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  • in reply to: Why Rabbaonim in Israel and America SILENT when Frum Soldiers Screamed At #1184280

    I’m not surprised we haven’t heard rabbonim speaking publicly about this as if they actually hear about this, they likely get a distorted version in which the details of whatever argument went on inside the shteiblach that muddies the issue. If rabbonim have in fact spoken out it’s unlikely to make headline news.

    What shocked me in particular is the passersby who seemed to view it as none of their business or two of the people who seemed to view it as street entertainment r”l. I would hope if I was there I’d have the courage to stick up for the soldier and confront the sikrikim.

    P.S. BenK, your writing style and capitalisation makes it hard to read your posts.

    in reply to: Where To Go in Eretz Yisroel #1159600

    Personally, I found the description of Genesis Land a little suspect. People dressing up as Avrohom ovinu etc welcoming you into their tent … it seemed dodgy hashkafically.

    But near there is the gorgeous Wadi Kelt / Nachal Parat which is not far from Yr’lm. It’s a great shaded walk in a stream. Behind green line though so check security status. We did it with a 22 month old child.

    in reply to: Poor brits #1158192

    Hang on, as someone who wanted to leave I wouldn’t claim immigrants drive up the violent crime up. Drive up the terrorism rate, yes, probably, but that’s a tiny proportion of crime.

    But violent crime? I think you’d have to be idiot immigrant to resort to crime, when you’ve come to live, seek work and milk the benefits system.

    I’m pleased we’re leaving but not looking forward to overpriced, lazy native British workers repairing my home, and the public infrastructure. The Europeans are far more hard working and typically just as skilled.

    in reply to: Poor brits #1158183

    “Less Chumras: In the UK the government pays for yeshiva education which is why I heard some non-Jews sued to get into a yeshiva a few years back.”

    Not really. Yeshivas (= chareidi schools) are typically private or voluntary-aided in which case they have 100% control on their admissions except that it must be published and fair, but can include that you only eat glatt, or have no TV or whatever. Voluntary-aided schools do get state funding which doesn’t cover kodesh staff.

    Even state-aided schools can set their admissions criteria to exclude goyim as long as it’s religion-based, not race based.

    It’s “free schools” – a third category of which there are only 1 or 2 MO-type schools that have to accept 50% goyim if they don’t have enough yidden applying.

    in reply to: Chassidus #1105798

    @gavra_at_work Did I say that was all?

    in reply to: Modern Orthodoxy #1146129

    @DaMoshe Can you please specify, what did he invent?

    I’m not HaKatan but presumably he meant Torah Umaddah. (Not a collection of halochos but a lifestyle and philosophy.)

    in reply to: Chassidus #1105701

    @gavra_at_work Probably the biggest difference (and most critical) is that they believe in a hereditary system of leaders, and those leaders are the conduit through which they serve the RBSO. A corollary to that point is that what the Rebbe says is law from the RBSO, similar to as if a Navi said it.

    That was a very inaccurate statement and nothing like the reality.

    Chassidim hold in asay lchah rav as it should be held. That you don’t just go to a rov for kashrus shallos or when it’s convenient, or when he’ll give you an answer that you want. If a (true) chossid was wondering if he’s allowed a smartphone for work, he’d (1) ask the rebbe (2) listen to what the rebbe said, no ifs no buts. How many non-chassidim can say they’d even do (1), let alone (2)? It’s not an exclusively chassidish shitta (e.g. Rav Dessler says the same thing), merely one aspect of Yiddishkeit that they are very strong in.

    They also understand the true stength of a kehillah and its mesorah (which can evolve as a whole, but from which one should not separate) from which we in the rest of modern (small M) Orthodoxy can all learn.

    To say they hold the rov’s rulings comparable to nevius is utterly wrong. (I assume you know what nevius is.) Similarly, your statement that “those leaders are the conduit through which they serve the RBSO”.

    in reply to: Har HaBayis Revisited #1112515

    @ubiquitin Charlie Hebdo people are to blame for their own deaths

    An excellent own goal. Indeed the Charlie Hebdo people should take blame for inciting Muslims and probably causing extra deaths including in the Hyper Cacher shooting where r”l 4 yidden were killed.

    This doesn’t detract from the absolutely blame of the terrorists, their backers, handlers and enablers but the Charlie Hebdo staff were culpable too for incredible stupid goading of dangerous hateful terrorists.

    If the Palestinians/Muslims would make as big a fuss of say Kever Rochel and turn it in a cause for incitements and death threats r”l, I would stop going there too.

    @chareidimolim the area where … religious people go up today is 100% OK …. And most Rabbanim who are willing to address the matter at all agree to this.

    Nonsense. And your implied argument that the majority of chareidi rabbonim who disagree are “not willing to address the matter” is disingenuous, to say the least.

    @Sam2, @chareidimolim etc. regarding your assertions that you know roughly where the heical “must have been” and therefore where’s definitely mutar to go. Surely you’re not basing anything on the location of the dome of the rock? Where in our mesorah does it state that the dome of the rock or its platform definitely intersects with the heichal or azorah? We don’t know for sure even what part of the HH”B the kosel was except for our mesorah that standing in front of it is definitely OK. (Some, including myself don’t even touch it).

    Notwithstanding this, I continue not to understand the point of going up there? Leshitoschah, the kosel (or perhaps kosel hakatan) must surely be as close to the kodesh hakdoshim as some (Northern?) parts of the Har Habayis where you say is definitely muttar to go. And you’re not even allowed to daven there. So why go? In what way are you acheiving more than davening at the kosel? If it’s just for Zionist goals of establishing Jewish rights there then indeed this is a fatal (literally) error that stirs up a hornet’s nest.

    in reply to: Har HaBayis Revisited #1112433

    Rob: very ridiculous and very dangerous. And danger is something defined by halachah.

    in reply to: Har HaBayis Revisited #1112414

    ubiquitin, Sam2, rob, ZD, etc:

    1. This attitude begs the question, do you think the actions of those (so-called) Niturei Karta-niks who go to Iran, protest in support of PLO, Hamas etc have no effect? The Arabs/Muslims hate and wish just as much violence with them or without them. So they’re not causing any actual harm, right?

