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RK: Your changes are mostly good, but I would keep some mention of "semicha" (along with an explanation of what it actually is). And also the test criteria put there by Ezra, although I guess the criteria should be attributed to the group they issue from, with maybe criteria of those other groups that have criteria added.

Also, from the perspective of a non-Jewish non-Hebrew-speaker, I find entries on things such as poskim interesting, so long as the meanings of all those words is explained, and the word denotes a concept specific to Judaism, as opposed to just the Hebrew word for such and such. --- Mon.


RK, it seems there's a fair bit of overlap between this article and Rabbi. Don't you think a reference will do just fine? JFW | T@lk 02:38, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
JFW: I think your question has merit, but there is a not-so-subtle difference between "rabbi" and "poseq". The rabbi teaches, the poseq decides. The difference is similar to that between a supreme-court judge and a local legal-counsel (lawyer). For this reason alone, the two terms deserve separate treatment, IMHO. Tomer TALK 09:09, Apr 18, 2005 (UTC)

Legal systems[edit]

I removed the link to legal systems because, having followed my own link, it became clear that the role of case law and precedent differs by system - particularly civil law based systems as compared to common law based systems (see also stare decisis). I think it would be interesting if a lawyer or a student of jurisprudence would write about this here and / or in the Halakha article. Perhaps the legal systems article should also be linked to the Halakha article. Fintor talk December 5 13:44 UTC

Reconstructionist and Reform, and Jewish Law[edit]

I made 2 changes, I hope they are uncontroversial. Firstly, reform & reconstructionist do largely believe that e.g. the ten commandments have binding and normative character, so I felt it wasn't quite correct to say they don't accept Jewish law (implying any Jewish law) as binding.. only those on the extreme progressive wing, or in the very early days (19th century) of the Reform movement, might take that attitude. Second, it's true that Reform/Reconstructionist rabbinic training doesn't emphasise as much study of poskim and dinim, but I didn't agree with the reason given. After all, these movements believe that each individual must live by rules, which they derive, by whatever process, from the words of the Torah and the Oral Law, and this in my view constitutes a normative approach to law which Reform rabbis study profoundly (including study of traditional Jewish din). Feedback welcome. Zargulon 01:51, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Some minor changes[edit]

I wrote "Rabbi" in front of R' Yosef' and R' Eliashiv's names, and added that decisions by the Conservative board of rabbis are somewhat respected in the Reform and Reconstructionist community but do not carry any signicance for Orthodox Jews, who do not recognize their authority. --Daniel575 19:56, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Removed "do not carry any signicance for Orthodox Jews, who do not recognize their authority" because this is implied... Fintor 06:50, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
Agree with removal and reason Zargulon 07:26, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Merge with Halakha[edit]

I do not think that the articles should be merged, similar to the way Ecclesiastical court and canon are now separate. Avi 20:20, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

If no one disagrees, I will remove the merge tags. Avi 15:28, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Hi: Please follow Wikipedia protocols: Latest comments are placed at the bottom of the talk page, so there is at least some sort of order and chronological continuity (a "descending order"). This can be automatically and easily done if you click on the "+" sign at the top of each talk page, if and when you want to add new comments. Thank you. IZAK 16:36, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Posek HaDor[edit]

Regarding Askenazic Jewery in the US, wouldn't HaRav Dovid Feinstein be considered the Posek? Avi 20:20, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

LOL. Amongst the Haredim (which make up the overwhelming majority of the people who care what a Posek has to say), Rabbi Dovid Feinstein is considered more of a person to actively avoid than follow. Basically, any question of merit is almost always kicked straight over to Eretz Yisrael. PhatJew 09:16, 27 April 2006 (UTC)


The problem with "decisor" is that there's no such word. It's not that the people who translate it that way are think it means something different, it's that they're making up a word for the same thing that everyone else says it means. -- Zsero (talk) 13:02, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm trying to find the history on where the term and concept of the Posek came from? How does one become a Posek? What is the first known usage of the term? Is there a difference in Orthodox Judaism between the opinion of a rabbi and the opinion of a Posek? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Sheva na in plural form[edit]

I'm sorry if this has been dredged up ad nauseaum before, but shouldn't we transliterate the plural form as 'Posekim'? The sheva under the samech is clearly na according to the classical rules. Savant1984 (talk) 03:08, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

