Ben Levi

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  • in reply to: YU’s Toeiva Discussion #670815

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Those who ask that we give sympathy to those who wish to legitimize Toeiva are dur to the fact that its a nisoyon are invited to look once again at the story of Dina and Shechem.

    Rashi says clearly that what magnified the tragedy of Shechem was the simple fact that from the time of the mabul there had never beeen such a thing done.

    In the history of Mankind there has been the nusoyon of Toeiva the biggest proof of this is the fact that there is an issur to engage in such behavior if there had been no nisoyon there would be know issur (alternativley the fact it is assur would create a nisoyon) yet at no time has there ever been a public discussion of it.

    (Those who say there has been are asked to kindly state there sources)

    It does not take a rocket scientist to understand why some things are kept hidden, publicizing something inherently legitimzes it.

    Publicizing Toeiva gives a legitimacy on whatever level to the sole thing the Torah saw fit to call an abomination, it would seem obvious then that those who see fit to publicize it would ask Da’as Torah if it is permitted, if the gains they claim would come from such “discussions” outway the losses,

    I would ask if those who had such a gathering did so L’shem Shomayim, if in truth they recognize the severity of what they have done then can they produce the Da’as Torah that allowed it? Can they produce the Da’as Torah that stated it is necessaty to do that which we have no mesorah for what so ever?

    If the ansewer is they cannot produce the Da’as Torah then it shows they in fact do not comprehen the severity of what they discuss.It shows they have not done what they did as L’Shem Shomayim rather it was done because that is what pshycologists feel should be done.

    Woe is to us who would toplerate turning our backs on the Torah in favor of a science brought to the fore by complete Kofrim (fread and co) Rav Gifter’s words remain relevant years later.

    in reply to: Hechsher Question #670893

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Bomb maniac did you mean to say “no reason” have you forgotten Monsey?

    in reply to: YU’s Toeiva Discussion #670800

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    It seems to me that Rav Mordechai Gifter has been proven right once again

    in reply to: How Toeiva Marriage Is Relevant To The Torah Jew #670251

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    omis1105 beutifully said, however I would like to correct one small point.

    The general rule is that a toeiva partnership cannot properly raise a child this is a fact. For numerous reasons it is crucial to a childs development that he have the combination of a mother and father, not two mothers or two fathers.

    And to ansewer the obvious question , No a man cannot properly asssume the role of a women just as a women cannot assume the role of a man (incidentally this is one of the grave errors in the feminist movement and is a leading cause of the breakdown of the modern family unit, but thats a different topic).

    Yes of course I am sure there are isolated exceptions just as there are exceptions to every rule.

    The thing we must realize is that the Torah is the blueprint of the world, the world is created from the words of the Torah (as explained by Rashi in Parshas Bereshis) and therefore the world can only run normally as long as it follows the laws of the Torah.

    in reply to: Cholent Pot #767086

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Of course its amazing, that’s why it’s so dangerous

    in reply to: How Toeiva Marriage Is Relevant To The Torah Jew #670248

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    It seems to me that we are constantly hearing from people on the left that we must “get with the time”. How in this age it is impossible to shield ourselves from the culture surrounding us.

    In fact we have heard that attempting to hield our homes may not be good instead we should teach our children about the world around them and how to deal with it.

    Well if that the case then do we really want to raise our children in a society that condones toeiva and teaches that those who are against it are racist?

    If we understand that we must raise our children in the environment around us then we must understand that we have an obligation to fight to preserve that environment in any way we can.

    If we do not have the moral clarity now to understand what is wrong with allowing such an open toeva to go on in our midst, then how will we have the moral clarity to teach our children the eternal truth of the Torah?

    in reply to: Cholent Pot #767083

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Dear Best Bubby,

    If you really want to be the best bubby, take the St. Moritz and get rid of it!

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669850

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Bombmaniac you have indeed made yourself clear however you’ve neglected to define what exactly self-esteem is.

    Yes, the balance you have spoken of is necassary and if you define self worth the way I originally defined it then you have that balance.

    Self worth means that one realizes his immense capabilities and the fact that he was created for a purpose, a purpose that that individual alone can fulfill. If someone has that realization he automatically is intrinsically aware that he is not worthless, far be it he is in a sense “invaluable” for there is no one like him.

    At the same time one who is equipped with a proper sense of self worth cannot possibly think that he is perfect for he is only to well aware of the immense responsibilities that lie upon him, for he must do what no one else can.

