Monday, March 30, 2009

Interesting Posts and Articles #135

  1. Saudi clerics want women banned from TV, media. Hamodia and Mishpacha are way ahead of them.

  2. MOChassid about a hockey brawl between two yeshivot, and how in the end the yeshiva hockey league commissioner did not impose any penalty, possibly because of the extreme consequences of imposing the rule.

    I don't know that I can judge. Moshe Rabbenu's Ahavas Yisrael was first manifest in intervening when he saw a fellow Jew being beaten up, and he in turn smote. So what do you do when you see your teammate being hit? What about if there are massive amounts of people beating up on someone you consider innocent. It it moral to stand by? What about if you see some thug hitting your kid? Would you intervene? What if you then saw a parent intervening and hitting your kid?

    I am not saying this situation was optimal in any way. But not knowing the details, I don't think I would judge any individual.

    However, the idea that there are regulations in place to deal with this sort of behavior, in a bounded way, troubles me. It means that it is an expected part of the game. Like going into the penalty box. And indeed, hockey is well known as a sport prone to breaking out in fights, and even without it, it is physical to the point of thuggery.

    The question, perhaps, is whether yeshivot have any business running a hockey league in the first place. Yes, there is a value to sports, in terms of excercise, giving kids an outlet other than gemara, developing character and values such as sportsmanship and being a team player, and so on.

    But do this with other sports, not with something so prone to thuggery. Certainly there should not be a standard rule as to how to deal with this. (Namely, being eliminated for the next game, rather than, I guess, just being in the penalty box?) Rather, when something like this happens, the result should be shock and dismay -- wonder whether the offender should be allowed to participate in any more hockey games; heartfelt discussion between rabbeim and talmidim about lama takeh rei'echa, and that emotions over a mere game should not possibly lead to blows; whether there should be a league if minor incidents like this occur.

    Perhaps I am being to overwrought. But IMHO the most important thing any yeshiva can do is inculcate middot tovot. VeAhavta LeReicha Kamocha. That which you do not want done to you, do not do to your fellow. The rest is commentary, but if you miss out on that basic one and learn all the commentary, I wonder what value all that commentary has.

  3. Little Green Footballs criticizing those who publicly hope for Obama to fail. I agree to a large extent, just as I did when Bush was the target.

  4. Hirhurim on whether people lost jobs in the current economy due to hashgacha pratit.

  5. A roundup on preventing women from speaking at funerals, or going to the cemetary. Here is WolfishMusings, then DovBear, then Emes veEmunah, and finally, a defense of the practice from Daas Torah.

    The thing is, while the Gra personally did not visit the cemetery because of kabbalistic reasons, and people (e.g. Rav Ovadiah Yosef) cite this when trying to discourage certain cemetery practices, I am pretty sure the Gra himself would not be so cruel as to prevent a grieving widow from visiting her husband, because of his own kabbalistically-based chumras. There is an unfortunate trend of taking kabbalistic chumras -- which are fine for kabbalists and those who buy into the whole system -- and imposing it on others who do not. This goes for women visiting cemeteries as well. The Shemesh Tzedaka goes on and in in several teshuvot about how it is inappropriate to impose kabbalistic chumrot on non-kabbalists as normative, and mandatory halacha. It of course goes beyond that, to all chumrot extending past individuals and being imposed on the community.

  6. Divrei Chayim has a response to R' Slifkin's response, in part I and part II.
    I disagree, but don't have the time or space to elaborate in this post. Perhaps later. Perhaps not later. These disputes have a habit of sucking up incredible amounts of time.

  7. Life In Israel has a post about "kosher" restaurants serving non-kosher. Worth a read. And his daughter has a homework assignment to report on any special chumrot of her family for Pesach. Go there and suggest your own.

    The most recent chumra I have heard for Pesach is that the wheat for the matzos should be shemurah mishaas zeriah.


Unknown said...

There are two types of wanting to fail: Wanting to fail stam (which I think the left felt re: Bush), and wanting to fail specifically in regards to policies he intends to put forward which people feel are detrimental (as Rush Limbaugh argued in terms of Obama).

Most people on the right wish Obama well at turning this country around - they just do not like the costs associated with how he intends to do so.

Freelance Kiruv Maniac (Mr. Hyde) said...

The most recent chumra I have heard for Pesach is that the wheat for the matzos should be shemurah mishaas zeriah.

For Gluten-free oat flour grown for celiacs, this level of shmirah is an absolute requirement to possible prevent cross-contamination with gluten-full grains in the soil.

joshwaxman said...

interesting. to clarify (you likely realize this) I meant shmurah to make certain no water touches it. :)


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