benignuman

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  • in reply to: The Supreme Court #1882606
    benignuman
    Participant

    Someone in Monsey,

    I don’t think you understood Gorsuch’s opinion correctly. He was treating “sex” in the statute to refer specifically and only to biological sex.

    The decisions the Supreme Court makes are usually extremely difficult cases. (The obvious cases do not usually get to them.) Each side is usually represented by very, very good lawyers. If you read each side’s brief, they are extremely persuasive. The idea that a layman can read a couple of news articles about the case and have an educated position on who was right and who was wrong is silly.

    In 90+% of SCOTUS cases, I could make a persuasive argument why each side is right. These cases aren’t obvious. They aren’t easy. The Justices are all giants in their field. People should have a little humility.

    in reply to: Jeffrey Epstein – part 2 #1882604
    benignuman
    Participant

    Huju,

    Most Republican legislation has contained an exception for the life of the mother. That being said, the Republican position is still not in line with many Rishonim and Poskim. Although Rav Moshe paskens like the Rambam on abortion (prohibiting except to save the life of the mother), there are other poskim that will rely on other Rishonim (Rashi, Tosafos) where there is some great tzorech (e.g. the child will be severely disabled; the mother will be under severe pyschological stress; mamzeirus) even if the mother’s life is not at risk.

    I don’t want the US or state governments paskening that shailah. I want the parents and their posek paskening that shailah.

    in reply to: Jeffrey Epstein – part 2 #1882601
    benignuman
    Participant

    Coffee addict,

    In the times of Chazal, they required people to give tzedaka and they assessed how much an individual was required to give based on their income/wealth. Moreover, they also forced people to contribute to public works (like walls and wells) also according to their income/wealth. Look at the Mishna and following Gemara in Baba Basra 7b.
    בעא מיניה רבי אלעזר מרבי יוחנן כשהן גובין לפי נפשות גובין או דילמא לפי שבח ממון גובין אמר ליה לפי ממון גובין
    And Tosafos there writes: לפי קירוב בתים הן גובין. פירש. ר”ת ונותנין עניים קרובים יותר מרחוקים וכן עשירים קרובים יותר מעשירים רחוקים אבל עשירים רחוקים נותנין יותר מעניים קרובים דלפי שבח ממון נמי הן גובין:

    in reply to: The black hat. #1882597
    benignuman
    Participant

    Reb Eliezer,

    The Mishna Berurah is specifically talking about in his times where people did not go out in the street or meet with respectable people without a hat on. ובזמנינו צריך להשים בעת התפלה כובע בראשו כדרך שהולך ברחוב ולא בכובע הקטן שתחת הכובע כי אין דרך לעמוד כן לפני אנשים חשובים

    Nowadays (and in the times of the Shulchan Aruch) it is not the norm to wear a hat in the street or when meeting with prominent people. Therefore, a hat is not required by davening. A kippah is sufficient.

    If you are a person that is already yeshivish enough to have the custom to wear a hat in the street and when meeting choshuve people, then you have to wear it by davening too. But I doubt someone wearing a black hat in the street is asking whether they should also wear it by davening.

    in reply to: Mitt Romney is now persona non grata #1829893
    benignuman
    Participant

    Klugeryid,

    There are two broad schools of thought but there are many more subdivisions within those schools. What you are calling “Constructionist” is typically called “Originalist” when applied to the Constitution (as opposed to ordinary statutes). I am an Originalist. Which means that I interpret the Constitution as it would have been understood by an objective reader at the time it was ratified. (Note, however, that even Originalists will occasionally have to engage in Construction where they seek to apply the Constitution in area where it is vague or ambiguous.)

    The other school, Living Constitutionalists, don’t maintain that they have a right just to read in whatever they want. Rather they believe that interpretation of the Constitution can and should change where the society as a whole has changed. But even living Constitutionalists would require evidence that societies mores have changed regarding the matter before them. It is possible to make the argument, that from a living Constitution perspective (assuming State Constitutions match this) impeachment requires a statutory violation. But this argument is not that strong because ultimately there is no check on the Impeachment power (other than voters). Therefore, whatever Congress and 2/3ds of the Senate say is impeachable becomes removable. Because practically it does not require a crime a Living Constitutionalist would not be inclined to read the requirement of a statutory crime into the text.

    in reply to: Mitt Romney is now persona non grata #1829797
    benignuman
    Participant

    Reb Eliezer,

    Where did you get the idea that the era of Rishonim ended in 1400? The Abarbanel is widely viewed as a Rishon and he was born after 1400. The two dates I have seen as the cut-off for Rishonim is the expulsion from Spain in 1492 or the publishing of the Shulchan Aruch in the 1560s.

    Klugeryid,

    I mean no personal offense but you are writing about things of which you no very little. You are reading the phrase “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” the way someone would read it today, not the way it was understood at the time it was written. (l’havdil, it is like reading the Torah without the Oral Tradition). The writings from the Constitutional convention, the Federalist Papers, and the political nature of impeachment make clear that actual statutory crimes are not necessary. Alan Dershowitz’s argument that the behavior has to be “crime-like” (although he concedes it does not need to be a statutory crime) is plausible.

    It should be noted, however, that at the time of ratification, common law crimes still existed. Common law crimes were crimes made up by Judges for actions that they felt should obviously be criminal (like murder or theft). So your scenario is not that far off the actual state of the law at the time the Constitution was written.

    in reply to: Mitt Romney is now persona non grata #1829752
    benignuman
    Participant

    Klugeryid and Reb Eliezer,

    Bilaam was an individual after Matan Torah. So I think that example satisfies both of you. I don’t see why Ninveh being a large number of people should matter. If one non-Jew can’t do teshuvah, then 1000 non-Jews also couldn’t do teshuvah.

    As for where the Seforno got his pshat, the Seforno is a border-line Rishon. It may be a mesora he got from his rabbeim. Or it might just be muchach from the posukim. Why would Hashem keep hinting to Bilaam to turn back and not go to Balak? Bilaam’s going wouldn’t hurt the Yidden because Hashem was going to make Bilaam say berochos not klalos anyway.

    Another example of an individual is Yishmael on whom Rashi says (at the end of Chayei Sarah): יצחק וישמעאל. מִכָּאן שֶׁעָשָׂה יִשְׁמָעֵאל תְּשׁוּבָה וְהוֹלִיךְ אֶת יִצְחָק לְפָנָיו, וְהִיא שֵׂיבָה טוֹבָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּאַבְרָהָם : This is also before Matan Torah but I don’t see why that should matter. If we know teshuvah existed for non-Jews before Matan Torah mehechi taisi that they lost it. Hamotzi m’chaveiro alav haraya.

    in reply to: Mitt Romney is now persona non grata #1829658
    benignuman
    Participant

    Klugeryid,

    There are many sources. For example, Rashi at the beginning of parshas Noach explains that the purpose of the Teyva was to get the dor hamabul to do Teshuva: עשה לך תבת. הַרְבֵּה רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה לְפָנָיו, וְלָמָּה הִטְרִיחוֹ בְּבִנְיָן זֶה? כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּרְאוּהוּ אַנְשֵׁי דוֹר הַמַּבּוּל עוֹסֵק בָּהּ ק”כ שָׁנָה, וְשׁוֹאֲלִין אוֹתוֹ מַה זֹּאת לְךָ, וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לָהֶם עָתִיד הַקָּבָּ”ה לְהָבִיא מַבּוּל לָעוֹלָם, אוּלַי יָשׁוּבוּ:

    The entire Navi Yonah was sent to Ninveh to get the goyim there to do teshuvah (which is why we read it on Yom Kippur).

    By Bilaam, the Seforno explains that Hashem made his donkey speak to get Bilaam to do teshuvah: ויפתח ה’ את פי האתון נתן בה כח לדבר כענין ה’ שפתי תפתח. וכל זה היה כדי שיתעורר בלעם לשוב בתשובה בזכרו כי מה’ מענה לשון גם לבלתי מוכן כל שכן שיוכל להסירו מן המוכן כרצונו וכל זה כדי שלא יאבד איש כמוהו

    in reply to: Mitt Romney is now persona non grata #1829636
    benignuman
    Participant

    Klugeryid,

    1. Non-Jews can do teshuva just like Jews.
    2. Non-Jews being chayiv on pachos m’shava peruta is only if the owner is makpid. Office owners (for most of Romney’s career he was one of the owners) are typically mochel such small takings.
    3. I’m not sure what you mean by “saint” (a christian concept) but I have not seen anything about Romney that indicates that he is dishonorable or corrupt in any way.

    in reply to: A rebbe iz Atzmus uMahus vos hot zich areingeshtelt in a guf #1825249
    benignuman
    Participant

    BMG,

    Of course not. Those people weren’t saying that they were a chelek elokai mimal. Those people were saying that they were gods independent of Hashem–the very opposite of the Rambam that the only true existence is Hashem.

    in reply to: A rebbe iz Atzmus uMahus vos hot zich areingeshtelt in a guf #1824704
    benignuman
    Participant

    samthenylic,

    I don’t think it occurred to the Lubavitcher Rebbe that people would specifically seek to interpret his words in a bad way.

    midwesterner,

    To a degree it does apply to the all of Klal Yisroel. The Rebbe in his speech based the idea on the kabbalistic concept that Yisroel v’Oraisa v’Kidsha Barich Hu, chad hu. On some level all of Klal Yisroel has a unity with Hashem.

    My understanding of the Rebbe’s idea (I am not a Chabadsker so take this with a grain of salt) is that there are layers of gashmius built up upon everything physical that masks the Hashem-stuff underlying it. Our aveiros and taivos create barrier between us and Hashem. A great tzaddik and talmud chacham, however, has a much smaller barrier and greater connection to Hashem. His physical is less physical than an ordinary person–and therefore more like Hashem. Thus, instead of a being a chatziza between a Jew and Hashem he is a bridge.

    Mashul l’ma hadavar domeh. If a person is going to the mikvah and they have mud on them, the mud is a chatziza between them and the water of the mikvah. But if the person is wet from a shower and they go into the mikvah, the outside water is not chotzetz. On the contrary it connects to the mikvah better.

    in reply to: A rebbe iz Atzmus uMahus vos hot zich areingeshtelt in a guf #1823805
    benignuman
    Participant

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe didn’t say it about himself but about his father-in-law, the previous Rebbe.

    There are definitely ways to interpret the Rebbe’s words that are not apikorsus at all. Why assume a bad interpretation?

