Ben Levi

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  • in reply to: Should The Rich Be Taxed? 💸🚕 #1677518

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Actually Neville
    I do not think I have said I was against a progressive tax code in totality.
    It depends what it is used ofr
    a) The country’s saftey and fufullment og governmental roles as described by ie. military, roads & bridges etc..
    b) Government charity i.e the Welfare state and government sponsored cultural programs i.e the Arts.

    If all taxes were restricted to option a I would be pro a progressive tax code becuase I need the country to function and that means all must contribute.

    However the overwhelming majority of taxes since FDR’s failed attempt at halting the Great Depression go towards government sponsored charity which I am against because the Federal government has no right to take my money because they feel they others have more of a need for it.

    in reply to: Should The Rich Be Taxed? 💸🚕 #1677179

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Neville
    I do not think that you get a very fundemental point.
    Someone else’s money does not belong to you no matter how much they have of it.
    No matter if they earned it or they inherited it.
    It’s pretty simple.

    in reply to: Should The Rich Be Taxed? 💸🚕 #1676198

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    “I don’t support school vouchers, I do support increased funding for libraries and schools, if this requires increased taxes, the increase is not the reason for my vote”

    This requires increased taxation.

    There is no way for the government to get money other then by forcibly taking from others.
    So if you want them “increase funding” for schools then you want them to collect more taxes i.e raise taxes.
    To say otherwise is the height of intellectual dishonesty.

    Unless you are simply stating your willingness to pay for it all yourself, in that case. I don’t really care where or on what you wish to spend your money.

    BTW I am also for increased funding for schools.
    I think the Rabbaim & Morah’s who teach my children and my siblings and communities children should be paid more so they have an easier life and can teach with a clear head.

    Since the government will not contribute money towards religious teachers salaries the only way that can happen is if I pay money in tuition.

    However when the government increases taxes in order to have increased funding for public schools, that my children cannot attend, they are in a sense confiscating my money to pay for the education of other peoples children while by default decreasing funding for my childrens schools because I cannot afford to pay more tuition (unless i want to risk Jail time for tax fraud).

    in reply to: Should The Rich Be Taxed? 💸🚕 #1676187

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Avocado,
    Actually 10% at it’s face is a flat tax.
    If you delve deeper into it then yes it becomes progressive as Chazal strongly recommend the wealthier give more.
    However there are two really crucial differences between “masser” & other comunnal tzedakah obligations & taxes.
    a) Masser & Tzedakah are based upon our belief in that our money comes from HKBH and he who gave it to us demands we help his other children.As the one who creates us and gives us any money we have we certainly have the obligation to follow his wishes.
    However the secularists are actually militantly against this basic principle and extremely vocal about separation of church & state. So if so what gives them the right to appropriate my money to fund their priorities?
    b) Virtually all tzedakah obligation are obligations on how much one has to give but it does not create a middle man to do the giving it says “Shimon must give 10%, and he should decide who to give it to”.
    In fact since charitable giving is a fundamental part of Judaism there is a section of Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh Deah called “Hilchos Tzedakah”, where halacha quite clearly states it is preferable to give tzedakah personally and one should only give to a “communal fund” if they are certain those who run are trustworthy, reliable, and will not waist that money you give them.
    Sounds like the Federal Government does it not?

    in reply to: Should The Rich Be Taxed? 💸🚕 #1676025

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    You stated that the difference between “tax cuts” and “bailout” are simply semantics.
    The only way you can make such an extraordinary statement is if you believe in the premise that money I earn is not mine.
    If you would actually believe that the money I earn is mine then there is no room for such a statement.

    in reply to: Should The Rich Be Taxed? 💸🚕 #1674829

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    First off,
    Conservatives were actually extremely upset over the Wall Street bailouts.
    They were excoriated for putting the economy at risk by vetoing it at first.
    That is simply a historical fact.
    Secondly a “progressive” tax rate is not wealth “redistribution if it used for the “collective” good.
    In other words if a progressive tax rate is used to build roads that benefit the wealthy the same as the poor then you are not taking money from the wealthy to give to the poor.
    You are simply taking from each what they can to create the infrastructure needed for a functioning society.
    But simply saying.
    “Well Mr So and So has enough money to live on so I think I can better use his money by giving it to someone else” may be something that is arguably true but it is at it’s very core wealth redistribution.
    You are taking from the rich and giving to the poor.
    In Judaism it’s called stealing.
    At least credit Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez for being honest about what they would like to do.

    in reply to: Should The Rich Be Taxed? 💸🚕 #1674781

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Again CT Lawyer.
    Regardless of how you can live and how much money you need
    When you vote to raise taxes on other people you are being generous with their money.

    in reply to: Should The Rich Be Taxed? 💸🚕 #1674780

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    So once second?
    CT Lawyer the well known Democrat is stating that
    a) Raising taxes hurts Middle class people (the Republican tax law did not raise taxes they simply said that tax above state taxes above 10,000$ could not be deducted, thus it’s a problem in states with high state taxes.
    b) People who would have to pay high taxes move out of the state instead of paying the high tax rate.
    Sounds pretty much like Republican arguments.

    in reply to: Let's hear from the Dem voters #1206107

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    It’s cute how dems accusse the Republicans of coddiling anti semitism.

    Yet the Dem’s leading canidadate to lead their party is a man who is documented as being friendly and sympathetic with anti semtes at the very least.

    While the Republican President elect who they absurdly accussed of being slow to condemn the KKK worked to prevent a resolution being passed at the behest of the Democratic President that decalres the Kosel to be “Occupied”.

