Forum Replies Created
“So, you’d be fine marrying a Reform Jew, I assume? They are all Jews, no?”
At best, that’s a straw man argument. At worst, you are equating all Torah-observant Jews who are different from yourself with Reform Jews.
The point Jewish1 was making was that the differences between Jews of all these varying streams are actually much less important than the similarities. Therefore, the general question, “Would you marry X type of Jew?” is much less important than the specific question, “Would you marry this particular Jew?”
Of course, in the case of a Torah-observant Jew marring a Reform Jew, the similarities are, unfortunately, decidedly less important than the differences.
To be sure, this in no way undermines the love, care, and concern we ought to have for our irreligious brethren; it simply renders us incompatible with them for building a home together.
I’m so confused. Are we now making the argument that the increasing commonality of divorce is a good thing?
I must attach myself to those who rejected the outright libel of the Modern Orthodox community. The premise that people marry in the same way they try a new flavor of soda is not only absurd, it would be rightly perceived by members of that community as hurtful and condescending, to say the least.
Most boys, being human, do prefer to marry someone they find attractive. It has been this way since the beginning of time. The Gemara states clearly that a man is required to see the woman before marrying her to avoid problems stemming from a lack of attraction.
It is true that our society has become obscenely obsessed with materialism and pleasure, and this certainly expresses itself in Shiduchim. Nevertheless, most Bochurim seek and receive guidance from levelheaded, objective, experienced Rebbeim, and are able to make appropriate decisions about whether or not to marry a specific girl, considering her physical appearance as well as a host of other factors.
It is easy to assert that others are practicing “fake religiosity,” but this is no more than slander. The fact that many people purchase homes, cars, and many other things which are unnecessarily ostentatious is not, in today’s world, irreconcilable with sincerity in Limud HaTorah, Avodas Hashem, or Gemilus Chasadim.
It’s worthwhile to make the effort to see the positive side of people; it makes your own world a much brighter place.
“Rather than “playing nice” how about being nice?”
One of the best comments I ever read on the CR.
Joseph, excellent example of the dramatization that Shopping613 was talking about.
It’s easier to believe that there were “a bi-yon” people at Trump’s inauguration than to think of him and a Lamed-Vuvnik in the same sentence.
The reason people do this is that we are not careful enough about צניעות.December 27, 2018 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm in reply to: Corporal punishment must remain an option for teachers #1653116
“However i am mature enough to understand that this is a result of growing up in a very sensitive culture that doesn’t reflect the Torah’s view on these issues.”
Was this meant as a thinly veiled insult? If so, it is self-contradictory. If not, it is very poor writing.
Either way, it is illustrative of the attitude that you know better than everyone else in the room, including many Gedolim. Rav Wolbe and all the others did not bemoan our unwillingness to practice this Halacha properly.
You may well “be aware of the Maharal’s understanding…,” but it does not seem to me that you understood it well. There is a profound difference between a value statement and a deterrent (or, what you would call a “scare tactic”).
It would hardly be the effective scare tactic which can be circumvented by simply ignoring the Hasraah (instead of responding with a positive affirmation, or קבלת התראה), and which Beis Din is invested in avoiding, to the point of deliberately tripping up the witnesses.
Rav Hirsch goes to great lengths to show that, in all but three cases, the punishments which the Torah prescribes are NOT intended as deterrents, but as statements of values. [The exceptional cases of זקן ממרא, בן סורר ומורה, and מסית ומדיח requiring deterrent punishment precisely because the offense is more dangerous than is superficially apparent].
As a “value”, I think it is quite obvious that the Torah approves of corporal punishment by both parents and Rebbeim. However, this approval is not in a vacuum. The Torah presumes a certain contextual relationship within which such punishment would be meted out. Gedolim of recent decades as well as our contemporary leaders have made it clear (and, honestly, anyone who works with kids for a few days should know this on their own) that we are not able to establish such resonant relationships with our students in today’s society, and that therefore corporal punishment is impracticable.December 27, 2018 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm in reply to: Corporal punishment must remain an option for teachers #1652971
“Every time someone transgressed a lo saaseh with hasraah”? How often does this happen? I doubt that it occurred more than a handful of times since the Mekosheish Eitzim.
The Rambam, Maharal, and many other of the greatest Jewish thinkers have written that the Torah’s intention was not the practical implementation of these punishments, but the value system their prescription teaches. In truth, this is very nearly explicit in the Mishna which derides the Beis Din Katlonis.
