Forum Replies Created
May 15, 2019 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm in reply to: Is there a hetter for staying up both nights of Shavuos? #1727483
If you want to take something on, ask your rabbeim or community rav, not an online forum. There is a big inyan to be “normal” and do your best within the accepted minhagim. Adding on to this is something that should be done with proper guidance.
As I see it, there are three sides to this, and in all situations one’s personal Rav should be consulted:
1) Lowering an existing standard of hiddur: for example, if you usually hold by a certain standard of kashrus, but are eating at your grandparents home, who hold a lighter standard (that is still a basic level of kosher). In my experience, most rabbanim have advised me that the mitzvos of kibbud and ahavas yisrael outweigh personal considerations (hiddurim).
2) Changing accepted standards of conduct to a hallachikly questionable mode of conduct for a good cause: Allowing casino nights for a tsedaka organization. I have heard some impressive rabbanim speak at these events, and others that are pashut fire against them. Again, ask your local rav.
3) Changing a social standard for a personal or social reason: For example, wearing biking clothes when biking, or running outdoors in more “sporty clothing”. Some communities tend to be more stringent, but this is generally perceived as less of a hallachik issue and more of a hashkfik one.
In all three cases, speak with a Rav. And please, in this time of sefirah, do not speak ill of others who have a psak different than your own.
Zvika, these are major batei din you are being mevazeh. Please hold your opinion on major rabbanim to yourself.
There is an old minhag that goes back hundreds of years that communities said hallel on the day that they saw a yeshua, and continued saying hallel to commemorate and thank HKBH.
Forget politics. Most gedolim see the modern day return to EY as an amazing thing. If you live in a place that says hallel, say it with pride. If you don’t, remember to be thankful to HKBH for what we have and for those who have their lives to make it possible.
Please note that while shmittah wine should not leave EY, this provides you with an amazing opportunity! Learn hilchos shmittah! Discuss it with your kids! Bring the wine to your table and be sure not to drink it – as shemittah wine should not be wasted or used for a secondary purpose such as cooking.
Do not be afraid of a mitzvah, it’s an opportunity!
There are valid and acceptee heterim for different circumstances. Most importantly, it’s yimay sefirah. Don’t rush to judge another Jew.
This isn’t new, the trend is 30 years old. It’s a cultural thing.
On the other hand, today’s youth have access to kosher entertainment and concerts, where singers reach to the heavens bringing deeper emotional appreciation to divray chazal. Today’s restaurants have the highest standards of kashrus, not to mention glatt, chalav yisrael, pas yisrael and more. Today’s families have access to kosher magazines as beautiful as secular media. The overall focus on limud hatotah in nearly without precident in Jewish history.
Yes, we should be reaching for more ruchniyus.
BUT, to ignore our growth is unfair, and to say that this is the cause of all anti-Semitism requires nevuah.
Do what is best for your son, regardless of the name. Look at the quality of the education, of the rabbonim, or the chevra and your son. Where is he most likely to come out the best person, the best Jew? Does he thrive more from intimacy of small chevra, or being challenged by a higher level of learning? Either way, not a coffee room decision.
A famous, well respected Mashgiach in a major NY-area yeshiva went to college at his parents insistence. When he asked his Rebbe, one of the gedolem, which college he should attend, out of the two options, his Rebbe recommended a Catholic university. He asked him Rebbe, “But there is a huge cruifix on the wall of the lecture halls!” His Rebbe answered “Are you afraid he will jump off the wall and hurt you? In this environment, if you spend the rest of your time in yeshiva, you won’t feel pressured to fit in.”
There is nothing that is black and white in life.March 27, 2019 7:35 am at 7:35 am in reply to: Any kosher ideas for boys and girls to hang out together = solve shiduch crisis? #1702743
This varies by community. Some allow some mixing during chasunas, some encourage it, some don’t allow it at all.March 25, 2019 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm in reply to: Chabad? Most non religious Jews are not halachikly Jewish. #1700923
OK, as with all things in life, speak with the experts. I am no expert, but your mitsiyus is totally off. Of the hundreds of people I came into contact with whole I was involved in kiruv, only two or three were not hallachikly Jewish.
