Monday, February 10, 2014

Rav Herschel Schacter: Women and Tefillin - Objections

Just received the following from a reliable source.

32 comments :

  1. This will make no difference to those who are in support of it. Their "pick a posek" method means they can safely bypass it in favour of lesser authorities who permit it.

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  2. DT: I object that you post Halachic responsa from people who it has been shown even at your blog that are conducting themselves against Halacha or supporting organizations such as ORA that are doing things shelo kehalocho. By you displaying his Halocho responsa, you are showing kovod and acceptance to their Torah. You have just finished months of coverage of the Divorce disputes in regards to Weiss-Dodelson and Frieman- Epstein. You have seen the terrible Malbin Pnei Chaveiro Berabim that ORA and its supporters are committing. Therefore when you post their Torah in public, its as if you support their agenda. Dont be fooled by The DOEG/ ACHITOFEL impersonators

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    1. DOVID - you have seriously misunderstood my view. In general I am impressed with Rav Herschel Schachter both as a Torah scholar and a mentsch. My concern is in regards to his view of using public pressure to obtain a get in a case of ma'us alei. He has explained that he is relying on Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky. Why aren't you protesting my citation of Rav Kaminetsky? I also strongly disagree with Rav Menashe Klein regarding child abuse - that doesn't mean that he is not an outstanding scholar and posek.

      I think that you can find some issue to disagree with most gedolim - that doesn't invalidate their Torah accomplishments. You do raise an interesting question as to what activities removes a talmid chachom's chezkas kashrus?

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  3. Superintendant chalmersFebruary 10, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    I seriously hope that this puts an end to the crazy conspiracy theorists on this blog, who ascribe some kind of hidden feminist agenda leanings to Rav Schachter in his attempts to help agunos. It is clear from this tshuva that he is not influenced by feminist ideology, and he judges each issue on its own merits, like a true mevakesh emes.

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    1. Well put! Totally agree with you.

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    2. This whole woman tefilin saga is contrived and almost irrelevant as it is with less than a handful of non-Orthodox schoolkids in an barely Orthodox school. It isn't much more of a deal than the Woman of the Wall putting on tefillin or any Conservative "synagogue" having women with tefilin.

      Rabbi Schachter had no need to even address this any more than he would address if two barely Orthodox girls decided to eat in a "kosher-style" restaurant which is not certified kosher since the food type is "naturally kosher".

      Actually that, which happens much more frequently in the real Modern Orthodox world and is accepted by many American MOs as being acceptable, unlike the female tefilin issue, is a much bigger problem Rabbi Schachter should be addressing.

      The only reason I can see why he even decided to delve into these women tefilin jokers is to "demonstrate" that he is not a feminist. But, in fact, he is one of Modern Orthodoxies greatest supporters of feminism in Judaism. (Not the biggest supporter of that but certainly he is far along in that field with his supporting things like many innovations in Hilchos Gittin to please the feminist demands.)

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    3. Superintendant chalmersFebruary 10, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      Nat,
      You are SEVERELY underestimating the damage that the so-called "Open Orthodox" have already begun to cause in the world of Modern Orthodoxy.

      "Rabbi Schachter had no need to even address this any more than he would address if two barely Orthodox girls decided to eat in a "kosher-style" restaurant which is not certified kosher since the food type is "naturally kosher"."

      Do you really not see the difference between individuals not keeping halacha in their own personal space/lives versus Orthodox Institutions under the direction of "Rabbis" condoning these behaviors on an institutional level, in the schools and shuls themselves?

      Do you not see the danger in the thinking that underlies "Open Orthodoxy" that everyone has the right to an opinion and can not be subjugated to the opinions of our Gedolim?

      If you actually read the tshiva (presuming you know how to read Hebrew, unlike some of the other farbrente commenters over here) you would see that the tshuva is as much about Open Orthodox ideology as it is about this specific issue of women wearing tefillin.

      Please try to use your brain just a little bit before commenting, and think a little bit before disparaging a talmid chacham whose toes you don't even come close to approaching.

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  4. Can someone post a link where the Orthodox Talmidim of YU (Rabbanim Shusmichu Kulam mYeshivashanu) started a "hanhaga mechudesshes" of Girls wearing Kippot , tallit and Teffilin?

