Thursday, May 9, 2013

Open Letter to Rabbi Dov Lipman : The inside view of why Chareidim don't want & don't need secular training for parnossa

Rabbi Dov Lipman,

With all due respect to your American "yeshiva" training (i.e., Ner Israel), it seems to have left you ignorant and unacquainted with the Israeli Chareidi world. As an act of chesed I have written this to help you out before you make another disastrous proclamation regarding internal Israeli charedi affairs.

It is obvious to any chareidi Jews that aside from the kedusha and avoidance of pritzus  - yeshiva education is in fact superior to anything that Princeton or Yale has to offer. Harvard business school graduates are no competition against an avreich who learned 20 years in the Mir. Everyone know that a yeshiva bachur or avreich does not need secular education or training. That is because the analytic skills honed by years of Talmudic dialectics - makes him super‑smart and super‑adaptable. Furthermore his daily utilization of multiple languages makes him readily adaptable to all language problems - including computer programming language. His intense interaction with people - with his many siblings and chavrusos and community in general - has made him a genius in reading non-verbal clues and body language. Thus he quickly picks up whatever language he needs and is capable of communicating in cogent, closely reasoned prose. In fact his skills are vastly superior to those who wasted years in college. The fact that he can't spell properly is no problem today with spell-checkers.

The fact he has no math skills and that he needs to count on his fingers and toes when he doesn't have access to a calculator is no problem. Everyone has a calculator today- including kosher phones. The more advanced stuff like geometry or algebra or even calculus – is no big deal. He just needs a week or two with a text book to pick it up. Everyone knows that the Vilna Gaon was a math genius and created Kramers Rule - without any formal math education. No reason that anyone else can’t pick up math when needed – why waste precious time from gemora to learn it?

It is known that the typical chareidi Jew can succeed in any field he applies himself to. This is obviously true because in addition to the mental sharpness  and knowledge of reality from gemora study - it is known that all wisdom is found in the Torah. After all what Chassidic rebbe needs to go to medical school before he paskens on medical treatment and operations? Even in the Litvishe world - everyone know that the Chazon Ish told brain surgeons how to operate. This surely applies to less technical fields such as psychology or business.

Furthermore even without being a genius - a yeshiva product has native cunning with incredible fast grasp of reality. A frum Jew has a major advantage over those rigidly trained in college by goyim. Everyone knows that those ridiculous theories of business, teaching or psychology have to be unlearned before a person can succeed. A frum Jew does not have all that nonsense to unlearn - he just needs to run the business. Everyone know about the Korean and Japanese who are dying to learn Talmud because of their immense respect and recognition of the superiority of the Jewish mind.

Everyone of us knows frum people who aren't very bright - and yet they are multimillionaires. That  is because we know the secret that money is not obtained by one's own efforts and talents - it is a gift from G-d. It is simply the result of bitachon – which we obviously have more of then non-charedim. All G-d asks from us is that we do our hishtadlus. Because of this the Chofetz Chaim told people not to leave Europe where they were starving and go to America. He said that G-d can give paransso just as easily in Europe - so why move?

We know that science and medicine is nonsense. Don't we read in Mishpacha amd HaModiah every week how a new scientific study concluded just the opposite of what doctors were doing for years? Besides Holistic medicine works better without side effects. We all have friends who who were cured after suffering for 10 years with regular medical treatment. A friend of a friend recommended a natural treatment that combined with avoiding sugar made all the symptoms disappear. Everyone knows that doctors are in it for the money. A person who is a tzadik has wisdom that transcends ordinary biology. Any frum holistic practitioner - who got his degree after a 6 month correspondence course - is the match of any medical doctor. We know that not everyone is G-d messenger for a cure - and it is obvious that G-d will pick a frum person rather than a mechallel Shabbos or a goy to bring about a cure.

In addition because of the close knit family and community connections – a frum Jew doesn’t really need to worry about financing. His father-in-law is always available to invest in a new business. He also knows he always has a financial safety net from the many gemachs. Besides after years of living off a wide range of government programs – he can survive with minimal income. In fact he knows his willingness to work for slave wages makes him more attractive to employers. His wife has been working for minimum wage for 20 years already – and they have managed. Besides being satisfied with little is a key Torah value.

I hope this has been an eye-opener for you. You really live in a fantasy world. Why did you ever think that a Torah observant Jew could work together with that kofer ben kofer? You also need to realize that Israel is not America. Instead of coming to teach us natives how to live - it would really be best if you joined a kollel for a few years until you come to understand how things work around here.

       kol tuv,
Daniel Eidensohn

83 comments:

  1. You are right that the Yeshiva training produces a mind honed on various skills that promote success. But the issue is something else. The people who went to college control the world and the business world. They will only hire people who have a degree. I once spoke to the head of a major science organization who was very impressed with my ideas that he called "the cutting edge" of our problems and solutions. He offered me the use of his data base for free. But do you think he would give me a job? The issue therefore is to create a job potential for people with the superior skills of Yeshiva students. But this would require funding and probably government approval and support.

