Surviving in a Bad Environment

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  • #1440473

    Joseph
    Participant

    Rav Avigdor Miller on Surviving in a Bad Environment 

    Q:  How can a person, who because of his parnasa must deal with people who are a bad influence, survive spiritually in this bad environment?

    A: This is a very serious question. And my answer is not a complete answer. But you must fight back against this environment in two ways. Number one is that when you’re in their company you should be mivatel them. They don’t have to know it – you can treat them with respect and make your parnasa but in your head you should be thinking, “They smell bad, they really smell bad. They are like neveilos, like dead carcasses”. All of these people, you should realize, really are like dead people, like מתים.  They’re putrefying. They’re carcasses. They have no sense. They’re lunatics.       

    I once had an experience – I had to visit a yeshiva bochur who was suffering from a mental illness. I went to an insane asylum and it was an experience. I was the only sane person in a huge room, surrounded by 300 idiots. In those days people didn’t wear beards like they do today. I was the only one in the room with a beard and they were all laughing at me because of my beard. For a moment I was taken aback. Then, I thought, “Wait. They’re all meshuga’im! I’m the sane one here!” Now, the outside world is full of meshugoyim as well. People in your office, in your business, on the street – all meshuga’im. Actually, they are worse than meshuga’im. 

    To call them meshuga’im is a limud zchus on them. They’re much worse than that. So that’s number one: be mivatel the world – have no respect. Now, don’t show it to them, but in your heart you should think that they’re afrah de’arah. Be mevatel them k’afra d’arah. That’s one thing you must do. They’re well-dressed, they’re polite and they’re educated and so on. But they’re nobodies. They’re like – I don’t want to say like what, but they’re the lowest of creatures. They’re dirty and they’re filthy disgusting. That’s number one.

    The second thing is to counter their influence by filling your head as much as possible with Torah ideas. Not only learning Gemara – you have to learn seforim that enlighten your mind.  It’s of utmost importance to learn seforim like Mesillas Yeshorim. You must learn the Rambam Hilchos Dei’os and Hilchos Teshuva, Sha’arei Teshuva d’Rabbeinu Yonah and Chovos Ha’levovos. Seforim like that put so much into your mind and the truth is, like the Rambam says, once your mind is full of these valid and important ideas,  then the wrong ideas won’t have place to come in.  But when there’s a vacuum in your head, your mind is empty, then the foolishness of the world comes into your head. The Rambam also says this with regards to immorality – ideas and thoughts of immorality can easily enter the mind when the mind is empty. But when your head is full of Torah ideas, it’s not so easy for wrong thoughts to enter your mind.

    Tape #770 (January 1990)

    #1440676

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    Or instead of being afraid of being influenced, become the influencer.
    There is a halacha that salted chickens can be placed on one another although the blood is coming out, because since the chickens are expelling blood, they won’t take in any.

    So too bruchnius. See them as a tzelem Elokim, and a part of Hashem’s Creation , and teach them about their role in the world. Sheva mitzvos bnei noach. Morality. Goodness and kindness. Etc.

    My father did this in Microsoft for years. I do it in cabs.

    #1440714

    Joseph
    Participant

    CS: Isn’t it problematic for an eishes ish to be teaching this to male gentile taxi drivers?

    #1440724

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    probably no more problematic than trying to teach an eishes ish in the CR.

    #1440727

    Joseph
    Participant

    It is mamish השגחה פרטית‬ that Chabadshlucha was the first to respond here to Tape # 770.

    #1440761

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    lol

    #1440784

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    The trouble with that kind of attitude is the people you’re dealing with can read this thread.

    #1440889

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    😂 I don’t initiate the conversation. But allot of them like chatting and start one and then things get rolling. I remember one asking if Jews really want to dominate the world.

    But yes I’m allot more comfortable when my husband is there. However I never read it is assur to respond to a man who is speaking to you.

    #1440892

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    I think its important to distinguish between people and attitudes. Pirkei avos says choviv haadam shnivra btzelem, and we should work to refine then as is our halachic obligation with sheva mitzvos bnei noach.

    We can despise their beliefs but I don’t think it jives with chazal above and also “lo nitna HaTorah ela laasos sholom baolam,” to secretly despise everyone while acting polite. The Arabs tried that and the secret got out.

    Plus it doesn’t seem to enhance any good middos by having this attitude, quite the opposite.

    #1440891

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph , do you have permission from Rabbi Miller’s heirs to copy and print his work? Is it copywrited? Usually copywrited material can only be reproduced for purposes of a book review

    #1440998

    akuperma
    Participant

    We Yidden been surviving in Olam Ha-Zeh for a while. We know its the “world of lies” (Olah ha-Sheker). We rely on Torah and Mitsvos. What’s the hiddush?

    #1440997

    yehudayona
    Participant

    The word is copyright, not copywrite.

    #1440977

    Joseph
    Participant

    CS, of course they like chatting and getting things rolling. That’s why Yidden know al tarbe sicha im haisha. And we certainly should despise their lifestyles, beliefs, attitudes and practices. It will certainly enhance our yiddishe lifestyle, practices and beliefs.

    LC, despite your newly found religion in defense of Congressional laws, you only suddenly advocate this when you hear related viewpoints from RAM that you don’t like hearing. Do you also have a © problem when anyone (as often occurs here) quotes a teshuva from the Igros Moshe or any other Seforim? The fact is that Torah is by Halacha allowed to be freely disseminated. (There are halachic restrictions on reprinting full Seforim that the author is still selling.) These are privately transcribed quotations from a small part of a single public lecture the Rov gave.