    It is this concept of self worth that is embodied in the words “Bshvili N’Vra H’Aolam” and one who fully understands this concept can begin to understand the immense value that a Jew places on human life.

    On the other hand self esteem teaches one that his individual value is not connected to anything whatsoever and as such inherently teaches one that he has the right to be conceieted for by his very nature he is perfect or close to it.

    From my understanding it is for this reason that we Rav wolbe was so forceful in his denounciation of “Bitachon Atzmi”.

    In light of this I would beg to ask that instead of speaking in generalities perhaps you can define specifically in your mind what is self-esteem, why is it important and where in Chazal is there a source for it?

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669848

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Bombmaniac, thanks for the clarification,

    The self-esteem that you speak of is it dependent upon one’s actions?

    Meaning if one does no good what so ever should he have the same self- esteem as one who does do what’s right?

    If your answer is that it is linked to one’s actions that the quastion is if one who does no good should have no self esteem, how will he ever get out of the rut so to speak? According to what youve written there is no way for a person with a lack of self esteem will have no reason to do good.

    On the other hand if someone who does no good should still have a healthy level of “self esteem” then considering the fact that you define self esteem as healthy level of respect for oneself then why should he ever do good, he respects himself, and therefore finds himself worthy of respect regardless?

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669846

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Bombmaniac,

    You stated that self-esteem is a felling of “pride” in yourself but did not explain pride for what,

    Yo stated that self worth gives you a feeling that you can gain respect from others without detailing how,

    Lastly you stated that self esteem without self worth leads to one feeling conceited without explaining why.

    You stated that without self esteem you will never feel worthy of someone elses respet even though you stated it is self-worth which gives you an understanding that you can get other peoples respect and failed to explain how that makes sense.

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669844

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Bombmaniac I fail to understand how you anwered the specific issues I raised perhaps you can attempt to answer them directly.

    And positivenayim I fail to understand where you picked up the notion that self-esteem is interwined with emunah, especially considering the fact that when Rav Shlomo Wolbe discusses the concept of self esteem he points out that the only intrinsic “bitachon” (the hebrew word for self esteem is “bitachon atzmi”) he knows of with a source in the Torah is bitachon in Hakodosh Boruch Hu.

    Again I would urge all those interested in this issue to take a look at Rav Wolbe’s lenthly letter on the topic which is printed in the kuntrus of his letters published in honor of his shloshim.

    in reply to: Health Care Overhaul #669699

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Anon it is quite different to have issues when the hospital in truth must treat a person which is now the case, as to end-of-life issues when the hospital is legally prohibited from treating a person, which may very well be the case if the government is in charge of health care.

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669839

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Bombmaniac, you ask not to bash self esteem and self worth but fail to define any distinctions between the two.

    In addition I raised specific concerns with “self esteem” the question is if you disagree with what I wrote why will you noy address the specific charges.

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669836

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Perhaps a part of the problem touched upon by positivenayim is what seems to be a basic misundersantding that is somewhat prevalent of the words “self esteem” and “self worth”.

    The term self worth mentioned by p”e is something deeply rooted in Chazal and is quite neccassary in proper chinuch. My understanding is that it connotates the basic need for a child to know the vast porential that is lies within him and there is something he and only he could accomplish “Bshvili Nivra HaOlam”.

    Proper self worth is an obligation for when someone is truly aware of the amount he is capable of he must be aware that obligates him to fulfull his intrinsic capabilities.

    Self Esteem, the way I understand it, is the opposite of this it stresses the inherent value of the individual regardless of what that person does. That is something which to the best of my knowledge has no basis in Chazal in fact Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt’l wrote a letter strongly condeming “self esteem” the way it is used in the modern world (see the kuntrus of Rav Shlomo Wolbe’s letters published in honor of his shloshim.

    Self Worth teaches a child they are required to do as only they can, Self Esteem teaches they need not do for it makes no difference if they can.

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669831

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    No one in thiks thread has questioned as to whether or not it is proper to give prizes to children, in fact when one considers the fact that the Rambam felt it neccessary to write a detailed guide as to what are the proper prizes to give children it would seem to me that it is quite foolish for one to question whether or not it is proper to give children prizes.

    What has been questioned it is proper to give children prizes and howe often et cetera.