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    1. The problem isn't college education. There are jobs in sales and other businesses where college education isn't presumed. But a certain proficiency in language is necessary to write anything your business is going to send beyond its walls. And a lack of basic arithmetic rules out another wide set of jobs. Having a weak secular program that ends early leaves the yeshiva boy without the basic skills to do the job. And I don't think the gov't has a problem with funding it; just as they are willing to put money into chareid HSs that prepare for future wage-earning.

      Although it is true that few people use their college diploma as more than a key to open doors to interviews.

      (Personally, I did calculus for a living for most of my career, turning models of complex instruments for Wall Street traders into software. But I'm aware that's a rarity. Really irritates the teen child who asks me, "When am I ever going to use that algebra anyway? <grin>)

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    2. This is a myth that is spawned by a society of people who have never developed skills in anything. Businessmen and scientists who do things well (with a few exceptions in business) succeed because of the progressive skill that develops as they work in a field while at the same time educating themselves about its state. To think that people with a yeshiva background who suddenly decide that they want to program computers will as a general matter, immediately compete with similar candidates with strong histories in the field is magical thinking.

      Even though it is true that industries like consulting and banking firms will hire top-school graduates with liberal arts degrees, those degrees indicate a history of success. Contrast that with a yeshiva graduate, where there is no meaningful way to know if he was succeeding or failing; except that if he's leaving yeshiva there's some evidence that he wasn't one of the top students. In short, the way to "create job potential" is to give people a meaningful opportunity to do something other than learning, which will allow them to develop skills, or at the very least, to show that they have some potential as employees.

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  2. Rabbi Dovid, I think your brother's letter is satirical.

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  3. While this all sounds very nice on paper, there are thousands of starving "avreichim" precisely because these skills you claim they automatically get in fact don't come so easily... Wake up and live in the real world...

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  4. "Joined a kollel for a little bit and see how things work" exactly. Live off of someone else's money while you waste time shmoozing with your chavrusa and drinking coffee. He will very soon begin to think "hey, why work if I can get free stuff for nothing?"

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  5. I understand that this is a joke, but the sad thing is that I would bet that many Charedim will not.

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  6. "...makes him ...super‑adaptable..."

    Shouldn't this effect carry over to Members of the Knesset and party spokesmen? It seems as if any new development throws them for a loop, resulting in confused and ineffective strategies. True Daas Torah would help them over the inevitable speed bumps.

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  7. Reb Daniel,

    One of best posts to date! Laughing my ass off for real!

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  8. I checked my calender and it's Shavous coming up, not Purim.

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  9. This is the most nonsensical posting I have read to date (and there have been many)! While I don't agree with Dov Lipman's approach, can Mr. Eidenshon explain the 10's of Chareidi B'nai Torah that are forced to collect money in my Shul every morning? Why hasn't their sharp mind or in-laws for that matter saved them from this true "Bizayon HaTorah"?

    He speaks about the success, and no doubt there are some, but it is a very small percentage when compared to the overall Frum population. Even of these success... how many of them a "clean" from Gezel? Chazal commands us to teach our children an "Umnas" a clean profession, do you think that could be done without taking time away from the Gemarah?

    Can someone be successful without "basic" secular knowledge? Sure... but the chances are much, much greater with at a minimum a basic education.

    "We know that science and medicine is nonsense"... I wish you a long and healthy life, but C"V should you ever be sick, I would strongly suggest you seek help from a doctor (a Sholiach HaShem) rather than a Rav/Rebbe/Makubal or anything else that you would consider (of course besides for Tefilah).

    Science and medicine is nonsense? Was the Rambam spending his time with "nonsense"? I wouldn't take a philosophical approach based on "stories" about the Chazon Ish nor any other Gadol... I can tell you that Rav Moshe never Paskened on a medical question without consulting a Doctor or medical expert. The same was true for Rav Yaakov and any real Rav today worth his salt. It is precisely this type of egotistic superiority complex that is the cause for many of the problems in our community today. HaShem Yirachem!

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    1. So much of our former discussions makes so much more sense now.

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    2. Care to explain? Should be interesting.

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    3. *knock knock* he means you didn't 'chap' that the above was a satire

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  10. If this letter was written in the days of Neviim, perhaps it might be more convincing - since at that time, we did go to Neviim to be healed, as opposed to healers/doctors.
    But I think the letter is not giving RDE's own view, but perhaps a typical kollel view. It would be interesting to see R' Lipman's response, since we have already debated the various points here over the past couple for years.

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  11. The satirical letter misses the point.

    The Gedolim are actually correct on the issue of Rabbi Lipman. Once the seculars have a little bit of a say in the way Haredi yeshivos funded by the government are run, the pure Haredi education of these yeshivos would be compromised. The Rosh Yeshivas would then have to answer to government bureaucrats. This would effectively shut down the yeshivas as they are today.

    The views in the satire express the views of the typical ignorant Haredi man on the street, not the Gedolim.

