web analytics
October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Letters To The Editor

Letters-logo

This inaction has resulted in the dangerous perception that Modern Orthodoxy has no standards and that any rabbi who has a popular following can decide when and how to make major departures from longstanding Orthodox practice.

I have no doubt that Rav Soloveitchik, as he did in his lifetime, would have spoken against the outliers’ drift toward Conservative Judaism in their embrace of non-halachic conversions, interdenominational dialogue, and women rabbis (among other troubling developments).

As was pointed out in the editorial, only the RCA, the OU and Yeshiva University have the standing and the influence to stanch the drift.

Robert Markowitz
Brooklyn, NY

The Rav On Women Wearing Tefillin

Who Speaks for Modern Orthodoxy?” was on target, especially in its recognition of the silence of the OU, the RCA, and the roshei yeshiva of YU.

I’d like to share a story about women wearing tefillin that involved Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, recounted by Rabbis Aryeh and Dov Frimer in their article “Women’s Prayer Services – Theory and Practice” in the Winter 1998 issue of Tradition:

R. Soloveitchik believed he had good reason to doubt that greater fulfillment of mitzvot motivated many of these women, as illustrated in the following story, related to us by R. Yehuda Kelemer, former rabbi of the Young Israel of Brookline, Massachusetts.

During the mid-1970s, one of R. Kelemer’s woman congregants at the Young Israel of Brookline was interested in wearing a tallit and tzitzit during the prayer services. After R. Kelemer had expressed to her his hesitations about the matter, she approached R. Soloveitchik – who lived in Brookline – on the matter.

The Rav explained that in light of the novelty of the action, it needed to be adopted gradually. Accordingly, he suggested that she first try wearing a tallit without tzitzit (which is, of course, allowed for women.) The Rav asked the woman to return to him after three months, at which time they would discuss the matter further.

When the two met once again, she described to R. Soloveitchik the magnificent nature of her religious experience in wearing the tallit. The Rav pointed out to the woman that wearing a tallit without tzitzit lacked any halachically authentic element of mitzvah. It was obvious, therefore, that what generated her sense of “religious high” was not an enhanced kiyyum hamitzvah, but something else. Under such circumstances, the Rav maintained, wearing a tallit was an inappropriate use of the mitzvah. Consequently, the Rav forbade the woman from wearing a tallit with tzitzit.

Jack Lieberman
(Via E-Mail)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Letters To The Editor”

  1. Roy Neal Grissom says:

    Yasher koach to Moshe Phillips. Yet how can Israel and Jewry invoke the historical connection between Jews and 'Eretz Yisra'el without having to deal with the Bible? Yet the Bible as an argument on any public issue has been considered beyond the pale for decades now–ironically, in large part because of historical Xian persecution of Jews. So now what happens? Mainstream Zionism usually ignores the Bible (and certainly HaShem) in its arguments with opponents in favor of a purely secular rationale. To maintain this rationale while invoking the Bible is going to be a problem.

    Furthermore if one begins invoking the Bible on one issue, the floodgates will be opened up to invoking it on other issues as well. Why should the Bible be listened to on one issue but not another? To invoke the Bible while still in political alliance (however "pragmatic") with homosexuals and atheists (as a "minority group") will make the Jewish community hypocritical.

    Perhaps…just perhaps Jews were never meant to turn to secularization for protection? Maybe their mission from Day One has been to teach the Nations about HaShem and His Law, which is the antithesis of secularism, however historically "benign" it has been to Jews (though it has been far from benign to everybody).

    Liberal Jews never let "separation of religion and state" stop them from agitating for ever more destructive policies. How can Orthodox Jews continue to cling to this false concept and refuse to agitate for G-dly positions on all issues?

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Newly elected Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem: Rav Shlomo Amar (L) and Rav Aryeh Stern (R).
2 New Chief Rabbis Elected for Jerusalem After 10-Yr Hiatus
Latest Indepth Stories
Noah and his Family; mixed media collage by Nathan Hilu. Courtesy Hebrew Union College Museum

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

Sweden prefers to ignore its own problems and make trouble elsewhere.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

256px-Israel-Palestine_flags.svg

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Map of Syria-Turkish border area, pinpointing Kurdish border town of Kobani, just taken by ISIS terror forces Oct 7, 2014.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-289/2014/02/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: