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No one is stopping you from learning on your own the things that interest you, on your own time. I recommend Nefesh Shimshon by Rabbi Pincus. He has a sefer about Shabbos, a sefer about tefilla.
Rabbi Leizer Ginsburg shlita personally told me that he refused to answer to his English name when he had a teacher in school who insisted on calling him by his English name. (At the time that he was born, the law was that everyone had to have an American name.)
If we are talking about a BT whose parents or family are hostile to religion, then obviously that is a challenge. For example, as mentioned by zahavasdad, not being able to eat what your parents cooked, or being asked to do things on Shabbos that are forbidden, or being asked to attend an intermarriage r”l. Abandoning your whole way of life is obviously something that is not easy.
On the other hand, FFBs could sort of take things for granted and may lack a certain degree of excitement that comes with doing something new. For example, repeating the same prayers 3 times a day your whole life – whereas for a BT, at least initially, davening is something new and exciting.
As mentioned, the reason I chose the stairwell is because it is a relatively quiet place with relatively little traffic. If I go to a classroom, maybe a class will come or maybe the cleaning guy will need to clean there, whereas in a stairwell I am not bothering anyone and I can daven as long as I want. To walk in the middle of SE is not l’chatchila. If I would be a Muslim guy with a carpet, no one would have said a word to me. I thank Hashem that the situation did not escalate beyond what I described, and that BH I did not transgress the halacha of not talking or walking during SE. Rabbi Yitzchak Zilber, in anti-Semitic Soviet Russia, once pretended that he was having a heart attack and was unable to speak to avoid talking to someone during SE. L’havdil, Reb Sholom M. Rubashkin personally told me that he was moser nefesh, at great personal risk, not to talk in the middle of davening when in jail.
in the future in colleges its best to remain low profile & not attract any attention of judaism to yourself & C”V not cause any anti-semitism
What are the paramaters of keeping a low profile? Is it OK to wear a yarmulke and tzitzis out? Is it OK to daven there if there is no other place for me to daven? Have you ever put on tefillin on a plane? I put on tefillin while traveling to Spokane, Washington and no one said a word to me. Was I bothering anyone by standing in the corner and praying?
Ask Reb Dovid Feinstein if cholov stam is muttar.
To think the request is muttar, since one is even allowed to think about melacha on Shabbos (though one is not allowed to talk about melacha, like saying “I will buy something after Shabbos”).
If it’s a spiritual request (like shidduchim, which is a mitzvah since getting married and raising a family of ovdei Hashem is a mitzvah), there are opinions that you can pray for that on Shabbos. Other opinions forbid even this. The minhag is to be meikel, and so ruled Rav Belsky.
The Tchernobler minhag (al-pi Eliyahu Hanovi) is to complete the entire Sefer T’hillim, ‘bli-hefsek’ and before davening on Shabbos morning. This is 1 of the 3 most important minhagim of Skver and Rachmistrifka Chassidus.
Does this come at the expense of zman tefilla?
Does it result in being too tired to recite the morning prayers like a mentch? (To say 150 psalms bli hefsek can be tiring, especially if one says them in a meaningful way, as opposed to flying through it.)
Does it involve flying through Tehillim as opposed to saying it slowly and with concentration?
Are you aware that a little with kavana is more important than a lot without kavana?
Do you work in a Yiddishe company or goyishe?
To remain a ben torah (this includes advice about learning, but also other aspects of being/ remaining a ben torah while in the workforce):
(1) Be kovea i’tem every day, immediately after (or before) the morning prayers, before going to work. Emphasis should be on Halacha. Even if you literally have only one minute.
(2) Be extremely makpid about tefilla b’tzibbur.
(3) Tzitzis out at work. Wear a big yarmulke.
(4) Not to shake hands with women at work under any circumstances. And make it known that you don’t shake hands with women. It will be awkward, but it will give you a sense of Jewish pride and help to create a certain distance between you and the goyim. Also, to be careful about yichud, and not to look for heterim.
