Sign Of The Times?(!)
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- This topic has 118 replies, 34 voices, and was last updated 13 years, 11 months ago by feivel.
July 6, 2009 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #589992
This past Shabbat morning, I was asked at the last minute to say the weekly Shabbat afternoon Talmud shiur since the rabbi is away for the summer, and the usual stand in was also away. I do not regulalry attend this shiur and as such getting into the middle of a sugya was no routine matter. But I agreed rather than be the cause of bitul Torah in my schul. As is my normal practice, after lunch I took off my suit and put on a pair of shorts and a sport shirt, poured myself a tall glass of lemonade, and went outside to relax/watch the herd of children, mine among them, that graze from yard to yard in the summer and play a little with my two year old son, who has a new found love for the trampoline. I also took out a gemara to prepare the shiur. Around 6:00 or so, I went insude and changed into what I normally wear to schul on Shabbat afternoon; a pair of khaki trousers, a plaid shirt and a blazer. I grabbed my gemara and went to schul to give the shiur and daven Mincha. My nieghbor, who is a very good and close friend, asked me whay I was going to schul so early and I told her I was giving the shiur, to which she replied: “You’re going to say a shiur dressed like that?” I laughed it off as she is so good a friend that there is no way she meant any offense. But have we as a community sunk so low that it has become entirely incongruous that someone who dresses in other than a dark suit, white shirt and black hat, would say a shiur? After all, neither the black suit nor the Borsalino say over the Torah.July 6, 2009 9:17 pm at 9:17 pm #650324WolfishMusingsParticipant
Al tistakel b’mah sheyesh bo, elah b’kankan. 🙁
The WolfJuly 6, 2009 9:22 pm at 9:22 pm #650325
“have we as a community sunk so low “
most definitelyJuly 6, 2009 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #650327JayMatt19Participant
I once heard something amazing from a rebbe of mine. He once worked in a school where the bochrim were known for wearing colored shirts (often untucked). He asked the art teacher if he’d get each bochur to draw a picture of “someone learning Torah”. The art teacher did this, and gave the pictures to the Rebbe.
Each bochur drew a picture of someone in a hat and jacket, well groomed. This rebbe then told his bochrim this is why you have trouble learning. You have this perception of who it is who learns torah, and you don’t feel that you fit into this perception that you have in your heads. Every Yid has the ability to learn, and a white shirt, black jacket and a hat are not a prerequisite for limud Torah.July 6, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm #650328amichaiParticipant
continue to learn and teach, and ignore what people think and say.July 6, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #650329mazal77Participant
When I see a person wearing jeans and holding a sefer in his hands or attending a drasha, I can’t help but feel happy and proud and I am sure that the Rebono Shel’olam, feels the same way. I hope I can transmit that same feeling to my children. Not to judge another jew by what he wears.July 7, 2009 2:09 am at 2:09 am #650330jphoneMember
I’m willing to bet Moshe Rabbeinu did not wear a black hat, white shirt or even a tie.July 7, 2009 4:42 am at 4:42 am #650331oomisParticipant
When I see a person wearing jeans and holding a sefer in his hands or attending a drasha, I can’t help but feel happy and proud and I am sure that the Rebono Shel’olam, feels the same way. I hope I can transmit that same feeling to my children. Not to judge another jew by what he wears.
AMEIN.July 7, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am #650332NobodyMember
It is so sad that people are judged by the way they dress, speak, their nusach, hechshers they use or don’t etc.
I bet if Moshiach came today someone would have something to say about his dress, language, etc. The sad thing is this statement is so true it’s emabarrassing to even think about itJuly 7, 2009 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #650334tzippiMember
Something I’ve tried to stress to my boys is kempt vs. unkempt. I never want them to feel disenfranchised, and they should just know that they should always walk proudly in a bais medrash, shul, etc. as long as they’re kempt (tucked in, shoes tied, etc.). Turned out they can happily go with the b/w program but because of this, they are B”H so non-judgmental.July 7, 2009 2:30 pm at 2:30 pm #650335YW Moderator-39Member
I’d like to spin this into reverse.
Imagine we have a yeshiva bochur who, for whatever reason (e.g. dry cleaners lost it, lost baggage, stolen) now needs to spend a Shabbos without a suit.