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    1. "Once the seculars have a little bit of a say in the way Haredi yeshivos funded by the government are run, the pure Haredi education of these yeshivos would be compromised. The Rosh Yeshivas would then have to answer to government bureaucrats. "

      That doesn't make any sense. The government already controls the purse strings, and the yeshivot already depend on the funding of the government to survive and have depended on it for years now. So the Rosh Yeshivas already had to answer to government bureaucrats, and as long as they receive money from them, they always will. That is why Machiavelli taught to fund the society's institution of religion because through that means you can control religion. Ben Gurion read Machiavelli, and he knew this. (I learned this once from Rabbi David Bar Hayim who explained that Ben Gurion was so well read and aimed at this purpose by creating the state's rabbinic functions. Ever notice that knesset politicians "elect" rabbis? Including even Meretz atheists who vote? He was explaining this to me in light of his decision NOT to accept or try for a position in the Israeli rabbinate even though he is ostensibly a "religious zionist" rabbi whom one might otherwise think would have no problem associating with the state. He doesn't want the attempt to influence him that comes with such a position. A similar influence exists on the yeshivas which the state funds).

      This particular change (incorporating math etc) is just part of that system of having to answer to government bureaucrats which was already the case. Of all things the govt could try to influence, this is pretty benign and actually positive. So we should all be thankful there aren't more pernicious undertakings occurring here.

      If they succeed with this, it doesn't give them any less or additional power to bring about more changes or worse changes because they already have that power whether you, I, we, like it or not. They have that power by virtue of the fact that they fund the yeshivot. In this way, Ben Gurion already bested the rosh yeshivas a long time ago. But he also never quite took control - so in a way, they also won. And they've gotten much bigger now.

      As to your last statement about gedolim vs. man on the street - True, gedolim don't think this, but I would suggest they "pour fuel on the fire" of this type of thinking in others when the gedolim say what they say and do what they do - Because they do not make it clear in explicit speech that this way of thinking is wrong... do they? You allude to some kind of hidden motivations or secret reasons for things they say or positions they take - Well, when they hide the true reasons, they indirectly propagate the mistaken thinking in others because others do not perceive why they do what they do and say what they say.

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    2. The primary goal of the Gedolim is to minimize government meddling into yeshivos and to maximize money going into yeshivos. Everything else is secondary.

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    3. "The primary goal of the Gedolim is to minimize government meddling into yeshivos and to maximize money going into yeshivos"

      You don't see how those two things are contradictory? The more money going into the yeshivas (from the govt), the more influence the govt has over them. And vice versa. This is how the world operates. It is a true conundrum they find themselves in if they are trying to achieve both of those goals simultaneously. The only true meaningful and sustainable way to minimize govt meddling in the yeshivas is to become independent of the govt and its funding. And obviously that's a tall order.

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    4. "The more money going into the yeshivas (from the govt), the more influence the govt has over them. And vice versa. This is how the world operates."

      That's not the way it works in Israel. And the Gedolim want to continue it this way.

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    5. I agree with Rabbi Lipman on everything he says. What he says makes a lot more sense than what I hear from the other side. But I don't live in Israel and I'm not a Gadol, so what I think is irrelevant.

      The Haredi community in Israel is united and follow the Gedolim. This is why whatever Rabbi Lipman does will be opposed by the Haredi community.

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  12. Rav Eidenson,this is a joke right? Did you ever think of righting for SNL or Family Guy?

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  13. I know that you are joking, but Rap was serious when proclaimed his economic view of reality.

    Rap said...

    "Lipman is not wrong in wanting to help Israelis learn something to get jobs. But who on Earth taught him that a bit of Math and English will help??? Isn't Israel in the Middle East?? Why not teach all Israelis Arabic to be able to connect and trade with the Arabs? What's so great about "English" of all things? What kind of "Zionism" is it when for so long Jews strove to learn Hebrew and now they should learn English? Israelis sound so awful when they speak English. It is just not their cup of tea. Why prepare them for yerida to America?! Lipman could help himself by saying that he is open to finding ways to help frum people get parnosa and it has NOTHING to do with either English OR math! The things Israelis learn and earn money from are stuff like truck driving, mechanics, engineering, computers and none of that really requires English it can ALL be learned in Ivrit. A frum Jew does not need to learn English or math to open a store, run a little business and buy and sell things. Basic arithmetic is part of Torah learning. Whatever else needs to be figured out there are gadgets that everyone can get. Lipman and Yesh Atid should stop pestering the Charedim and cut them loose. Stop focusing on them and talking about them. At some point it sounds like anti-Semitism to harp so much about what is wrong with the "Jews/Charedim" and it must stop!"

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  14. This is a parody, right? You can't be serious!

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  15. you guys really need to take a break from harav dov lipman. isn't there a pasuk you want to discuss, some new scandal that we can all vent about, a new paper on psychology which shows that the talmud is correct, something, anything, but harav lipman?

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  16. nice guy with pHd in back pocketMay 9, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Reb Doniel,

    You mean to tell us that you wasted your time getting a PhD and that you would of been 'further' in your life if you spend your whole life as a 'Avreich'?
    You mean to tell us that you would of been able to 'provide guidance and short-term therapy' (for a living) had you not spend time in college and earned your PhD?