  • I agree, I'm doing it. Zargulon (talk) 10:44, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
  • What about the schwas in psak and piskei din? Zargulon (talk) 10:50, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
    • In pesak, for sure (I only mentioned posekim b/c I've seen it in other articles and has been an issue bothering me in the non-Wikipedia world too, but wasn't sure it was something I felt safe being bold about ;) In Piskei din, the scheva is merachef and unpronounced according to my teachers (R' Shlomo Zacharow and R' Dr Joel Roth). Savant1984 (talk) 10:54, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Ok. My one reservation is that although the correct transliteration from Hebrew is certainly "Posekim", it may be that the main provenance of the word in English is not from Hebrew but from Yeshivish/Yiddish, where I have always heard it pronounced "Poskim". Compare also "tal'leysim" as opposed to the correct Hebrew "talli'tot", etc, etc. Zargulon (talk) 10:59, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
    • For sure -- 'I'm using the Yiddish word' is how I justify saying things like 'shabbes'. :) Nevertheless, in Wikipedia articles on Judaism (at least not specifically Ashkenazi ones) it seems that we ought to use Hebrew as the technical and universal language of the Tradition, and transliterate consistently. Savant1984 (talk) 11:07, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Gr8.Zargulon (talk) 13:25, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Even though the shva is indeed "na", but neither in Hebrew, nor in the traditional pronounciation (which is with a short "o") that "na" is used. Since usage is therfore strictly without it, I have reverted poskim -> posekim back to poskim. Debresser (talk) 16:38, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what 'the traditional pronunciation' means, Debresser. In the Yiddishised form I hear, the cholam remains a cholam, which is what I take as more or less universally the long O (turned into a dipthong in certain Ashkenazi dialects) and not a komotz (kamatz katan in Modern/Sephardic), which I take to be the 'short o'. In any event, the sheva becomes nach in such a case because the accent is shifted to that syllable in the Yiddishised form. In regards to usage in Hebrew, the fact that Israelis are sloppy about their pronunciation is no reason to transliterate incorrectly. Adaraba, im cen -- on the contrary, by that argument -- we should spell 'your' as 'yer', 'where' as 'wayr' etc. Appropros of this, does anyone know if there's a dispute tag for the orthography of word passim? Reverted. Savant1984 (talk) 16:46, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
By "traditional" I meant Yiddish, and in Yiddish (not Yeshivish) it is most asuredly "poskim" with a short "o". And even though the Israelis are sloppy with the shva na, that is the rule, and the only exeptions are a handfull of 70+ Yemenite Jews who never got used to Israeli Hebrew. Sorry, but such are the facts. This is a clear case of practise becoming so universal as to be rule. Debresser (talk) 16:52, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
If the point of our transliteration is to reflect popular usage, then you are in fact correct. If it is to translate according to the grammar (and there is no cogent grammar whatever implicit in popular Israeli usage), then there can be no question that 'e' is correct. Again, it seems to like you're simply arguing for using an orthography which tracks how people talk. That's not something we would ever do with Latin-alphabet words; can you imagine writing in Wikipedia French words according to English prounciation rules for how Francophones actually say them? Why should we do that with Hebrew words? Savant1984 (talk) 16:58, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but at this moment I am not interested in the philosphical discussion. The shva is "na", but the pronounciation of the shva na is otherwise. And that is factual enough to be official. Debresser (talk) 17:16, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Fine, but given that 'na' means 'pronounced', it just seems to me that what you've said is a contradiction in terms. That doesn't strike me as merely 'philosophical', but yes, factual, and most certainly 'official' (i.e., I'm almost certain the Academy agrees with me). Savant1984 (talk) 22:03, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Savant's argument is good enough for me. Things are not always spelt the way they are pronounced, and that is "factual enough to be official"! Zargulon (talk) 09:20, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
This argument evidently hasn't been considered till its logical continuation: the English spelling is "psak" and not "pesak" and Wikipedia should not try to fix the world. Debresser (talk) 10:58, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't really think that 'psak' can be considered a word in English sufficient that it has an 'English spelling'. It's a transliteration, and one that in the case of 'psak' can only be pronounced by vocalising an e there anyway, written or not. Savant1984 (talk) 11:08, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
There must be tens of thousands of Jewish books and books about Judaism in the English langauge. Not to mention articles on the web. Your claim that "I don't really think that 'psak' can be considered a word in English" proves its first part rather than the second. Compare also on the Internet,,, etc. Debresser (talk) 12:16, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
This argument evidently hasn't been considered to its logical conclusion. Google gives the same order of magnitude number of hits for "pesak din" and "psak din", indicating that people are transliterating the word according to their personal preference. Wikipedia should be internally consistent, that is not called "fixing the world", it is called "being a good encyclopedia". Zargulon (talk) 12:50, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
What do you mean? "psak din" is more than 10 times more common according to Google than "pesak din"! Debresser (talk) 13:01, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I searched without quotes.. searching with quotes is probably more appropriate, so I agree with your findings. It doesn't change the argument though. Zargulon (talk) 14:17, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
To say that 'psak' is the more common spelling is to beg the question, Debresser. We agree that people are not makpid/careful/correct in pronouncing or transliterating Hebrew. With this singular form, the point is that on *no* account can it be pronounced as written, and therefore on *no* account is 'psak' a correct transliteration or even Anglicisation. Further, to say that the word is being Anglicised by its use in the references Google reaches seems dubious to me, although granted not totally implausible. Savant1984 (talk) 16:49, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but "pask" is the way everybody pronounces it, both religious the world over and in modern Hebrew, and it is the way it is transliterated into English as Google shows (including authorative webistes and books), and as you can see in Shva that is the way it should be. Anyway, do not insist on changing the article unless you find consensus. Debresser (talk) 19:23, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
The google data merely shows that "psak" is a common mistransliteration, as opposed to a rare one. Please clarify what you are refering to in the Shva wikipedia article that supports your view, since I can't find anything at all outside the irrelevant "Modern Hebrew" section. Zargulon (talk) 22:59, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
It is precisely this section which I find most relevant, and which says precisely what I have been claiming here. Debresser (talk) 23:34, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
A "mistranslation" which is over 10 times more widespread clearly impels use to apply the first rule of Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English): "The title of an article should generally use the version of the name of the subject which is most common in the English language, as you would find it in reliable sources". Debresser (talk) 23:45, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
First, the source of the sheva rules in the Modern Hebrew section is hardly reliable for these purposes, being a guide for speech-reading support systems by a university professor. What rules aid in speech-reading support systems for hear impaired students are by no means those rules which actually govern how Hebrew words ought to be pronounced. That is decided -- if by anyone with reference to Modern Hebrew! -- the Academy of the Hebrew Language. Second, Google searches do not prove what is the most common spelling in reliable sources about pesak. Indeed, again, there's an element of question-begging here: given that even you concede that the sheva is na, for a source to transliterate it so blatantly incorrectly speaks against is reliability. Third, I have never heard anyone try to turn the pe and samech in speech into something like a tsade as you seem to be claiming. The sheva would certainly never be mistaken for a segol, but it is heard. Third, to quote from our naming conventions: 'Names not originally in a Latin alphabet . . . must be transliterated into characters generally intelligible to literate speakers of English.' This clearly requires rendering a sheva na with an 'e'. Further, 'Established systematic transliterations (e.g. Hanyu Pinyin and IAST) are preferred.' Transliterating Hebrew words into English essentially according to Latin phonetic rules is the widespread convention outside of academia or prayerbook transliteration (as is incredibly easy to prove by Googling synagogue names: Eternal Light is 'Ner Tamid', House of Prayer is 'Beit Tefilah', etc.) Savant1984 (talk) 02:44, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
  1. "What rules aid in speech-reading support systems for hear impaired students are by no means those rules which actually govern how Hebrew words ought to be pronounced" Really?
  2. "turn the pe and samech in speech into something like a tsade as you seem to be claiming" What?
  3. "This clearly requires rendering a sheva na with an 'e'." I'd say this Wikipedia guideline clearly requires rendering a word the way it is usually written as well as spoken!! Debresser (talk) 06:25, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
  1. Really. Heck, speech-reading support systems would actually require a radically different transliteration from what either of us advocates for English Wikipedia!
  2. You seem to me to be saying that people really don't vocalise any vowel sound at all under the the pe, that it's like the 't' sound in a 'tsadi'. I've never heard that. As above, I always (it seems to me) hear the sheva na under the pe.
  3. My point is that writing 'psak' is not only contrary to any systematic academic transliteration system, it's contrary to the standard convention for non-academic transliteration for proper nouns and other Hebrew words being used in English.
Further -- something I forgot to mention before -- Modern Hebrew here really is irrelevant, as is Yiddish. 'Pesak' is neither a specifically Israeli (or even Modern) nor Ashkenazi topic. It's an element of the Tradition, and the normative, grammatical, historical rules are absolutely clear that the sheva, as you yourself has conceded, is na. Savant1984 (talk) 12:54, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I disagree- the guideline refers not to the "word" but to the "characters", and the the way to make the characters intelligible to literate speakers of English is to follow an established systematic transliteration. Zargulon (talk) 10:26, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
The established way to render the word "psak" is without the "e", both in speech as well as in writ, both factually as well as according to the rules. A word is more than the sum of its characters... Debresser (talk) 11:27, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Please refrain from argument by assertion. Zargulon (talk) 11:59, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I have proven all of my assertations above. It is you who refuses to accept the facts. Debresser (talk) 12:08, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
They are proven facts only within your fantasy world, with its imaginary "establishment"... Zargulon (talk) 16:59, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Debresser. I have often found that the "language experts" on Wikipedia insist on spellings which are used only in scholarly books (e.g. halakha, semikhah), or which are so condensed and devoid of vowels as to be unidentifiable (e.g. shmita). Since scholars are probably not looking things up on Wikipedia, I suggest that our users are the everyday folks who say things like psak and poskim. I could offer a compromise: p'sak with an apostrophe would acknowledge the shva while not messing up the English pronunciation. Many readers would go ahead and pronounce your renderings of pesak and posekim totally the wrong way. Yoninah (talk) 13:40, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