What percentage of Yeshiva bochrim (if this happened to them) would opt to go to shul in weekday garb, and what percentage would choose to stay at home due to the lack of Shabbos clothing?
I am certain that in the above case it would be better to go to shul on shabbos in a polo shirt then to not go at all.
Personally I once went to a wedding without my hat and jacket (a very “black” wedding) since my suit jacket had gotten ripped days earlier. I decided that I was not going to let my lack of a jacket ruin simchas chosson.July 7, 2009 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #650336
When you’re part of a team, you need to wear the uniform. Which is not to say, that MY choice of garb is the only choice. But if you want to be part of the team, you need to conform. I work in an office, so there is a certain level of flexibility that I have. But I also daven in a shul, and have black-hat mesivta boys, so regardless of what flies at the office, I need to make sure that what I do is in sync with the rest of who I am.
Clothes dont give the shiur, but it does (to an extent) define who you are, and who you want to be. “B’tzelem elokim” means we are Hashem’s represenatives. Does that mean I need to wear long pants in the swimming pool? No. But does it mean I can wear a Speedo? Again no. Because its not who I am, or who I want to beJuly 7, 2009 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm #650337
BP Totty makes a valid point, best said by Polonious in Macbeth “the attire oft describes the man.” Indeed I am a guy who wears khakis and a blazer on Shabbat afternoon to schul. But I also know how to say blatt shiur. Why are the two socially incongruous?July 7, 2009 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #650338
No doubt, your children and neighbors know you for what you truly are, and the fact that you can give shiur on short notice speaks volumes about you. But every community needs to have safeguards in place. Clothing is the choice of the Europeans and Lithuianains. Not necessarily the only safeguard or the surest guarantee, but one that has worked for us.July 7, 2009 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #650339
cantoresq, IMHO if you believe that khakis and a blazer is attire befitting the honor and dignity of Shabbos, then it is not incongruous. But if you are wearing “casual Shabbos” dress then the lack of respect for Shabbos contrasts starkly with an authority in Torah.July 7, 2009 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm #650340
Squeak, it’s very simple. I wear a suit and tie six days a week. My current firm does not have casual days. The khakis and the blazer are a direct reflection of oneg Shabbat. I enjoy the day so much more because I avail myself of the opportunity to dress informally after schul and kick back a little and relax. Shabbos is the day I can play outside with my kids, push them on the swings, jump on the trampoline etc. When they are with friends, I have the time to sit down with a good book or sefer, a tall glass of something to drink, or the occasional beer and read. Those few hours are most precious. I don’t think I could do it in a suit. There might be those who think I disrespect Shabbat in this way. I just don’t think I do.July 7, 2009 5:17 pm at 5:17 pm #650341
Don’t rationalize to me – I am not the arbiter.July 7, 2009 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #650342
Sorry, that should have had a capital A.July 7, 2009 5:36 pm at 5:36 pm #650343
I rationalize nothing. I know I’m right.July 7, 2009 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #650344
it appears clear to me that there are some people who dont understand the fundamental simple concept of Shabbos Kodesh. perhaps this might help:
Hashem created the world for six days laaseh, to do, this refers to Olam HaZeh, the only place of “doing” of “creating”. He didnt rest because he was tired. He didnt go to the beach to lounge around. (may Hashem forgive me for using such lashon, but i thnk it is necessary) he didnt “rest” in this sense WHATSOEVER. He was Shavas (the active form of “Shabbos”. He withdrew from the function of creating to return to the Cisai HaKavod, so to speak. He withdrew from Olamhazeh to Olamhabah in that sense.
That is what Shabbos is. it is when we greet the presence of Hashem (that is why Shabbos is the only Mitzvah that has a personality, we say hello to Shabbos, we say goodbye to Shabbos, we escort Shabbos, we prepare for the coming of Shabbos)
Shabbos is a piece of Olamhabah, it is a Beis HaMikdosh (as said so many times by HaRav Shimshon Pinchus, zt’l).
Shabbos is a time to spend with Hashem, in Tefillah, learning with him, honoring him with our dress and our table and nairos, with our manner of walking and talking.