    #1441055

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    Hey my last post wasn’t let through and it was a good one

    #1441102

    Joseph
    Participant

    Obviously it wasn’t as good as you thought. On the YWN CR only the best of the best posts are put through (after editorial review, of course.) 😂

    #1441152

    yitzchokm
    Participant

    Chabadshlucha,

    I think you’re misunderstanding Rabbi Millers advise.
    What does it mean to respect someone?
    What does it mean to engage someone?

    Rabbi Miller isn’t saying not to act respectfully to them. On the contrary, he tells you to do just that. Not only is he advising you to act respectfully, he’s advising you to do your part to make sure that they genuinely think and believe that your actions to them are respectful in every way.

    At the same time, he’s asking that you not join their fraternity.
    You are different and you should know it. Not let them know it necessarily, but you should know it.

    Now, the problem is that when you engage people on a daily basis their beliefs thoughts and aspirations often seep into your consciousness. As a Torah Jew, the long term effects can be devastating. So what can a Torah Jew do? (say it quickly, it rhymes!)

    The answer is to look at them as if they don’t exist. Not to engage them any more than necessary. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be polite, on the contrary, its your job to make them feel comfortable. But just that. Going to workplace parties is obviously wrong. Hanging out with them outside of work is also wrong.

    You have to know who you are, you have to know what you’re doing is correct, the rest of the world be damned. that’s where the asylum example comes into play.

    You have a job to do, you do your job, and you leave.

    #1442942

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @yitzchakm my previous post addressed it but I guess it wasn’t allowed through because quoting gemara can be inappropriate? Honestly. It’s gemara shabbos 125a

    #1442961

    5ish
    Participant

    Chabadshlucha,

    The purpose of the sheva mitzvos bnei noach is not to refine the goyim, as inherently, they can not be refined (they come from gimmel klippos hatemeios). The purpose of the sheva mitzvos bnei noach is so that the world will have order in it to facilitate the observance of torah and mitzvos by Jews.

    #1443064

    Joseph
    Participant

    The world and everything in it was created for the benefit of Jews.

    #1443523

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    I’m seeing several of my posts have been not allowed through. Not quite sure why as there does seem to be a wide variety of opinions and sources brought and quoted, and I don’t why my posts have been banned. Maybe the mods agree with lc? I was enjoying the experience of interacting with yidden of all streams and hearing from anyone, but it’s not worth my time to type up posts that are not allowed thrush with no explanation given. So I’m sorry if I have offended anyone and I won’t bother you anymore bln. Have a wonderful shabbos!

    #1443536

    Your posts have not been “banned”, they are just not all approved.

    Maybe the mods agree with lc?
    Not sure if this is a threat or a bit of a bullying tactic but when posts are not put through the reason isn’t, and wouldn’t be, because we agree with another poster. That is quite an accusation, and if your point was to force a response, I’m sorry that you chose that route.

    #1443542

    gilda
    Participant

    why put oneself into such nisyonos – no amount of money is worth risking your yiddishkeit – the yetzer hora is stronger than we can imagine

    #1443540

    Joseph
    Participant

    “with no explanation given”

    It would be helpful to give explanations but time constraints by volunteer mods likely preclude that preferred option.

    #1443574

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    “Your posts have not been “banned”, they are just not all approved.”

    That’s what I meant, that about a fourth- half my posts have been banned ie not let through.

    “Not sure if this is a threat or a bit of a bullying tactic but when posts are not put through the reason isn’t, and wouldn’t be, because we agree with another poster. That is quite an accusation, and if your point was to force a response, I’m sorry that you chose that route.”

    I am honestly puzzled why those posts have been not allowed through. The only thing I can think of is that the mod disagreed with what I said, which shouldn’t be a crime as there are many varied opinions here. This is why I asked about Lc because I really don’t get it. I have enjoyed this forum so I do find it frustrating to have my posts disappear in thin air for no apparent reason. I am a rule keeper so if that is not the case, that my posts weren’t allowed through due to opinion/ source disagreement, please lmk why you banned the so I can know for the future.

    If you can. Thanks!!!

    #1443665

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    For many of us who interact daily with goyim in a business environment, its generally not appropriate to engage them on religious beliefs. It some circumstances, under state and federal law, it could be view as contributing to a hostile work environment (i.e. there is a fine line between sharing factual information in response to a question versus engaging in evangelical behavior). Likewise, generally not a good idea to push sheva mitzvos discussions with goyim you don’t really know and haven’t inquired about Jewish beliefs in re “gentiles’.

    #1444201

    Joseph
    Participant

    CS: Hang around here. Your voice is appreciated and many will miss it if absent.

    #1444611

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    Thanks, I guess I’ll try again. For me, the most demoralising thing is feeling I have wasted my time. I only have the last few moments of golus to accomplish what I can, and so I try to use my time well.

    If my past posts can be allowed through, and whatever was found problematic edited out, with a reason I can keep in mind for the future, that would be wonderful. I think it’s worth the time because as I said, I’m a rule keeper and it’s good for me to know so I save both my own and the mods time.

    I will try again on a different thread and I’m requesting the above there as well, as I do not try to post anything problematic, and do have a Torah source for what I do write.

    Sorry for the disruption of this thread. Thanks allot.

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