    And yet it’s the Republicans that Jews should be afraid of?

    If Romney had won would this have passed?

    in reply to: The Environment and Our World- I Care About it #1204811

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    1) THe Medrash about “Lovdah Uleshmroah is actually brought in the beginning of Pirkei D’Rabi Eliezer, and Chazal go on to state that “Is it possible that any actual work was need? Before the Cheit the Malachim brought Adam HaRishon his food fully prepared etc..As such when it say “Lovdah U’Leshomroh it means to keep the torah and mitzvos”.

    2) The “Dangerous Gasses” that some scientists claim are causing “Climate Change” are emitted when human beings breath, according to these scientists it is an increasing human population that puts the earth at risk.

    In other words one of the foundational principles of the Torah is that the world was created for the use of man, and yet man’s very means of existence is destroying it!

    in reply to: Now that Trump has been revealed…hope your NOT voting for him #1187309

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    True many of our brothers and sisters are take part in the “social saftey net”.

    However there are two serious questions that need to be addressed in how that should affect our vote.

    1) Trump is personally a man of questionable morals, however he is making a point during his campaign of stating again and again that he will implement policies and make judicial selections that are more in line with our communities moral outlook then Hillary Clinton who is openly stating the opposite.

    In that case from Torah perspective our we allowed to vote for a canidate that is openly trying to create a moral enivoronment that is the antithesis to Torah values for personal financial gain or are we required to stand up for the moral code of the Torah and be willing to pay more then lip service to the concept of Bitochon?

    2) In regards to a pure economic outlook.

    Many of our brothers and sisters are part of the social saftey net due to a lack of choice.

    The cost of the basics for a frum family is astounding and is only going up.

    In New Jersey, where many of us live, the cost of property taxes is enourmous, and much of it is driven by liberal court rulings that can be negated by a federal decision to allow some form of school vouchers.

    The cost of private health insurance especially for families if prohibitve and it is going up, many families have no choice but to take government health insurance and rely on chesed orginaiztios when one really needs quality health care.

    If Republican policies would be implemented just in those two areas, the

    saving to individual families would reach the tens of thousands of dollars.

    As such one could find jobs that could actually allow self-sufficiencey, we could support ourselves without needing to be millionaires.

    However the Democrat policies in place in the Northeast have led to this situation where it is simply unfeasible for many people to try and work.

    THe Democrats have made work unaffordable.

    in reply to: Black Lives Matter #1184638

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Has anyone seen the devastation that the current riots leave in their wake? Literally hundreds of stores have been looted, burned, and destroyed throughout the USa Ferguson, pwerhaps the place that started it off still hasn’t recovered!

    And people have the nerve to compare this to chareidi protestors who burn garbage cans and get themselves thrown in jail?


    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Funny,

    According to Bob Woodward who is most famous for being the man who brought down a Republican President, John Boehner was ready to deliver on a compromise that would have significantly reduced the deficit, even though he would have faced serious flack from the roght of his party.

    The deal was agreed to by Boehner and Obama.

    Yet afterwards Obama walked back and reneged on his side of the deal.

    So how exactly did the Republicans refuse to deal with Obama?

    in reply to: Zionists, Chareidim, and Handouts #1181116

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Most of the posters here seem to be a tad ignorant of basic history.

    When the Medinah was founded the Chilonim acknowledged the need for the majority of Chereidim to at least refrain from publicly protesting them. THe Charadim were extremly apprehensive of the proposed government for fear they would seek to impose their ideology on the Chareidim. So in a series of meetings they hashed out a compromise based on four core areas.

    One of them was that the Chareidi chinuch insitutions would be completley free of government inteference.

    This was a bedrock principle that the State of Isreal was founded upon.

    Now of course the elementry schools in Isreal are more or less “public schools” that is becuase the State of Isreal is more or less socialist in nature.

    When you go to the store you pay about 17% Vat everyone must pay it, including chareidim.

    As such while yes they are more or less free because of the socialist nature of the economy, any attempt to intefere in the chinuch of the chareidim is a violation of the principles upon which the Chareidim agreed to the founding of the State of Isreal.

    in reply to: Trump is a democrat party plant #1190787

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Just stumbled on a recent report in the New Atlantis which basically states that a non-biased view of the science debunks the claim that people are “born” LGBTQ and cannot change.

    The rport is authored by,

    Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer M.D, M.S., Ph.D.(scholar in residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State Universityi

    Dr. Paul R. McHugh M.D (Professor of Phsychiatry at Johns Hopkins)

    in reply to: Ubiquitin and Health are still at it! #1179545

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    I would like to clarify my position on certain things.

    Some poster’s here seem to feel that disallowing school prayer, the mention of G-d, or certain morals in the public sphere is a “Jewish” position.

    It isn’t and it never has been.

    It’s an atheistic/liberal position that has led to the degradation of the public school system and the society that lives off of that on many levels.

    Sadly many Athiestic/liberal organizations call themselves “Jewish” organizations and still others substitute the current values of the NYT and Washington Post editorial boards for the Torahs values and call them Jewish Values.

    They are Jewish values only in so much as they are held by (probably intermarried) Jews who may attend services led by a female rabbi who cannot read Hebrew once a year.

    There is a well know story with the Chofetz Chaim.

    The Chofetz Chaim used to travel from town to town selling his seforim he once passed a church and the non-Jewish wagon driver failed to cross himself.

    The Chofetz Chaim then got off saying that he could not travel with someone who does not believe in anything.

