Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jewish Prostitution: The Ugly Side of Shtetl Life

Today I read a book entitled Bodies and Souls: The Tragic Plight of Three Jewish Women Forced into Prostitution in the Americas, written by Isabel Vincent. It is horrifying. Those of us born in America have a tendency to romance shtetl life, our images painted by films and movies where the shuffling Jews look clean and happy despite the hard times, and joy somehow wins out against the difficulty of living. However, books like these illustrate the reality, which is what shtetl life could actually allow for and harbor...namely, the horror of white slave-trafficking.

I reproduce two excerpts of the book below.

~

Sophia's family received him with great warmth and countless apologies. Sophia, they said, is young and inexperienced. She knows nothing of life, they said. She's innocent. She's only thirteen. Isaac waved away their concerns, and to show his good faith, he promised to make their union official. There was no time for a proper wedding, he said. Could the Chamys family round up two witnesses, and could they meet in the shitbl for the ceremony?

Even though the wedding was organized in such haste, and would not be officiated by a religious leader, the Chamys family would not have thought anything amiss. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such ritual weddings were common in the smaller, poorer shtetls where rabbis were rarely present. The ceremony required only the presence of one Jewish witness, and was commonly referred to in Yiddish as a stille chuppah or "silent wedding."

In the presence of the witness, which in Sophia's case could have been the local cobbler or the tailor, Isaac would make her an offer of a ring or money, and the witness would pronounce the couple officially married. It's not clear what Isaac presented to Sophia as a token of his affection, but it became clear to police years later that this was not the first time that he had entered into such a union.

The ritual marriages had absolutely no validity under civil law, so women entering into these compromising situations had no legal protection. The practice had even been outlawed in some parts of Eastern Europe but continued in the more backward regions well into the twentieth century.

Of course, this was very convenient for pimps like Isaac Boorosky, for whom the stille chuppah became a very important tool, allowing them to entrap ignorant women and rob them of their civil rights. It is not known how many impoverished young women Isaac married in these "silent weddings." It is clear that pimps working in America would typically return to Eastern Europe and travel from shtetl to shtetl acquiring multiple wives in stille chuppah ceremonies.

~38-39

~

As one prominent Jewish colonel noted in 1893, "In Buenos Aires there are Jews who are a disgrace to Judaism, and when I think of them, I am an anti-Semite of the most bigoted description."

But the traffickers refused to give up; they were determined to be respected Jews at any cost. At the turn of the last century, they bought their own cemetery in the outlying suburbs of Avellaneda. They also donated a portion of their profits to purchase a property where they maintained an office and a synagogue. When they established their headquarters on an upscale stretch of Cordoba Steet in Buenos Aires, most of the members were tapped for donations. The donor list was found years later by investigating authorities, who noted with interest that most of the donations were objects used to outfit the synagogue. According to the list, Simon Briel donated a chandelier for the women's bathroom. M.A. Rosmarin donated a velvet sheath emboridered with gold for the Torah, while Selij Rubinach gave a set of Bibles. David Brostein donated an oak altar.

Their bourgeois sensibilities extended to charitable causes. Men like Isaac clearly wanted to be remembered after they died. In Sholem Aleichem's "The Man from Buenos Aires," the pimp Motek enumerates a dizzying array of his pressing social responsibilities: "There isn't a thing in the world that doesn't cost me money- synagogues, hospitals, emigrant funds, concerts. Not so long ago I received a letter from a yeshiva In Jerusalem. A handsome letter with a Star of David on top, with seals and signatures of rabbis. The letter was addressed to me personally in very impressive language: 'To our Master, the Renowned and Wealthy Reb Mordecai.'"

~72

*
There's something sickening about people desiring money earned through prostituting innocent women to support Torah institutions...although I suppose one can look at it the other way and say that even a pimp was able to do some good for his religion.

Vincent explores the community the Jewish prostitutes formed in Brazil, specifically those brought there through the Zwi Migdal trade ring. Set apart from the respectable Jewish community, which refused to aid them, uninterested in how they came to be there, and even the fact that they many of them were raped, brutalized, or otherwise forced into their lot, they had no recourse but to create their own community. They had no alternative, as there was no sense of community amongst the prostitutes. The Brazilian prostitutes turned against the Jewish women in an anti-Semitic fit; they accused the Jews of bringing anal sex and sadomasochism to Brazil. Nevertheless, some of the Jewish prostitutes prevailed. They created a society referred to as the Society of Truth, really managed by a former prostitute named Rebecca Freedman who also purchased a cemetery for the prostitutes and created her own Chevra Kadisha for them. The irony of a Jewish prostitute performing taharos for the other women whom the respectable Jewish community chose to ignore is almost monstrous.