(5) Really use Shabbos for learning (and Sunday, as well) – not to waste even a moment of time. Same goes for days off.
(6) Keep in touch with kollel/ rosh kollel, etc.
(7) Learn on the train while traveling to and from work.
(8) To daven in yeshivishe minyanim whenever possible (e.g., on Shabbos), as opposed to baal habatishe minyanim.July 9, 2017 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm in reply to: Requesting information about frumteens and R’ Yaakov Shapiro (hear me out mods!) #1313401
Rabbi Shapiro is, if I am not mistaken, the grand-nephew of the Satmar Rebbe.
Like was this Rav Chareidi? Why didn’t he post his name? Why did the site shut down? Why didn’t he get haskamos? Why did people bash it? How did he have time for this? Why did he make it? Who helped him make it? Who is the gadol he posted about that pushed him to do it? and more…
He is Charedi. I don’t know where he supposedly didn’t post his name. His name is Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro. I have also spent a lot of time going through the Web site. The site was “bashed” because it expressed authentic daas Torah regarding Zionism, Lubavitch, and Modern Orthodoxy, as opposed to “popular” positions. He did it to help Yidden/ teenagers with questions about Yiddishkeit. There were other people/ “moderators” who assisted Rabbi Shapiro. He was clearly close with/ influenced by such gedolim as the Satmar Rebbe and HaGaon HaRav A. Miller zatzal.
Just recently, Rabbi Shapiro spoke at the anti-draft/ anti-Zionist asifa in Barclay’s Center, where he said almost the same speech, word for word, as he had said earlier at a similar asifa in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Shapiro travels around the world telling both Yidden and goyim about the evils of Zionism. (The Satmar Rebbe said that at every asifa, or gathering/ protest, there should be one English speaker so that the press, etc. can understand that the State of Israel does NOT represent Torah Jews, even though, of course, all Chassidic gatherings are conducted in Yiddish. Rabbi Shapiro is that English speaker.)
I’ve been told that the Chazon Ish considered the MB to be the mainstay of Halacha, but this view does seem to be the standard even amongst non-ChazonIshniks.
Yes, but the Chazon Ish holds differently from the MB on a number of issues:
According to the Chazon Ish, you cannot daven Mincha after shkia, even b’dieved. You must finish SE before shkia.
According to the Chazon Ish, you cannot kick a muktzah object or move it with your elbow; the Mishna Berura allows this.
According to the Chazon Ish, you can say Vayechulu by yourself Fri night; the minhag is that we say it with a minyan, or at least with one other person.
The Chazon Ish has really big shiurim for reviis, kezayis….
The Chofetz Chaim was asked about his minhag not to eat gebrots on Pesach, in light of the fact that the Gaon ate gebrots.
The Chofetz Chaim answered: “Bring me the matzos of the Gaon, and I will also eat them with soup!”
Yes, the hotline identified the other posek, as well. If you call the Five Towns Halacha Hotline, you can find out for yourself what his name is, and you can ask him your shailas, as well. (Though actually there are a few different rabbis besides Rabbi Forst.) Rabbi Forst has specific calling hours. You can call the hotline at a different time, but you will get a different posek. Maybe (probably) the other posek is not as experienced as Rabbi Forst, who has written numerous sifrei Halacha, including seforim on hilchos niddah, which certainly speaks to his expertise in Halacha.
It’s based on the will of Rebbe Yehuda HaChasid.
I did not have time earlier to type up Rabbi Forst’s response, as I needed to go to class.
Anywhere, the rav said that it’s fine to daven some brachos in English and some in Hebrew, and indeed one should say Hashem’s name in Hebrew (Ado-) even if davening in English. (This happens to be also the opinion of Rav Shternbuch. Ask me if you want a source. However, I personally believe that it is a strange practice to mix languages in one sentence, as one would not speak that way to a king. That is the reason for my hesitation. In addition, the baal teshuva has been davening in the past by saying L-rd, so does this mean that all his prayers were invalid?)
