions may not be comparatively bad, that over-the-top assertions of this sort may harm the American Jewish community in the future, etc., etc. -- I have my doubts that Rav Kanievsky has been exposed to any of this, or is aware that there are even those who say this. It is certainly something to check into. It is not a lack of kavod to ascertain this. Rather, to consciously NOT ask this is to create a situation of Garbage In, Garbage Out. And if one refuses to ask, then one should not be surprised that people won't listen to the proclamations of Gedolim, as put forth by you.
- Courtesy of DovBear, a bill put forth by a rabbi with some rather strange views.
- Hirhurim with a statement from the Agudas Yisroel of America regarding brain death. And Hirhurim with musings on taking a hat into the bathroom. The interesting twist, IMHO, is this:
Some people wear a hat and jacket whenever they go outside. For them, their hat and jacket are not designated specifically for prayer. Therefore, they may presumably wear them into a bathroom. Other people wear a hat and jacket only for prayer. I don’t wear mine back and forth everyday but leave it in my office for mincha and have a separate set at home. People like me, who generally wear a hat and jacket only for prayer, presumably should not take it into a bathroom.Meanwhile, the basis of a requirement of wearing a hat and jacket for davening is that it is what people wear to be respectable when they go outside. See the relevant siman in Aruch haShulchan. Yet it has been fetishized, or else severed from its halachic basis. In which case one can turn around and wonder if it is now meyuchad le'sfillah.
- Mystical Paths notes a free Moshe Yess album, in his memory.
- According to Vos Iz Neias, an account of the freed bachur's meeting with Rav Kanievsky:
Last Thursday Bando was given a twenty four hour furlough from prison and went to R’ Kanievsky for a bracha in anticipation of his upcoming release. In addition to R’ Kanievsky divrei bracha, he cautioned Bando to be a law abiding citizen, with an extra warning in the words of the Gemara, “don’t steal the taxes”..
- At Rationalist Judaism, methodologies for analyzing Chazal.
- Here at parshablog, some thoughts on the authenticity of the Zohar, on the basis of Rabbi Yesa, Rabbi Abba, and Cappadocia, as mentioned in the Zohar.