Monday, June 30, 2008

Recipients and Publicity attacks the Syrian Takana & me -again & again & again

I found the following comment strange - but perhaps it is truly the dominant view of how the readers see me and my blog. Perhaps what has me most perplexed as to why anyone who feels the way our distinguished commentator feels - would waste his time not only carefully reading every word on the blog - but responding with detailed remarks? Has he decided that he has been given a divine mission - or perhaps punishment - to straighten me out? In addition his obsession with exposing the "evil" Syrian Takana - does not serve any purpose nor have I yet received a single reference to any major posek who agrees with him. It is also rather comic to expose the fact [considering that this is my blog] that I think it is all right to say whatever I want and repeat it as many times as I want.

I suggest that all of you who are jealous of my "power and control" to simply create your own blogs. I also find it problematic that he thinks only two people agree with me and the rest of the readers and lurkers are insulted by my comments. If that is so - why don't you people find something else to read. Why read material that you find dead wrong and insulting? While I personally don't think that there is 100% agreement very often, there is at least 50% agreement.

I was approached Friday night by a certain talmid chachom who being very frum does not have an internet connection. However his brother in law from YU regularly sends him material from this blog as emails. He told me that my blog has become popular reading among the YU community - and that they are interested in being exposed to a chareidi view and they especially enjoy Rav Sternbuch's pronouncements on various topics. Anyway for those of you who are too stupid to realize that you are being insulted and degraded by my comments I'll let our distinguished commentator - who I have not yet succeeded in fooling - inform you of the true nature of things.
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Recipients and Publicity has left a new comment on your post "Conversion crisis - because the Modern Orthodox ar...":

DaasTorah (Dr. Eidensohn) asks: "...why not compile a list of all the gedolim who have condemned it.[Syrian Takana] I haven't seen credible evidence that even a single gadol has denounced it. But according to you the list should include every rabbi"

You are inadvertantly giving the answer yourself, that the so-called 1930s era Syrian Jewish "takana" is a total non-entity and non-starter not deserveng of a comment in the eyes of the Torah world (except of course for the likes of "Jersey girl" and "bright eyes" on this blog who seem marginally associated with the Syrian commnuty and wish to cover for them when noone else does.)

Therefore the answer to you is that no Orthodox rabbi, let alone a Gadol BeYisroel, has any need to "condemn" or even comment upon a nisht tzum zach, krumme, and non sequitor "decree" that as they say in Yiddish is "nisht gefloigen und nisht geshtoigen" in either Halacha or hashkofa, as I too have amply demonstrated in the past.

By the way Dr. Eidensohn, I resent the way that you write "The horse that you are beating died a long time ago. You are misrepresenting the Syrian Takana - as has been amply documented on this blog"

Your haughty comment makes it seem that only YOU have the right to repeat yourself and flog dead horses. How many times have you already tried to
"kill off" Modern Orthodox and Religious Zionist views of things and noone has accused you of "beating a horse that died a long time ago"?

In any case, from what can be gleaned here noone in a position of rabbinic power and Halachic influence affiliated with Modern Orthodoxy or Religious Zionism pays any attention to what you say as you repetatively preach to handclapping from a peanut-gallery of two so far, "Jersey girl" and "bright eyes" because almost everyone else that posts comments here is opposed to what you say and and your take on things.

No issue is "dead" as long as it is still an ongoing matter, as you prove yourself with the "I" and "II" and "III" versions of reposting on the same old same old issues and topics as you preach to your own converted audience and convince noone outside of "Jersey girl" and "bright eyes" who don't need much convincing to support what you have to say at any time judging by their knee-jerk agreement with whatever you post.

7 comments :

  1. Recipients and PublicityJune 30, 2008 at 3:11 AM

    Dear Dr. Eidensohn/Daas Torah: I am somewhat surprised by your vehemance, but I am even more surprised that while you do me the honor of posting my response, you fail to both (a) give the context (beyond as a link to a past post) and (b) you fail to have an institutional memory as it were that we had had a far-deeper and from what I can recall mostly unresolved discussion about the need to keep open a POSITIVE open door to both a Halachic and a hashkafic acceptance to the institution of geirus lema'aseh, but from which the tone and direction of your posts, and with the negative reinforcement you get from the likes of two posters, namely "Jersey girl" and "bright eyes" you have essentialy contributed to an ANTI-GEIRUS, near witch-hunt environmenet on your blog towards the important centrality of geirus in the Torah, Tanach, and of course in Halacha.

    You should have mentioned that it was in your umpteenth post against the Modern Orthodox stance, stooping to insult them by calling them in your heading "wimps" (now do you think people would take kindly to having a dialogue with you or anyone after you insult them by calling them "wimps" or such-like?) that is judgmental as in: "Conversion crisis - because the Modern Orthodox are wimps! III" -- and I crack up from the "III" part as if you have a right to repeat yourself on the same issues again ("I"), and again ("II"), again ("III"), but that another poster must just regard their interest like a "dead horse" and if that is not demeaning and illogical as well as a tad hypocritical, then nothing is.

    At any rate, my added post to yours on that one was, as I stated earlier, that I had just read an article in the latest Mishpacha magazine, and here is what I said:

    "By the way, if anyone has access to it, the most recent edition of the English Mishpacha magazine has a reoprt about how the Belzer Rebbe himself attended the entire chupa and shevah brochas of a young Polish ger tzedek (who claims to have a paternal Jewish ancestor as well) who was recently learning in the Belzer BT "Torah Ve'Emunah" yeshiva in Yerushalayim and who married the daughter from a family of geirim from Germany who were megayerd in Switzerland and now live in Israel. The young ger is completely a Belzer with the peyos, shtreimel, levush and all.

    One thing is for sure, the present Belzer Rebbe is different to most others and he certainly does not hold that Belz should follow in the steps of the notorious "Syrian takana" banning the acceptance of any geirim (especially by marraige) into the Syrian community and that he (the Belzer Rebbe) understands the deep significance and merit of accepting true geirei tzedek bazman hazeh."

    To which you responded nastily "The horse that you are beating died a long time ago. You are misrepresenting the Syrian Takana - as has been amply documented on this blog.