    Hashem is the only thing that has real existence. As the Rambam writes at the beginning of Mishnah Torah:
    יְסוֹד הַיְסוֹדוֹת וְעַמּוּד הַחָכְמוֹת לֵידַע שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם מָצוּי רִאשׁוֹן. וְהוּא מַמְצִיא כָּל נִמְצָא. וְכָל הַנִּמְצָאִים מִשָּׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ וּמַה שֶּׁבֵּינֵיהֶם לֹא נִמְצְאוּ אֶלָּא מֵאֲמִתַּת הִמָּצְאוֹ
    אִם יַעֲלֶה עַל הַדַּעַת שֶׁהוּא אֵינוֹ מָצוּי אֵין דָּבָר אַחֵר יָכוֹל לְהִמָּצְאוֹת
    וְאִם יַעֲלֶה עַל הַדַּעַת שֶׁאֵין כָּל הַנִּמְצָאִים מִלְּבַדּוֹ מְצוּיִים הוּא לְבַדּוֹ יִהְיֶה מָצוּי. וְלֹא יִבָּטֵל הוּא לְבִטּוּלָם. שֶׁכָּל הַנִּמְצָאִים צְרִיכִין לוֹ וְהוּא בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לָהֶם וְלֹא לְאֶחָד מֵהֶם. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין אֲמִתָּתוֹ כַּאֲמִתַּת אֶחָד מֵהֶם
    וּא שֶׁהַנָּבִיא אוֹמֵר (ירמיה י י) “וַה’ אֱלֹהִים אֱמֶת”. הוּא לְבַדּוֹ הָאֱמֶת וְאֵין לְאַחֵר אֱמֶת כַּאֲמִתָּתוֹ. וְהוּא שֶׁהַתּוֹרָה אוֹמֶרֶת (דברים ד לה) “אֵין עוֹד מִלְּבַדּוֹ”. כְּלוֹמַר אֵין שָׁם מָצוּי אֱמֶת מִלְּבַדּוֹ כְּמוֹתוֹ

    Because Hashem’s existence is the only true existence, everything else in the universe is simply a manfestation of Hashem. Our bodies, the trees, the buildings, the planets, etc. are all made up–ultimately–of Hashem. This is the concept of אֵין עוֹד מִלְּבַדּוֹ that the Brisker Rav himself used to escape from the Nazis.

    in reply to: Who should be called Rabbi? #1822618
    benignuman
    Participant

    Rav Moshe, in teshuvos, when referring to Reform or Conservative Rabbis would spell out the word “rabbi” as if it was an english word–something like “רעבבי”

    I view “Rabbi” as a title we use when interacting with the secular world. It should be used to denote some position of religious authority, whether in a shul, yeshivah, kashrus org., etc.

    Internally, I prefer to use Rav and I use that for anyone that I would feel comfortable relying on for a halachic decision.

    in reply to: Portable Mivkeh #1813562
    benignuman
    Participant

    Abba_S,

    Maybe you could attach something to the walls of the tub to make it big enough to hold 40 sa’ah of water, but the water is still coming in the from the regular faucet.

    Now, there are those that hold that water that comes in from regular plumbing is not sh’uvim but if that is what you are relying on, then you can probably use the hotel pool too (as long as you confirm that they do not fill the pool with a hose).

    in reply to: Portable Mivkeh #1811421
    benignuman
    Participant

    A portable mikvah creates problems of mayim shuvim. For it to be kosher, you would have to make a hole in the container to be mevatel it as a kli, then attach the “portable” mikvah to the ground and reseal the hole.

    in reply to: Should a bochur have a beard? #1802717
    benignuman
    Participant

    Knaidlach,

    I simply meant that he has both options available to him. He should follow his netias neshoma. Being machmir is not always avodas Hashem. Every chumrah has ramifications that need to be weighed before being taken. Additionally, taking on a chumrah without learning the sugya and having a netiya towards the shittos that are machmir is not avodas Hashem–it is amaratzus.

    in reply to: Should a bochur have a beard? #1802688
    benignuman
    Participant

    Uncle Ben,

    “K’ayn ta’ar” means “like an actual ta’ar but not an actual ta’ar.” Some have argued that some modern shavers are halachically “ta’ar.” Which is why people bring shavers to a Rav to check out. The spinning blade shavers never get super close though.

    in reply to: Should a bochur have a beard? #1802603
    benignuman
    Participant

    Joseph,

    I think you misunderstood what I wrote. The Shulchan Aruch (and Rama) hold that it is mutar. There are other opinions that argue and hold patur aval asur. There is nothing wrong with relying on the Shulchan Aruch and shaving.

    in reply to: Should a bochur have a beard? #1802546
    benignuman
    Participant

    The Shulchan Aruch permits shaving (non-razor of course). There are opinions that shaving (without a razor) is patur aval asur. There’s nothing wrong with having a beard (according the vast majority). Both shaving and not shaving are well within normal halachic practice. The bochur should do whatever he wants.

    in reply to: Do you love all Jews… #1802037
    benignuman
    Participant

    It is a machlokes Rishonim whether Ahavas Yisroel requires actual loving feelings towards fellow Jews or simply to do for them what you want done for yourself and not do to them what you would not want done for yourself.

    in reply to: Historical Record #1737956
    benignuman
    Participant

    Even when the Bais Hamikdosh stood, the avoda was not always done k’halacha. There were extended periods of time where the Cohen Gadol was a Tzeduki or someone who bribed their way into the position. Additionally, halacha can change. A later Sanhedrin can override an earlier Sanhedrin.