I'd go along with that, if we decided to make academic transliteration the standard, with redirects in place and a short explanation of common spelling/pronunciation at the beginning of articles. I'm not sure how, however, someone would read the spellings I'd proposed in 'totally the wrong way'. At worst, someone might pronounce the sheva in 'pesak' somewhat longer than it ought to be, or else put the accent there. Mis-accenting Hebrew words, though, is a problem for almost any method that might be proposed. With 'posekim', at seems at worst that people would think the 'e' just made the 'o' long. This would actually lead to people pronouncing it Debresser's way! Spelling it 'poskim', however, might lead people read the 'o' as short, why is wrong in every Hebrew pronunciation I know (though my knowledge of different Ashkenazi pronunciations of cholam is quite limited), though it might be correct Yiddish. Savant1984 (talk) 14:03, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm just speaking from my experience as a Jewish book and newspaper editor. Pesak could be read as "peh-sak", with the accent on the syllable of one's choice (it could even be construed as a misspelling of Pesach!), and posekim looks like "poh-sek-eem". Yoninah (talk) 16:53, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd be happy with your compromise Yoninah but I seriously disagree with your arguments.
  • I am a scholar (not of Hebrew, nor a language expert) and I use wikipedia to look things up all the time in my field of research.
  • Your idea that the people who write things like "psak" and "poskim" are hockey moms whose prejudices we have the duty to affirm while deriding language scholars with scare quotes is kinda weird attitude to bring to an encyclopedia in my opinion. In any case I don't see what harm is done by exposing your everyday people to systematic transliteration.
  • The compromise leaves unaddressed the question of whether transliterations in Wikipedia should be systematic. It is pretty obvious to me that they should, Savant gave an excellent argument that one doesn't transliterate French words how French people say them e.g. Bojoukh instead of Bonjour. Zargulon (talk) 16:59, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Reply to Zargulon's point 2: C'mon, do you think hockey moms know what poskim are??? I'm talking about Jews in the yeshiva world, baalei teshuva, and interested Jews for whom the internet is a source of Jewish information. When they hear "poskim" from a rabbi and see "posekim" in print, it comes across as unnecessarily scholarly, IMHO.
Reply to Zargulon's point 3: I also agree that things should be systematic. As I mentioned above, there are way too many discrepancies in spelling on Jewish pages. No one has set a standard for yes "h" for final hei or no "h" for final hei (e.g. yeshiva and halakha vs. sukkah and semikhah); old-fashioned English vs. modern Hebrew spelling (e.g. beth midrash, beth din); and outright mistakes (e.g. Haredi instead of "Charedi"). I appreciate your idea to establish a system and stick to it. Yoninah (talk) 19:05, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm basically in favour of the compromise as a step toward adopting a systematic academic transliteration scheme as the primary one, with explanation of other spelling and usages. My objection to Debresser's model is that it actually intentionally misrepresents how the words ought to be pronounced in favour of how people do tend to pronounce and spell them (incorrectly). Savant1984 (talk) 18:14, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Another germane example is the standard transliteration of Japanese final 'su'. The common Japanese expression "arigatō gozaimasu" (meaning "thank you very much") is normally pronounced "a'rigatō go'zaimass". Nonetheless because of the orthography in Japanese, which uses the "su" character (す) to represent the end of the word, all systematic Japanese-English transliteration schemes so far represent the end of the word as "su". This has the undesirable effect that English people who have never heard Japanese spoken or been taught to pronounce it will say "arigatō gozaimasoo" (stressing arbitrary syllables). But this is more than outweighed by how it helps everyone else to picture the Japanese orthography. Zargulon (talk) 19:43, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
BTW, "shmita" is another example of a shva na at the beginning of the word that is not pronounced. Like "psak". And there the usage "shemita" is even less used, about 1:16 to "shmita". Really, no reason to make concessions to academic niceties. The figures speak for themselves: 1:10, 1:16. Conclusion, there is no shva na at the beginning of the word in spoken Hebrew and therefore neither is it accepted in English. We should take these facts into account. Debresser (talk) 20:23, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
There are no figures that say that shevas in pesak and shemita are not pronounced. There is no reason to make concessions to Debresser's non sequiturs and imaginary facts. Zargulon (talk) 20:30, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
With an initial 'shin' there are at least some grammarians on whom to rely in treating the sheva as nach. Again, though, I have never heard and have trouble imagining the sheva under the pe not being vocalised. Savant1984 (talk) 20:26, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

The only really relevant matter here is that the common English usage is "psak", not "pesak". Wikipedia doesn't "correct" common transliterations, it replicates them. Also, "pesak" is more likely to be pronounced as if it had a segol underneath it than a shva, and likely with the emphasis on that first syllable. As an alternative, you could use "p'sak", which will most likely produce the correct pronunciation. Jayjg (talk) 20:32, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Further, Debresser, your insistence on the decisiveness of usage frequency is very opaque to me when you yourself concede that the shevaim are really naim. I would be that by 10:1 people think that for food to be 'kosher' means that it's 'blessed by a rabbi'. Should we report that in the article on kashrut, even though we know it's wrong, because that's what most people say? Why should how to pronounce a word be any different? People who know the rules of kashrut know what it is; so too people who know the rules of Hebrew pronunciation know what it is. Again, especially with reference to Jayjg's comment, I don't object to us switching to a more academic system, I just object to transliterating intentionally the wrong pronunciation. Savant1984 (talk) 20:35, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
"There is no reason to make concessions to Debresser's imaginary facts." Come on, Zargulon, have a walk on King George Street, Jerusalem, or enter any yeshive. If you don't know what you're talking about, why spew out nonsense? The word is "psak", and anybody knows it. No "statistics" are needed, because you can simply listen to people yourself. So what, that they are naim? Grammar is one thing, and pronounciation and English are other things. Wikipedia guidelines are very clear, that we should use the spelling, which is most common in English. Period. Debresser (talk) 20:44, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Debresser, please refrain from argument by assertion, references to bodily functions and other ravings. Zargulon (talk) 20:53, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Jayjg - I'm not sure I agree that the priority should be to adopt the transliteration which is most likely to result in the correct pronunciation. I see more of an analogy with spelling, where common usage is often both that which is likely to result in the correct pronunciation and also completely wrong! Isn't it exactly the role of scholars to come up with a transliteration scheme which balances the competing goals of pronunciation, etymology and native orthography, and the role of Wikipedia to be faithful to such a scheme - just like spelling? Anyway for the moment the apostrophe solution works but I hope it will be part of a system which is stuck to. Zargulon (talk) 20:53, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I am not using argument by assertion. Go and check! Let it be noticed, that nobody disputes the facts I bring. So why insist on a technical rendition of characters that has no connection the the word? Debresser (talk) 20:56, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Debresser: Savant and I explicitly dispute your assertions, we have both heard the sheva of p'sak voiced. Please review WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. Zargulon (talk) 21:19, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Zargulon: I think the apostrophe cannot be adopted across the board, but on a case-by-case basis. Surely you don't intend on spelling it Sh'ma, Sh'mita and Sh'moneh Esrei? Yoninah (talk) 21:03, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Why not, actually? The only reservation again being commonality of usage, which tends toward straightforward transliteration into Latin, as mentioned above. Once again, though, Debresser doesn't dispute the facts I've brought, notwithstanding bizarre insistence that the sheva in 'pesak' is actually not pronounced (whatever that would even sound like) and that the rules of Hebrew pronunciation have no connection to the word. Savant1984 (talk) 21:10, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree. I'd be happy to accept transliterations which are consistently found in English-language dictionaries. Other shevas could be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, but each case should be resolved systematically, rather than as tug-of wars between what people are most familiar with. I have no problem with the spellings you suggested, Yoninah, in fact some of them look familiar. Zargulon (talk) 21:25, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I would have to agree; "Sh'ma", for example, gets almost 200,000 google hits, so it's widely used. Jayjg (talk) 21:49, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
What facts? That it is gramtically a shva na? So what? In English there are no rules for pronounciation either. "Enough" is pronounced as though it were spelled "enuf". So you'd propose starting to spell it that way. That is precisely what you are saying here! Debresser (talk) 21:15, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Zargulon and Savant1984. Please stop trying to educate people here. That is not our purpose in Wikipedia. Especially since your opinion regarding how to educate is being challenged. Debresser (talk) 21:12, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Debresser - please refrain from using the royal "we", your majestic status remains controversial. What exactly is your purpose in Wikipedia, out of interest? Zargulon (talk) 21:22, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Please do not be childish. "Royal we"... Debresser (talk) 21:23, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Debresser, please discuss article content, not other editors. Zargulon (talk) 21:27, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Who wrote that post at 21:22 discussing my tone instead of arguments? Please do not accuse me of what you are doing yourself. Debresser (talk) 21:41, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
The post you refer to was not "discussing your tone", it was asking you to refrain from making arguments from authority, I am happy to have clarified this. Zargulon (talk) 21:44, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Zargulon, as I understood it, the argument for using "pesak" was that it was the "correct" transliteration, likely to induce readers to use a proper sh'va na when saying it. My point was that it was more likely to produce an incorrect pronunciation (something like the way an English speaker might say "Pesach"), and that if that were the only consideration, then "p'sak" is the transliteration most likely to produce correct pronunciation. For that matter, English speakers almost invariably insert a sh'va na between the "p" and "s" when reading the word "psak". The least helpful transliteration in this case is "pesak". Combine that with the fact that "psak" is vastly more common usage, and it becomes clear that "pesak" is not a good transliteration to be using here. Jayjg (talk) 21:46, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