The portrait raised by the book is also saddening in that rabbis were for the most part unconcerned:
    In any case, he had no time for mad feminists. He was the spiritual leader of Budapest's Jewish congregation. He had more important things to think about, more important things to do than to speak to this diminutive spinster with the acid tongue. "The issue [of white slavery] doesn't interest me," he said.

    When he was reminded of his role as the chairman of the Society for the Protection of Children, the rabbi seemed to shrug off his responsibilities to protect them from slave traffickers. "Yes," he said without batting an eyelid. "But only of children up to twelve or thirteen years of age. The older ones are not my business."

    ~146-147
At turns, sad, depressing, horrifying or otherwise moving, this fascinating window into the un-romantic version of shtetl life, apparently also depicted in the short story mentioned above by Shalom Aleichem entitled "The Man from Buenois Aires." This is definitely not the picture you will get when you watch Hollywood films or read romanticized versions of the shtetl in Jewish books.

104 comments:

Tzvi Feifel said...

Very disturbing, to say the least.

If anyone is interested, another interesting and informative book on a very similar topic is "Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels" by Hella Winston. I read it over pesach, and I was quite surprised at how easily my admittedly romanticized perceptions of the chassidic community were dispelled. But the kind of stuff described is what happens when a community cares far more about its appearance than the emotional and spiritual welfare its members.

TF

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Chana: Even though I wouldn't praise Ashkenazi jewry with my arm twisted behind my back, I wouldn't say the content of the excerpts justifies your intro: In eastern Europe it seems that 1. These girls were more or less "getting married", 2. It was very small and localized. But more importantely; South America is not the same as "Shtetles".

Tzvi: Yeah man, that book is...informative, though those mentioned in the book are esentially a minority..

Anonymous said...

What does this have to do with shtetl life?

and the rabbis were "mostly unconcerned"? why? because you have an example of 1 rabbi? did you read about the community of budapest? the different factions? does it represent shtetl life at all?

im sure you have read books such as "the yeshiva" which you said you have read, did you get an oh so glorious picture from them?

Chana said...

Tzvi,

Yeah, I read Unchosen. It's saddening, but not disturbing in the same way this book is.

HaTzair,

Small and localized or not, the fact that at one point in time he controlled 2000 brothels with 4000 women in Argentina alone to me suggests otherwise.

Anonymous,

Peace, peace! All I mean to say is that I think many of us have a romantic picture of shtetl life (and if that is incorrect, I should say that such a portrait has been presented to me and others I know) as being this wonderful place where true Judaism was kept. However, we forget at times (or again, at least I and those I know do) the hardships that occurred there, whether because of the supreme poverty, or because of the ways in which people could be taken advantage of, as expressed here.

In terms of the rabbis being mostly unconcerned, I quoted one rabbi but my statment was made based on how the author describes it in the book, with many rabbis being uninterested in these women's plight and the respectable Jewish community shunning them.

And yes, I read The Yeshiva and no, I got a mixed portrait of life as expressed there, but Chaim Grade is the exception, not the norm, when it comes to the way that society has been portrayed to me.

Anonymous said...

do you know who those rabbis were? what standing they had in their communities? were they main rabbis or not? were their towns typical shtetls?

this book is all about prostitution-did you learn about the prostitutes in america when you were taught history in school? cwhen they explained what america was like in the nineteenth century did they elaborate on it?

i dont think anyone ever tried to claim the shtetl was perfect-far from it-we have our problems and they had theirs-some the same-some different-and grade and such books are actualy the only ones rhat describe shtetl life and culture in detail-there are no others (artscrolls "the way it was" is more just a short biographies based on locale)

Anonymous said...

and peace is now and always will be-just have to type short right now-please read all this as if it wa said in a innocent friendly tone-cuz thats what it is

ilanica said...

Really interesting, Chana, and horrifying, of course. I'm not sure your reaction is TOTALLY justified...before we shatter our "romantic" vision of the shtetl shouldn't we at least at first try and understand, at least abstractly, what the proportion of joy-despite-hardship to tragically-twisted-horror actually was?

