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I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t frum for a while. I also come from a very yeshivish family – brothers in Brisk, Lakewood, etc.
I had teachers (I refuse to call them Rabbeim) who berated me and humiliated me publicly. My mother, who’s been in chinuch for over 25 years, spoke to one of them. He told her that they have different ideas when it comes to chinuch, and she won’t convince him that she’s right and he’s wrong. He’s a respected person at a major yeshiva, who’s been in the system for over 40 years.
I remember thinking that Rosh Hashana that when I davened, I specifically said to Hashem that I did not forgive him, and asked Hashem to punish him as he deserved. I realize now that wasn’t the right thing to do, but I still haven’t forgiven him, and it’s now many years later. He’s still teaching, and I wonder how many other boys he’s ruined.
I didn’t go off the derech right then. I switched yeshivas the next year, and did well for a few years. The yeshiva I switched to was a more modern-Orthodox yeshiva, and I loved it. However, the yeshiva changed as its community changed, and became more yeshivish. Then, I had another bad experience there with a Rebbe they had recently hired. I began having lots of questions, and nobody was able to provide me with any answers. I decided in the end that the people we were supposed to be emulating and looking up to were all hypocrites, and religion wasn’t for me.
It wasn’t until much later that I finally realized I didn’t have to emulate these people to be a good Jew. I could find the level where I was comfortable, and be a good Jew also. I became frum again, and slowly grew in my level of observance. I am still growing slowly today. However, I still never forgot what that “Rebbe” did to me. He probably doesn’t even realize what he did. If I told him, he’d probably refuse to accept any blame at all.
yoshi: So you’re saying that people in Lakewood cheat on their taxes by getting paid off the books and not paying what they should?
Yeah, seems like real frum people to me.
We can debate whether YWN has really upheld their standards. Have you seen the bashing of Modern Orthodox people and Rabbonim that tends to happen here? Did you see where many people bashed a Rosh Yeshiva at YU?
Maybe YWN’s standard weren’t good enough to begin with.
Actually, I thought a “Harry” was someone who was just generally clueless. Not about any specific thing, just someone who doesn’t get things.
I’ve also heard it used to refer to people who are over-the-top Yeshivish. I guess it replaced the term “greasy”.
random visitor, just like most of the people here saying that seminary is worth the cost, you are a girl who attended, not a parent who paid for it. If you all were actually paying the bill, you’d probably rethink your opinion.
saythatagain, I didn’t say that hair covering is a tradition. I said that reasoning as to why women cover their hair isn’t easily understood, and I think it’s brought down in kabbalah somewhere. Obviously, it’s not just based on attraction, or else unmarried women would also have to cover their hair.
halavai: when you say “all the poskim”, can you please name a few, and show where they said it? Was it in a letter? In a sefer? Please let me know.
When I was engaged, my wife took a class which covered why women cover their hair after marriage. After all, almost every rule of tznius applies before marriage as well, why is hair different? She was taught that after marriage, the hair of a woman has a certain power which it gains to attract men. It is kabbalistic in nature, and not easily understood, so I won’t try here, as I don’t fully understand it myself. However, it has nothing to do with how attractive the hair looks – otherwise it would be an issue before marriage also. Therefore, a wig which looks real but covers the hair probably accomplishes what it’s supposed to.
blue shirt, it’s not only the Teimanim. Most Sefardim who went East after leaving Spain follow the Shulchan Aruch. The Sefardim who went West (some call them Ladinos) follow the Rambam.
The only place I know of that has fundraisers is Neve Yerushalayim. As I wrote earlier, my wife went there. They don’t require girls to pay if they can’t afford it. They have what they call a “moral obligation”. Basically, you pay whatever you can when you attend. After you leave, as you go through life, you send them a check when you can. If you have extra maaser money, or just make a decent living and can afford to send a check every month, you can send it then. If the day doesn’t come, they won’t press you for it.
By the way, Neve is one of the few places I know of that actually gives girls a firm foundation in Judaism. I’ve met some of the teachers there, and have asked some questions. R’ Kelemen in particular was able to answer pretty much anything I ever asked him. I thank my wife for introducing me to him!
Many years ago, in a far away country, there was a well-known rabbi who was consulted on all sorts of matters relating to the Jewish people. His wise counsel was sought from people of all walks of life, and the community at large accepted his decisions, as they understood that his rulings and pronouncements were divinely inspired.
So when one time he met with some parents of his students, and a few mothers complained that their children were not making their beds, he assured them that he would deal with the matter. That week, in his public address to his students, he mentioned that the students should always make sure to make their beds in the morning.
When the person transcribing the speech wrote up his review of the talk, he made sure to emphasize the rabbi’s intention. He wrote, “The Rosh Yeshiva today ruled that one is m’chuyav to make his bed in the morning.” Word spread fast. The halacha had been established: One was obligated to make their bed.
Later that day, someone came to the Rosh Yeshiva and asked, “I don’t have time to make my bed before I go to davening. By the time I get back my mother is gone for the day so she doesn’t think I make my bed, and isn’t pleased. What should I do?” After hearing the answer that was given, the halacha was suitably amended to say that the bed should be made as soon as one gets up. “One is m’chuyav to make his bed in the morning, as soon as he gets up.”
The next day, he was approached by a bochur that wanted to know, “When you said ‘as soon as he gets up’, do you mean immediately – right when one steps out of the bed – or is one allowed some time first?
So they added to the text: “One is m’chuyav to make his bed in the morning, soon after he gets up.”
“How long soon after?” he was immediately asked. “How much time exactly?”
“10-15 minutes?”, he replied, figuring that’s a reasonable amount of time.
And so it was added: “One is m’chuyav to make his bed in the morning, within 10-15 minutes from when he gets up.” The bochurim found this to be a satisfactory resolution, but unsurprisingly, it resulted in some bochurim insisting that it should be made by 10 minutes, and others saying it was fine to wait even 15 minutes. After some time, they settled on an unofficial resolution by considering 10 minutes to be the first zman, and 15 minutes the second zman.
Things went along smoothly until one day a bochur came over and explained to him a problem he had run into. “My roommate doesn’t like the way I make my bed! He claims it’s not really made!”
“What do you mean?”, asked the Rosh Yeshiva. “Well, he claims that for a bed to be considered ‘made’ the pillow needs to be on top and the sides need to be even or tucked in, and I just lay out the cover on top, covering everything, however it comes out. What should I do?” The Rosh Yeshiva mulled this over for a while, and replied:
You’re allowed to make it however your family does it. What’s acceptable to your mother (or father) is acceptable here. Hakol k’minhago. An addition was added to the halacha: “One is m’chuyav to make his bed in the morning, within 10-15 minutes from when he gets up. The manner of making the bed should be done according to one’s established minhag.”
(Later that week when the bochurim went home for the weekend, many parents were somewhat confused when they were asked by their sons, “What is the minhag of our family of how to make our beds?”, but they figured it was all part of the tremendous spiritual growth they could see in their young bnei torah.)
One morning a few weeks later, as shacharis was beginning, the Rosh Yeshiva was notified about an argument that had broken out between 2 bochurim.
Approaching their room, he heard loud shouting through the closed door. As he entered, he found one of the bochurim vehemently yelling at the other.
Seeing him come in, the young man turned to him and exclaimed loudly,
“Rebbe! I’m so glad you’re here! I tried to get him to make his bed but he wouldn’t listen! He just ignored me, and now it’s 5 minutes after the zman, and look – his bed is still not made!”
Before the Rosh Yeshiva had a chance to respond, the other bochur quickly spoke up in his defense, “That’s not true. I only got out of bed 2 minutes ago! I still have 8 minutes until the zman!”
“Yes, he only got out of bed 2 minutes ago. But he woke up 20 minutes ago! That means he should have made his bed 10 minutes ago!”
It was clear that there needed to be some clarification: When the psak was issued that a bed must be made 10-15 minutes after getting up, did ‘after getting up’ mean after waking up (‘m’sha’as kumuso’) or did it mean after
getting out of bed (‘m’sha’as yitziaso’)? At this point a small crowd had gathered around the room and a vociferous discussion had broken out.
Everyone started buzzing, talking, sharing their thoughts of why it meant this interpretation and not the other one. Realizing what was happening,
the Rosh Yeshiva put an abrupt stop to it all by loudly demanding that everyone should immediately go to davening and they would deal with it later on.
By lunchtime that day the Rosh Yeshiva had still not addressed the burning issue and a fierce debate had already broken out in the halls of the yeshiva. Even the rabbeim had gotten involved. Some felt that the halacha had to mean from when a person got out of bed, because as they explained, “if it meant ‘from when he woke up’ then the first thing he would have to do upon awaking would be to look at his clock and remember the time. But this can’t be, because we all know that the first thing a person must do when he wakes up is say ‘modeh ani’. Therefore it must mean ‘from when he gets
out of bed’.
