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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The Forward Cannot Handle the Truth

A writer at The Forward (don't ask me why I read that digital rag) penned a vile article against Halachic marriage standards of the Chief Rabbinate.

She went on about how:
On the (liberal) face of things, it’s pretty bad. Ancient laws infringe on Israeli citizens’ rights to marry, freedom of conscience, and privacy.
In her concluding paragraph, she opined:
Max Weber, Ben Gurion, John Stuart Mill, Ahad Ha’am, God Himself, and many others are all rolling over in their graves.
Blasphemy is obviously tolerated by the Forward - except apparently when that blasphemy goes against their own religion, liberalism.

I commented on that article:

The editors at The Forward proved the truth in my claim that liberalism is a religion by deleting my comment.  It goes against their god.  On my blog, I would delete comments that go against my G-d too.

If I'm getting censored by the Forward, I must be doing something right...


At Wed May 06, 11:43:00 AM 2015, Blogger Neshama said...

You could link so we also could send them our opinion.

At Wed May 06, 11:45:00 AM 2015, Blogger yaak said...

Neshama, the link is near the beginning of my post.

At Wed May 06, 12:06:00 PM 2015, Blogger Neshama said...

So sorry, I read so fast I skipped over it. I read the article and it is a complicated situation these people are facing. They should have been told the laws beforehand (as in premarital classes); maybe some ex-husbands are deliberately causing issues to get even. There is definitely a lack of knowledge in this hot issue. Something should be done immediately to inform the citizens of Israel about religious G-d given Halacha, before this list grows and grows.

One who is secular and themself not aware of these laws, could easily write such an article(if it is the emes). Dialogue is utterly necessary. This affects the future of Judaism.

Ps your comment to the article was not very comprehensive.

At Wed May 06, 12:11:00 PM 2015, Blogger Esser Agaroth said...

I'm really glad you posted this to your blog.

Many people are not clued into the fact that "comment moderation" may include censorship, and not just the removal of abusive and otherwise abusive comments.

Now, more people will know this.

At Wed May 06, 12:15:00 PM 2015, Blogger yaak said...


While I am very much aware of Aguna situations, and very much against husbands who deliberately keep their wives Agunot, that is not the gripe of the article's author. Rather, the article's author wants to do away with the whole Rabbinic authority over marriage. The result of such an action is chaos in Jewish family structure.

She furthers her point by citing liberal values and human rights. She obviously believes that such values "in a democratic society" must trump Halacha. This is why I commented the way I did. She considers liberalism a religion that should trump the millenia-observed Halacha of Judaism. Those who think that way will unfortunately be lost to Judaism forever.

At Wed May 06, 12:16:00 PM 2015, Blogger yaak said...

Thanks, Esser.

At Wed May 06, 12:29:00 PM 2015, Blogger Neshama said...

I was looking at the problems and they are a runaway carriage. This alarmed me because ignorant Jews are getting into hot water.This is what must be dealt with. if I were replying I would have supplied more tachlis for the other readers to read, an opportunity to set things clear, and defend our Torah laws. However, I didn't reply, and you did it your way. BTW it was indeed important that you posted about his.

So are we still blogging friends :-)

At Wed May 06, 12:52:00 PM 2015, Blogger yaak said...


When it comes to the Forward, it is not a matter of ignorance of Torah and Halacha. Rather, it is a deliberate attempt to undermine Torah and Halacha.

I agree with you that there are many who are ignorant of the relevant Halachot. Those people should be taught. The Forward and their ilk go way beyond ignorance. Fire must be met with fire.

At Wed May 06, 01:04:00 PM 2015, Blogger Leah said...

Yes, Yaak, and unfortunately this also includes the mishkav zachar "marriages". I have other words for this, yet, you get my drift.
Low morals, high standards. Not good.

At Wed May 06, 02:24:00 PM 2015, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reread the article. The author has two gripes--one for the rabbinate who remain entrenched in what she terms an antiquated approach to marriage and divorce--which often favors men and harms women.

Her second gripe is toward the so-called liberal Israeli justice system which fails to protect the civil rights of women.

She clearly shows how both Rabbinic and civil courts, work hand-in-hand to the detriment of those on blacklists specifically like "Miriam."

In my opinion, neither the article nor the the author is vile. She is simply speaking up about an issue that should be addressed intelligently and fairly.

And, this always leads back to Agunot.
How many Agunot have to suffer until Rabbis do the right thing and help them get out of limbo? What will it take to free these women from hellish marriages where the man has the upper hand? I had a cousin who had to bribe and beg her way out of a miserable marriage. It took years. The Rabbis looked the other way and said "give him what he wants."

I've heard stories where men have remarried without punishment or much fuss while the women remained stuck. This is the Halachic way? Really? It's time for a change.
-Diaspora Rosie

At Wed May 06, 03:02:00 PM 2015, Blogger yaak said...