These things are never clear, and to respond to both this post and Tzvi, I would say that insulation is a system that breeds a lot of both terrible and wonderful things, and the terrible ones, though salient, do not capture the whole picture. I hope that's not an obvious point, but I would say to think of the unique communities (shtetls of times past or times current) as similar to the idea of dogma. The fact that humans experience this can mean either they are impassioned people of unshakable faith with a firm foundation from which to make sound judgments, be the foundations of Torah, or of morality, or humanism, or the inherent value of knowledge. Or such people can be bitterly stubborn dullards who have no sense of personally interpreting what they believe. How many dogmatic people are the former and how many are the latter? I don't know, but I certainly do not want dogma, in principle, to disappear. I hope the analogy is clear.

Chana suggested I might want to respond to you, Tzvi, since I have read the book you mentioned and find it fascinating (and live in a Chassidic community, although it IS crown heights): The book is true. Their experiences in no doubt happened and are as tragic and frustrating as they are portrayed. And yet there are other sides to these communities... surprising, fascinating, deeply moving and unique facets of these communities. I cant pinpoint why but somehow I know the bad and the good are both inescapable. Maybe one day someone much smarter than me can isolate the source of the bad as it is distinct from the source for the good. Until then, I can hope to protect myself and iy"H future family from those things that I recognize as destructive parts of the culture.

Whew! Chana! See what you get when you ask me to comment? :)

Chana said...

Anonymous 12 AM,

I'm glad about that (peace always); I cannot always tell from just words. Thanks...also, shouldn't you sleep? Or otherwise (don't misunderstand me, I beg of you) disappear...this robs you of your time...

Regarding prostitution, now really, do you think they are going to teach us this when we are in elementary school? The same way they teach us sweet, fluffy, happy Thanksgiving in grade school, without the smallpox blankets being given to the Native Americans, is the way they teach us regarding prostitution not happening. But sure, in my second high school, I got the whole drill; I was in no way trying to say that ONLY Jews did this to their own, just pointing out that this happened, which is both surprising and horrifying.

About the rabbanim, of course I don't know those things, and you know I do not know them, so I wonder why you ask... ;-)

About that regarding shtetl life described in books, but I have heard it described not in books but from the lips of people, and the way they speak, they wish we could all go back to being there...at least that is how it sounds...I just thought it is worth it to mention that nothing is ever without its difficulties (and God knows they had more than I can ever claim to comprehend, with pogroms and anti-Semitism and violence and hardship and poverty.)

But I think Ilana said it better than I can- Ilana, you rock, and I agree with you; you said it perfectly. Everything has its good and bad side; I just wanted to point out a side that not many of us would have necessarily imagined existed in Europe during the time of the shtetls. Could you have dreamed Jews would act so cruelly to their own? I would not have...

Anonymous said...

i wasnt suggesting you were saying that only jews do thi-my point was that the same way you werent taught this about other cultures-so too this-not just that pp have created a fantasy and want to teach that-

re the rabbis -im sorry if you thought i was trying to "get" you-all i was saying is that definitely more details are needed in order to decide what represents attitudes of rabbis and what doesnt

and well ya of course why sould something be true just bec ppl say it? ;)

Chana said...

Ah yes, so now it's my ignorance that condemns me ("the same way you weren't taught this about other cultures, so too this?" *insert smile*) Perhaps we shall judge people favorably in light of what we learned today and decide that indeed, this fantasy was not deliberately told over to me...it was accidentally suggested that everything is always better in Eastern Europe ;-)

Regarding the rabbis, I am sure no one agrees this is the ideal Jewish approach, only that this ended up being what happened, which is why no one intervened for these women.

But your last question is great- why would something be true just because people say it? But remember, it is not my nature to be a skeptic...I believe in fairies still ;)

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Oh yeah, something I wanted to mention about Shetlech: To the promulgators of orthodox Judaism the truth is most of the shtetles were surprizingly irreligious. I mean, aside from the fact that they were almost all either Communist Zionist or Yidishist or something, it's even reported that in places like Belz the wives of Rabbis went to the Yidish theatre on Friday night, so..(Avigdor Miller used to talk about this stuff).

Anonymous said...

i wasnt saying an accident-i was saying it wasnt taught about any cltures-certain schools dont teach the bad about any society-or at least certain problems


and no-all you see is that *certin* rabbis in *certain* cities reacted this way-you have no idea if this is representative of what went on

and yes that was my point;)

Chana said...