    THe public school system of old was not perfect in any way and Boruch Hashem we now have a cheder system. But as severl “old timers” have told me.

    It used to be Jews attended public schools and they may not have learnt how to be Jews but at the very least they learnt how to be people, the basic morals of right and wrong.

    Now-a-days they do not learn even that. Instead they are taught dasic morals of liberal society in the guise of “freedom of religion”.

    It is illegal to pray in Public School but it is legal to teach Heather had two mommies.

    It is illegal to display the Ten Commandments but it is legal to teach young girls how to properly do “acts” that define married life.

    It is “controversial” for girls and boys to be required to study separately and it is equally controversial to demand that female teachers and students dress in way that their body is not on display for all to see and focus on.

    So I wonder what exactly was more “damaging” to the USA as a whole and the Jewish people in particular.

    School prayer and separate classrooms or the current state of the Public School system?

    in reply to: Ubiquitin and Health are still at it! #1179543

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Gavra at Work,

    Of course not, again such a law means that the government is mandating an official school policy, it is requiring the school to implement a religious action.

    That’s something that clearly violates the principle of freedom of religion.

    However if the parent body of an individual school decided upon their own to act in accordance with the majority of the particular school’s population in prayer policy, with the caveat that the minority population within that school is not required to attend or take part in any way.

    Then on a theoretical basis why not?

    (On a practical basis I believe that the Courts would not allow because of the way separation of Church and State is currently defined)

    Again I am fervently against any government interference in religion what-so-ever. Whether pro or anti.

    I believe that is was the US policy until recently when it seemed to change in favor of mandating the Liberal Democrat religion and outlawing any other.

    in reply to: Ubiquitin and Health are still at it! #1179522

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    CTLawyer

    I think that we disagree on numerous points.

    1) Allowing prayer in public schools is not “infringingg” on my rights unless I am obligated to join in. What does infringe is not allowing others to pray that is disallowing them to pray as they wish when they wish.

    2) I am unaware of where exactly they wish to limit Muslims ability to practice their religion, unless you are referring to the Ground Zero Mosque? If you are I am wondering what you would feel about Muslims opening a Mosque on the same site as the Number 2 bus bombing in Israel?

    3) Displaying Ten Commandments statues on public property in no way “infringes” on my beliefs, it does not force me to acknowledge it, to believe in it or any such thing.

    All of those things simply require the minority to allow the majority in this country to practice and acknowledge their religion.

    However what does “infringe” in a real way on my ability to practice my religion is forcing me to provide a pill that my religion says is wrong.

    What does infringe is forcing me to provide services to ceremonies that my religion prohibits me from taking part in in any way.

    You see tolerance is when I am asked to simply respect others without being forced to partake.

    Intolerance is when I am forced to partake in what I wish to refrain.

    in reply to: Ubiquitin and Health are still at it! #1179517

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    I am unaware of any conservative position that states that “any” two bit excuse a company should be sufficient not to hire non-Shabbos workers.

    And I would not describe my philosophy as straight conservative or straight liberal.

    It so happens that in the current environment it appears that the conservative are the ones that are more respectful of religious rights.

    In fact I do not think that Liberals would even argue the point.

    in reply to: Ubiquitin and Health are still at it! #1179514

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Ubquitin

    Ye, you are right that the courts ruled against the Liberal’s on this issue.

    However the Liberal Democrats currently running are very clear on the fact that they would appoint Justices who would overturn the rulings that essentially ensure our rights to practice our religion as the Torah mandates it.

    in reply to: College, Secular Studies & Judaism #1169736

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    I do not believe that the problem is belief in the specific age of the Universe.

    To be perfectly honest. I don’t care what it is. The age of the world is completely irrelevant to me.

    I do believe the Torah was given at Har Sinai.

    I do believe that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is contained in the Torah.

    I do know there are certain “secrets” of Torah that can be fully grasped and understood by only a select few in each generation.

    Rav Elyashiv’s grandfather the Leshem was one such person and he wrote about the age of the world.

    I am not on the level to fully comprehend what he wrote.

    However I believe fully that any theory or thought regarding the age of the universe must fully comply with the Torah and if it is conflict it must disregarded as false.

    Period.

    Science must whole up to the test of Torah.

    The Torah must not whole up to the test of science chalilah.

    However I do think that the crux of the issue is where we get our information and what we base it on.

    A careful reading of the second of the famous Ninteen Letters shows one thing RSRH made clear that to understand the Torah we must study the Torah from within the Torah not from with out.

    For ex.

    Evolutionists point to the similarity between various skeletal structures as “proof” towards the need to identify one single common ancestor. if not there is no good explanation.

    However if we look within the Torah we understand that man is a composite of a guf and a neshomah and what distinguishes us is not our bodies but our neshomah.

    So if HKBH saw fit why could he not have acted as any architect and use one basic “sketch” for all his living creations with slight deviations based upon each ones respective purpose in this world with man being distinguished not by a completely different skeletal structure but a completely different soul?

    It’s a simple solution to one of the primary riddles that evolutionary scientists claim as a “proof” to their theories.

    In fact it’s not a solution or a form of “apologetics” it’s a logical conclusion that one would make by and basic study of machshovah.

    But it’s one that “they” will not entertain at any cost.

    Why?

    Because the core. root, and the driving force between all their theories is to prove that at the very essence man and animal are the same with only “evolutionary genetics to thank and as such man and animal’s are equal’s in theory.

    in reply to: Ubiquitin and Health are still at it! #1179510

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    I will also add that whether or not either of these things are against Halacha is a matter that has no place in Secular courts.

