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September 26, 2007


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There is no such word in the English language as "decisor" yet this word is used all the time in Jewish publications. Look it up in Merriam Webster Unabridged...No Such Word.


"Decisor" is a made up word for posek. Just because it isn't (currently) in the dictionary only means that you can't use it in Scrabble. Go find something else to complain about.


There is actually a French word "decideur", but it is almost exclusively used in a political sense.

Yochanan Lavie

The definitive dictionary is the multivolume (and online) Oxford Dictionary. New words are added all the time (they are called neologisms). Maybe "decisor" is already there, or will be.

Schmorgel (Borgel)

I really liked "Swimming Across the Hudson" when I read it 10 years ago. I see how the father in that book is based on Henkin's description of his own father in this post. I recommended it to my girlfriend-at the time though, and she pretty much detested "Swimming". No wonder she wasn't my bashert! I also spent time between NY and SF at the time, the cities where the book's plot takes place, and recall questioning so many aspects of my Jewish identity, like the characters, so I suppose that is why the book resonated for me at the time. I am glad to see Henkin has a new book, and I hope it is good and succeeds.

As for "decisor", it would have been interesting if Bush said "I am the posek"

very interesting. I had no idea Eliyashev's son was OTD, but am not surprised at all. Of course, I'd like to hear more about that. Does Elyashev acknowledge his son/grandson?


Was a comment deleted? I don't see anything about "Elyashev" or "his son" above the unattributed comment of 1:23 pm.

Knowing the Henkins since childhood (David & I were at Ramaz together, and Josh and I overlapped living in Park Slope for some years), it was clear that elements of the family situation and background, in the first novel "Swimming across the Hudson," were based on Henkin's own family background (no gay siblings, twins or adoption, though, AFAIK). I suppose that's common enough thing in first novels - write what you know, your family is your default idea of What A Family Is.


Nothing deleted. I think the comment you're referring to simply confused Rabbi Henkin and Rabbi Elyashiv.


Hey Thanbo,

I was also living in the Slope at the time I read the book, I wasn't aware that the author was living in the 'hood. I remember you well from Bnai Jacob by the way, are you still in Midwood and the Yavneh Minyan?

yona loriner



He may still be living there - they were friends with the Tolchins, Dr. Henkin having gone to camp with them.

Who are you? You can find my email address easily enough - go to my blog (thanbook).

Yes, still in Midwood. It's nice living in a Jewish neighborhood, being in a shul where I agree with the rabbi about a larger percentage of things, having more than 700 sq ft in my apartment.

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