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    1. Superintendant chalmersFebruary 10, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      I believe that line was referring to the "hanhaga mechudeshes" of girls wearing tefillin, but either way:

      http://www.ckj.org/docs/Sermon%20Much%20Ado%20About%20Something.pdf

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    2. Thanks. After reading the link ,. I agree with Nat that this was more of a School Policy debate and not a hanhaga mechudeshes in the MO world.

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    3. Superintendant chalmersFebruary 10, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      When you have multiple schools allowing it (Ramaz, SAR) and multiple rabbis condoning the practice (Lookstein, Harczstark, Yossi Adler to name a few) then it appears that it's a hanhaga mechudeshes, broader than any particular school.

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  5. DT: If you read perek Cheilek that talks about the sins of DOEG and Achitofel, you will see that Dovid hamelech requested from Hashem that none of DOEG's Torah should remain as he was Malbin Pnei chaveiro Berabim as well as guilty of Retzicha of Nov Ir hacohanim. Therefore one can deduce from this that if someone causes malbim Pnei Chaveiro berabim or supports it, then his torah is not Torah and should not be learnt. The fact remains that Herschel Schachter in many cases he has not investigated the facts, but blankly affixed his signatures on seiruvim against men causing malbim pnei chaveiro Berabim. i dont know about you, but there arent many aveiros in the Torah that say "EIN LO CHEILEK BEOLOM HABA" Obviously if he was a learned man , he would be more scrupolous before affixing his signature on seiruvim against innocent men. I am not suggesting that all his seiruvim are faulty but many are. You yourself are witness that Rabbi miller withdrew his support of the Dodelsons, which in essence is oipposing Malkiel Kotlers view. Therefore Schachter has been wrong too on occassions, but he still supports ORA and their public displays of Chilul Hashem and Malbim Pnei chaveiro Berabim! All it takes is 1 case where he committs Malbim Pnei Chaveiro, and he loses his Olam haba! Think it over.....

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    1. Superintendant chalmersFebruary 10, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      If I remember correctly, Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel (among others) was also signed on the kol korei against Weiss.

      Do you apply the same standard to Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel that you apply to Rav Hershel Schachter? Do you go around telling people that Rav Elya Ber's torah should not be learned and that he ahs no chelek in Olam Haba? Just curious.

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    2. Dovid you have an interesting and important point. Let's talk about reality. Applying your standards - not only to Rav Schacter but to all rabbinic leaders - how many will pass the test? Think it over....

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  6. DT: you are correct. We are living in a DOR YOSOM. there are but a handful of true Torah authentic rabbis left.We need to expose the evil rabbis misconstrued Torah opinions in order to show the public that they must not be followeed. Thanks to you for making people aware of the significant torah infractions of GET Meusa as this leads to mamzeirim as your brother states. If we dont expose it , then the masses will begin accepting annullments as occured with Tamar friedman and will also marry women who have received their GET thru coercive methods.This supports the view that you should not remove the postings on the Weiss- dodelson case as you need the public to have a point of reference to see the truth. most people asking their rabbis for opinions in matters such as these are getting erroneous information for these rabbis are either not knowledgeable in these matters or are afraid to oppose the Kotlers, kaminetskys etc...out of fear of reprisals.Usually the further back you go in history of Poskim, the more accurate the Halocho , as other influences such as feminism didnt exist. You therefore have a better point of reference to arrive at true halocho. Therefore Kaminetsky and Schachters opinion does not matter when it opposes greater Poskims opinions of 1-2 centuries ago.

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  7. DT - before we pass judgment over talmidei chachomim, we ought to clean house here. For example, shouldn't posters who shamelessly refer to rabbanim in chutzpadik terms and without the titles due them, i.e. "Kaminetsky and Schachter", be censored?

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  8. DT I am protesting your posting RHS psakim. He may know a lot but his personal position and his role in ORA define him as someone who rejects part of the Torah. It is a very weak argument to claim that no one will stand up to scrutiny. Even though the vast majority of influential Rabbonim can expect severe punishment for not protesting arko"oys and the destruction of many innocent men as a result of divorce, RHS stands out as supporting their cause. Frankly not good enough.

    If a rov was learned but was in favor of being mechalel Shabbos no one would take him seriously. Why take RHS seriously? Disgraceful.

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    1. Stan, would you agree that Rabbonim can expect sever punishment if they prevent people from earning a living, and thus not being able to raise a family?

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    2. Stan as I said before - if you apply the same standards of exclusion to all our rabbinical leadership - it will be a mighty lonesome world. The reality he is clearly a major rabbinic leader because he is accepted by many people. I don't have an answer - but I also strongly against suicide.

