Mixed Seating

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  • #876998
    Ben Torah
    Participant

    the general condition that existed in the inter-war period in america (between the two world wars and a little bit thereafter), was a temporary condition of lax religious observance. it had no real precedence in pre-ww1 europe, and thankfully the gedolim brought the level of religious observance back up after ww2.

    #876999
    oomis
    Participant

    MOD 80, no need for sarcasm. You are allowed to disagree with me without making that type of comment.

    Ben Torah – you cannot have it both ways. At least one of the Gedolim whom WE call Gedolim (Rav Moshe for example ZT”L) had mixed seating at his wedding. So are you CHAS V’SHOLOM saying he was lax in his observance?

    #877000
    oomis
    Participant

    “According to you, why did the Rabbonim make the issurim of yichud, negiah, etc? Why didn’t they “have faith” in the people?”

    Are you seriously comparing actual yichud and negiah to people sitting together at a simcha or talking together in the street, at shul, in school, or at a social event of some other type?????

    I do not believe this! Maybe according to that way of thinking, a boy should not even be allowed to drive a girl in his car on a date. That is Yichud, too. And she is really at his mercy if the car is on a deserted road. He could drive wherever he wanted. But we trust the boys and the girls not to do anything wrong.

    #877001
    Moq
    Member

    Thinking…that sounds wonderful. Like, actually points and counterpoints, actually responding to the actual point.

    What a dream! Sounds like a great idea! I think we should try it!

    #877002
    Moq
    Member

    Oomis, can you answer a simple question?

    The Shulchan Aruch says to “stay far far away from women”.

    What does that mean?

    Not what it doesn’t.

    What it does mean. Apply it to our lives.

    How should we incorporate that statement of Shulchan Aruch in our lives?

    Simple question. Just that. Please, let’s just focus on that question.

    #877007
    mw13
    Participant

    lesschumros – I got a little carried away in my previous post, and I apologize.

    That said, it disturbs me to no end that you refer to yiridas hadoros, a concept that was told to us by men far greater than you and me, as a “myth”. In Judaisim, no question is off limits – but please, wait for an explanation before you so casually dismiss something!

    “Why is it necessary to make believe that Yehuda didn’t do what he did with Tamar?”

    As has been explained, there are many, many meforshim that deal with these types of problems (Yehudah and Tamar, the Aigel, the Meroglim, etc). If you truly want an answer I would suggest either looking them up or asking somebody who is likely to be knowledgeable in these things (like your LOR).

    _______________________________________________________

    oomis1105 – “Are you seriously comparing actual yichud and negiah to people sitting together at a simcha or talking together in the street, at shul, in school, or at a social event of some other type????? I do not believe this!”

    No, I am not saying that mixed seating is assur, as yichud and negiah are. I am, however, pointing out that the Rabbonim obviously did not think “trust” is the way to go when it comes to the yetzer hara of arayos. As Moq, pointed out, it would be nice if you actually responded to my point, instead of informing me that you “do not believe this!” Look at all the halachos that Kasha so kindly quoted in “Al Tarbe Sicha Im Haeisha” and tell me: Can you honestly say that according to daas Torah, there’s nothing wrong with inter-gender contact?

    “Maybe according to that way of thinking, a boy should not even be allowed to drive a girl in his car on a date. That is Yichud, too. And she is really at his mercy if the car is on a deserted road.”

    As a matter of fact yes, it is yichud for an unrelated male and female to be alone in car in a place where nobody else is likely to pass by.

    #877009
    Chortkov
    Participant

    The gemara kesubos 17a brigns story of tanna who danced with kalla on his shoulders. His talmidim asked him if they could do the same, and he said ‘if a woman is like a peice of wood to you, then by all means do it. if not…’ I think this suitably answers al your proffs from roshei yeshieves who went to mixed weddings. Are you the same? A boy went to R’ Elya Lopian zt”l (rosh yeshiva of gateshead) asking permission to go to a mixed wedding, saying he won’t be affected by these things and can control himself. R’ Elya said ‘I am eighty and blind in one eye, and i look down in the streeet when i walk, and i still am scared i will see an improper sight. YOu are a teenager…” Is there anything more to add? I rest my case.

