Monday, February 25, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Ki Tisa 5773

R' Lazer Brody: Et tu, Naftali?

Cross Currents: Purim: Blame it on the Rabbis

VIN: Rabbi Says Seculars Are to Blame for Wars

Hirhurim: Hat Tips in Jewish Law

Al Ahram: 'Jews of Egypt' tells story of Egypt's exiled Jewish community (hat tip: Hirhurim) :-)

The Absolute Truth: Prayer Works

Life in Israel: Will Barack Obama Ascend the Temple Mount During Visit To Region?

A7: Rabbi Lau to President Obama: Time to Free Pollard

Mashiach is Coming: A Seeing Eye

Matzav commenters noted the passing of Lieutenant Birnbaum A"H and Reb Yosef Friedenson A"H within a couple days of each other.  One helped to liberate Buchenwald while the other was liberated from Buchenwald.  May their memory be a blessing.

Trib: Big storm heading to Chicago on Tuesday


At Tue Feb 26, 06:36:00 AM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some links posted are forbidden to read.

At Tue Feb 26, 07:09:00 AM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

Which ones and why?

I did not consider any of these forbidden. If I did, I would not have posted them.

At Tue Feb 26, 10:54:00 AM 2013, Blogger Neshama said...

He probably has a filter that doesn't like something. Maybe not bad at all.

At Tue Feb 26, 12:16:00 PM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

He probably has a filter or VPN that quietly and effectively filters out some controversial (to use an euphemism) websites among those quoted (so do I), everyone should ask a shaila for themselves. In regards to vosizneias however, it's public knowledge the website is forbidden to read and promote. If their mudslinging and blood libel fabrications had not been enough to drive away any reader with a jewish soul, that website has been forbidden in public (with signed letters) a long time ago.

At Tue Feb 26, 01:22:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...


I remember the Kol Korei against Vosizneias a few years ago. However, my rabbi did not sign any such Kol Korei, and I frankly don't agree with it.

Don't get me wrong. I disagree with a few of the reporting/chosen articles there. However, a ban on the site, IMHO, is wrong, counterproductive, and promotes Pirud. When they're wrong they're wrong and when they're right they're right. A ban on the entire site won't do anything productive. Show which articles are not in line with your Hashkafa to prove your points - don't ban it totally.

I don't even advocate banning the Forward, which is a website where I would say I disagree with a full 95% of their articles. If I were adventurous, I'd create a blog called "The Backwards" and show how they're wrong 95% of the time. But bans won't work and never have.

At Tue Feb 26, 02:06:00 PM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

I can't be sure what website(s) Anonymous was referring to, as he did not post the name(s), we won't know unless he writes again and clarifies. I don't mind if you read VIN, which I have no idea which % I agree with, because I don't read it since ages, well before it was banned in public. I don't usually read the Forverts either, but one can't accuse them of deception, they are exactly what they claim to be, a frei and leftist website.

Given the very public and unequivocal position taken by respected rabbonim I think that a link to VIN should have a remark "not everyone agrees this link is acceptable", lest people are mislead.

At Tue Feb 26, 02:20:00 PM 2013, Blogger Neshama said...

I respectfully do not agree with Daniella. I find some of the statements unnecessary and inflammatory. Personally, vosizneias is a good source of what is really happening, their coverage is very good. The ban was to control truth from being brought out into he open.

At Tue Feb 26, 02:25:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

I agree that there were respected rabbanim who signed the letter. However, I don't think posting such a disclaimer is prudent.

First of all, many bloggers wrote an explanation of how this ban started. See here, for example.

Secondly, if so, Ain Ledavar Sof. There are respected rabbanim who don't allow the Internet altogether. Maybe I should put a disclaimer on the top of my blog saying that "not everyone agrees that the Internet is acceptible, so surf at your own risk."?!?! I'd rather not insult the intelligence of my readers.

At Tue Feb 26, 03:00:00 PM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

OK Neshama, thank you for clarifying your position.

Yaak I assume every jewish reader who accesses this blog on the internet has a heter and that we all use the internet for work. You can not IMHO compare the access _some_ of your readers have to the (filtered) internet (you don't think there are people who read and evaluate articles on the (filtered) internet and copy them to a private cloud or print them out on paper, for non-internet-users to see, discuss, and learn from?) with posting links that the reader, especially if newly religious, might assume are uncontroversial and in fact completely trustworthy.

At Tue Feb 26, 03:19:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

I don't shy away from linking to controversial articles.

I don't shy away from linking to websites that some rabbanim have banned.

