Forum Replies Created
From opening post:
“I am going through the conversion process and would like a more intense learning for maybe 3 or 6 months preferably in Eretz Yisroel. I have applied to the Ohr’S, however I have little money and would like more options if I am not accepted on a scholarship.”
“I will compile for you a list of situations when one can ignore mitzvos in the spirit of “eis laasos lashem, hefeiru torosecho”.”
I was taught not to violate one mitzvah in order to perform another mitzvah and the only exceptions were in cases of pikuach nefesh. I was also taught that to pursue kiruv by relaxing the halacha was not true kiruv because by relaxing the halacha in order to supposedly attract wayward Jews, you are not leading them to Torah but away from Torah.
A Jew must be recognizable for Kiddush Hashem to occur, it is the recognition linked with the action which creates the KH. Yes, it is posssible wearing a kippa could also do this, but not as obviously as black suit and hat. Why quibble?
I am saddened to read that you think a Jew dressed in a black suit and hat “in the Bronx Zoo when its 90 degrees out looks ridiculous”.
” If you saw a yeshiva bachur dressed in uniform but doing something wrong, would you say its the uniform or their actions that are wrong?”
I think the point of the article was that it was a Kiddush Hashem because of how they were dressed they were easily recognizable as Jews. If they were dressed like everyone else, unrecognized as Jews, then they would be perceived as decent individuals, not too shabby, but not a Kiddush Hashem.
I have always felt that the idea behind wearing black/white exclusively was to take your mind off your outside and focus it on more your inside (it is also a brand identifier, telling the world Who’s team you’re on).
Make it possible to change your password.
“oh and instant coffee and 2% milk I am running low – you will not find sugar in my wagon.”
You like your coffee the same as Joseph (I think).
Just a coincidence?
“My “agenda” was as Areivimzehlazeh correctly assumed, to begin a dialog on this issue. That of acclimating ourselves to our surroundings.”
In this week’s parsha, Yaakov Aveinu institutes the blessing that all future generations of Jews would use to bless their children: “May you be like Ephraim and Menashe”. Now, this raises the question: What was so special about Ephraim and Menashe, compared to not only Yaakov’s other grandchildren, but his sons as well, that they are used as the quintessential example that our children, and ourselves, should emulate?
It is because they spent their entire lives in exile, not nurtured in the home of Yaakov, but surrounded by the Egyptian culture of impurity and yet they managed to remain pure and dedicated to Yaakov’s way of life and beliefs.
This is our challenge as well, to remain as pure and holy as we can, by living lives dedicated to Torah and mitzvot, and not allowing ourselves to assimilate into the surrounding secular culture.
“no but i’m saying that i probably wouldn’t miss any of it. i wouldn’t care or know the difference. if anything i’d be better off than i am now – no pressure, no guilt.”
It is no accident that you are hanging out on this site, there is something inside you that is yearning for information, or in someway to connect stronger, with your Jewish identity. It is undeniable that you believe in God, otherwise, you would feel no guilt for anything you did that felt “wrong”. Guilt is given a bad rap because we are told by the secular world that guilt is a product of someone “being judgmental” of another person, and this “judgmentalism” is seen as invalid by the secular, Gentile, value system.
Jews have a different value system: the one taught us from the Torah, the written and oral law. There are some things that we should feel guilty about, e.g. not honoring our parents, treating anyone unkindly, being selfish – all these things can be hurtful and when we hurt someone we should feel guilty and reach to that person and apologize.
Like I said, you are visiting this site for reasons which may not be entirely clear to you, but what it tells me is that you subconsciously wish to become more active as Jew.
This place can be a good place to get information, but I would also suggest that wherever you live there is probably a Chabad house, and if you were to knock on that door, you would find a warm and welcoming environment to have your questions answered and to learn what it means to be Jew, and why being a Jew is the best thing in the world.
We recently read in Parshas Yayeishev how when Er and Onan attempted to frustrate procreation with Tamar, this behavior was evil in the eyes of Hashem.