“In spite of this convincing logic others still held it was better to be machmir and go by from when a person wakes up and not to wait until he gets out of bed. They pointed out that all that was needed to avoid the above-mentioned conflict was to first say modeh ani and then subtract 1 seconds from whenever he first looks at the clock. “But not all clock have second hands on them,” countered the first opinion, “and besides, it is too easy to forget the exact time including the seconds.”
The machmirim had a ready response: “Firstly, someone who cares about the halacha properly can make sure to have a clock with seconds on it, and secondly, he should also have a paper and pen next to his clock so he can mark down the proper time, in order to avoid the chance of forgetting it.”
Seeing that positions had already been staked out in this dispute, the Rosh Yeshiva decided not to voice his own opinion and instead told everyone to go by whatever their rebbe held.
Unfortunately, this had the effect of causing a lot of machlokes in the school as some people didn’t agree with their rabbeim, and resented being forced out of their beds sooner than they preferred. The problems were soon settled when a young illuy came up with an ingenious solution. He pointed out that even though someone had woken up, if they had in mind that they were sleeping it was like they actually were, since ‘machshava k’ma’ase’.
Although his reasoning was roundly rejected by many others, it satisfied those lazier bochurim and they let the matter slide. No one was much surprised at their reaction, as these sorts of students had already demonstrated their laxity of the halacha when it was realized that they were deliberately getting dressed while still sitting in their bed, in order to give themselves more time until the zman of ‘when you get up’ would commence (according to the shita of m’sha’as yitziaso).
For a brief while the yeshiva. had some omplaints from bochurim who wanted to switch rooms because their roommates were not keeping what they felt was the right zman for making their beds. Already very disturbed by the problems that the previous issue had caused and not wanting to cause any more machlokes in the yeshiva, the Rosh Yeshiva wisely dealt with the problem by declaring that if anyone was concerned about another not making the zman, they were allowed to make the other persons bed for them, as long as the first one had da’as that the other would be yotzei for himself. He also said that the person making the bed didn’t have to specific da’as because obviously if he was making it he had da’as to do such a thing. Despite that, it wasn’t uncommon to hear people loudly declaring, “Have in mind to be yotzei so-and-so when making his bed!”
Some months after the initial psak was issued, an enterprising bochur started selling a unique clock that had a special alarm. The alarm would wake you up, and when you pushed the right button it would turn off and ring 9 minutes later to remind you that you had 1 minute left to make your bed.
He actually also made a second one that gave you 14 minutes instead of 9,but no one bought it since they felt it was better not to be meikel.
Another issue that the yeshiva had to resolve was that according to the opinions that one must make their beds from when they first woke up, what was to be done if someone fell asleep again shortly after waking up?
After much learned discussion it was decided that falling back asleep wasn’t a problem, and the zman only started after the real, final waking up. This was derived from the situation of if one woke up in the middle of the night:
Was he then obligated to make his bed shortly after? For a brief time, some people in the yeshiva. began to follow this custom. But when the Rosh Yeshiva ruled that it wasn’t necessary, they understood from that that the zman only began after the last, real waking up.
These events all occurred many, many years ago, and boruch hashem nowadays it isn’t as heated an issue as it once was. Everyone understands and accepts the principles of eilu v’eilu divrei Elokim chaim, minhag avoseinu b’yadeinu, ba’al nefesh yachmir, and shomer p’saim hashem. Each person has a tradition or chumra that he’s entitled to follow. In addition, there have been many wonderful books written on this subject, most recently Artscroll’s splendid translation of Hilchos Ish U’Mitoso, which sheds much light on this subject for the average layman (also available in a laminated, newly type-set, pocket edition that one can keep by their bed!).
However legend has it that if you go to this yeshiva and poke in on some of the rooms,
you’ll still occasionally find a bochur here and there that tries to be extra zahir in this inyan and – even on a cold winter night – will sleep on top of his carefully made blanket so that he never will – chas v’chalila!- find his bed unmade past the proper zman!
To receive a laminated, large print edition of the special tefila to say before making your bed, please send a fax to 1800-BE-ZAHIR with your proper mailing address and we will be glad to send you one free of charge. “
lkaufman, you can’t force her. She has to want it for herself. You have to accept that might not occur for a while. You can mention it to her, and see how she reacts to the idea. Explain that it’s a weekend in a hotel, no pressure at all, etc. You can even offer an incentive to her, as most hotels where they hold these events have a spa. Offer to pay for a spa treatment on motzei Shabbos if she attends lectures over Shabbos.