    Period.

    Secular Judges no matter the religious beliefs are not proficient in theological law.

    They should not have the power or ability to dictate which side of a Religious dispute one must go with.

    in reply to: Ubiquitin and Health are still at it! #1179509

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Ubquitin,

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    However Liberal’s were ardently in favor of forcing Hobby Lobby to cover birth control in spite of their religious beliefs.

    If you read up on their current stance (there was a recent court decision) as to whether individual pharmacies are required by law to offer that drug you will see the same.

    Again I am not arguing as to whether or not they are correct in their religious belief’s ( I am an orthodox Jew not a Cristian).

    However it is an inarguable fact that the people in question were and are sincere in their religious beliefs (Mr. Green has spent millions to that extant- even when he is at at a disadvantage, Liberals do not like discussing the fact Hobby Lobby offers higher wages then the market dictates for certain positions because they believe it is the Christian thing to do, they are also closed Sunday’s for the same reason)

    It is true Liberal Democrats believe strongly in “Religious Accommodation”, as long as it does not conflict with Liberal “Values”.

    in reply to: Ubiquitin and Health are still at it! #1179505

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    To be honest I personally am certainly not voting for Clinton and am still on the fence about whether I will vote for Trump or stay home.

    I would have voted for any other Republican with the preference being Ted Cruz.

    As for the substance.

    1) To state that now-a-days there is no discrimination is a blatant falsehood.

    Affirmative Action is inarguably “discrimination”, liberals argue that it is “worthy” discrimination I would disagree however the fact that it is in fact discrimination is indisputable.

    2) Religious Accommodation- By Liberal standards if I, an orthodox Jewish person have a business which provides flowers, baked goods, professional photography or other such services.

    And I can demonstrate that thfoughout my years in business I have served everyone regardless of who or what they are and do it with a smile on my face.

    I can still be fined or shut down for one thing only.

    If an irreligious gay “couple” ask me to cater their wedding event and I refuse.

    Even if I show I have lived my whole life as a halachic jew and I can provide a reasonable halachic analysis that catering or providing services to this specific “marital” event violates the Jewish legal principle of “mesayeah” and as such I am constrained by the Halacha I have kept my whole life from supporting this marital event in any way and have to respectfully pass on the offer.

    Still I am to be labeled a religious bigot who must be shut down.

    That is the extent of “Religious Accommodation” in Liberal America.

    3) According to “liberal” policies a religious OBGYN should be required to prescribe medication against their fervent religious belief, and perform medical procedures against their fervent religious belief – Religious Accommodation.

    4) Muslim Immigration– I admit that my views on this matter are somewhat colored, I speak Hebrew and have relatives in E”Y including an aunt who was shot going shopping and a six month old cousin blown up on a bus leaving her father severely wounded and a mother who has been in and out of surgeries for ten years.

    So yes I will state it is a complete unwillingness to see facts in front of your eyes. A complete unwillingness to see the dangers posed to millions of people by allowing people to immigrate from a region of the world where each and every single official and unofficial poll has shown at least 20% of the population wishes above all else to kill you and me and everyone else.

    It is madness.

    Even more it is the outmost disrespect to even attempt to compare those fleeing Nazi Germany to those coming here now when those fleeing Nazi Germany never held a gun in their lives hated the countries they were from and worshipped American as the “goldeneh Medinah” while the countries the “refugees’ are fleeing from now have exported terrorists who have literally killed and maimed tens of thousands of people worldwide.

    Is it sad, even terrible, that some who are innocent may be forced into less then ideal circumstances by Trump policies?

    Of course it is.

    However the President of the United States first and foremost has a duty and obligation to protect the citizens of the United State of America only after that is done can the President afford to accommodate others.

    That is basic principle that holds true for the Leader of each and every country worldwide. The leader of the country is first and foremost obligated to protect the countries citizens.

    By allowing unfettered access to the USA from certain countries the lives and well being of thousands of US citizens are being cavalierly put at risk a fact that has been proven again and again again in this Country and in other counties including throughout the EU.

    If/When a reasonable set of checks can be done to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of US citizens is not being placed in danger by admitting refugees from certain counties then Mr. Trump himself has stated the US should act.

    5) Associates- The Liberal-Democrat party has not just associated, it has elevated race baiters who have attempted to divide this country and have Jewish Blood on their hands.

    Is their any other way to describe Al Sharpton?

    They have not just stood by, they have actively made a place in their party for a “movement” that has led to the lives of those who risk their lives each and every day to protect them, to be put at risk. A movement that is silent as Black on Black violence causes hundreds of deaths and tears the city of Chicago apart but will destroy the livelihoods of people by rioting and burning down a city when a police officer (even one of color- who somehow is labeled an “Uncle Tom” by putting on a uniform and attempting to make his neighborhood and city a safer place) makes a mistake and takes a regrettable action when they think their lives are at stake. Yes I am referring to Black Lives Matter.

    And the Democrat- Liberal party accepts money from a self hating Jewish billionaire who pours millions of dollars into organizations dedicated to fighting the State of Isreal. Yes I am referring to George Soros and BDS.

    It is truly unfortunate that any sane Jewish person can support this type of party.

    in reply to: Footsteps, ?????? ?????? #1166085

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    PuHleese and ZDad,

    I hear your comments, however,

    a) Whether or not the Torah is the true guide is an objective question that is to be explored independently, that’s something that is beyond the contours of this forum but can and is done all the time. In fact according to many (i.e Chovos HaLevovos) it’s to be encouraged.

