Sunday, January 03, 2021

Rischa D'Araisa Season 2-Episode 18: Contemplating and Relishing Alternate Realities: President Trump - Rav Avigdor Miller Zt"l - Feinstein Family Fantasies

My partner, Reb Avremel, and I would like to solicit from our listeners other "alternate history" scenarios that you would be interested in our discussing on air. Please write or comment on this post. Thanks!

Rischa D'Araisa Season 2-Episode 18: Contemplating and Relishing Alternate Realities: President Trump - Rav Avigdor Miller Zt"l - Feinstein Family Fantasies

The forty-five minute episode deals with three interrelated subjects.

The Rabbis begin the program debating whether it is correct to equate the wild charges of voter fraud and claim of a stolen election by the President's staunch supporters with the four years of declaring Trump's victory illegitimate by the Democrats and the media. Bechhofer rejects the inexact comparison which if repeated enough, obfuscates the terrible management of the country under Trump's helm.

Kivelevitz pressures Bechhofer to admit to achievements wrought by the administration in relations with the State of Israel and the advancements of peace in the region. He also gets his co-host's agreement that the three Supreme Court justices nominated by Trump will act as a barrier from the encroachments on religious liberty that the zeitgeist is demanding.

The episode then segues into a critique of the published response of Rav Avigdor Miller Zt"l as to why God is referred to in exclusively masculine terms. The late Rabbi's words reiterate tropes about women's roles in society that are distressing for the modern ear.

Bechhofer offers a more palatable theological answer that aligns with a mystic, yet non-misogynistic point of reference, while Kivelevitz makes the 21st century(2021) case specifically for women heads of state and female police officers.

The program concludes with a response to a listener of last week's entry, where it was implied that the Torah landscape would have been considerably altered had Rav Nota Greenblatt become the son-in-law of Rav Moshe Feinstein Zt"l. Kivelevitz describes an intriguing counter-scenario to what was by inserting the x-factor of the Gadol from Memphis.


  1. What if...Rav Soloveitchik had actually been elected Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv in 1935?

    1. Cool! I think that one's even more intriguing than "what if RYBS had become YU president?"

      Flip it around -- one lady on the Tel Aviv committee wanted the Ponovizher Rav.... what if ... but that's bending the possibilities a bit too far.

      How about "what if R' Aharon Kotlar had gotten on that train to Moscow [not gotten off the train?] to study mathematics?" I suspect Synagogue Councils would still be a thing, as well as American Hebrew Theological University -- the latter itself a great what-if.

      Or if we want to get depressed, let's go the other direction -- what if Rav Moshe Feinstein had died as a young man (what did he have? Typhus?), rather than recovered and married Sima? (Presumably R' Henkin remains *posek America* for a few more years.)

      More simply -- what if young Dovid Feinstein of Usda had not been *redt* this wonderful Litvisha shidduch that sent him to Volozhin, and instead he'd remained a wonderful, very frum, Koidanover Chossid and presumably property manager?

      What if R' Elchonon Wasserman hy"d had survived [assume Baranovich also fled to Shanghai?]... would he have remained as anti-YU, would he have mellowed ... where would his *machaneh* have been ...

      I'm trying to reconstruct a path whereby R' Hirsch is still taught in Breuers' today, but I'm not sure what would have had to change in the middle. (Reverse what-if.)

  2. Kivelevitz has pathetically become PC & Emotionally correct
    How come so many are so nostalgic for the 1950s: that male dominant decade!?
    A Swedish ministry bureaucracy made it all women, no men allowed
    70% of employees are miserable. was a disaster

    prayer to open the 117th Congress ended with “Amen” and “Awoman”

    Give men more power not less and they will mature up to it


  3. THIS is what makes long term success for combat units and for police swat teams and impossible when co-ed:
    'what he missed is brotherhood. He missed, in some ways, the opposite of killing. What he missed was connection to the other men he was with. Now, brotherhood is different from friendship. Friendship happens in society, obviously. The more you like someone, the more you'd be willing to do for them. Brotherhood has nothing to do with how you feel about the other person. It's a mutual agreement in a group that you will put the welfare of the group, you will put the safety of everyone in the group above your own. In effect, you're saying, "I love these other people more than I love myself."

    Brendan was a team leader in command of three men, and the worst day in Afghanistan — He was almost killed so many times. It didn't bother him. The worst thing that happened to him in Afghanistan was one of his men was hit in the head with a bullet in the helmet, knocked him over. They thought he was dead. It was in the middle of a huge firefight. No one could deal with it, and a minute later, Kyle Steiner sat back up from the dead, as it were, because he'd come back to consciousness. The bullet had just knocked him out. It glanced off the helmet. He remembers people saying, as he was sort of half-conscious, he remembers people saying, "Steiner's been hit in the head. Steiner's dead." And he was thinking, "I'm not dead." And he sat up. And Brendan realized after that that he could not protect his men, and that was the only time he cried in Afghanistan, was realizing that. That's brotherhood.

    This wasn't invented recently. Many of you have probably read "The Iliad." Achilles surely would have risked his life or given his life to save his friend Patroclus. In World War II, there were many stories of soldiers who were wounded, were brought to a rear base hospital, who went AWOL, crawled out of windows, slipped out doors, went AWOL, wounded, to make their way back to the front lines to rejoin their brothers out there. So you think about Brendan, you think about all these soldiers having an experience like that, a bond like that, in a small group, where they loved 20 other people in some ways more than they loved themselves, you think about how good that would feel, imagine it, and they are blessed with that experience for a year, and then they come home, and they are just back in society like the rest of us are, not knowing who they can count on, not knowing who loves them, who they can love, not knowing exactly what anyone they know would do for them if it came down to it..'