Monday, February 14, 2011

Rav Amsalem acknowledges Army converts don't accept mitzva observance - but says they are Jewish anyway


YNET


  
גרים - גם אם לא מקיימים מצוות

הליטאים ממשיכים לתקוף את פסק ההלכה של הרב עובדיה יוסף, שהכשיר את גיורי צה"ל, בטענה שהגרים לא מקבלים על עצמם עול מצוות. הגיע הזמן להרמת מסך: נכון, הם לא מתכוונים להיות דתיים, אבל גיורם תקף - אפילו מלכתחילה

46 comments :

  1. Bach in Yore Deah 268 understands that the Rambam holds that it is not le'ikuva. He writes that the Rosh and Tosfos maintain that it is.
    Furthermore, Rashi in Shabbos 31a, maintains that kabbolas hamitzvos is barely anything. And that Hillel converted someone who openly said that he accepted Torah Shebichtav and not Sheba'al Peh. If you think about it, it is very little. For example the only part of hilchos Shabbos the guy accepted was lighting a fire.

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  2. correction:

    What Amsalem claims, is that all converts, even in private Haredi batei Din, do not intend to keep the mitzvot.

    R' Amsalem was not in the Bet Din of R' Yosef, nor was his halachic viewpoint accepted in the decision by R'Yosef.

    Additionally, the Ashkenazi view has changed from 40 years ago. I show a link to HaPardes, where a convert by simply claiming he is Jewish, is accepted as Jewish. The same man was known to eat treif in his in laws' house.

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=12319&st=&pgnum=26

    And he lived a "Jewish lifestyle", this isnt one of Torah observance, but of having bourekas, his son (of a Jewish mother) having a barmitzvah.

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  3. One really can't comment until one learns Mishpetei Uzziel YD 2:48-55. So, I won't say anything beyond pointing out that R' Amselm isn't giving his own chiddush, and the sources are discussed at quite some length.

    This topic was hashed out at quite some length a few times on Avodah, including this, this (check both "Geirus" and "Geirut"), and this.

    The topic came up so much, we ended up with "KOM" (or "QOM" for us weirdos) as a standard list acronym -- q/kabbalas ol mitzvos.

    -micha

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  4. What, are they relying on that R' Tzadok in Tzidkas HaTzadik?

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  5. It is not his opinion, he is explaining chacham Yosef's opinion. It is a good thing that the Sefardim stop being subservient to the litvish charedim, start to assert themselves and have the courage to posek according to their tradition and according to litvish ashkenazi dictate.

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  6. Troppenstein's monsterFebruary 14, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Rav Uziel is not even close to mainstream halacha. It is an outrageous loophole for his fellow Moroccans who chase after blonde shiksas. In one Western city, another Moroccan rabbi was doing an express track conversion the weekend before the wedding ceremony for these lowlives. The local Vaad Harabbonim who do not listen to Rav Elyashev and are maykil on chilul Shabbos for gerim were outraged and shut this rabbi down.

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  7. But to be clear, the Bach is the only one who understands the Rambam that way -- and doesn't himself hold like the Rambam.

    Other explanations of the Rambam:

    It could be that Issurei Bi'ah 12:17 sets up qabbalas ol mitzvos as a prerequisite to geirus, rather than a step in the geirus itself. Related is the question of whether the Rambam is speaking of not requiring a formal declaration before beis din -- but still requiring that the geir actually did accept mitzvos.

    R' Uzziel's argument isn't entirely based on the Bach. He instead has an understanding of what qabbalas ol mitzvos entails. Again, I get conflicting understandings of what he says it does mean, so I can't provide more detail. But he shows there is precedent, particularly Sepharadi precedent, to R' Amsalem's words.

    -micha

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  8. "Monster" is right. How dare anyone talk about a gadol beTorah that way! Just because he's from someone else's qehillah you think you have a license to insult him and that eidah? You do R' Elyashiv no kavod to reduce a machloqes lesheim Shamayim into name calling.

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  9. http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/215483

    I was at the conference in Jerusalem today and it was outstanding!

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  10. Micha,
    Still, the Bach is as mainstream as one can get. His shitta cannot be viewed as not legitimate.
    Mahara Sasson has a third way of reading the Rambam. See Haaros vetziyunim. I am also unaware of too many earlier acharonim that deal with it.
    Chemdas Shlomo is merely differentiating bet KOM and and telling him about them. Whereas Bach and Mahara Sasson do not.