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669820

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    I would also posit thst those who think that children of old were angels and if there parent hit them immiedietly felt bad about what they did and never do it again are severly naive, just ask your parents.

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669819

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Bombmaniac much of what you write is correct but some of it is dangerous,

    Ex, If a student looks at a Rebbi as “what makes you better then me, after all I’m paying your salary” all the positive reinforcement in the world will not help the Rebbi get through to the child. Period, that’s a guarantee.

    In light of that it is incumbent upon a Rebbi to ensure he is someone worthy of respect and it is incumbent upon parents to ensure that their children are aware of the respect they must have for their Rabbeim.

    As to the statement about Gan Eden and Gehenomm in my earlier post I already wrote about how this topic is written about extensivley by the Balei Mussar who are the first to talk about a need for a balance but a correct balance.

    I would wish to reiterate that one would think it should be obvious that chinuch should be treated as college, meaning if one gos to school to become a doctor then the curriculum will be focused on preparing him to be a Doctor. Similarly chinuch is preparing a child to assume the obligations of being a Jew and therefore should focus on attaining such a goal.

    This means that the focus of chinuch under no circumstances can be to ensure the child has a memorable childhood.

    Please do not misconstrue what I have written to mean that I think a child should not have a pleasent childhood rather understand that I simply mean to say that one should ensure that the memorable childhood does not ensure a miserable adulthood.

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669816

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    bombmaniac while of course evey generation changes, don’t you think that perhaps in light of the increasing problems which are a subject of every jewish news publication or convention and include but are not limited to shidduch crisis, sholom bayis crisis, kids-at-risk, adults-at-risk, and drinking perhaps it is time to reexamine some of the “modern day” chinuch techniques that have become so in vogue over the last ten years?

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669810

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    While bombmaniac is correct that one should view the ability to keep the Torah as a privilege, one mustn’t lose sight of the fact that it is a mandatory privlege, not an option.

    The Balei Musar talk about the fact that while it may be that “ahavas Hashem” is a greater darga then yira, still one must have a combination of both. When one has a relationship based exclusivley on ahava he may come to think that there is room to be a little less careful in his obligations due to the great love Hashem has for him, which will cause Hashem to be forgiving, which is not the case as explained by Nesilas Yeshorim.

    EDITED

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669805

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Well said positiveanyim

    in reply to: How Toeiva Marriage Is Relevant To The Torah Jew #670243

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    The Lakewood Va’ad has distributed a list of all the Senators in New Jersey alonf with their phone numbers and is asking everyone to call as many as they can to voice their opposition to this legistlation

    in reply to: Health Care Overhaul #669694

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    CharlieHall; Yes, I have heard from poskim about abortian. Rav Yisroel Belsky shlita once told me that if you want an example of “nival peh” you need look no further then abortian, as it is called “pro-choice” and all of a sudden murder is “kosherized”.

    As for the fact that the Torah permits abortian; nay, requires abortion, in limited cases and therefore your wife was told that she is permitted to teach it, I fail to see what that says about the vast majority of abortions which are prohibited under halacha.

    As to the assertion that rav Eliezer Walldenberg zt’l was considered as pre-eminent a posek in Eretz Yisroel as Rav Moshe in America. That is a flat out untruth. My family is Israeli. Rav Walldenberg zt’l was considered an adom godol but not from the Gedolei HaDor. Rav Moshe for more then a quarter century was considered the final word in Halocha in America The Rosh Moetzes and Godol HaDor.

    To say that abortion is not considered murder by many poskim is to enter a machlokes over what is the status of a severe issur that is agreed upon by all mainstream poskim. Is that what you wish to do?

    As to the administration of Capital Punishment, In light of the fact that a) there is a court system which finds them guilty b) capital punishment is only administered where one is mchuyov misa b’dei shomayim. c) it is only administered to those who pose an active threat i.e danger to society, it is truly unclear if there is anything wrong with a goy executing another goy that is mchuyov misa b’dinehem.

    As for what you answered BeMused about the Canadian system,

    I have a chavrusa whos grandfather recently died due to the fact that they made no great effort to treat him once they found out he had a tumor and was already elderly, That’s the great system you speak of?

    However, I am unwilling to further enter a halachic debate as this is not really the correct forum for it.

    As for your comments about Smoking Cessation.

    If you admit that covering Smoking Cessation is a money losing enterprise, then you admit that the government will be losing money to cover it. Now where will that money be coming from?