      Reminds me of the dispute between R S. R. Hirsch and Rav Bamberger. Rav Hirsch argued that you had to exclude those who didn't keep all the rules while Rav Bamberger posken that you don't.

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    3. It's been a while since I read the letters in that dispute. But I believe R' S.R. Hirsch's opinion was that, when possible, do not join institutions that stand in principle for kefira.

      That's very different than requiring us to exclude those who don't keep all the rules.

      Andy

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    4. "Rav Hirsch argued that you had to exclude those who didn't keep all the rules while Rav Bamberger posken that you don't."

      Are you sure about this? My impression: Rav Hirsch held that you should opt out of organizations whose "mission statements" include beliefs that are anti-Torah. But that he would not say to exclude Jews who don't keep all of the rules.

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  9. Far too many monomaniacs in your comment threads.

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  10. I dont understand why Rav Schecter had to go into a lengthy response. The Rama writes in OC 38:3 that women who do this "mochin Beyadan" we protest against them.
    That is sufficient reason to put a stop to this. But I am glad he came out against this since Harkstark from SAR and Lookstein from Ramaz are all YU rabbis perhaps now they will retract their "psak."

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    1. Superintendant ChalmersFebruary 10, 2014 at 10:30 PM

      Read the tshuva. As I mentioned before, much (most?) of the tshuva is directed at the "Open Orthodox" "halachic" methodology, rather than this specific question of women wearing tefillin.

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    2. Superintendant ChalmersFebruary 10, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      Dovid:
      You attempt to marginalize Rav Schachter and declare that he has no chelek in olam haba, because he has been malbin pnei chaveiro berabim without hearing both sides. Again, I ask you whether you apply this standard consistently.

      Did you voice the same protests about Rav Elyashiv zt"l when his signature appeared on the cherem against R' Nosson Kamenetzky's MOAG, without hearing R' Nosson's side? If not then why not?

      Rather than knee-jerk reactions against Rabbonim that you don't like, please put some more thought into what you post.

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  11. Chalmers, good point. When Haredi Gedolim make errors or worse, then they do it thru daas T, and hence any questioning of their motives is apikorsus.

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  12. DT the fact that it might be a very lonely world in terms of a total lack of leadership in no way justifies recognizing RHS who does not seem to accept parts of the Torah relating to the issur arko"oys and not forcing gittin. I find your approach on this issue completely without merit.

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  13. If you knew where the "Dovids" (etc) learned and got their training for life you would have no further comments to thier opinions.
    Lets leave it at that.

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  14. PLEASE clarify (Oh my G-D)February 12, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Eddie.
    You mean that Daas Torah can be WRONG?
    So what then is Daas torah if one can't rely on it 100% (because it may turn out to be wrong in days, months or even years to come)????

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    1. Superintendant chalmersFebruary 12, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      Whether or not one believes in Daas Torah in theory, it is virtually inapplicable in our day, because the Gedolim upon whom we rely for Daas Torah decisions are often fed misinformation by their circle, rendering any decision they make contingent on the accuracy of what they were told and not necessarily applicable to actual reality.

      I can believe in Daas Torah, and believe that there are Gedolim in our day who espouse Daas Torah, but that doesn't mean that the documents upon which their signatures appear represent Daas Torah.

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    2. Clarify - thank you for your question - sorry for my late reply.
      The DaasTorah that was invented in the last century by Agudas Yisroel, and then became part of Degel political party can certainly be wrong.
      The obvious and well documented examples are the Horaot made prior to and during WW2.
      As to what is DaasT if one can't rely on it - it is a political creation which in essence denies the Torah ShBikhtav and Sh B'Al Peh, which have sacrifices for any errors made potentially by the Sanhedrin or BD.
      However, it is an expedient lie, which serves the powerful political parties.
      Not being able to rely on it 100% doesnt mean it is 100% of the time wrong. It means that there is no guarantee of them being right 100% of the time - and that is the ikkar.
      In any case, as Chalmers points out, this Orwellian invention is for the askanim a real metziah, since they can essentially control the Gedolim, feed them false eidut, and control the agenda of Hareidi world.

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  15. It's their own fault to some extent. If you keep telling women they are better than men, then after seeing men leading they'll want to do the things men do. They are saying if we are better than you, let us lead too in the same way as you.

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