You are right, I don't think I expressed myself very clearly. Zargulon (talk) 21:49, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
In an attempt to summarize here, I think we're agreed that popular pronunciation as well as academic spelling are both going to be included in the article lead. The question is which spelling takes precedence as the title? May I suggest that we open this discussion to the larger community of Jewish editors to iron out a consistent policy for all articles? This project would also address the abovementioned discrepancies in spelling words ending in hei with or without an "h", and also deal with other sheva nas, like Selichot (S'lichot?). Yoninah (talk) 21:50, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
We might well find it impossible to come to any rules. We'll probably have to stick with ad hoc solutions. E.g. "semicha" is a lot more common than "smicha", while "slichot" and "selichot" are appr. the same. And these are all examples of the same case! Debresser (talk) 21:56, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Popular pronunciations should certainly be noted, but shouldn't we use IPA for that? Transliterations are a slightly different question from pronunciations. By the way as a side note for these google searches we are all doing, I would suggest that spellings with apostrophes will be artificially downweighted and will appear less popular than they really are because of how google deals with apostrophes and because apostrophes can't be used in web addresses, filenames and certain other contexts.. just bear that in mind! Zargulon (talk) 21:59, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I also am not in favor of apostrophes. Only to divide vowels, like "Har Gilbo'a" we should consider their use. Debresser (talk) 22:14, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I *am* happy with apostrophes (while respecting disagreement). I was just saying that if we were using google to compare popularity of "p'sak" versus "psak", "psak" would have an unfair advantage and we should realize this before drawing any conclusion from google! Zargulon (talk) 22:21, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

I essentially agree with Yoninah. There are at least two widely used academic transliteration systems we can use, and as I've indicated before in this discussion, this is of course a matter going well beyond the scope of this article. Again, the only thing I am steadfastly against is intentionally transliterating an incorrect (however popular) pronunciation. Savant1984 (talk) 01:11, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Whoa, Debresser, I don't think we reached consensus here to go back to the pre-discussion spelling. If anything, it seems that (your dissent excepted) we reached consensus to use apostrophes. Savant1984 (talk) 03:52, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

We should not try to establish any general rules here. An article's talk page is hardly the right place for that. But it does seem clear to me that apart from the two editors who tried to push that misconception, everybody agrees that it is "psak". And even without that, you can not ignore the findings of Google and a goodly number of websites, who disagree with your academic arguments. Debresser (talk) 04:23, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry if I'm just not seeing it, but I can't see anything like 'everybody [Zargulon and I excepted] agrees that it is "psak".' I see everybody except Debresser conceding to "p'sak". That we can't make the that the general rule for all articles from here is certainly true, but it does seem to me that that is the consensus for this article. Savant1984 (talk) 12:46, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
  • That is what I see as well. I think it would be reasonable to carry "p'sak" and "posekim" forward to other articles which use the term, and also try to identify some transliteration system which would apply to other words. Zargulon (talk) 15:50, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
It is the two of you again, making up "consensus". That was a ridiculous idea, and anyway it has no consensus and was brought just as a suggestion. I will tell you only one more time before taking you to WP:ANI: there is no consensus for your changes to the spelling in this article! Debresser (talk) 04:02, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Debresser, please consult WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. Zargulon (talk) 11:11, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Savant and Zargulon, could you explain to me why there's an apostrophe in the plural form? As far as I know, the sheva is silent in poskim. My suggestion was only for the singular p'sak. Yoninah (talk) 11:19, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Yoninah - sorry - I thought your suggestion covered both. As I see it the issue is not whether the sheva in the word in question is silent (clearly some people make it silent in their pronunciation as you testify, and some people voice it, as Savant and I testify). The issue is that Savant and I think the transliteration should reflect the fact that the sheva is grammatically categorized as na, whereas you and others think that the transliteration should be based on pronunciation only. What was suggested is that "pos'kim" is a good compromise between these two viewpoints, since people could still reasonably read that with a silent sheva pronunciation, which according to you is how the word is pronounced. Does that make sense? Zargulon (talk) 13:23, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it makes sense, and it is a compromise, so I'll go along with it. Yoninah (talk) 15:38, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to argue to the contrary for four simple and conclusive reasons: 1. spelling these words with an apostrophe is not accepted in English at all (and so is unacceptable according to Wikipedia guidelines that say to use accepted spelling and to prefer the most well-known) 2. it is confusing, because the apostrophe is already used in transliteration of Hebrew words for dividing vowels that are part of two syllables (like "No'ach") 3. this talk page is not the right place to form consensus regarding Hebrew spelling 4. it ignores the fact that this is not a faithfull rendition of the actual pronounciation (which is as though the shva were nach). Debresser (talk) 16:17, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Debresser, please review WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. Zargulon (talk) 16:19, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Look, Debresser, I agree with you. I edit Jewish books for a living and write psak and poskim all the time, and insert apostrophes only between vowels (like sha'arei tzedek). But on Wikipedia, we have to reach consensus. I agree that 2 editors against 2 is not consensus. I fully support the creation of a committee to standardize all Hebrew spellings once and for all. But until that time comes, I am willing to add an apostrophe to just this page to settle things and move on. It's simply not worth the agmas nefesh when there are thousands of pages out there needing editorial improvement. Yoninah (talk) 16:44, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I, you, and Jayjg makes three. Combined with WP:BRD, makes a clear position against novelty here. Savant1984 and Zargulon can be forced to stop edit warring by any admin, and discussion can be started. No reason to make wrong compromises here "for peace's sake". Debresser (talk) 16:54, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Debresser, what part of Jayjg's comment "As an alternative, you could use "p'sak", which will most likely produce the correct pronunciation." didn't you understand? Zargulon (talk) 17:07, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I read all of his comment and all of them, and IMHO it seems clear that he prefers "psak" to all alternatives. But if I am wrong, I am sure he will tell us so himself. Debresser (talk) 17:39, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
The compromise which you characterize as "wrong" was Jayjg's suggestion, so why are you invoking his contribution to argue for a "clear position against novelty" (whatever that means)? Please review WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. Also why are you against doing things "for peace's sake"? Zargulon (talk) 17:58, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
We should do as stipulated by Wikipedia's guidelines and policies. These say 1. stick to the most familiar spelling in English 2. do not make changes if there is no consensus for them. You violate both of them, and edit war to boot. Debresser (talk) 18:40, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Please refrain from argument by assertion, and consider answering my questions. Zargulon (talk) 18:43, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I am getting a little tired of you refering to argument by assertion and WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. I have stated all my arguments very clearly, and you fail to address even one of them. You just insist on rendering a grammatical phenomenon in English diacritics, without any justification in literature or precedent. And against a few very clear Wikipedia guidelines. So please desist now. Debresser (talk) 19:56, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Debresser, please refrain from argument by assertion, review WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT, and consider answering my questions. If you are getting a little tired, please feel free to take a nap - you may wake up refreshed and enlightened. Zargulon (talk) 20:04, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Please refrain from witticisms, empty allusions, edit warring, ignoring of arguments from Wikipedia guidelines and factual findings, pushing of personal opinions, etc. After all, our time is valuable, and so is storing space on the Wikipedia servers. In short, of you have nothing to say, or if what you have to say is a dull repetition of previous non-arguments, by all means refrain from doing so. Thank you so much for your consideration. Debresser (talk) 20:08, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Despite my oft-stated revulsion at the notion of intentionally transliterating for an incorrect, however common, pronunciation, the utter failure of the Great Apostrophe Compromise brings me to Yoninah's position: this argument (at least on this one page) is simply not worth the tsuris when I (and the rest of us) have far more productive things we could be doing, even on Wikipedia (kal vachomer real life). This is a discussion for a standardising project with broad input and without the punchiness that comes with having it over a standing article. Savant1984 (talk) 20:08, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. So please undo your novel edit from April 22, which changed the way the word was spelled for years, and let's go to where this discussion belongs. If there is agreement, we can have the page unprotected, and make the edit. Debresser (talk) 20:10, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't say I 'agree', but if User:Zargulon concurs in my resignation on this argument here and now, I certainly won't stand in the way of reverting it. Savant1984 (talk) 13:57, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I really appreciate your cooperative stance. Debresser (talk) 21:30, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Actually, there is a clear guideline on Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(Hebrew)#Vowels_and_shva that says that in order for a shva to be written as an "e" two conditions need to be fulfilled: it should be a shva na at the beginning of a word 2. is should be actually pronounced in modern Hebrew. The word "psak" fails the second criterion, and poskim the first. End of discussion. Debresser (talk) 18:32, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