    In short, most of these machlokesim are not what did happen in the Bais Hamikdosh but what SHOULD happen in the Bais Hamikdosh.

    in reply to: Worst US Presidents #1730433
    benignuman
    Participant

    Grant, as far as I know, did nothing anti-semitic while President. His expulsion decree was as a general during the Civil War. And if we are going to count pre-President conduct, Grant has to be among the greatest President. He won the Civil War. Without him the USA as we know it would not exist, slavery might still exist in the Confederacy, and the USA probably doesn’t intervene in either of the World Wars (or the South also intervenes on the German side), and who knows where that leaves world history.

    in reply to: Worst US Presidents #1730432
    benignuman
    Participant

    5 Worst Presidents (only taking into account their conduct as President):
    1. Andrew Johnson: (let the worst parts of the South revive after the Civil War, ignored the terrible violence and discrimination against former slaves in the South)
    2. James Buchanan (tried to appease the South and preserve slaverly, wishy-washy approach didn’t stop the Civil War but let the South get a jump on North in advance of the Civil War)
    3. Andrew Jackson: (trail of tears and other horrible crimes against Native Americans–refused to listen to the Supreme Court)
    4. Woodrow Wilson: (racist who reintroduced segregation into the government; authoritarian who got anti-free speech legislation passed and created a federal propaganda office; presided over a very slanted peace after WWI that ultimately led to WWII)
    5. Lyndon Johnson: (committed the US to war in Vietnam under false pretenses; was a disgusting low-life who humiliated subordinates and the office)

    benignuman
    Participant

    I did not read through this entire thread. But shaving is mefurash halacha in Shulchan Aruch:
    אינו חייב על השחתת פאת הזקן אלא בתער אבל במספרים מותר אפילו כעין תער

    The Shulchan Aruch rules that it is mutar to shave one’s beard so long as you do not use a razor. The Rema agrees but holds that one should be careful not to use scissors in a razor-like manner:
    ומ”מ נזהרים כשמסתפרין במספרים שיעשה היקף הגילוח בחלק העליון מן המספרות ולא בתחתון פן יעשה הכל עם חלק התחתון והוי כתער

    Rav Chaim Kanievsky is free to disagree with the Shulchan Aruch but it is difficult to fault the large numbers of frum men that follow the Shulchan Aruch on this issue.

    in reply to: Rejecting One’s Bashert #1678609
    benignuman
    Participant

    Avocado,

    The Gemara (Sotah 2a) says that Hashem gives each person their bashert “l’fi maasav.” In other words, who your bashert ultimately is depends on your actions (mitzvos, aveiros, etc.). It seems to me that one of those actions is rejecting a match. So if a person rejects their bashert, then everything needs to be reworked and someone else might become their bashert.

    in reply to: Dating or sit ins? #1678610
    benignuman
    Participant

    Sit ins are less likely to lead to halachic violations.

    in reply to: Should The Rich Be Taxed? 💸🚕 #1677467
    benignuman
    Participant

    Neville,

    You wrote: “Semantics. The tax burden just gets shifted to the middle/lower classes. Same thing as taking their money and giving it away; it just sounds better on the surface.”

    “‘conservatives understand that money belongs to the one who earned it liberals feel all money belongs to the government’
    No liberal in the history of this country has ever claimed to believe that or said anything even close to it. There are virtually infinitely many options to chose from if you want to criticize liberals, you don’t need to go making up your own.”

    Those two statements are contradictory. The only way one can view the difference between the government giving me someone else’s money (that they took by force) and the government letting me keep more of my own money as semantic is if one believes that the government is entitled to all of everyone’s money.

    If the government is not entitled to all income, then a tax break is: the government stealing from me less. A subsidy is: the government stealing from someone else to give me money.

    If, on the other hand, government is entitled to take 100% of your income, there is no practical difference between a subsidy and a tax break.

    in reply to: Recent Ben Shapiro Controversy #1674724
    benignuman
    Participant

    I actually thought Shapiro’s answer was very good. It is a classic liberal idea (Jewish too) that people are not destined to be good or evil but are the products of the environment and their choices. So why kill the baby Hitler when having him be adopted by a loving family in Canada will also prevent the Holocaust?

    And if your answer is “well that is not an option in the hypothetical,” then the response should be that your hypothetical has no application to the real world and is therefore a wast of my time.

    in reply to: Rejecting One’s Bashert #1674736
    benignuman
    Participant

    “CHazal say you can make shidduchim even on Tisha B’ Av because if the shidduch is delayed someone else might “chap ” it before you.”

    Tosafos on Sotah 2a asks this question.

    What do people mean on this thread when they say “bashert”? The Gemara gives two possibilities, a shidduch that was your destiny from before you were born and a shidduch that is according to your maasim in this world. Are both of these considered “bashert”?

    in reply to: Should The Rich Be Taxed? 💸🚕 #1674716
    benignuman
    Participant

    All taxation is theft. Like Mafia protection money.

    That being said, taxation is a necessary theft, a necessary evil in order to have a functioning society. So we tax because we must to form the society we all benefit from. But we must never forget that ultimately we are robbing Peter to pay Paul. So every time we increase taxes we should be asking ourselves, is it necessary to steal someone’s property? Are our motives pure or driven by jealousy? Can we achieve the same goals without the tax increase through better budgeting and greater efficiency?