Only a competent Rav, who personally knows the couple involved can render a halachic opinion on when it may be muter to take action in order to avoid pregnancy.
I regret all the labeling, e.g. Modern Orthodox, Yeshivish, Chasidish, Chareidi, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Dati Leumi …
To my way of thinking we are all Jews – Bnei Yisroel – all sharing one soul, and all connected and responsible for each other. However, some Jews are Torah observant and, sadly, some Jews are not.
It’s either kosher or not, there is no such thing as kosher-like (although I see this regularly on program announcements for what kind of food will be served).
But, I feel strongly that it is the obligation of every Jew to extend loving kindness to all Jews and by positive interaction, maybe, hopefully, bring those Jews who are currently distant from Torah (but ready to change), closer to complete Torah observance.
We really share so much more than what divides us.
“My husband believes in MO philosophy and now follows a MO rav. He was so glad to leave yeshivish society because of the attitude and hypocrisy.”
I am sincerely happy to hear that you and your husband have found a Rav who inspires you to deeper levels of Torah, Mitzvot and Chesed. But your message is marred by delivering it at the expense of other Jews who follow a different Rav or haskafa.
“R’ Moshe zt”l paskened that you don’t need ch9olov yisrael in the US. Would you consider R’ Moshe a maikel?”
He kept CY for himself, and within his response was the admonition that those who do hold with CY not cause Jews who do not feel in anyway inferior. Having said that, I could be wrong but I think the question he responded to was regarding where it was impossible to get CY milk. Nowadays one can get CY products with more ease, and it may be that this opinion has been stretched beyond its intended purpose.
I think it is very important that those who hold to a stringency not look down on those who are more lenient as long as the leniency is within the halacha.
Many things are permitted, although not obigations. This does not mean that Jews are better off to indulge in everything that is not prohibited.
“girls and boys only want to live a life of learning….what will happen to our society?”
We are taught that it will improve – Baruch Hashem.
I wouldn’t do it everyday, but when given an opportunity, and done privately, in a subtle and respectful (certainly not to chastise) manner – then, yes, it is actually a mitzva to not passively allow a fellow Jew to transgress the Torah, especially publicly such as desecrating Shabbat, (G-d forbid). The Rambam states that one must do this until his friend slaps him in the face, but under no circumstance is one to embarrass his friend in public by correcting or rebuking his behavior.
Judging a person’s neshoma is outside the parameters of Torah observance, but judging behavior is certainly possible.
Concerning the time spent watching TV, it has been explained to me that one of the main (if not the primary) differences between the chareidi and MO hashkafa is found in how one interprets Vayikra 26:3 (IM B’CHUKOTAI TEILEICHU V’ET MITVOTAI TISHM’RU V’AHSITEM OHTAM). Rashi brings that “toil in Torah” is an integral part of being observant. It is simply not enough to “strive to be 100% observant in Torah and Mitzvot” without dedicating a significant amount of time to learning Torah (or supporting those who do dedicate their lives to learning, if learning is beyond a person’s capability). Watching TV is time spent that otherwise could have been used to study; and we are taught that one will be held accountable for that choice.
I recently read that if the behavior is helping you go up in kedusha, it is worthwhile, if a behavior is not – then it is not worthwhile, and poses a danger to your soul.
Can someone define the Modern Orthodox hashkafa? I’ve always thought it was a lifestyle dedicated to keeping all the mitzvot while having a large involvement in the secular world, primarily for parnasa. But I guess also other things like going to opera, and outwardly wishing to not draw attention to their identity as Jewish, e.g. no beard/peyot, tzitzit in, etc.
The “non-judgmentalism” that is commonly expressed is a not a new value, although one that seems to have gained prominence within the last two decades. It is a idea that is not Torah based, but comes from a secular ideological trend that celebrates pluralism, tolerance and moral relativity. These ideas are actually pagan concepts, putting everyone’s gods on a equal footing.
To the extent that a frum Jew does not make judgments about his surroundings and put some distance between themselves and those things or people who represent evil – then they are endangering their souls.
