Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why Obama?

Mossa'ei Shabbath Qodesh/Shemini Assereth 5770

President Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

"for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples"

Huh? When did he do this?

You can read the full press release here. Then please let me where my question is answered. Because I sure as heck can't figure it out. After all, the deadline for nominations was in February, only a couple of weeks after Obama was inaugurated.

So, what on earth did President Obama really do to be nominated? He gave speeches about what he wanted to do? He visited Iraq?

Nope. All he did to be nominated was that he was elected, a symbolic defeat and potential reversal of President Bush's foreign policy, America's Christmas present to Europe.
Nobel Shocker!
Ellen Ratner, FOXNews.com, October 9, 2009

...He [Obama] is just beginning his presidency and although he has moved in the direction of talking to pretty much everyone on the world stage he does not yet have a feather in his cap to show for his vision and dreams.

This morning's announcement is even more shocking on the eve of the president's important decision about whether or not to send more troops to Afghanistan. In fact, he is scheduled to meet with his war council later today! -- Perhaps the Nobel committee wanted to nudge him in the direction of adding more schools and hospitals to the region rather than more troops.

Ratner goes on to use the word "encourage," and cites several examples of winners, which support her notion of Nobel Committee nudging.

I agree with her completely.

Don't forget, that in addition to the high level of prestige which accompanies the prize, it also includes a cash award. In 2008, the amount was 10 million Swedish Kronor (about 1.4 million dollars). So, perhaps we can call Nobel Peace a bribe as well as a "nudge?" ...not that President Obama needs it.

Stay tuned for more of Obama pushing Europe's foreign policy agenda (ie. bad for Israel).

19 comments:

Mikewind Dale said...

If the idiocy of the world gets to you, at least there are others with whom you can commiserate: Shimshonit: Obama, Prince of Peace.

Ben-Yehudah said...

Qualification:

I do not support nor condone all of Shimshonit's views [as I believe you know], but she makes some good points regarding this matter.

Mikewind Dale said...

Oh, to be sure. I think that she and I could - more or less - be lumped together. Wherever you (dis)agree with her, you do the same with me, and vice versa.

Ben-Yehudah said...

Is she single? Maybe you should marry her then.

Find me a woman who knows that Arabs and Christians are our enemies, that Galuth has a great influence on the Jewish People today, and this must be combatted, and that it's her husband's job to instruct in halacha, not the other way around.

Know anyone?

Mikewind Dale said...

Nope, she's quite happily married. Double my age too.

Sorry, I don't know too many women in the first place, much less any meeting any particular requrirements.

Ben-Yehudah said...

OMG. Are you an "agist?" I cannot believe how close minded you, marginalized older women like that.

Are you so insecure that you can't date women who are twice as old as you are?

So, what if the gemara says not marry a women more than fur years older than you. They're silencing the feminine voice.

{major sarcasm, not at all serious}

mother in israel said...

It's her husband's job to instruct in halacha, not the other way around.


Please give a source.

Ben-Yehudah said...

Who said that there's a source?

I just said that's the kind of woman I'm looking for.

As far as a source goes, I do not, as a rule, discuss such halachic matters with women.

OK,...I'll bite, even though this halachic tells me not to tell you it:

Mishnah Torah, Hil. Talmud Torah 1:16 [13]

That's only one, of course.

However, I have no intention of arguing or discussing it with you. And, please, don't bother giving me that very tired argument about.

On a more practical level, women are pasuloth from most all eiduyoth.

Would you like a source for that?

Mishnah Torah, Hil. Eiduth Ch. 9

Ask a rav, and just a reminder. Rabbanim are men.

There are certainly matters on which women are experts. Every time I ask a rav, even a hacham, about talking the hallah, the response is always the same: "Ask my wife."

Some practical Kashruth matters, women may also be experts in.

Let me anticipate your response. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I don't putting words into other people's mouths.

I am only speculating.

"No wonder why you're not married."

Am I wrong?

Ben-Yehudah said...

Oh, and please don't bother with that tired ol' response about the Ramba"m speaking to his time.

The Ramba"m clearly was looking forward to Geulah, and made a point of telling us when we should feel free to move on from his [scientific] rulings.

Mikewind Dale said...

"Qualification:

I do not support nor condone all of ... [Esser Agaroth'] ... views [as I believe you know], but ... [he] ... makes some good points regarding ... [other] ... matter[s besides women in halakhah]."

:P

Ben-Yehudah said...

MD,

LOL.

:-}

mother in israel said...

I would never say to anyone "That's why you're not married." Of course I think it sometimes, but I know it's not really fair. After all, it only takes one.

At least you know what you are looking for. Good luck, and I mean that sincerely and not sarcastically.

The following questions are asked honestly. I am not trying to start a fight, and I'm not going to make fun of your answer on my blog.

It seems that you contradicted yourself, as rabbanim themselves that you respect say they rely on their wives for certain subjects. Do you see that as consistent with the Rambam's approach?

What if your wife knows a halacha you have never learned, and there's no possibility of asking a rav. Let's make it a halacha that applies equally to men and women, like Shabbat or brachot. Would you refuse to accept her instruction? Would you ask her to keep quiet next time?

Another question: Would you consider a learned woman for a wife? Or would you want to be the one to guide her in all halacha? Would you expect her to immediately begin observing halacha the way you have learned/been taught?

Well, you have said you will not answer or discuss this issue with me, but I am still curious and perhaps your readers are too.

Ben-Yehudah said...

First, let me I appreciate your response, and that I acknowledge that my initial defensiveness was completely unnecessary. I'll try to be less defensive in the future, but I can't promise perfection, obviously.

I would never say to anyone "That's why you're not married." Of course I think it sometimes, but I know it's not really fair. After all, it only takes one.

