Forum Replies Created
1 and 6.
As it is 90% of people who are “infected” don’t get seriously ill, and the best vaccine’s claim to lower that to about 99% (90% more effective than the placebo). So instead of playing Russian Roulette, you get to play Russian roulette with the provision that you have to have a live bullet in the chamber twice in row to be dead.
#3 makes no sense since the only other “less drastic” treatment is to wear an N95 mask, a hazmat suit, and avoid contact with humans. Doing nothing is “less drastic” but leaves a 10% chance of getting seriously ill. The standard for testing the vaccine was NOT the usual standard used to estimate cases (i.e. testing positive for Coivd-19) but rather the meaningful test of whether one develops symptoms worse than cold or flu (though that still means everyone can spread Covid-19).
How long a vaccine will work will require a longitudinal study which be definition takes time. Computer models are subject to the GIGO rule, and are in this case unreliable.
If one read the “fine print” from the CDC and the manufacturers when they announce the vaccine, you would have known that they never claimed it would make you immune from Covid19, not would it prevent vaccinated people from spreading. They claimed only that it would the chance of a vaccinated individual becoming seriously ill (which combined with the fact the very few people who get Covid19 actually become seriously ill to begin with, would make a vaccinated individual would be very unlikely to become severely ill).
The politicians, mass media (including social media), and people who “talking points” rather than long articles to read, ERRONEOUSLY assumed the vaccinated for Covid19 was like more familiar vaccine (total immunity including being unable to spread the disease).September 13, 2021 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm in reply to: Where is the line between halacha and dinas dimalchusa #2007522
1. Especially in democracies (and especially the US, which is a federation in which the “reserved powers” belong to the states) there will be debate over whether specific law is valid. American law is much more complex than most, since it it debateable if public health measures are the responsibility of the states or the federal government, and how the protections of the First Amendment of the Federal Constitution (and the state equivalents) apply.
2. If the Rabbanim of the city mandate a lockdown, even if it would be held unconstitutional if done by the government, a strong argument can be made that our law (rather the Dina Malchusa Dina) applies, even if the Rabbanim have been poorly advised.
3. Whether the policies banning religious services but allowing similar events (with many people gathering together, such as left wing political ralles) is constitutional is very much debateable. In the past we often had to decide how to deal with anti-Jewish laws (e.g. close the synagogues) but have rarely needed to worry about general laws directed against all religion (e.g. close down all houses of worship). A similar situation did arise when militantly atheistic socialists took over Russia about 100 years ago, and passed laws against all religions (not just Jews), and I believe most rabbanim held that Dina Malchusa Dina did not apply, and we honor those who refused to obey these laws.
I’ve seen men Hasidic men wearing shorts (formerly called knickerbockers when they were fashionable among the goyim, and still worn by many baseball and American football players), along with over the calf socks. Prior to long pants becoming fashionable in Europe and America (200 years ago), most men wore such pants, often along with long coats and high boots (guess what people dumped into the streets back then).
So it is clear that shorts are mutar (allowed by halacha), but are incredibly unfashionable unless worn with high socks, and a long coat, and outside of a few limited circumstances you might be confused with a reinactor wearing clothings from centuries past.
This is not to be confused with the types of shorts popular among many American goyim, who appear to be challenged to distinguish underwear from outerwear.
Stop making fun of COMEDIANS. They had nothing to do with the mess the world is in, and the incompetence of those the American people have freely elected is not funny.
This posting in rude and highly insulting, especially to comedians (and BTW, there is nothing funny about Biden who is acting pretty much could have been predicted based on his very long record).August 25, 2021 2:56 pm at 2:56 pm in reply to: Latest media anti-Israel bias: AP calls terrorists – “activists” #2002810
and what do you call a Jewish social media news aggregator they subscribes to AP?
This is a hidush? Perhaps you have been in a cave since the mid-20th century?????
