Friday, June 26, 2015

Tisha Ba'av Mukdam

A friend sent me the following (from the official website.)


Graduates of Yeshivat Maharat are conferred as “toreh toreh” – a decisor of Jewish law. We encourage our graduates to use the professional title most appropriate to them, in consultation with the communities they serve.

Wittingly or un, I believe that this is an allusion to Kinah 22 for Tisha Ba'av.

תורה תורה חגרי שק והתפלשי באפרים. אבל יחיד עשי לך ומספד תמרורים. על תופשי משוטיך ופורשי מכמורים

This Kinah used to mean

Oh, Torah, Torah! Gird yourself in sackcloth, wallow in ashes.  Take up mourning as for an only son, recite a bitter elegy, over those who held your oars and spread the nets....

It has acquired a new meaning, apropos of the moment.

Toreh Toreh!  O, gird yourself in sackcloth, lie sprawled in ashes, 
bitterly grieve the tragedy that has befallen you, for those who have seized your rudder, those who cast nets to trap you.

Perhaps they should wear a special שק for the occasion.


  1. Where did the prior comments go?

    Either way, I would trust the image of an actual "kelaf" from 2013 over text that apears on their web page. Since hora'ah appears either way, and there are no quotation marks in the web page, I don't know if they mean the ordination actually says "toreh toreh" literally. Although the comment would work against the quote, agreed.

    My point wasn't a defense of saying that a woman getting ordained with a "heter hora'ah lerabbim". It, like the title "Maharat", are just ways of repackaging making women rabbis so that it's a fait accomplis before the opposition stops them.

    On a side note, I doubt I would have posted that comment had I not found the tone of the post inappropriate. I agree this decision is a tragedy; so why the joking around about it? It's like we're more interested in ridiculing other Jews than dealing with a real issue. I'm not saying that was your intent or state of mind, just how it sounded to me and my state of mind when deciding to nit-pick.

    1. I deleted the previous comments because I thought that having seen their own website, you would agree that the post was shooting at a real, not imagined, target.

      I certainly did not delete it for any reason other than my respect for your valuable contributions.

      In light of your criticism, allow me to defend my post. It is satiric, but not farcical. I think that what they're doing is wrong and bad. Do we need more synagogues it is assur to walk into? Do we need more Jews led astray by people that self-define as "Orthodox" rabbis? It bothers me a great deal.. I'm not doing humor. I am ridiculing them with a heavy heart. I believe that ridicule is an effective tool in combatting the latest schismatic movement.

  2. I just meant that it was time to tear qeri'ah, not make jokes about tearing qeri'ah.

    Which got me thinking (the following is therefore off-the-cuff):

    We tried angry shouting and taunting, and it doesn't seem to get anywhere. For that matter, expecting it to work isn't even theoretically plausible -- arguing just gets people to dig in their heals and argue back.

    So, why not a day of tefillah. First, we might actually get Divine Aid. But on a pragmatic level, it is the clearest way to demonstrate both empathy with the OO crowd rather than setting ourselves up as the opposition and making it clear that we really think this is an actual tragedy, and not just saying that for debating purposes.

    1. Interesting proposition. Of course, it couldn't be done be'pumbi, because then the other side would organize counter tefilla groups, and we'd have to say, as Moshe Rabbeinu did, Al teifen el minchosom.
      But it sounds like an excellent thing to say tefillim for after davening. Along with Acheinu and the mi shebeirach for cholim,a tefilla that they should be chozer b'teshuva. See Reb Chaim's post on that topic at

  3. Wittingly, or un, or dim.

  4. I actually appreciated this post. We find Chazal throughout Shas ridicule Avodah Zora constantly, so there is a source for this type of response.

  5. You don't have to wait for 9 Av. Among the things we mourn on 17 Tammuz is that Apostomus burned the Torah. Seems right in line with that.

    1. Very harsh. I thought of it more in line with the Gemara that
      התורה חוגרת שק ואומרת לקדוש ברוך הוא עשאוני בניך ככנור שמנגנים בו ליצים
      They use it as an instrument of propaganda to sweeten their tune. We are Orthodox, we are shomrei Torah....