I have replied at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Judaism#English_rendition_of_shva, where we should probably move this to. Savant1984 (talk) 01:17, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Ok, meet you there. Although that is also not the best place. Debresser (talk) 20:37, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Notable Poskim[edit]

There should be no reason to exclude the names of known notable poskim from this article's lists on the grounds that "they don't have articles on WP about them" since that is no reason to be excluded from any article on WP. On the contrary, many articles start off because names are written down in those articles, quite often with "red links" as signs that they will get or deserve future articles, in the meantime having the names produces more comprehensive and encyclopedic information. IZAK (talk) 01:59, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

True. Just that these three without a Wikipedia link are unknown to me, while all the other ones I know about. And I am a rabbi, after all. Debresser (talk) 14:41, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Isee some IP user agreed with me on this. Anyway, I ask IZAK not to make any more edits unless he can show consensus to the contrary. Debresser (talk) 18:06, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Aha, so you are a rabbi, what makes you think you are the only rabbi floating around WP and making edits??? But that has nothing to do with it, because from your comments you admit you do not know them when they are in fact VERY notable, particularly Rabbis Feivel Cohen and Dovid Cohen who are famous in the Litvish yeshiva communities of Brooklyn, New York and the USA. They have both published extensively and are sought out poskim. Dovid Cohen is the posek for Aish HaTorah in the USA as well as other organizations, and Feivel Cohen (a former rosh yeshiva also) is famous for his Halachic books, the Badei Hashulchan on Hilchos Nidda, and more. They both head congregations of laymen scholars in Flatbush, Brooklyn, USA, one of the world's largest English-speaking Haredi communities and you only reveal your shortcomings by trying to limit them. WP is after all an open encyclopedia and it's not under your control as a rabbi, in fact looks like you just learned something you never knew, even as a rabbi. IZAK (talk) 08:34, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

As for Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, also known as the Karlsburg Rov, he's almost like a Chasidishe Rebbe with a very wide following and is a very famous former Satmar dayan, and presently has a yeshiva and bais din in Boro Park, Brooklyn where he is one of the leading elder poskim, no two ways about it. IZAK (talk) 08:44, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Since when are Chabad Chasidim going to "decide" who is or is not "famous" as a Rov or Posek when they don't know anyone outside their own little worlds?? Actually, most of the rabbis in Category:Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis are very minor figures (most of those articles should be put up for deletion as they violate the basics of not adhering to WP:NOTABLE and WP:BIO) that have been pumped up and fluffed up with PR but that in no way reflects their greatness as rabbis or anything for that matter. Watch out, the editorial sword cuts both ways. IZAK (talk)

What does Chabad have to do with this? Stop poisoning the well. Debresser (talk) 10:02, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Anyway, those links give only a few hundred results (if you remove the words "Brooklyn NY", which should never have been added to a Google search). Which is in itslef no prove of notability yet. As you say yourself "famous in the Litvish yeshiva communities of Brooklyn", which sounds mostly like "famous among collectioners of Limosine wheelcaps from before WWII"... Doesn't start to compare with Shmuel Wosner who is know in all of the Hareidi world, or Moshe Landau the chief rabbi of Bnei Brak, and whose hechsher is known around the world. Debresser (talk) 13:37, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Debresser, point by point:

  1. Now that is outright pathetic and clearly reveals your pro-Chabad POV prejudices to attack two leading poskim in the American yeshiva and Orthodox world by saying they are as if "famous among collectioners of Limosine wheelcaps from before WWII" (by the way, don't you have spell check, there is no such word in English as "collectioners") -- just how stupid a comment is that and I wonder why I even bother trying to communicate with you. But hope lives eternal.
  2. They may not have their names on kosher food products and they may not be 95 years old, and they may not be in the daily or weekly Modiah or Yated, but they are both over 70, Rav Roth is over 80, and they are universally known in the Orthodox yeshiva world.
  3. Feivel Cohen is a world class posek, try to find out from some friends if they ever heard of the Badei Hashulchan he wrote. It's the updated "Mishnah Berurah" that was never written, that he has written, applying to Hilchos Niddah, almost no yeshiva home in the USA does not have it.
  4. Dovid Cohen has written dozens of seforim and is noted in almost every major ArtScroll work as one of their most senior and trusted experts.
  5. Search the Artscroll site for Dovid Cohen and you see at least 44 of his books they publish and sell all over the world, for example: (1) Ohel Dovid on Megilas Ruth; (2) Templates For The Ages; (3) Haggadah Simchas Yavetz / English Commentary; (4) Hosafos L'Sefer Yiddish Volume 3; (5) Haggadah Simchas Yavetz - Hebrew Only; (6) Harchovas Gvul Yaabetz Vol. 2; (7) Maasei Avos Siman L'Banim vol 4; (8) Toldosan Shel Avos; (9) V'im Tomar; (10) Ohel David Volume 7; (11) Yom Hakadosh - volume 2; etc etc etc.
  6. In any case, relative to humanity, no one has heard of Rav Wosner or Rav Landau either, so it's a dangerous argument you are playing with. IZAK (talk) 14:04, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

In brief, Artscroll is irrelevant where seeking definition of standards necessary to qualify as a posek. Generally the term is used when mentioning Halakhic authorities whose rulings are cited, respected, and considered throughout the halakhic world and who have also (generally) published and authored widely-quoted responsa. The names you keep inserting do not remotely qualify, though this may change with time, at which point it may be reconsidered. I further propose removing Mordechai Willig and Yitzchak Berkovits for exactly trhe same reason, and adding J David Bleich. Winchester2313 (talk) 17:49, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Hi Winchester: Just listen to your tone! You sound and act brutally. Soon you will be calling people "liars" they way you had done on other talk pages. Tone it down will you! I was citing some sources because Debresser had never heard of a famous rabbi, it does not make that rabbi un-famous. WP is not guided by what Debresser thinks or does not think. WP: seeks WP:CONSENSUS not brutality against other editors or topics you hate. Please leave Rabbis Mordechai Willig and [[Yitzchak Berkovits] they are regarded and used as major poskim Mordechai Willig (by the YU crowd) and [[Yitzchak Berkovits] (by the Aish, BT, and English speakers of Jerusalem crowd). Feel free to include Rabbi Bleich. By nature I am an inclusionist and find little value in tossing out notable rabbis and topics based on mere technicalities that reflects desires to wage WP:EDITWARRING and WP:LAWYERING rather than build WP:CONSENSUS. IZAK (talk) 06:47, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, if your arguments find consensus, I have no problem with that. Just keep the word "Chabad" out off them. Debresser (talk) 06:38, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Izak's point that if it is proven that a rabbi has sufficiently wide acceptance, he may qualify as a posek. I vehemently oppose his repeated and even incorrigible violation of NPA and AGF in turning every disagreement, no matter how unrelated to Chabad, into a forum to voice his anti-Chabad POV against fellow editors. Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 18:52, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

You fellows start the problems yourselves, so you only have yourselves to blame. Stop acting innocent. Stop harassing editors and edit warring at the Rav Shach-type articles and any topic that Chabad deems to be "enemies of Chabad"! For example, even though Orthodox editors do not agree with Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism you do NOT find them spending time attacking them and their notable people, as Chabad editors do with their "hate list" topics. It becomes very tiresome, and I must warn you that in the past when such behavior, with clear evidence of group editing taking place, that sooner or later the entire group will face the music. This is not just my imagination or prejudice talking, but please take a long hard look at what happened over the years with the: (1) Transcendental Meditation movement case; (2) Scientology case; (3) Lyndon LaRouche case; (4) CAMERA case and why the (5) Chabad movement case is similar and came dangerously close (for you) of serious measures against you. If you persist in your violations and threats and harassments with your pro-Chabad POV edit warring, you will leave me no choice but to reopen the case against you as you create an environment of hostility and insults that makes it impossible for other non-Chabad editors to tangle with you out of fear and the sheer drudgery of having to put up with your constant mischief making. I have a very simple word of advice for you, just remember, all the time, that Wikipedia is NOT! IZAK (talk) 06:47, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