    Why don't you find out if the Belzer Rebbe has ever condemned the Syrian Takana - in fact why not compile a list of all the gedolim who have condemned it. I haven't seen credible evidence that even a single gadol has denounced it. But according to you the list should include every rabbi from the last 70 years."


    It was then then I responded THERE, but you have chosen to make a NEW post out if it so that readers not following the true chronological sequence of events may think that I am making accusations out of the blue whereas I am not since I am responding to you and your nasty and hasty "dead horse" response to me when I stated that:

    "DaasTorah (Dr. Eidensohn) asks: "...why not compile a list of all the gedolim who have condemned it.[Syrian Takana] I haven't seen credible evidence that even a single gadol has denounced it. But according to you the list should include every rabbi"

    You are inadvertantly giving the answer yourself, that the so-called 1930s era Syrian Jewish "takana" is a total non-entity and non-starter not deserveng of a comment in the eyes of the Torah world (except of course for the likes of "Jersey girl" and "bright eyes" on this blog who seem marginally associated with the Syrian commnuty and wish to cover for them when noone else does.)

    Therefore the answer to you is that no Orthodox rabbi, let alone a Gadol BeYisroel, has any need to "condemn" or even comment upon a nisht tzum zach, krumme, and non sequitor "decree" that as they say in Yiddish is "nisht gefloigen und nisht geshtoigen" in either Halacha or hashkofa, as I too have amply demonstrated in the past.

    By the way Dr. Eidensohn, I resent the way that you write "The horse that you are beating died a long time ago. You are misrepresenting the Syrian Takana - as has been amply documented on this blog"

    Your haughty comment makes it seem that only YOU have the right to repeat yourself and flog dead horses. How many times have you already tried to
    "kill off" Modern Orthodox and Religious Zionist views of things and noone has accused you of "beating a horse that died a long time ago"?

    In any case, from what can be gleaned here noone in a position of rabbinic power and Halachic influence affiliated with Modern Orthodoxy or Religious Zionism pays any attention to what you say as you repetatively preach to handclapping from a peanut-gallery of two so far, "Jersey girl" and "bright eyes" because almost everyone else that posts comments here is opposed to what you say and and your take on things.

    No issue is "dead" as long as it is still an ongoing matter, as you prove yourself with the "I" and "II" and "III" versions of reposting on the same old same old issues and topics as you preach to your own converted audience and convince noone outside of "Jersey girl" and "bright eyes" who don't need much convincing to support what you have to say at any time judging by their knee-jerk agreement with whatever you post."

    Ad kan.

    Ok, so now that we have the sequence down, here is the crux of the issue: In earlier posts I had tried very hard to show that it is in the Torah that the insitution of accepting geirim is a key, notable and verifiable one because Avraham and Sra were TECHILA LEGEIRIM, they then accepted geirim ("hanefesh asher asu becharan"), Moshe accepted the eruv rav who are deemed to be gerim by chazal, and you counter-cited with quotes from the "Mishpat Tsedek" site that basically says that every evil on Earth is from the eruv rav including Moshe Rabbeinu and his acceptance of the eruv rav (so that according to "Mishpat Tsedek" Moshe Rabbeinu too is a malevolent person), the entire Megials Rus is about geirus and that Dovid Hamelech comes from Ruth hamoavia (and a melech=the nation), many other cases like this, such as Haman's sons became geirim as well as those Persians who were megayer in the time of Mordechai and Ester, Munbaz Hamelech in the time of the 1st Bais Hamikdash, even in the Talmud with Rabbi Meir being either a ger or coming from gerim and the whole Torah shebeal peh is according to Rabbi Meir, Onkelus, Rabbi Akiva's Roman giyores wife, the Khazars who becme an entire nation of Geirim, and that it is significant that the Vilna Gaon was occupied with the case of the Vilna Ger and asked to buried with his remains, that the Maharal of Prague explains in his peirush on Pirkei Avos that the reason Pirkei Avos ends with statements from Ben Bag Bag and Ben Hei Hei is that they were descendants of geirim and that it is the final and NECESSARY step in the culmintaion of the path of the Torah that it travels from Har Sinai through all the ages and sages and finally it penetrates its "oppossite" that even goyim who are the opposite of Torah and Yidden can see the truth of the Torah and its Mitzvos and then become geirei tzedek.

    Finally, the Torah itself, meaning H-shem wants us to love the ger even though it is tough many times otherwise there would not be a need for such mitzvos in the Torah. There are no meforshim and gedolim neeeded to tell us what I have cited above and "re-prove" what is 1005 true! So that we must obey the mitzvos because gedolim and meforshim are as obligated to understand the Torah, Tanach, and Jewish history and NOT twist the Torah into the "meah shearim" ghetto version and keep the mitzvos as is any Yid.

    Now this is a defining moment and when I saw the article about the Belzer Rebbe in Yerushalayim going out of his way TODAY to publicly welcome and participate in the geirus and marriage of a young sincere ger from Poland and geyores from Germany (two of the nations that most afflicted the Jews leading up to the Holocaust) it proves that the present Belzer Rebbe understand things a lot different to the way the midget-minded racist Syrian rabbis do and that he has a nora-dikke (Torah) velt's hashkofa that narrow minded people can never grasp.

    And of course I think to myself, can one imagine what the Syrian's would make of such an event. It would be unimaginable for one of their rabbis to dare to do such a thing and in public yet, there was a picture in the Mishpacha magazine with the article of the Belzer Rebbe sitting at the celebration of this ger's wedding and all in shtreimels as if it was high Yom Tov and berabim what Mishpacha openly reports that the Belzer Rebbe PROUDLY did it. And one must conclude that the Belzer Rebbe is thinking along deeper and profounder lines than the the type of thinking you promote on this subject on your blog and that he surely understands that since the Mashiach is not with us we must practice what the Torah preaches to us (and not preach to the Torah as many "gedolim" mistkanely do as in the "Mishpat Tsedek" sources you cited), and certainly not what puny Syrian rabbis made up in the 1930s that is more akin to Nuremburg style racist laws than to real da'as Torah, that a Jew is obligated to not just welcome true geirim but must rejoice and participate in this great mitzva when it comes to a kosher fruition, all according to the Torah.