    Lets not forget that Rav Shlomo Kluger holds that kabbolas hamitzvos is miderabonon.

    The question at hand is not who to accept for a geirus candidate, rather the status after it has been done. Thus there is no chumra or kula here. What if the guy already married a Jew? Are the machmirim like the Chemdas Shlomo going to be meikil against the Bach with a case of mamzeirus? I highly doubt it.

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  11. It's not the Bach's shittah. It's the Bach's understanding of the Rambam's shittah.

    I agree it can't be dismissed. But it doesn't change the fact that the Bach himself required qabbalas ol mitzvos.

    As for bedi'eved: The Rambam in the next pereq (Issurei Bi'ah 13:17) appears to say that if you aren't sure whether or not there ever was qabbalas ol mitzvos, you have to hold his status suspect. (I say "appears", because clearly the Bach explains otherwise.) Then he contrasts that with someone who did accept the mitzvos, but at some later time reneged.

    The SA and Rama are pretty clear about requiring QOM, even bedi'eved.

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  12. Amsalem is a no one. Who cares what he says. Chacham HaRav Hagoan Rav Ovadia Yosef denounced this fraud already. And before Shas made him an MK, he was a total unknown.

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  13. It's amazing how he claims of defending chacham ovidah's psak,after he publicly broke away from him.

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  14. dear daniel,chacham ovidiah has slammed mk amsalem's sefer in a public letter.

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  15. Kolel nick ,if this practice of gerius in the idf is not fought as invalid,as rav elyashiv hold,and is fighting against.The idf will continue.

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  16. Rbbi amar's letter didn't say what mk amsalem said as his "perush" to the secular news.

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  17. Kollel nick.On the contrary rashi in shabbos seems to imply the oppisite.That he was mekabel it,just not as divine.

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  18. On the contrary kollel nick.Rashi says he didn't accept it as divine,not that he didn't accept it at all.

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  19. The fact is that acceptance of the mitzvoth was never a factor in conversions in any of the Talmudic or rishonic sources. But that is also because reality was quite different then, when there was no such thing as a "secular Jew" persona, and the whole idea of converting was joining the Jewish community as a whole (which was traditional and observant as a whole). So while it is true that there is no makor for acceptance of the mitzvot, still there can't be much doubt that chazal would view it as a sham for a person to dunk in a mikvah in order to then eat whatever he wants, do whatever he wants, not observe shabbat or even try, etc etc. It's a complete joke.

    "Count me in rabbi, I'll be a Jew, but the one that eats pig roast." The whole idea is a fantasy that never existed before. But today it exists because of the reform and assimilated Jewish persona that has developed. So it's impossible to view something like that as a "conversion" and maintain even a shred of intellectual honesty even though strictly speaking in the technicality of the sources there is no explicit exclusion of it... Let's not kid ourselves. Not everything has to be written explicitly. We are not headless karaites...

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  20. You need to read more carefully.
    He never said that there is no "acceptance of mitzva observance". He said that they don't intend to be religious. Not the same thing.
    If they say that accept mitzvos and think something else, then ... well that is part of the argument here, isn't it.
    Don't make it sound like Amsalem said that there is no kabbalas ol mitzvos. He just defines it differently.

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  21. There is an explicit requirement for qabbalas ol mitzvos, though. Bekhoros 30b, quoted and paraphrased by numerous rishonim:

    עכו"ם שבא לקבל דברי תורה חוץ מדבר אחד אין מקבלין אותו. ר' יוסי בר' יהודה אומר: אפי' דקדוק אחד מדברי סופרים

    Shabbos 31a has the famous series of stories of convert candidates who come to Shammai requesting geirus but insist on a condition and are turned away, but then go to Hillel who converts them.

    Rashi d"h "hotzio benezifa" quotes this gemara in Bekhoros, and then in the next piece, d"h "giyarei", that Hillel accepted the candidate knowing that as the candidate learned more, they would accept doing it. It is unclear when Hillel thought this learning would happen -- between taking the person in as a candidate and geirus, or after geirus. ("Koillel nick", in the first comment on this post, seems to assume the latter.) But in any case, Rashi does hold that Hillel requires a convert to accept those mitzvos they do know.