I have discussed this issue with the leading outreach groups in the world. Most have received guidance from gedolim that you should be open to anyone who identifies as Jewish, as asking about heritage and lineage will turn people away.
Another organization had a psak that as long as it is less than one in ten, there is no concern with having anyone who identifies as Jewish on your program. If we, the staff, discovered that someone may not be hallachikly Jewish, we were told not to make an issue of it in the moment. Down the line, you can make a mental note and focus on some people, but even they have seven mitzvos, and being a ma’amin is a big deal.
Tachlis, not an issue.
For many of us, we spend our day waiting and hoping. We plan simchas hoping that the family abroad will be here to join us, as moshiach will bring them.
This isn’t a joke or a thread. It’s our lives.
On a separate note, don’t forget that it’s easier than ever to hear shofar around the world. We have all heard the recording of Rav Goren blowing shofar from the Kotel. When people feel the geulah, they prepare for it. They keep a bag packed. They invest in developing EY.
When they planned the high speed rail to Yerushalayim, this was part of the plan. When they plan the high capacity cable car and light rail in Yerushalayim, they are planning for moshiach. The only question is if you will join us.
Moshe Rabbeinu did not wear a tie, a suit, a bekeshe or a fedora. Rebbe Akiva and Rashi did not dress like Rav Moshe. Bnei torah dress with a certain kavod, a respectability. Some communities maintain a stricter adherence to older modes of dress, some are more up to date in their modes of dress. But let’s be real – few communities can date their mode of dress to the rishonim – and these are mostly the sefardim, no the Asheke/Chassidim.
The idea of bochrim shaving is not new. Look at pictures of the yeshivos before the war. Bochrim in the Lita and many in Poland did not have beards or long peiyos. They generally wore suits and fedoras, and most were colorful – not just black. Ties are not new – you see them in the video of the Chafets Chaim.
Times change and styles change. Not a reason for machlokes.
Living in EY is generally regarded as a mitzvah kiyumis. This means that there are legit reasons for remaining in Chu”l, and these can be taken into account when considering whether or not the fullfil the mitzvah kiyumis of living in EY. Once one lives here, making “yeridah” is more problematic, as it’s an action of removing the status of fulfilling the mitzvah.
Practically however, we are noheig to wear tsitsis every day, which is a mitzvah kiyumis.
Regarding gedolim living in ChuL, ask them why they haven’t moved. I have asked many gedolim in America this question, in a respectful manner. The general answer is that a leader cannot abandon their folllowers. While many rabbanim have chose to make aliyah, this is a tough decision to make because of these competing pressures. Ask your Rav, it’s a serious shayla. Most families in EY, especially those who try to work, can support their families. The answer as to whether or not one should remain in America when the only reason not to move is that it takes hard work… not pashut.
We are judged by the only ONE who can judge, by our context in life, by the opportunities and challenges, but our starting point and our journey. Most importantly, you have a Father with a capital letter who loves you, who yearns for the good you bring to the world. I’m not a Chabadnik, but if you have concerns about being a rasha, I recommend learning some Tanya. Most of us are beinonim. We are in the middle, we have our battles, we lose many of them, and we lose sight of the one’s we win.
At the same time, if you find that you are hard on yourself or negative about your lot in life, you may have some anxiety or depression. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and getting help will help you immeasurably. Find a qualified, licensed professional, do the hard work in therapy, and your life will change.
You are not a rasha. The very fact that you feel bad, that you have charata means that you have a powerful inner strength.
Liberal is a mindset. The torah is not exclusively aligned with any political party. There are many times and places that torah values align with today’s conservative values, but this isn’t exclusive, and equating any secular value system with a political outlook or party is simply untrue. The torah is unique and bigger than any secular mindset.
If you aren’t looking for a kosher phone per se, Xiaomi is the best value right now. I have had a Redmi Note 4 for over two years with no issues, the battery lasts forever and the camera is decent. If you want a more “normal” Android experience, use a launcher like Lawnchair (it’s free) and it will feel more standard.
The Redmi Note 7 Pro has a camera that is almost on par with the top iPhone, and costs $250 for the top of the line model (coming out next week). You can buy their phones online from AliExpress, BangGood, GearBest etc.
Rabbosai, enough! There are gedolei poskim who discourage excessive drinking, let’s remember who we are!