    It isn’t surprising that most people support a very high marginal rate because it is other people’s money that they are stealing. That does not make it right, it just makes it more likely that the motivation behind the legislation is not pure.

    in reply to: Studies on vaccines you might have missed.👨‍🔬💉🚫 #1642584
    benignuman
    Participant

    I am (perhaps foolishly) wading back in here to point out a contradiction in doomsday’s propaganda.

    Doomsday demands a study of “Vaccinateded per CDC Schedule vs 100% UnVaccinated.” Implying that it is the vaccine package as a whole (including the Polio and Smallpox vaccines) that is causing the problem and not just the newer vaccines.

    On the other hand doomsday repeats, again and again, that “Since the CDC TRIPLED the Vaccine schedule around 1990, Autism went from 1:10,000 to 1:50 today!” Implying that it is the relatively recent increase in vaccines that have caused the problem. Make up your mind, doomsday.

    As an aside, doomsday is confusing autism diagnosis with actual autism. Autism was increasingly diagnosed from 1987 onwards because it’s definition was expanded in the DSM and broadened again in 1994 and 2000. Doctors diagnose what they are taught to diagnose and give the labels that are recognized by their fields and the government (that provide services).

    I don’t know where doomsday’s numbers for her parade of horribles from vaccines are coming from (some anti-vaxx site?) but SIDS deaths are down in the United States since 1990 (because parents were taught not to let babies sleep on their stomachs), not up. From the CDC website: “Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) rates declined considerably from 130.3 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 38.0 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016.”

    So take doomsday’s numbers with many grains of salt.

    in reply to: Why Are Torah Observant Jews Overwhelmingly Republican/Conservative? #1635920
    benignuman
    Participant

    Joseph,

    On immigration, I am more referring to an attitude towards immigrants generally and especially illegal immigrants rather than policy proposals. The animosity, fear and vitriol towards illegal immigrants in the frum community (a community which gladly employs those same immigrants) does not come from Torah but from conservative media.

    in reply to: Studies on vaccines you might have missed.👨‍🔬💉🚫 #1634727
    benignuman
    Participant

    Shragi,

    There were many things wrong with your post but the mistakes at the beginning were so blatant I can’t help but address them.
    “Nowhere in the toira are vaccines said to be muttar”
    The Torah does not specify different kosher and unkosher medicines. It says v’raph y’rapeh, you must use doctors to heal someone (who you damaged). Chazal said that we follow the decisions of the best doctors or the majority of doctors. Therefore vaccination is required by the Torah.

    “and it is completely illogical to believe that taking in a disease (along with mercury!) will protect you from it.”
    You personally not understanding how viruses and immunity work does not mean that nobody understands it. It isn’t a big secret.

    “Their effectiveness is highly doubtful given that the first vaccine was invented in 1796 and measles wasn’t declared eradicated in the US until over 200 years later!”
    The MMR vaccine was developed in the early 1970s.

    in reply to: Studies on vaccines you might have missed.👨‍🔬💉🚫 #1634714
    benignuman
    Participant

    Doomsday,
    I didn’t lie and you know I didn’t lie, so why do keep accusing me of lying?

    First, you completely ignore my primary point that patient claims are the best metric to use for determining the number of serious adverse events. You simply can’t face this point because it negates your position.

    Second, you acknowledge that the reference to serious adverse events (for some reason you latch on to the 1% and not the 13%) is about drugs and not vaccines. So your reading was incorrect. But instead of acknowledging your error you accuse of lying anyway! The 1% reporting on vaccines is for all adverse events lumped together as one group. It is derived by comparing the VAERS numbers with the numbers the study found when following up on patients who received vaccines for 30 days afterward. It is impossible to tell from that report whether the reporting for serious adverse events from vaccines was more robust. But that is what we would expect logically and it is what we see with drug reports (the overall reporting rate was 0.3%, serious events was 1-13%). Also the numbers in the study are based on “possible reactions” and “possible events,” not confirmed events.

    I never wrote that “nearly all serious vaccine adverse events are reported.” I wrote that nearly all would have been the subject of a patient claim with the vaccine compensation board, such that such claims are the best available proxy for determining the rate of adverse reactions to vaccines.

    in reply to: Why Are Torah Observant Jews Overwhelmingly Republican/Conservative? #1633711
    benignuman
    Participant

    Joseph and ZionGate,

    I am not saying that we always must follow chachmei umos haolam. If their conclusions or reasoning are keneged Torah, we don’t follow them. But in the case of Climate Change, their studies and theories are not keneged Torah, so I would have expected the bulk of frum Yidden to presume the validity of their conclusions. There are certainly some arguments against the mainstream positions by other scientists, and there is some evidence of some scientists trying to downplay or hide contradictory data. But such arguments aren’t Torah-based arguments, but rather the typical arguments one hears on conservative radio or websites.
    I submit that the reason why the majority of frum Jews land on the skeptical side despite the large majority of scientists on the man-caused Climate Change side, is because they are primarily exposed to skeptical side on conservative radio or websites.

    in reply to: Studies on vaccines you might have missed.👨‍🔬💉🚫 #1633708
    benignuman
    Participant