    If an exploration of the origins of the Torah lead one to the conclusion that it is Divine in Nature, then any true path in life must be predicated upon it.

    b) The Torah to the best of my Knowledge (which is admittedly limited) is the only “religious” “guidebook that does not enjoins someone to realize that even it’s greatest leaders can fail and fail and fail.

    1) It is the Torah itself that records the failings of Korach the 3rd greatest person in Judaism.

    2) It is the Torah itself that spends more time recording the relatively few failings of the Dor Deah our “greatest generetaion” then it’s triumphs. So we can learn how to live ourselves in the present rather then simply celebrate how others lived in the past.

    3) It is the Torah itself that records the failings of Zimri one of the 12 leaders of the Jewish nation, the failurs of Shaul, Dovid, Shlomo, Achitofel, and Doeg.

    4) It is the Torah itself that warns us “al tamin batzmecha ad yom mosech” one can never ever believe in themselves.

    5) It is the Torah itself that warns not only can big people fail but “Kol Hagodol Michaveiroh Yitzroh Gudol Heimenoh” Anyone bigger then their friend has even greater Yetzer Horah.

    The Torah Shebksav and Shel Bal Peh makes clear again and again and again we are alive in a war that exists literally to the death and big people can and do fail, and some do it precisely because of their greatness.

    Saying some people who were big failed does not cast doubt on the Torah, rather it verifies it’s very premise.

    That big people need boundaries just as little people do.

    That Gedarim and Siyugim are needed not for show but for very real protection, appoint made all over Shas.

    And if we do not understand that, then we have allowed ourselves to be infected by the very foreign thinking that only the weak fail and that man who is by necessity composed of two parts one the “guf” and the other the “neshomah” can in fact become immortal, beyond the limitation, temptations, and failings of human frailty.

    That is the very essence of foreign Hashkofa.

    in reply to: Footsteps, ?????? ?????? #1166059

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    PuhLease,

    I fell badly about what you have gone through but I’d like to make a couple of points.

    1) At one point I was extremely sick, I was rushed to a local hospital where I was badly misdiagnosed, that wrong diagnosis almost cost me my life.

    When I was brought into another hospital the Doctors overseeing my care actually stated that in this case they feel I should sue the pants off of them because the people who saw me in the first place should not be practicing medicine.

    Yet I still see Doctor’s, in my case pretty frequently.

    I know in my heart that medicine as a whole is beneficial it is “true” even if some Doctor’s messed up and used it wrongly.

    2) When one goes on an extended road trip they sometimes get lost, they some times take detours. However the objective is to reach the final destination.

    As such they are on the road.

    If the pull off and decide to turn back, to cease driving they are off the road.

    The fundamental tenant of Yiddishkeit is that we are alive for a purpose to reach “deveikus” in Hashem to overcome the Yetzer Horah.

    The roadmap for that is the Torah.

    We are all imperfect, that is why we are alive to meet the challenges the Yetzer Horah throws at us, to battle them, and to overcome them.

    As long as we are trying we are on the road.

    When we let those challenges win and turn around we are off the road.

    in reply to: Trump is a democrat party plant #1190782

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Jfem

    Father goes to Target with their 9 year old daughter.

    Daughter need the bathroom.

    Father takes daughter to the ladies room and then stands outside waiting for her to come out so he can continue on with his wife errands.

    A person with obviously male features, including the build of a man walks into the bathroom, but wearing a female “tank top” and lipstick walks into the bathroom

    Might I add that while you were standing outside this was the only person to walk in.

    In this crazy world it is discrimination to tell the cops.

    Cause you see individual who has male body parts thinks that “it” is a female.

    in reply to: Condemnation of Jerusalem Parade #1164457

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Jfem,

    The names and sources of studies conducted that demonstrate that sexuality can be changed have been cited.

    I can trouble myself to cite more of them, But I don’t really see the point.

    Instead I would like to ask you to do something.

    Can you please cite the studies which prove that such therapies are dangerous? Can you cite the scientific basis for the decision to remove “alternative lifestyles” from the DSM.

    And I don’t mean simply stating The APA!

    I mean doing what we have done state the actual scientific sources,

    in reply to: Condemnation of Jerusalem Parade #1164442

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Jfem,

    1) This was what you wrote

    “And to top it all off, the study was not peer-reviewed, as is standard, before being published. It’s no wonder Spitzer retracted”.

    As I wrote that is a completely false statement.

    2) Spitzer actually stated he was “skeptic” as to whether therapy can work or not and the study convinced him it can according to the Washington Post article on his study this was because 66 percent of men and 44 percent of women actually reported a change as a result of the study, ( For comparisons sake read Dr. Meir Wikler’s intro to 10 minutes a day to a better marriage, the best marital therapies can only claim a success rate of perhaps 50%)

    Again the point of the study was not to ascertain what the correct therapy is, it was to ascertain whether it was possible,

    3)You wrote “It didn’t test any specific therapy; it lumped together people who worked with licensed therapists with those who engaged in independent Bible study or other methods”.

    Again the point was to discover whether change was possible not what the correct course was so Spitzer (one of the most experienced researchers in his field) designed a study that di not focus on the methods rather on the before and after.

    4) “And it wasn’t just the therapists who had a political agenda, it was many of the participants themselves. And I’m sure you know very well the meaning of “anti-gay bias”.