Trump is the one who declared an emergency, seized all sorts of powers (probably in violation of the Constitution, since if the Constitution doesn’t assign a job to the president, it goes to the Congress or states). Trump was like any other politician grabbing power (and unlike the Conservative wing of the Republican party, saw nothing wrong with increasing executive power at everyone else’s expense).
Based on death rate changes, age distribution of deaths and people seriously ill, Covid19 was not significantly worse than the “seasonal flu” in a bad year, and bore no resemblance to past pandemics that were the basis for the extreme measures the government introduced (closing schools and politically unfavored businesses, mandatory masks, disrupting transit, confiscation of private property without compensation) – compare Covid19 to Ebola, Polio, Spanish flu, Smallpox, Plague, to get some context. The analogy would be someone who went to a Yiddle League game and thought that was baseball played at its highest level.
Covid19 probably could have gone unnoticed as a “bad case of flu”, which, unlike flu, primarily causes fatalities among the old and the sick, but not children. The mass media (in particular “social media”) decided it was a a horrible disaster and the politicians jumped at the chance to increase their power. The change in death rate was observable but not significant (in the US from .8% to .9%, lower than what it was in the 1990s, and lower that most developed countries’ death rate prior to Covid19). The trauma was caused by our elected leaders closing down schools and businesses, basically in order to show they had the power. The media lied about many things, and most people bought it. Among the media lies: 1) ignoring that 90% of the cases of Covid19 do not result in serious illness; 2) claiming children were especially at risk; 3) claiming the vaccine had no side-effect when it does have more side-effects that flu vaccines which is what people compare it to; 4) claiming the vaccine would prevent you from becoming infected and prevent you from spreading the disease. Telling the truth would have prevented panic, and avoided the problems resulting from lies being exposed.e.g. 1) saying the 10% of the cases caused serious illness and admitting that Covid19 is more like “Russian roulette” rather than a death sentence; 2)admitting the children rarely become seriously ill though that would undermine school closings; 3) claiming, as the vaccine makers said all along, that the vaccine largely prevent serious cases but doesn’t prevent the non-serious cases or becoming a carrier. The media also claimed masks prevented one from catching Covid19 even though the the medical establishment claim was that only the more expensive N95 type masks would reduce one’s chance of getting sick, though the typical cloth/paper masks did reduce the chance of someone spreading Covid19 (thereby undermeing credibility since many people wore masks and still got sick).
Trump had good reason to question the election results since based on exit polls he probably won; the correct response is that the exit polls didn’t take into account that Democrats were more likely to use absentee ballots (usually absentee and normal voting yield similar results). Trump also ignore the Republicans did well in most races, and “ballot box stuffers” never split tickets. But to say that Trump has no basis to suspect fraud is totally wrong.
In foreign affairs, Trump’s populists and Biden’s progressives all tend to be isolationist. Trump initiated the policy that Biden implemented. For obvious reasons, Biden doesn’t want to take credit for Trump’s foreign affairs policy (even though Biden has no problem claiming credit for Trump’s Covid-19 vaccines. By the standards of 1980, Trump is a RINO (and back then, he was Democrat). Expect a conservative running on platform of fiscal responsibility and a strong foreign policy to try to re-take the Republican party, and return to the policies of Ronald Reagan’s administration.
What does blood on the hands have to do with egg on the face.
While most Afghanis favor democracy (unlike Vietnam where it was the west that opposed free elections, expecting the communists to win), they are very un-woke. That the Democrats would stab them in the back was to be expected, and the fact that the Trump supported this only shows how far the Americans have fell from the days of Reagan and Kennedy who made support for freedom everywhere, regardless or race or religion, into the cornerstone of American foreign policy.