    Doomsday,
    You seem intent on finding “lies” among those that disagree with you, so much so that you seem to simultaneously read some things very narrowly and other things very broadly. So I am going to be as clear as possible and will make my points in numbered list that you can respond to.
    1. I said that the purpose of the report was to urge doctors to properly report adverse events on VAERS. Here is the language from the report: “The goal of this project is to improve the quality of vaccination programs by improving the quality of physician adverse vaccine event detection and reporting to the national Vaccine
    Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).”
    2. That this included all events, even minor ones, is demonstrated throughout the report in descriptions of their protocol and by the method that they used to detect adverse events. “We initially
    prepared a draft document describing the elements, algorithms, interval of interest after
    vaccination, and actions for broad classes of post-vaccination events, including those to be
    reported immediately without delay (such as acute anaphylactic reaction following vaccination),
    those never to be reported (such as routine check-ups following vaccination) and those to be
    reported at the discretion and with additional information from the attending physician through a
    feedback mechanism.” And “Every patient receiving a vaccine was automatically identified, and for the next 30 days, their health care diagnostic codes, laboratory tests, and medication prescriptions are evaluated for values suggestive of an adverse vaccine event. When a possible adverse event was detected, it was
    recorded, and the appropriate clinician was to be notified electronically.” So this report was to include every post-vaccine medical event requiring a doctors visit (other than routine check-up), laboratory test, or prescription.
    3. The sentence you highlight that says “1-13% of serious events are reported to the FDA” is referring to adverse events caused by drugs, not vaccines. It is the next sentence, which does not say “serious events” that is referring to vaccines.
    4. Most importantly, this entire report and the percentages therein, are discussing the self-reporting of doctors of adverse events. The doctors have no personal incentive to report an adverse event. This report says NOTHING about claims brought by patients and their families! (or any other method of evaluating vaccine side effects) You are mixing apples and oranges.
    5. The fact remains that a tiny percentage of vaccine patients or their families ever even bring claims for vaccine injuries despite the strong financial and emotional incentive to do so. Your attempt to conflate poor physician reporting with patient claims is without basis in the report you keep on citing.
    6. Therefore, we are left with the fact that vaccine injuries serious enough for patients or their families to bring claims are very, very rare. Much rarer than injury caused by the disease that the vaccines prevent.

    Doomsday, I don’t think you are deliberately lying or even being deliberately misleading. I think you have convinced yourself of the righteousness of your position. Unfortunately, in your mind that means that everyone that disagrees with you must be a lier or a bad person. We aren’t liers, we aren’t bad people. We are simply following the mainstream medical opinion and, at least in my case, looking at the claims data and coming to basic conclusions on the likelihood of serious or permanent injury from the vaccine vs. from the disease.

    in reply to: Why Are Torah Observant Jews Overwhelmingly Republican/Conservative? #1633433
    benignuman
    Participant

    Joseph,

    I don’t know Boro Park and Williamsburg, true. But I know plenty of Monsey and it applies there. I am not saying that Torah requires one to follow the Democratic positions on Climate change or immigration, but only that the Democratic positions are more in line–in a general sense–with Torah Hashkafa.

    With respect to Climate Change, there is no Torah basis for being skeptical and usually we follow chachmei umos ha’olam when it comes to scientific metzios. With respect to immigration, I am referring to the attitude toward immigrants generally, not the question of whether it should be done illegally. I think most Democrats agree (Obama certainly did) that immigration must be done legally. The issue is what do with those who are already here and how vicious should the US be in preventing more people from coming in illegally.

    in reply to: Why Are Torah Observant Jews Overwhelmingly Republican/Conservative? #1633330
    benignuman
    Participant

    Avi K,

    Not selling weapons to people because they might use them to commit crimes is a halacha. And ownership of wepons is certainly not a “right” in halacha.

    גבול שמת בל יעברון בל ישובון לכסות הארץ is not speaking about immigration but about Hashem not bringing another mabul. That Hashem gave certain lands to some people in no way indicates that immigration is forbidden. Avraham was an immigrant in Canaan and the Yidden were refugees when they went to Egypt during the famine. Amon and Moav were faulted for not greeting B’nel Yisrael with food and water when they were coming into Eretz Yisroel from the Midbar. Sodom is punished because of their mistreatment of visitors. Etc.

    Climate change is more a question of fact but the idea that people are supposed to protect the planet, l’avda v’l’shamra, comes from the Torah and there is certainly no Torah based reason to be skeptical. And yet, I find that frum Jews typically are skeptical of climate change.

    in reply to: Studies on vaccines you might have missed.👨‍🔬💉🚫 #1633305
    benignuman
    Participant

    Doomsday, you wrote:
    “1.When children are injured or killed after vaccination, the doctors lie and say that it was a “coincidence”
    2. Most parents never heard of Vaccine Court.
    3. There statute of limitations is much shorter then in real court so by that even if parents learn about
    vaccine court it is too late and Vaccine Court refuses to hear their claim.
    4. Parents have to pay thousands out of pocket and it can take up to 10 years for their case to finished.
    This is too time consuming, stressful and expensive for many parents.”

    First you have made these assertions without evidence. You don’t know these things you are just asserting them to explain away the contrary evidence to your position.

    Second, when a child dies, lawyers are contacted and lawyers certainly know about the vaccine compensation program. Most lawyers take cases like these on contingency so the parents don’t have to pay anything more than the filing out of pocket. Typically vaccine compensation board cases, on average, are resolved in shorter time periods than conventional tort cases. The statute of limitations isn’t signficantly shorter than other torts but it is stricter in that the discovery rule does not apply.