If one knows that if he davens in Hebrew, he will mispronounce words (and who knows if he is yotzi?), and it will take him 15 minutes to daven a weekday SE, should he still make an effort to say everything in Hebrew?
I did not ask this question directly to Rav Forst, but I did ask someone else who works for Rav Forst’s hotline who responded that yes, he should daven in Hebrew because the prayers are more powerful in that language, even if it takes a long time. As for the question of not being yotzi due to mispronouncing words (as is common when learning a new language, and due to lack of confidence in the new language), I have not posed this question to anybody, but indeed the baal teshuva is concerned about this.
There is an English sefer about the halachic process that talks about asking different rabbis the same question, and when it’s allowed and when it’s not allowed. There are cases when it’s allowed.
Shaila is like this:
One who davens SE in English (or part of it in English and part in Hebrew), how should he translate the Sheim Hashem?
Maybe he should say it in Hebrew: “Blessed are You, Ad-noy, Shield of Abraham.”
Can you mix languages in one bracha?
If one knows that if he davens in Hebrew, he will mispronounce words (and who knows if he is yotzi?), and it will take him 15 minutes to daven a weekday SE, should he still make an effort to say everything in Hebrew?
It’s a Chabad minhag. According to plain halacha, one cannot eat before davening SE (for men) unless sick, weak, etc. Chabad claims that nowadays everyone is sick, weak, etc. But for MO people – I don’t know what their heter is.
iacisrmma The Muslims are brazen, as the Torah tells us – Yishmael shall be a wild man. Therefore, they do this sort of thing (throwing down carpets).
But we are bashful, as Chazal say. We are embarrassed about this sort of thing (to pray in public).
The man comes to the bakery and asks if their goods are yoshon. (Yoshon literally means old.)
Chas v’shalom, answers the owner. Everything is very fresh.
Another joke, told over by RabbI Uri Zohar shlit”a: I am probably misstating it slightly.
A frum guy is riding on a motorcycle. A chiloni cop follows him in the hopes of catching him break some law. After following the frum guy to his destination, the chiloni asks him: “How is it that I’ve been following you all this time and you didn’t break even one law?” The frum guy answers: “How could I do something wrong if Hashem is with me?” The chloni responds, with visible excitement: “That’s it! Now, I’ve finally caught you breaking a law! You just admitted that there were two of you on the motorcycle, and the law allows only one.”
I know of a story of a man that was in negotiations with a big company in Japan over a million dollar deal. When he got to Japan he met the vice president of the company, a woman, who extended her hand to him, and he politely explained to her that it is against his religion to have physical contact with any woman other than his wife. after the meeting he was told that the company will give him an answer in two weeks. He thought, “That it after all of that I blew it” and he was all dejected. Two weeks later he got an answer from the company that they want to double the original order. Their reason was that if this man can stand up to his ideals even in an awkward situation, that means that he is a man of principles and values, and therefore they want to do business with him!!:
I am going to be talking on the phone, and people will see no (audible) words coming out of my mouth, but merely the lips moving? I will be talking on the phone without dialing any numbers?
Or I will say it audibly (and people will realize that I am talking in a language other than English)?
I am not asking for halachic advice, but rather for thoughts and practical advice.
I received the following response from a certain rav to whom I described the above-mentioned situation:
You are portraying an awkward situation. First of all if he is bentching with kavana, they will all see that he is praying, and they will respect him for that. HE can also say the words louder so they will understand that he is doing something religious. After he is finished he can politely explain that he was praying, and thanking G-d for the food that he just ate, which is one of our commandments. Other than that we have to know that there are times that we will have nisyonos, and we will be rewarded for it… and it might also cause them to respect him for it more.
However, one should be loud about, even in one’s home. People who do that imply that they think that Hashem is hard of hearing c”v (Berachot 24b).
What the Gemara is saying applies only to SE. By other brachos, on the contrary, it is good to say it out loud, so that you will have better kavana and so that other people can say Amein.