It is a day of intense Holiness. not a day of taking it easy and recuperating from the week.
any answer to this is just the yetzer hora’s rationalization, and such a terrible terrible pity that we have sunk so low as to have no idea WHATSOEVER what our Holy Shabbos is.
what a terrible tragedy that so many have been so influenced by modern goyish concepts, that they have never lived in the Kedushah of Shabbos even once in their livesJuly 7, 2009 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #650345JosephParticipant
Thank you, Feivel.July 7, 2009 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #650346
i realize that one important detail was not stressed in my post.
on Shabbos Kodesh we dress in our Bigdai Shabbos, our Bigdei Kehunah, to greet and honor the Presence of our Boreh, not for any other reason (which i cannot even bring myself to specify out of shame for what we have become)July 7, 2009 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #650347
“It is a day of intense Holiness. not a day of taking it easy and recuperating from the week.”
Respectfully disagree, and suggest it is both. We celebrate the cessation of the work of Hashem by emulating Him and not working. C”V Hashem needs to “rest” or “recuperate” (as you point out), but the concept was created for us people who need a “break”.
How to spend that break is a seperate issue. The Gaon was known to learn extra, as “V’hashaina Meshubachas”, he needed less sleep. What better way to celebrate Shabbos by Giving Daf & learning extra, spending quality time with your children, and realizing what a bracha it is that Hashem created the concept of rest from the “Sheshes Yamim T’avod”.
As far as the clothes issue, I have not weighed in because I don’t know the circumstances. I would consider a polo (or non-white) shirt unacceptable for myself, but I have neighbors who do wear them on shabbos & have no issue with them either. Others would only wear a bekesha, and look down at those who wear a suit. Besides, I’m not sure if the issue is Shabbos or a Shiur.July 7, 2009 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #650348
feivel: How about Shidduchim 🙂July 7, 2009 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #650349
“We celebrate the cessation of the work of Hashem by emulating Him and not working.
Hashem did not “work”. He created the entire Universe and every quark and motion within it with a single letter “heh”. He “breathed out with the shortest of breaths. can you think of any letter that takes less effort to pronounce? one reason His Act of Creation is described as such is to counter the notion that He “worked” in any sense.July 7, 2009 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #650350
My idea of Oneg Shabbos is going to the Rebbe’s tish, another’s idea is getting together with friends. But proper decorum is first and foremost. I was with you on your inital post, but in your 2nd, you equate a “book” to a “sefer”, and that’s where we part company. A “book” is something you read and you’re done with it. A sefer is our link to Hashem. Along the same lines, the Shabbos day is our link to Hashem.. not just another day off.
If your choice was a crisp Polo oxford, Gucci loafers (without socks) and tropical weight wool slacks, going for a walk with the family, no one would blink. But khakis? or shorts? Playing in the yard? That’s pushing it by anyone’s standards.
Few people my age (over 40) enjoy the outdoors as much or as often as I do. But Shabbos is Shabbos. I’ll let you (and the rest of the CR) in on another secret; I scale back my outdoor activities during the 9 days and yemeie sleichos, not because “its not allowed”, but because those days are different. And we need to show that we recognize them as such. Not because of “what the neighbors will say” but because of what WE need to say (meaning need to stand for)July 7, 2009 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #650351nishtgeshtoigenMember
We have been taught to dress up for shabbos not dress down. I agree that pushing the swing may be difficult in a 3 piece suit. But you have a dress down attitude towards Shabbos. The reason the generations have found going to shul so crucial on Shabbos is not because we have time since we aren’t working. But rather we aren’t working in order to be able to absorb and reconnect with Hashem. You realized that wearing shorts to shul would be inappropriate.
As a purveyor of Torah it also would bespoke proper decorum I am not discussing whether your attire was proper or not but whether that an attitude and of respect is appropriate and required.July 7, 2009 7:10 pm at 7:10 pm #650352
BP Totty, while I do not frequent a tish all that often, (as a child my father took me to one Rabbi Deutsch’s Purim tisch in Detroit every year), I do get together with friends every Shabbat. As to euqating a book with a sefer, please understand that the distinction is a very blurred one for me, as I rarely, if ever, read anything that does not have Jewish content in it; be it Jewish history, philosophy, Halacha etc. I also, for leisure, read books in Hebrew and sometimes Yiddish (if I’m feeling brace enough and determined enough to work my way through it). Sorry for that confusion. While I didn’t intend to get into the particulars of my sartorial choices, the trouses in question were a pair of starched a pressed cotton Izod pants, the shirt was green plain (I don’t remember the label) and the blue blazer was Ralph Lauren, bought as the Syms bash a few years ago. the shoes were Timberland loafers and I wore socks since I was staying for Mincha. A rabbi I greatly respect once criticized me for coming to schul without socks and it stuck.