HaTzair,

Where does R' Miller say that? I reread Rejoice O Youth over Pesach...it's not in there...although I know, of course, he has plenty of books and tapes.

Anonymous,

Quite to the contrary, I know of schools that teach everything negative about American society and nothing negative about the Jews. But perhaps schools of the kind you describe, which teach nothing negative about any society at all, exist somewhere...I wonder where...

The truth is I think that the reason this was not taught to me is we never got up to Modern Jewish History in my class; we were on Second Temple Era at the very latest. But I am doubtful of how much exactly they would have revealed of Modern Jewish History to me; it would depend on the teacher. It is surprising how much revisionist history people can create...

And yes, your point stands; I am a person who believes people when they speak unless I have reason not to (and I believe in fairies and sunlight and other precious things) and so I shall stay...you can protect me and be the skeptic for me...

Anonymous said...

i wasnt saying it as a bad thing-just that not everyone is like you -and maybe the world would be a better place if they were

not that theres nothing bad taught-rather that what the teach is a "general picture" and not details and a study of the sins of that society

Anonymous said...

and im not saying that is a good thing-but thats just the case-and do they tey to give a certain image-yes -but the way they teach should never be taken as a description of the specific issues that were there

Chana said...

A pity, then, as both the sins and the accomplishments are what epitomize a society.

I'm just curious; had you known this before (about white-trafficking/ Jewish prostitution where men would "marry" shtetl girls, take them to a foreign country and then force them to become prostitutes?) It seems to be a tale that is largely unknown; I am not sure why...possibly because all of these people are dead now and since it is shameful, the would not have left survivors to tell their story. I don't think it is common knowledge by any means. You can surely imagine my horror upon learning of it, then, and my indignant reaction to the community and rabbanim (those that were were, *certain* rabbanim- I know) who chose to shun rather than welcome.

But this is something I know of already...my mother described to me that even Jewish women who were raped in her society in Uzbekistan were seen as damaged goods and the community would not take them back...so they were forced to remain with their Moslem rapists and "marry" them...my grandfather fought against that and demanded their reacceptance into the community.

(I am not presenting an argument, merely thinking aloud. Or musing, if you will.)

My point is only...whatever the specifics may be...the fact that this did happen is worth our consideration and sorrow for the women whose lives were horribly changed because of it.

Anonymous said...

yes i did know about this


and of course its horrible and should be known-that is not the point-rather than what does it represent about "shtetl life" in general-and the idea that pplb have for some reason-major aveiros occured obviously in judaism all throughout the course of history-why anyone would claim prewar europe is different is beyond me-so ya im with you that noone should paint that picture

what was said above re tone applies here as well of course

like i said-its not a good thing but just the case

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

I've been to a good amount of his speaches; admonishing people for their ill-founded nostalgia for eastern Europe was somewhat of a recurring theme by him (though thankfully most of his speeches were pretty novel). I'm happy he spoke of such things, but I do feel that Polish Jewry (more than any other) was like a microcosm of contemporary Jewry, and that if we want to understand today's problems we should seek out it's sources..

(and uh, my name is not "hatzair", but whatever).

Chana said...

Anon 1:43,

How in the world did you know about this? Had you read it before/ was it told to you? I'm really curious...

HaTzair Shlomo,

Hadn't known that was a theme by him, interesting!

Anonymous said...

1. ya i had heard about before (mostly pertinent to halachic discissions)
2.there was a book printed a few yrs ago-a novel based on this called 3 lives or 3 souls or something-didnt want to reference it cuz i didnt (and dont) remember the name for sure and will have to wait till i get to a comp-and then the newspapers in all the reviews all discusssed it

3.pick up any history of eastern european jewry in the late 19th centyry-its there

Y said...

The issue here, as Chana said, is not the location of the crime (shtetl vs. South America), but rather that Jews did this to Jews, that Jews too are people like anyone else and can be as righteous or evil as they choose, yes, despite standing at Mt. Sinai.

I might also note that as horrifying and disgusting as I found the actions of the pimps, I found the prostitutes' attempts to rise above their degradation (with Chesed Shel Emeth, etc.) equally inspiring. The strength of those women to snatch such humanity in the lowest of low places is awesome (in the non-colloquial sense).

Finally, if Chana's post didn't de-romanticize the shtetl life of Fiddler on the Roof, Sholem Aleichem's "Tevye's Daughters" (imagine italicization) might. In the movie, the family leaves for America before the second to last daughter falls in love with a rogue, gets her heart broken and drowns herself, as she does in the book. (I think Tzeitel ends up okay though).