One other option you might want to consider is Neve in Israel. My wife went there, and it played a huge part in her becoming frum again. I know many friends of hers who also did very well there, including one girl who came in claiming she had no interest being frum, and was going to spend exactly one week there, no more. That girl ended up spending over a year there, and is now married to a guy who’s sitting in kollel. It might be worth looking into. They can probably also advise you on how to convince her to go there at all.August 25, 2008 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm in reply to: ?? ???? ????? ??????? ????? ???”? ??????? ??? ????? ???? #621011
According to many shitos, saying it quietly doesn’t help. That’s because many hold the halacha when it comes to brachos is that if you can’t hear someone make a bracha, but you know when the bracha was made, and you know exactly what bracha it was, you must answer amen to it. Therefore, when a chazzan says ga’al Yisrael quietly, you know when he said it, and which bracha it was, so you should answer anyway.
teenager, one thing I realized when I wasn’t frum. As I’ve written before, I didn’t get into the whole drugs thing, but I had friends who did. The so-called friends you make in the drug scene aren’t real friends. If you got into trouble, they’d run to help themselves, and let you take the fall. Yes, they make you feel good temporarily, just like the drugs they give you, but they really don’t care much.
As yoshi wrote, there are many people who really do care. You need to try and find some of those people. Try going on a Shabbaton from one of the kiruv programs like Aish Hatorah or Gateways. If you do that, you’ll start to see the beauty of being a frum Jew, and keeping Shabbos the way it’s meant to be kept, and meet people who practice Judaism the way it should be practiced.
Israeli seminaries are not just about learning, they’re out to make money. Not just a decent living – they want to make big bucks.
If you want proof, just think: when was the last time one of these seminaries had a fund-raising event?
I don’t see why it’s a chutzpa. Why is this such a “serious” issue? It’s something which can be debated halachically. Yet, when it comes to loshon hara and motzei shem ra on big Rabbonim (such as R’ Tendler), most “ehrliche” people here have no problem. That is something which isn’t even debatable. It seems to me that is a much more “serious” issue.
jent1150, you probably never heard of him. He happens to be a talmud of R’ Shneur Kotler zt”l, as well as a talmud of R’ Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l. He got semichah, although I’m not sure exactly which yeshiva he got it from, Torah VaDaas or BMG.
Anytime you do something with the right intentions it can be holy. Eating and sleeping can be holy. If you realize that you’re eating to give you strength to serve Hashem, and make a proper brachah on the food, your eating is holy.
Why is a pool hall a place where “bums” hang out, and pool a game that “bums” play? Pool is a game. That’s it. Plenty of people I know have a pool table in their basement. It’s no different from having a ping-pong table or air hockey or other such thing. Yes, people do hang out in pool halls. People also hang out in pizza shops. Is it now assur to go to a pizza shop? Pretty much anywhere you go, you can find unsavory types hanging out.
There is a large range in what can constitute liberal views. People like Joseph and ujm call people who disagree with them liberals. Have any of those people ever said they’re in favor of abortion? In favor of gay rights or gay marriage? I don’t think so. They said that you can be a frum Jew and still daven without a hat and jacket, and other things like that. There’s a big difference between that and saying abortion is ok.
Just for the record, I once heard a discussion about abortion between two relatives of mine, one of which is a Rav. He said that halachically, a fetus does not get a neshama until (I think) a month or two after conception. That can mean up to two months into the pregnancy (conception is not when they start counting how many weeks you are, it’s generally 2 weeks later.) He said that halachically, an abortion before then would not be considered murder. It would be considered a form of birth control. Now, some forms of birth control are allowed in certain cases. This method, however, is not. But to say it’s murder that early is not halachically correct. The problem is that abortions are legal after that point.
Now, the question arises, is birth control also assur for non-Jews? If it’s not, then abortions in the first month or two can be legal by US law without any halachic issues.
My personal opinion is that abortions in the first month or two should be legal only in extreme cases, such as for rape victims. Obviously, if it affects the mother’s health and puts her in danger, it should be allowed regardless of the time frame.
So, ujm, you’re saying that it’s ok to follow the MB in an area that conforms with your narrow view, but if it doesn’t fit, then the MB goes out the window?