The broader implication of your post is that you believe you have a better understand the values of the Torah than Gedolim such as Rav Wolbe and Rav Shteinman [who was quite emphatic in his rejection of corporal punishment], along with רוב מנין ובנין of contemporary Mechanchim and Poskim.
Sure, you’re entitled to an opinion…December 27, 2018 10:25 am at 10:25 am in reply to: Corporal punishment must remain an option for teachers #1652813
This is stupid.
I can’t speak for all teachers, but I and all the educators I know do not want to hit children. But that is like a police officer saying he doesn’t want to shoot black people. What would you think of a doctor who is forced to declare that he does not want to commit malpractice?
I regard the premise of this thread as an assault on teachers, and its proponents as the assailants. It maligns us, and compromises our ability to do our job. Ultimately, it hurts our students.
What the OP may have intended as a ‘harmless’ troll is in fact הוצאת שם רע which borders on יורד עמו לחייו and has real victims – both teachers and students.
DY, unfortunately, it’s too late for your kids. They are doomed to a lifetime of health and well-being. The best you can do is educate them so that they do not pass on the mistakes you made.
I don’t use it on יום כיפור, and Kal Vachomer not on שבת.September 17, 2018 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm in reply to: Cracking knuckles during davening – The New Mishugas!! #1592576
If someone near you cracking their knuckles during davening even registers as something that bothers you, I think you should thank Hashem for such a wonderful life.September 6, 2018 9:08 am at 9:08 am in reply to: Why are Children from divorced homes treated as second class citizens? #1588154
Excellent point about the distortion of what “many posters” have written.
Otherwise, I think we have reached the point where Yitzchok/Joseph does not deserve the dignity of a response on this topic. His positions are so demonstrably absurd that the only result of responding to them would be to lend them credence.September 5, 2018 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm in reply to: Why are Children from divorced homes treated as second class citizens? #1587792
Did you read my posts in this thread? I think I made it abundantly clear that children of divorced parents (among whose number I count myself) should NEVER suffer because of their domestic situation.
I also did not argue that divorce must be avoided at all costs; I simply pointed out that it is true that too many people divorce for insufficient reasons, and that Rabbanim are trying to stem the tide of this problem.
I certainly am happy that my parents did not stay together, and I know a number of cases where divorce was the best possible outcome. I noted the point about the מזבח in response to the citation of שיטת בית הלל. My point was simply that the Halachic possibility of divorce does not necessarily equal a Halachic recommendation of divorce.
My primary point in this conversation is this: Sometimes, preserving the marriage is child abuse. Sometimes, divorce is child abuse. At all times, treating children of divorce as second class is child abuse.September 5, 2018 10:05 am at 10:05 am in reply to: Why are Children from divorced homes treated as second class citizens? #1587384
Yet, everybody agrees that מזבח מוריד עליו דמעות.
The issue that people who are apparently adults get divorced for petty reasons is due to the influence of our surroundings, and it is something that Rabbanim should and are trying to deal with.
That said, it is shocking to me that someone would suggest treating children as second class as a divorce deterrent. Why not just take the kids out behind the shed and put them out of their misery?
The issues raised by CTL are real, although the degree varies from place to place and from school to school (even from teacher to teacher). I can say that the vast majority of educators with whom I am acquainted endeavor to overcome the natural biases endemic to the human condition to the greatest extent possible. Most of us actually overcompensate, as we try to give each student according to their need.
One concrete thing I can say is that the one Yasom and the few children of divorced or separated parents who have been in my class over the years were treated as the most equal among their peers by their *** Grade Rebbe.September 4, 2018 10:08 am at 10:08 am in reply to: Why are Children from divorced homes treated as second class citizens? #1586125
I certainly can empathize with your struggle. I know how hard it was for my mother to raise us, before, during and after the divorce. I can understand how overwhelming your situation can seem.
Of course, no two cases are the same, and I do not presume to speak to your particular experience. I do feel a responsibility, however, both as the product of a divorced home, and as a Rebbe with many contacts in numerous schools, to protest the blanket allegation that “children from divorced homes are treated as second class citizens.” My experience has been the opposite. School administrations and Rebbeim/Teachers go out of their way to accommodate the specific needs of every student, especially those with challenging domestic environments.
Unfortunately, it is often the case that the divorced parents’ enmity causes them to sabotage their children’s experience in school in many ways. Perhaps this is the real cause of your troubles.
Avi K, that’s a red herring.
The key word is “average”.