    It is certainly possible that some potential claims do not get brought but it is also the case that some claims brought (like in any litigation) are not legitimate. Claims against the vaccine compensation board are our best way to track severe vaccine injuries because it is interest of the claimants to find a link between the injury and the vaccine.

    As for your argument about autism frequency, I already explained why that correlation is fallacious. Similar arguments hold for ADHD and learning disabilities.

    in reply to: Studies on vaccines you might have missed.👨‍🔬💉🚫 #1633292
    benignuman
    Participant

    Doomsday,

    You wrote: “This is more proof that you Lie. I answered you that per the Department Of Health and Human Resourcesfewer then 1% of all vaccine adverse advents are reported. Therefore there are over 3 Million Vaccine Injuries per year and 1,680 Vaccine Deaths. Yet you still repeat the Lie that serious injury from vaccines is rare. Shame!”

    I see I got no apology for the false accusation of lying. Instead I got a doubling down where I was accused of lying on the basis of your faulty logic that I had already explained.

    I looked up the 2010 report you cited. It was talking about doctors reporting adverse events, however minor, on the VAERS (vaccine adverse event reporting system) and was urging doctors to use to properly report adverse events. That report is not talking about injury or death claims against the vaccine compensation board. And it never claims that only 1% of serious injury or death cases are reported by doctors. Your extrapolation is completely unwarranted.

    If there is dishonesty in this conversation it isn’t coming from me.

    in reply to: Studies on vaccines you might have missed.👨‍🔬💉🚫 #1633112
    benignuman
    Participant

    doomsday,

    I did not lie. Please don’t accuse of me of lying. I wrote that I did not know where you were getting the “fewer than 1%” statistic from. I genuinely did not know because you did not cite to anything in the post you wrote replying to me. I have not read every post you posted on this thread. That you put it in some earlier post does not mean that I knew about it.

    I have not gone back through each incidence of your claiming to have caught vaccine defenders in a lie, but if what I wrote is what you call a “LIE” then I am going to be skeptical of your other claimed “LIES.” I also note that you completely ignored the substance of what I wrote in favor of an incorrect gotcha.

    My point stands, serious injury due to vaccines is vanishingly rare. Much, much rarer than serious injury due to diseases. Therefore, it is foolish to forgo vaccines because of a minute risk and in exchange for returning to widespread disease and a much higher risk. I don’t see how you are getting around this basic math.

    in reply to: Why Are Torah Observant Jews Overwhelmingly Republican/Conservative? #1632968
    benignuman
    Participant

    Joseph,
    I included the second reason because when I discuss politics with my fellow frum Jews I hear them making the same arguments, using the same terms, that I hear from conservative pundits on the radio. More importantly, large percentages of my fellow frum Jews appear to subscribe to conservative/Republican political positions even where it doesn’t have a basis in Torah–and is sometimes contrary to Torah hashkafah. For example, I hear people vociferously supporting the conservative positions on gun control, immigration, and climate change despite the Democratic/liberal positions being more in line with the Torah on those issues.

    With regard to your last point, I absolutely agree that the overwhelming liberalism of secular/atheist/irreligious/Reform/Conservative/OO Jews is due in large part to their obtaining their news from liberal media. I would only add, however, that they are also strongly influenced towards liberalism from their college environments where liberalism is even more dominant than it is in the general mainstream media.

    We are all influenced by the media we consume and the opinions of our peers and our teachers. A person has to work hard to try to think through each issue independently and even then he can’t entirely eliminate the influence of others.

    in reply to: Studies on vaccines you might have missed.👨‍🔬💉🚫 #1632928
    benignuman
    Participant

    Doomsday,
    I don’t know where you are getting the “fewer than 1% of adverse events are reported” from (or how anyone can know that if they aren’t reported). There is a vaccine adverse event reporting system, VAERS, where doctors can report adverse events from vaccines. But that includes minor adverse effects like a fever, nausea, or a rash. It isn’t surprising that doctors don’t bother reporting most of those minor–and relatively common–adverse effects. We are talking about serious long-term adverse reactions.

    When someone suffers serious long-term injury or death from a vaccine, they are almost certainly going to bring a claim to the vaccine compensation program to help pay their costs. Therefore, the statistics of claims (remember actual payouts are far fewer) made through the vaccine compensation program is a generous metric by which to calculate the risks of vaccines. The idea that if there are claims made for 168 deaths in a year (the total number of claims for deaths from MMR over the last 30 years is only 61!) there are really 16,800 deaths is silly. If someone loses a child, they aren’t going to just forget about it. They will bring a claim.

    The rise in autism is, at least in part, due to a broader diagnosis of what constitutes autism. Autism is Colorado is 1:93 and autism in New Jersey is 1:41, not because of some serious health difference between living in the two states but because of state policies on diagnosis and providing services. Autism wasn’t even a diagnosis in the DSM until 1980–so of course its diagnosis shot up since then as psychologists and psychiatrists started recognizing it as a real condition. And the criteria for what constitutes autism has been expanded in the DSM over time (as well as government programs for autistic children greatly increasing the incentive to get an autism diagnosis). Furthermore, autism is more prevalent in children born premature. The more premature, the more likely the child will be autistic and since the 1980s doctors have gotten better and better at keeping premature children alive.