On the other hand, I try not to link to sites that contain: Leshon Hara, Peritzut, Nivul Peh, or is otherwise a Moshav Leitzim.

If your standards are higher, all the power to you. Everyone has different standards and that's fine. I don't need to follow the highest standard - I follow the standard that I feel is appropriate. The links that I link to - I believe to be trustworthy. What can I say to those who disagree? כשם שפרצופיהם שונות זו מזו כך דעותיהם שונות זו מזו. We're not going to agree on everything.

And I stand by my assertion that Ain LeDavar Sof. Why put a disclaimer by this link and not by this link? I'm sure some rabbis don't like some of the other links I posted. It will never end.

At Tue Feb 26, 03:54:00 PM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

Thank you for your comment Yaak. I do not feel up to the task of discussing VIN standards because I actually don't read it since long time, and also, I have no idea if, say, it ever contained non-tzniut images or ads, as I have blocked images on most of the web, and it was so already a number of years ago when I did read VIN with some regularity. I will take your word for it. I am glad you won't link to websites that publish lashon hara (ie reporting fully truthful facts, which however don't paint a fellow Jew in a positive light) so I am wondering what is your position in regards to the Rubashkin affair, where VIN played a crucial role. Do you hold the accusations are truthful and even so, even if they were truthful (do you believe they were? The antisemite prosecutors themselves dismissed most of them) do you hold that it was correct to be moser and to mount a press campaign and arouse the nonjews' anger (including PETA, by the way) in order to spill a fellow Jew's blood?

At Tue Feb 26, 04:18:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

I believe Rubashkin made a mistake and should have gotten a slap on the wrist at most.

I personally don't publish such things, but I'm not about to criticize a site that has not transgressed a sin.

I think you are blowing VIN's role way out of proportion. There is no Leshon Hara involved when the matter is public knowledge and already published in newspapers. Do you have proof that there was Mesira involved by that site? That's a heavy accusation that needs to be backed up with facts.

At Tue Feb 26, 04:48:00 PM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

OK and thank you for clarifying, even though I have not completely understood what in your opinion was Rubashkin's mistake (nor if it was in your opinion a crime or a mistake and/or if there was any halacha violation, which should be our concern and focus), I am not sure if you are referring to the foreign workers (he was acquitted), to the loan guarantees, to the animals' "rights", to setting up a heimishe business in Iowa of all places of this beautiful planet, to the choice of competing with more expensive kosher meat brands, or to something else.
It is clear that websites do not have free will and do not transgress any sin, people do, and we do not even know who is behind VIN; those people according to a provision offered by US law are not appearing with their first and last names. As far as I know they may not even be jewish and may not be bound by halacha. I do know for many Jewish souls it is a sin to read and promote VIN and advertise on it, because a number of Rabbis who have a vast following, say so, and to every one of their followers, VIN is unquestionably forbidden; of course I respect those Rabbis who hold differently and their followers. Most Rabbis also hold it is lashon hara (assuming the facts are true, and much worse than lashon hara if they are untrue) to report what nonjewish or secular newspapers state, because it is natural that a jewish person will give no credit to the latters' opinion pieces, but will trust a fellow Jew, especially if he is shomer shabbos, is a reliable witness, and so forth. If readers decide to read VIN, I am not the internet police, and I also remarked already that not every Rabbi has banned VIN. However I think readers should be aware that VIN is a controversial website and does not represent the observant jewish community in the USA, as many respected Rabbis have stated out loud.

At Tue Feb 26, 05:09:00 PM 2013, Blogger yaak said...

Most Rabbis also hold it is lashon hara (assuming the facts are true, and much worse than lashon hara if they are untrue) to report what nonjewish or secular newspapers state, because it is natural that a jewish person will give no credit to the latters' opinion pieces, but will trust a fellow Jew, especially if he is shomer shabbos, is a reliable witness, and so forth.

Is this stated in Sefer Hafetz Hayim or elsewhere or is this your own sevara?

I'm not saying that the logic is flawed nor am I saying I agree with this - I just want to know if you have a source for this.

At Wed Feb 27, 05:16:00 AM 2013, Blogger Daniela said...

No, of course, not my original thoughts. I apologize, having been born a woman I am forbidden from quoting, and it is not my place to discuss and debate. I was told I should simply reply that your previous post perfectly describes the abyssally, unfathomably different credit and consideration you yourself (like we all do) give to the very same words, whether told by an anonymous female on the internet, or if they had been quoted in the name of a respected Rabbi or prominent member of a prestigious kehilla and perhaps printed in a sefer.


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