Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jnews Roundup I

This is the first in what will hopefully become a regular feature of links to news stories of interest in the online (English) Jewish news media. I am currently looking for someone to write this on a regular basis.

  • Non-Orthodox synagogues merge (Jewish Week).
  • An editorial asks whether Israelis would be better off without a Chief Rabbinate (Jewish Week).
  • More letter to The Jewish Press for and against R. Natan Slifkin (Jewish Press). His response will appear next week.
  • Yom Tov union protest outside the Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles (Jewish Journal).
  • Agudah defends a child's right to be observant (Forward).
  • Animated Bible films -- Veggie Tales without the veggies (Forward).
  • Supreme Court allows tuition reimbursement for special-ed students in private school (Yeshiva World, OU IPA).
  • Israel's Chief Rabbinate defends its controversial new policy of allowing local rabbinates to prohibit heter mekhirah produce (Haaretz).
  • Orthodox rabbis in Israel encourage battered women to call police (Yediot Acharonot).
  • Yad L'Achim convinces two Jewish-Christian bloggers that their beliefs are wrong (Arutz Sheva).
  • The abandonment of Jewish students on college campuses (Five Towns Jewish Times).
  • A Lubavitch YU student accuses Dr. David Berger of planning to force Lubavitch students at YU to take an oath that they do not believe that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is the messiah (Commentator). Dr. Berger responds to the ridiculous letter (Commentator).
  • YU to reevaluate its relationship with each Israeli yeshiva and begin a dialogue on how to improve the educational continuum (Commentator).
  • The Commentator's editor's column full of great non-sequitors (Commentator). The beginning is worth quoting:
    In the weeks preceding the September 2004 ban on Rabbi Natan Slifkin's books, several prominent rabbis within the haredi community were assured that two students studying in a Monsey yeshiva had been so victimized by the author's books, that they left the yeshiva and have since gone off the derekh. As it turned out, one student had already left the yeshiva before Rabbi Slifkin's first book, Seasons of Life was printed in 2000. The other student did in fact read Slifkin's books, enjoyed them thoroughly, and eventually, for a number of reasons, transferred to Yeshiva College.

    There is no doubt that we do not reciprocate this kind of abusive behavior. We are fully aware of the impossibility of, say, studying Baba Bathra without Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman's Kobetz Shiurim, a virulent opponent of YU's long before there were co-ed Torah Tours. Similarly, we can ill afford to discard Rabbi Eliezer Shach's writings on Rambam, and none of us are willing to remove every volume of the Hazon Ish from the Main Beit Midrash just because he was haredi - which he certainly was. In a word, our intellectual honesty prevents us from the same narrow-mindedness others use to pit us against them.

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