    Most importantly, vaccines were common in the US long before the boom in autism and allergies. Is it your claim that the vaccines before 1980 were safe and it is only the vaccines from after 1980 that are dangerous?

    in reply to: Studies on vaccines you might have missed.👨‍🔬💉🚫 #1632747
    benignuman
    Participant

    Doomsday,
    A few points to consider:
    1. You are ignoring the statistics I provided showing that even claims of injury from childhood vaccines are extraordinarily unlikely. It is far, far, far more likely that a child will be injured by the disease than by the vaccine.

    2. You keep on mentioning encephalitis which is usually caused by viral infection. While some vaccines use a live virus and can cause encephalitis in extremely rare cases, you know what is far more likely to cause encephalitis? The MEASLES VIRUS. At least 1 in a 500 (1/1000 concurrently, and 1/1000 later) children that get measles will develop encephalitis. That is far, far, far more likely than the 1 in 500,000 (at most) that will get encephalitis from the disease. These numbers are worlds apart.

    3. On the death rate from measles. The rate of death from measles today will be much greater than the rate from 50 years ago. Measles, like most viral infections, is much more dangerous for the babies and children who are otherwise ill than for healthy children. 50 years ago everyone got measles, the high risk and low risk alike. But today the high-risk group, babies and ill children, are also the groups least likely to be vaccinated and therefore more likely to get measles. Because a greater percentage of measles cases are in high risk kids, the rate of death has increased.

    in reply to: Studies on vaccines you might have missed.👨‍🔬💉🚫 #1632585
    benignuman
    Participant

    Doomsday,

    Because you mentioned the “vaccine court” you ought to know that they keep public statistics of the claims they receive of alleged injuries due to vaccines and those claims that pay out on. Even if we assume that every claim is legitimate (almost certainly not the case as any litigator would tell you), the risk from vaccines is exceedingly small. For example:
    1) between 2006 and 2016 there were 94,815,650 doses of the MMR vaccine given out in the USA. There were only 233 claims (valid or invalid) for injuries based on that vaccine. Even assuming that every claim is real, the chances of having an injury from the MMR vaccine is 1 in 406,934. You are far more likely to be struck by lighting (1 in 12,000) or even have siamese twins (1 in 189,000) than to be injured by the MMR vaccine.

    2) The DTaP vaccine is a little more risky, with claimed injuries coming in at 1 in 376,112 doses. But Tdap is safer with claims of only 1 in 603,252 doses.

    3) The Meningitis vaccine is much safer, with claimed injuries coming in at 1 in 1,655,250 doses. You are far more likely to win the Powerball (if you play weekly) in your lifetime than your child to have claim from the Meningitis vaccine.

    All of these statistics are available on the Health Resources and Services Administration website. The upshot is that even under a conservative estimate, these are tiny numbers. Vaccines are extremely safe and far safer that not vaccinating at all.

    in reply to: Why Are Torah Observant Jews Overwhelmingly Republican/Conservative? #1632549
    benignuman
    Participant

    I think there are two reasons:
    1) Orthodox Jews are socially conservative because the Torah is socially conservative. Republican policies are more socially conservative than Democrat policies.

    2) Many Orthodox Jews get their news primarily from radio–because they don’t have TVs. And the media on the radio is extremely conservative.

    in reply to: My Inner Thoughts On Vaccine Politics #1632510
    benignuman
    Participant

    Get it clear,

    I understand your position and your feeling of being hurt by the animosity towards yourself and other anti-vaxxer parents. The reason there is animosity–and the reason this issue isn’t simply a question of personal freedom–is because other people’s children can be hospitalized or die due to your failure to vaccinate. Babies under 6 months old and immunocompromised children cannot get vaccinated and are at the most risk for dying from diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough, or chicken pox.

    It is fine to have your own hashkofos and to do what you believe–however misguided–is best for your children. But what is the justification for grossly increasing the risk to my children?

    in reply to: Orthodox Rabbi Takes Job at LGBT Synagogue – Discuss #1549967
    benignuman
    Participant

    Random3X,

    I disagree, Orthodox Rabbi is a title that implies that the bearer of that title acts in the capacity of an Orthodox Rabbi. If someone is a Rabbi of a Conservative synagogue, he is a Conservative Rabbi, even if he is a complete maiman and a shomer Torah u’mitzvos.

    I also disagree with your definition of a chotei l’hachis. I don’t think it requires an acknowledgment that there is a Creator. If someone is an atheist and wants to show his rebellion against the Torah and Yiddishkeit, so he eats pork on Yom Kippur, that is a chotei l’hachis. The point is that he is doing the aveira as act of rebellion and not out of tayvah or ignorance.

    in reply to: Orthodox Rabbi Takes Job at LGBT Synagogue – Discuss #1549454
    benignuman
    Participant

    Takes 2,

    It depends on the situation. Those aren’t different denominations (i.e. Chasidus does not view Litvishness as apikorsus) and nowadays few congregations are specifically one over the other. However, if a chasidish Rav takes a shteller in KAJ or in Brisk, then he is not a Chasidish Rav anymore, he is a Yekkie or Litvish Rav who happens to personally be Chasidish.

    in reply to: Orthodox Rabbi Takes Job at LGBT Synagogue – Discuss #1549389
    benignuman
    Participant

    You can have a Rabbi in a non-Orthodox synagogue who is personally Orthodox. But, by definition, anyone who is a Rabbi in a non-Orthodox synagogue is not an Orthodox Rabbi.

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