The point is that the MB says you should dress according to the minhag hamakom. That doesn’t mean that in Brazil, since people don’t dress nicely, you don’t have to. People there do dress nicely for appropriate occasions, and that is how you should dress for davening. If that means pressed pants and a button-down shirt, so be it!
bobthebuilder, how do you know that everyone is completely anonymous? There are people who know my name on this site. I’m sure other people have friends or family who know what they post under. Writing things about them when there are people who know their identity can be a problem!
What are they asking that is harmful? Are they asking for your personal information? Asking about halachos? I don’t see what the big deal is…
Why are you convinced he’s an anti-semite? As you said, maybe he just had a fallout with his wife or something. Did he say something about you being Jewish? Make a comment about your yarmulka? Anything? Or are you just playing the part of the injured Jew convinced that everything which happens against him is due to antisemitism?
saythatagain, I wrote about that a few posts up. When these teens decide not to be frum, they are often cut off. When they’re home, their parents yell at them. They aren’t in a yeshiva, and their friends very often distance themselves from them. They desperately look for someone who accepts them, and unfortunately, the ones who do are often the teens who are in even bigger trouble, with drugs, etc. When these people justify their feelings, and make them feel accepted, how are they supposed to resist trying to fit in with them more? Nobody else listens to them, nobody treats them well, except for the “druggies”. What do you expect to happen?
If people treated these kids with more respect, and showed them the love they so desperately seek, it wouldn’t happen as much.
As I wrote, I went through a time when I wasn’t frum. A few years after I became frum again, I saw my younger brother start going through the same thing. However, he wasn’t as “smart” as me – he didn’t know how to hide things from our parents as well as I did, and often was in big trouble. I saw what was going to happen – he was terrified of our parents, and was starting to spend time with people who weren’t too great. I started spending a lot of time with him, and had a long talk with my parents. I explained how constantly punishing him, taking away his DVD player and not allowing him to use the computer as punishment, etc. would only backfire. He had friends he could go to. He could go to the library. If he wanted to do these things, they wouldn’t be able to stop him, and they’d only push him farther away. I told my father, “The next time he wants to rent a movie, don’t say no – just tell him you want to know what he’s watching. Even if you don’t approve of it, don’t say anything. You can set rules – don’t expose the younger kids, etc. but don’t just yell and scream. If you do, he’ll watch it by a friend, and just resent you more for it. At his age, you can’t force him not to do it.”
B”H, my brother is now in college, has a part time job, and learns part-time. He won’t sit in kollel, he won’t be the biggest learner – but he’s shomer Shabbos, keeps kosher, and wears a black hat.
ujm, I don’t recall any kefirah written. There was plenty of Loshon hara, but unfortunately, it was written by the people who consider themselves the more frum people, who attacked other people such as myself. (Read the comments on the R’ Tendler news article for more detail on that.)
I was accused of being pro-freikeit, but nobody could provide one example. I’m still waiting for someone to ask for forgiveness. Rosh Hashana is coming up…August 15, 2008 5:44 pm at 5:44 pm in reply to: How to increase Torah learning amongst Klal Yisroel (Kollel, Shiurim…) #620140
Derech Eretz kodma l’Torah.
How can we increase the amount of Derech Eretz people have towards their fellow Jews?
levi123, not everyone is quick to throw someone out.
My Rosh Yeshiva once said that when he was a bochur, there was someone in the yeshiva who had a gambling problem. He also drew others into his gambling in an attempt to pay off his debts. My R”Y went with a few other elter bochurim to R’ Shmuel Berenbaum zt”l and asked him to make this bochur leave the yeshiva. R’ Shmuel began yelling at them, “Who are you to say a bochur will be thrown out?! Do you know what can happen to someone when you make him leave a yeshiva? Such a decision can never be made lightly!”
R’ Shmuel ended up taking the bochur under his wing, and helped him through his problems. My R”Y didn’t say the person’s name, but told us he is a well-known talmud chochom today.
My mother has been working in the school system for over 25 years. She’s had times where she felt a girl needed to be kicked out, and never did it lightly. She always made sure the girl had another school to go to first. She always asked a shailah to a big Rav about it before she did it.
There are two separate issues with teens at risk. One is religion, the other is them being out on the streets. When I wasn’t frum, I wasn’t out on the streets. I went to school, I had a job, etc.
The problem is, when teens don’t want to be frum, a lot of their friends won’t have anything to do with them. At home, they are yelled at, punished, etc. They need to get out and find someone who they feel cares about them, and often, it is the people on drugs and on the streets who accept them.