    No one is saying that Israelis (or any one else) should go study secular studies. But don't say that they did not sacrifice a life of 'Gashmios' for a life of pure 'Ruchnios'? The sacrifice is well worth it, but it still does fulfill ones obligation of 'aa'far'nes l'chee.......' .
    A lot of avreichim are 'working for a living' when it comes time to marry off children. They go to America and 'work' for a couple of months to fulfill this obligation 'Yerushalmi' style. But that is not the norm. Not in Israel or anywhere else. At least IT WAS NOT THE NORM UNTIL THE LAST FEW YEARS.

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  17. This is all so true what you said. You write good, not like some shlepper who got a degree in english nonsense from a college like yale or chas v'shalom Y-You (written like with a shineui). Why cant more people like you say it like it is and was and should always be- that its all up to Hashem and those of us who really believe that are waaay ahead of some goy or even worse some Chesder Tziyoni modern "orthodox" Yid who thinks college and beis medresh are both important when we all know a real Yeeras Shaomayim know otherwise. And that means like you said, that knowledge of Torah will get us wherever we need to go (not were we WANT to go, because afterall, who are WE? anyway?) because the ABISHTER calls the shots, always.

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  18. Rabbi Eidenshohn,

    As a fellow satirist, I tip my hat to you. I have long thought along similar lines, but you beat me to the punch and with quite a wallop.

    I would like to humbly submit to you my modest contribution to this genre:

    "Rabbi Yisroel Belsky shlita and Dr. Yuchid Inzermaven say they are not convinced by the CDC. Who are you going to believe: bnai torah and talmidei chachomim or Reform and Conservative Jews who gave up their olam habah just so they could work at the CDC and get Nobel Prizes in Medicine?" http://wp.me/pFbfD-JR

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  19. Haven't you ever heard of Poe's Law?

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    1. I think this article would tend to prove the inverse of Poe's law: if when presented seriously, the arguments of fundamentalists appeal ridiculous.

      Although I do not think that much effort was put into presenting cogent arguments in this article.

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    2. do you always write comments while eating sour lemons?

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    3. Poe's law, named after its author Nathan Poe, is an Internet adage reflecting the idea that without a clear indication of the author's intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism.[1]

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  20. Yep, at first I couldn't believe all this was from the pen of our blogmaster. Then I figured it must be satire.

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  21. actually, i know r lippman's father in law. r lippman (and his father in law) are their own men, they dont need / want their father in law to invest in them. not that he wouldn't, but thats not their style.

    (side fact -- r lippman got a "groise gvir" to invest a few million in an yeshiva related educational business a few years ago, and lost it all when the "groise gvir" went belly up.)

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    1. might as well delete this comment. though the facts are true, i wrote this in a rush (i even stayed a few minutes late in my office to write this up) not realizing it was proper satire.

      but perhaps i proved your points by the true facts,.

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  22. Excellent! But the reaction to this letter seems to demonstrate the veracity of Poe's Law...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

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  23. I read this letter as from Mr Joe Charaidi. This is what, I assume, they really think. As a support to this, I once had a conversation through the blog of FKM blogger and he said something along these lines.

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  24. You nearly had me going - thought you'd lost the plot.
    Just to check - this really is satire, right?

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  25. Anyone without a yeshiva background will probably assume immediately that this is a satire. Those that do will take a minute because they have heard these arguments used in all seriousness. I think next time you should give a warning.

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  26. Ha! I have no idea whether this is serious or not. I'm only leaning towards saying it's a joke because R' Eidensohn has a Ph.D. in psychology and he bashes the field in the post...

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  27. This is about to become ugly. We are going to have a two tier charedi world, some with jobs as rosh yeshivas etc. who will take their salaries off the top, and then the avreichim whose income is about to be cut 40%. The rabbis who are unaffected by the budget cuts will be telling those who are now in deep poverty to hold firm, not allow their wives to receive post high school educations, (Rav Steinman said this yesterday), stay out of the army whatever the alternatives. The Rabbi Feldmans will not reduce their life style so that some avreich will be able to feed his children. We will have a Darwinian scramble of each man for himself? The rest of the Jewish world including middle class charedim will turn away saying we never told these guys to learn Torah or have children they cannot support? Making fun of charedim and their ideology in their hour of need is not helpful. They are already desperate and depressed.

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  28. Dov Lipman's approach should be questioned despite any arguments that are to be made because Chazal warn against joining with Reshaim and if tzaddikim join with Reshaim their plans will be destroyed.

    רש"י מלכים א פרק כב

    כי נשברו אניות - לפי שנתחבר עם אחזיהו בזאת לכך נשברו וכן אמר לו הנביא בד"ה =בדברי הימים= (ב' כ' ל"ז) בהתחברך עם רשע פרץ ה' את מעשיך

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  29. LOL, good job, Rabbi. The sad thing is, there are probably many readers who will think you were serious. Yes, you are seriously describing the mentality that many Israeli charedim (and other charedim) have been misled to believe (and also arrive at through basic ignorance). So while it is humorous, it is also true in the sense that many think this way and this is the type of thinking that people like R. Lipman are up against in trying to bring about any type of changes, no matter how positive or what the change might be.

