WHY LABEL

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  • #589130

    I was always wondering… if we are supposed to have ahavas chinam, why do people constantly label different people? Labels mean different things to different people, so there really is no point, is there?

    #631672

    Joseph
    Member

    havesomeseichel, excellent point! Labels are meaningless and indeed dangerous. They ought to be discarded. That includes pathetic labels such as “Orthodox” “religious” “modern orthodox” “Chareidi” etc. etc.

    #631673

    because everyone is so self centered and thinks their the best and only what they do is right. people dont think of others besides themselves

    #631674

    gabs
    Member

    100% agree w/ u!!

    #631675

    oomis
    Participant

    I think that some Jews have a need to label other Jews, because they identify with a specific hashkafa, and want to recognize others sharing that hashkafa. I don’t think that in and of itself it is a bad thing. It becomes bad when people use the labels to exclude others or deride them. But I know that I personally feel more comfortable when in an environment consisting of Modern Orthodox machmir Jews who see nothing wrong in sitting at a mixed table at a simcha (though there should eb a mechitzah for dancing purposes), than when I am with a more Litvishe, yeshivish crowd. I am friendly to everyone I meet (or at least I try to be), but my preference is what it is. Sometimes the labels are necessary, in order to ensure that shidduchim are not being redd to people who have nothing in common. Sometimes the labels are meaningless, because different people understand things in non-identical ways. What I call modern frum, may not be what you call modern frum. You might feel it is a woman who wears pants, or a man who wears a knit kippah. I might simply mean a girl who covers her hair after marriage, davens everyday, but is college and post-grad educated, and wants the same in her husband. Everything is relative and very subjective.

    #631676

    Does anyone out there – or rather in here- know what “yeshivishe” means? In context of shidduchim. What’s a yeshivsh boy like? A yeshivsh girl?

    #631677

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    depends who is asking

    #631679

    I guess so. But what’s the range?

    #631680

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    regular typical black-hat to ultra greasy, anti materialism. that’s how i’d put it.

    i did not mean anything negative at all. moderator – if you have a better choice of words, by all means, change it.

    #631681

    amichai
    Participant

    no such definition of yeshivishe anymore. if the father is a rosh yeshiva- his kids will be called yesivishe even if they dress different by other standards. if the parents are frum balei batim and simple, oiy vey if the kids dress the same way as the rosh yeshivas kids. they will be called at risk.

    #631682

    whatshaiches
    Member

    opinionatedbubby: there is no answer to your question, ask 100 people and you will most probably get 100 different definitions

    #631685

    areivimzehlazeh
    Participant

    ask 100 ppl and get 600 different answers- especially in the CR where opinions run amok

    #631686

    and using areivim’s ratio, if those 100 ppl have 600 screen names between them that will become 3600 opinions from 100 people.

    #631687

    RoshYeshivah
    Member

    Hey they took down my whole speech! But i’m not gonna ask the mods why cuz they don’t like that,right?

    #631688

    RoshYeshivah
    Member

    basically what your saying charlie is, that the whole CF could really be one person with 600 screen names.

    #631689

    areivimzehlazeh
    Participant

    very perceptive RY. charlie has just revealed this to me… i forget which topic

    #631690

    squeak
    Participant

    Since there are only 6 posters (including areivim) we should only get 36 opinions out of the CR. Which sounds about right, and approximately one per user name, based on recent experience.

    #631691

    Torah Lover
    Member

    its mamish so sad how people label..dont people understand that labels are meant for cans and jars and not people..obviously not..

    #631692

    Labeling just comes automatically and its not necesserally a bad thing either.

    #631693

    Jewess
    Member

    I think people like to:

    a) belong…by joining a “labeled” circle you are part of a group.

    b) feel safe…by “labeling” others you know if you’ll be comfortable or not interacting with them.

    I’m not sure if that makes any sense but that’s how I look at it.