As to the shorts, they seemed more appropriate for jumping on the trampoline with my two year old and rolling around with him on the grass. I’m not especially worried that I might be punished for my disrespect of the holy day. I can’t imagine anything sweeter and more fulfilling, not in this world nor the next, than seeing his smile and hearing him laugh when we play. That’s when I connected with G-d on His day.July 7, 2009 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm #650353
Of course it’s not work the way we understand it; but that is the way our Torah explains it.
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_______________________________________________________________________________July 7, 2009 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #650354
The concept of work and rest regarding Shabbos is best understood with the Maharal. He describes the notion of rest as the achievement of perfection, i.e. when a process is complete and the goal has been achieved, the process stops. But when the goal is not achieved, the process continues. Thus, when Hashem “rested” from all His “work” on Shabbos, it represents the completion of the process He started, i.e. creating the world, to perfection.July 7, 2009 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #650355
you say the Torah explains it as “work”, melacha
and you imply that melacha is “work” as we commonly use the word.
i imagine that is your point.
what is melacha? what does the Torah mean by Melacha? is it really “work” in the commonly used sense?
you know it’s not
what does Melacha mean on Shabbos, which is learned out from the Passuk you brought?
if one walks out of his home with a toothpick in his mouth (under the right circumstances of course) he is Chaiv death of the worst sort. is this “work” as you seem to imply?
if he moves 50 pound barrels in his basement all day long becoming exhausted and pouring out sweat, is this Melacha? all based on that Pasuk. im not telling you anything you dont know. probably i just am not understanding your point.July 7, 2009 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #650356
Actually Nishtgeshtoigen, you would be more accurate in saying that I have a dress down attitude towards Shabbat afternoon. Friday night, it’s always dress slacks, a blazer and shirt and tie or a suit. Shabbat morning, I’m in a suit, tie and cufflinks, no matter how hot it is (it should be no surprise that I have several cotton suits to wear in the summer).July 7, 2009 8:24 pm at 8:24 pm #650357cherrybimParticipant
Cantoresq: I’m mostly with Joseph and Feivel on this one.
I think it’s very admirable that you are capable of preparing a talmud shiur for the mispalilim of your shul.
But if it was me attending your shiur, because it’s Shabbos, it would be a different learning if your mode of dress was perceived to reflect proper respect both to the learning and those attending the shiur and of course to the holy Shabbos.
Shabbos should be accorded at least the amount of respect for dress as your weekly business attire. What kind of message would a gifted attorney send the court if he argued his case in casual dress?
How you “relax” b’tzena, in the privacy of your home, is one thing, but I don’t believe that your relaxation should be extended to a “mikdash m’at”, your shul.
Why do you wear a suit in the morning but not the rest of Shabbos, it’s no less special? How would you or the others feel if your Rav dressed in this fashion, especially in shul?July 7, 2009 8:37 pm at 8:37 pm #650358jphoneMember
“Don’t rationalize to me – I am not the arbiter.”
Nor the Aibishter.
I wish everyone would stop darshening to everyone else about what to do, how and when.July 7, 2009 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm #650359
So, you honor the social rules of your workplace by wearing a suit – but you disregard social rules which are set down by the Torah community for the sake of honoring Shabbos by giving, let alone attending, a shiur dressed in clothing better suited for a Sunday afternoon spent on a boat or at the golf course.
Think about it. Whose Shabbos are you observing? Yours or Hashem’s? Shabbos is not an American legal holiday or a Sunday off. Sheshes yomim taase melachtecha…shabbos laShem Elokeicho.
By dressing the way you do to give a shiur (and posting here looking for validation of your actions), you clearly make a statement that for you, that shiur is just a leisure activity, not even worthy of the same respect as your mundane six-day work. In other words, for you, melachtecha gets more respect chas vesholom than Hashem Elokeicho.