    I bet some readers who do think this way, will actually believe that you think this way too, and will not understand the satire.

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  30. Rabbi Eidensohn,this is a classic,i never laughed so hard in my life,
    you made my day
    but the biggest joke is your readers,some of these idiots ,still haven't figured it out that this is pure satire

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  31. Is this the "Kramer's Rule" you are talking about?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cramer%27s_rule

    It is attributed to somebody else (not the Gaon).

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    1. http://www.mywesternwall.net/2012/07/19/the-vilna-gaons-theorem-fact-or-urban-legend.html

      In the Yeshiva world some people like to attribute the Vilna Gaon’s mathematical expertise (from his publication of a Trigonometry book Ayil Meshulash) and giving him credit to Cramer’s Theorem (his grandfather’s last name was Kremer, hence the derivative). I would like to debunk the bunk....

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    2. Ralbag, or Gersonides, who was perhaps more MO than Rambam, was a world class Astronomer, who also invented sextants for shipping navigation, which are still used today. Also his observations, for example on the moon are still used, and he has one place on the moon named after him.

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  32. I trust this was satire that a distressing number of readers took seriously, and not the other way around.

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  33. My favorite part is where the Chofetz Chaim is blamed for all the deaths of Jews in the Holocaust because he paskined that they stay in Europe where God will provide for them.

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    1. From Daas Torah page 443

      Chofetz Chaim (Nefutzas Yisroel in Shem Olam chapter 8): There are three different ways in which G d runs the world. 1) Natural - in which there are fixed causal relationships such as rain falling on the ground producing bread for people and fodder for the animals. 2) Miraculous - which transcends nature entirely such as happened with the redemption of Egypt and the splitting of the Jordan River. These are well known from the Bible. These activities which involve the total alterations of natural laws are only done for the entire Jewish people or for certain unique individuals such as the prophets and other holy people. 3) Beracha - which is intermediary between miracle and nature. Miracle is something totally new while this approach does not involve a total innovation. This approach involves the blessing of specific human activities so that it is much more effective and productive than would be expected from natural events. (For example Bava Metzia 42a - requesting prior to measuring the harvest that beracha be sent to one's silo.) … Therefore business transactions which are occurring in a miraculous way…but since this is not obvious to everyone are in the category of beracha….Looking further into this matter it appears that G d has dealt with the Jews with this attribute of beracha the entire period of exile. They don't have any economic support as other people do since they don't own land but have various businesses and the means of existence happen from Heaven. There are even some who have become wealthy! Everything depends upon the degree of beracha that rests on the business. It would seem that because of the accepting and keeping of the Torah, Jews have merited the attribute of beracha especially when they also have the attitude of bitachon… Therefore today when there are many types of hardship spreading through the world and there is almost no realistic source of livelihood for us we can only have trust in G d who obviously has the ability to save us. And there is no question that because of our trust in Him He will send us His beracha from His Holy habitation. We can conclude from all this that a person who has the slightest type of business should strengthen himself to stay put and not to emigrate to foreign lands - but should have trust in G d…

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    2. The principles here are correct, but his application to those times was tragically an error of the grandest scale.
      Remember, there is no infallibility - even the sanhedrin had to bring korbanot for shogegot.

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    3. From a scientific and also from personal experience, this letter is talking absolute falsehood about business. Going into a business is no guarantee of success and being frum does not enhance the success of the business.On the contrary, the kind of moralistic stuff that the rabbis teach makes one a fool in business. One has to be totally selfish, amoral, conniving and realistic to have a chance of success in business. Oh, and egotistical. A humble person with no gaava will no go far in business. Will be better off as an accountant.

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    4. Eddie I don't know why you insist on making negative grand summaries without presenting the slightest evidence - that you with your infinite wisdom - would have done a much better job.

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    5. there are 2 posts above, I assume you refer to both.

      1) For those Americans here, if their predecessors left Europe before or during the war, then they obviously rejected the advice in this letter, nothing to do with my alleged wisdom.

      2) Business - actually my rabbonim pressured me to go into a family business rather than to take advanced studies in university. Now they relied on their alleged Daas. Being in a rubbish business is not going to make you rich if u are frum and keep halacha. On the other hand, if you have a successful business to inherit, then not being frum will not bankrupt it.

      Not saying I would have done much better job, since I didn't. The whole issue here is that being a gadol in Torah does not give u expertise in another secular field. Be it medicine, business, technology etc.
      Just like there are shogegot in Halacha, so in science and medicine. 1 anecdote about the Chazon Ish and brain surgery, which I have no problem accepting, since the Gra said sometimes student is right and the teacher is wrong (re; Torah) applies equally to science.
      I am curious, whether it is written anywhere that a Gadol has authority and expertise in secular matters?
      The Torah passage referring to the Sanhedrin says in matters of blood , impurity etc, i.e. in kadosh matters.

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  34. Is this for real?May 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    My brother in law believes you are defending the chareidi position and I believe you are mocking it. My brother said I should just ask you directly who is correct.