Someone once asked me if I did drugs when I wasn’t frum, as it was “the thing those people do”. I replied that I had issues with religion and with G-d, but I wasn’t stupid. I know that drugs are bad for you, and avoided them. I didn’t want to throw my entire life away, I just had no interest in being religious.
Another issue is what drives these kids away in the first place. Many times, it’s a lack of understanding and no answers when you question. My wife is also a BT, and when we got engaged, she asked a rebbetzin at a tape gemach if there were any tapes or books she could recommend about covering her hair after marriage. The rebbetzin replied, “It’s das Yehudis, that’s the halachah! Why do you need to know why? Just do it!” Unfortunately, many people have that attitude, and it really puts off a lot of people. When I was in yeshiva, I had questions, and also didn’t receive answers. Also, a lot of the rabbis and “elter bochurim” seemed very hypocritical in a lot of their actions, and I said, if this is what being frum is about, I’m not interested.
To give an example (this was very early on, but I started with my issues when I was young), I was once sitting in class, and we were waiting for the rebbe to start teaching. I was in junior high, in a major Brooklyn yeshiva. The rebbe suddenly yelled at me, claiming I was talking and preventing him from starting the shiur. I replied that I wasn’t talking. he called me a liar and threw me out of the classroom. I sat outside the room for an hour, and the rebbe came out and asked me if I was willing to tell the truth. I told him I was, and I hadn’t been talking. He walked away. I sat outside the rest of the day. The next day, the same thing happened. he asked again, and I gave my same response. After that first time, he told me he wouldn’t ask again, but when I was ready, I could come in and publicly apologize to him. During that day, the menahel walked by, and asked why I was sitting outside. I told him what happened, and he asked, “Well, why don’t you just tell your rebbe that you were talking, apologize, and get it over with, even if you didn’t do it?” I told him I couldn’t do that, as I am not a liar, and wouldn’t say I was. He understood, and said he’d speak to the rebbe about it. The next morning, as I was again outside, the menahel came up to me, and told me he’d spoken to the rebbe. He said a boy who sat near me told the rebbe that he had been the one talking, and not me. I asked, “Why am I still outside?” He replied that the rebbe said I was chutzpadik when he said I was talking, and I contradicted him in front of the class. The rebbe said I should have said I was, and gone over to him later on, and told him privately that I wasn’t speaking. The rebbe never apologized to me for the incident. By the way, the rebbe wanted me to apologize for my chutzpa before he’d allow me back in. The menahel got him to let me in without it.
That was just one story. I have others like it. I’ve had rabbeim publicly embarrass me in front of the class because I wasn’t paying full attention, I’ve asked questions about things I didn’t understand, and was told I’m an apikores for questioning these things, etc.
That’s what made me not want to be frum. Kids need to see Judaism as a beautiful thing. They need good role models who will really show that the people who practice Judaism are worth emulating. Unfortunately, many people who work with our children an a daily basis are not worth emulating, and should not be working with them.
rabbiofberlin, do you think it was really necessary for Shlomo to hug all those women and girls? You think he couldn’t be mekarev them without touching them? There are plenty of people who are very successful when it comes to kiruv, and they don’t need to do those things. Ask someone who Shlomo was mekarev, and see if they would have felt differently had he not hugged and kissed them.
How many people that Shlomo was mekarev thought it was ok to touch people of the opposite sex because Shlomo did it and said it was ok?
willi, I was once in the same situation. I pointed out to the person that from what he was telling me, it seemed that he realized what he was doing was wrong. I asked him if he felt guilty after doing these things, and he replied that he did. I told him that if he didn’t do it, it would make him feel great. He replied that doing the act made him feel great too – it was only afterward that he felt bad. I asked him how long he felt good for, and he said not long, but the guilt lasted a lot longer. I told him that if he abstained from doing it, he’d feel good for longer, and wouldn’t feel guilty at all. He tried harder, and told me later that he did feel a lot better, and was better off for it.
No, Joseph, the Torah does not want you to judge the person themselves based on their actions. You can’t say someone is a bad person just because they transgress something written in the Torah. People struggle with different things. It doesn’t make someone a bad person. You still have to love every Jew, and daven that they do teshuva, that’s all.
rabbiofberlin: Yes, many talmidim of Shlomo are very frum now. Was that because of what Shlomo taught them, or because of what other Rabbonim taught them later on? Yes, he was mekarev many people, but the ends don’t justify the means.