Like I said, I don't like to try to put words in other people's mouths. One of the reasons why is that I am often wrong at guessing anyway.

At least you know what you are looking for. Good luck, and I mean that sincerely and not sarcastically.

Thanks.

Ben-Yehudah said...

The following questions are asked honestly. I am not trying to start a fight, and I'm not going to make fun of your answer on my blog.

OK. I wasn't suspicious of you doing this or anything in the first. I also figured that you would have more interesting and important things to do than talk about me on your blog. ;-}

It seems that you contradicted yourself, as rabbanim themselves that you respect say they rely on their wives for certain subjects. Do you see that as consistent with the Rambam's approach?

A fair question. Yes, I do, but I could be mistaken. I am not an expert.

Ben-Yehudah said...

I see these more as practical matters, not necessarily as halachic ones. If a woman [or a man], who has been properly instructed, and keeping up to date on matters such as what bug eggs look like in fruit, legumes, or rice, or takes hallah every week, it just makes sense to trust their knowledge.

Whether we assume that the particular bug in question lived it's entire life in the fruit or not, or whether one needs to take hallah from various mixtures maybe completely different matters.

Likewise, when the Ramba"m says that one does not need to ask a rav whether one may violate Shabbath for the sake of an ill person, and even more so for a person life is threatened, rather one asks a physician, I see no reason why this would not include a female physician. Even more so, if the female physician is considered the expert amongst the other physicians in the town, one should listen to her over the male physicians.

I would go a step farther, I say we should listen to a midwife with regard to a women giving birth over a dermatologist who acknowledges his ignorance in this area.

Ben-Yehudah said...

These are practical/professional matters, not halachic ones per se. Whereas the decision that one must only listen to a medical professional and not to a rav is a halachic one. Obviously, not everyone holds like the Ramba"m.

[Last year in Tapu'ah there was to a brith milah on Rosh HaShanah, but the baby's eye's were yellowish. The Mohel refused to carry out the brith. Some went to the army base for the doctor, but he wouldn't come, as the baby was in no danger, and refused to rule on the matter. The nurses were then consulted. As I recall they agreed with the mohel. It didn't matter anyway. My point is that in one of the frumest, albeit non-Haredi, yishuvim in Yo"Sh, there was NO question that women could and should be consulted on this professional matter.]

Does this clarify my position, and my position on women in general? At least a little bit?

I'll have to check the Ramba"m for if he would rely on women. I want to say yes, and site the example of the midwife above, but don't want to make guesses. There are other practical matters he does cite, like accepting women's testimony over what takes place in a miqwah, etc.

Ben-Yehudah said...

What if your wife knows a halacha you have never learned, and there's no possibility of asking a rav. Let's make it a halacha that applies equally to men and women, like Shabbat or brachot. Would you refuse to accept her instruction? Would you ask her to keep quiet next time?

No. She should want to bring this issue up, as she cares about Torah, Shabbath, and misswoth, just not in front of guests. Likewise, a man should not point out an error or the like in his wife in front of anyone else either. Also, he may be wrong, and may have misinterpreted what his wife was doing, and needs to discuss it with her before knowing for sure. There is always room for discussion.

Regarding Shabbath, the matter is not rocket science. First of all they're are books. But let's say it's still not clear, or the books are not available. Safeq mid'Oraitha leHumra, Safeq mid'Rabbanan leQulah. Say, my wife says she remembers one should say HaEtz on a banana. I say no. This is d'Rabbanan, so I'll say HaAdama, knowing that we're covered, until I can ask a rav. She wants to say HaEtz, right or wrong, I can't stop her.

I can't think of a good Shabbath example. Maybe you can offer one. The above rule of thumb applies. If it's not clear there's a kosher eruv, I wouldn't carry. If my wife walked around the town that day, and personally saw that there was a fence around the town, 10 tefachim high, I don't see whether I why I wouldn't accept that for myself. I'm not sure what other example to provide.

Another question: Would you consider a learned woman for a wife?

Learned in Gemara? No. Probably not, and certainly not one who teaches it to other women. I don't think she would be mat'ima for me. I would be interested in a woman who would be interested in other things than gemara.

I know in many of the Ulpanoth, girls are taught specific sugiyoth relavent to the dinim they learn. I do not know this to be necessary. However, I am not familiar enough with girls' education to comment on this. Also, I know too many people who have ended up marrying spouses who did not meet some of the qualities on their lists, which they thought were super important. So, I have learned to be more open minded about the application of "lists of middoth."

Or would you want to be the one to guide her in all halacha? Would you expect her to immediately begin observing halacha the way you have learned/been taught?

I see it as a gradual process, and something important to work out as much as possible before deciding to get married. There are several couples I'd like her to meet, as I am sure she would like me to meet {and get checked by} couples important in her life. My rav and his wife {an attorney, BTW, and independent} are two people I'd want her to meet.

Well, you have said you will not answer or discuss this issue with me, but I am still curious and perhaps your readers are too.

I said I would not discuss halachic matters, as a rule. I only see that you've raised mostly practical matters.

For example, should a woman follow her husband's customs? May be one of halachic importance, but it is also one of practical importance.

Let me know if I didn't answer all of your questions.

mother in israel said...

Okay, don't know why I missed it. You answered my questions, and you're not as intransigent as your original statement indicated to me. I don't think anyone should set you up with a Nishmat graduate, but there are plenty of fish in the sea!

Ben-Yehudah said...

...or Drisha, Pardes, Hartman, etc. ;-}

I mean that's my whole point. The woman who doesn't agree with me, shouldn't marry me.

On the other hand, I have heard of many people who end up marrying spouses they never thought they would marry. So, you never know.

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