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    1. I am simply presenting the chareidi view as accurately as I can (i.e., this is not a caricature but how chareidim actually think and express themselves). Depending on your personal views it comes across as defending or mocking. If you cringe when you hear these arguments then you view it as negative. On the other hand if you see this a cogent presentation of arguments that are frequently used by chareidim - then you view this as positive.In sum - this is simply a projective device.

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    2. You present views in a letter you sign. So if those are not your views, you should say so.

      If those are your views, you should make more effort to present them in a non-caricatural manner.

      Therefore, this is neither here, nor there. It is simply an inconsistent, qualitativly mediocre piece of writing.

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    3. @ Remark: No.

      He presented the haredi view which a great number of haredim believe. He doesn't say he is of that view, nor does he refer to himself with a label in the letter. Signing his name to it doesn't change anything. It is something he wrote to Rabbi Lipman. That's what signing his name signifies. He's explaining why Lipman can't understand many haredim and why what he thinks is good-intentioned help to them is not perceived that way by them. I don't know why you think it's caricature. Ever talk to haredim or listen to the arguments put forth by their leadership?

      Delete
  35. Daas Tora said...
    "Because of this the Chofetz Chaim told people not to leave Europe where they were starving and go to America. He said that G-d can give paransso just as easily in Europe - so why move?"

    Rav Eidonson, this is actually a painful topic and is a reason why people would scoff at the word Daas Tora. Did you think through the full ramifications of what is being said here before you deployed this example?

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    Replies
    1. It is interesting as it shows the degree to which Gedolim rely on bitachon versus secular and empirical reality. And yet, they have been proven to be consistently wrong in the past century.

      Delete
    2. Bartley: For those who espouse the argument RDE put in writing, it's certainly not painful and they would not scoff at daas Torah - in fact they use this argument to assert that Jews do follow daas Torah. When you ask them, what about all those people who followed this advice and were murdered because of it, starved, or ended up in very terrible situations, they turn it around and tell you that spiritually they followed what they were supposed to follow and are in olam haba, or "its better to be murdered physically than to go to a treife place and lose your spirituality." Then you say back to them, ok what about all those who WERE able to retain their spirituality.... and so on. They have a response to everything because they have already concluded the matter regardless of outside fact.

      I am amazed that people in the comments are suggesting they haven't heard these things argued. People who see the fallacy in the arguments RDE put forth obviously don't have much problem with many of the things Lipman is doing or suggesting. It's the people who advance these arguments and this line of thinking that see him as an absolute intruder and that without the blessing of daas Torah "backing him" then he cannot possibly be trusted or make a good decision for klal yisrael (or for haredim).

      Delete
  36. Rabbi Feldman has retracted and apologized! http://www.vosizneias.com/130657/2013/05/09/baltimore-md-rosh-yeshiva-publicly-retracts-statements-calling-lipman-a-rasha

    ReplyDelete
  37. There are times when a reasonably accurate depiction of a point of view contains so many contradictions, either internal contradictions or contradictions to generally understood facts, that it reads like a parody.

    We seem to be in a time when people with the best intentions have to confront serious problems with no clear way out. Pending some new insight, they fall back on previous solutions to previous problems, but those solutions may now be counter-productive.

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  38. I can't speak for Israel, but here in America, I went for job interviews with FRUM employers, white shirts, beards, hats, when I tried to tell them that I didn't have a college degree but learned in Bais Medrash for 7 years, full-time, they considered that to be worthless. Nothing. One of them said, "Don't pee on my back and tell me its raining." Now I'm struggling to pass a literature course to get my last 3 credits to finish my degree. Its a struggle because it is SHEKER and I want to throw up everytime I think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Satire or not, the claims made in the letter definitely proceed from the most credible to the least credible.

    ReplyDelete
  40. This is hilarious and is very well written.

    You should write more satire!! It's a great way to make a point.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Recipients and PublicityMay 11, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    CALLING UPON RAV MATIS WEINBERG & RAV SIMCHA WEINBERG, sons of Rav Yaakov Weinberg and grandsons of Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Rudomin, to come and explain their father's and grandfather's Torah views !

    This post, while perfectly describing FUNDAMENTALIST Eretz Yisroeldikke Charedi views, misses the point of trying get where Rabbi Dov Lipman and a FBC=Frum But Cool "new" Charedi (actually in America they are not so new, they have been around since the dawn of the Litvish Charedi yeshivas that let guys go to college, such as Ner Yisrael Yeshiva (NORC, Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas. Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim (Rav Moshe Feinstein's yeshiva) and others still functioning and set up since then still do. Not to mention the Charedi boys and girls who attend Touro College and the various City Colleges in NYC from which tens of thousands have graduated and become the full range of professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants, professors, public school teachers, and many others professions like this -- none of these can be taught in ANY yeshiva and one MUST go to college and university to become such a professional.

    Who says Rabbi Dov Lipman has no one to base himself on, since he claims that as a close tlamid of Rav Yaakov Weinberg, z'l, he is just continuing to do what he own Rebbi not just taught him but encouraged him to. Lipman is not in Israel to become a Yerushalmi and he has no intention of "joining a Kollel" ) he already headed and out of town Kolel in America in Cincinnati.