    2. Do you excuse the many Jews videod going onto HHB just to “establish sovereignty” (as witnessed by many of these groups just marching around with video-phones held in the air, rather than any goal to daven). Also, you cannot in fact daven there as the police will drag you out.

    3. This entire recent uprising has no excuse other than the one repeated on all major news outlets – that it’s about HHB. Of course they’re looking for an excuse but how can you say the actions of these provocateurs haven’t resulted in extra fatal and serious attacks against yidden in the past few weeks?

    in reply to: My issue with the Israeli Chareidi parties #1066375

    Indeed the draft makes it impossible for chareidim to live in anything but poverty.

    The army is definitely a risk to a person’s yiddishkeit in general. (True there are many that aren’t effected, but that’s not relevant to the many/more who would be. Nachal Chareidi also hasn’t proven itself.) The army and it’s deeply integrated and zionist culture is not a possibility.

    Given that, the fact that people can’t work illegally without serving in said army, or getting a true exemption means the Law forced the current learning-only non-working situation.

    Yesh Adit and others made the draft the orimary issue of their governmental term, so the Chareidim have to equally make it their own issue. And that is what their voters want.

    in reply to: Shabbos Project results #1191706

    I thought much of the emphasis was in guiding people to experience their own halachic shabbos not be hosted. There were synagogue rabbis handing out shabbos kits and guides so people could do it themselves.

    FWIW I met my irreligious neighbours walking together Friday night on my way back from Shul when they normally drive on shabbos. They were obviously on their way to a shabbos meal.

    in reply to: PLEASE JOIN NOW: Online Tehillim for the Captive Youths #1021571


    in reply to: Family friendly Hikes in Israel #1020587

    Ein Prat / Wadi Kelt is a short drive from Yerusholaim (past yericho) and very nice stream to walk in. It’s more or less shaded the whole way. I’ve walked a 22 month old kid along some of it.


    PAA: I’m enjoying your collection of maarei mekomos. Keep them coming!

    With regards to how yeshivos learn: In Gateshead as in many large yeshivos two or of three sedorim are bekios. The other iyun seder still has much value even if bochurim could be learning even more bekius. Why?

    Most men, after leaving full-time learning do not do iyun. Whether it’s the daf or your own schedule or shiur it’s normally bekius or much closer to bekius than iyun. So if we wouldn’t learn one iyun seder in yeshiva then most of us would never know that geshmak that is a Steipler or Reb Chaim. We would also not learn how to learn a rishon properly.

    I do think it’s a fair critique that bochurim don’t cover enough ground in bekius (i.e. those two sedorim), much less allocate proper time for chazuroh. Sugyos properly absorbed as such a relatively young age will remain embedded for life.

    in reply to: What exactly did we get on Shavuos? #1018426

    Rav Saadia Gaon (cited by Rashi parshas mishpotim and Mishna Berura regarding the minhag to eat milky) says that we knew all 613 mitzvos from these “verbal” (kaviyochal) aseres hadibros given on shvuos.

    in reply to: YWN Sefira Music #1015312

    In answer to OP: yes, I too am bothered (now that I know they are playing music as usual).

    in reply to: Tehillim for missing Monsey man- Peretz Yehuda ben Mirel #1008799

    Any news?

    in reply to: Million Man Atzeres #1020440

    In London there are local atzeres to coincide with the EY one. Going.

    in reply to: Hakaras Hatov for Israeli Soldiers (IDF) #1005757
    in reply to: Whatever happened to Yigal Calek??? #1004281

    His last record was about 14 years ago, and last performance a little-publicised reunion concert about 9-10 years ago in London.

    I don’t think such pure nigunim could compete in today’s frum music industry.

    He lives, as do many of his alumni, in Golders Green, London and remains one the most eidel people you can hope to meet.

    in reply to: For History Buffs #999921

    notasheet: but not Simon Schama’s books and material on Israel and Jews. They are clear apikorsus. (He’s a irreligious Jew.)

    in reply to: Manchester Eiruv #1000219

    RR44: R’ Gershon Hager & R’ YM Friedman (saigura rebbe) can hardly be called eruv-opposers. I’m not sure if they explicitly mattir it, but they have come close to doing so (not to mention others such as RZR).

    I myself am not a eruv user. My rabbonim say my kehillah is to be machmir like R’ Moshe and consider it to have shishim riboi and the A1 where it meets the A406 to be very problematic, and so I follow them, and especially since R’ Roberts thinks so, but please don’t misrepresent the views of other local rabbonim.

    I do agree it’s not political, and it only became political when the baalei batim decided to publish and sponsor pamphlets.

    The original psak from (the present) Dayan Padwa was not make a brochoh eruv chatzeros! Even now, they are apparently “noheg” to do so but it’s a very grey area and I personally include it in my eruv tavshilin (“al miztvos eruvin”).

    in reply to: Disturbing thing I saw #1000008

    The only correct response is offer to help the poor overloaded woman, who has to manage a baby and cartful of groceries somehow single-handedly.

    This has nothing to do with family size, I don’t think WIY said there was 10 babies in the cart.

    Next time, just offer to push her stuff to the checkout so she can hold the baby.

    in reply to: Advertisements for a Web Filtering Service #975828


    “Hmm, I didn’t realize that women who are interested in their own health comprise less than 0.01% of the world.”

    That’s not what I said.