“HOLD UP YOUR HANDS”
Hmmm… To show that you don’t have any weapons? Is one permitted to make gestures to other people while reciting a bracha?
There was a story with a certain big rabbi (Rabbi Zilber) who was approached by an anti-Semitic lady while he was in the middle of SE. The rav grabbed his chest and pointed at his mouth like he was having a heart attack and couldn’t breathe. By the time that medical assistance was summoned, he had finished davening and indicated that he now felt better.
In a case that a lady extended her hand to him, the rav purposely made himself trip and fall, and the lady ended up grabbing him by the elbow instead of by the hand. (Keep in mind that this was in Communist Russia.)
If such a situation already arose, it is too late to ask a rav. Anyway, I don’t need to ask a rav, even if such a situation arose, because the halacha is clear that one may not speak during bentching. It is the same as SE. One may certainly not speak after having said the first six words of bentching, as doing so will involve two issurim of Sheim Hashem l’vatala. Likewise, one may not shake hands with some random lady at work, as ruled clearly by Rav Moshe Feinstein and the Chazon Ish. Therefore, what is one to do? I am awaiting Joseph’s brilliant response.
Joseph – Yes, there is such a story. So, what, practically speaking, would you do in the case described above re:
(a) greeting people in the middle of bentching?
(b) responding to the outstretched hand of the lady in the middle of bentching, which, as we discussed earlier, the Steipler and the Chazon Ish both rule that I must let myself be burned alive rather than shake her hand?May 22, 2017 4:27 pm at 4:27 pm in reply to: how to deal with a guest who brings up Yom Haatzmaut 🇮🇱 #1282780
takahmamash – Do you realize that there are some things that happen that are contrary to the ratzon Hashem because people have free will?
If a Jew eats pork on Yom Kippur while sitting in a church r”l, it is NOT the ratzon Hashem that this Jew should be doing that. Therefore, we say that this Jew is doing something that is contrary to the ratzon Hashem.
If a person violates halacha, he is acting contrary to the ratzon Hashem. That is why it is so terrible for a Jew to violate halacha. Not because eating pork is “bad” or turning on a light on Shabbos is “bad,” but because Hashem forbids a Jew to do this.
Joseph – Correct, but especially in such a case (that there is another Jew there to say Amen) one should (according to some opinions) make the bracha out loud. However, says the Ben Ish Chai, if you know that this person won’t say Amein (however it is that you know this – for example, he is frei or he is busy texting) then you should not say it out loud because it is lifnei iver (he will be mevatel the chiyuv d’rabbonin of answering Amein).
I recently listened (could find only one video on Youtube) to the niggun that was sung by the Ger Tzedek when he was walking to his place of execution. This niggun was taught, if I am not mistaken, by Rav Meltzer zatzal and it was the minhag to sing it on motzoi Yom Kippur. The words are taken from the beginning of davening.May 22, 2017 2:01 pm at 2:01 pm in reply to: how to deal with a guest who brings up Yom Haatzmaut 🇮🇱 #1282659
The person embarrassed himself by praising a country founded by Jewish heretics in violation of the ratzon Hashem (Zionism is avodah zora, according to Rabbi Wasserman HY”D).
Depends on what the name is. (Could be hard for a goy to pronounce).
What if the boss walks in, with an entourage of chashuve people (goyim), after you said Baruch ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam of the first bracha of bentching? And you cannot greet them, right? And then the lady sticks out her hand in greeting, and you cannot even explain yourself, right? Nor can you continue to bentch, because there is erva and we cannot pray where there is erva. What would you do in such a case?
It was obvious that I had not eaten meat, because it was in the morning and nobody eats meat for breakfast. (OK, maybe some people do – but probably not.)May 22, 2017 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm in reply to: how to deal with a guest who brings up Yom Haatzmaut 🇮🇱 #1282646
Who am I to “discuss” anything? I can only tell you what the gedolim have said.
