Forum Replies Created
For every proposed solution there’s a reflexive rejection. Were the problem as truly intolerable as it sounds, change would take place. But, let’s stop ascribing nefarious intentions to schools or parents.
Both schools and parents agree that teachers need to be adequately compensated and the school operate in a safe building. Few, if any, yeshiva day schools or their staff (teachers) make big money after scholarships and other discounts are factored in. I don’t think there’s room in the budget for pensions, life insurance or – in some cases – even basic health-care insurance.
Both those who manage the school and those who foot the bills (sometimes the very same people) have to decide on what compromises they can make to achieve their goals.
In a town with more than one elementary school, economies of scale could be realized were they run as one institution (even with multiple buildings to accommodate a large student body) instead of as competitors. But, differing – and incompatible – hashkafos make this impractical.
Some parents could alleviate some of the school’s financial pressure by volunteering their expertise (accountants, lawyers, bookkeepers, groundskeepers, handymen, tutoring services, meal preparation, etc.) though obviously not everyone has the skills/time.
The wheel and the Coffee Room are two examples that come to mind.
DaasYachid: You wouldn’t go to a doctor who wouldn’t be able to heal himself or a plumber who couldn’t fix his own leaky pipe. The fact that the doctor is well and that
Quite right! But I think the analogy to the non-driver is weak in this detail. If the unmarried counselor is analogous to one who has never driven, then the first-time married is merely analogous to the first-time driver.
Licensed doctors, plumbers and drivers are (or are expected to be) trained – and independently tested – in addressing the challenges they are expected to face before being allowed to practice their profession/trade/skill.
What training/testing does the freshly smicha-ed pulpit rabbi candidate receive in order to qualify to give counsel in this area? Does being married and also a brilliant talmudic and halachic scholar suffice? Is there a formal apprenticeship-like training requirement?
I have a question about the quote of Rav Miller, zt”l from the article:
>I know a case of a woman who goes to a marriage counselor. So I asked who is it?
> It’s a she. Is she married? No. So what kind of marriage counselor is it? It’s like taking
> driving lessons from somebody who never drove a car.
I’m in no position spiritual, experiential or educational to argue; I’m just trying to understand.
This logic doesn’t apply universally. Patients needn’t seek treatment from only those physicians suffering the same condition nor are only plumbers whose faucets leak qualified to repair them.
Yes, can certainly see the need to avoid those who don’t adhere to daas Torah in spiritual matters like marriage. Perhaps one should seek out only those counselors/rabbanim who have themselves gone through divorce?
While this sort of question often pops up regarding Pesach, one could arguably ask similarly about many mitzvot.
Ready tied tzitzit is a convenience as are pre-checked vegetables, kosher slaughtered fowl/meat, having one’s own lulav/esrog, a short distance to walk to shul on Shabbos/Yom Tov, library of seforim for learning at home, etc.
I think the bottom line is deciding what effect greater effort or inconvenience would have on one’s experience. For some, when things are too easy they feel that something is lacking, while others may either not share that feeling or worry that those very conveniences mitigate against the not fulfilling the mitzvah properly.March 8, 2018 8:19 pm at 8:19 pm in reply to: Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you do #1485528
This may depend a lot one’s definition and application of the terms “liberal” and “conservative”.
Does “liberal” mean “tolerate” as in a society “tolerating” (as in permitting) all forms of behavior by others? That doesn’t sound like the foundation of a stable society.
Perhaps this is meant as advice to the individual with the intention of reducing confrontations with others. I think that might be worth considering, but even in that context such a philosophy cannot be absolute.
Conflict is the natural result of independent thinking and “always” subjugating one’s interests in favor of others ultimately leads to the oppression of those too eager to relinquish their rights by those who would gladly exploit them.January 29, 2018 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm in reply to: GMOs linked to 3rd generation sterility, yet OU says they are Kosher, why? #1459052
I’m surprised none of the responses that I’ve seen so far mentioned that there are and probably have always been a lot of kosher certified foods one could classify as unhealthy, though this post focuses on GMOs alone.