In the United States, Covid-19 appears to have increased the death rate back to the levels of the 1990s. If you remember the 1990s as a cruel period where life was short, nasty and brutish, you can appreciate the wisdom of the governments policies. Unlike most serious epidemics in the past, but like almost all serious diseases, Covid-19 strikes hardest as those whose lives were already coming to an end meaning that but for the government, the economic impact would have been negligible. The damages on people’s careers and children’s education came from the politicians, not a virus. If there ever is a real epidemic (something similar to Ebola or a new version of smallpox or plague), the measures taken for Covid-19 will prove to be useful, but most people will ignore them (the “boy who cried wolf” phenomena).August 12, 2021 9:06 am at 9:06 am in reply to: Is the frum “business/economic model” sustainable? #1999287
I am responding to the posts complaining about the “paltry” education of some hareidim.
1. Most are fluent or literate in four languages (two Germanic one, English and Yiddish, and to Semitic ones, Hebrew and Aramaic). They have at least sufficient math to function in the real world (probably not multidimensional calculus or quadratic equations or hexadecimal math, but do you really need those to run a store in Boro Park). While they lack basics of American business law or accounting, those are subjects not normally taught in high school, so the are no worse off than an American high school with a “Regents diploma” or the equivalent. Whereas the goyim used to concentrate on a “humanities” curriculum (strong on Greek and Latin, weak of practical skills such as math and science), they gave it up and it isn’t all clear if they are better off for it; hareidim still prefer the traditional Judaic humanities (modern Orthodox try to do both, at a high cost in money and in driving the kids crazy with overwork).
2. If you have a beard and pe’ot, do not dress “modern”, never eat in a treff restaurant (even if it serves a kosher item), and avoid secular work on all days during which secular work is prohibited – you can probably forget about 90% of the jobs for which a secular education prepares you. If you look at the CEO’s for the Fortune 500, or the Wall Street “brown shoe” law firms- you will find no one there who looks like you do. For all purposes arguing that Hareidim should prepare themselves for the well paying jobs in the secular economy is like telling Blacks under Jim Crow to prepare for careers in areas that never hired Blacks. For a career largely limited to work within Hareidi communities, the Hareidi humanities (non-scientific, non-vocational curriculum works fine); if you have doubts, note the housing costs in Boro Park or Williamsburg – if the theory that Hareidi education leave the child unable to function in a modern economy, those neighborhoods should have the cheapest housing in the region and that is simply not the case (the cheap areas are those inhabited by public school alumni whose educations left them unable to compete in the modern economy)
While the British still keep their copies of the Enigma intercepts a secret, a US Freedom of Information suit forced the US to declassify the American copies. It is very clear that both the American and British government were fully informed of the holocaust as it was happening, at least on the highest level. This is in addition to other intelligence the Allies received.
So if we want someone to boycott because of the holocaust, start with the United States and the self-governing (during the early 1940s, meaning Canada and Australia as well as Great Britain) portion of the British Empire.August 11, 2021 9:54 am at 9:54 am in reply to: Is the frum “business/economic model” sustainable? #1998798
Is Olam Ha-Zeh sustainable?
Probably not – but that has never bothered us too much. Our tradition is to define a happy person as one who is content with what they have. Historically as soon as Yidden made enough to survive, they cut back on work in order to focus on more important things (Torah and mitsvos).
If you compare the standard of living of frum Jews in America in the 21st century, to what almost all frum Jews experienced a few centuries ago, you will realize that even beggars live better than the typical Baal ha-Bayis in the past .
Common Saychel: Do you favor boycotting countries that denied asylum to Jews during World War II. While the American and British governments were fully informed of the holocaust at all times (since they were able to read all of Germany’s “secret” radio transmission due to their breaking the enigma code), ALL other countries knew that very bad things were happening to Jews and that by denying requests for asylum they were likely sending people to their deaths. And if you hold a corporation liable for what was done by the corporation 80+ years ago (even virtually none of the shareholders and employees from that period are still alive), then you pretty much have to boycott any company that existed in the 1930s since they add did business with Nazi Germany prior to the war.
Therefore you are left with a radical zionist response, live in Israel, and refuse to use any imported goods (since even Boro Park based frum companies are still based in a country that sent Jews back to Germany knowing they would be murdered).