Anonymous said...

pick up *any* history of the shtetl and yu wont get a romantic idea

Anonymous said...

and here is a book about it in hebrew

http://www.ybook.co.il/htmls/page_4615.aspx?c0=20132&bsp=13394&bss7206=13381,13381,13381,13381

Anonymous said...

and definitely check this out-
http://www.librarything.com/work/976243

Anonymous said...

http://www.scribd.com/share/upload/11181596/kw43tpp81177nj78xeh

Chana said...

Anon,

Thanks for the ScribD link and the book called Temeim. Did you really not notice that the book you linked to regarding the three souls is the very book I am reviewing in this post? You should read more carefully...

Rock on,
Chana

Anonymous said...

yes you are right-not sleeping a whole night can do that-i am truly embarrassed i meant tolink to just the other one- please erase that comment

Anonymous said...

i am terribly sorry really!

Talmid said...

The episode that caused Rav Goren's "Pesak Hadin beinyan he'ach ve'ha'achot" is not that different that what you're describing (or at least similar to what your mother told you), though it couldn't be labeled as prostitution.

And which moron decided that prostitution is a "victimless crime?"

Chana said...

Anon 4:52,

Chill, no worries; it is all good. Why haven't you been sleeping? ;-( I am sorry to hear that; I hope you fare better...please sleep.

Talmid,
Care to elaborate for the uninitiated- who is Rav Goren- what is that ruling...

Chana said...

Y,

She drowns herself? I had completely forgotten that...I remember reading Shalom Aleichem's stories and being horrified by the woman who smoked on Shabbat and played card games...couldn't wrap my mind around it...why was the woman smoking on Shabbat...

Anonymous said...

its just that on my phone browser the top gets cut off-so no title and beginning but i should have realized myself from the content-not sleeping caused the brain sludge that contributed to that not happening

that other link i put up from librarybooks might be something you would wanna read if you want to research this further

Chana said...

You didn't answer as to WHY you are not sleeping, sir. That is what I wanted to know...

Anyway, off to do last-minute makeup and other prettifications...you should come to the Tanakh Yom Iyun, for the record; it's this Sunday and I can give you excellent directions on how to attend different speeches than I do.

Anonymous said...

I couldnt pull myself away from an amazing game of Tiddlywinks that lasted a whole night.

Anonymous said...

I was not wondering-thats obviously how you knew-If I do not come it will not be for any other reason that time constraints

Chana said...

Tiddlywinks is a good reason not to sleep. I have never played, but it sounds fun.

You should figure out your time constraints and come anyway. It starts at 9:15 AM. Rabbi Cohen and Rabbi Carmy and other good people are speaking. And if you can't come for the whole day, come for the afternoon, for at least some part of it. I think you will enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Hey it was a joke-smile!

And trust me, if i have any chance to go i will-im dying to go for many reasons

Anonymous said...

Mazel Tov!

If I only would have known there was such a contest, I could have marked today on the calendar as "the day chana wins"-and this could have been written when the essays were submitted.

May you utilize your amazing array of talents for your good and the good of others, in the same way you have done till now. I am one of many who count themselves as being graced with your assistance and having been lucky enough to benifit from your abilities.

Chana said...

You should make a chance to come, not say if you have a chance to come. I would like you to meet some of my teachers in person...

Tiddlywinks was a joke? I was hoping it was true...

And see my newest post; you can be happy for me.

Anonymous said...

see above;)

Chana said...

Ah, I see you were happy for me without my even telling you to be...

I wrote myself into the story...it is a very sad story...I wrote the interpretation of the Ohr Yahel into that story too, and I gave the source for where I learned that, so people you know might be surprised that they are cited in the winning entry for Stern College's creative writing essay. ;)

Anonymous said...

I am celebrating in your honor right now, by smiling.

Anonymous said...

now i can smile devilishly as well!

gd gives people what they deserve, and lets many ppllaugh in the process

Anonymous said...

Of course it is deserved-like everything else you have accomplished. You are the ultimate learner/earner-you learn and thusly earn

Chana said...

Isn't it nice that they knew what I was thinking? To come comfort me and assure me that it was not unfair...that was kind.

Who would laugh in the process?

And if God gives us what we deserve, that also means that all the sadness He gives us is deserved...I prefer the idea that God gives us what we need in order to grow.