I mean foods and drinks with high sugar content or foods high in fat and salt are obvious targets.
I think the better question comes down to how paternalistic do we want or expect the supervisory agencies to be vs how much choice and control do we wish to retain for ourselves?
In the context of this debate, how should we understand the pasuk in Koheles (7:10) “Do not say, “How was it that the former days were better than these?” For not out of wisdom have you asked concerning this.”?
It sounds as though Koheles does not consider the earlier times necessarily “better” even factoring in yeridas hadoros.
On the other hand, perhaps “former days” refer to more recent times than prior generations? Could “better” focus on the gashmi and not the ruchni? Does his limiting his critique to “wisdom” allow that the observation may be correct, yet nonconstructive to worry about?January 17, 2018 1:11 pm at 1:11 pm in reply to: May a lawyer publicly state that his client is crazy? #1451541
I’m no attorney, but I think an attorney has a legal as well as an ethical obligation to protect a client who is legally incompetent either to stand trial to begin with, to allow such a client to make statements, pleas or motions that may affect the case or to be sentenced without due consideration of the client’s diminished capacity.
Of course, theoretically the client could dismiss the attorney from representing him/her before the court rules on the client’s competency.
The interesting thing about difficult “anything” is that often it has more to do with the person experiencing the difficulty rather than the object of that difficulty, be it one’s profession, schoolwork, a specific task or educating and guiding others.
Expectations in terms of achievement or the time and manner in which those achievements are realized play a major role in those experiences. Recognizing, as well, how one’s point of view along with one’s reactions to disappointment along the way can aid or hinder.
For example, forcing a child to choose a particular profession no matter how lucrative or safe may not be in the best interest of the child or one’s relationship with that child. Would the resistant or unsuccessful child be considered “difficult”?
If the child doesn’t fit the “mold” of one’s dreams, is that a failure in the child or of unrealistic expectations of the parent?January 5, 2018 2:28 am at 2:28 am in reply to: Sharing Your Armrest on the Plane… Amusing Solutions #1443102
I found LB’s idea of dropping something for the seatmate to retrieve amusing. It’s been some time since I last traveled by air (domestic flight, cattle class) and I don’t recall there being sufficient space between rows for anyone to retrieve anything other than stowed items beneath the seat ahead. Even then…
One memorable flight when I was on my to becoming a gadol hador (though not in the admirable meaning of the term) and I unintentionally – and embarrassingly – elbowed the rib cage of my seatmate. I tried folding my arms, but dozing off resulted in additional elbowings. My remarkably understanding seatmate’s somewhat less understanding aisle seat travel companion thoughtfully offered to punch my face in, but fortunately managed to distract himself with other things (tefilat haderech, indeed!).
From then on, air travel meant business class or bust (significant weight loss has also been suggested and is under frequent consideration).
I learned that the bracha on raw onions is shehakol and that only fried onions merit the bracha of borei pri ha’adama.
Did Rav Miller hold diifferently?
I did read that R’ Schneur Zalman of Liadi paskined borei pri ha’adama since raw onions are commonly eaten with bread even though they aren’t eaten by themselves like an apple.December 20, 2017 11:07 am at 11:07 am in reply to: A compliment (or, r”l, an insult) vs a mere statement of fact? #1430677
Joseph: The navi (Shmuel I, 9:2) lists Shaul HaMelech’s height among his enviable traits that merited him the malchus, though one could argue that the navi is merely being metaphorical using terms of appearance to connote praiseworthy middos. That’s not to say that both attributions didn’t apply. It just raises the question of why employ a metaphor at all?
Mammele: I think the source may be “Michtav Me’Eliyahu” by Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler who was, among other accomplishments, the mashgiach ruchani of the Ponevezh yeshiva in Israel.