The reason many rabbanim today discourage excessive drinking on Purim is because there are many, many communities where people, particularly young people have developed life ruining and life ending addictions. This started for many, including a good friend of mine, on Purim.
This is not trying to be meikil, it’s trying to save lives.
Personally, I drink but as per my Rebbe’s minhag, I only offer liquor to married people who are “holy” drunk, not wild drunk. When my son’s pass bar mitzvah age, I will likely switch to a cup of wine and a nap, because I don’t want to set the wrong example.
This is not a joke. Addiction is everywhere, even in the most special and holy kehillos.March 11, 2019 8:08 am at 8:08 am in reply to: Where can Israeli Jews escape to in case of emergency? #1692505
Eretz yisrael is the only land where serving in the army means defending the safety of other Jews. If Chas Vshalom something goes terribly wrong and there is a threat to our safety, you don’t run. You stand up and defend our people and our mekokos hakedoshim.
In 48, 67 and 73 the yeshiva bochrim were supporting from the home front, volunteering in hospitals, helping to dig ditches etc. Let’s not let politics get in the way of hallacha. Defending the life of a fellow Jew at risk is an incredible mitzvah. Leaving and being poreish min hatsibur requires a serious posek.February 27, 2019 10:00 am at 10:00 am in reply to: Why do Yeshiva not pay their Rabbes and Teachers on time? #1686084
Yeshivos have every responsibility to pay their staff on time, and the boards and administrators have a responsibility to make sure that enough cash is in the bank.
That said, there often simply isn’t sufficient funding to go around. This isn’t an excuse, and it isn’t a hetter for delaying payments. There is no easy solution, but a solution must be found. Facing this pressure, some will feel forced to compromise on something – on legalities, on hallacha, on something. The pressure is very real.
It is unacceptable when our rabbeim or moros are expected to make shabbos and yom tov, to pay tuition and rent, when they are not paid in full and on time. It is our responsibility as a community to make sure that we pay our tuition on time, and that the mosdos chinuch we support are paying their staff on time.
Depends on where you live. In EY this is very accepted and normal in many communities. In the US, it’s weird.
I’m sure there are people from all walks of life that stumble across this site. Remember that when you comment.February 25, 2019 11:37 am at 11:37 am in reply to: A Solution: Finding Shidduchim (aka “Shidduch Crisis”) #1684947
Yes, people should very much try to set up their friends and neighbors. We did this by our wedding, and made a concerted effort with some success.
Holding back one person’s simcha to enable another person’s simcha is not how it’s done. This should be zah neheneh vzeh lo chasser.February 25, 2019 9:15 am at 9:15 am in reply to: why does wearing a white shirt make you more frum in the yeshivish world #1684814
The way we dress indicates the community we belong to. Some communities value conformity to a common core of values. Conformity in dress is taken as indicative of the broader shared value system.
That said, in today’s day and age, non-conformity to a mode of dress does not mean that one doesn’t have equal or even stronger emunah or avodas hashem. And conforming to the dress code doesn’t mean that you aspire to the broader value system. For adults, this is often a social indicator of belonging to not belonging to the community. For teens who were born and raised in the system, changing from a white shirt to something else can mean a rejection of the community.February 25, 2019 9:14 am at 9:14 am in reply to: Yeshivas: maximizing enrollment vs maximizing quality #1684813
I challenge the premise of this qyestion. Yeshivas need to accept good boys and young men, and yeshivas need to keep their avirah. Yeshias serve the community and the community serves the yeshiva. There is no such thing as the best kids. There are young men who are the most advanced intellectually. And they should have an intellectually challenging environment to grow in. There are amazing young men who daven and learn b’hasmaddah, and there are those who excel in chessed or overcoming personal challenges. This doesn’t mean that they are any less than anyone else.
Rav Moshe was not the only posek to be mattir chalav Stam in the US, and there is nothing wrong with someone paskening by Rav Moshe or their Rav who holds by chalav Stam.
Please spend more time focusing on what comes out of your mouth than what goes into others.February 13, 2019 7:03 am at 7:03 am in reply to: Problem Being Unable to Consume Much Alcohol – And Can't Get Drunk #1678562
Speak with your rav. This is not like drinking wine on seder night and all poskim I have encountered allow for sleeping if wine will trouble you.