It might make more sense to focus on supporting companies that do something right, since at this point the shareholders and employees of all companies are different than what they were a century ago. Should be boycott British (including Canadian and Australian and the United States) goods over the expulsion from England in 1290, or boycott Spain and its former colonies of 1492.
Should we boycott southern states over the Leo Frank lynching (which, BTW, is a major reason why secular Jews with American roots predating the World Wars tend to perceive the American south as inherently hostile to Jews)? Should we boycott Ford since the company’s owner pre-World War II was openly anti-Jewish, or forget about that since post-World War II Ford was a leading company in refusing to boycott Israel? What about General Motors (which technically is only about 10 year old since the original GM went under and the new company owns the name but is not the same corporation)? Should we prefer Leica’s very excellent but overpriced cameras since the owners of the company during the 1930s “outplaced” their Jewish employees into jobs in the industry in places outside of Germany? Should we boycott all the countries that refused asylum to Jewish refugees during the holocaust (which included the United States and the British Empire)?
While it is good to know the past, it is counter0productive to live in the past.August 5, 2021 9:47 am at 9:47 am in reply to: The irrational response to Covid is part of the Decree from Above #1997368
“Decree”???? — a bad case of flu that mainly kills old people (and our community are a very low percentage of old people, since we have a high percentage of children). 90% of cases are so minor you might not realize you were diseased unless you went out of your way to get tested. And since most deaths are those older than boomers (in our community, holocaust survivors, an age cohort much reduced by the holocaust), we are less affected than most. An increase in the national death rate from 8 to 9 per 1000 is minor, most industrial countries had a higher death rate before Covid19; the life expectancy fell back to what it was in the dark and horrible period of the 1990s (how did we ever survive).
People and governments freaked out quite on their own. Harsh measures appropriate to smallpox or plague or Ebola were introduced needlessly. Terrified people flocked to hospitals and undermined medical services; people with real health problems avoided doctors and hospitals out of fear. Indeed, people in many places are dying due to the governments’ shutdowns. We choose our politicians, as do most countries (at least indirectly). So don’t blame Ha-Shem for evil decrees of those we put in power. Just look in the mirror.
1. Why is a “stay at home” mother considered to be “not working.” If she accepted a paid position as a cook, cleaning lady, housekeeper, nanny, governess, and chauffeur, she would be considered to be employed.
2. Our community has a long tradition of women engaging in economic activities (either employment or entrepreneurship) while males have a long tradition of scholarship. The idea that the primary duty of a male is to make lots of money is in fact alien to our culture. For Yidden, the “manly” thing to do is to learn Torah, and failing to do so and getting rich instead makes one a bit off by our standards.
Sounds like cataracts,in which case you’ll be functional for most purposes after the first operation.
300 years ago everyone was either Chareidi or humongously off the derekh (meaning becoming a member of the local state religion be it Christian or Islam, or joining a “reformist” group such as the Frankist or the followers of Shabbatai Zevi). Those who were willing be mesiras nefesh for Torah and Mitsvos converted (which offered immediate economic benefits). There were no “modern Orthodox”.
Remember that until the mid-20th century it was perfectly legal, and in fact was public policy, to discriminate against those who didn’t do their jobs on Shabbos. Just being Shomer Shabbos represented tremendous mesiras nefesh (and in that era, “modern” Orthodox synagogue often had people who drove to shul and parked a block away, and members who felt proud that they kept kosher at home while avoiding pork when eating away from home). In that era, being Shomer Shabbos and going to college or holding a job for a non-Jewish employer (including the government) was difficult, so anyone even a bit frum was regarded as a fanatic.
You don’t decide. It happens. You get used to taking Torah and Mitsvos seriously, and one day you realize you don’t really give a hoot about the outside world, since in the long run Torah and Mitsvos matter, and the outside world amounts to no more than a pile of dust.