Diaspora Rosie,

Any time an article is written in order to undermine Halacha or Halachic standards, it is 100% vile in my book.

I feel for the women out there who are stuck, especially those who are stuck due to no fault of their own. Nevertheless, Halacha is Halacha and any attempt to undermine or circumvent it will be met with opposition and derision from yours truly.

Now, there were Halachic attempts made to minimize Agunot with varying degrees of acceptance (i.e. prenups). If done halachicly, that is an acceptable possibility by most. If not, it only muddies the waters.

Neither our emotions nor our foreign values should be used to undermine halacha - and that is exactly what the author of that article is doing. Nor should the secular courts be used for such a purpose, and B"H, the courts for once agreed with the Rabbinate.

In summary, anyone who wants to institute change has the right to do so - provided it is within the confines of Halacha. Any attempt to use courts, public opinion, liberalism, human rights, or the like to negate halacha is only fooling themselves if they think it will succeed.

Even if such attempts will succeed in the short term, it will cause there to be a Sefer Yuhasin to be written which will be used by the Rabbinate, so good luck for the Rabbinate to consider anyone Jewish (or non-Mamzerim) from then on.

At Wed May 06, 03:55:00 PM 2015, Anonymous Anonymous said...


With all due respect, until you have been victimized by Rabbis hiding behind what they think or say is Halachically permitted or not, you won't ever understand another Jew's pain who is caught in the cross-hairs. The trouble is not everything is agreed upon by Rabbis. There is no absolute or standard with regard to some things. I recall an article about Women praying at the Wall wearing tallit and tefilin. According to the author, nowhere is this Halachically denied to women. Yet Haredi Rabbis and Haredi women routinely excoriate these women for what they deem is a blasphemous act and not according to their interpretation of Halacha. In my view, the problems don't necessarily stem from Halacha--but from Rabbis who interpret the laws based on their own limited and biased worldview.

I wish I were an expert on Halacha--but I am not. I am just a witness to the damage. Diaspora Rosie

At Wed May 06, 04:14:00 PM 2015, Blogger yaak said...

Diaspora Rosie,

With all due respect to you, I don't know you or your background, but until you actually learn these parts of the Torah from the actual source with a valid rabbi, you are only speaking from emotion. Speaking from emotion is powerful, but is often not based on anything substantial.

As someone who actually learned parts of the Torah and Halachic responsa that these rabbis are dealing with, I know the limitation Halacha puts on these rabbis. And for good reason. Of course, there are various opinions, but the only valid opinions are the ones by properly-trained Orthodox rabbis without the word "Open" in front of it. Anything else is a pure imitation of Halacha. Going through the Halachic process is - and should be - the only way to get anything done.

I reject your claim that the rabbis issue rulings not based on Halacha. The prohibition of women to wear Tefilin is also based on Halacha - and there have been many articles written on the Internet about it last year when it was a big topic. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to undermine Halacha from THEIR own limited and biased worldview.

At Thu May 07, 06:23:00 AM 2015, Anonymous Dassie said...

Knowing how you write, your Forward comment could only have been thoughtful and articulate, yet they deleted it anyway based on disagreeing with its content (and Truth).

Last I checked, there are more agunim in Israel than agunot. And they don't imprison women who won't accept a get, just the men who refuse a get. But Libs will only ever pick one side, regardless of facts, to be the victim.

Civil courts can be a good alternative; it depends. Many civil judges are not any less corrupt than dayanim. For divorce lawyers, it pays to take the woman's side no matter who's right because usually the main money lies with the man and they make more money by putting him through the wringer.

In a private conversation, Rav Ehrentrau in Jerusalem mentioned how he stopped a plane from taking off in order to catch a recalcitrant husband from getting away without giving a get.

I know divorcees who felt they were treated very well and sympathetically in beit din and those who felt they were terribly mistreated. It makes sense because there is a lot of politics in appointing dayanim, so some really nasty apples are bound to get in -- sort of like with the Israeli government. It's all part of the terrible Erev Rav takeover: Women are denied gets, Jews are expelled from their homes, Jews get run over to death, etc.

Additionally, men are much more likely than women to refuse a get and I don't see why a woman needs to wait for years; that seems to also signify a problem with dayanim -- and the community. Personally, if I have the power to intervene on her behalf, I do. And I have.

At the end of the day, this awful nisayon is still from Hashem -- just like cancer, terrorism, etc. -- and along with normal hishtadlut, intense personal prayer and cheshbon hanefesh can work wonders. And I don't say that lightly.

At Sat May 09, 02:59:00 PM 2015, Blogger madaral said...

If I'm getting censored by Yeranen Yaakov, I must be doing something right...

At Sat May 09, 10:04:00 PM 2015, Blogger yaak said...

It's funny, madaral. I don't remember ever censoring you.

At Sun May 10, 12:00:00 AM 2015, Blogger madaral said...

I do remember, but it was not funny.


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