    The Taxpayer.

    Due to the fact that the money is lost, in other words not replaced, there is automatically less money to cover something else.

    Hence Rationing.

    Where is the Rationing.

    It has to occur in areas which are less worthy of the “government dollar” than smoking cessation.

    So I ask you what is the government likley to view as more worthy of the Taxpayer’s money: smoking Cessation for a Twenty year old, or Chemo for an 85 year old?

    Now you know why dialysis is not goven to people over 75 in England.

    I look forward to your reply to these as well as the other points I raised in previous points that you so far neglected to reply to.

    in reply to: Children and Prizes–Hindering Intrinsic Self Worth #669800

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    While positveanayim makes a good point it must include the simple fact “chanoch l’nar al pi darkoi” each child is different and some may nee more prizes then others to grow.

    However the main thrust of the question touches on the core issuesof modern day chinuch.

    We ad “maminim bnei maminim” understand that the torah is a bill of obligations that are placed upon us and spell out what we are required to do in this world, in essence it is a “Bill of Obligations” the exact opposite of a “bill of Rights” consequently it would seem that true chinuch which at it’s heart is ment to prepare “lchanech” a child to assume responsibilty to fulfill his obligations should focus on preparing one to shoulder responsibilty.

    With this in mind perhaps the quastion needs to be asked is modern day chinuch properly preparing children to assume responsibilty or is it more focused on ensuring a child is able to assume his rights?

    It would seem that the ansewer to the question at the start of this thread would depend on what oine assumes the main point of chinuch to be.

    in reply to: Health Care Overhaul #669683

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Charliehall in regard to what you state about abortions,

    With all due respect should the federal government use our tax dollars to pay for abortions there is a halachic issue involved, chiefly our money is being used to enablle murder (yes most abortions according to the torah are murder).

    Secondly while you may talk of changing the culture not prohibiting things, I would think that if one would walk into a country that prohibited funding abortion through tax dollars for moral reasons and changed that law to allow accross the board funding for abortion they are in essence changing the culture.

    in reply to: Health Care Overhaul #669681

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    In Regard to CharlieHalls statement about yeshivos, the desire is not to have the non-jewish population fund our schools, rather it is to have the propety taxes we pay to fund the public schools be redirected towards funding our own schools.

    in reply to: Health Care Overhaul #669680

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    CharlieHall is correct in stating that end of life care for the elderly is almost entirely payed for by the government, but he neglects to mention end of life care in a situation where the patient is not elderly and is unfortunetly in an “endof life’ situation are we to allow the decision as to when to stop treatment in the hands of a secular government?

    Secondly if it is indeed cheaper to provide politicians with government health care and government health care is just as good then why will politicians not accept such care?

    I would also posit if Medicare and Medicaid are the most efficient forms of health care then why does the government predict looming deficits for those programs while private insurance turns a profit (albeit a slight one in comparison to other industrys?

    in regard to the “Torah Chiyuv”: If CharleHall admits that as of now life threatening conditions are treated in emergency rooms then what exactly is the chiyuv of “Lo Samod”?

    As for Rabbi Tendlers Shiur The first posuk brought by CharlieHall refers to a case where one causes physical injury to another in such a case yes the torah obligates him to pay damages as is the second.The third one is talking about Hashovas Aveida The third one which is “lo Samod” is the only one that is reletivley relevent and has already been addressed.

    in reply to: Health Care Overhaul #669672

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Perhaps The relegious Jewish community should be rallied to support Ben Nelson to ensure that he does not cave.

    I would wish to reiterate is not time for the askonim to present the Roshei Yeshiva with the details of this bill that artchill artfully called “ethically challenged” and see if perhaps they wish to call upon the bnei torah to put pressure on their erstwhile friends such as Chuck Schumer to oppose this bill?

    in reply to: Health Care Overhaul #669667

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    In regard to that which you claim has been said by Rabbi Tendler I would like to know on what he is basing this new chiyuv as I am unaware of any time when Eretz Yisroel was ruled L’Halocha that universal healthcare was provided.

    As to the question of “loh Samod” I beleive there are a plethora of frum orginazations dedicated to making sure money never is a determining factor in someones health.

    With that said no one forces you to support these orginazations it is youre choice.