As for my comparison to the teshuva of Cholov Yisrael, I didn’t mean R’ Moshe’s psak wasn’t on the level. I wrote about the conversation in my yeshiva. People there said that yes, R’ Moshe said cholov stam is ok, but that fact that there’s a teshuva about it says something, and maybe we should be machmir. Personally, I’m not machmir, and I eat cholov stam. They said the same thing about Carlebach – the fact that R’ Moshe saw the need to write the teshuva down says something, and maybe we should be machmir. That’s all.
Just for the record, I personally don’t enjoy many of Carlebach’s songs. Many sound to me like funeral marches, and a lot of them sound the same to me. They have the same basic rhythm in them, so if you don’t like one, chances are you won’t like plenty of others. There a some which I do enjoy. However, I recognize who Shlomo was, and don’t look up to him as someone to emulate – except possibly in his level of ahavas Yisrael, although I wouldn’t show it the same way he did.
Joseph, why do you say that? because you think I don’t have a Rosh Yeshiva? I’ve said it before, your attacks on me were entirely unjustified.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t agree that things are right or wrong, I just don’t judge the person based on what they do. I think Carlebach did many things wrong. However, I don’t think he’s a bad person because of it – just misguided, and I definitely wouldn’t force him to change. Still, I do recognize him for what he was.
Joseph, you need to work on your Ahavas Yisrael. You should love and respect every Jew, whether they live their lives the way you do or not.
Yes, Shlomo caused many people to become frum. However, what level of frumkeit did he lead them to? One where they think mixed dancing and touching people of the opposite gender is allowed?
Someone once asked him why he felt it was ok to touch women. He replied, “If you see a woman drowning, would you hesitate to save her because you can’t touch her? Of course not. Nowadays, the entire world is drowning.”
Obviously, he was missing the boat with his reasoning. His intentions were good, just his methods were lacking. They say he was depressed also for years. When I was in yeshiva, there was a question whether it was ok to listen to his music. The thought was that since R’ Moshe even had a teshuva on it, maybe it should be avoided even though R’ Moshe said it was ok (kind of like Cholov Yisrael). One Rebbe told us that he heard from his Rebbe, R’ Mendel Kaplan, that it was muttar to listen to Carlebacj music, but that doing so would get you depressed, as Carlebach himself was depressed, and it went into his music.
The Rosh Yeshiva of my yeshiva said it was fully muttar, by the way, but that we shouldn’t think Carlebach was a real Rabbi – he said straight out “He was a hippie.”
burich, you don’t have to purposely make all those mistakes in your post. It just makes you look bad.
As the original post said, the way to get these people back is by showing them that Judaism is a great thing, and make them want to be frum. I was once a teen at risk, also. I didn’t keep Shabbos, wasn’t careful about kosher, etc. There were many things that all caused it, which I won’t write about now (unless people want to hear it). Basically, I didn’t see the beauty of being a frum Jew, I thought it was restricting, and that the rabbis who were supposed to guide people were hypocrites, and just not good people.
I had many friends who distanced themselves from me. Others remained close, but made certain things clear – they didn’t want to discuss movies, or which girl I was currently dating, or things like that. If we stayed away from those things, they were fine with spending time with me.
Luckily for me, I found a few Rabbis I really respected, and came to see the true beauty of being a frum Jew. I still think that most of my family doesn’t really get it, even though they’re probably much more yeshivish than I am, and know much more about many things than I do – my brothers are either learning in Lakewood or used to and are in a different kollel now, some of my brothers learned in Brisk in Israel, etc. However, I feel I see things differently then they do. I won’t say they’re more frum than me, because who am I to judge what makes a person frum?
Anyway, the point is, many people won’t associate with an at-risk teen because there’s nothing to relate to. Would you be friends with someone who wasn’t a frum Jew, who made you uncomfortable? Teens at risk make many people uncomfortable. I had friends who would do drugs. Would you feel comfortable hanging out with someone like that? Some people can handle it, some can’t. It’s where you can find out who your real friends are – real friends will stick by you no matter what. I had friends who didn’t judge me when I wasn’t frum, they slowly encouraged me to become frum again. I know that they will stick by me when I need them, and they always have.
In closing, just remember – punishing your at-risk child will not help, it will only make them more determined to stay away. You have to make them want to be frum because being frum is a beautiful thing, not because they’re scared of punishment.
lgbg, you showed your gaava in your post! You don’t dress “better”, you dress “differently”.
The MB says if the custom is to daven with a hat, you should. In many communities, the derech is not to wear a hat. So according to the MB, in those places, it’s fine not to, right?