    The real question is, not what Rabbi Dovo Lipman thinks and says, but what did Rav Yaakov Weinberg, z'l, who is constantly named and cited as the true mentor and rebbi of Rabbi Dov Lipman think, say and teach???

    It is not helpful for his successor at Ner Yisrael yeshiva (NIRC) Rav Aron Feldman, shlit"a, who, as is known, had an entirely different outlook to Rav Yaavov Weinberg. Rav Feldman can write a hundred letters on the subject, but it does make Rav Feldman into the "official" spokesman for Rav Weinberg.

    It is high time that Rav Weinberg TRUE spokesmen be consulted and asked what their own father would say and think in such a situation. Bot the Rav Matis Weinberg, shlit'a (see his Wikipedia article at Matis Weinberg and Rav Simcha Weinberg, shlit'a are very much around and active. There is no doubt that by contacting Rav Yaakov Weinberg's sons and asking them to clarify their father's positions, it would become clear if Rabbi Dov Lipman is just a "rogue elephant" or is merely being true to himself and to his Torah chinuch and to the guidance he received from his own rebbe. Rabbi Simcha Weinberg is based in the USA and Rav Matis Weinberg is based in Yerushalayim. The two Weinberg brothers, grandsons of Rav Yaakov Yitschok Ruderman and sons of Rav Yaakov Weinberg are both huge Torah scholars and geniuses and very successful in many fields of Torah, Klal work, Kiruv and Chinuch and have impacted thousands of people. It is time to bring them into this complex picture to speak for their father, and presumably explain what Rabbi Dov Lipman is up to, and not allow anyone else to take on the mantle for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "This post, while perfectly describing FUNDAMENTALIST Eretz Yisroeldikke Charedi views, misses the point of trying get where Rabbi Dov Lipman and a FBC=Frum But Cool "new" Charedi (actually in America they are not so new, "

      The "fundamentalist eretz yisraeldikke charedi" is exactly the one whose life Rabbi Lipman is trying to impact. So the views of the "frum but cool" (that's a new one) and especially of the American haredi are not relevant to any of this.

      Delete
  42. As a professor I would fail this as a piece of writing. As a Rav it would never get published as some Tshuva for a Sheyla. It is completely void of Lomdus that can stand any scrutiny. It is void of any semblance of evidence or fact. It is welcome that American Haredism enters Israeli politics with the love expressed by Rabbi Lipman. Those who adhere to alternative systems are simply not forced to abandon them. Like me, as an academic, I have to find someone who will fund what I want to pursue. We have this Lakewood Kollel in Melbourne. It's been around for about 20 years. I don't see any Seforim or publication of note emanate from any of them, ranging from the Rosh Kollel to the Bench sitter that has been there for 20 years. Why is that? Even BeMiktzoa Shel Torah, there seems to be no output. Why?

    ReplyDelete
  43. I thought Adar was over months ago? Last I checked it wasn't April 1st either. I just had an appendectomy! Maybe instead of Sha'aray Tzedek for my emergency surgery I just should have had MDA take me to the Mir?

    ReplyDelete
  44. You are being sarcastic, right? Please tell me you don't really endorse this..... I have heard people with small minds espouse such theories. I thought I was going to have a stroke reading this.....

    Baruch C. Cohen, Esq.
    Los Angeles,

    ReplyDelete
  45. " I am simply presenting the chareidi view as accurately as I
    can (i.e., this is not a caricature but how chareidim actually
    think and express themselves)."

    This is a load of bs and and out-and-out lies ad slander, and you know that Mr. Daas Torah. NO Israeli Chareidi whatsoever thinks a Torah education alone will teach him the skills necessary to learn or be adaptable towards computer programming languages. A further outrageous lies of yours in this post, where you slyly mock Chareidim, is your claim that Chareidim need to use their toes to count basic math problems. You know as well as anyone Chareidim know basic mathematics and in fact such math is taught in all Israeli Chareidi yeshivos, unlike the lies spread by the likes of Lipman, Bennet, Lapid and yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. charles you obviously live in a different universe. The views expressed in my letter are familiar to anyone who lives in the Israeli chareidi community. The typical feedback I have gotten is that the letter is accurate - though it is not uncommon that there might be some variation for a particular person for a particular issues such as attitude towards medicine. Some chareidim are makpid to go only to the best doctors others are much more comfortable with alternative medicine. Some insist on going only to frum doctors - even if they are not experts while others want only the biggest expert

      You can throw a fit and scream and yell but it really doesn't change reality.

      Delete
    2. Charles,

      If you don't believe Daas Torah, just look here at all of the idiotic comments:

      http://matzav.com/dov-lipman-in-his-own-words-kind-david-is-my-guy-a-warrior-a-politican#comments

      Delete
  46. This is the greatest thing I have ever read in the English language!!!Excellent!Excellent!I am going to print this out and post this.Thank You ,Daas Torah!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Recipients and PublicityMay 14, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    1 of 2: UPDATE:

    Rav Feldman retracts his previous harsh condemnation of Rabbi Dov Lipman, accepts him as part of Ner Israel Yeshiva, apologizing for calling him a "rosha" but still refers to Lipman as "extremely misguided" calls on Lipman to consult Gedolim just as he had consulted Rav Yaakov Weinberg, and to resign from Yesh Atid and thereby make a 'big kiddush Hashem"!