Is that the message you want to present?
A quick story. Last summer, I had to go to the home center on the other side of town to buy some cleaning fluid or another. It was hot, and those solvent bottles sometimes leak as they are crummy local stuff, poorly packaged and labeled. I was debating whether to wear a jacket and decent slacks or to go in a torn shirt and house pants. I chose the former, keeping my tzitzis out as I would at any other time.
I stopped in front of a display shelf for a few minutes to decide what to buy, and sure enough I heard a well behaved boy ask his clearly educated mother, just out of curiosity and with no malice whatsoever: “Mama, is he a Jew?” The mother, not sure whether I would be insulted (remember this is Ukraine and even the proper word for Jew was chas vesholom considered just about an insult during Czarist and Soviet times), quietly answered yes. And I held my head high as I nodded and smiled to let the mother know that I am very happy for her and her son to identify me as a Jew.
Now, how would I have felt, and how would that kid have thought of Jews, if I had wearing a torn shirt and a pair of pants I wear to fix the plumbing? (Maybe this one should be in hashgocho protis, as it seemed clear to me that Hashem was sending me a message that I am right to always look like the Jew who I am proud to be.)
And remember now, this was the equivalent of Home Depot on a hot summer weekday, not shul on Shabbos Koidesh.July 7, 2009 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #650360
OK, truce. And thanks for painting a much clearer image of what Shabbos looks like on your block. (I thought you were talking about the kind of clothes I would wear to go hiking / biking). I think the divide we are on is that in the zip code I was raised in (BP.. natch) image is what you grow into, so the image you choose in many ways will determine who you become.
There is a story (heard on a R’ Krohn tape) about the Satmar Rebbe and his visit to Telze in the 50s. Story goes: he took the bochurim to task for having “chups” and they responded by asking about his davening past the zman. His reply: I’m copying the custom of my father, his father, and his father before that. Who’s custom (hair style) are you copying?
Point is, if your intent is to truly honor Shabbos (Izod blazer and all), you are getting the same schar that the chosid who is shzvitzing away in his bekkeshe. Not so the one who looks at our holy day as the preface to the weekend (I know, I know, Sunday is not the weekend). Thanks for clearing up the misunderstanding.
But a green plaid shirt?? Take my advice, go with the Polo oxford… Gavra is right; shidduchim! 🙂July 7, 2009 9:38 pm at 9:38 pm #650361
I can’t imagine anything sweeter and more fulfilling, not in this world nor the next, than seeing his smile and hearing him laugh when we play. That’s when I connected with G-d on His day.
Again, you are not worshiping Hashem. You are making the tofel into the ikar, and worshiping yourself and your own leisure.
Considering your comments regarding “nothing to hear in shul” when the chazzan is not up to your high standards, I just about mourn for you, as it is clear you are very far away, further even than many OTD kids who are just going through a permanent or temporary realization that they are too spiritual or creative to fit into a rigid community. Their rebellion is one of seeking Hashem, and they will find Him, albeit via a derech that can have some pitfalls if they are not properly guided. Your krumkeit is just seeking that which is comfortable for yourself on the edges of the dalet amois of Torah.July 7, 2009 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #650362areivimzehlazehParticipant
excellent and well put- kilobear and feivel
when this thread first went up I was filled with dread… your posts are a comfort and reliefJuly 7, 2009 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #650363abxParticipant
A policeman wears a police uniform, a fireman wears a fireman uniform, and a Ben Torah wears a Ben Torah uniform. Dress yourself like those who you identify yourself with, while conforming to (at least) minimum community standards.July 7, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm #650364AZOI.ISParticipant
Perhaps we ought to focus an equal amount of time and thought to the crises of the day, as we are to cantoresq’s choice of slacks.
BP Totty, your quote “Since there is such a risk of assimilation, I and my Mrs. choose to err on the side of caution” confuses me.
Don’t get me started about assimilation. Caution about what? What are you preventing? What are you guaranteeing? You feel a certain mode of dress is the prescription for success in any area?
I realized that dress (men’s, NOT women’s), has little bearing on one’s serious life choices. If anyone can convince me that there are a smaller percentage per person, of cases of infidelity, divorce, depression, OTD kids…among other problems, in groups wearing Black Hats and dark slacks at all times, you might have me newly convinced of their importance.