    What is the argument about popups? I don’t think I’ve ever heard it

    “Adults at work in general even according to you (I assume) are probably going to have weaker filters at work.”

    They’re not necessarily weaker. They’re often stronger, just less intrusive, and better designed but cost good money (look up how much a annual subscription for Cisco’s content filtering costs) but it’s worth it, every penny and even non-Jewish companies know it.

    in reply to: Am I going to gehenim? #977219

    > but after a few seconds i peel off the hanging half. or even sometimes “even out” one finger with a longer nail to match one with a smaller nail (since i bit that one.)

    I used to have a similar problem. Part of the obsession is ensuring the nails are about the same length. Here’s what I did, it may work for you:

    Try your very hardest not to bite them for one day. Then cut them with proper nail cutters (not scissors). Your nails with be smooth and even for the first time in ages! When you next bite them, notice how they won’t ever be as even as the cut nails, so don’t bite then quite so deep and then recut them with nail cutters. Hopefully, you will find as I did that nail cutters leave them much more even than teeth and biting only ruins the symmetry rather than helping.

    Best of luck!

    in reply to: Advertisements for a Web Filtering Service #975813


    I’ll a little exhausted from typing the above, so excuse me if I don’t give a full in-depth answer.

    In short they are tricky, as are all smartphones.

    For teenagers/kids please don’t buy them an Android. They’re not designed to be locked down and all solutions are basically fighting against the OS. If you absolutely must, give them an old (v2.1-2.3) device and get a real pro (e.g. TAG technician or Venishmartem) to set it up.

    For adults, I would recommend an iPhone (or a Blackberry if you want blocked browser rather than just filtering) but that doesn’t help if you already have an Android, or actually need only an Android.

    For Android, as with all smartphones, the method is to install an app-lock in conjunction with a new filtered browser. I won’t mention app names here because there are always new ones. Call your nearest branch of TAG.

    All the methods will interfere with your phone somewhat, typically restricting the freedom to install new apps instantly whenever you want.

    If you’re serious about having an effective filter you have to take things to extremes, such as rooting the Android phone or block website browsing entirely on the phone and only use it for email and suchlike, while leaving web browsing the computer.

    You’ll also find, with a locked-down phone, you suddenly have double the free time for family, friends and learning!

    Smartphones are a little like the internet in 1990s: filters really are not that great and will cause some trouble.

    Again, if you haven’t yet bought and need a smartphone get an iPhone instead, and know it will be locked down a little.

    And if your kids/teen/bochur/sem girl asks for a smartphone (or tablet, or smart media player), please refuse (especially an Android).

    This information is correct at the time of posting, it may be out of date tomorrow!

    in reply to: Advertisements for a Web Filtering Service #975812


    Warning: this is a very long post (the page-down key may help!) but I do hope it’s useful to many who have the same questions or concerns as jbaldy22 ]

    > Here is a paragraph from the booklet …

    As I said “it barely if at all mentioned OTD rate, instead it goes on about the real risks to all of us.”. You quoted one paragraph which I read, but that is not the thrust of the asifa booklet if you read it with a bit of objectivity – it mainly talks about addiction and the harm viewing inappropriate material can cause.

    You and I may find the language hyperbolic, but you can’t say their argument was about OTD rates, it you read the whole thing (and it does go on a bit, I only got to about 10000 words with only one reference to OTD before I gave up).

    > Because no one is talking about it (the asifa booklet) I can’t bring it as a proof of how certain organizations have a nonsensical view in regards to the internet?

    Sure you can, it will just be besides the point.

    > I don’t know what kind of standards qa has at your office but in most normal companies you aren’t allowed to install anything extra on a clean system.

    This is besides the point, and does demonstrate that you don’t know the filtering software industry. That’s no detriment on your behalf, as many experienced techies don’t know the variety of filters in this large field of technology.

    Filtering software does not have to be installed on the machine. DNS-based software (which I mentioned twice) is installed on the network link (typically the WAN/ISP gateway router) and is transparent to all the computers within the network – and that’s just the simplest form of network filtering!

    There are many other router-based filters that work with actual content examination.

    Most large corporations already filter against inappropriate material to some degree (yes, even website development businesses or itnernet companies) because it protects them from legal problems caused when employees access these sites – and that’s in the secular world protecting themselves from being sued rather than caring deeply about their employee’s neshomas.

    Even for those that don’t: you may not realise it, but almost every single professional office network is already filtered – just not necessarily against inappropriate material. Any modern enterprise router has some form content-aware (packet-sniffing) firewall and typically some sort of anti-bot and anti-malware filtering, often using a central registry or blacklist which prevents certain sites from accessing or being accessed, and often content-aware.

    This largely the same technology that enterprise filters use too!

    Use Google Chrome, and you’ve roughly got the same technology built into its browser, as yet it’s the most popular browser among geeks. Why? Because it protects you from bad sites (malware) and you trust the source (Google’s categorisation). Does it ruin the ‘net? No. Do software developers and office workers curse it? No. Why? Cause it works. So do enterprise-grade filters and soon they will every as effecitive and transparent as Google’s malware filter.

    By the way, if you’re talking about software engineers, we normally need admin/root access to our own computers due to the range of software that coding requires.

    > Having a filter defeats the whole purpose of running the tests.

    Please explain what you mean by this?

    In my business, having our software and sites work even with a filter means it is far more likely to work on unfiltered systems!

    Also, if you’re building a website and it does get flagged as inappropiate that would be a real problem for you as many people have filters (Jews and Gentiles alike) and you’re excluding them as your customers.

    > Talk to people who are in college and you will find out how frustrating it is for them to get by with a filter.

    Why? Why are college students different than the general Jewish population?

    > And yes there are a substantial amount of medical students and women who need to access womens health related sites which have things a filter will find objectionable.