Thanks for the smile.

Chana said...

Question: Do you know a place where I can prove that the Sar Esav was actually the Satan? I just don't know where I should look- Medrish Rabba? Mechilta? Tanchuma? Somewhere else?

Anonymous said...

course they knew-you are always humble-im laughing cuz some people wouldnt volunteer to be mentioned with certain schools and i find it delicious when they are
and yes of course that does happen as well-but poetic justice can make me smile is all

Anonymous said...

and i do know its a clear midrash-give me a fe mnutes to find it

Anonymous said...

rashi succah 29a (samael is sar eisav)

see zohar naso p 124a

and zohar chadash acharei mos 47a

Chana said...

Thank you so much!

Ah, I am glad you find it delicious; I myself enjoyed mentioning all those ideas in the story and mixing them together.

If you could answer my question to my newest post, I'd appreciate it a lot...

Anonymous said...

there are cleare places iirc-will take another few -multitasking now-will do that and answer soon-sorry

Chana said...

LOL, I obviously meant when you had time!

Remember to come to the Tanakh Yom Iyun- or else... ;-)

Anonymous said...

but for now- i am surprised r brander didnt elaborate-teh SR has a 300 page sefer called "vayoel moshe" explaining his position-each issue is dealt with

Chana said...

Ah, so to explain that: You have to understand the lecture was given at 11:00 at night and people were very tired, so he himself said this was going to be a quick run-through and he could discuss all these issues much longer. He invited us to email him if we wished. As it was, we finished at about 12:00 (because we discussed this more in depth, with more anecdotes and stories than I provided.)

Anonymous said...

its an entire "sugyah" for each question its "they hold x and they hold y, they answer x like this and they answer y like that etc." whos right is anyone guess but no one ignores the questions-if someone claims they can explain it o one foot-id be more than skeptical;)

Chana said...

Also, if you could do me a favor and whenever you do have time to answer regarding the Satmar Rav- could you comment to that post? Because I'd like other people to see the sources as well; everyone should be able to learn equally (and people will not know to look here.)

Thank you!

Chana said...

Hey, Hillel explained the Torah to a man standing on one foot; from here we learn that people should at least try to explain rather than leave people completely in the dark until they have time to tackle 300-page books. I applaud his efforts and simply desire to know more.

Tit for tat ;)

Anonymous said...

and of course you would have been happy with hillels answer im sure- "oh thank you-mop more questions"

Anonymous said...

*no

Chana said...

What I would be happy with is not the same as what that gentleman was happy with...to each his own style of learning...each person needs a different way.

You know that: One teaches a person according to his way. Some people require a list of sources just to understand basics, and some people have time to look at things in a more in-depth fashion.

I am very happy that Rabbi Brander provided a rundown of basics for me, and now I wish to learn more. But I am very grateful to him.

We should only focus on the positive, my friend (as my father would say: Speak good of the Jews, Chana! And he would stop me if I ever criticized anybody- to tell me what it was that they have done well. It is important to focus on that, not on what is lacking.)

Anonymous said...

i wasnt criticizing just saying that you short explanations are sometimes very not useful so time will be needed-and btw the state of israel and aliyah are 2 dif things-and what the sr held-well each one gets an individual discussion and whar rzh kalisher held and the avne nezer as well is far from simple for starters (not to mention that this goes way back before the satmar rav-for starters id suggest this book
http://books.google.com/books?id=fTx2AAAAMAAJ&dq=Yakov+M+Rabkin&source=an&hl=en&ei=yMzzSaeLNZWqtgfE_4m-Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&pgis=1

Anonymous said...

that is for a basic discussion and a history of religious anti-zionism

Chana said...

Do me a favor, please- post the link to that in the comments to my post on the subject/ Rabbi Brander's speech. I don't want to be the only recipient of your knowledge; I am sure there are other people who are also interested in learning aside from me, and I want everyone to have the opportunity. Good by you?

I am amazed a book documenting that would cite Leonard Cohen- my friend in the IDF ADORES Leonard Cohen...he is his hero...

Anonymous said...

it doesnt go tit for tat with questions-more of basic points and a history-but ill post an amazon link

Chana said...

The more people who are learning, the merrier. Thank you ;) You are my hero.

Anonymous said...

then we do have a genuine case of hero-reflectivism

Chana said...