Socialism comes down to the idea that the states should make decisions for you. The opposite of socialism is individualism, the idea that each individual can and should make decisions for themselves, and that the government should respect those decisions. By this standard, the Democrats have become very socialistic, feeling the the government should have a monopoly on decision making in most areas of daily life (just like their friends in Cuba).
The Democratic party of people such as Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy or Hubert Humphrey is ancient history. Today’s Democrats are socialists. Even those who claim otherwise have accepted the socialist dogma that the state should have a monopoly on decision making, and individuals should be obedient cogs in the state-run system. SO WHY WOULD THE DEMOCRATS BE CRITICAL OF THEIR FELLOW SOCIALISTS IN CUBA.
There is a different issues of “modesty” (covering up what should be covered up), not looking like a bum (wearing a gym clothes or sleeping clothes in public), and looking respectable so people won’t think Bnei Torah are slobs (wearing respectable but dull clothes). And fashions change over time (long pants only started become standard where streets were paved and sewers installed – previously one preferred short pants with high boots). The period of the early Achronim was very cold (relative to today and to the period of the Rishonim) which would have affected fashion.
Short pants that go below the knee are not really problematic (they were standard until about 200 years ago, and are still common sport wear under American men such as baseball and football players). While some Hasidim still wear them, usually with high socks, they are generally unfashionable in the US.
Unless the school uniform represents lower costs that what the student would normally wear (as occur in situations where the students would choose to wear expensive clothing), they aren’t justifiable and the money spent on them is a waste of the community’s assets better spent on Torah education (lower tuition, better pay for teachers, etc.). A dress code would be just as useful, and would not divert resources from Torah education. One should note that without wearing uniforms, and with no official dress code, frum adults seem to manage to dress quite uniformly.
No one objects to universal access to health care. If you mean a system where there is one national health care and everyone is required to use it, including the politically well connected, that never existed anywhere, even in totally socialist systems such as the Soviet Union (somehow the rich and powerful get better care).
Obamacare is just an expensive set of options towards getting access to health care for those without (which was never a very significant number in the US). For political reasons, they banned many “deplorables” from using inexpensive health insurance (the “deplorables” answered back by electing Donald Trump).
Managed care is a type of health insurance that offers (in theory) lower prices in return for the insurer taking control of what care you are offered (one can negotiate the price and standards).
They made kapotas in other colors in the past. When the goyim stopped wearing them (roughly a century ago, when King George stopped wearing them), demand fell, and at present the bulk of the demand is for black (meaning anything else is probably a special order that will cost more).
Styles are like that. If you look at clothes over time you see changes reflecting a mix of what the goyim are doing (which we sometimes ignore, but not always), as well as halacha, and dynamics within our own community. For example, goyim switched from long suits to short suits (for “business wear”) because King George V did, and gave up hats because President John Kennedy misplaced his top hat and walked bare headed at his inauguration parade – we weren’t impressed and kept wearing kapotes and fedoras. Whereas goyim look at their politicians and media celebrities, we look at our rabbanim, who tend to be proper and dull on matters of fashion (which in fact, are largely irrelevant to the survival of the world). However the frum community is influenced by the goyim (note that pants are worn universally by males, which clearly would not have been the case 400 years ago, and that many frum people wear neckties which wasn’t the case 200 years ago).
But note the changes in other areas of clothing such as shoes. Non-leather shoes, and even sneakers, are increasingly worn whereas once only formal leather shoes were acceptable. Polyester and other artificial fabrics have increasingly become common in the frum community. When wearing a short (i.e. normal length suit), we tend to follow the goyim’s styles but about 10 years late (so double breasted suits are becoming much less common). And except for the requirements of married women covering their hair and all women covering up much of the rest of their bodies (which is contrary to the goyim’s minhag in western countries), women’s fashions closely follow those of the goyim.
WE are the ones who choose to be frum! We get lots of tzuras from cousins who choose otherwise.