    #631694

    noitallmr
    Participant

    The labeling is not the bad thing. It’s just a fact of life that some people are more Orthodox and some less. Rather it’s the attitude to these “labeled” people that upsets me. Were all equals and brothers (& sisters) at the end of the day so lets behave like that. Spreading Ahavas Chinom won’t do anyone any harm…

    #631695

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    It’s not the labeling that’s bad… it’s the rejectionist attitude that follows the labeling that is bad.

    The Wolf

    #631696

    Al Tistakel Bikankan, Elah Bimah Sheyesh Bo….

    ok, my transliterations need a little work.

    #631697

    Sorry, pressed enter before I finished!

    By labeling the container, people tend to look down at every other group. I understand labeling Sephardi or Ashkenazi or Chassidish because that has a lot to do with your parents (or who you married ect). But going beyond that is ridiculous! Without labels, you can “figure a person out” for yourself by talking to them! Immediately certain things become known. Otherwise, people will say “no” before realizing what the person is really all about.

    #631698

    Joseph
    Member

    No, the labeling itself is bad and indeed destructive.

    #631699

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    No, the labeling itself is bad and indeed destructive.

    Joseph,

    I’m curious why you think that… without the attendant negative attitudes that inevitably crop up surrounding the labels.

    The Wolf

    #631700

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    jewess – you took sociology? it goes into all that when discussion stereotypes, prejudice and racism. (all very different but there is a common thread)

    #631701

    notpashut
    Member

    Joseph,

    It’s not a label, it’s who you are.

    If someone says I’m a white american jewish new yorker flatbush guy black hatter yeshivishe litvak, did he label me or did he just say who I am?

    Believe it or not, I’m with the Wolf on this one, as long as we can agree that disagreeing with someone does not constitute a “rejectionist attitude”.

    #631702

    areivimzehlazeh
    Participant

    notpashut- couldn’t have said it better myelf (this is the first time i’m “taking sides” in the CR. i’m gonna need therapy after this is over)

    #631703

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Notpashut, double shot needed!! I agree!! I generally agree with The Wolf though πŸ™‚

    #631704

    Joseph
    Member

    Wolf/notpashut,

    The label itself connotes a rejectionist attitude.

    You asked “If someone says I’m a white american jewish new yorker flatbush guy black hatter yeshivishe litvak, did he label me or did he just say who I am?” And each of those attributes excludes — i.e. implicitly, in a subtle sense, excludes — others “not like” you. Saying you are “Jewish” is a good exclusionary attribute, the others are not.

    Labels like Orthodox, Chiloni, religious, modern orthodox, etc. are divisive and destructive to Jewish unity. A Jew may keep the Torah, may keep most of the Torah, may keep part of the Torah, etc. but they all are still Jews — and only Jews. Perhaps a Jew in need of improvement, but a Jew (and only a Jew) nonetheless.

    #631705

    squeak
    Participant

    What about Cohain, Leivi, and Yisroel?

    #631706

    squeak: thats not labeling. Hashem made that

    #631707

    Joseph
    Member

    squeak – Those aren’t merely labels. They are status’.

    #631708

    Joseph
    Member

    An additional reason labels are dangerous, is that it legitimizes the illegitimate. Gee, I’m “left-wing modern-orthodox” and “my gedolim” are okay with mixed swimming. Or I’m “right-wing modern orthodox” and “my gedolim” oppose mixed swimming but are okay with lax tznius. etc. (Don’t get too hooked up on the examples; its the point that is important.)

    #631709

    I think labels all have to do with the attitude surrounding them. Cohen, Levi and Yisroel are not seen as negative, as well all accept it as Min Hashamayim. But with Litvak/chasidish/blackhatter/yeshivish/comeupwithyourown it has become negative to be seen as the other. If you are not my “label” or what I consider to be my label, then you are an “other” and dont belong.

