Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Interesting Posts and Articles #252

1) A recent Haveil Havolim.

2) At Divrei Chaim, praise of Rebbetzin Kanievsky.

3) At Rationalist Judaism, a response
to the puff piece by Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow in the Baltimore Jewish Life and Five Towns Jewish Times about Rabbi Moshe Meiselman and his forthcoming book on Torah and science.
4) Someone sent me a roundup of pro-shal bloggers. Thus, there is Tomer Devorah, who also has a poll about it; there is Moriyah's place, with a few posts on the matter, and in general in favor of these lengths in tznius; and don't forget True Simcha, where this topic takes up the majority of her posts.

They also cite Rav Yizchak Ratzabi, in favor of shalim. But here is a pretty important point, bolded:
HaRav Yitzchak Ratzabi Regarding ‘Taliban Women’ (Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011) HaRav Yitzchak Ratzabi Shlita in a recent shiur addressed the ongoing controversy surrounding women who dress similar to Arab women, known in Israel as Taliban Women or Shawl Women. The rav is a prominent Torah figure in the Yemenite community in Eretz Yisrael.
The Teimanim lived in an Arab country, where indeed such dress is common. And based on previous interactions with certain Yemenite Jews, many feel that theirs is the correct masorah and everyone else's represents a corruption. And this is about any Yemenite practice.

5) And Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths takes note of a misreport of Rabbi Berland's position on shalim. And see this post at Mother In Israel: More Details Emerge about Veiled Women’s Cult.

6) Here at parshablog, I improved the source roundup once again. For now, I just added a bit of biographical information to the works already listed (though not to the ones I am adding in the future). The end goal will be to divide the works into early and late rishonim and acharonim.

7) In a previous Interesting Post... roundup, I took issue with the following statement about the superstitious practice of casting lead:
Rebetzin Miller has a haskama from R' Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, who I imagine would be as aware of possible halachic problems as any random blogger, yet doesn't seem to have a problem with it.
I explained how the random blogger (me) could actually know more about the metzius than a gadol. See there. Now, a bit of follow-up. In the comment section, an anonymous commenter noted that:
Mrs miller is rav sheinbergs family member
Now, this does not mean that the gadol would give a haskamah to a halachically problematic practice due to being swayed by familial concerns. However, I could imagine being nice and not making waves, and someone taking the non-committal niceness as a haskamah. What is the nature of Rav Scheinberg's haskamah?

But then someone pointed out the following to me in private correspondence -- excerpted from a longer email:
 I heard from a very reliable source that his mind is basically gone and has been that way for some time.

I actually have a theory about this. People protect real and fake gedolim into their 90's and treat everything they say as gold even though often senility is actaully talking.
This is quite plausible. And then, combine it with it being a family member...

Some people will see it as quite insulting to the honor of the gadol to say that they are presently senile. But these are the very real repercussions.

8) On a related note, here is an old post and thread at Yeranen Yaakov, where Rabbi Fish reports that Obama is a new Hitler, because the present Belzer Rebbe cannot concentrate:
I heard from one of the important elders of the Belz Hasidim - Hashem should guard him - that it was told over about the Admo"r R' Aharon of Belz ZT"L that from the day that the Nazi Oppressor [Hitler YM"S] came to power in the year 5692, [people] felt that the Admo"r wasn't calm and he was mixing up the order of prayers, community greetings, etc. He added and told over that the same exact thing is happening to the current Admo"r Shlit"a since the day that Obama took office. Hashem should guard and save His nation Israel from all evil.
I pointed out in the comment section that if we perform calculations based on the birth-dates of the respective Admo"rim of Belz (relatives, an uncle and nephew), they are also approximately the same age at the onset of these symptoms. And what they might be seeing is early onset Alzheimer's, or some other mental malady, rather than mystical signs that Obama is Hitler and will bring the next Holocaust. Yaak took offense, of course. But there is no cause to take offense, whether or not it is true, to consider a plausible derech hateva explanation of these symptoms.

1 comment:

Moshe said...

Re: The Belzer Rebbe

This year the Belzer Rebbe did not go to his fathers grave on his Yahrtzeit - he sent his son in stead. This was seen as exceedingly strange, as the trip is a two hour trip by car and would only be missed in the most extreme of circumstances.

A thread on the issue was going on at the בחדרי חרדים website, in which it was insinuated that he had some type of thyroid issues. I don't know if that is correct or not - the only thing I can say about the Belzer Rebbe is that he is obese - his BMI is at least 40+. Needless to say, the thread was deleted (or at least all of the relevant posts) so someone in Belz is working overtime to keep this quiet.

Personally, I think that the Belzer Rebbe has a right to privacy in medical matters, however, when his medical condition is being taken as a sign that Hitler has been reincarnated (or that Mashiach is coming or whatever else they want to imagine) - it is perfectly fiar to surmise about his physical/mental health.


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