Talking about assimilation, just today I had a conversation with someone (a Black Hatter) in Chinuch who said that the problem with the Black Hat approach to Chinuch, is their utilizing Yiras Hashem (with threats, trauma, cookie cutter mentality and labeling) more than Ahavas Hashem. They thought that it might be the reason we have so many OTD’s. I think the Black Hatters outline for success in Chinuch is that inculcating Yiras Hashem will lead to Ahavas Hashem, while those to the left of us believe the reverse- Ahavas Hashem will lead to Yiras Hashem.
Something to think about. Oh btw, I’m a Black Hat type.July 7, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm #650365
The problem is not how he is dressed.
It is that he clearly KNOWS he should be dressed differently, FLAUNTS his disregard for the rules and looks for validation here.
IF it were an informal shul, well, I would say yes, Hashem is very happy to see people learning dressed for boating or golfing in such a shul – because perhaps otherwise they’d have passed by the reform tembel on their way to the marina or golf course.
But this is clearly a situation where the original poster knows he is acting with disrespect for anything other than what HE feels comfortable in, and how HE feels comfortable observing HIS version of Shabbos which is a pale copy of the real thing.
As for OTD being caused by dress rules – nonsense. And from the many MO I know who went off the derech the moment I got to college, there is as big a problem with OTD in the MO world as there is anywhere else. The difference is that the MO who go off do so because they don’t have the weapons to combat the kefira they are taught in college, and they are easily swayed by it. Besides, the dip from jeans and a polo shirt with a knitted yarmulke to same without a yarmulke does not seem like a big deal for some of these MO dropouts who had one and a half feet planted in the secular world anyway.July 7, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm #650366
A600kilobear, May G-d “just about” comfort you among those who mourn Zion and Jerusalem. I’m so sorry for your “just about” loss. May your “just about” never know more sorrow. I’ll try to be a “just about” gitte beter for you and intercede on High (just about) if you or any of yours go off the derech, or become too spiritual for their own good. Lighten up dude!!!
BPTotty, the green plaid shirt is actually quite natty. My wife bought it for me. It has a blue thread, the exact same shade as the blazer. As to Shudichim, for my sons, the nadan must be huge, enough to support him for not less than 20 years. For my daughter, Ich tzult GORNISHT!!! The privilege of marrying her will be so great (since she not only has “alle mailes,” she defines them (and she;s only 6 years old. Imagine what she’ll be like at 18)) that I really should expect the boy to pay me; especially considering the shver who comes with the deal (a Yid who defies all expectations, can say a shiur in khaki pants, commune with G-d while tickling his kid (and wearing madras plaid shorts) criticize the chazzanim and leap over tall buildings in a single Borsalino, or two Venezia’s or three Habigs), not to mention the shviger (who puts up with the shver’s mishigas’n). But I won’t buck the system that much.July 7, 2009 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #650367
Azoi – I’m re-posting parts of your post, so I can reply (in CAPS, so I’ll keep it short) without skipping any of the points you raise:
“Since there is such a risk of assimilation, I and my Mrs. choose to err on the side of caution” confuses me. – BETTER TO BE TOO FRUM THAN NOT ENOUGH FRUM
Caution about what? What are you preventing? What are you guaranteeing? You feel a certain mode of dress is the prescription for success in any area? – TRYING TO PREVENT THE LOSS OF WHAT MAKES US BNEI YESHIVA. NO GUARANTEES, BUT IDENTIFIING WITH A GROUP GIVES ONE A SENSE OF PURPOSE.