    I am not advocating mass doubtful conversions. But what I am pointing out, and what you often miss in your mostly anti-geirus near mass hysteria that can be found in some circles, is that some gedolim, in this case a prominent Rebbe like the Belzer Rebbe, does not feel it is s shame or a crime to help a righteous gentile convert to Judaism such as the Syrian takana does. One wonders what the Belzer Rebbe would say about the public dispute between Rabbi Sherman and Rabbi Drukman that opens up the issues on a wider communal level in Israel. At any rate, the Belzer Rebbe also promotes and leads a strong Chasidus and feels secure that the strength of Chasidus will overcome any negative cultural pulls away from Yiddishkeit, unlike the Syrian Jewish communties who have nothing serious to offer so they must resort to infantile and dictatorial decrees that just will not work in an open society.

    The Syrians must rid themselves of the baggage and paranoia of having lived under disctatorships in Syria and face the realties of living in opne and free democracies and try like the Belzers to strengthen the positives like the Belzers do and not use decrees that are shallow, just as much as many Haredi Eastern European Jews need to rid themselves of the Czarist style rule-by-divine-edict mentality (of the Eidah HaChredi for example that still rules by "divine edict" overlooking hundreds of years of democratic and social developments) of the Eastern Europe of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries because the world is now in the twentieth century and peoiple need to be treated with respect and not like serfs or peasaants to be crushed and mashed into shape.

    I hope I have given a better context and understanding of my post. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "they especially enjoy Rav Sternbuch's pronouncements on various topics."

    Yes, thank you very much for exposing your readers and lurkers to Rav Sternbuch.

    I also appreciate your haskafa and insights as well.

    I do consider myself a "YU/MO" type, but maybe I am actually haredi (although my family is the srugi/jeans type).

    No matter we are all Jews in search of Torah.

    Thank you for providing the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Recipients and publicity said...

    "One thing is for sure, the present Belzer Rebbe is different to most others and he certainly does not hold that Belz should follow in the steps of the notorious "Syrian takana" banning the acceptance of any geirim (especially by marraige) into the Syrian community and that he (the Belzer Rebbe) understands the deep significance and merit of accepting true geirei tzedek bazman hazeh."

    I think that the leaders of the Syrian community also understood the important mitzva of ahavat hager. However, unlike the current Belzer kehilla the Syrians were grappling with the issue of intermarriage. You might say that this is a ramification of embracing open society. Not that I am being critical of this approach. Ever approach has its advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the leaders of each community to act in accordance with their own unique circumstances.

    This is why Rabbi Raphael Sampson Hirsch was respected by his contemporaries in Eastern Europe. Even though Rav Hirsch advocated an embracement of modern culture (something that was anathema to them), they understood that the German kehilla was different in a social demographic kind of way. They understood that they lived in a different reality, meaning that a different approach was necessary in leadership.

    Ironically it was Rav Hirsch who successfully petitioned the government to allow separate public representation for the orthodox community. This action was subsequently copied afterwards by kehillot all over Europe. There was now a situation where you had an Orthodox kehilla embracing its modern cultural surroundings while seemingly kicking its secular brethren in the butt. That does not sound very utilitarian does it?

    Rav Hirsch was fighting for the spiritual life of his kehilla. Germany was the place birthplace of the reform and conservative movements. They had made deep demographic inroads in the kehilla and were threatening to make Torah extinct there. Rav Hirsch had to be mavdil bein kodesh l'chol for the sake of his followers.

    Over 100 years later Rav Yoseph B. Soloveitchik (example of another Rav who embraced modernity)poskined that the Orthodox leadership in the United States should cooperate with the reform and conservatives visa-vi for public policy and government issues. He said that while we (the Orthodox) do not recognize the reform and conservative rabbis as religious leaders, they are in fact community leaders and we should cooperate with them in matters of public policy.

    Does this mean that Rav Soleveitchik learned shas different from Rav Hirsch? I do not think so. Just their situations were different. I also do not think that the actions of the Belzer rebbe and the Syrian chachamim necessarily boar any insight on how they learned shas respectively.

    What is appropriate in one time and place is not necessarily appropriate for different one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. the problem with 'recipients and publicity's statements about the Syrian Takana seems to be that his statements have been proven to be wrong, and yet he continues to promote falsehoods as if they are truths.

    'Recipients and Publicity' continually rails against people for not loving the Convert. Having read through the previous posts, it's clear that the ongoing debate is about who is a Ger, not about how Geirim are treated.

    In the military, we call this technique "firing chaff."

    Virtually his entire post seems to have the purpose of deflecting the topic of discussion away from the Halachic discourse and toward painting himself as being the righteous victim of Rabbi Eidensohn's bad personal qualities, and he further tries to paint Rabbi Eidensohn as a person with silly ideas by declaring anyone who appears to agree with him to be a small minority in the 'peanut gallery.'

    It's very strange. Thank you to Rabbi Eidensohn for providing such an interesting blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's really amazing how like every time anyone brings up any subject, recipients and publicity turns it into an attack on the Syrian Community. Why is that? Does he have something to hide? What, is he like a missionary or something like that? Ok, I guess this makes 3 from the 'Peanut Gallery', lol! Thanks so much for this blog, Rabbi Edensohn :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Recipients and PublicityJuly 1, 2008 at 9:58 AM

    CHRONOLOGY of the debate about the Syrian Takana on this Blog, so far

    It is very funny that readers here are not aware that it was not I that brought up the Syrian Takana issue over the past months.

    I am also suprised that Dr. Eidensohn does not remember the history of his posts and my involvement with it, but for the sake of clarity I will recap what has been going on for those posters who are now saying nutty things about me that reveal they have no clue about what has transpired here.

    From what I can recall I only joined this blog with my first post as "Recipients and Publicity" on the Thursday, FEBRUARY 14, 2008 post "Bedatz Letter regarding EJF signed by Gaavad" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/02/bedatz-letter-regarding-ejf-signed-by.html following Dr. Eidensohn's/Daas Torah posts, I had subsequently been exclusively focused on the hypocrisy of the EJF organization in its efforts and I devoted much time and research to that topic, hence my poster ID of "Recipients and Publicty" when I requested that Dr. Eidensohn post ("Publicity") the names of those rabbis who had received warnings ("Recipients") from the BADATZ in Yerushalayim not to go along with the EJF's agenda of helping all manner of intermarried couples to convert.