It is very easy for people to understand this idea when the danger posed is to our bodies, e.g. no one would remain passive while witnessing someone pour a toxic liquid into a glass and start to drink it.
But, when the item is “merely” trief, well, I don’t want to judge …
Of course if this idea of non-judgmentalism continues to increase in popularity, then we will need a new blessing.
“shmita” should have been smicha
“This is why I said that “sadly” today, the people and Rabbonim instinctively dismiss the more lenient view. My view is that this goes againt the grain of the purpose of halocho and this view does NOT have the same validity for the klal.”
It is my view that to be mehudar with a mitzva is “good” for anyone, and “better” than doing the minimum to meet the treshold of observance. And it is interesting that the Chanukah mitzvah is one in which all Jews perform at the highest level, since lighting one is enough to fulfill the mitzva.
I would hope we all strive to fulfill all mitzvos with the same zeal as lighting the menorah.
I have a friend who received shmita from a Modern Orthodox yeshiva that elevates Ahavat Yisroel as its primary value and we used to clash over this idea. I no longer engage him over this issue since he is set in his haskafa and it is not productive any longer to debate it, but the point I tried to convince him of was that we are taught that ignoring a fellow Jew’s transgression is equated to the prohibition of standing idly by your brother’s blood, and taking on the sin to ourselves.
If the acceptance of another Jew’s incorrect behavior is so complete that a message is telegraphed to them that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing, I do not see this as an exercise of Ahavat Yisroel, but neglect for which we will be called to account.
Showing love for a fellow Jew (at least in my opinion) is trying to bring them closer to Torah – not making them feel comfortable with their growing distancing from it.
I find this one of the toughest aspects of interacting with fellow Jews, i.e. those with various levels of observance or minhagim. We are taught to distance ourselves from an “evil” neighbor or friend, this is part of the daily davening. But we are also taught to love all Jews, no matter their midos, etc. In fact the Alter Rebbe said that we have two mitzvot concerning Jews who transgress, 1) love them as Jews and 2) hate them for the evil they do. This confused me for a long time.
But, what I have come to believe is that it is better to extend loving kindness to those who are separating themselves from Torah and attempt to respectfully and subtly give them another way of seeing these mitzvot and the benefit of observance when openings allow. And I find it amazing how often something in the parsha shavua will naturally make this possible.
But nothing is possible if there is a solid wall of separation.
The trick is in balancing the separation/involvement so that there is enough involvement to hopefully have a positive impact but enough of a distance to avoid being distracted from your own path of observance.
“I don’t believe in a God who would distance Himself from such a man just for observing what I feel is common courtesy.”
Please do not take this the wrong way, but I cannot help but sense some confusion on your part about some aspects of being Torah observant. Hashem does not need our observance, stringencies, or good deeds – all mitzvot are there solely for our benefit entirely. In order for us to achieve closeness to Hashem, we must strive to be as pure as possible. Hashem is absolutely holy, and we can only aspire to some form of holiness as best we can by putting distance between ourselves and anything which is not holy in order to hope to establish some closeness to Hashem.
For many men this means to avoid interaction with women other than their immediate families and those women they must communicate with for work. Not because the women are not holy, but because the men find themselves having inappropriate thoughts. Yes it may seem like “all or nothing” but sometimes the best path to consistent observance is to make blanket exclusions in order to avoid what may really be the rare and passing failure to maintain a holy mind.
If you take this as rudeness, I feel you are making it too much about yourself and not about Torah, Hashem and kedusha. If you want to wish everyone you meet Gut Shabbos, go ahead, but if all your greetings are not returned, I respectfully suggest that you not focus on that and detract from the joy of that Shabbat, but go on your way, and keep a kind thought in your mind for the man you passed and know that his intention is certainly not to be rude to anyone, but to be as close to Hashem as he can.
lesschumras, it is sad to lose your father like this, but it is good that so much Yiddishkeit has resulted because of his influence.
PETA is irrelvant. There is plenty in the Shas and Responsa literature about treatment of animals – which is all we need or should consider.