    New full audio posted on YouTube at:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxww1ex8G2I (9 minutes)

    Rav Feldman retracts his previous harsh condemnation of Rabbi Dov Lipman, accepts him as part of Ner Israel Yeshiva, apologizing for calling him a "rosha" but still refers to Lipman as "extremely misguided, calls on Lipman to consult Gedolim and resign and make a 'big kiddush Hashem'!"

    (See: Prior post at http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2013/05/rav-aharon-feldman-says-dov-lipners.html "Rav Aharon Feldman says Rabbi Dov Lipman's hashkofa is not that of Yeshiva Ner Yisroel or its former rosh yeshiva" (May 7, 2013))

    From Vos Iz Neies:

    http://www.vosizneias.com/130657/2013/05/09/baltimore-md-rosh-yeshiva-publicly-retracts-statements-calling-lipman-a-rasha

    Baltimore, MD - Rosh Yeshiva Publicly Retracts Statements Calling Lipman A "Rasha"

    Published on: May 9th, 2013

    Baltimore, MD - R' Aharon Feldman, Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel, issued an apology of sorts to Knesset member Rabbi Dov Lipman, after condemning Lipman for his remarks on revamping the Israeli chinuch system by adding English and math classes.

    As previously reported on VIN News, R' Feldman had been incorrectly told that Lipman had suggested closing any yeshiva that did not offer a basic secular education and responded by calling Lipman a "rasha" and a "shana u'pirush". Lipman later clarified that he had been misquoted and had suggested that the government withhold funds from yeshivos that do not teach English and math and had never said that any yeshiva should be closed.

    Audio obtained from BaltimoreJewishLife.com of a Yom Kippur Katan shmooze given today by R' Feldman in Ner Israel has the Rosh Yeshiva retracting his earlier words and publicly acknowledging that while Lipman should not be categorized as a "rasha" he was "definitely wrong and misguided."

    "The other day I called Dov Lipman...a rasha for supporting this movement," said R' Feldman speaking about some of the conflict in Israel. "Since then he wrote me a letter, explaining himself that he means l'shem shomayim, that he is trying to strengthen Torah in his view and therefore, since he is a shogeg, his sincerity came across in the letter, I cannot call him a rasha and I retract my statement and I apologize to him for calling him a rasha and I am happy that Baruch Hashem we have a talmid in our yeshiva who is not a rasha. But, however, he is extremely misguided."

    ReplyDelete
  48. Recipients and PublicityMay 14, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    2 of 2: UPDATE:

    (continued)

    From Vos Iz Neies:

    http://www.vosizneias.com/130657/2013/05/09/baltimore-md-rosh-yeshiva-publicly-retracts-statements-calling-lipman-a-rasha

    Baltimore, MD - Rosh Yeshiva Publicly Retracts Statements Calling Lipman A "Rasha"

    R' Feldman voiced his unequivocal opposition to Lipman's plan to teach secular courses in Israeli yeshivos, saying that even though the practice may be done in America, it is has no place in Israel.

    "Yeshiva ketanas, the high schools in Eretz Yisroel are institutions where teenagers are imbued yomam v'layla, learning Torah, that is the cradle of the gedolei Torah of the future....this is the system, this is the way. By introducing limudei chol you are destroying the atmosphere of kedusha in these yeshiva ketanas, the total atmosphere of kedusha, even though we do it in America, it is at a cost in America also and it is a different society in America, different reasons and you can't compare the two societies...introducing limudei chol two hours, or an hour even...will tear down the structure of the yeshiva ketana...when I said that Dov Lipman is trying to tear down the yeshiva ketana because that is what he is advocating."

    R' Feldman went on to explain that he was misquoted and never compared Lipman to Haman and Amalek.

    "Chas v'shalom. I said that just like all the attackers of the Torah in the past have gone under, so this party will go under also like Haman and Amalek. They are attacking Torah, they'll go under, there will be no zecher of them. Just wait around a little bit and you will see there is nothing left of them...any antagonist of Torah does not have a kiyum."

    R' Feldman made it clear that despite his apology, he was in no way backing down from his opposition to Lipman's plan.

    "I want to set the record straight on that , but in no way do I with less vigor oppose what he is saying, I just see now that he is mistaken..simple he doesn't know the facts, he hasn't thought it through well."

    R' Feldman criticized Lipman for not seeking rabbinical guidance before making his statement.

    " We should discuss these things with gedolei Torah... He is definitely wrong, misguided and very sorrowful that he is engaged in this. I suggest highly to him that he consult other people, that he resign from the party... He does mean l'shem shomayim, I saw from his letter. The best course for him is to consult gedolei Torah, resign from the party and make a big kiddush Hashem."

    The full audio below.:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxww1ex8G2I"

    ReplyDelete

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