I have a simple word of advice for YOU--stop violating NPA, AGF, NOTBATTLEGROUND and NOTSOAPBOX by using talk page after talk page to promote your anti-Chabad POV with no relevance to the topic at hand! Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 18:41, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
I also want to add again that I do NOT agree with Winchester's edits on this matter at all. So much for the anti-Chabad POV conspiracy theories. I DO welcome civilized discussion on the topic without violation of NPA and AGF. Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 18:44, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Well at least you agree with me and prove my point with the abominable way User Winchester2313 (talk · contribs) is carrying on right now. I am always open to reason. You make a big error when you falsely accuse me of "anti-Chabad POV conspiracy theories" because (a) it's not a "theory", and (b) I am not "anti-Chabad" and (c) the way it has worked over time is that pro-Chabad editors do work in tandem altho it has noticeably lessened since the case I opened ended. I do commend you for keeping your cool and acting in a responsible manner and not looking to ignite the situation further with needless WP:EDITWARRING. IZAK (talk) 10:31, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Other ideas[edit]

In addition I think it might me better to move the list of poskim to a separate article, List of Poskim e.g. Debresser (talk) 13:33, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Agreed. IZAK (talk) 14:04, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

I disagree. An article about poskim needs to include (at least) a basic list of the prominent examples to be relevant. There are thousands of rabbis who rule on matters of halakha every day, only a few who have become recognition as a Posek beyond their respective local communities. Winchester2313 (talk) 17:29, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

I propose changing the subtitle from 'Living Poskim' to 'Leading Present-day Poskim' to add clarity to the significance of the list, and to make consensus easy to reach....? Winchester2313 (talk) 17:58, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

As per this discussion, I've removed all but the most prominent and universally recognized poskim from the list. Winchester2313 (talk) 16:20, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

  • No, sorry Winchester, you can't have it both ways. And this is typical of you and some of the other editors here. Articles are first created by other editors in more or less basic peace and harmony over many years. Then, you come along and make changes without serious discussions or by keeping it under the covers, and then when those changes are challenged you revert them compulsively in knee-jerk fashion and scream that "more discussion" is needed and "consensus is needed" which is crazy, because the onus of consensus is upon the editors who wish to change what has been in place for a while, often for years, and no one has challenged, and it's those who now wish to make changes that must seek consensus, so they must make good faith efforts and building WP:CONSENSUS by starting good faith comprehensive discussions on talk pages, letting as many KEY still active editors who they can see from the article's page history know that they wish to make serious changes, and one easy way to do that is by placing a notification for Judaic editors at WP:TALKJUDAISM so that you know you are covered. But for some mysterious reason you are allergic to doing that and prefer swooping down on articles, making changes, when you are challenged your hurl vile insults at opposing editors, call them "liars" a few times and worse, act intimidatingly, and just hope that everyone will cave in to you. Sorry, that's not the way it works on Wikipedia and you will have to improve and mend your ways pretty soon or some more formal action against you will be needed. IZAK (talk) 10:24, 25 October 2010 (UTC)


User:Debresser, I don't very much care, but "decider" is extremely poor English. The word is "decisor". Same goes for the rest.AddMore der Zweite (talk) 12:20, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

"decisor" changed. I really didn't like the rest of the changes and pipes, but are open for discussion. Debresser (talk) 10:15, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Redlinked poskim[edit]

Some IP editor wants to add redlinked poskim. I undid his edit a few times, and the next step is to simply protect this article from edits by IP users. The IP user in question is kindly requested to see the section above, where it was discussed that we have too many people in the "notable poskim" sections, and by way of compromise it was agreed to remove the redlinked ones. The reason is simple: if they don't have an article, they are likely less notable. I agree that guidelines allow to have redlinks, but when there is consensus that there are too many entries in a list, the redlinks are the obvious first choice to go out. This is also common in e.g. lists of actors in a "Cast" section. Debresser (talk) 10:21, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

---"The reason is simple: if they don't have an article, they are likely less notable." This is an overly broad assumption, which becomes flawed when taken as a hard rule. There are Israeli poskim who have exponentially more influence, but being that their sphere of influence is either primarily in Israel, or merely starting to trickle to outside, they do not (currently) have English language Wikipedia pages. I added quite a number of names over this past week, without knowing about the "redlink" rule found here, and I will say, the two redlinked ones who keep getting removed are a lot more prominent than a lot of the blue linked ones I added in the past week (which is NOT to say, that those bluelinked ones are not notable. I am merely noting the flaw of taking bluelink=notable, redlink= not notable as a HARD rule). Rav Landau is the Ashkenaz Rav and Av Beit Din of Bnai Brak, a city of almost 200,000 Jews, the vast majority of which are Haredi, and with many prominent Rabbis living there. He is one of the biggest and most influential experts on Kashrut, and has one of the most notable hechserim in Israel.

Rav Rimon is not even 50 years old, but he is already Rav of Alon Shevut, home of one of the foundational and most influential Hesder and Dati Leumi yeshivot in the country (Yeshivat Har Etzion). He is rabbinic head of the Jewish college of technology and head of its beit midrash, founder and chairman of the Halacha Education Center, a former Rav at Yeshivat Har Etzion, and most importantly in the context of posek, author of over a dozen books on halacha, including works of shabbat, pesach, shemitta, purim meshulash, halachot of the idf, and more.

To say that Rav's Landau and Rimon are "not" notable Poskim because their (thus far) lack of English Wikipedia pages is highly problematic. Had I known about this red link rule, I would have much rather not added a lot of the names I added in the past week, and would rather have these two listed. A lot of those have blue links because of their notoriety in addition to being a posek (for example- they are notable as Rav of a city or Yeshiva, etc.) whereas these two are primarily notable as poskim. That in itself shows the flaw in the "redlink rule." Shmuley Boteach has semicha, and due to his notoriety due to his celebrity has a Wikipedia page. By that logic, if someone added him, he would not get a second glance since he has a blue link. Proof of that is that before I corrected Rav Landau to the correct (redlinked) one by putting his full name, Moshe Landau (same name, blue link) was on the posek page without any complaint before I noticed and changed it. That bluelink Moshe Landau who was there for, who knows how long, was a deceased secular Israeli, Supreme Court Justice, listed as a "leading" living posek, unnoticed by the "redlink" patrol police, who seems more interested in hard and fast nonsensical rules than a quality posek page and list of poskim.

Also, by using "redlink rule" as an arbitrary decisor for who to keep and who to cut seems to me to be against Wikipedia guidelines. Red links, when appropriate, are considered integral to helping Wikipedia grow, by bringing attention to notable figures who deserve wikipedia pages. By using redlinks as a justification of not listing someone even if they are otherwise qualified, or even more qualified that bluelinkes listed, one is flipping that logic on its head, and hurting the purpose of Wikipedia, basically saying, "we will NOT bring attention to help Wikipedia grow with those who deserve pages, b/c they do not currently have pages, and will instead perpetuate the names of those who already have pages." That is circular logic, and in the case of going forward in the future, as young names become known and notable (as is the case with Rav Rimon, who will get his English Wikipedia page one day, I am certain, until 120), they are "blacklisted" from the posek list, where perhaps they should be listed first, as that is their source of renown.

Also, now that the poskim list is more organized, broken down into pre-20th century, Orthodox, Non-Orthodox, and organized chronologically, maybe it is time to revisit the idea that the list is too long. It is much more organized, and no longer reads like a long random list without rhyme or reason.