    #877010
    147
    Participant

    What is the difference if I eat my dinner with mixed seating at a wedding {that has separate dancing} verses eating my dinner with mixed seating on an aeroplane?

    #877011
    writersoul
    Participant

    147: One question might be whether, unless the dancing is in a separate room, where the dancing is so the men can’t see the women’s side from their shared table.

    Also, for a lot of people there doesn’t seem to be a difference.

    #877012
    Feif Un
    Participant

    When R’ Moshe Feinstein zt”l married off his children, the weddings had mixed seating. At the yeshiva dinners 50 years ago, there was mixed seating.

    #877013
    avhaben
    Participant

    The ONLY child of Rav Moshe who had mixed was Rabbi Tendler — at R. Tendler’s insistence, not Rav Moshe. Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven had seperate seating.

    #877014
    avhaben
    Participant

    Note that in MO weddings with mixed seating there is, inevitably by omission or commission, by default or design or oversight, almost always problems of mixed dancing. Meaning the women are dancing in front of men. Sometimes the dancing floor is literally open by design, with no mechitza whatsoever. Other times there is a nominal mechitza for dancing, but men are seated on both sides of the mechitza and inevitably there are still men in their assigned seats on the “women’s side” who don’t leave their seats, and yet the women dance in front of them.

    #877015
    TheGoq
    Participant

    I don’t think we should serve mixed vegetables at the reception corn and beans and carrots all together? not right.

    #877016
    Feif Un
    Participant

    avhaben: I believe you’re mistaken. I was told by many people, including Rabbonim, that all of R’ Moshe’s children had mixed seating at their weddings.

    As for MO weddings, you have no clue what you’re talking about. There is a mechitzah between men and women, and there is no mixed dancing.

    As for men seeing the women, I’m not sure about the halachos. Is there an issur of men seeing women dance, or only to dance together? In shuls, there is this recent idea that the women must be completely hidden from view, when this is NOT the halacha. They must just be separated.

    I don’t know what the halacha is regarding dancing. I looked in the Shulchan Aruch, and I didn’t see anything about watching a woman dance. Does anyone have a source where it’s brought down?

    #877017
    mermaid
    Member

    I have family that was at Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven’s chasunas. They had seperate seating.

    Men aren’t permitted to see women dance and women aren’t permitted to dance in the presence of men. This is something that is unfortunately neglected at many modern weddings (and other events.)

    #877018
    oomis
    Participant

    I am utterly opposed to mixed seating. It is best if all the seats are coordinated.

    #877019
    Feif Un
    Participant

    R’ Breuer (from KAJ) was against separate seating. He said that if a person couldn’t withstand the pressure to have separate seating at a wedding, at least the younger people who were looking to get married should have mixed seating – he said mitzvah goreres mitzvah, and a shidduch could come out of it.

    #877020
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    Most Torah Jews nowadays ascribe to to concept of “???????? ?????? ??????” iterated and reiterated in these parshios time and again. So most of us are indeed looking to better ourselves, become more holy, attached to The One Above. ???? ????? ?????, hear that?!?

    There’s another faction who are at a contest. To see how little they can hold of mitzvohs and still be labeled a practicing Jew. The bare minimum Torah one has to uphold.

    #877021
    Feif Un
    Participant

    ZeesKite, taking on extra chumros to try and make yourself holier doesn’t work. In fact, it says very bad things about instituting unnecessary chumros.

    #877022
    derszoger
    Member

    Not in regards to arayos. By arayos issues it says to take all chumros.

    #877023
    squeak
    Participant

    Feif, is that just plain old kula shopping on your part, or do you actually follow R Breuer’s teachings? For example, you should try reading what he said about your leader from YU.