    In one teshuvah, but again, I don't find him overly clear, R' Uzziel appears to be referring to the difference in metzi'us Student V raises. That conversion requires Ruth's "ameikh ami, veElokayikh Elokai". And since historically "ameikh ami" was impossible without a commitment to mitzvos, we required such commitment. But not that qabbalas ol mitzvos was itself required. As others noted, that's a huge chiddush in interpreting Bekhoros (and Rashi, and the SA, or the Rama, and... all of whom speak of accepting mitzvos), and I really can't see how people who don't accept it could be labeled "headless karaites".

    (BTW, Karaism, because it lacks a notion of rabbinic authority, requires MORE personal thought. A person reads the chumash and does what makes sense to them. There are norms, but a "good Karaite" who sees the Torah as saying something differently would follow his own understanding. A lot of autonomy there.)

    -micha

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  22. C,
    Rashi is pretty clear that the guy wasn't accepting to do the Torah shebaal peh, as he compares it to 'except for 1 mitzvah.' There is a long Igros Moshe about that rashi, perhaps our in house expert on Igros Moshe, Rabbi Eidensohn can give us a translation of the key parts.
    Correct. Rabbi Amar and Rabbi Yosef are not arguing that KOM is not leikuva, rather that it has been done. I have yet to see a real journalistic investigation about the metzius. Rabbi Amsalem's sefer is working on a different wavelength. he has an important Tashbetz, but I do think that Rabbi Amsalem's main conclusion is incorrect.
    As for the hashkafa angle you mentioned, that has to be analyzed more broadly, as there is a sofeik of doing numerous issurim.

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  23. Micha,
    The Rambam's wording of 'suspect' is very unclear. His word 'secret' is also unclear.
    SA is not so clear either, as it seems to contradict itself. Although he does add the word 'reward.'

    Again, our question at hand is what is the status afterwards, not if a bais din can do problematic conversions. And Rabbi Ovadia Yossef is NOT arguing that kom is not leikuva. Rabbi Amsalem is not his spokesperson.

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  24. I want to commend Rabbi Eidensohn for allowing a civilized dialog about a hot button issue.
    It is a chaval that it has been politicized.

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  25. Troppenstein:

    You make some ridiculous statements, trying to tie a line of good argument.

    "Moroccans who chase after blonde shiksas."

    Then you berate a Beth Din that doesn't listen to Rav Elyashiv..

    Are you forgetting that it was Tropper himself - who very much did listen to R Elyashiv, and EJF, which still receives Haskomot from the same Gedolim - and this Tropper was not only arranging quickie and fake conversions (which had the highest halachic standards), but of all the terms you use to insult Morrocans, it was your Rebbe, R' Tropper who was chasing the blonde shiksas. And this wasnt a case of a single irreligious man , but rather a so called "gaon", who was married, and who was indulging in the most perverse types of adulterous relationships, including with his wife, and bartering these for conversion certificates.

    BUt perhaps because he does listen to R' Elyashiv, that all his maasim are kosher (according to your own logic).

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  26. Umm.... Koillel Nick, I don't mention R' Anselem or ROY shlit"a. I discussed R' Uzziel's position, which i bothered researching even if I could't reach a clear conclusion about what he meant, figuring that there is some Sepharadic shalsheles hamesorah at play here. I didn't learn ROY at any length, and have yet to see anything actually by R' Ansalem firsthand, so how can I comment???

    -micha

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  27. Micha re 5:50
    Rashi understands giyyerei literally, meaning that Hillel actually converted him first and then taught him. Therefore he is bothered with the Gemara in Bechoros. Had he understood giyerrei as accepting to teach him (as the Meharsha does) the question wouldn't have started, bec by the time he converted, he believed in everything.
    As for what is the required acceptance, according to Rashi, this convert accepted specifically only The Written Law and specifically not The Oral Law. And yet he was a kosher convert. Rashi therefore asks from the Gemara in Bechoros which says we don't accept them and answers that he relied on his intelligence. That not accepting them in Bechoros is lechatchilla but if it was done they are all converts. Hence, Rashi who equates 'except for 1 mitzvah' with 'except for Torah Shebaal Peh' has a low tolerance for KOM. It would be forbidden to do lechatchilla unless one was as smart as Hillel, but the halachos of conversions for Hillel are the same as for anyone else.

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  28. Kollenick r' moshe discusses this in yorh deah chelek 3 tsuvah 106.And makes it ery clear that the acceptance of all mitzvas is l'chatchilah.