    Fine, as I said let them have a permissive filter, or no filter, but that’s an extreme case. On that, we can mostly agree. Now, back to 99.9% of the world …

    > I have adblock on my computer which seems to do a pretty good job knocking off every popup and ad that I can throw at it.

    Sorry, I’m not sure what that has to do with filtering?

    Ad-blocks are quite dumb systems that typically work purely on the type of window that’s launched, not the content therein (as far as I know – I haven’t looked into it).

    A good comparison is email-spam filtering software where the state of the art is excellent and we’re basically untroubled by spam when 10 years ago it almost made email unable. Filters are becoming this way with ever fewer false positives.

    The arguments you make about software filters are years out of date.

    > Also how do you propose to lock said filter in a way I can’t get around it in about 3 seconds?

    You’re apparently a techie – and most people aren’t and can’t get around them quite so easily, especially if set up right but your question remains very valid in many situations.

    I should point out that that an enterprise filter for a corporate network is actually quite hard to get around, even for a techie. Ever tried to break through a firewall? Not easy!

    An even better question you should be asking is that even if you couldn’t get around it, you could just buy a new unfiltered system that your work/family don’t know about!

    These are good questions, so thank you raising this valid point we can discuss:

    The answer to both your and my question is that for both you have to take a positive step to get around it, and that moment of workaround will hopefully give you time for the “ruach shtus” (see sotah 3a) to pass or to “histakel besholoshoh devorim” (pirkei ovos).

    The goal, as I understand it, is to ensure that the psak halochoh is clear that every Jew on the net must have a filter. Some filter, one that works but doesn’t allow you access to anything inappropiate – each on their own level (like hechsherim or meat kashrus) like you said but this applies to basically everyone in all situations, unlike what you originally said.

    (Ok, ok, not the medical students)

    It’s like hilchos yichud. Who says you need a shomer? And if you do have e.g. 3 men at night who says I still can’t commit an aveirah?

    The answer is that the rabbonim know the risks and define the safeguards. No-one’s stopping you bypassing it but at least you know you are outside what’s permissible just by not having a filter.

    As soon as you bypass the filter, you are unfiltered. Unshomered. Not kosher.

    I beleive in year’s to come, not having a filter will be like not having a hechsher on a butcher. There’s nothing to say it’s not 100% glatt and you can trust everyone involved but everyone will react in shock if you buy there and won’t eat at your house. It’s just as seemingly illogical (The butcher can bypass a mashgiach! What’s the point!) but just as effective if you understand human psyche as well as gedolim do, and as deeply as the Torah (that demanded rabbonim make syogim – protections) does.

    Arguments such as your’s meant that we blindly entered the first 15 year’s of the ‘net without any safeguards and awful risks that went unchecked. Just because filters aren’t perfect doesn’t mean they are useless and shouldn’t be used by everyone (on some level).

    > For adults the best you can really do is make sure you don’t come across the stuff if you aren’t interested.

    I really don’t understand this attitude. You seem to know the internet. How likely is it that with the amount of surfing you probably do each day that you’ll be able to ensure you never stumble across something terrible? If you haven’t yet, I’m afraid it’s almost inevitable.

    As to: “if you aren’t interested”, we know “ein aputropus larayos”. Enough said on a forum that’s read by young readers.

    > What kind of person or situation are you proposing that a filter will protect from (again we are referring to adults here) assuming that the person has at least a minimal amount of proficiency.

    > Trust me I have helped plenty of friends struggling with filters they do block things they need all of the time

    Well then, they haven’t been set up correctly, or they don’t understand why it’s been blocked. Some apparently innocent and popular internet tools are but a millisecond away from the most terrible soul-destroying content imaginable.

    I’m afraid I can’t give examples as this itself may be a michshal and this is a public forum, but if the mods allow (mods? you can contact me personally and I’ll elaborate.

    > and they are also for the most part ridiculously easy to circumvent.

    Not if they’ve been set up correctly. There are “filters” and then there are filters!

    > I know plenty of developers and not a single one with a filter despite the fact that these people are highly educated about the technology out there and the dangers of the internet and they all feel the same way I do.

    Anecdotes are not statistics. And again, you really need to get out more because the world Jewish of Jewish software professionals is replete with pros who have very strong filters.

    And again, your you’re statistic of 1, I counter with mine. I am a software engineer and business owner, and I can use a filter without issue because it’s been set up right.

    I repeat, the most experienced software engineer or technologist in the world can still know next to nothing about filters. The world of technology is vast and a seasoned Java expert, for instance, can know nothing about DMA disk caches, or FPGA chips, or filters even if they think they know all the technology out there!

    > In regards to monitoring systems … I have no interest in someone being able to reconstruct my ideas and actions from a browsing history – that could completely kill my business and I am sure that it would do the same to many others.

    First of all, as I said, monitoring systems are tricky to get right – far trickier than filters and in businesses often will interfere. I suggested that for the extreme case, like a medical student who cannot have a filter, they may be the only protection of some sort that works.

    Just to clarify as there seems to be some confusion on your part: effective monitoring systems don’t record your every keystroke, nor do they let anyone expect one specific third party access the logs or get alerts, and the monitoree would chose the monitor. They also don’t log anything – know one can be bothered to monitor everything you; good monitoring software only flags concerns and ignores the rest.

    If you were in need of a monitoring system, could you not find one person that you trust enough to monitor you? In fact, even worse, is everyone you know unethical enough to steal your business if they could reconstruct your ideas?

    By the way, if you’re in the software world then you should know that if a third party could re-implement your business idea from scratch just by seeing your idea, and despite you having a head start, then your business plan needs a rewrite.

    > Besides for the fact that again since I like many developers out there make a lot of use of virtual machines would make one completely useless.