Personally, I wear a hat on Shabbos, but not during the week. In my community, the vast majority of people don’t wear hats – many don’t wear white shirts on Shabbos either, but I do that.
Never mind where the songs come from… what about how the singers act at their concerts? My Rosh Yeshiva once said in a shmuz that he heard about the group Oif Simchas, and how they act on stage at their concerts. He said it doesn’t matter what the style of their music is. Any Jewish singer who doesn’t act appropriately on stage is not a singer we should be listening to! Yes, taking non-Jewish songs is an issue sometimes (I say sometimes because there have been people who took non-Jewish songs and were able to transform them, such as the Khaliver Rebbe zt”l). However, there are many other issues in the Jewish music industry also.
ujm, I never said you should say Hallel on Yom Ha’atzmaut. I am personally very against it. I do think, however, that it is worth recognizing. I believe I said I was in favor of putting up a flag if you’re in Israel.
As for a hat and jacket, I never said I’m against it. I’m against saying that someone without a hat and jacket obviously isn’t a yaarei shamayim. You don’t know the person at all, yet you’re judging him based on how he dresses?
Instead of just saying “Yes, it’s in the Mishna Berurah”, can you please show me where exactly?
The Big One, you just showed one of the main reasons why Moshiach hasn’t come yet. When you disagree with someone, you just tell them to go somewhere else, by themselves. This is not the Jewish way! You must love every Jew whether they agree with you or not.
“Your modern beliefs”? Like what? Defending R’ Tendler from a bunch of people who are determined to speak lashon hara and motzei shem ra about him? Or saying that you can daven without a hat and jacket and still be a yarei shamayim? Or maybe it was illini’s post, that Jews are capable of doing bad things? (That one takes the cake, by the way – some said he was 100% wrong, that Jews aren’t even capable of such things, yet you blast the early Zionists for doing just those things.) What “modern beliefs” are you talking about?
The Big one, nobody said you shouldn’t wear a hat and jacket during davening. All they (and I) said was that to say someone without a hat and jacket isn’t a yorei shamayim and doens’t have kavanah is just stupidity. How do you know the level of someone’s kavanah, or yiras shamayim?
The big one: so if you’re not wearing a hat and jacket, you’re automatically wearing shorts and crocs? What about someone who comes in wearing a nice pair of black pants, and a blue button down shirt? I think he’s more ehrlich than you are, even with your hat and jacket. You know why? Because he’s dan lekaf zchus, and doesn’t think a person’s davening is based on what he wears.
Bogen, ujm: You’re saying what you do because of what you’re used to! In many areas, there are plenty of good frum people who don’t where a hat or jacket to davening. That’s doesn’t mean they’re not yarei shamayim, and it doesn’t make it disrespectful either. You decide what respect is based on your views. Well, not everyone shares the same views as you. Does it say in the Shulchan Aruch or Mishna Berurah that you MUST wear a hat and jacket to davening?
It’s amazing how when I point out that nobody can back up what they accuse me of, they’re suddenly quiet. Well, remember, Rosh Hashanah is just 2 months away. You have until then to ask for forgiveness.
Joseph, if a ger was not allowed to socialize with his/her parents afterwards because of it, it would cause a HUGE chillul Hashem.
Fearing punishment is obviously a high level to get to, but it is not the reason to follow the Torah. The reason to do mitzvos and follow the Torah is because Hashem said we should, and we should do that out of Ahavas Hashem. Read up on the differences between teshuva m’yirah and teshuva m’ahava.
Agreed! When I was dating, a shidduch was suggested of a girl whose mother was a geyores. I told my parents that they shouldn’t say no because of it – we should look into her like any other girl. We just researched who was involved with the actual process to make sure the Rabbonim were competent, and that was it.
The Big One: How do you know that nobody knows my screen name here? I happen to have friends who do know my name, and with the posts attacking me, they may have read lashon hara or motzei shem ra about me. So, now, not only do these posters have to ask mechilah from me, they have to ask mechilah from all those who may have recognized my screen name for making them read the lashon hara!
Again, I ask: I was listed in the first post, and have been accused again since of being “pro freikeit”. Can someone please quote something I posted which indicates this? If not, I demand an apology from all those who spoke lashon hara and motzei shem ra about me.
Be aware that the halacha is that a person has no chiyuv to forgive someone who speaks lashon hara about him until he is asked for forgiveness, and the penalties for lashon hara are very harsh.
Actually, regardless of whether you can show some proof or not, it’s probably still lashon hara, and you should ask mechila.