In defining OTD I suggest that one line is in total non-observance of Shabbos (including yuntufs) and Kashrus. To be on the “other” (assimilated, non-frum) side of the line, one must be working at one’s job on Shabbos and in no way making “Shabbos” special (e.g. if you make a festive meal on Friday in honor of Shabbos, you aren’t totally off the derekh even if you go to work on Saturday morning). Not fasting on Yom Kippur and not going to hear Shofar on Rosh Ha-Shana, and not going to some sort of seder on Pesach probably indicate you are “gone”, but if you take off on Yom Kippur, have matsa on Pesach and shake a lulav now and then on Sukkos, you are still not totally OTD.
This suggest that to study the problem, one needs to have a scale reflecting both halacha and how various halachot are understood socially (e.g. many totally un-frum people still make a special meal on Shabbos, or take off on Yom Kippur, or attend a seder), and one needs to ask if someone is truely OTD if they have gone from frum to some level at which they while be strictly not “orthodox”, are still acting in ways that are clearly unassimilated.
Definition of OTD and “modern” is very challenging.
It a father where’s a long coat on Shabbos and opposes Zionism, and the son wears a modern suit and supports the medinah, is the kid OTD? If someone who follows any aspect of Shabbos (e.g. not going to work, but otherwise doing all 39 melachos) or kashrus (not eating treff animals, but otherwise ignoring kashrus), still considered OTD?
Is some considered “modern” only if they are a zionist who learns Torah some times, but wears American-style clothes and follows liberal/zionist rabbanim. Some people would say the someone who belongs to a nominally Orthodox (meaning frumer than Conservative) shul but almost never attends, and makes makes no attempt to keep kosher or Shabbos, is still “modern” and that to be OTD you need to completely give up on Shabbos and Kashrus.
If there is “real” pandemic (not a bad case of flu), we will be dealing with all ages (not just the sick and elderly) becoming seriously ill, and with a most people who become infected become seriously ill or dying (rather than 90% getting nothing worse than cold symptoms, if that much), and with the death rate increasing by tens of percent rather than tenths of percent (not thousands dying, but tens of millions).
The measures that were regarded by many people as excessive for Covid-19 would then be appropriate, however the public health people and the various mass media (including YWN) have the “boy who cried wolf” problem and won’t be believed. In the false alarm of Covid-19, communities that didn’t take the established media seriously (in the USA, these tended be “red”, meaning conservative and deplorable) fared no worse, and perhaps better, than those who bought the story (the “blue” and elites) that we were dealing with a horrific pandemic that threatened the existence of society. In a real epidemic, that will not be the case.
Ha-Shem creates viruses and germs, and it is not for us to argue or question Ha-Shem. However Ha-Shem is not responsible for creating power-grabbing politicians, political correct scientists, or mass media drumming up circulation with fake news.
Between us and Ha-Shem, and given the broad times that are allowed for most things, it seems Ha-Shem is very laid back about time – several hours to say Shma, you can Mekabbel Shabbos hours early, and don’t have to end Shabbos until well after the the zman.
Otherwise its a matter of timing. Germans and most Americans tend to be punctual. Many other cultures consider arriving strictly on time to be rude. East European Jews tend not to be fanatic about punctuality, and many other cultures have a similar attitude towards time. As a practical matter, its best to figure out the custom of those you deal with, and not make an issue about (again, other than when it is a matter of halacha).
Vowel shift. Common among all living languagues. Also remember that most English speakers of Hebrew are descended from Yiddish speakers, and Yiddish since it was largely an oral language (Yidden spoke Yiddish, but wrote in Hebrew) was more likely to have vowel shifting.
Note that Ha-Shem and Moshe refrained from including International Phonetic Alphabet notation, and did not include a sound recording of how Hebrew is supposed to be pronounced.
essmeir: Are you aware that there are places in Israel other than Jerusalem, and in America other than New York. For a frum Jew, the minimum is to be in walking distance of a frum shul, with a shul, kashrus and mikva in the area. In America, that is limited to major cities. In Eretz Yisrael, you can meet that standard is most small towns and villages.