    No, not if you have enterprise network filtering (ISP-based, router-based or both).

    Anyway, virtual machine’s use the host connection so it’s often at the mercy of the same filter as the host. Almost all of your arguments are against software-based filters like K9 which are simply not a good match for many business environments anyway and most likely the sort of filter that your acquaintances had such trouble with.

    > You basically are asserting that since filters work for you they should work for everyone. To me that doesn’t seem like a very valid assertion.

    You basically are asserting that since filters don’t work for those you know, they don’t work for anyone. To me that doesn’t seem like a very valid assertion.

    But to answer your problem: no, I have helped many, many people set up proper filters – far more than you have heard grumble about them I’ll bet. And they come back to me if it all doesn’t work well first time, so I know precisely about how well they work.

    in reply to: Advertisements for a Web Filtering Service #975808

    > If you think that the arguments made in that booklet make sense to you than that explains the rest of what you said.

    Um, I said “I or you may not agree with all it actually says, but please don’t distort the argument.” We’re all on a non-essential web site right now, so no one here will be able to defend all its arguments – that would be hypocritical.

    > Again the asifa booklet is exhibit A.

    Again, I said: “No-one’s talking about the asifa booklet here”. It was you that claimed that the asifa booklet blamed the ‘net on OTD rates, and I merely challenged that and provided you a method of obtaining it, so you could read it and see that you were wrong and see the OTD debate is a strawman.

    > You are making a lot of assumptions about my business and my views on the subject which are not true. In my mind its not a one size fits all solution – to me kids, teens, adults at home and adults at work all need different levels of filtration (or in the case of kids no internet at all).

    That’s what I was hoping you meant, especially the “adults at work” bit – but you certainly didn’t say it initially. You were originally claiming that businesses simply couldn’t operate properly if they had filtered internet. That is nonsense. Filters work for just about everyone – it’s just a matter of getting good advice and setting the right level – and the level is typically far higher than most people believe possible.

    > Also various families will have different needs – ie. someone in medical school (or in college in general) will have a very difficult time with a filter.

    Not the medical student argument again! Please! Every time there’s a filter discussion someone mentions the poor medical students.

    They are one of a very small minority who would have to have a very permissive filter, or one that’s easy to override, or a monitoring system instead.

    By the way, on monitoring systems – it doesn’t (and usually shouldn’t) be a spouse that monitors. But if the concept shocks you because of the lack of trust that’s implied, then you won’t like learning hilchos yichud. (It is true that monitoring systems are far more difficult to use effectively than filters.)

    Frankly, people in medicine spend their careers seeing stuff that for a normal yid would be totally ossur but their jobs saves lines and halachah permits this. It’s irrelevant to the discussion unless you like arguing in extremes (rosh yeshiva vs women’s doctor).

    > Anyone who runs a business which is involved in developing/testing software will tell you that filters will not work for them for obvious reasons and it has nothing to do with viewing inappropriate sites.

    I work in developing software and that’s not true.

    I can view more sites in a day than many people see in a year.

    My business relies on accessing countless websites and our internet traffic passing through multiple proxies, redirects, DNS systems and heterogeneous networks in one piece so I know about all the ways that filters can affect software businesses but it’s untrue that “filters will not work for them”.

    There are filters (e.g. DNS-based) that will work even in the most extreme example, and sometimes multi-tier solutions are necessary. The state-of-the-art is improving every day and having a legitimate sites blocked is increasingly rare. Like email spam fighting, it will soon be a largely solved problem.

    Rarely, a business may have to change some software if it absolutely conflicts with every filter that’s currently out there, but even in this <u>extreme</u> case I ask you the same answered question as above: “if your business relies on viewing grossly unsuitable material, do you think there is a Rov in the world who would agree you should operate that business? If not, then is just a question of how big the risk it, and your awareness of that risk.”.

    Lawyers would recommend a filter too in a business environment because it protects from a particular class of legal problems that employees with internet access can cause.

    If it’s important enough, we would save no expense to get the right advice & filter.

    Some people baulk at spending the price of a esrog on a filter that will work with their business because it’s not free, so they leave it unfiltered because the free one makes the ‘net unusable. It’s simply because they don’t appreciate the problem – because they haven’t seen first hand the mess the ‘net can create – yet!

    It’s fair enough to criticise “hyperbole”, but the flip side is that many people are naive to the multifaceted dangers of unadulterated internet access (often because they haven’t yet been affected), and believe “self-control” is a reasonable alternative. If they knew what rabbonim and the pros know, it wouldn’t be a debate.

    In fact, even the secular world are waking up the problems that a generation of exposure to the unfiltered internet will cause. In the UK they are starting to mandate that every internet connection be provided with a filtering option. And that’s from the government of a bastion of the liberal free-speech western world! Yes, they mean kids, but us adult Jews should not want possible access to inappropriate material either.

    in reply to: Advertisements for a Web Filtering Service #975802


    No-one’s talking about the asifa booklet here, and in any event it barely if at all mentioned OTD rate, instead it goes on about the real risks to all of us. You can find it by searching for KinusBrochure.pdf – have a good read. I or you may not agree with all it actually says, but please don’t distort the argument. (Find a copy of the later Flatbush or European version if you want a more moderate view that still advocates filters as the only way to use the ‘net).

    Some are trying to avoid the filter solution by exaggerating the argument and pretend it’s about reducing OTD rates – that’s a straw man, and appears to be an effort at hiding the true undeniable risks of full Internet exposure.

    > I haven’t spoken to a single person who has had a happy experience with a filter.

    You either have very few acquaintances, don’t speak much, have incredibly unlikely friends, or are lying. Either way, that’s patent nonsense, unless you have a very narrow definition of “happy”.

    > if you are using a computer for business purposes waiting for tag or a competent technician to come fix things is not an option.