(As an aside, in the Talk page a few years back, there were some swipes at the "Chabad" editor's ways and his "Chabadness". I too, am troubled by his ways, which smacks in the face of Wikipedia's rules and purposes on redlinks, but that is irrelevant of Chabad, and I want to note that 2 of the 3 poskim of mine he keeps removing due to being redlinked (one erroneously) are associated with Chabad.)- anonymous editor, 11/22/2015

Just realized, one of the greatest poskim of recent times is "black listed" from being mentioned here, as he would be "red linked", so despite him being allowed (and in fact encouraged) to be listed based on Wikipedia standards and protocol, that does not seem to be sufficient for this page. I refer to Rav Efraim Greenblatt (1932-2014), talmid muvhak of Rav Moshe Feinstein, author of the heralded ten-volume Shailos Uteshuvos Rivevos Ephraim, an encyclopedic work with thousands of teshuvos addressing virtually every topic in contemporary halacha. He also authored the two-volume Rivevos Ephraim Al Hatorah, the two-volume Rivevos V’Yovlos, and numerous teshuvos and articles published in Torah journals and other publications. See , , , , , and .

An extremely noted posek according to Haredi, modox, and hardal websites and rebbeim, as evidenced by the links above, and by Hebrew Wikipedia, but because he is a redlink, Debresser might report me if I add him, in line with wikipedia standards, to the list of prominent poskim? Explanation please?— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Never heard of "one of the greatest poskim of recent times", and I damn well know my poskim! In any case, I see no reason to revisit the question of redlinked poskim. It is very fine that there is some order now, but there are still a lot of poskim on this page, and if anything, we should cut further. If these poskim are so notable, write an article about them! And please stop whining here. Debresser (talk) 00:39, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Ok, I will stop the whining for now. Closing thoughts- Seriously, though, my main issue is that your shita on this seems to fly in the face of wikipedia policy, and smacks of laziness. (We can not come up with universal criteria, so blue link it will be, and I will not even notice when a deceased secular Israeli supreme court justice is listed as a noted living posek, because he has a blue link, yay! And when someone comes along and corrects that to the right person, the rav of bnai brak, he finall gets removed, because now he is red linked.

Also, note that by your red link rule, Rav Menashe Klein author of over 20 volumes of original shaailos u teshuvos, only become a noted posek a few months before his death at age 87, as that was when a Wikipedia page was finally created for him.

Finally, I question whether you "damn well know your poskim" now that you admit you never heard of The Rivevos Efraim, not to mention some people you had not heard of earlier on the talk page. I guess any joe shmoe is universally seen as a talmid muvhak of rav moshe, authors ten volumes of orignal shaailos u teshuvos, and is respected and quoted by both american and israeli haredim, tzionim, modox, chabad (quoted in a halachic teshuva by ) (or which claims the Rebbe corresponded with him), etc, with lavish eulogies by all streams of Judaism noting his gadlus as a posek. Which, by the way, actually follows Wikipedia policy for gettign recognized, not the anti-Wikipedia policy redlink rule you are enforcing.

Why don't you actually do some research, read the links I posted about him, (as per actual wikipedia policy) and begin to "damn well know your poskim."

And lookie lookie who published in a journal in honor of the Rebbe in 1984? Rav Moshe, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, rav zalman nechemia goldberg, rav menashe klein, rav pinchas hirschprung (who you also removed a few times) and, none other than Rav Efrayim Greenblat (who you never heard of!) See page 355 of "Turning Judaism Outwards" by Chaim Miller, here — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:23, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

-Perhaps there is something I am not getting. I am an amateur editor. But I have not understood any of your responses to be Wikipedia policy valid. Can you please explain, or I will consider filing a disruptive editor complaint. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:45, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

You know what, file that complaint. I am not interested in explaining the same thing over and over to somebody who simply happens to disagree with an edit that conforms to both consensus and common sense. Not to mention that you insist that I should know rabbis that are not as big as you in your small worldview think they are. I hate to whack you with all these terms, but these terms express a common sense understanding of how to work together, and how to separate good edits from bad edits, so they should come natural to all editors. Debresser (talk) 20:08, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps I missed it, when was the consensus reached? I edited. You changed it. I changed it back explaining the reason based on Wikipedia policy (which includes redlinks and outside sources, not original research). You changed it back explaining the red link rule (against wiki policy) and using your own original research (based on who YOU know and see as qualified, outside sources be ******. The fact that you think the rivevos efraim is a nobody, makes me speechless. Needless to say, you would NEVER be hired by a print encyclopedia as an expert/editor on poskim) As far as I see, you are the consensus? I checked the talk page, and all I saw was a similar argument 5 years back, with more posters arguing against the redlink rule and only you arguing for it. Is that consensus? You threatened to block IP users from editing, which blocks the ability to build consensus, which is what forces me to go the complaint filing route. Also, your own arguments are hypocritical, because YOU yourself (as per the talk page dated 2010) wrote about "known" poskim "Doesn't start to compare with Shmuel Wosner who is know in all of the Hareidi world, or Moshe Landau the chief rabbi of Bnei Brak, and whose hechsher is known around the world." So apparently, your "quality" editing decisions allowed a deceased secular chief justice of Israel be bluelinked for years as a noted living posek, becasue you deemed someone with the same name notable, but now that I, instantly discovered that to be the wrong person and fixed it, all of a sudden he is redlinked, and I guess no longer notable, despite your claims of 5 years ago.

So I do not see that consensus, and even if it is there and I am unaware of it, consensus is not #1 in wikipedia order of editing operations/priorities. If it were, ignoramuses or those with political agendas could run amok over wikipedia. It is consensus among unbiased experts in the topic, basing themselves on outside sources and NOT original research.

And your talk of undue weight is ridiculous when your own redlink rule disallows the rivevos efraim, while listing blue link Ephraim Padwa. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:49, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

I'd be more than happy to go the consensus route, rather than reporting, but after you said " Editor is asked for the last time to stop edit warring, or they will be reported," and your claim that your view is consensus, I felt I have no choice. Can we try to go the consensus route instead? Can I add the redlink rivevos efraim, and we will see what the consensus on that is? How is "I never heard of him" consensus and NOT original research? B'H, you have the gaava to say anyone you never heard of is not noteworthy. Guess you didn't learn the mussar from rashi who said "I don't know" countless times in his writings. Time to learn more mesilat yesharim my friend, and after 120, I am sure the rivevos efraim, in the room learning torah with all the bluelinks as peers, will kindly introduce himself to you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

I already wrote above that you should read the section above this one, where the same subject was disucssed.
This "redlink" rule, as you call it, is not against any Wikipedia policy or guideline, and your blind insistence on repeating untrue statements doesn't help.
WP:CONSENSUS is a Wikipedia policy, not just a guideline, and might well be considered to be the main rule of Wikipedia, as a matter of fact.
I am not interested in your perceptions of how big or not big this or the other rabbi is, since I have a simpler rule for inclusion. Especially since I do not accept your judgement as to who is a rabbi who should be included in this list. As I said, I am a rabbi myself, and I know who are this generations poskim. By the way, you might want to read WP:WORLDVIEW.
Regarding consensus in this specific case. The two of us disagree, so consensus stays as it was. That is the rule. Debresser (talk) 09:07, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Things got a little testy, so let's reset, and just TALK it out. Point by point-

QUOTE- "I already wrote above that you should read the section above this one, where the same subject was discussed."

RESPONSE- I read that section, and I do not see a consensus in your favor, rather the opposite, and would appreciate a clarification. IZAK and Yehoishophot Oliver both disagreed with the redlink rule, which only you were arguing for. Winchester2313 agreed that the list should be more limited, but made no statement either way regarding the redlink rule, merely wanting a tighter list. So in terms of the redlink rule, it was 2 against, and 1 for, and the consensus would seem to be against it. IZAK made the last edits relating to the discussion on 25 October 2010, as per the then consensus. Almost a year later, 14 September 2011, Debresser edits and removes redlinks, despite the 2:1 talk page consensus of a year earlier being against it, and with the TALK page as currently constituted not showing any further TALK/discussion on the issue. This leads me to believe the new redlink rule was instituted unilaterally, without consensus, based on the fact that a year ealier the consensus was the opposite, the one making the edits was the one in the minority the year before, and there is no further TALK on the topic.

QUOTE- "This "redlink" rule, as you call it, is not against any Wikipedia policy or guideline, and your blind insistence on repeating untrue statements doesn't help."