    It was Dr. Eidensohn who introduced the subject of the example of the Syrian Jews, as if they were some sort of paradigm of perfection to emulate, in his Tuesday, DECEMBER 25, 2007 post "Strategies against intermarriage I - Syrian Jews" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/12/strategies-against-intermarriage-i.html and I watched how the discussion unfolded there with its nine posts of different points of view. There was then more talk about the Syrian Takana in the Monday, DECEMBER 31, 2007 post "The Emperor has no clothes - Eternal Jewish Family & Daas Torah" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/12/emperor-has-no-clothes-eternal-jewish.html and I was still not involved.

    Starting with the Monday, MARCH 3, 2008 post of "HaRav Aaron Soloveichik zt"l - descendants of Marranos are treated as Jews
    I just received" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/03/harav-aaron-soloveichik-ztl-descendants.html I began to take serious issue with "Jersey girl's" idealization of some sort of superior defensive "Sefardic hashkafa" that somehow casts the general Orthodox/Haredi non-defensive approach to yichus and geirus in a negative light.

    This debate has still not been resolved, coming as it did AFTER Dr. Eidensohn had posted a pro-Syrian post from a secular news magazine allied with his friend "Jersey girl's" "sefardim know better and do things better attitude" I started to vigorously question a stance that is not followed by the mainstream Ashkenazi Torah world and rabbinate.

    On Monday, March 3, 2008 Dr. Eidensohn posted my comments "Descendants of Marranos (Anousim) - should they be encouraged to convert? II" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/03/descendants-of-marranos-anousim-should.html IMPLICITLY questioning "Jersey girl's" pro-Sefardic approach (but we we are still in general agreement at that point.)

    In the Thursday, March 27, 2008 post "Lakewood baal teshuva marrano is Christian? I" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/03/lakewood-baal-teshuva-marrano-is.html "Jersey girl" lets her slip show when she defends the rights of long lost "Conversos" (unlike "marranos") to return to the fold, provided they can prove it even after hundreds of years living like Christians (she will defend Sefardi issues even when they contradict each other, like accepting the "genuine conversos" but reject geirim via the Syrian Takana as will be shown.)

    It was in the Tuesday, April 1, 2008 post "An unintentional intermarriage - Jewish Action Magazine" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/04/unintentioal-intermarriage-jewish.html a brief post by Dr. Eidensohn about "There is a good article on unintentional intermarriage in Jewish Action http://www.ou.org/index.php/jewish_action/article/38176/ concerning a woman who discovered that despite being raised as a Jew - she was not a Jew according to halacha." Wherein Jersey girl was forcefully confronted by another poster that then led to the issues of the hard-line Syrian-like attitude to geirim.

    After Jersey girl describes many instances of intermarraige in her own family, the "Anti-Hypocrite Heeb" poster attacked Jersey girl's response to the OU article:

    "The hypocrisy & self-righteousness of Jersey Girls and other arrogant Torah-rejecting so-called frum Jews astounds me.
    Since you are all the self-declared watchdogs of Taliban Jewry, do you even accept the geirus of the woman in the Jewish Action article, or even though she now did EVERYTHING correct according to all halacha, is she forever banned from being a Jew because she didn't emerge from a Jewish womb? Just admit that you hate all goyim and that all converts to Torah Judaism, no matter how sincere and no matter how halachachly correct their conversion was, will NEVER be acceptable Jews in your eyes and the other evil ones who simply HATE!"

    The above then became the launch pad for Jersey girl, but in the interim in a Wednesday, April 2, 2008 post "Lakewood baal teshuva marrano is Christian? II" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/04/lakewood-baal-teshuva-marrano-is.html Jersey girl digressed yet again, as she often does about her personal life, to talk about her Sephardic roots and heritage and about how Sephardim are required to produce "proof" of their lineage before marriages and acceptance into communities:

    "Back in the day, when I was growing up at the Shore, I had to produce two witnesses to my mother's halachic Jewish status before I could even VISIT another kid's house let alone eat there" she proudly says and "I have not known an Orthodox Sephardic synagogue to accept a person as Jewish without some proof (a visitor won't get an aliyah usually without witnesses)"

    and

    "In the Sephardic synagogues our family has been affiliated with, we were asked to fill out a genealogy and it was followed up with elder Rabbis and community members where we had grown up"

    and

    "Even the mohel who circumcised my sons would not do so without "checking" even though he knew both of our families for many years"

    These set the xenophobic tone and context for the Syrian takana and the discussion about it. She continues in that manner without relenting as in the Friday, April 4, 2008 post "Brain death & the intermarriage-conversion problem" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/04/brain-death-intermarriage-conversion.html where she is the lone poster (she does not mind talking to herself it seems because people tire of her rigidity and one track mind):

    "Each of the Orthodox Rabbis who have done conversions to permit intermarriages think that it has been only the "two dozen" or a that they have personally done. What American Orthodox Rabbis do not realize is that most of the 1000 members of the RCA have each done on average a "few" or a "few dozen" conversions to permit intermarriages" feeling free to attack "American Orthodox Rabbis" (who are not as smart as Sephardic Syrian rabbis it is implied as will be seen.)

    At this point, on Monday, April 7, 2008 "What you find sometimes lurking under the rocks!" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/04/what-you-find-sometimes-lurking-under.html Dr. Eidensohn decided to go backwards to the earlier attack by Anti-Hypocrite Heeb against Jersey girl and insults Anti-Hypocrite Heeb who said what was on his mind and that reflects a common view outside of limited Haredi tunnel vision and it's worth repeating:

    "The hypocrisy & self-righteousness of Jersey Girls and other arrogant Torah-rejecting so-called frum Jews astounds me. Since you are all the self-declared watchdogs of Taliban Jewry, do you even accept the geirus of the woman in the Jewish Action article, or even though she now did EVERYTHING correct according to all halacha, is she forever banned from being a Jew because she didn't emerge from a Jewish womb?"