    1. TAG or a competent technician can advise you how to set up and choose a filter in a business environment. Your typical “IT pro” may recommend K9 for a business environment, for instace which is usually a bad idea. As a example, OpenDNS can be configured on the router and the chances of it affecting anything are next to nill. (And don’t tell me it’s not an effective filter, unless you know how to set it up properly).

    2. TAG, for instance offer an amazingly quick turnaround time (often within an hour) for their clients in unblocking miscategorised sites and addressing compatibility issues etc. – better than most paid technical support services. Your arguments remain nonsense.

    My business and job relies on using the internet every minute of the day, accessing a massive array of sites and internet services. I have never had my filter interfere with my work, much less had to fix anything.

    Filters aren’t a perfect solution and I won’t state they won’t ever limit you from legitimate business, nor will I say the will definitely never cause issues (that would be as false as saying “no-one’s had a happy experience with a filter”), but so do seat belts on a car, or any of the syog latorah.

    3. Anyway, this all avoids the crux of the argument: if your business relies on viewing grossly unsuitable material, do you think there is a Rov in the world who would agree you should operate that business? If not, then is just a question of how big the risk it, and your awareness of that risk.

    That access to the complete internet is a problem waiting to happen is self-evident, it doesn’t need me, or an asifa to convince a worldy person of that. If you have another solution besides filters let us know. If your only answer is “self control”, I have a cheap river-crossing to sell you.

    in reply to: Advertisements for a Web Filtering Service #975799

    > The majority of men(or women) will not need these filters.


    And arguing for self-control is the height of naivety.

    Unfiltered internet is not a particular clause of OTD rates, that’s a straw man argument, but it is a cause of outwardly-religious people who’s insides are rotted away by unfortunate mistakes and temptations that a filter could have prevented.

    If a filter it “locks up” your computer, or you can’t do useful work with an effective filter, please get a competent technician, or TAG or Venishmartem advice who can set it up right. It doesn’t help to be an IT Pro for this, you need someone with filter installation expertise, it’s now an industry in itself.

    in reply to: How Did He Get My Number #999392

    The kindest thing you can do for the world in this situation is keep on the line.

    “Oh, a virus/hacking/whatever. That’s terrrible, thank you so much! Let me turn on my computer, hold on please”

    <Put line on mute, carry on with life for 2 mins>

    “That’s it it’s on. What should I do now”

    <Don’t listen for answer, carry on with your life for 30 secs>

    “Ok, I’ve got it. Just hang on let me find where to that”

    <Put line on mute, carry on with life for 2 mins>

    And keep them hanging while not actually investing much time if stringing them along. That way they’ll have less time to scam some other person.

    in reply to: Trolling Wikipedia #1048158

    PBA: (What process the tzedukim used is not clear to me; I am skeptical of the second grade pshat that they didn’t hold of any torah sh’baal peh.)

    AFAIK this pshat is pretty clear around shas and Rashi repeats it a multiple times. Much like some ultra-Modern “Orthodox”, they knew all the halochos, learned it carefully, but rejected torah sh’baal peh.

    (OK, of course ultra-MO are not in practice nearly as extreme, and don’t reject torah sh’baal peh, just some parts of it which they see as divisible from the rest and incompatible with their worldview.)

    As an example, see end of Sukkah 43b where they purposely disrupted a mitzvah by making it impossible to use the avrovos without violating a issur derabonin. The meforshim gives various peshotim exactly which issur derabbonon were involved but all agree the Tezdokim (in this case Baisusim, specifically) knew the the intricacies of muksa very well (no doubt learned all day in a beis medrash) and used that to knock the chachomim and disrupt mitzvos.

    YCT and the ilk appear to have similar animosity to the parts of torah sh’baal peh they don’t like. Some non-ultra-MO can stray into this territory too at times; the MBP issue is an example of not just disagreeing with mesorah/halochoh if it gives a bad impression, but actually helping disrupt it instead by giving public support to its detractors, just because it’s gives a bad impression in the 21st century.

    in reply to: What Blessing to make upon Seeing President Obama #948403

    When the Queen visited Gateshead in 2002, the previous Gateshead Rov paskened you do make the brochoh.

    in reply to: Help Locating Rambam In Tosfos #936856

    And, interestingly, also as ?? ????? (a play on ????? ???)

    in reply to: YWN Videos #936373

    Do you mean Jewtube? It wasn’t a kosher video platform, it was/is a videos for Jews (in the widest possible sense) platform.

    I don’t know all the kosher video platforms. Could you please list the ones you do know about and their backers where possible?

    I don’t think it’s simple, and it is definitely a risky venture.

    If anyone did sink millions into it then they made Internet Business Management Mistake #1. The correct strategy is to launch the minimum viable product, validate the market early as possible, pivot the business model if it’s not working or bail out.

    It may be that the demand increase, coupled with reduced bandwidth costs will make this a less risky proposition in the future than previous attempts (if there were any). There are also many non-Jewish people concerned about YouTube and its lack of filtering. Kaspersky released a report a month ago highlighting how it takes only 3 clicks to get from innocent children’s videos on YT to unsuitable content.

    All of this is kinda besides the point, because I was suggesting first investigating existing alternative video providers, rather than looking into building a video host.

    I’m not sure YWN have looked into this, but equally I’m doubtful YWN want to do it. Building a video hosting site, or creating a platform based on an alternative video host are both a riskier propositions than creating & running a news and discussion site.

    If someone does create such a platform, and it is viable, then any site aimed at the observant Jew demographic should strongly consider it as an alternative to YouTube.

    Either way, the increased number of “heimish” videos appearing on YT, and sites encouraging it, makes any problems harder to solve. Does anyone have a better solution, or am I overstating the problem?

    in reply to: YWN Videos #936371

    There are a large number of religious Jews (especially chareidim) who have YouTube filtered. Whoever launches a “kosher video” platform will get significant traffic from the same demographic that YWN ostensibly serves.