    I don’t know what you determine to be a political agenda, yes many of the participants were those who wished to attempt to change what they considered their sexual orientation to be and yes that is a big reason why his study was attacked.

    You do realize that anyone who undergoes such therapies by definition must wish to change their orientation?

    And you do realize that by disqualifying such individuals from a study you are stating that it is impossible to determine if therapy works?

    5) Yes Dr. Zucker also a prof in Canada practiced such therapies because he believed they worked and actually has written that they have worked

    So in other words all Doctors who practice such therapies, who have experienced success at such therapies are disqualified.

    And surprise surprise there is no proof that they work!

    in reply to: Condemnation of Jerusalem Parade #1164440

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    If you are actually aware of the study then you are getting your sources from somewhere that is slightly outdated.

    1) Yes prior to publication there was an article in the Washington Post article about the study the APA criticized it and stated it was not unpublished and not peer reviewed however it subsequently was peer reviewed and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, a leading publication in it’s field.

    2) The point of Dr. Spitzer’s study was not to prove whether a specific form of therapy can work, it was to determine whether or not any therapy was possible.

    3) the criticism was not that it lumped together those who studied with unlicensed therapists with licensed, rather that it included those who were treated by therapists with ” a strong anti-gay bias”, whatever that means.

    4) The Dr. Spitzer under discussion is the same one who was the driving force behind the creation of the DSM as well as the removal of gay behavior as a psychiatric issue. He was one of the leading researchers in psychiatry and he used the same methodology that was is many of his other studies.

    5) He tried to retract his study however the Editor of the Journal Dr. Kenneth Zucker Ph.D stated

    ” You can retract data incorrectly analyzed… You can retract an article of the data were falsified….As I understand it he’s just saying ten years later he wants to retract hi interpretation of the data. Well we’d probably have to retract hundreds of scientific papers with regard to interpretation and we don’t do that”.

    in reply to: Feminism #1162816

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Jfem,

    You realize on the one hand you state that part of “feminism” is

    “understanding that there isn’t such a thing as “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs”

    Then you continue on to write,

    “Of course, you are going to see some pretty significant gender disparities within certain fields, just because of natural aptitude or self-selection (for instance, female construction workers and male speech pathologists are both very rare breeds!”

    So in other words feminism requires us to think that since there are exceptions to every rule the rule is completely negated.

    Yup.

    BTW I always thought that Hillary Clinton had the best line about what feminism requires,

    “The willing suspension of disbelief”.

    (Of course HC was using it in a different context, she was question Gen. Petreaus over the need for a surge and if it would work)

    in reply to: Condemnation of Jerusalem Parade #1164437

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Jfem,

    Are you even aware of what study I am referring to?

    in reply to: Trump is a democrat party plant #1190760

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    jfem,

    Are you even attempting to understand what was written?

    I was not offering a scientific explanation of anything in that line, I was simply clarifying my own writing.

    in reply to: Condemnation of Jerusalem Parade #1164426

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Jfem

    You seem to be misunderstanding.

    The number one study that proved such therapies work was the one done by Spitzer one of the foremost experts in conducting such studies.

    It was Nationally published in a peer reviewed journal.

    After years of intense pressure from certain groups he issued a retraction one with the editor of the Magazine refused to accept on the grounds that it did not demonstrate why the data was wrong all it implied was “he changed his mind”

    Spitzer is not his Kartens friend, I doubt he even knew him.

    in reply to: Trump is a democrat party plant #1190758

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    I did not state that anything would automatically show up in the “brain” I did state that it would have to show up in the wiring somehow.

    It could be in the blood, it could be in the brain it could be in the heart. It must be somewhere.

    Lets take a car from example if the car has a mechanical problem it automatically must be somewhere in the wiring, the mechanic may not be able to find it, however it must be there or it would not have an outward manifestation.

    The same applies to human being’s the “outward” manifestation must have a root cause in the inner “wiring” of the person.

    This by the way is in no way contradictory to the Torah, rather it’s fundamental part of understanding the Torah.

    We believe that man is combined between the “body” and the “soul” the body presents “tests” challenges if you will our soul is what gives us the ability to over come these challenges.

    Can a male have female characteristics?

    Have you ever learnt the inyan of Yosef Hatzaddik and Dinah, why the Torah emphasizes that Yosef was “mesalsel bsaroh” and Dinah was a Yetzonus?

    We do not deny that not everyone fit’s a cookie cutter box.

    What believing Jew does state is that if G-d created someone a man that person is a man.

    If G-d created that person a woman then that person is a woman.

    However let’s be clear over the current “Debate”.

    Anyone who denies man made global warming,

    Questions whether or not man came from monkeys tens of thousands of years ago is questioning observable, provable scientific facts.

    However if one say’s that a person born as a man with the physical attributes of a man, the hormonal structures of a man, and in some famous cases one who was actually married and had the ability to produce children, is a man and not a female they are backwards.

    in reply to: Trump is a democrat party plant #1190756

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Coffer addict,

    Jfem did not say that a man who thinks they are a woman has the same “wiring” as woman.

    She would not say this because it’s an untruth as long as the “physical body parts” are male the wiring behind them is mostly male.

    That’s an observable fact.

    However there are certain parts of their brain which are different the same is of each and every person with a mistaken belief or delusion.

    And it must be so for if there would be nothing different in the wiring they would not think differently.

    in reply to: Condemnation of Jerusalem Parade #1164422

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Jfem,

    Why oh why do you keep ignoring the crux of my posts.

    Elon Karten does not record “views” he records facts.