I realized that dress (men’s, NOT women’s), has little bearing on one’s serious life choices. If anyone can convince me that there are a smaller percentage per person, of cases of infidelity, divorce, depression, OTD kids…among other problems, in groups wearing Black Hats and dark slacks at all times, you might have me newly convinced of their importance. – NOTHING “PREVENTS” ANYONE FROM ANYTHING, BUT IT MAKES YOU THINK TWICE, AND SOMETIMES (at least for human beings like myself) THAT 2 SECOND HESITATION MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN AVOIDING TROUBLE SPOTS.
the problem with the Black Hat approach to Chinuch, is their utilizing Yiras Hashem more than Ahavas Hashem. HERE, WE AGREE (BUT EXTRA INSURANCE IS PRUDENT IF YOU HAVE LOTS TO LOSE (I doubt you carry 10/20 on your car insurance… most likely 100/300 like me. Again the operative word is caution)
Oh btw, I’m a Black Hat type. (ME TOO!)July 7, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm #650368
Typo – “the moment I got to college” should read “the moment they got to college”. In an case it is an exaggeration. The trajectory of the MO dropout in my day was – one to 2 years at an RZ yeshiva American program in EY – one year exposed to the ‘classics’ in college, then the decline beginning with lax shul attendance, eating questionable hechsherim, total flaunting of disrespect for negia rules, attendance at conservative minyanim, and then total assimilation.July 7, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #650369AZOI.ISParticipant
Hellooooo A600KiloBear- “OTD being caused by dress rules”- ??!!??!!??
No one is saying that any way of dress CAUSES OTD- it just does NOT prevent it, as BP Tatty implied above.
Also, jeans and a polo shirt are a long jump skip and hop away from no Black Hat and a lighter shade or fabric of slacks.
If you feel it’s college thats causing people to go off the Derech, how do you explain those that go off the Derech from the Chassidish community, many who barely speak English, and have no connection to anything secular.July 7, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm #650370
A600kilobear is not entirely off base. It is only a small minority of people in my neighborhood who wear anything but dark suits and white shirts on Shabbat. Among them however, are some exceedingly well learned people; great scholars and b’nei Torah. In all honesty I know I was bucking a trend when I got dressed that afternoon. I knew it then too. But I don’t care. I am far removed from caring about what others think of my religious practices, dress or anything else. I am out to accomplish three things in life; to serve G-d as I understand the concept, to never do anything in life that might render me ashamed of myself when I look in the mirror, and to set a good enough example for my children that at least they grow up to aspire my life ethos, if not to be superior to me in all ethical ways. That A600kilobear doesn’t like my pants means nothing. I started this thread not to make a point about tolerance for heterogeniety. I’ve been through all that here before. I started this thread to make a point about individuality and the need for each person to rejoice in his individuality. I’m fast coming to realize that I can’t truly serve G-d, if I’m not comfortable in my own skin, the skin in which He enveloped me. Serving G-d does not come from doing as “Yenem” does. Sadly most of you still don’t get it.July 8, 2009 1:56 am at 1:56 am #650371SJSinNYCMember
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this thread…July 8, 2009 2:11 am at 2:11 am #650372anon for thisParticipant
SJS, I believe you consider yourself MO, so I’d appreciate if you could answer a few questions for me: How many MO people do you know who attended non-Jewish colleges, where they might encounter kefirah? How many of them went OTD as a result of this? Do you feel that a MO education does not give one the weapons to combat the kefirah that may be taught on college campuses?
Personally my Jewish education was more yeshivish. I took nearly all technical classes at college, so I didn’t encounter kefirah anyways, unless you count the proselytizers at the student union. I knew some MO students who attended college & none of them went OTD. I’m guessing your sample size may be bigger though.July 8, 2009 2:24 am at 2:24 am #650373SJSinNYCMember
Anon, of all the people I know, none went OTD from attending college. Some went OTD during college, but their rebellion started earlier. They used college as a breeding ground for their escapades, but not as a reason. I’m not sure if I’m explaining that well. In fact, I would say MO gives an easier transition to college than Yeshivish people because they are more likely to be exposed to certain concepts at a younger age.
I have one friend who is on the very fringe of going OTD. It had nothing to do with going to a liberal college, but more to do with falling for a guy who wasn’t religious. Right now they compromise – meaning, they each do their own thing with religion. Basically, IMHO, she is slowly gone…
That being said – most of my friends did go to YU/Stern. And as far as I am aware, they did NOT encounter kefira there. Most of my other friends did go to secular but very Jewish colleges (like Brooklyn).July 8, 2009 3:29 am at 3:29 am #650374anon for thisParticipant
Thanks for the info SJS. I knew about twenty frum people who attended my definitely not-Jewish university; most were MO but a few were more yeshivish. Many encountered some kefirah there. None went OTD.
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