    The question, as you rightly point out, is how much of a headache is it? I suggested investigating whether there is an alternative video hosting platform that is more suitable to filtering (, vimeo etc.). Some of them offer proper revenue share or Pay per View, and most of these don’t have ridiculous prices for annual subscription to premium features.

    The real problem is that YWN Videos, Gruntig etc. are merely aggregators of YouTube videos of Jewish interest, they don’t upload the videos, much less host them. The challenge would be to encourage people to upload to an unfamiliar provider or, the Jewish video platform takes on the “headache” of copying videos over to the new provider (copyright permitting).

    It’s possible there is a real market for an actual Jewish video host (rather than choosing an existing providers), but that probably isn’t in YWN gameplan. If someone else does, the likely route to revenue would be video ads (visions of Feivish appearing before each and every Rebbe Mitzvah Tanz video). I just hope that if it is done, it’s done properly not like the many fly-by-night chareidi startups that don’t have a proper business plan or technical experience for such a project.

    in reply to: YWN Videos #936369

    2scents +1

    I too would dearly love to see this.

    Yes, video bandwidth will cost, but I wonder if “frum” sites like YWN and Gruntig realise that by putting so much content on YouTube they make it very difficult for people to filter YouTube, which really does contain content that many would like filtered.

    YouTube is an all-or-nothing platform, and other than enforcing Safety Mode, which can not be done reliably, there is no way to filter out all those YouTube videos that aren’t kosher.

    If bandwidth costs is an insurmountable issue, they don’t need host videos themselves just find a provider other than YoutTube that would aid filtering.

    I wonder if YWN has considered speaking to Vimeo or other video hosts to see if they could provide a solution that will make it easier to filter videos, or at least identify videos on a particular channel (in order to whitelist them).

    in reply to: The CR Discworlders Club #1114365

    What’s incredible is that Pratchett is still writing despite having a variant of Alzheimers called PCA for many years. He’s published a couple of books in the past year. They are still typical witty Pratchett, the plots may be even more rambling than usual.


    It seems like you entered an establishment with SKA, LBD or Federation hechsher and so were definitely ripped off.

    in reply to: Facebook Is To Blame For Rising Orthodox Jewish Divorce Rate? #935302

    @jbaldy22 Please re-read my later comment about the broadly chareidi nature of commenters, I’m not preventing you commenting merely advising that it should be an exercise in futility if we still have a broadly chareidi user base.

    I’ve been on CR for over 5 years but I don’t generally comment. The reason is that I find the views overall in line with chareidi ideology and many of the debates with the various MO (etc.) posters reasonable and healthy and don’t need my input (and I don’t usually have the time). I also don’t like preaching.

    In this case, it bothered me enough that there was no commenter willing to spell out the likely effects of Facebook use, that I joined in.

    It’s actually a tough argument to make, like many takonos that restrict our freedom of modern technology it’s a battle against the tide. You’re correct that you can’t just compare it to nightclub or suchlike, and leave it at that. FB is more complex and more insidious than that, but it behoves us all to actually understand what it.

    The simplest legitimate comparison is to the unfiltered internet itself. Incredible useful, incredibly dangerous.

    If there was some way of filtering Facebook so that it could be used without significant risk, I would likely agree with you. There isn’t, precisely because FB is all about encouraging you to interact with anyone who is some way related and it’s almost impossible for your “social graph” not to include people that you shouldn’t be freely socialising with, and for FB to encourage you to interact with them.

    You may use it for now without ill-effect, but without realising what FB really is. The social pleasure and convenience it provides you is blinding you to the huge inherent risks, and that you apparently have yet to encounter the more insidious side of FB. I hope I made this point clearly enough in my earlier posts above (and in a follow-up) that I don’t have to belabour the point.

    I’m not actually getting involved the point of this thread, which is whether FB causes increases in divorce or not, merely countering your assertion that FB is ok.

    Your “sizeable portion of CR” is a few commenters on this rather low-profile thread. I sincerely hope they are convinced FB is a bad thing for us, and that public awareness campaigns will educate the wider kehillah.

    Also, haifagirl and Health, please leave it alone. This type of nitpicking has destroyed many a informative thread.

    P.S. What’s interesting is that the “addictive” nature of any social community (Facebook, CR) means that I have begun to comment more frequently despite resisting doing so for a long period!

    in reply to: Software to Slow Down Shiur Speed #959406

    Audacity is the name of audio editing program.

    Most media players (Windows Media Player, VLC) have an option for playback speed. What device are you playing them back on? iPods/iPhones can also play back at different speeds.

    Kol Haloshon’s phone playback system has an option to play at slower speeds too.

    in reply to: Facebook Is To Blame For Rising Orthodox Jewish Divorce Rate? #935269

    “.. And if I’m not chareidi, I won’t comment on YWN ?!”

    Yeah, ok that came out wrong.

    I meant it should be futile to come on YWN and try to convince a nominally chareidi readership that something as patently incompatible with chareidi Judaism as FB is fine, and frankly I was waiting for someone other than Health (who’s out on a wing) to jump in and make my point before I had to bother (I’m not a frequent commentor).

    I’m aware that there are many MO etc. commenters here (though I sometimes wish people would identify themselves as such, especially when discussing halachoh).

    in reply to: No Thanks for Your Mishloach Manos! #1009953

    Yserbius123, we cancel out with most my friends which saves a lot of social grief. There are always 3-4 family and friends who don’t want to cancel, and these are the ones we are mekayem the mitzvah with.

    We also try and give our irreligious neighbours too each year (we keep on discovering new ones). I’m not sure they really appreciate it, as some of them feel they have to return the favour but any excuse to touch base with my Jewish neighbours.