    When I saw that Jersey girl and Dr. Eidensohn were not dealing with Anti-Hypocrite Heeb in a respectful and rational manner who even thanked me, and wondered out aloud:

    "Recipients, Thank you so much for your posts. They have restored my faith in this blog, where Taliban-Jewish elements have been trying to take over. Baruch Hashem there is no Jewish version of the Pope, l'havdil. If the Bedatz & the Israeli Rabbinate were actually in charge, chas v'shalom, all Jewish women would be wearing burkas. New Jersey girl's comments are way off and against halacha. What bothers me more than that is that you, Recipients, are the only other poster her who has rebuked her."

    At that point, based on Jersey girl's own admissions of her Sephardic leanings, and in NYC, the majority of Sephardim are Syrians, that is just the way it is, and I responded to an anonymous who was rejecting a reply I had give to Jersey girl as "cooking the books" (very odd expression, if anyone is not doing things lechumra 'your way' then they are "cooking the books"? funny!):

    "What the Syrian community has done goes against pure Halachah because it prevents even a 100% sincere ger tzedek from becoming a Jew and tht is aaginst Halachah. So this is not part of the discussion. The proof is that even the BADATZ and the Israeli chief rabbinate accpet converts, so are the Syrians "holkier than thou" than the BADATZ of the Rabbanut? Obviously not, they are just scared that all their carefree men will run off with their shiksa mistresses."

    The battle is joined as Jersey girl responds to me "RaP- Have you ever READ the Syrian Edict? Or spoken to a Syrian Rabbi about this? It is quite a statement to make that an entire Jewish community is practicing outside of halacha? Is there a specific ruling on the Syrian community by a Posek that you can cite to support such a declaration? The actual text of the Edict reads: “No male or female member of our community has the right to intermarry with non-Jews; this law covers conversion, which we consider to be fictitious and valueless”."

    And she is supported by an anonymous poster who chimes in:

    "I've seen you lambast the Syrian Takana. If you read the original from 1935, you will note that it only refers to those who have converted for marriage. Since this identical position is supported by the Bedatz statement made this past November, am I to assume that you judge that Bedatz has acted totally against Halacha? What qualifies you to rule that the Bedatz of Jerusalem do not know Halacha?"

    AND IT IS AT THIS POINT THAT WE SEE THE REAL HOPES AND AGENDA OF Jersey girl, her anonymous supporter, Bright Eyes and in all probability this blog, that as far as they are concermed the Syrian Takana is something noteworthy to emulate, or they delude themselves to think that the BADATZ is now like a bunch of Syrian rabbis, when they are NOT saying the same things in any way because the BADATZ's constituency in Meah Shearim and Bnai Brak and in Haredi and Hasidic enclaves is not running to marry shiksas like the secularized hyped Syrian males, with limited or zero Torah true chinuch had started to do in the early 20th century and which they still salivate to do but must live with artificial takanos to keep all the SYs in check which is not the case with the Charedim of Meah Shearim and Bnai Brak.

    Dr. Eidensohn took note of the stormy discussions and named a post on Friday, April 11, 2008 "Cheshbon Hanefesh - Let's pause to take an accounting" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/04/cheshbon-hanefesh-lets-pause-to-take.html but he does say inter alia:

    "There has of late been significant dispute and strong disagreement on this blog between our commentators - especially since Eternal Jewish Family seems to be fading from the picture. I have basically stayed out and not expressed my views on these internal dispute - even though I do have strong opinions on the matter. However by not publicly judging the views..."

    BUT it was when Dr. Eidensohn posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 "Rav Kook zt"l - Supported Argentina ban on conversion - for welfare of Jews and non-Jews" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/04/rav-kook-ztl-supported-argentina-ban-on.html an opinion from Rav Kook of all people, who was the arch universalist and inclusionist and Jersey girl delved deeper into the Syrian Takana claiming that it was "Ashkenazic by association" since the Syrian rabbis hired an unknown mysterious "Ashkenazic rabbi" to write (sounds like those stories of people who write ghost mesechtos that are unmasked for their fraudulence down the line):

    "Aaron Halevy Goldman, rabbi and leader of Moisesville, the first Jewish agricultural settlement in Argentina, which was settled by Russian Jews in 1889. (Rabbi Aaron Halevy Goldman wrote the original Edict Against Conversions for Marriage that was later adopted by Rabbi David Sutton of the Buenos Aires Syrian community and that was also signed in NY by Rabbi Haim Tawil. Yes, it is true that the "Syrian Takana" is of Russian Ashkenazic origin.) Although in those years, most Jewish families rejected marriage to a non-Jewish partner..."

    and to which I responded clearly and unambiguously:

    "The "Syrian Takana" is essentially anti-Halachik because it excludes even genuine 100% Geirei Tzedek which all Halachik Jews are obligated to accept and love according to the Torah. Rav Kook's words here are actually very Halachically enlightening and enlightened if anyone reads what he is saying carefully, and Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn is to be commended for the willingness and intellectual hinesty to translate and post them, and Jersey Girl does noone a service by distracting readers with prattle about "how great" the "Syrian Takana" is, regardless of its supposed origins. There was only one reason, and still is only one reason for why the Syrian rabbis did what they did and that was because as a fairly small community, and without a strong internal Torah-dikke chinuch system to educate and keep their youth in the fold, as exists among Chasidim, Yeshiva-leit and serious Mizrachistim, the young Syrian men were running off with shiksas in droves, even taking them at the same time that they "kept" their Jewish Syrian wives who were shallow-headed material girls. So the Syrian rabbonim went radical by issuing "decrees" but such things are desperation measures and only reveal the panic, insecurity and fear of the ones who resorted to such radical measures that don't really stop anyone really if they are determined to marry their favorite shiksa."

    To which both Dr. Eidensohn and Jersy girls respond with questions, such as:

    "I don't understand the basis for your assertion. Do you have any source that a community can not make such a decree to protect themselves from destruction?"

    and praises for the unknown:

    "The "Syrian" Takana isn't even "Syrian" . Rabbi Aaron Halevy Goldman ztl who authored the Argentinian Ban was a Russian born Ashkenazic Rabbi. Rabbi Goldman was reputed to have been a Talmudic and halachic genius of world renown. I do not know of a source to learn more about Rabbi Aaron Goldman and would like to learn more about the Rabbi who was able to extrapolate ahead four generations given the social conditions in the early 1930s."