I don’t think there can be any question which of those professions has a higher average net income, after taxes and all job-related expenses, outliers notwithstanding.
The elephant in the room in this conversation is the fact that in general, people whose Hishtadlus lies in certain fields generally make more money.
A doctor, for example, doesn’t necessarily work harder or more hours than a trucker, but the average income for doctors is significantly higher than it is for truckers.
The question, then, is this:
How do we reconcile this reality with the well known positions of the Torah referred to above?
This is a very complex issue, and much time, thought and research must be devoted to it in order to have, if not a comprehensive explanation, at least a coherent approach.
Two points that I think are very important to contemplate are:
1. Not all people are equally governed by Hashgacha Pratis. To some degree, all people are governed by Teva. [That is to say, the Ratzon Hashem is that the general system He created, to which we refer as Teva, should govern those who do not merit or who, by dint of their own shortcomings, would not benefit from His direct governance.] This naturally results in generalities such as doctors earning more money.
2. Depending on the specific nature of a person’s mission in this world, the way he exercises his Bechira could entail Hashem granting him more money. For example, person whose purpose in life is to be Marbitz Torah, but who chooses to become a lawyer, may be very successful so that he is able to fulfill his purpose by supporting institutions which are Marbitz Torah (Rav Dessler’s example, not mine).
If you prefer sippy cups to straws, you are presumably happy that Starbucks is discontinuing the use of straws.
I, for one, prefer hot coffee anyway.June 29, 2018 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm in reply to: Orthodox Rabbi Takes Job at LGBT Synagogue – Discuss #1549470
It is true that “these people” have a terrible Nisayon. It is true that they require sensitive guidance. It is true that the individual should not be chased away from our community, provided that he has committed to maintaining the standards of Torah. It is true that everybody has difficulty living up to the Torah’s demands, one way or another (more often, it’s actually one way and another). These truths were recognized and discussed by no less “Chareidi” a Rabbi than Rav Elya Svei, approximately twenty years ago.
It is not true that a group of people wishing to whitewash their inability to overcome a terrible test have license to usurp the institutions of the Torah in order to gut the Torah itself of any meaning. It is not true that an apparently observant man can assume the title of Rabbi in order to sanction the systematic disposal of Torah values.
The assertion that, “Since I – who am admittedly prone to doing Aveiros – received an Aliya in Shul last week, it is acceptable to support an anti-Shul whose mission statement is the emasculation of the Torah,” is an outrageous perversion of the Torah.
These distinctions are voiced most cogently by Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch ZT”L in his essay “Outrage in Hamburg” (Collected Writings volume IX).
The notion that it would be acceptable for purposes of Kiruv to take this position would be laughable if it wasn’t so appallingly contrary to the Halacha. Normative Halacha prohibits even inviting irreligious Jews to a Shabbos meal if their attendance would require Chillul Shabbos; how, then, can we condone taking this position, whose raison d’etre is לטהר את השרץ?June 29, 2018 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm in reply to: Orthodox Rabbi Takes Job at LGBT Synagogue – Discuss #1549422
It is wrong to be דן לכף זכות in this case. He has said and done things that are plainly אסור. Our fixation with דן לכף זכות has led to a situation where, like שאול המלך, we are מרחם במקום שצריך להתאכזר all too often, at the expense of כבוד שמים.
This is a repulsive call-to-arms against the Torah, and we should not allow ourselves to be lured into complacency by specious arguments. Of course, nobody is perfect. Even the most egregious Ba’alei Aveira should be encouraged to do Teshuva. This, however, is no mere individual sinner. It is a communal statement of ideology in conflict with the Torah, and must be condemned in the strongest terms.
ע’ משך חכמה על הפסוק לא אוכל עון ועצרה (כמדומני בהפטרת חזון) משכתב בענין זה
Rav Yosef’s Psak is not binding on me as an Ashkenazic Jew. I will follow the Psak of the Ashkenazi Gedolim referenced earlier, namely, that Ethiopians should undergo Geirus L’chumrah. The fact that if they are really Jewish they would therefore be Sefaradim would have no bearing on the Psak which I should follow.
Beis Shamai’s Psak that the child is not a Mamzer would have no relevance for members of Beis Hillel, despite the fact that the child’s family were members of Beis Shamai.
What’s with all the vitriol in the CR recently? I thought this was a place for thoughtful, dispassionate debate, not violent rhetoric.
[By the way, Yitzchokm, I would ask that you end the moratorium and respond to my posts on the “smoking hurts others” thread, which bring up an angle to that issue not previously touched upon in that discussion, as far as I saw.]