What does Hero-Reflectivism mean? Be my Websters, please ;)

Anonymous said...

a is b's hero and b is a's-

the famous here mirror effect

Anonymous said...

btw to me it looks like that class is a "defense"of rz-nothing wrong but thats why he leaves out all teh opinions who say not like that re r chaim cohen and the 3 oaths and that the avnei nezer is far more nuanced than that

Chana said...

Ah, thank you...that is a nice thing to say.

He didn't entitle it as a defense of Religious Zionism, but I hear you if you say that is so- I will definitely check out the book once I have done all the other homework I have yet to do.

Come tomorrow- I want you to meet Rabbi Cohen and Estee and other people whose intelligence you will appreciate...

Anonymous said...

i seriously would love to, but you must believe me when i say it might not be possible

huzzah! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chana said...

Well, I hope you can...but I shall believe you.

Chana said...

Huzzah!,

Yeah, I have no clue what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

same person-mistake on the identity

Chana said...

I meant I have no idea what you are referring to regarding Dr. Lamm's essay.

Anonymous said...

hw once wrote an article presenting th "other side" of the debate- as i am sure someone will quote i wanted to tell you that i find it odd and non comprehensive to say the least-i was surprised to tell you the truth but that was teh case

Chana said...

Okay, I don't know what that article is at all...but anyway, I have got to go establish the identities of the Satan, Samael and suchlike if I don't want to fail life, plus I need to try to get to bed at a reasonable hour because I have the Tanakh Yom Iyun which you are attending (I have decided) at an ungodly hour (I hate subways at ungodly hours of the morning, unless they are at 5 AM). So, rock on, and I have to go be Satanic now.

Anonymous said...

okay so see thechizkuni bereishis 32:7 and the daas zekeinim bereishis 35:1

Chana said...

Wait, why?! What is there- I don't have that on me- *insert panic attack*

Anonymous said...

nothing mch just some more sources that also write that sar shel eisav =samael

Chana said...

Okay, so how about this- in order not to fail out of school I am just going to write this already and if I ever plan on submitting it to a journal I'll have you rewrite it for me with absolutely everything...because right now I can't look at anything else; I'm in panicking mode...

Anonymous said...

no problem go run and write!

Chana said...

*insert crazed laughter here*

It's Chana gone mad...

Chana said...

Hey, so you know how you said that in Yalkut Vayishalch #133 it says Eliyahu will slaughter the Sar of Esav- did you mean the Yalkut Shimoni- or what did you mean - because I need that source.

Anonymous said...

yes yalkut shemoni

Anonymous said...

דוני יודע כי הילדים רכים א"ל יעקב אני רואה שיסורין עתידין לבוא מבניך על ילדי אלא נהוג אתה בשררותך ושמש בכתרך עד שיעמוד משיח מחלצי ויקבל המלכות ממך שנאמר יעבר נא אדוני לפני עבדו עד אבוא אל אדוני שעירה זה בית גוברין. דרש ר' אחא עתידין כל אומות העולם לבגוד במלכות הרביעית ולפנותה מבינם ואין מניחין לה לא כרך ולא מדינה ודוחין אותה מאומה לאומה עד שמגעת לבית גוברין ומוצאה שם מלך המשיח ומשלים לו המלכות ומנהן הוא בורח לבצרה ונגלה עליו הקב"ה להרגו והוא אמר ולא צוית ונס אל אחת הערים האל וחי והקב"ה משיב לו לא קראת מה כתיב בצדו גואל הדם הוא ימית את הרוצח. וכתיב בני בכורי ישראל וכתיב אחי ורעי וכתיב לבני ישראל עם קרובו וכתיב דודי צח ואדום וכתיב או דודו או בן דודו יגאלנו. מיד הקב"ה תופס לשרו בציצת ראשו ואליהו שוחטו ודמו נתז על בגדיו בחזרתו משם אומר מי זה בא מאדום וגו
from here
http://www.tsel.org/torah/yalkutsh/vayishlach.html

Chana said...

For the record, you should know, just in case I have not made it clear, you rock and I love you and you are saving my life here. I am not kidding. Why the hell do you know all this stuff; it is amazing.

Anonymous said...

just research is all-hope your paper is good as i must leave now-enjoy!

Chana said...

Hey, so listen- Yair was able to translate that Pirkei D'Rebbe Eliezer (is that what it is) that I didn't understand before- it is perfect! It is the missing piece I needed to link the fact that Elijah changes and it is his CHANGE which enables him to defeat the Satan...basically this is Eliyahu's transition period.