If your problem is that you need to live in the most expensive neighborhood possible, you will have a problem almost everywhere.
Coffee Addict – If you count all the Likud break-aways (Likudniks who didn’t get along with Bibi), the “Greater Likud” has 60+ seats, and if Bibi drops out of the picture (perhaps a deal not to throw him in in jail in return for accepting an unpaid decision as a senior statesman), the question then is who is best positioned to take over the Right-Center bloc, and as long as he doesn’t burn bridges, that’s Bennett. The people who broke away from Likud all left because of Netanyahu, and in general have no ideological disputes, so coming back, either in an alliance or formally rejoining Likud, is no big deal. By virtue of being Prime Minister, Bennett is poised to take over leadership of the Right-Center of the Israeli spectrum in a post-Bibi environment.
You have to define terms. If you are asking whether the government (i.e. a Bennett-Lapid led coalition of all parties, far right to far left, plus some Arabs) as it exists today will survive in this form, it probably will be measured in months if not weeks. However asking if a coalition led by Bennett and excluding Netanyahu will survive, that changes the odds, since while Bennett will probably lose all the left wing parties he can pick up Hareidim and Likud (once Netanyahu retires as party leader). One needs to realize that most of the right wing and centrist parties in Israel are Likud spin-offs, so if Bennett can get Netanyahu out of the picture they can all “spin-on” to a “new” Likud, and Bennett is well position to lead it. In a parliamentary system, especially with proportional representation, a “coalition” routinely can add and subtract members while staying intact.
If it was impossible to make a living in Israel, you would not see an ever increasing number of Jews living in Israel. You also would not see Israel’s standard of living steadily rising from the ranks of underdeveloped countries 70 years ago to the one of the most prosperous countries. Some individuals may have a problem and based on the comments, one might suggest the typical problems include: 1) immigrating to Israel without being fluent in Israeli Hebrew and with a “skill set” designed for America rather than Israel; 2) trying to duplicate an American lifestyle in a totally different country rather than adapting one’s lifestyle to the Israeli economy (note that many things that are expensive in America are cheap in Israel, such as education and health care, whereas other things are relatively more expensive such as a single-family house in an urban center or private cars)June 7, 2021 7:34 am at 7:34 am in reply to: The future of the democracy of the U.S. government #1980739
Stop whining. You seriously underestimate the American people (probably since most people on the list live in the frum ghettos of greater New York and the only contact with goyim they have is with the woke nutcases who infest that area).
While the Democrats and the Republicans make be shooting themselves their feet and otherwise makes fools of themselves, the roots of democracy (small D) and the republican (small R) tradition are deeply imbedded in American culture. That is what makes America exceptional, and why we have good reason to feel that America will no get the way of Germany (which never had a democratic or a republican tradition, and from its earliest origin never had a spirit of tolerance towards anyone).May 23, 2021 9:18 am at 9:18 am in reply to: Women Entering the Workforce and the Calamitous Declining Fertility Rate Effect #1976351
Changes in fertility probably resulted from a decline in infant mortality (in the past, wanting two to four children who lived to adulthood, required ten or more pregnancies). Antibiotics and improved surgical techniques (e.g. ability to do a ceasarian other than to rescue a baby whose mother had just died) meant humanity can survive without women having to spend their entire adult lives producing children. Combined with a collapse in maternal morality (formerly the leading cause of death for adult women), this lead to a greater number of women getting jobs and a willingness to invest in women’s education (since they were now surviving childbearing). This has been true in all countries, though is more obvious in the ones that industrialized first since it takes a few generations for birth rates to fall. It is hard to say if it will be good or bad in the long run, since more educated women (and education for women became cost effective when their survival became the norm) arguably make better mothers.