    He records the names of the people who rant the studies on reparative and conversion therapies, they were not “quacks” rather they were the most respected names in research.

    This is a fact.

    He records the methodologies used for these studies, they were the same used for many other accepted studies.

    This is a fact.

    He records the statements of all those when journals when he wished to submit the results of his graduate study, which was conducted following all the normal procedures.

    The observable facts all prove to an inherent bias.

    But I understand that we are not arguing on a level playing field since I have examined both sides while you are unwilling to do the same.

    in reply to: Trump is a democrat party plant #1190749

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Oh and lets not forget climate change is real it’s a observable scientific fact.

    However a man may not be a man and a woman may not be a woman.

    In fact horses may be cats.

    You just never know their feelings do you?

    in reply to: Trump is a democrat party plant #1190748

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    So Jfem

    Let’s understand you fully.

    Scientifically speaking a person is born with with a female or male biology they physically progress as a typical female or male specimen.

    If however they decide that they truly and deeply feel they belong to the opposite gender and they exhibit a deep longing towards that gender it is completely normal to regard them differently and ignore the biological facts of their bodies.

    However if on the other hand a male or female feels that the correct spouse for them is of the same gender it is completely unwarranted to point out that perhaps they are mistaken and marriage is of opposite genders.

    That is the reputable findings of the APA.

    In other news the sky is a bright purple today.

    in reply to: Condemnation of Jerusalem Parade #1164413

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Charliehall.

    1) Actually I am sure as a statistician you can understand how the slightest nuance can have untold ripple effects, as such I can try and explain to you some slight nuance that apply in this case.

    Mitt Romney was not running based on his faith nor was he asking for support based upon his faith, rather he was running on a set of policy positions.

    Voting for Romney was not a vote in support of his personal faith, rather it was a support of his public policy positions.

    Attending the parade is for the sole purpose of showing solidarity with the horrible aveira represented.

    2) On a strictly halachic basis assuming that Mormon ideology acknowledges HKB”h as being the “head of the “triangle” there is plenty of halachic basis that states polytheisim (shituf) is not assur for a non-jew.

    in reply to: Trump is a democrat party plant #1190746

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    CharlieHall,

    You have the same problem with Brexit that the Tories had with the “revolutionary” colonists.

    Yes being part of Britian was better in the short term, and if they would have co-operated things would have been better.

    However there was one simple problem they felt disrespected as human beings.

    They felt they were second class citizens.

    They did not want to be a part of the United Kingdom.

    The Democrats are unwilling to recognize a simple problem.

    Much of the Us does not want their policies.

    Period.

    The majority did not want ObamaCare.

    period.

    A huge percentage does not want the PC culture they have imposed upon this country, nor do they want “open borders”.

    Sadly the Republican party for many years did not have the courage of it’s convictions to stand up to this madness and failed to grasp the depth of the anger of many American’s.

    The anger of the workers in coal plants out of a job because of stupid environmental regulations.

    The anger of religious people who were told that to operate a business in America you have to serve product intended for ceremonies that go against the core of you’re beliefs and if not you are racist.

    The anger of those who were told that they could not build on their own land because of stupid zoning and environmental laws.

    The anger of millions of people who were told they cannot pray in public because they are “offending” other’s but they must allow men who decide they are women to use the same bathroom as their daughters.

    The failure of the Republican party to stand for it’s base led to it being damaged at it’s core, Jeb Bush running and many insiders thinking he was the favorite shows how out of touch the party really was with the voters.

    That led to a sad case where the one person who was willing to stand and speak his mind, whether it made sense or not, and was totally and unapologetically spate from the “Republican” brand wiping the floor with anyone else.

    The one person who had a prayer against him was the Republican most associated with being anti the establishment.

    To sum it up, I do not know if the Trump is a plant or not.

    However I do know that the one’s who are most responsible for him are the Republican party leadership who refused to recognize the depth of anger of the American public against the establishment and energetically stand up for those who voted them into power.

    in reply to: Condemnation of Jerusalem Parade #1164408

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Actually the Halacha is quite clear that one who supports “ovrei aveira” is in the same boat as ovrei aveira.

    in reply to: Why the ashkenazi schools don't accept sefardi children #1164104

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Abba S.

    Actually in that case half the parents who refused to send their children to school were sefardi, a point that for some reason was overlooked by the secular media.

    in reply to: Condemnation of Jerusalem Parade #1164401

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Actually I did not state what I personally believe their position to be. I merely explained what Health was deriving from their writings.

    I do not know their current position nor, to be frank, do I much care what it is, when those that formulate a position state clearly and openly beforehand that they are biased I do not know how any intelligent person can take what they say with a grain of salt.

    What I have stated is that regardless of what they believe based on anecdotal evidence of unproven theories, actually scientific studies have proven that it does in fact work.

    in reply to: Why the ashkenazi schools don't accept sefardi children #1164093

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Avi K

    I am not sure what your point is,

    Yes Ponovich has Chassidish bochrim who wish to learn in a Litvish Yeshiva to get the Litvishe “derech halimu”, Ponovich also has Sefardi talmidim who come for the same reason.

    Most yeshivos in E”Y have that, however they all have a cap on how many they will take since they wish for it to remain a “Litvishe” Yeshivah and the same vice versa.

    As fro R’ Shach being oppose, that’s actually not entirely accurate, Rav Shach was opposed as long as there was not any “top Sefardi” Yeshivos, he was actually very for Sefardim establishing “top sefardi yeshivos so the Sephardi Mesorah would not be lost.