According to Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro:
Maran Rav Schach, the saintly gadol hador, explained to his Talmidim who would constantly ask about the accursed Zionist flag. It was a concession of the Ponivicher Rav in order to solicit money from the government. Read Rav Schach’s Michtavim UMaamarim about Zionism, religious or otherwise – he berates it. He was the Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovich while that flag was hanging there and he was clearly extremely anti-zionist. Clearly, you cannot judge the Hashkofos of the Rabbonom in that building by the flag that was on the roof – they said so many times themselves. That flag was a political expedience, not a political statement.May 22, 2017 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm in reply to: how to deal with a guest who brings up Yom Haatzmaut 🇮🇱 #1282630
It is known that the Zionist flag is flown by Rav Schach’s yeshiva on a certain day of the year. However, like they say, not everything that happens in Bnei Brak has the haskama of the Chazon Ish, and the same would apply here.
Any insinuation that Rav Schach was Zionist in any way is a distortion of the truth. Rav Schach said, “When I get to the Olam Haemes and they ask me why I wasn’t Zionist, I will point to the Chofetz Chaim and say that I followed in his derech.” Maran HaRav Schach is not in need of anyone’s haskama. (So said the Chazon Ish.)
Let us look at the words of the great Gaon and Tzaddik, Rabbi Zilberstein shlita, and the great Gaon and Tzaddik, one of the poskei hador, the Shevet Halevi: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/398088/rav-yitzchak-zilberstein-says-women-should-not-drive-as-it-compromises-tzniyus.html
Another situation: I am sitting in an office with a lady. I want to leave the door open to avoid all shailas of yichud. The lady goes and closes it because it is “cold.” (I am forced to rely on the fact that I am sitting by the window and people can see in from the street. But I would prefer for the door to be open, as well, as not all parts of the room are necessarily visible from the street.)
One time I was offered something at work that was cholov stam, and the lady showed me the OU-D and said, ‘See? It’s kosher. You can eat it.” How does one explain himself out of such a situation? Should I claim to be lactose intolerant? But on a different day they will see me eating my cholov Yisroel yogurt!
Another time – at a different job – they offered me something with a hechsher that I was not familiar with, supposedly from a Jewish bakery, but I had no idea if it was pas yisroel and yoshon. How does one explain such things?
If one just said the words Baruch ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam (e.g., of asher yatzar) and there is a goy who asks you a question, what should you do? (It happened to me one time but I had only said Baruch ata Hashem so I quickly ended off with lamdeini chukecha.)
I know of people who pick up the phone and pretend to be talking into it when they bentch at work (the same would apply by asher yatzar, but this bracha is shorter and can be said quickly, unlike bentching which is longer). I know of a rav who put his arm in a cast to avoid shaking a lady’s hand during a job interview.
Even people who wear tzitzis out in the workplace do not “hang ’em low.” Do Chassidic people who work among goyim wear their tallis katan over their shirts at work? Do they wear their Hasidic levush at work? Would they bring a shtreimel at work if they had to go to work on Chol Hamoed or some day that they consider to be a holiday (e.g., Lag Ba’omer or Pesach Sheini or some other day that Hasidim, and to a lesser extent, other Yidden, treat like a holiday)? Do Litvishe people walk around at work wearing a black hat? Does that mean that people are embarrassed to be Jewish when in public?
I once saw a Hasidic guy eating an apple on the train and it was obvious that he put his mouth into his sleeve when he whispered the bracha.
When I am at home or among frum Yidden, I usually make brachos loudly and with great dveikus. (By the way, there are some entertaining videos on youtube of Chassidic rabbis making the bracha on sefiras haomer. Quite amusing.) Are you, Joseph, suggesting that I should do the same when in public (for example, at a public library)?April 30, 2017 5:04 pm at 5:04 pm in reply to: Comparing Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chumras and Kulot #1266336
The wife of the Chazon Ish wore a wig.
