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Thursday, July 14, 2005


More rantings

Many thanks to my good friend Dovid Roness for asking my opinion on some of the 'burning issues' of contemporary Orthodoxy. I'd love to hear what some of you, loyal readers, think. But in the meantime, here are my less than politically correct rants:

The recent 'Z100 crank call' that's circulating the Internet: - I came away from the z100 crank call discomfited, but that's how it works for us sensitive types. We're the artists and painters, or writers and editors, or lawyers, of the world. And this is our lot. It's sad that this woman stole the towels, and it's sadder that she thinks speaking Hebrew and Yiddish in front of a million radio listeners makes it better.

B'inyan R' Nosson Slifkin, I think it's an absolute tragedy that the Charedi Taliban have such power in EY or anyplace else, for that matter. That's not yiddishkeit. It's not Torah. And it's certainly not da'as torah. R' Eliashiv doesn't read English, so how can he issue a psak against the book? What ever happened to dayanim speaking 70 lishonos? The whole thing is shtuyot, and I support Slifkin while categorically rejecting the black-hat mafia and everything they stand for. I even sent Slifkin an e-mail to that effect, and he thanked me. What's your take on it?

Zionism vs. anti-zionism is very much not a dead issue, especially in Monsey, which boasts a large AZ population. They won't eat Empire chicken not because of kashrus problems, but because zionism reflects a pgam in the shochet's yiras shomaim. This is true. Not a joke.

As for the disengagement, I'm against it. I still support 'transfer.' It's not so realistic, I know, but that's where my sympathies lie.

College/no college. Liberal arts education is useless and wasteful, despite my AA and BA degrees in liberal arts, and i think vocational training ought to become the norm throughout klal yisrael. Except that it won't. You heard the story that R' Menashe Klein allegedly turned down $10 Million from Wolfson to create a vocational training center? Yated Neeman and all the other rags praised his holiness's adherence to Torah values. I think they're all going to get a rude awakening within the next few years, when it becomes clear that the "Hear the Cry of a Talmid Chochom with 13 Children" letters become so rampant that moisdos can't afford the postage to send them out.

Science vs. Torah? Science? Voss iz dos? It makes no difference in my life whether chareidim believe in geology or astronomy, does it? I mean, there are tribes in Papua New Guinea who still bathe in their own pish. So there are also tribes in New Square that don't believe the earth is round. So what?

Da'as Torah-- ein davar kazeh. Period. It's every man for himself. I even asked a very choshuv Rov about this, and he said, to paraphrase: "Trust no one." So there you have it, from a Rov whom I admire and trust. Kinda makes you wish we actually did have a beis hamikdosh and a Moshe Rabeinu, doesn't it?

Women's prayer groups: My initial reaction is to live and let live. But the problem here is that the leaders of this movement don't want to promote and emphasize tefila. They want to promote and emphasize feminism and they want to prove that they can lein better than us he-men can. Well, I accept the challenge. I can see their mapik heis and raise them a shva na any day. Then again, maybe their kavanos are all l'shem shamayim. So i'll still live and let live.

Michelle, mein veib, is very against these things, so she'd probably object if I started teaching my beautiful (kinehora) Shaina how to lein. But as of now, at the tender age of two, she mimics me teaching my barmitzva boys with astonishing accuracy. "No! Down! It's a r'vii!" She cries. She even imitates my hand-signals for the trop. It's a riot.

Whether to take an active stand against Habad Messianism - I fall into the 80% uninterested, here. I'm uneasy about it, but it doesn't affect me on a daily basis. I think all these guys - the meshichists, the aronis and zalis in satmar, the bobovers, are all nuts. They really and truly don't understand that it's an issur d'oraisa to hit other people. I mean, am I wrong? Is it okay to hit people if they don't agree with your mehalech in which money-blinded sycophant should be the next chieftain of the tribe?

As Michelle's grandmother, tibadli l'chayim, says, "None of this would be happening if these people had televisions."

Also, Mazel Tov to my brother Raphie (now R' Raphie) on receiving his Smicha. My kleinste brider Yissie is studying shechita, and he has killed two birds so far, not with a stone but with a knife. Maybe he'll make shechita is chosen profession. It'll certainly save us money on our grocery bills.

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