Amudim is a very highly regarded organization, which is strongly endorsed by many leading Rabbanim. They have a lot of experience dealing with terrible things that have actually occurred. It is possible that the policies they are advocating are slightly over-vigilant, but I don’t think they are extravagantly so, and we are discussing a potential catastrophe, so I think it makes sense to be a little bit extra cautious.
Quoting the Gemara which says that the Yetzer Hara for Arayos doesn’t apply to close relatives certainly doesn’t change the facts for those people who were actually abused. The reality is that in current times, the Yetzer Hara for Arayos is not necessarily limited in the ways described by Chazal, and this does not refer exclusively to relatives. We can stick our heads in the sand, but that’s the situation.
Now I see that YitzchokM said that he is done with the topic. I sincerely hope this is just rhetoric, since we are supposedly having a rational, dispassionate debate, and, as shown in my previous post, he is absolutely wrong to assume that the question of whether it is permitted to smoke in public depends solely on the issue of whether it is permitted to smoke at all.
In any case, I’m not sure I agree that “you can’t be a Rodef if it’s Halachicly okay.” After all, the Gemara says clearly that Pinchas was a Rodef, and Zimri would have been within his rights to kill Pinchas, whose actions were most certainly Halachicly okay. A fetus in utero can also be considered a Rodef, despite not having done anything that is not Halachicly okay.
YitzchokM, Although I oppose your position on this topic, I agree that in order for a discussion to be intelligent it must be dispassionate.
It is true that Rav Moshe stopped just short of outright prohibiting smoking, however…
This conversation is incomplete without mention of Rav Moshe’s Psak [the same Rav Moshe – this Teshuva is in Choshen Mishpat 2:18] that even if smoking is permitted, the fact that it is damaging, or even bothersome, or simply annoying, to others can not be discounted. He therefore rules that you may not even smoke in your own home if the secondhand smoke will damage, or bother, or even simply annoy, your neighbor.
There is such a product, marketed by and for people who have no knowledge of the Halacha. Such ציצית are absolutely פסול because of the rule of תעשה ולא מן העשוי. Suppose you have a garment has three corners, and you attach ציצית to them, and then modify the garment so that it has a fourth corner. שלחן ערוך says clearly that you will need to untie the three ציצית which you had attached prior to the garment having had four corners, and put them on again (משנה ברורה points out that this means they must be completely untied).
MDG, I think you’re referring to a case where the original marriage was without קידושין. If the original marriage was with קידושין, however, she would be אסורה עולמית to the original husband once she was נבעלת לרצון [or even באונס if the first husband was a כהן] whether or not the second union was considered a Halachic marriage.
I wonder if this would be considered מסייע, since they have plenty of opportunity to pursue their chosen course even without CTL’s help.
Rav Hirsch explains it to mean that the foregoing thought should be held constantly in one’s mind. (Commentary to Tehilim 3, if I’m not mistaken).April 19, 2018 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm in reply to: Jewish Jobs – Shouldnt Say Female Only Very Many Times #1508944
“It is HARD ENOUGH for Frum people to get a job when others may very likely NOT WANT people that need to leave early Every Friday and Erev Yom Tov”
This is certainly discriminatory (on the basis of religion), and if it can be proven that an applicant was rejected for that reason, that employer will have a big problem on his (or her) hands.
I would appreciate if one of the Lawyers in Residence here in the CR would inform us laypeople whether the ads to which the OP refers are illegal. Is there anything wrong with wanting to hire, say, only females to preserve the religious acceptability of a workplace environment?
“To reiterate, I’m 100% aware that this is a Torah-ordained doctrine. The question is WHY it is so.”
Of course, we can not truly know the mind of Hashem. Nevertheless, we are free to theorize about the reasons for such things.
In my last post, I mentioned three of the theories advanced in ספרים.
Various theories have been advanced as to why Hashem would choose to conduct the world in such a manner.
For one, otherwise there would be virtually no such thing as moral freedom (what we call Koach Habechira) – we would be coerced to follow Ratzon Hashem by the clarity of our perception that He is the One Who runs the world (along the lines of what Rav Moshe Feinstein said about the Koach Habechira of Malachim – ע’ דרש משה פרשת בראשית).
Additionally, a world which operates on a logical system of action-reaction (cause and effect) helps us to understand and internalize the concept of Midah K’neged Midah, so that we can use our experiences as guides in our Avodas Hashem.