    #877024
    Sam2
    Participant

    Zees: Your assumption and statement that one either needs to be adding Chumros or he is “seeing how little they can hold of Mitzvohs and still be labeled a practicing Jew” is terrible. Such an attitude is divisive and leads to nothing but “I’m better than you” feelings and Sinas Chinam.

    Ders: I proved a week ago that that’s obviously not true. There is a way to go too far. The question is how to define “too far”.

    #877025
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    Feif Un: Taking on extra chumros doesn’t work? Really? I was taught ??? ????? ???????, and ??? ???? ????? ??. “It says very bad things” about following HaShem’s explicit directions???

    #877026
    Sam2
    Participant

    ZeesKite: Asu Mishmeres L’mishmarti is talking about Chazal making G’zeiros D’rabannan, not us adding Chumros on our own. And there is another Gemara that says explicitly the opposite of Kadesh Atzm’cha B’mutar Lach. Eilu V’eilu…

    #877027
    Feif Un
    Participant

    squeak: My Rabbonim hold that mixed seating is fine, and I go by them. I was quoting a Rav that is respected by chareidim, to show that there are chareidi Rabbonim who held that mixed seating was not only allowed, but even preferable.

    #877028
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    < em> Feif Un: Taking on extra chumros doesn’t work? Really? I was taught ??? ????? ???????, and ??? ???? ????? ??. “It says very bad things” about following HaShem’s explicit directions???

    One is not allowed to divirt from the Torah either left or RIGHT

    #877029
    bp27
    Participant

    The Maharshal says is Yam Shel Shlomo that if there is mixed seating by a wedding or sheva brachos you do not say “Shehasimcha B’Meono” because the shechina is most definitely not taking part in such a gathering.

    #877030
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    Sam2: There’s a gemara that says one should not be ??? ???? ????? ???

    The Rambam says not to listen to him when he says a man should distance himself from women?

    #877031
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    and Sam2: Someone who truly cares about HaShem’s mitzvohs, is very meticulous in observance need not be bashed (“uch an attitude is divisive”). A person doing HaShem’s ratzon doesn’t care the least what someone else does. I think there’s a quote somewhere “a persons should not be embarrassed from others who laugh at him”.

    #877032
    oomis
    Participant

    The bare minimum Torah one has to uphold. “

    Not that I tell any Yid what to do, but the fact is that what you call “the bare minimum” IS the halacha. Otherwise, one is NOT following the halacha as directed by Hashem. That is what some people tend to forget. Following additional strictures/Chumros to help people who might feel they are too weak to otherwise uphold the law and therefore cannot maintain the bare minimum, DOES work for those people. But those who follow that bare minimum are not reshaim, though they clearly are perceived as less observant Jews. They are also shomrei Torah u’mitvos, and we should not forget that.

    #877033
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    Oomis: You’re right (again, as usual). But some people make it their life’s undertaking, goal to do as little, bare minimum is required. Their battle cry hear over and over “Another silly chumra”, “Less Chumra”.

    I wrote somewhere else, when it comes to gashmius, materialism, we don’t hear them cry “what? another modern invention??” etc. Shouldn’t we Torah Jews show we have modernized, upgraded, our Torah performance? Shouldn’t we show the world we are a savvy, modernized nation?

    #877034
    derszoger
    Member

    Some raised the very pertinent question as to why the men sitting in a mixed seating event are able to remain in their seats in clear view of the women dancing in front of them (and how the women can dance in front of the men), a clear violation of halacha.

    There is no valid answer to this problem.

    #877035
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    One more point, do these very same people expect others to act toward them with the barest amount of courtesy, respect bidden by the Torah??? Or does their life’s goal only apply to bein adam lamakom, not bein adam lacavevo? Middos are also from HaShem (??? ??? ???? ?????), so I guess we could also narrow down on some of these…

    #877036
    Sam2
    Participant

    Zees: I think Oomis made my point perfectly, which you continue to ignore. Why do you keep saying “bare minimum” like it’s such a terrible thing? That is what I meant was a divisive attitude. Why do you have to put down those who are completely Shomer Halachah? Why should someone who follows the Shulchan Aruch to the letter be considered a “bare minimum Jew” and looked down upon?