The frum community has hardly rejected the overall trend. In the period before industrialization most women received minimal education. They could read books such as “Tzena u-reina” but that’s about it. The average Bais Yaakov girl is on a vastly higher level than the average frum girl of 250 years ago (not to mention she is likely to survive childhood, childbearing and live to old age, something was exceptional back then). Also note that 250 years ago very few frum women were unemployed since they usually supervised large households, helped run business or if they were poor, worked as servants (remember most housework done today with appliances was previously done by servants, and anyone middle class probably had servants, and for obvious reason Jews were preferable as live-in servants). Unless you favor banning antibiotics, anesthesia and electric appliances, there is no going back to the “good old days”.
“fluff” (popular books) almost always have a bigger audience than “scholarly” books. Very few women and children, and frankly most men though many won’t admit it, have the language skills to read a serious sefer. We should say “Baruch ha-Shem” in looking at the large market for “fluff”, since it means that Jewish customers are preferring Jewish “fluff” (children’s book, popular literature, translations, books that dumb down sefarim so more people can understand) rather than buying the “fluff” produced by the goyim.
A few language have national government agencies to regulate the language. For example, France issues official lists of French words to use rather than English words, and in theory government employees can get in trouble for not using words on the list. In general, “standards” issued by government agencies are totally ignored by everyone except their own staff.
Someone tried to invent a “standardized Yiddish” about 100 years ago, in part combining aspects from different dialects (vowels from one, consonants from other, syntax from a third). Thanks to the German, onlyoone dialect of Yiddish now is common (southeast dialect, as used by Orthodox Jews). All attempts to standardize English have failed though some historical events have tended to promote standardization (e.g. the southern dialect has been considered “wrong” since 1865, and for the most part the mid-western dialect is “correct”, note who did what at Appomattox for an explanation how that happened).
However living languages by definition have ever-changing vocabulary and grammar, and Yiddish is unusually flexible since many native speakers feel free to “borrow” words from other languages without thinking twice. The grammar also evolves (anyone notice that the 2nd person formal form is dying out, probably since Hebrew and English lack one, e.g. using “DU” to mean you is no longer ruden when talking to a person who thinks they are more important than you).May 12, 2021 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm in reply to: why should i take the the vacccine if i had the virus already ? #1973929
Because the all wise wizards running the CDC have yet to figure out to what extent having been exposed to the virus gives one long term immunity. They aren’t even sure how long the vaccine will last. If you have trustworthy primary care physician, ask? The other side is they clearly understated the side effects (many people I known who took the vaccine were too sick to go to work the next day). All they determined in the testing for “emergency use”, was that it is very unlikely to kill you, and is likely to reduce your chance of getting the disease relative to a placebo.
Without Carter, there may never have been a Reagan.May 2, 2021 2:59 pm at 2:59 pm in reply to: Anyone else waiting for Tax Refund longer then usual? #1970186
Covid10 (and teleworkers who aren’t as efficient as when they come to the office)
Congress (which changed the tax law after filing was open basically the IRS to start over from scratch)
Delayed filing date (which delays the deadline for paying refunds before they have to pay interest)
Originally the rich would buy the poor as slaves, or feel somewhat sad if they starved.
Over time, the goyim picked up the idea that the rich need to help the poor. They got the idea from us. Also we never had strong central institutions (even kings of Beis David were far from absolute).
The Christians combined our ideas of charity with the Roman idea of a powerful government, and you get a powerful government that gives lots of charity with other people’s money (while governments get money from many source, taxes seems to be the easiest way to get hands of money).
The difference in terms of national issues is minimal. Purple states (such as Florida) don’t count. The “Red” states picked up perhaps two or three seats, but since part of the reason is migration of Democrats it will work the cancel any shifting (note how Georgia and North Carolina turned “purple” due to liberal migrants.
What matters to the frum community is the extent frum neighbors grew or shrunk, and whether that reflects migration patterns in our community. Also note that migration can result in increasing the number of districts in which frum Jews are common that the politicians listen to us (rather than if we approach a majority that can elect one of our own).