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  29. Furthermore,r' moshe makes it clear it's only by some mitzvahs,not if you don't accept it all.(i foud the tshuvah through the index yad moshe).And in this case mk amsalem doesn't try to claim they keep even the mitzvos of the torah.

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  30. I didn't understand Rashi that way at all. His words are "achar shelimeidnu", which I took to mean learning in what we today call "geirus classes". But that may have been colored by the fact that that's the Maharsha's explicit explanation of the gemara. As the timing of the teaching is open for discussion, we can't really say what Rashi means, and should take him off the table.

    To save typing, I will ask you to read this Avodah post of mine, in which I try to summarize the discussion thus far -- and it appears to have been the last post in the discussion.

    -micha

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  31. Here is the wording of the Igros Moshe. Perhaps our in house expert can do a full translation.
    ומה שעכ"פ הא בשעת הטבילה עריין לא קבל
    מצות רתורה שבע"פ שהוא כמעט רוב ריני התורה
    הקשהוהרש"י,ומה שכתב לתרץ שלא רמי לחוץ מרבר
    אחד שלא היה כופר בתורה שבע"פ אלא שלא היה
    מאמיז שהיא מפי הגבורה, לא מובן לכאורה אף אם
    נפרש בכוונתו שלא האמין להלל שמה שאומר לו היא
    תורה שבע"פ אבל האמין שיש עכ"פ תורה שבע"פ
    וכשיורע ממנה קבל לקיים,שודאי אין זה קבלה שא"כ
    גם כשלא יקבל עליו גם תורה שבכתב מחמת שלא
    יאמין שזו שבירנו היא התורה שבכתב שניתנה למשה
    בדרסיני מהקב"ה אלא תורה אחרת יהיה גר, וברור
    ופשוט שאין זה קבלת מצות מאחר שעכ"פ אינו מקבל
    המצות שבתורתנו, שלכן כמו כן פשוט שאין להחשיב
    זה לקבלה במצות תורה שבע"פ מאחר שאינו מאמיז
    ללומדיה וחכמיד,ולכן צריך לומר שכיון שאיכא עכ"פ
    קבלת מצות אף שלא בכולן הוא גר ונתחייב בכולן
    אף שלא קבלם רהוה מתנה ע"מ שכתוב בתורה,ואיז
    ענין קבלת המצות משום רבלא קבלת המצות א"א
    לחייבו אלא רהוא דין ממעשה הגרות דבעינן קבלת
    המצות כמו דבעינן מילה וטבילה,וסגי לזה קבלת איזה
    מצות אף שלא קבל כולז. אבל הוקשה לרש"י על הלל
    שקבליהלגיירו לכתחלה מהאראין מקבליז אף כשלא
    קבל עליו אף רק רבר אחר וכ"ש שלא היה לו לקבל
    גר זה שלא קבל עליו כל התורה שבע"פ, וע"ז תירץ
    שפיר שהיה הלל מובטח שאחר שילמדנו יסמוך עליו
    ויקיים גם כלריני תורה שבע"פ, אבל נתן רש"י טעם
    להבטת ודהלל שהיה זה מחמת שלא היה כופר בתורה
    שבע"פ שהיה יודע שאיכא תורה כזו אך לא האמין
    להלל שמה שאומר לו היא אותה התורה שנ.תנה מפי
    הגבורה שבזה היה שייך שיסמוך עליו אחר שילמרנו,
    שאם היה כופר לומר שליכא כלל תורה שבע"פ לא
    היה שייך שיהיה הלל בטוח שאחר שילמרנו יסמוך
    עליו שאיכאגם תורה שבע"פ, רהא הטעםשאינומאמין
    הוא משום רלא נכתבה כמו שנכתבה התורה שבכתב
    כמו שכופרים הצדוקיב מטעם זה, שלכן אף שאפשר
    שיתחיל להאמין מ"מ לא שייך שיהיה בטוח בזהוממילא
    היה אסור להלל לגיירו, לכן פי' שירע הנכרי שיש
    תורה שבע"פ אבל אמר שלא מאמין להלל שלכן שייך
    שיהיה בטוח שיסמוך עליו.
    Note that
    1. Rav Moshe understood that according to Rashi, Hillel converted him before he taught him.
    2. Note that Rav Moshe specifically negates the explanation that this convert believed in A Oral Law but didn't believe that this is it, as an acceptable form of KOM. And in Rav Moshe's words ולכן צריך לומר שכיון שאיכא עכ"פ
    קבלת מצות אף שלא בכולן הוא גר
    And that Rashi is explaining why Hillel was allowed to do it lechatchilla.