    Besides- try defining any of these terms and lets see if we cam all agree on a definition… We have tried it in the past and it hasnt worked well.

    #631710

    myshadow
    Member

    u got it jewess!

    And as for the yeshivish, it used to mean if the father had a rosh yeshiva, but now people are just labeling stam even if the kids are not at all like the parents

    #631711

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    I don’t mind labels because it helps me understand where someone is coming from. It doesnt mean I look down on them or see them in a negative light.

    If I am talking to a Satmar women, I won’t assume if I quote a pasuk from tanach that she would know it. So I might summarize the statement instead, so as not to make her feel ignorant. Its not always a bad thing, but can be used negatively.

    #631712

    notpashut
    Member

    Omigosh!!

    Wolf, Sjs, & myself AGREE?? Double shot indeed!!

    It’s a good thing Rabbiofberlin hasn’t agreed as well otherwise I think we’d need to do something REALLY special to celebrate.

    Joseph,

    “Labels like Orthodox, Chiloni, religious, modern orthodox, etc. are divisive and destructive to Jewish unity.”

    It’s not the label that’s divisive & destructive, it’s the way people use them.

    The label itself, as I said, is just a description of who you are.

    #631713

    myshadow
    Member

    lol SJS why would a satmar woman not know a posuk from tanach?

    #631715

    areivimzehlazeh
    Participant

    i feel that a person’s view of labeling reflects the way he/she conducts his/her life and his/her view of self (i can’t sit and type out my entire analysis- that’s just the conclusion)

    #631716

    Joseph
    Member

    notpashut: “It’s not the label that’s divisive & destructive, it’s the way people use them.”

    The labels themselves breed it. It is its very nature.

    Another problem with labels is that they “kasher” tarfus. Someone says hey, I’m “left-wing” and my “left-wing gedolim” aren’t makpid about mixed swimming, tznius, etc. So you do yours, and let me do mine.

    Btw, when you have a chance ask about this issue to your Rav or someone of his stature and see what they think about it. It may be both surprising and illuminating to you.

    #631717

    Joseph, I never thought about how it kashers tarfus… another reason why I hate labels. you are so right!

    #631718

    anonymisss
    Participant

    havesomeseichel-believe me, joseph doesn’t need an ego boost. He’s doing just fine, no need to commend him or his “brilliance.

    ~a~

    #631719

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    I have never met a “left leaning Rabbi” that aren’t makpid about mixed swimming, tznius, etc. This is just right wing foolishness that doesnt understand the difference between halacha and how one practices halacha.

    Anyway, why was my response about satmar deleted? I don’t think it was offensive at all. I’ll try rewording it, so here goes:

    Satmar women do not learn tanach directly – they learn summaries in yiddish IIRC. So, they wouldn’t know a direct quote from Tanach.

    #631720

    myshadow
    Member

    Joseph, nice.

    #631721

    squeak
    Participant

    ~a~, I don’t think that there’s anyone who doesn’t need to hear a good thing about themselves once in a while.

    Well fielded, Joseph!

    <clears a path for charlie brown and areivim to enter>

    #631722

    But still, why do people label? I got called something based on the school I went to even though it had nothing to do with me! It was so incorrect and it was hurtful! Just because someone is not from the school that you went to, it doesnt mean that they are irreligious ect. I met someone who was telling me about her school. I asked a question and her response went along the lines of, “Well, it depends on how yeshivish your school is…” I was shocked, because there are many frum, fine, very yeshivish schools that do not do what this school does ect. I guess if the definition of yeshivish includes going to this specific school, then I guess she was right. But why be so close-minded? I dont say that every school is “yeshivish” (whatever that means) but each child needs a school that is appropriate for them, and one should not look down at someone because they do what is right for their child.

    #631723

    ~a~ I try to point out arguments that make a lot of sense and I agree to and I thank the author, whomever he or she is…. Everyone needs a good ego boost once in a while, and even editors and mods need appreciation.

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