    Jersy girl admits he is an unknown yet the entire community relies on this unknown. Very unimpressive.

    The discussions then go on and on on this topic and heat up. "Bright Eyes" even has to chime in:

    "...I suppose that the Ashkenazic ban on polygamy enacted just over 1,000 years ago is essentially anti-Halachik because it excludes even 100% genuinely kosher Jewish marriages by people who lives according to the Torah. Continuing on this logic, would you attack this famous Takana on the basis that Ashkenazi men couldn't control themselves sexually and that the need for this illegal Takana would have been eliminated if they only learned more Torah? Your post reveals that your bigotry drives your words more than your logic or religiosity."

    To which I responded:

    "Now ridiculous is this comparison?! Are you comparing what Rabbi Gershon Me'Or HaGola, who is the father of the Rishonim, enacted in his age -- when almost all Jews were holy observers of the Torah beyond what we can even imgaine today, to what the Syrians rabbis did in a panic in Argentina of all places -- where the Jews were nebech falling like flies into the arms of all the sinoritas? The CHEREM Rabbeinu Gershom, as it is called, forbidding a Jewish man to take more than one wife had NOTHING to do with making goyim into Jews or a fear of Jews becoming goyim. He was concerned that since the Catholic Church had made monogomy compulsory and that would in turn endanger Jews living under the rule of Christendom who would violate dina demalchusa by taking more than one wife as the Torah allows. Therefore, as well as for a few more deeper spiritual reasons such as showing absolute loyalty to only one bashert, he enacted his famous Cherem forbidding any Ashkenazi man from taking more than one wife. And as you know, this Takana was not applicable to, nor accepted by, Jews in Islamic lands because Islam, unlike Christianity, allows a man to take more than one wife and does not consider it special nor a sin to have a few wives so that therefore Jews living even as dhimmis could still follow their own Torah to take more than one wife. And that became the Halacha until this day. Only when the Sefardim came to Israel and Western lands in the twentieth century were they obligate per force to stop taking more than one wife so that they too now abide by Cherem Rabbeinu Gershom de facto and are zocheh to this great mitzvah of being married to only one true zivug. The Cherem Rabbeinu Gershom has nothing to do with the yetzer hara and sexual impulses. It was first and foremost a response to Jews living under Christian rule and has nothing to do with learning more or less Torah. You also reveal that you do not understand what I am saying and you are twisting my words. When I stated that the Syrian community like all Jewish communities need/ed a strengthening of Chinuch, Kiruv, Yeshivas, Bais Yaakovs, I am not talking about robotic and meaningless "learning more Torah" as if it's a prescription given to children to write a thousand lines of "I must be a good Syrian Jew by learning more Torah" -- this is not what is meant and it will never work and you know full well that is not what I meant or what I was saying so quit twisting my words please. The discussion was about the value of a takana not to accept converts, even genuine converts, adopted by the Syrian Jewish communities, and my simple observation was that they were definitely barking up the wrong tree when they did that because such things cannot and will not stop people from chasing after pretty secretaries if they are not endowed with a CERTAIN TYPE of strong Torah chinuch and values, not just "commands" of dos and donts that sound like an out-of-touch grandparent issuing imperious obnoxious commands to the younger generation who will not listen and will do what they want in any case. The only known cure to assimilation and intermarriage is to start by giving your children a Torah true and genuine chinuch at a yeshiva like Ateret Torah and not at places like Magen David and Yeshiva of Flatbush and such like that will only prove that trying to stuff even Torah down kids throats the wrong way only makes the kids more resentful and not interested in Yiddishkeit. It's complicated I know, but there has to be not just merachek besmol but also mekarev beyemin, and notice that "kiruv" must be done in a stronger way with the yemin and richuk is done in a lesser way with the weaker semol so that reversing the order is not just unsound it will also backfire badly, as you happening all around you. All I can say is that personal attacks on me is not going to resolve this debate and it's the easy way out rather than to try to think it through and stick to arguing the facts as best we can and know them rather than personally attacking or speculating about the mind and religious motives of our discussion partners." (May 2, 2008 8:53 AM)

    MAY was an interesting month because we got into some deeper issues relating to the institution of geirus in the Torah, Tanach and Jewish history which Dr. Eidensohn did not much like, but he posted it all the same.

    It started with the post of Thursday, May 1, 2008 "The Syrian ban on Converts" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/05/syrian-ban-on-converts.html that described the actual ban and its making. Even though the post is great information-wise, Jersey girl can't resist throwing in insults against Ashkenazim as if that is a "reference and praise" for what the Syrians did and she is looking for a copy of a letter that ripped Ashkenzai Jewish men:

    "In the ashkenaz world men often marry non-jews and convert them. The non-jewish woman converts in order to marry the man. Then ashkenaz Jewish women have no one to marry. In the Syrian world, this rarely happens. This was nipped in the bud in 1935"

    As if the world is waiting to hear about the Syrians in Panama.

    An anonymous poster chimes in and makes excuses:

    "This ban is something which is frequently misunderstood. For example, one could read the text and assume that the Syrians accept no converts at all. This is not true. In fact, a grandchild of one of the authors of the Takana married a Ger Tzedek and has been fully accepted..."

    (umm, basically admitting that the Takana is not fool proof either) and the discussions continue with Jersey girl citing a letter from the NY Times of Oct. 15, 2007 from Rabbi Moshe Shamah, Sephardic Synagogue.

    There is then the post of Friday, May 2, 2008 "Banning conversion for the sake of the community" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/05/banning-conversion-for-sake-of.html where attempts are made to RETROACTIVELY justify what the Syrians did when they had no such lofty thoughts in mind but this is red meat for Jersey girl who chirps:

    "The Syrian communities in Mexico City used the Takana against intermarriage issued by Brooklyn's Syrian Jewish Rabbinical Council in 1935 until 1986 when the community Rabbis issued their own Takana against intermarriage..."