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  32. Kollenick,i don't see this becoming tragicly politcal.There is a major dispute in the rabbinic world.There is however, much broader consenus against mk amsalem's sefer.

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  33. kollelnick.Last week's yated in israel, had direct qoutes what pretty much clears up alot of the ways this geryus is done.And since rashi makes it clear that hillel did it l'chatchila,and this person definetly didn't eat treif.And hillel knew he would accept all mitzvas,it's irrelevant here.

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  34. C,
    See my quote above from Rav Moshe. Hillel is most certainly relevant.
    I do not consider the Israeli Yated to be a competent newspaper.
    Lemaaseh, no Rabbi Yossef and Rabbi Amar are not paskening lehalacha that KOM is not leikuva.
    Anyone arguing that it is muskam that KOM is leikuva and or that it includes all mitzvos, is either lying or an am haaretz. And signs with accusations of of apikorsus make it politics.

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  35. Kollelnick,see my post.Please read them carefully.I pointed out that hillel is irrelevant here as in this case were discussing.They don't seem to keep shabbos or not eat treif,not just not keeping mitvos drabonon.The isralei ated qouted the people involved directly,and the have not protested that the report was false.to be cont.

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  36. Cont.And r' moshe proves what i said that he did accept the mitzvos,rather he did't accept it as divine in origin,which r' moshe says is a ikuv.Not what you posted that it barely means anything according to rashi.As for what you said about l'maaseh,you yourself posted that your talking about after the gerius was done.Which is not the case at all.And calling the opion of many great gedolim ama ratzis is disgusting.And posting posters isn't politics,it's for a cause.Espically when both sides agree KOM is leikuva.

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  37. Troppenstein's monsterFebruary 16, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    UK Eddie, what exactly got you so angry? Are you Moroccan?

    You think that I defend Tropper? Do you not realize that even my screen name is mocking him? We are in agreement that Tropper is worse than any plain baal taavah. Exactly how is Tropper listening to Rav Elyashev if I may ask?

    It's guaranteed to provoke strong reactions but it is a fact that many Sefardim are rodef something other than they are used to in blondes. Those who are not G-d fearing will chase shiksas. This is why the Syrian community made an edict against converts in case they are coached by their boyfriends to fool the beis din. There are many Sefardi yeshiva bochurim who have told American shadchanim that they only want a blonde. Some have said they will take anything including Russian baalei teshuva.

    I'm not just piling on Sefardim. When the Agudah was operating it's Invei Hagefen division for shidduchim, the only category of giyoress that never had a problem getting a date were the Japanese / Oriental girls. The way one rov put it was to criticize the boys specifically chasing them (who were probably Ashkenazim for the most part) as baalei taavah. Different baalei taavah have a different sense of what is exotic and worth pursuing.

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  38. C,
    No! Read the Igros Moshe carefully. The idea of him believing in "An" Oral Law was Hillel's rationale for believing that he could convince him. Tachlis, accepting only some of the mitzvos is enough. How little is some? Rav Moshe doesn't define it, but it is no more than only The Written Law.
    My complaint about the signs, isn't about the army conversions. Since I have no clue what is going on there, and neither does almost anyone else. I have no clue what percentage are serious about Judaism. My guess is that there are various degrees of KOM.
    My complaint isn't even about Halacha lemaaseh, as many if not most late Acharonim are machmir.
    My complaint is the use of the term apikorsus. Is the Bach an apikorus for his view of the Rambam's shitta? It is simply ignoring a whole sugya, and one has no choice but to disregard the harshness of the signs. I hope that the signers don't really believe what they signed.
    As for me questioning gedolim, Rav Moshe Feinstien has a teshuva where he states that after Shulchan Aruch no one has the right to pasken without sources. The power of an Acharon is his raaya. So lets please return Halacha to the bais medrash and remove marketed Halacha from our lives. There, we will discover that there is a Chemdas Shlomo and Rav Chaim Ozer, Rav Moshe and many others who hold like that. But there are other legitimate opinions who are meikel. There we will discover that KOM is not an all or nothing.

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  39. I can't beleive your post first ou bring down all types of sevoros and questions then you say it's just apikoros signs?!BTW,CHACHAM OVIDIAH,DOESN'T SAY ANY DIFFRENTLY THAN THE OPINION O MOST ACHRONIM.