What’s more, as the Pasuk says, מלך במשפט יעמיד ארץ, the king establishes his government on the basis of justice (in somewhat more modern parlance, Law and Order). The fact that the world operates in a perfectly consistent way that is regulated by Laws which can not be violated is an expression of Hashem’s Majesty.
There is plenty more out there, but these are the three which resonate most strongly for me.
Yes, DY, I suppose that’s true.
Although perhaps the Limud to follow Chazaka is slightly more explicit.
√2, I apologize if you were offended. I assumed that you chose that screen name precisely because it is an irrational number. I was just saying that I disagree with the question. Whatever the value of √2 is (and it is obviously in the neighborhood of 1.414), it is an irrational number (like pi, there is no pattern to its decimal sequence).
The joke portrays a rabbinic leader as having infantile selfishness and vindictiveness. It also implies ever so strongly that non-Jewish life has no value. I was taught that such “jokes” are anathema to the Torah, even when said clearly in jest.
With all due respect to Avrah, I and others also answered the question, albeit not in so verbose a manner. If you prefer, here is a somewhat more elaborated expression of my response:
Suppose there were a Pasuk which said, “Hashem said to Moshe, saying: Even as I create all that exists, ex nihilo, at every moment, I generally conduct the world in such a way as to give the impression that there is a continuous existence. I choose to have the world function in a systematic, predictable way, except for such times as when I will conduct extraordinary miracles. You are therefore to conduct yourselves as though the existence of Creation were continuous, despite your realization that it is not.'”
Would you then still have a question?
But there is such a Pasuk – it is the one where the Torah instructs us to follow Chazaka.
I can’t help but point out that the square root of 2 is irrational.
The Torah itself instructs us to rely on Chazaka.
The fact that Hashem constantly recreates all that exists in no way conflicts with the fact that in His wisdom, He created the world to function in a systematic way.
Ubiquitin, I’ve never heard that “joke” before. I find it to be profoundly disturbing on many levels.
In my opinion, it includes the overwhelming majority of people who voted in the last Presidential election.
Here we go again…
I submit to you that there is not a person alive today whose taste in music is not influenced by “Goyish music.” The idea that certain songs are inherently “Yiddishe nigunim” while others are “Tamei” is a myth. With the reputed exception of the Nigun used for Birchas Kohanim, all of our music for hundreds of years has been influenced by the people around us, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly, but always to a great degree.
I certainly understand that a person may have his own taste in music, and consider certain tunes to be nothing more than noise. However, the fact that you feel this way doesn’t make it so. For people who like and enjoy it, (and, yes, find that it inspires them to Simcha and feelings of spirituality,) the tune of Meilech Kohn’s V’uhavtu is no less “Yiddish” than Ka Echsof.
1. The Vilna Gaon famously states that Chazal always had multiple reasons for a Minhag, some of which they may have had some reason for concealing from us, and that therefore we may not unilaterally determine that a Minhag is no longer applicable. Obviously, this would only apply to Minhagim that are certified by Chazal. [As I have had to point out to skeptics many times, this is not at all far-fetched; both as a parent and as an educator I do this all the time.]
2. In the specific case of Yom Tov Sheini, Rav Hirsch explains at length that this Minhag preserves for us the true character of our Yamim Tovim, which would be lost if we were to observe only one day of Yom Tov. Check his commentary to Parashas HaChodesh [Shemos 12].
3. We should not be so arrogant as to assume that we fully understand the basis for a Minhag without extensive research, much less should we assume the authority to revoke a Minhag as obsolete. There are many stories of Rabonim who declared certain Minhagim to be Minhag Shtus, only to learn the hard way why they were wrong, corroborating this idea. [One excellent example, which I think has already been mentioned in the CR, involves the Rema and the Minhag in Cracow to say Mazal Tov after leil tevila.]
My personal favorite was when a potential mother in law asked me [about a good friend and former chavrusa and roommate], “How does he learn? Is he like Reb Boruch Ber, or more Reb Shimon’dik?”
So many possibilities…
באבוד רשעים רינהMarch 13, 2018 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm in reply to: Should Donald Trump be Crowned King of the United States? #1488236
CTL, I don’t trust him either. As I’ve said, I do not consider him fit to govern.
I also speculate that foreign governments/officials are trying to curry favor with the current President in that way.
I also think that this should not be legal, and that it is not ethical.
To be sure, I think it’s obvious that it is not consistent with the spirit of the Emolument Clause; I do not see, however, that it is a violation of the letter of the law.