    And I ask:

    "Rabbi Eidensohn: What shaichos do any of these mekoros you quote in this post have bazman hazeh, bechol asar ve'asar? Are you questioning the right of kosher properly constituted Baitei Din of qualified Dayanim mumchim to accept geirim bazman hazeh? ARE YOU LOBBYING TO HAVE THE TAKANA THAT THE SYRIAN RABBIS IMPOSED ON THEIR PEOPLE, NOW ACCEPTED BY THE ENTIRE OILAM HATORAH BIZMANEINU?"

    To which he acts surprised:

    "...I don't understand how you would extrapolate from these sources that I am advocating a universal ban. I am just defending the right of the rabbonim of a particular community to institute such a ban."

    SURE AND IF THEY CAN DO IT, WHY CAN'T EVERYBODY ELSE, RIGHT?

    The debate goes on there and it is very meaty and important reading.

    And in self-justification Jersey girl's one sided lengthy post is reposted independently (surprise, noone bothers responding when she is preaching to herself) on Friday, May 2, 2008 "Syrian ban is not against sincere gerim" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/05/syrian-ban-is-not-against-sincere-gerim.html as that is that, but it's not because so far THE SYRIANS ARE THE ONLY ONES STICKING TO THIS TAKANA THAT NOONE ELSE HAS SEEN THE NEED TO ENACT OR EMULATE IN ANY WAY, PROOF ENOUGH THAT IT IS NOT WORTH THE PAPER IT'S PRINTED ON AND IT'S JUST NOT A NORMAL THING FOR ORTHODOX JEWS TO DO.

    In a now questionable tactic, Dr. Eidensohn reposts my own words again on Friday, May 2, 2008 "Recipients and Publicity - questions the integrity of the Syrian community as well as my own"
    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/05/recipients-and-publicity-questions.html this time there is debate as well, see it.

    At this point the subject of the dispute between Rabbi Sherman and Rabbi Drukman erupted, a controversy that is still on the go. But the subjects are conjoined and Dr. Eidensohn reposts my comments with his derision added on Sunday, May 4, 2008 ""Recipients and Publicity's" fantasy about the awesome power and ambition of the Bedatz" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/05/recipients-and-publicitys-fantasy-about.html and this is a key point I am trying to make:

    "...It would be ARROGANT!!! It would in effect mean that the BADATZ is taking upon itself the job and role of the Sanhedrin that can only be established with the arrival of the Mashiach. What the Syrian's did with their Takana also goes against this. How dare any Kehiilla, no matter how self-righteous take upon itself what can only be done in Yemos HaMashiach when Klal Yisroel will no longer be mekabel geirim? As I have said, sure, make the acceptance standards for geirus tough, make them very very tough, make them even EXTREMELY tough, but never let the door be bolted tightly shut so that noone can come through to be megayer because that is something that is still possible until such time as ALL of Klal Yisrael rabbonim can agree and when all the robbonim agree maybe that will be a sign that Mashiach is around the corner." And "Bright Eyes" tries to poo-poo and minimise it "Also, I don't think that Rabbi Eidensohn posted the Syrian Takana in order to endorse it. Throughout these last few months, Rabbi Eidensohn has posted various aspects to the question of how conversion is viewed and handled and opened the topic to discussion. The Syrian Takana was one of many viewpoints posted."

    The discussions now open up to major cases of positive acceptance of GENUINE geirim in the Torah, Tanach and Jewish history.

    At this point Rabbi Eidensohn starts personal insults and everyone has long forgotten my involvement or work on the EJF issues, just as by now most have forgotten this "history" that I am recounting for the record.

    My last serious comments ended with the posts of Tuesday, May 13, 2008 "Judaism as a missionary religion?" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/05/judaism-as-missionary-religion.html and reposted with comments on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 "Jewish attitude towards gerim as manifested towards the Erev Rav" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/05/jewish-attitude-towards-gerim-as.html that shows that there is more than enough proof for POSITIVE and GENUINE geirus in the Torah, Tanach, Chazal, Rabbonim until our day as the Belzer Rebbe shows.

    In the interim, the seriousness of the chasm between hardline views on geirus and what they could lead to was brought up in the Monday, May 19, 2008 post "Different paths to the Final Redemption or civil war?" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/05/different-paths-to-final-redemption-or.html wherein Jersey girl totally demonizes the Russians in Israel (not drawing distinctions between the Jews and non-Jews among them) and their conflict with the Israeli Sefardim.

    I had added nothing much since then UNTIL RECENTLY on Sunday, June 29, 2008 "Conversion crisis - because the Modern Orthodox are wimps! III" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/06/conversion-crisis-because-modern_29.html I took note as follows:

    "By the way, if anyone has access to it, the most recent edition of the English Mishpacha magazine has a reoprt about how the Belzer Rebbe himself attended the entire chupa and shevah brochas of a young Polish ger tzedek (who claims to have a paternal Jewish ancestor as well) who was recently learning in the Belzer BT "Torah Ve'Emunah" yeshiva in Yerushalayim and who married the daughter from a family of geirim from Germany who were megayerd in Switzerland and now live in Israel. The young ger is completely a Belzer with the peyos, shtreimel, levush and all. One thing is for sure, the present Belzer Rebbe is different to most others and he certainly does not hold that Belz should follow in the steps of the notorious "Syrian takana" banning the acceptance of any geirim (especially by marraige) into the Syrian community and that he (the Belzer Rebbe) understands the deep significance and merit of accepting true geirei tzedek bazman hazeh"

    Which then lead to Dr. Eidensohn odd retort:

    "The horse that you are beating died a long time ago. You are misrepresenting the Syrian Takana - as has been amply documented on this blog. Why don't you find out if the Belzer Rebbe has ever condemned the Syrian Takana - in fact why not compile a list of all the gedolim who have condemned it. I haven't seen credible evidence that even a single gadol has denounced it. But according to you the list should include every rabbi from the last 70 years."

    All of which is strange because why should the Belzer Rebbe or anyone say ANYTHING about the Syrian Takana when it is clearly NOT WORTH commenting upon because it is a dead letter waste?