RESPONSE- According to Wikipedia:Red link "In general, a red link should be allowed to remain in an article if it links to a term that could plausibly sustain an article, but for which there is no existing candidate article, or article section, under any name. Do not remove red links unless you are certain that Wikipedia should not have an article on the subject, or if the red link could be replaced with a link to an article section where the subject is covered as part of a broader topic." Thus, the redlink rule, as used here, is against Wikipedia policy.

QUOTE- "WP:CONSENSUS is a Wikipedia policy, not just a guideline, and might well be considered to be the main rule of Wikipedia, as a matter of fact."

RESPONSE- As I said above, I do not see the consensus, and would appreciate if you pointed it out to me. Past requests to do so have directed me to this talk page, and to look above. As I just noted a couple of paragraphs up, I saw 3 people whether directly or indirectly, discuss the redlink rule, 2 of whom were against it, so I do not see the consensus anyhow.

Now, even if you were, theoretically, correct about the consensus, the WP:CONSENSUS page itself says "Consensus refers to the primary way decisions are made on Wikipedia, and it is accepted as the best method to achieve our goals, i. e., to achieve our five pillars. Consensus on Wikipedia does not mean unanimity (which, although an ideal result, is not always achievable); nor is it the result of a vote. Decision-making involves an effort to incorporate all editors' legitimate concerns, while respecting Wikipedia's policies and guidelines." Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines states that "Wikipedia has many policies and guidelines about encyclopedic content. These standards require verifiability, neutrality, respect for living people, and more." The red link rule is not verifiable or neutral. It is an over-broad, blanket, generalization. This can be seen by the fact that a deceased secular Israeli justice was listed for 5 years as a notable posek, overlooked because of the redlink rule, as he had a bluelink, while the actual posek he was confused for, is now kicked off due to being a redlink. That was not based on verifiability and neutrality. Wikipedia:Verifiability states that "verifiability means that anyone using the encyclopedia can check that the information comes from a reliable source." Within seconds, I found over a half dozen, extremely diverse, reliable sources for the statement that the rivevos efraim was a very notable posek, despite his having a redlink.

QUOTE- "As I said, I am a rabbi myself, and I know who are this generations poskim."

RESPONSE- That is a conclusory statement. Wikipedia:No original research states that ""original research" (OR) is used on Wikipedia to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist." I understand you will likely not find sources saying who is NOT a noted posek, but you are denying a plethora of diverse, reliable, published resources for someone who is a noted posek.

By the way, here is another conclusory statement, for illustrative purposes(apologies) (which happens to be have really happened), in recent days, regarding our discussion, I spoke to two professional men who I am acquainted with who are doing semicha on the side, one in his late 20s, one in his early 30s, one affiliated with YU, and one diverse, having had affiliation with Torah V Daas, Gush, and Chabad, both very serious, intelligent folk, and told them about this Rabbi who never heard of Feivel Cohen, the Rivevos Efraim, or Rav Rimon. The nicer one giggled. The harsher one said "he is an am ha'aretz." (Note, one heard of all 3 of them, one heard of two of them, but did not say "since I never heard of him, he must not be great" but rather expressed curiosity about learning more about him). I am hoping that you can see how basing Wikipedia editing policy on the conclusory suggestion that you are "an am ha'aretz" is not proper Wikipedia policy. I am not basing my thoughts on that conclusory statement. I am basing it on indepedent, verifiable, reliable sources, as per Wikipedia policy. I merely share it with you to showcase the irrelevance of your conclusory statement. The Rabbi of my shul never heard of someone from the list of poskim until I mentioned him to my Rav a few months ago. By your logic, that posek should be removed from the list of poskim. One final conclusory statement that I am reminded of by yours. (Apologies again). I have a mesorah from my Rosh Yeshiva, who says (only slightly paraphrased, to give over in print his orally made point more accurately) "any rabbi who thinks he knows everything, is not a real rabbi, and stay far away"

QUOTE- "Regarding consensus in this specific case. The two of us disagree, so consensus stays as it was. That is the rule."

RESPONSE- Again, looking at the talk page, where you directed me to see the consensus, I saw the previous consensus to not be on your side. Based on what I saw on Determining consensus, I am unsure about where or when your consensus was reached, and again, I would appreciate being directed to it.

Thank you (talk) 01:00, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Would like to note one further thought about the bluelink rule for determining notability. I think there will be little disagreement that 95-99% of psak written throughout history have been written in Hebrew/Lashon Hakadoseh. Yet a posek is notable per the "redlink rule" based on having an english language wikipedia page. There are 8 bluelinked poskim listed who have only english language wikipedia pages, whereas all 3 redlinks I have in mind to currently add but are being disallowed by an editor because of the redlink rule have Hebrew pages but no English pages. One of the three has pages in both hebrew and yiddish. The hebrew page states in its heading that he was "a halachic posek . . . famed for his many teshuvot" (my translation). Yiddish wikipedia says he was a "איז געווען א וועלטס פוסק" , "a wordly (renowned?) posek." But as per said editor, wikipedia itself is not a reliable source, the lack of an english language page is . . . ```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:44, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above shows that all agree that the list of poskim was too extensive and should be shortened. I agree with you that the "redlinked rule" was not part of the consensus. It was however the de facto consensus for 5 years! Your disagreement does not change that.
In my opinion, the only way to change the consensus here is by reopening the issue. You did that, and so far, only one other editor has posted his opinion: me. That in itself says something, in favor of the status quo. If you want, perhaps try to post on WT:JUDAISM to attract some outside opinion. Debresser (talk) 14:20, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up. I will have to consider how to proceed, if at all. It is the "redlink" rule particularly that bothers me, not the idea of limiting the list. Using the "redlink" as the decisor (no pun intended) to limit the list, as I said, seemingly against Wikipedia "redlink" policy, is what bothers me. "Redlinks" are meant to bring attention to notable people who deserve Wikipedia pages, and in the case of the Rivevos Efraim, not only does he deserve an (English language) wikipedia page, he deserves to be listed on the list of poskim moreso than many who are listed due to having blue links, including a number of those who were listed before my recent additions. What about the idea from 5 years back about creating a separate "List of poskim" page, with lists by century or something like that? Does the consensus of 5 years ago of the the list being too long still hold when it is a more organized/streamlined/chronological list compared to when it was a long, random, disorganized list, as it was 5 years ago? (talk) 21:56, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

On delayed thought, your last comments re: consensus seem a bit disingenuous to me. I am not saying they are as such consciously, but they feel as such because of the following. Based on the edit history and the talk page, it seems to me that 5 years ago, there was no clear consensus on removing names from the list, and the consensus was (two to one) against the redlink rule. Thus, things were left as is. A year later, without any discussion reflected on the talk page as currently constituted, you unilaterally instituted the "redlink rule" and removed names from the list. This strikes me as being both against consensus, and ignoring wikipedias policy that redlinks should be kept in place for those validly mentioned, who also deserve a wikipedia page.

I would imagine, the status quo consensus should stand when it was achieved via the TALK page, not when it was achieved through going against the consensus a year later, when the dissenters were no longer active on the "posek" page.

You yourself, when this began, told me to see the TALK page. What is exhibited there is ambiguity regarding how to address the size of the list, and 2:1 against "redlink" rule (which, anyhow, should be invalid even if it was 100-0 for, as it is not wikipedias "redlink" policy, and consensus does not beat wikipedia guidelines and policy, as wikipedias consensus page states). Thus, based on the talk page, which is how i understand consensus is built, the consensus would still be against a "redlinkL rule, as would wikipedia policy, while the size of the list is still lacking consensus, even by you, as you accepted all my additions that had bluelinks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

-There are two prongs to this. 1)Is it really consensus. 2) Even if it is, does the "redlink" rule as opposed to neutral reliable sources for determining importance violate wikipedia guidelines. As to 1), how do I contact IZAK to ask if his silence a year later was due to his agreeing with consensus, or not? (talk) 01:07, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

You can write IZAK on his talkpage. Not that the reason of his silence matters, really, in establishing consensus. Debresser (talk) 16:35, 26 November 2015 (UTC)