    There are many letters in Michtavim U”mamorim about this you can look there.

    in reply to: Condemnation of Jerusalem Parade #1164395

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Jfem,

    it seems you are having somewhat of a difficult time understanding Health’s point.

    Health is pointing out that in the APA and AMA’s manual’s they do not address whether or not the therapies work, rather they simply state they oppose anything that would make someone feel that homosexuality is a problem.

    What can be gleaned is that they themselves recognize that the therapies do indeed work, they simply oppose them because of what they imply.

    What I have stated is simply that the AMA and the APA would have a very difficult time stating that the therapies have been proven not to work on a scientific basis since all actual scientific studies carried out showed that statistically speaking they do in fact work the same as any other therapy.

    in reply to: Why the ashkenazi schools don't accept sefardi children #1164088

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Actually there are separate schools for Litvaks and Chassidim and most people would look at a litvishe boy trying to go to a Satmar or Gerrer school as weird and the same vice versa.

    in reply to: Why the ashkenazi schools don't accept sefardi children #1164077

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    MDG

    The difference is a nuber of facts

    1) Blacks and whites in America now are basically trying to learn the same stuff with the same goals even if surface level vocabulary is different.

    2) Ashkenazin amd Sephardim have different minhagim and they pasken differently.

    A true Sephardi has completely and totally different halachos in primary ways that make it very difficult to teach children, ideally ateacher should be able to teach a class.

    1) Without having to explain on Pesach what Ashkenazim hold is chametz the Sephardim hold is Matza and rice.

    2) Our Sefer TOrah looks and is held completely differently then theirs.

    3) Hald the class pronounces the taamim one way the other a different way.

    Along with many other very real differences.

    And I write this as someone who counts a proud sefardi as one of his best friends.

    in reply to: what is your definition of? #1163997

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    You know in Rav Mordechai Gifter’s famous speech regarding a certain MO institution he made the point that all label’s are in fact false.

    Judaisim at it’s core is in based upon one simple fact the Divinity of the Torah.

    In practice we all have a Yetzer Horah.

    However the question is how we define ourselves.

    Are we striving to keep the whole Torah or not? Is that our goal?

    If that is our goal then yes we are jointly in the category of Torah Jews” irrespective of whether we are we are

    Ashkenzic or Sefardic,

    Chassidish or Litvish

    Yeshivish or Yekkish

    Orhtodox or Ultra Orthodox.

    The question simply is do we believe in Torah Shebiksav and Torah Shel Bal Peh and is that the manual we strive to use as a guide for everyday life.

    If anybody rejects that belief, if they are not striving to use the Torah as the guide towards everyday life, then they have chosen to leave the mantle of “Torah” and while they may do “good deeds” as any person may, and they may mistakenly think that what they are practicing is Judaisim in some form or another, it is absolutely false.

    There is no two Judaisims,

    There is one it is centered on Torah the whole Torah and nothing but the Torah.

    And understanding this requires the willingness to understand nuance.

    To recognize that no we do not reject the person if a person is born Jewish they remain Jewish, and yes we extend our compassion towards them.

    That is a fact that we do not just state we practice it by the tens of millions of dollars and the astounding amount of human resources and energy we spend trying to reach out and teach them the heritage that is theirs as much as it is ours.

    However we completely and utterly reject any attempt to place their value systems on any level that is on par with the Torah which is derived not from the editorial boards of the NY Times and Washington Post but from G-d himself.

    We reject any attempt to place there belief system that can change on a whim and evolves based upon contemporary moral values with the timeless and unchanging values of the Torah.

    We reject any attempt to interpret the Torah based upon sources that are derived from anything other then the Torah itself.

    Yet again, while we utterly and completely reject the value, dogma, and false traditions, of such belief systems we completely accept the human beings who are part of our family.

    We daven for them and we try to teach them the Torah as G-d gave it to us, something which as I have stated before, is something we prove on ad aily basis.

    in reply to: Does a reform rabbi do anything other than attend funerals? #1161024

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    yserbious has the pbest post on this thread so far.

    Jfem.

    We should learn from Reform how to do chesed?

    That’s cute.

    GO to virtually and major hospital in the tri-state area, it has a fully stocked Bikur Cholim room that is re-stocked with fresh food everyday.

    Stick around to see who does the “re-stocking”- Community volunteers.

    When you hear the sirens of an ambulance in any orthodox jewish population center look up. There’s a good chance that you will see a Hatzolah ambulance on the way.

    Driven by who – Community volunteers.

    When you see a jew with a flat tire or locked out of their car =, in need of a boost or other small emergency ask them if they have Chaveirim’s number, and a frum jew will show up who is that- A community volunteer.

    When you hear about a jewish family in a tough financial position and you wonder how they get food fro Shabbos or yom tov when it costs so much remember about that thing called Tomchei Shabbos with weekly food drop offs run by- community volunteers.

    When you find out about a couple with fertility issues and wonder how they are affording the huge expenses involved and navigating the wide array of options, or someone with a medical problem trying to find out the best hospital to go to, or someone faced with battiling the machla r”l and all the associated expenses, recall the multi-million dollar orginazaations called RCCS, Echo, Refuah, Atime, Bonei Olam and more all funded and ran primarily by- community volunteers.

    When you have a halachic problem in many communities and don’t know what to do your rabbi is in unavailable you can call something called a Bais Horah ran by – Rabbi’s volunteering.

    So now what exactly are we supposed to be learning from the Reform?

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