    All that in turn has also resulted in the two latest posts of Monday, June 30, 2008 "Recipients and Publicity attacks the Syrian Takana & me -again & again & again" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/06/recipients-and-publicity-attacks-syrian.html

    Poster Bartley Kulp says something half rational, but misinformed, and is honored witha re-post, the very latest, on Monday, June 30, 2008 "Creative leadership - Syrian Takana and Rav Hirsch - One size doesn't fit all" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/06/creative-leadership-syrian-takana-and-r.html

    As I return to the unfinished related two posts of Tuesday, May 13, 2008 "JUDAISM AS A MISSIONARY RELIGION?" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/05/judaism-as-missionary-religion.html and of Wednesday, May 14, 2008 "JEWISH ATTITUDE TOWARDS GERIM AS MANIFESTED TOWARDS THE EREV RAV" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/05/jewish-attitude-towards-gerim-as.html that WERE NEVER RESOLVED AND STAND AS STRONG PROOFS FOR WHY THE SYRIAN TAKANA IS A MISCARRIAGE OF JUDAISM AND DEFINITELY NOT AN IDEAL TO BE EMULATED.

    That is how I see where the discussion is standing and not as Dr. Eidensohn would conveniently forget where all the complex threads and related discussions have been, but which I have gathered up here for all to see and familiarize themselves with, and rather than joining the clueless peanut gallery let them become well informed and join in the rational discussions.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Recipients and PublicityJuly 1, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    Mel kaminsky said:

    "the problem with 'recipients and publicity's statements about the Syrian Takana seems to be that his statements have been proven to be wrong,"

    RaP: Please specify what has been "proven wrong" with the Syrians when noone has done what they did.

    "and yet he continues to promote falsehoods as if they are truths."

    RaP: OK so you are calling me a liar, cheap shot. Show me, specifically, where I am "promoting falsehoods" instead of just saying that it is so.

    "'Recipients and Publicity' continually rails against people for not loving the Convert."

    RaP: Huh, no I do not. My main point is that the mitzvah of loving a ger is in the Torah, multiple times and that there cannot be an institutional block to sincere and genuine geirim, and sometimes even when circumstances are not "perfect" and "ideal" but as judged acceptable by a competent Bais Din with competent dayanim.

    "Having read through the previous posts, it's clear that the ongoing debate is about who is a Ger, not about how Geirim are treated."

    RaP: You read which posts? Specify please.

    "In the military, we call this technique "firing chaff"."

    RaP: Whatever. Judaism is not the military, and if I was firing chaff the owner of this blog wouldn't be taking me so seriously that he has given major prominence to what I have stated and written. Has any of your "chaff" made it to anything?

    "Virtually his entire post seems to have the purpose of deflecting the topic of discussion away from the Halachic discourse"

    RaP: Nonsense yet again. Have you read how many times Jersey girl talks about her private life, family matters and trivia that have nothing to do with Halachic discourse at all? Indeed if she is an Orthodox Jewish woman in real life, according to many Charedi rabbis, she is forbidden to engage in Halachic discourse because it's reserved only for true Torah scholars (I guess that is why she must resort to many bobba meises all the time.)

    "and toward painting himself as being the righteous victim of Rabbi Eidensohn's bad personal qualities,"

    RaP: This is sheer trash! I am not a victim of anything, but I do defend myself which is my right. Talk of being in the "military" do you only believe in one way surrenders? How much fun would that be to read, huh? And I have NOT said that Rabbi Eidensohn has "bad personal qualities" because I have NOT attacked him personally anywhere, our disagreements are between gentlemen and scholars and it is now you that is a liar.

    "and he further tries to paint Rabbi Eidensohn as a person with silly ideas"

    RaP: Nope. How on Earth do you say that? Would I bother to spend hours of my time on this Blog if I did not respect its owner? You are now stooping to worse insults than you accuse me of.

    "by declaring anyone who appears to agree with him to be a small minority in the 'peanut gallery.'"

    RaP: I was referring to the two main posters "Jersey girl" and "Bright Eyes" (who may even be the same person, as you may be one of them) and to noone else. It was self-understood to anyone who has spent time on this blog which you evidently have not.

    "It's very strange. Thank you to Rabbi Eidensohn for providing such an interesting blog"."

    RaP: What is strange is how you can spew forth lies and assume that people will not notice.

    -------

    Marc who says:

    "It's really amazing how like every time anyone brings up any subject, recipients and publicity turns it into an attack on the Syrian Community."

    RaP: If you had been following the major discussions on this blog for the last six months you would know that the topic of how the Syrian RABBIS (not the "community") enacted a takana against accepting geirim has been a central litmus test of much else that has been talked about on this blog. I have no interest in the Syrian community and I wish them well on a personal level. But the discussions here are nor "personal" but rather about how communities formulate and enact religious (Halachik) policies and how they can be used as either precedents or warnings about what works and what does not work, what to do and what not do. Nothing less and nothing more, so quit pretending that I have an axe to grind against Syrian Jews when I do not.

    "Why is that? Does he have something to hide?"

    RaP: Like what? If there is one thing that makes me laugh on this blog as how easily I can be aaccused of being "paranoid" and this and that insult but I live with it, 'cause so what, but that posters on this blog are sometimes freely allowed to voice their own idiotic fears (they are too babyish to be on the level of real paranoia) instead of talking about the issues.

    "What, is he like a missionary or something like that?"

    RaP: very funny! Back to the "missionary theories" about posters that are such a joke. That line always comes up here, and it is crazy. I know that some people in the Eidensohn family are obsessed with Christian missionaries (why is that? have some of them been won over by them, whatvere it is, it's frustrating to debate here sometimes when any disagreements come up, right away out come the missionary theories, as if it's a witchhunt or communist hunt, shame on you and grow up!) but it is so stupid to accuse me of that that I think it is just a huge joke. Be nuts, see what I care. It is no substitute for good reasoning and patient responses.

    "Ok, I guess this makes 3 from the 'Peanut Gallery', lol! Thanks so much for this blog, Rabbi Edensohn :)"

    RaP: When was the last time you ever commented on this blog, if ever? Don't flatter yourself, you have to be as hard-working and ever-available like Jersey girl and Bright Eyes to make it to the level of being a "peanut" let alone a "peanut gallery"!

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