He analyzes the powerful bond between parent (mother) and child and devises the theory that it results from the effort the mother devotes in caring for and nurturing the child. The more effort one invests on behalf of another, the greater the resulting feelings of love and compassion generated in the benefactor. The way I understand it, by investing one’s self in the success and well-being of another gives one a personal interest – or mission – in the the success of the beneficiary. It’s not limited to mother and child; it’s a fundamental Human trait that can be applied in any situation.
This novel and insightful notion runs contrary to conventional thinking that love is something that can be bought through favors and gifts (in other words, the notion that one can trigger reciprocal feelings of love in the other person. Rather, we can only generate such feelings in ourselves; we don’t control the feelings of others. The more conventional thinking is the mistake too people make in their desperate quest to be loved by the object of their desires.
To me, this explains many ideas, from HaShem’s love of mankind, peoples’ extraordinary, selfless, charitable efforts on behalf of complete strangers all the way even down to, le’havdil elef havdalos, the bond of people with their pets.
There’s passage in mishlei (9:17): “Mayim genuvim yimtaku” which simply translated means that even something freely (pun intended) available is perceived as more desirable when obtained illicitly (this was easier to relate to before the age of bottled water).
Food and other stains are typically easier to remove from white shirts than shirts of other colors where more care is needed in selecting the appropriate cleaning agent (ie, avoiding chlorine bleach).
It’s my personal impression that in our day many yeshiva-educated, though non-smicha’ed Yidden feel they have sufficient knowledge of day-to-day halacha to decide what to do or find the answer themselves in halacha seforim without calling their rav. That’s in contrast to the “olden days”, when the LOR more frequently fielded questions about cooking mishaps, reliability of hasgochos and even choshen mishpat shailos among other things.
However, when it comes to more complicated issues like taharat hamishpacha, educating/raising children and more unusual or severe kashrus and other shailos, I don’t see how anyone can function for long without one’s rav’s number on speed dial.
I don’t why operating such a business in a train station is any different than anyplace else. One still must run the numbers and compare lease costs per sq/ft, lease terms dictated calendar and hours of operation, utilities, inventory storage, state/township permits and licenses (more complicated and expensive if you prepare food on premises), insurance, security, etc. and compare all that to estimated sales revenue.
Like any business, long-term experience in the field is probably the most valuable, if elusive, asset one may need.
Yehudayon – Is the healing of a stiff neck is the equivalent of poresh min hatzibbur? 🙂
Sorry if this sounds overly simplistic regarding the question posed originally, but I think it’s simpler to answer by treating the issue of C”Y as one would food allergies. Hence, it’s incumbent on both the host and the guest to discuss the issue and come up with a plan for the visit that doesn’t overly impose on either the host nor the guest.
To some degree it’s less an issue of kashrus than of mẹnschlichkeit.November 13, 2017 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm in reply to: I don’t care but I do care but sorry because it’s my house and I need to live he #1402149
Consider applying some sound-absorption foam composites to shared walls. A product like “Quiet Barrier” or “Sonex” (check local building codes) might do the trick.
Thank you Editors 33 & 25. Yes, I was trying to “superscript” the power value.
Actually, the spacing before the ^2 was also supposed to increase, but this suffices.
I hope my HTML notation works for this…
Problem: Expand the expression (x + 2)²
( x + 2 ) ²
( x + 2 ) ²
( x + 2 ) ²
( x + 2 ) ²
Edited to hopefully make it look like what you wanted – 33
Edited again. I think it’s supposed to look like this. -25
Thanks! Now I get the joke. -33
I purchased a few pairs of “thick tzitis” tallis katan before yom tov and the tzitzis were *not* those typically found on a tallis gadol, but about 1/2 as thick (my casual estimate).
It could be that since the beged of a tallis katan is of thinner material than that of a tallis gadol, the stress of heavier tzitzis could lead to premature ripping of the eyelets.
One, of course, has the option of purchasing the beged and tzitis separately and tying one’s own tzitzis using a talis gadol set as an experiment. Tzitzis tying is actually not that difficult to do, but it does require time and patience, two things I find I have less of as I get older (sigh).