    And yes, there is another Gemara that says that a person will have to give an explanation to Hashem for every physical pleasure that he didn’t use. The idea is obvious. Hashem gave us things which are completely Muttar. Some people serve Hashem better by utilizing the Muttar and some serve Hashem better by avoiding the Muttar. Both are perfectly valid D’rachim. And just like you wouldn’t feel kindly about someone trying to force you to violate a Chumra of yours (because it would hurt your Avodas Hashem), so too someone who uses the physical for Avodas Hashem would have his Avodas Hashem hurt by an unnecessary Chumra that others want to force on him.

    #877037
    oomis
    Participant

    Shouldn’t we Torah Jews show we have modernized, upgraded, our Torah performance? Shouldn’t we show the world we are a savvy, modernized nation? “

    We are not in disagreement about that. Where some people and I might view things a little differently, is in the notion that our “upgraded” (read: excessive chumrah-filled) performance is a better one solely by virtue of its strictness. Hashem never asked of us to be machmir, but to follow the Din. The Torah He gave us was and is perfect to begin with. The danger in some chumros is ONLY that when one is accustomed to them, one starts to believe the chumrah is the ikkar shel halacha, when in fact the chumrah was never required of us in the first place. And when that belief becomes pervasive, it also becomes divisive, as each Yid tries to outfrum the next. We are a beautiful palette, all on the frum continuum, and when all of us recognize that about each other and respect even the “bare minimum” observance as being a frum yid, I think Moshiach will be ready to come.

    #877038
    Sam2
    Participant

    Zees:

    and Sam2: Someone who truly cares about HaShem’s mitzvohs, is very meticulous in observance need not be bashed (“uch an attitude is divisive”). A person doing HaShem’s ratzon doesn’t care the least what someone else does. I think there’s a quote somewhere “a persons should not be embarrassed from others who laugh at him”.

    You realize the incredible irony of this statement, right? This is your response to when I said that putting down Shomer Halachah Jews who don’t add additional Chumros is a divisive attitude. You can’t both put down Shomer Halachah Jew and say something like this. The two comments just don’t go together.

    #877039
    Sam2
    Participant

    I defer to Oomis in this thread, who made my exact points but stated them so much more nicely and clearly than I ever could have.

    #877040
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    Oomis: You’re right again!

    Of course a person must know the difference. HaShem gave us the Torah and mitzvohs. No one is trying to “out-chumra”, “outfrum” the other. We are told to keep His mitzvohs, in order to come close to him. As I heard from a Godol; it nays nowhere in Shulchan Aruch that one shouldn’t daven while holding a cat. (Or texting!) Is that called an “exessive chumra” to feel HaShem’s ratzon and refrain?

    A person may be yotzai learning (I think) by reciting krias shma. Is one who learns an hour called an exessive chumra?

    Did you ever open a sefer Tehillim? Are you poking fun, ridiculing those that didn’t??

    I live in an area where families of devout, pious, extra carefully religious families get so well along with ALL other types. Litvish, Chasidish, Roshei Yeshivos and Ramim, working etc. I’ve not encountered a divisiveness as such anywhere.

    p.s. Due to you, I gained another Chumra in Ve’havta L’reacha Kamocha!

    #877041
    derszoger
    Member

    Oy, ZeesKite. Why do you have all those chumros you just mentioned? You think it is better to have those chumros? You look up to people who have these chumros (no texting, learning an hour, Tehilim, v’ahavta…)?

    #877042
    Sam2
    Participant

    Zees: Actually, the Shulchan Aruch does say that you’re not allowed to hold anything while Davening. The two exceptions are a Siddur and a Lulav, though presumably any other D’var Mitzvah (like a Sefer) is okay. Though I’m sure there’s some discussion/argument about that last fact.