Is this the Pirkei D'Rebbe Eliezer? (and is this translation right)

Thank you so much- I really can't express how much-


~

TRANSLATION FROM YAIR

so as to the translation- R' Eliezer is trying to understand how eliyahu had the strength to walk for 40 days and nights with just a mere cake for sustenance

this is what troubles him that forces him to say the following:
God put him to sleep (I think this is what "Dormita" means in Aramaic, a metathesis of the Hebrew word "Tardema" - deep sleep)
and showed him how Moshe didn't eat/sleep for 40 days/nights

and at that very time, israel worshipped the calf
and even though he didn't eat for 40 days/night, he did not leave the heavens until god forgave them for the calf
"This is what you should do/how you should act", says god to elijah

furthermore,
note that my children are beloved by me, for they accepted my torah at mount sinai
and so it was with the power of that , the knowledge of the uniquness of israel and moses' self-sacrifice that elijah went on for 40 days/nights
"until [he reached] the mountain of god, mount sinai"

and r' yitzchak adds that eliyahu didn't budge from there until he swore before god to always speak the good of israel [i.e. judge them favorably]

Chana said...

Except Yair now says this is Midrash Ha'Ne'elam (The Disappearing Midrash) which I can find here.

Anonymous said...

it is a midrash haneelam-the radal is in his commentary to pirkei dirav eliezer

Anonymous said...

i hope its not too late but the best source for samael being sar of esav would be tanchuma vayishlach 7

Anonymous said...

damn damn and trie damn-i only became free now-and it seems its over at 2

Anonymous said...

so i guess i traipsed uptown for nothing

Chana said...

are you still here? now that you've traipsed uptown and all? and actually, it was over at 3- you could have come...

Izgad said...

We have someone here at Ohio State, Prof. Donna Guy, who deals with Jews in South America and prostitution.

The Talmid said...

Rav Shlomo Goren was Chief Rabbi of the IDF (who parachuted into the old city in '67) and later was Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shlomo_Goren)

In the case I sketch below, this man who was a goy married a Jewish woman, they were both from the same place in Poland. Whether he seduced her or used some force to get her, it seems her father had the local rav convert the man. They were married, though there seem to have been problems. They terminated their marriage without a get and both ended up in Israel.

The reason I brought this up is that details are sketchy, and she was not a prostitute. Was she taken advantage of like some of these women you discuss? Probably not. But read this case and you'll see the idyllic life of Shtetl incorrectly portrayed to kids is not too on the mark.

The case included:
There was a man who came to the beis din in Petach Tikva (?) because he wanted to get married. They asked him if he was married before, he said yes, they asked to whom, he told them, did you give her a get, no. They found she was married again (& widowed) and had two children from that later marriage. So the beis din paskened the children - a boy and girl (hence Rav Goren's title "ha'ach veha'achot") were mamzeirim and could not marry in the kahal.

Basically, later batei din tried to find a heter for for the children, but none was found, and the psak din by Rav Elyashiv, Rav Shaul Yisraeli and a third dayan is published in "Psak Hadin..."

Rav Goren later, after becoming chief rabbi, allegedly convened a new beis din to investigate the matter (but none of these other dayanim's identities were released to the public). He said the children (by this time adults) were not mamzeirim because the geirus on their mother's first husband was not good because he did many aveiros over the years and there were no witnesses that he ever converted (though that city in Poland, like so many others, was destroyed in the Holocaust, so how would they have witnesses for anything?) so she was never halachikly married to him. (Rav Goren seems to have opened a Pandora's box of nullifying conversions which is a big problem today.)

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Thanks for sharing the link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at curiousjew.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


Cheers,
Oliver

austinisler said...

How come there are no stories of jewish prostituts in WWII in europe? i've see quite a few of all other races.. why is that? i just can't believe there was'nt any at all..

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Viagra said...

Prostitution is such a terrible thing!

lonely translator said...

I am currently translating a very important book from German to English by Marin Pollack, an Austrian, on exactly the same topic and stumbled while researching on your blog. Unfortunately, this was by no means a small localized series of circumstances, but horrifically widespread. Read it if you can in German, as the translation is only an excerpt: it's called "Kaiser von Amerika. Flucht aus Galizien" only because I feel so powerless sitting here at my transltor's desk, and it would be at least a tribute to these women if more people read their story.

Elliott Broidy said...

Thanks for sharing this