Joseph, I don’t know if there’s such a thing as “typical” when it comes to dues. I think there’s a strong correlation to the perceived financial well-being of the membership based on standard of living in the area (real-estate prices, etc.) as well the actual costs for the property, utilities, seforim, etc. incurred by the synagogue.
So, a synagogue held informally in someone’s living room on Shabbos/Yom Tov only will be different (less) than one that has to raise funds to rent or build a permanent space.
Membership dues in many shuls is voted on by the board of directors and sometimes there’s consideration for the person in financial need and a different rate for family versus individual membership, etc.
As for how to leave one’s former shul, I think some official (written?) notice is appropriate. The notice need not specify reasons for leaving and should be in civil language.
Consider that shul membership often includes paying membership dues which continues to accrue on the still-active accounts. Shuls often depend heavily on membership dues to fund annual expenses, so the sudden revelation months later that expected revenue will not be paid can be very painful and easily avoided.
Yes, there will probably be an uncomfortable follow-up call from a board member and/or the rav trying not to lose a long-term congregant. I just think it’s the right way to handle such change.September 25, 2017 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm in reply to: When you’re questioning, and want to understand more… #1369703
Naturally, the answer involves one’s relationship with the person, knowing how they reacted to similar questions in the past (perhaps posed by others) and also the venue. Sometimes, sensitive issues are best discussed privately one on one (face to face in the rabbi’s office, etc.) rather than in a public forum or by phone or email.September 25, 2017 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm in reply to: Who left this brown garbage can in front of my house? #1369708
My block is sometimes the target of strong winds and cascading streams of water during rain storms and many a time I’ve found garbage pails (and sometimes just the garbage) that flowed down from upstream on my property. In addition, the folks who collect sometimes seem to take the cans they’ve emptied for a stroll before releasing them.
In any event, I leave it by the curb and the owner most often retrieves it before the next collection.
Since the production of maple syrup requires cooking, any bees that produce it would be a fairly advanced species beyond that of normal honey bees. I’d be extremely cautious stealing their product without donning some mighty powerful protection.September 17, 2017 11:50 am at 11:50 am in reply to: Why is the frum world seeing more divorces while it’s dropping by the secular? #1365171
What exactly does “divorce rate” refer to? The term “rate” suggests a relationship to time (the the number of occurrences over a specific amount of time as in per year, per month, etc. So, an increase in the “rate” of divorce would mean there are more divorces over the same time period than in earlier surveys.
That’s not the same thing as there being more cases of divorce among certain segments of the population than others. It could even theoretically include a revelation that more divorces take place during one season of the year than in another, no?September 10, 2017 10:54 am at 10:54 am in reply to: “Marriage counseling hastens divorce far more often than it saves a marriage” #1359600
I don’t mean for this to sound preachy, but when we criticize divorce to the extent that we portray it as some foolish, impulsive act that solves little and causes more suffering than it alleviates, aren’t we forgetting that it’s actually a mitzvas asei in the Torah?
I’m not at all suggesting being cavalier about it and encouraging people to jump at the chance just to be mekayim a mitzvah, r”l. But, we ought not look at it as some modern-day corruption that resembles an aveira either.September 8, 2017 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm in reply to: “Marriage counseling hastens divorce far more often than it saves a marriage” #1359103
> “Have you considered the very real and strong possibility that, even if a marriage is in bad shape, a divorce
> will make things worse for all parties?”
I certainly do consider that possibility, though neither side of this debate is necessarily more “very real and strong” than the other. When (young?) children are included in “all parties”, things get even more complicated.
As others noted, it may come down to the frequency, degree and longevity of “bad shape” in a marriage. I think some of the dispute in this thread is in not analyzing/comparing like cases, but cases of radically different levels of conflict.September 8, 2017 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm in reply to: “Marriage counseling hastens divorce far more often than it saves a marriage” #1359003
Assuming that marriage therapy does indeed hasten divorce as claimed, what is the alternative? Some posters suggest that it’s specifically the court-mandated marriage therapy that is counter-productive, as opposed to voluntary therapy, but I haven’t seen supporting statistics.