    #877043
    Feif Un
    Participant

    ZeesKite: I asked my Rav tonight about the exact place where it says that it’s assur to take on unnecessary chumros. He told me that he is preparing a shiur on chumros vs. kulos for Shavuos, and didn’t want to spoil it for me. Bli neder, I will try to post the source after Shavuos, when I’ve heard the shiur.

    He did confirm that it does say it.

    #877045
    mermaid
    Member

    That’s odd, because my Rov said it is a good thing to take on some chumros. Especially in this inyan we are discussing.

    #877046
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    The two exceptions are a Siddur and a Lulav

    So, I guess when I’m holding the Esrog, I’m in violation of the S”A?

    The Wolf

    #877047
    mdd
    Member

    I wanted to go to sleep, but…

    1) If one wants to hold by a higher madreigah, he needs to accept chumros. Source? “Mesilas Yeshorim”!

    2) Women may not dance when men see them.

    3) It is better to have a separate seating for the meal also. Especially, when some women are dressed-to-kill and the rest are quite mekushat.

    Separate seating is very needed by concerts. Otherwise, you would have men seating next to dressed-to-kill other men’s wives, and so close that one needs an effort to avoid negia. And sometimes the ladies begodim are not long enough either!

    #877048
    oomis
    Participant

    A person may be yotzai learning (I think) by reciting krias shma. Is one who learns an hour called an exessive chumra?”

    No, ZK, because every second of learning, a person is acquiring the s’char mitzvah of learning (v’hagisa bo yomam valalilah). He may be yotzi with Shma, but he actually loses out by not doing more. That is not an excessive chumrah. You are comparing apples with oranges.

    BTW, I say Tehillim every day, and I do not recall anywhere at any time in my life poking fun at anyone for not doing so. That would be incredibly arrogant of me.

    I try hard not to put people down for what I may perceive as their lack in doing something. I am more concerned in praising them for that which they actually do, rather than castigate them for that which they do not. I am delighted, however, if in some small way because of me, you took on an additional chumrah. I am always glad to be of help to someone in need of more motivation to strengthen themselves where they feel weak.

    Sam2, I understood your points quite well. They stand on their own merit.

    #877049
    oomis
    Participant

    ” Women may not dance when men see them.”

    So please explain Tu B’Av to me, then. This was a minhag of frum young unmarried women to go out in the fields on that day, and dance in front of the young men and find shidduchim ON THEIR OWN!!!!!!!!

    #877050
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    Sam2: You seem to have a chumra to be maikel. Maybe others have a kula to be machmir.

    #877051
    Sam2
    Participant

    Zees: I actually have neither. I follow Halachah. There are cases where Halachah calls for being Machmir in times of Machlokes or just to be safe or to make sure you avoid bigger issues and there are times where Halachah is much more Meikil. I don’t like dealing with the words Chumra and Kula anymore, actually, because nowadays they take on a meta-halachic political/societal meaning which for many people, Rachmana Litzlan, trumps what the actual Halachah states. I’ve been called both a “liberal reformer” and a “right-wing fanatic” for just quoting the Shulchan Aruch. My point to you about Kadesh Atzm’cha B’muttar Lach and the opposite Shittah is that both are legitimate D’rachim in Avodas Hashem and that as long as everyone’s Kavanos are L’sheim Shamayim it doesn’t matter by which Derech he holds. They are not doing “the bare minimum” (with a negative connotation) and nor are you being a fanatical extremist (with a negative connotation). Whatever works for anyone out of these two D’rachim is a legitimate form of Avodas Hashem as long as Hakol L’sheim Shamayim.

    #877052
    Loyal Jew
    Member

    Back to mixed seating, according to where the oilem is holding today, it’s assur not only because of what it might lead to but in and of itself. It’s not a chumra but rather the main consideration in any public event and sometimes even in our homes. The nafka mina of this is that it doesn’t matter how mature we are, whether we can see women dancing or not, whether the previous generation allowed it, etc.

    #877053
    mdd
    Member

    Oomis, they were walking-dancing in circles. It was not real dancing.

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