For Sephardim – it is controversial if they can wear a wig. The opinion of Chacham Ovadia is well-known, but not everyone holds like him.April 30, 2017 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm in reply to: Comparing Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chumras and Kulot #1266332
Ashkenazim have each guy in the family light his own menorah; by Sephardim only the baal habayis lights. Ashkenazim are really following the Sephardic opinion. Am I right, Joseph?April 30, 2017 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm in reply to: Comparing Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chumras and Kulot #1266320
Avoiding fish and milk is also a Chabad custom.
Anything by the saintly tzaddik, HaRav Shimshon Pincus, the Nefesh Shimshon (for example, The Gates of Emuna)
Anything by the saintly tzaddik, HaRav A. Miller zatzal (for example, The Universe Testifies)April 30, 2017 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm in reply to: Comparing Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chumras and Kulot #1266268
Sephardim are required to keep yoshon (and generally have more stringent traditions in kashrus). While by Ashkenazim, some people are meikel to eat chodosh (although, having learned the sugya, I know that the heterim to eat chodosh are weak).April 30, 2017 3:48 pm at 3:48 pm in reply to: Comparing Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chumras and Kulot #1266267
joseph – Does it have to do with Chanukah?
Sephardic ladies are required to recite 100 benedictions every day, in the opinion of Chacham Ovadia.
Ashkenazic ladies don’t have to.
Selichos is a big one!
Sephardim are into kabbalah more than (non-Hasidic) Ashkenazim. Ex: Sephardim put on RT’s tefillin. In terms of nusach, there are differences.
Sephardim have to wait an extra day to cut their hair during sefira.
Sephardim are required from the letter of the law to wait 6 hours after meat. Whereas, for Ashkenazim, it is only a minhag (and some Ashkenazim have a minhag to wait 1 hour, etc.)
Some Poskim (including Harav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal in Igros Moshe ibid.) maintain that in certain instances and with the guidance of a Rav, one may switch his/her “33 days” from year to year if necessary (hataras nedarim may be necessary in order to do this), while others are stringent and maintain that one must continually follow the same minhag each year. (See Michtavim U’ma’amarim from the Gaon Harav Elazar Menachem Mann Shach Zatzal vol. 6 page 71 for the reasoning why changing would not be permitted.)
The sefer Vayoel Moshe will answer all the above questions.
Just because something is not mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch doesn’t mean that it’s not a real Halacha. The laws of lashon hara are not enumerated in the Shulchan Aruch. So lashon hara isn’t a real sin?
Even if it is only a “medrash” and not a real “Halacha,” it still reflects the ratzon Hashem – and the ratzon Hashem is that we should not have a Zionist state while we are in golus.
The vast majority of gedolim were either anti-Zionist or non-Zionist (Chofetz Chaim, Brisker Rav, Satmar Rebbe, Chazon Ish,….)
Chabad Chassidim do NOT take haircuts on any day of sefira, except erev Shavuos (and erev Shabbos which erev Shavuous is a Shabbos). This is based on the Arizal, since based on kabbalah, the days of sefiras haomer are likened to Chol Hamoed and are days of din. [Don’t ask; it’s a kabbalistic thing.] There are different customs regarding which days are the correct days, so if you want to act in a way that will satisfy all opinions, then you keep the whole sefira.
You may listen to music Chol Hamoed Pesach.
Women technically don’t have to count but many do (according to Sephardic and kabbalistic custom, women should not count).
Switching sefiras is a complicated question and should only be done in a case of dire need.
If one wanted to observe Yom HaShoah in a spiritual/ Torah way, like other days of tragedy are observed according to Jewish law and tradition, he would do so by fasting on this day. But in Nissan we are not supposed to be fasting. That already shows you how the invention of Yom HaShaoh is contrary to the spirit of the Torah, as we are unable to observe this day in the way that the Torah tells us to observe days of tragedy (erev Shabbos Chukas, Tisha Bav, etc.)
The original proposal was to have Yom Hashoah on the day of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which was erev Pesach. However, this “uprising” was against the Torah, as explained at length by the Gaon Rav Miller. (Look it up.)