Marriage, though practiced throughout history by every sociological, cultural, economic and geographic group, is actually an astonishingly complex relationship. How can one ever determine with certainty whether this or that combination of experience, preferences, beliefs, ideals, intentions and strength of one person will mesh favorably over time with those of the other?
It’s rather mind-boggling!
I have a theory that dust only accumulates on clean surfaces. There’s an accompanying postulate that dusting promotes the accumulation of dust.
I’ve often found that someone else has posted the very idea I had, so I figure I’ve contributed without wasting bandwidth. Then, there are the rare occasions where I suspect my post has been silently removed by the moderators, which also conserves bandwidth in addition to maintaining a level of discipline in the Coffee Room.August 13, 2017 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm in reply to: Should We View Satmar Growth and Anti Israel Indoctrination as Concern #1337925
The way I approach the issue raised by the original poster, the key question I have to answer for myself is what, if anything, do I propose to do about something I disagree with?
There are clearly many things beyond my capability as an individual to change. I cannot, for example, change another person’s deeply held convictions, though I can can certainly engage a willing person in discussion. The end result may very be that I’ll change my mind rather than that of the other person.
I certainly cannot expect to – nor would I attempt to – radically alter the beliefs of an entire community that is earnestly following the teachings of their rebbe, who was widely considered to be a talmud chacham and yiras shamayim even among other well-respected talmidei chachamim of his time who disagreed with him on the issues involving “Medinas Yisroel” .
The most I can do is listen to other points of view, lend support (votes, finances, alignment) with those figures who offer views I find compelling and not get overly worked up or fearful of the behavior of other groups unless they engage in violence or other unlawful activities.
Absent the urgency imposed by the kedusha of Eretz Yisroel and Yerushalayim, in particular, kavod ha meis includes allowing – within limits, of course – relatives and others living far away time to arrive and participate in the levaya.
Mazel tov and wishes for your family’s good health.
Good points, but crafting (Federal?) legislation to accomplish that is a real headache.
One challenge is distinguishing expensive from what you referred to as “outrageous”. That evaluation alone requires the time of experts which costs money. Which party pays for that, not to mention the cost of care/compensation resulting from the rendered decision?
Next, how are disputed decisions settled if not in court or through arbitration and at whose expense (socialized law, perhaps?)?
Costs not borne by either the practitioner or the patient (or the corresponding insurer) falls to the government (taxes), so we have now segued into the debate about socialized medicine.
As with most things, the devil is in the details.
In my case, I concluded that decaying liquid fabric softener residue was actually the cause of the musty odor of even freshly washed laundry.
After much reading up on the topic, I tried substituting white vinegar for fabric softener in the washing machine and I haven’t had a problem since. The vinegar washes out completely if not over done, so things don’t end up smelling like cucumber salad.
I still use fabric softener paper in the drier cycle, though.
The issur of lashon hara involves the listener as well as the tale bearer. Understanding its role in the episode of the meraglim is an opportunity to consider what it is about lashon hara that makes it so appealing and hopefully strengthen those traits that protect us from it.July 23, 2017 8:28 am at 8:28 am in reply to: How can I find a computer programming internship – (no pay needed) #1322820
It’s unlikely that a company will farm out work even for free to an inexperienced programmer. Salary is not the primary concern. The company has a task it needs to get done properly and on time and the risk of having to redo poorly done work or dealing with missed deadlines is just not worth it.
What you can do is write software for yourself and gain experience. Design and implement things you can use yourself like a checkbook balancing application, a game or device controller. Start small and build on that. A lot of free apps available for smart-phones and similar devices are designed, written and supported by novices for that very purpose.
You probably could have come up with this answer yourself, but going this route saves one the cost of a new frame. In the US, at least, there’s no separately itemized charge for installing new lenses in a frame provided by the customer.
