Thursday, November 08, 2007

Interesting Posts and Articles #5

1. Forgery and the Halachic Process
"As to how R. Moshe could have banned such a work, Klein has his own solution: “I don’t believe that these words came from the Gaon R. Moshe, but in my humble opinion a mistaken student wrote them and placed them among his papers after his death.” He also states that it is impossible for him to believe that R. Moshe never heard of Zioni since he is quoted in the commentaries on the Shulhan Arukh, and R. Moshe knew the Shulhan Arukh backwards and forwards. He concludes that God should forgive the one who is responsible for what appear in Iggerot Moshe, that which is now falsely attributed to R. Moshe.[3] This is, of course, comical. R. Moshe insists that Zioni’s commentary should be banned, and Klein insists that R. Moshe never wrote this. The fact that the relevant volume of Iggerot Moshe was published in R. Moshe’s lifetime and the letter in which he writes against Zioni was sent to Rabbi Daniel Levy of Zurich and is dated 1976 does not deter Klein is what is surely one of the strangest things to appear in his volumes of responsa (which contain a good many strange things[4])."
A fascinating, lengthy essay. Too much there to really capture it with an excerpt. There's also a section of gedolim stories that aren't so great, or at least paint an unflattering picture to modern eyes. As he writes:
"This point illustrates why I find haredi hagiography so fascinating, as it clearly reveals the culture gap between the haredi world and the Modern Orthodox world. Some of the stories that are told, and are part of haredi myth making, would be regarded with horror by the Modern Orthodox world."
2. Treppenwitz on Rabin and Amir:
"[I have written, deleted and rewritten this post more times than I can count since starting this blog in 2003. It always comes out as an angry rant full of exactly the kind of hate and rhetoric i want so desperately to rail against. I'm not terribly happy with this latest effort, but I don't see it getting any better than this... so here it is.]"
3. Jewish Press on Rabbinic Rally Against Alleget Get Abuse
In what was billed as a rabbinic rally, about 40 people staged a protest outside the Brooklyn home of Rabbi Shlomo Blumenkrantz, whom the protesters claim has been enabling men to withhold gets from their wives and use extortion against them, as well as helping to obtain heter meah rabbanim for the men, all of these in ways that run counter to halacha.

At the rally were Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University’s rabbinical affiliate RIETS, Rabbi Kenneth Auman, rabbi of the Young Israel of Flatbush and a past president of the Rabbinical Council of America, and Rabbi Hershel Billet, rabbi of the Young Israel of Woodmere and also past president of the RCA. Also present were Rabbi Jonathan Muskat, rabbi of the Young Israel of Oceanside, and Rabbi Jacob Rabinowitz.
Hopefully it will be effective, though I am not so sure it will be. At the least it is voicing protest, to make clear to themselves and the world that they do not condone it. It is also an interesting approach, as this fellow claims legitimacy and to be working within the framework of halacha, such that a rabbinic dispute turns into an occasion for protest.

4. Why not? (h.t. DovBear)
The crown prince of Saudi Arabia welcomed with the Darth Vader's theme, the Imperial March. But according to a comment there on YouTube, it has been edited by the news organization, and they actually played it before he arrived.

5. Chareidim say MOs are Kofrim (at XGH)
In any event, my friend tells me that R. N. Eisenstein declared, FROM THE PODIUM IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE CONFERENCE, in the name of R. Eliyashiv, that anyone who believes the world is older than 5000+ years is a kofer b'ikar, and is therefore unfit to serve as a dayan on a beis din, and that consequently any rabbi that holds such a view cannot perform conversions, not to mention that all of his conversions would be posul.

Not that this is news to anyone who has engaged certain Chareidim in debate. But this is to practical effect, here, in terms of serving as a dayan and for geirut. Fascinating, and worrisome.

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