The Clause does not prohibit any and all profitable relationships with any King, Prince, or Foreign State. It only disallows the accepting of any present, emolument, office or title. It does not seem technically to prohibit any other sort of business dealings, such as the sale of commodities or foreign governments holding conferences in hotels owned by the President, etc.
Please explain why this is not correct.March 13, 2018 11:31 am at 11:31 am in reply to: Should Donald Trump be Crowned King of the United States? #1488013
CTL, I’m not a lawyer or an expert in constitutional law. Please explain for the layman:
Emoluments is defined by Marriam-Webster as, “the returns arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perquisites.”
Perquisites is defined (also by Marriam-Webster) as, “a privilege, gain, or profit incidental to regular salary or wages; especially : one expected or promised.”
Is there any reason to think that the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution would preclude a President (or anybody holding any office of profit or trust under the United States) from profiting from a business relationship that does not have the character of employment?
Whether this should be permitted or ethical is irrelevant. The question here is whether the clause mentioned applies.March 13, 2018 8:55 am at 8:55 am in reply to: Should Donald Trump be Crowned King of the United States? #1487889
CTL, I am no fan of “the donald;” I think he is completely unfit to govern. Nevertheless, I don’t understand why you think he has violated the emoluments clause. What specifically did he do in violation of that clause?
My comment to Rabbi Hoffman’s excellent article about vaccinations was not allowed, I think unfairly.
This is the wrong complaint department.
I always thought Triangle was funny in a dark humor sort of way (they make fire extinguishers…).
I have no interest in entering the debate on guns, the second amendment, et al.
I was just wondering:
Why is it legal for a store unilaterally to impose age restrictions on purchases of certain items? Isn’t this discrimination on the basis of age?
Thanks, I stand corrected.
I searched with the search tool at the top of the page; I didn’t realize that YWN and CR have separate search tools.
Also, I couldn’t find a single thread or comment on YWN or in the CR or elsewhere that people expressed taking offense at any of the Lose4Autism ads over the years.
I’m not saying that nobody was offended (which I can’t possibly know; in any case, I would be surprised if NOBODY was offended), just that I couldn’t find a single comment about it.
(note from 79; if you search “lose4autism” in coffeeroom you’ll find this https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/attn-lab#post-1136883 “
This is getting to be absurd. I didn’t say that because I’m not offended it isn’t offensive. I only mentioned that I fit the demographic of the potentially offended. You certainly are entitled to an opinion no less than I am. I was simply stating my opinion, which is that I don’t consider it offensive.
I certainly don’t think it was intended to offend anyone, and I also think that it is within the parameters of benign humor. Is it possible for someone to see it in such a way as to find it offensive? Sure. Does that mean they should not have published it? I don’t think so, but that’s just my opinion.
I think that there are many people who are hypersensitive and take offense at the drop of a hat. I also think that there are many people who feign being offended because of the power it gives them to control how others speak, and I find this very offensive.
Obviously not. That’s a perfect straw man argument. The point I was making is that it is not practical, nor even required, to concern yourself with every possible way that a statement can be misconstrued so as to be insulting to someone or other. The way people feel always matters; this does not give free rein to the Serial Offended Class to silence all forms of expression. I, for one, would feel constrained if I had to submit everything I say to the PC Police.
I think it was quite clear that the Eat4Oorah video was meant as a promotional tactic and nothing else, and [despite being rather ready to lose weight myself] I don’t consider it offensive in any way. Certainly, it was much less so than the LoseForAutism video of which it was a spoof, and I don’t remember the protests over that one. This leads me to the conclusion that the facade of being offended here is just a pretense to put down a successful organization.
Of course, I agree that it is important not to say or do anything, or even use language, which could reasonably be expected to offend. One good example of this (which has already been litigated extensively here in the CR) is your use of the word “retarded”.
Haters gonna hate.
It’s not worth the time to go through all the [frivolous] complaints against Oorah. The only real complaint is that people are jealous of their success, and so clothe their own inadequacies in the טלית שכולה תכלת of “Chillul Hashem.”
My personal connection with Oorah (I have never been paid by them for anything, but I have volunteered for them on occasion) has allowed me to gain some intimate knowledge of how they work. I believe that any objective observer would be satisfied that they are honest, fiscally responsible, and stay true to the guidance of their Rabbinical leadership. What more can you ask of an organization?
I have long said that the Gemara which says כולם באבק לשון הרע is to be understood at face value – no matter what you say, somebody, somewhere, is insulted.