    In total we give about 8-10 each year and yes, we do include something that can be used for the seuda, sometimes homemade stuff.

    in reply to: Facebook Is To Blame For Rising Orthodox Jewish Divorce Rate? #935266

    @jbaldy “it has always been designed to be limited to ur social circle and that is where it provides the greatest advantage.

    You clearly don’t understand what Facebook really is or its business model if you think it’s about limited social circle. I leave it up to the readers to decide who’s right, it’s that ludicrous. (Hint: Look up why Google Plus concentrated on the Circles paradigm as a differentiator from FB.)

    If they do decide to charge for messages after the limited trial (unlikely in my opinion, although LinkedIn have this model), this is either as a spam-prevention or to encourage people friend more people, not less!

    I didn’t advocate IM, nor do I label it as a kosher option. Please re-read.

    I know it’s useful, and very convenient (and yes, probably addictive) but there’s no way it’s ok for a chareidi Jew no matter which way you look at it. It’s raison d’etre is encouraging social behviour that go against all our principles. There will always be individual exceptions who have very particular needs and know how to use it in an incredibly limited fashion but that (at the risk of repeating myself) is entirely besides the point.

    in reply to: Facebook Is To Blame For Rising Orthodox Jewish Divorce Rate? #935259

    @jbaldy22 You are being quite disingenuous. Facebook is a social networking tool and is built to encourage people to connect and socialise with each other.

    It has always been possible for a savvy user such as you to retain their privacy and only use Facebook for, say, socialising with family or male friends but this is not what Facebook itself is designed for, and time and time again they have proven that their goal is to make all their users connect with as many people as possible. That you as may use it “correctly” in with limited social connections is entirely besides the point.

    The entire Facebook business model is built around making it incredible simple to connect with anyone, to suggest people befriend others with similar interests or who are in some way related, and to update as many people as possible with what you like and what you’re doing. You may befriend only male friends, but one of them will almost certainly be a Facebook friend with someone else (wife, cousin) and these users will be suggested to you and you to them.

    Yes, they’ve recently been forced to improve their privacy options, after complaints from even the secular world about how difficult Facebook makes to to maintain private, closed connections with a limited number of people. Yes, it’s possible to lock down your privacy settings, ignore or reject friend requests from (say) girls but you’re fighting the tool, and there is always a massive risk that Facebook will push a notification at you, or suggest you as a friend to someone else in way that makes dodgy social contact. For instance, if a girl makes a friend request and you ignore it instead of rejecting it then her events and activities will show up in your news feed (“Gila just liked YBC album”) and this makes the temptation to connect and socialise a daily challenge. Again, this can be blocked out, but 99% of the users won’t do this and Facebook have repeatedly forced such social connection suggestions on users despite all the privacy settings.

    I have used Facebook, so please stop the “well you don’t understand it so you can’t criticise it” refrain. It’s getting fast old and is a poor rebuttal.

    The rabbonim have heard too many horror stories of the terrible ruinous effects of FB and it has rightly become chareidi ememy #1. Few rabbonim have used it, but after a short description understand exactly what it’s advantages and disadvantages are. They can comprehend the most intricate lomdus and they sure as heck can comprehend the social network paradigm and have far more experience than any of us about what can (lo aleinu) go wrong.

    The old argument about “it’s how you use it” can be made for almost anything. TV? Just watch educational programs. Internet? Just install filters and let your kids on unsupervised, it’s safe (right?). Guns? I’ll keep it locked in my draw. It’s not how we work. This is a chareidi forum and the concept of constructing gedarim should be a understood by any chareidi YWN user. Many have basically given a heter for the entire internet (for either work or necessity) but with a filter and yet somehow it’s impossible to give up this one part of the web called Facebook. Must everything be allowed for convenience?

    I do agree that for (say) long distance family updates Facebook can be great and almost the ideal tool but that in no way mitigates the terrible risk it brings with it. So live with the inconvenience, use tools that are less problematic such as Skype, Email and any number of tools that aren’t “social networks”. It’s very difficult for me to eat only glatt but if I want to call myself chareidi then I will accept the cost and inconvenience. And if I’m not chareidi, I won’t comment on YWN.

    in reply to: Hebrew Calendar Resynchronization #931393

    Also the Jewish Calender is slightly off.

    The Earth Revolved around the Sun in 365 Days 5 Hours 49 Mins

    The Jewish Calender assumes the Rotation is 365 Days 5 Hours 55 Mins.

    Might this have to do with the fact that days have got a fraction longer (due to earth’s rotation slowing)? Then you have negate this observation against the rate at which the earth’s orbit might be slowing down. I find anywhere that can definitely state whether the years have got fractionally longer over time. It also depends on what mean by year (tropical or sidereal).

    The Jewish Calendar may have been exactly correct 1600 years ago or it might be the perfect average length of a year over the lifetime of our earth until moshiach.

    in reply to: Getting Bituach Leumi Coverage #930748

    It used to be the case that you had to be on a student (or similar) visa for those 183 days. Is this still the case?

    If it is, then it’s often worthwhile for even bochuring to get the visa straightaway in order to start the clock ticking asap.

    The only thing it might affect is claiming back VAT when you take purchases out the country (not sure about this).

    in reply to: Cousins Marrying #930444

    I am related to my wife by marriage

    in reply to: Mice in mein hoiz #994275

    Ah yes, should have said. You need to cover all air bricks, vents and holes that are within a metre (or perhaps more) of the ground with a wire mesh with holes that are too small for a mouse to get through. They can wriggle through the tiniest of gaps and chew around to make the hole bigger. Pest control companies are experts at this but if you DIY, make sure it’s a strong wire mesh with fairly small holes (perhaps max 1x1cm).

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