The key is that the optician/optometrist will most likely need to send the old frame to the company that grinds the lenses to make certain they fit properly, so this option may not be available for frames currently in use.July 16, 2017 10:56 am at 10:56 am in reply to: Should Yeshiva world invite experts to interact with the audience on vital issues #1318181
An expert is merely one who can provide authoritative sources in support of my opinions.
I recall a Shavuos I decided to try something different and went to a hotel for yom tov. I didn’t know much about the place other than its high kashrus standards. It was a somewhat run down bungalow colony-like place etched into the side of a steep mountain in some out of the way village I had never heard of.
I was pleasantly surprised at the crowd at the minyanim and settled in for what I expected would be a very yeshivishe davening. Imagine my surprise when I found myself on a speeding Maariv locomotive the first night!
I was in for my biggest surprise by Megillas Ruth. Until then, my only Megillah experience had been listening to a baal koreh read out loud, so I patiently waited wondering about the delay. My wondering abruptly ended with the sudden outburst of Kaddish d’rabbanan and the realization that not only had everyone else read the Megillah to themselves, but had done so at a most astonishing speed!
Foods/drinks that are diuretic, meaning that they accelerate expulsion of water from the body. Common examples are those with high caffeine content, certain fruits and vegetables. The list is fairly extensive – and surprising, to me at least – so some research may be in order. I would post a link to one article I liked, but I think that would violate the Coffee Room rules and be removed.
“Then again, maybe I don’t know about boxers and they may jump rope like that? Or do they mostly only jump alone?”
LB: They jump solo.
It’s still popular in training for boxing and some other sports where being nimble of foot is an advantage.July 7, 2017 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm in reply to: Another glorious nonsensical back and forth between Health and Ubiquitin #1313070
ubiquitin: Regarding Torah support of Capitalism, true, the Torah does impose limits on Capitalism. Limitations, however, support my position. Those very examples you cite *only* occur under Capitalism.
For examkple, in a true Socialist society there can be no violation of ribbis since there are no private funds available for lending. There is also no need to protect one’s gvul from encroachment by another because there are no private or competing gvulim (enterprises).
In response to my statement “Taxes imposed by a king are paid by the individual” you noted that US taxes are paid by the individual. But, that’s precisely my point; the US economy is based on Capitalism not Socialism.
Finally, I suggested no controversy with regard to essential services (police, fire, sanitation, etc.). I was merely listing services we expect the government to provide (meaning, pay for via taxes). The debate here is what other services belong on that extensive – and expensive – list and to what extent.
Providing food, shelter and healthcare to the indigent are examples of charitable services. My point is that charity is a burden to be borne by each individual, not a government, unless the government is acting as an agent on behalf of its citizens. Otherwise, one could argue that taxpayers have automatically fulfilled their annual maaser obligation. I do not recall any halachic authority making such a claim.July 7, 2017 8:54 am at 8:54 am in reply to: Another glorious nonsensical back and forth between Health and Ubiquitin #1312813
Is tzadakah an obligation of the individual or the society? Assuming – as I do – that it’s the former, then no government involvement is needed, unless the topic is enforcement.
The Torah supports Capitalism, not Socialism. Taxes imposed by a king are paid by the individual, not the kingdom. Terumot, Maasrot, Lekket, Shichacha, Lending, etc. are taken from the individual’s harvest or possessions.
But, because the elected governments in our day enforce tax collections which result in astronomically large pools of money, people daydream of limitless funds from which to pay for every worthy cause. Yet, even astronomically large pools of funds are finite (unless, of course, one piles unbridled borrowing on top of the mix. Then, suddenly, the discussion moves from mere daydreaming into the delusional).
Sure, one can provide unlimited food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education, transportation, police, fire, sanitation, courts, jails, armies, mail, street lights, paved roads, etc. without regard to ability to pay, age and citizenship. But, someone (or a lot of someones) has to pay for it all.