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  40. Frankenstein Tropmonster:

    I know you mock tropper, but i was pointing at the irony of your statement against sefardim, when tropper himself, who had all the Lithuanian haskomos in his pocket, was boasting about his blonde bombshell!

    The Syrian herem agaisnt conversion, and the persian one that copied it (In NY) is nothing to do with Torah.
    What do you think Ruth did, other than convert for marriage. And who coached her in this, if not Naomi?

    And please do not give me haredi BS about sexual purity, when they indulge in so much incest, child sex, and homosexuality.

    You think nobody converted shiksas in the past?

    The whole conversion industry is based on 2 pillars, One is money, and the other is political dominance. Just like kashrut.

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  41. The Syrian ban was under the advice of R' AY Kook. It was the only way they could think of to stop a tide of false conversions for the sake of marriage.

    Admittedly, R Kook is almost certainly the greatest machmir Volozhin ever produced. But I wouldn't pit my opinion of what I think Torah is against his.

    -micha

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  42. Micha,i'm suprised at you.How can ou say such a general statement?I't definetly can't be said in all matters.

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  43. Actually, I didn't say R' Kook was more machmir than everyone else from Volozhin in every matter -- but that he was, in genaral, more of a machmir.

    However, C, can you think of any machloqes in which RAYK was meiqil?

    The only one that comes to mind is heter mechirah for shemittah. And there, he isn't really more meiqil overall, since he actually finds problems with the Chazon Ish's solution of otzar beis din. It ends up being about who is machmir in what.

    Bottom line, though, I just meant that Rav Kook had very strong tendency to pasqen lechumerah, and he did.

    And in either case, that loses the thesis of my comment. Eddie in the UK called the Syrian ban non-Torah. Since RAYK supported the ban, I disagree with Eddie. I wouldn't personally wouldn't follow a ban on conversion, but I can't say it's outside the Torah to do so.

    -micha

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  44. Well micha you said he was the biggest machmir they ever produced.As for shemittah,yes it was a great kulah.As most of the great poskim said.Besides the chazon ish hadn't published his ideas yet,so how could rav kook find problem's with it?to be cont.

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  45. As for a great kulah,the oil from kitniyos is definetly a major one.As well as allowing voting in the general congress ,when women oted and rav kook was fire against a woman's right to vote.

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  46. C:

    A little history... Mei qitniyos is, for most people, a newfangled chumerah. See Igros Moshe -- in Germany and most of Lithuania and much of Poland, everyone consumed mei qitniyos on Pesach. For people from those communities, the only reason why they don't eat mei qitniyos is because there is only so many buckets of labeling a modern-day hekhsher can maintain. (R' Moshe, BTW, says that if you have no specific minhag, you should avoid mei qitniyos.)

    So, RAYK didn't propose some "major kullah". He actually just continued the norm the Netziv and R' Chaim Brisker followed.

    RAYK also discusses the problems with otzar beis din, and why he considers it an inferior solution for shemittah. He ruled out this solution because the Tosefta that mentions this is only cited by the Ramban, not by the Rambam, the SA or rov rishonim in general. And, adding to the Tosefta the notion of paying sechar bitul and expenses, that OBD allows paying everything but profit is a HUGE chiddush. The CI was also more meiqil on sefichin than RAYK was, as well as on hydroponically grown vegetables. (Although I think that last case wasn't yet lemaaseh in their lifetimes.)

    Last, you seem to think that my characterizing RAYK as the greatest machmir Volzhin produced is something you can assess without ever actually learning his teshuvos, and by citing one or two counter examples. Nu, so their greatest machmir wasn't machmir on each and every question he faced. Still RAYK was machmir on many things most weren't.

    Eg the governor, Sir Herbert Samuel, invited R' YC Sonnenfeld and RAYK to a performance by his daughter. When she started singing, RYCS stayed, later saying he invoked kevod malkhus. RAYK excused himself.

    RAYK prohibited women from voting, mishum serarah. RYCS as well as anybody else I know of are matir. (BTW, the only woman I heard of who actually followed RAYK's pesaq well after his passing was Nechama Liebowitz z"l.)

    Vechulu...

    Was he always machmir? No. But was RAYK machmir far more often than anyone else who came out of Volozhin? Personally, I believe so.

    -micha

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