Thursday, March 30, 2017

Series of Articles from on Authenticity of the Zohar

Authenticity of the Zohar

While Kabbalah seems a shunned topic in contemporary German Orthodoxy, we know of course that R' Yaakov Emden and R' Yonason Eibetshitz were kabbalists (as well as Talmudists) and of course the Chisdei Ashkenaz knew kabbalah. But how much of the Zohar is authentic kabbalah. This is a long standing debate. Both Yaakov Emden and the Chasom Sofer believed that only part of the Zohar was authentic. The articles linked above takes us through arguments for and against.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch’s Influence In America (Part I) - Linked Post, Jewish Press

by Dr. Yitzchok Levine

"Much has been written about Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch’s influence on German Jewry, and he is justifiably credited with having saved Orthodox Judaism in Germany. However, Rav Hirsch’s influence was not confined to Germany and did not end with his passing in 1888. His legacy continues to this day and is felt all over the world.

"It is my intent to sketch how Hirschian ideology has fostered the flourishing Torah life we see today in America by indicating how a number of rabbis utilized this ideology. Such a sketch cannot, of course, be comprehensive. Nonetheless, it does provide perspective on how far-reaching the influence of RSRH has been on the American scene."

read more of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch’s Influence In America (Part I)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hirsch Haggadah in German

Hirsch Haggadah in German

I'm not sure exactly what this is as my German is basically non-existent or close to it. Maybe somebody out there can tell us what's going on in this book.

(Tip: Daniel Adler)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Hirsch Anthology

New book that collects Hirsch quotes by topic. And that's a beautiful thing because Hirsch's writings are so voluminous that it can be challenging to research ideas by topic. Volume 9 of the Collected Writings gives an index and so does the index to the new translation of the Chumash. But this volume gives not just the index but the actual quotes and it includes Tehillim. Siddur and the CW and Chumash.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Rebbe on Parnassah

Greeting and Blessing:

On the first day of Shevat, as the Torah relates (Deut. 1:3), Moshe Rabbeinu [Moses] began the recitation of the Book of Devorim [Deut.] - Mishne Torah [Repetition of the Torah].

The timing of the Repetition of the Torah was significant for the Jews in that it served to prepare them for their entry into the Promised Land. On the verge of leaving a place where for years they had no material care, since all their needs in the way of food, clothing and shelter had been miraculously provided (by means of the Manna, the Well, the Clouds of Glory, etc), and before settling down in a land, and way of life, which necessitate tilling, sowing, reaping, and all other mundane preoccupations - the Jews had to receive a special measure of spiritual invigoration and admonition, so that they should not become materialistic and debased in the material world that lay ahead, but - on the contrary - would instill holiness into, and spiritualize and elevate, the material aspects of daily life, transforming the material into the spiritual, by means of the Torah and Mitzvoth [commandments], Tzedoko [charity] and acts of lovingkindness.

Such is also the function of yeshivoth, especially in recent generations.

Some people think that the main purpose of a Yeshiva is to train Rabbis, Shochetim [ritual slaughterers], and other Jewish clergymen. This is not so, for the essential and main purpose is to create Jewish laymen, who, before going out into the world of business, trade, or profession, would be imbued and permeated with Torah and Yiras Shomayim [fear of heaven], and later, living within this world, would be capable of elevating their entire environment by inspiring every Jew they come in contact with, with love of G-d, love of the Torah, and love of fellow-Jew - in actual daily practice.

Letters By the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Vol. I, Tishrei-Adar, p. 260 and LChaimWeekly

Is this not the most encouraging message about earning a living that you have ever heard? One usually hears that either one may forced to earn a living but while you are there you can practice your honesty in the filthy environment -- not the most encouraging send off message. With Hirsch, you are contributing to your host society, which is more encouraging. Here you are sanctifying the physical and sharing love. Wow. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

TUM and TIDE - Rav Schwab

"Torah Im Derech Eretz is the opposite of Torah U'Maddah" R' Shimon Schwab. He says it here.

Is he speaking in words more acceptable to the Agudah audience or did he always completely see it that way? Is that the same as saying TUM is traife or just that it's different like the Litvish and the Chassidic derechem are in some ways opposites? I think he's probably saying that it's traife. No wonder Breuer's had nothing to do with YU. What do you think about the topic?

Note, he also has high praise here for Baalei Teshuvah and encourages the kiruv movement.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Minhag Ashkenaz Minyan This Friday in Beit Shemesh Ramat Aleph

Beit Shemesh Ashkenaz

Next minyan: We will hold a Minhag Ashkenaz (Yekke) Minyan this Friday Night, Parshas Tetzaveh, 12 Adar 5777, March 10, 2017, 5:27 PM

Location: Beit Shemesh Ramat Aleph (RBSA), Israel in the Dolev area about 5 minutes walk from Ma’asas Mordechai and 1 minute from Aish Kodesh.

There will be a mechitza and ladies are welcome.

Write for exact address:

Thursday, March 2, 2017


Anglish - What if English Were 100% Germanic? by Langfocus 

More on English as a Germanic language. He says here that there is a movement to strip English of Romance words and have it become the language it would have become. This is not on my list of life goals but it is interesting.