    Regarding end of life care; It is hard for me to imagine that end of life treatment will not come under attack when it already has in England and other countries with goverment run helth care ( I attended a three part shiur given some years back by Rabbi Dr, Akiva Tatz disscusing the myriad questions that confront frum doctors in England).

    It is crucial to note that this is to be expected since it those with a completley different view of “quality of life” entrusted with making these decisions.

    Lastly regarding MediCare if the quality is so superb then I would venture to ask why politicians are provided with private medical insurance? Would’nt it be cheaper to provide them with goverment health care? I am sure they would not object in light of the fact that its just as good as the “private” alternetive.

    in reply to: How Toeiva Marriage Is Relevant To The Torah Jew #670238

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    I would venture to say that those who wish to state that the internet is not the place for torah do non mean to say it is the place at all rather that it is not the ideal situation.

    I do not think that there is any disagreement that for those who have access and have no other way of learning Torah the internet is a tool that should be utilized, rather it is the person with access to a Rav and live beis Medrash who is to be encouraged to utilize traditional learnong methods and the boundless benefits that go with them over the internet.

    in reply to: Chazzanus III #669434

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    On Benjamon Muller’s website (I think it’s BenjaminMuller.net but I’m not sure) he has a list of a bunch of common mistakes in nusach made by chazzanim.

    in reply to: How Toeiva Marriage Is Relevant To The Torah Jew #670235

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Though one needs not add any reason to be opposed to Legalized Toaiva after it has been demonstrated that the Torah prohibits it, I believe it is worth pointing out that many of us are raising our children in this country.

    We hear all the time about how hard it is to shield our children from the outside influences. Are we to stand by passively and allow ourselves to be forced into a situation where we must explain to our children why no, we are not racist, and no, the Torah is not backwards chas vsholom.

    Dai Lchakima BRimiza.

    EDITED

    in reply to: Bais Yaakovs Today #713693

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    It seems to me that a lot of the discussion that went on here missed the main point.

    While the exact curriculum that was in the Bais Yackov’s of Europe may be a matter of dispute the cause that gave rise to the dispute is not.

    The Haskala was sweeping through Europe and the Bais Yackov system was founded to combat it which it unarguably did.

    Nowadays though we face a growing trend of “at risk” and another of divorce and a lack of true sholom bayis, based upon this one must ask the question are the Bais Yackovs accomplishing their goals?

    in reply to: Applesauce For Latkes #1189181

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Peel and core as many yellow apples as you’re able. Put in a pot with an inch or two of water, and some lemon juice (to prevent browning). Simmer, and simmer, and simmer till the apples mush on their own.

    variations – add sugar, and/or cinnamon sticks, and/or frozen strawberries

    Enjoy!

    Mrs. Ben Levi

    in reply to: Cantorial Music II #669790

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    No not that I recall Benjamin Muller it’s the one sing’s Yossele’s Kuh Keli on

    in reply to: Cantorial Music II #669786

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    To cantoresque, There’s a cd of a concert that Muller gave in Manchester with his sons where he sins the braisa of Rabi Yishmoel beutifully, He also does a great job with Gonchoff Shir Shel Haleviem (wich he completley redid.

    Incidently he has a son in Manchester who I’ve heard could be better then him but I don’t know of any recordings he’s done.

    in reply to: Tznius on the Web #878159

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    The online sites like headsuphairwear.com and Tabeez. com are frum owners

    in reply to: Tznius on the Web #878157

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    How about looking at it that when you purchase from a Jew they usually give maaser wich goes towards your mosdos so in essence youre getting back a nice percentage while when you buy from other sources it’s usually the last youll see of the money

    in reply to: Tznius on the Web #878155

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Thanks for the info by the way by the way tzippi theeres a mitzva to buy from yidden my husband tells me most of the Chofetz Chaims sefer Ahavas Chesed is about it. Thanks esterg for headsuphairwear and feifun for coveryourhair i checked out those two I found coveryourhair is pretty good with the bandannas it looks like headsuphairwear has it better in snoods

    in reply to: Tznius on the Web #878151

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Thanks I’ll check them out. What about a place to buy snoods (Marshalls does’nt sell them).

    in reply to: Cantorial Music II #669780

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    It may be that there were a lot of chazzonim of the past that were frum but none can compare to Yosssele for the emotion in his songs (such as Ohr Chodosh.

    Incidentlly I especially enjoy hearin Cantor Banjamin Muller of Antewerp for this express reason the emotion in his voice when he sings is palpable

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