The reason to become a paying member, to the best of your ability, is to support the institution as a shul, to be part of a kehilla. It cost a great deal to maintain and operate building, and a kehilla. Few rabbanim are making it big, but their salaries must be paid on time, siddurim must be purchased and maintained, the building must be cleaned and upkept, etc. Purchasing a seat is just one way of being part of the kehilla, and having your name on the seat does not mean that your neighbor’s guests cannot sit there if you arrive late. As a kehilla, you share and share alike, based on the standards and practices of the kehilla.
Shul membership is not like buying a slice of pizza. You buy in because you believe in it and you are part of the group.
There are groups that misbehave in every mesivta HS, regardless of whether it is yeshivish or MO. Switching schools may be an option, but this really isn’t the kind of topic that should be discussed in a public forum, or based on the little known or understood about this particular young man.
Speak with his principle, speak with your rav, speak with experienced educators and daven. Keep the lines of communication open and show him unconditional love. With siyata dishmaya, this will become a growth period.
No community is perfect, and there ate likely bigger issurom in posting the name of a community than being an annus here and there and seeing an elbow.
If you find that the standards aren’t up to your standards, bring lunch. I do it every day. You can too. Or order in. Or don’t look. Or switch jobs.
All are better options than spreading lashon harah or motsi sgem rah about a frum community.
Depends on where you live. If you are born and raised and live in Boropark, Marine Park (still in Brooklyn) is way out there. If you are in Lakewood, then you consider the 5 Towns to be in town.
As an outsider, I break it down like this. If the average community member feels a responsibility to build and contribute, to be the core of your community because without you the community won’t be the same, then you are out of town. If you feel missed if you aren’t there, then you are out of town. If you feel pride in every growth and milestone for your community, every new family moving in, you are out of town.
If you are just another face in the crowd, you are in town. If you see yourself as different rather than as part of, you are out of town. If you see your neighbor as an “other” and not as an extension of your family, you are in town.
See, it’s not really about where you live. It’s about how you live.
Talk to your Rebbe and Mashgiach from your current yeshiva. Often, they will have eitzos if not shidduchim.
A chashuve Rov once told a friend of mine that a car is to get you from Point A to Point B.
– You can hold by a basic, acceptable level of kashrus, and you have a solid, dependable car.
— You can hold by a strong level of kashrus, like the community Vaad, and you have a really good car.
— Some are exceptional and want only the highest quality. They want the Lexus (in this Rav’s terms). There is no reason to look down on someone driving a Ford or an Infinity. But there is something special about a Lexus.
As for what is basic and what is exceptional, that’s for you and your Rav to define. Personally, knowing many rabbanim at leading kashrus organizations, having seen in person, the operational expertise of these organizations, and speaking my rabbanim, I prefer centralized community kashrus organizations for suburban communities, and national organizations for industrial products.
In local communities, the mashgichim visit very often, know the owners, the suppliers etc. When in cities or dealing with industrial food, I prefer the major national hashgachas. They have a level of professionalism and knowledge that is unmatched. If you want to add an extra chumra or standard above them, get products with both the major national names and the heimishe names. This way you know the technical details were covered by those that truly understand the science and machinery, and the extra standards were added by the heimishe team.
But to quote Rav Nebenshal who once saw a pizza store in Yerushalayim with a Bdatz but not a Rabbanut (which is illegal), it may be mehadrin, but there’s no telling if it’s kosher.
As a musician, performer and composer, here is my take.
Yes, every generation of music sounds different from the one before it. But if you listen to Jewish music, from nearly every composer, there are outside influences in it.
Russian Jewish music and German Jewish music sounded like the cultures they were in, with a twist. The older American music was a bridge between the cantorial traditions of Europe, which also mirrored other societies, and American music. Carlebach and The Rabbis Sons are similar to folk music. Diaspora was similar to the folk Rock groups of their time, like Kansas. Jewish music of the 80s and 90s had a very heavy influence. Just look at the prevalence of horah music shortly following the Disco movement, which btw, has the same rhythm signature. Or the heavy use of horns from musicians who came up in the 70s, when horns were very popular. Many of the most popular Jewish songs of the last 30-40 years have elements of popular secular songs sprinkled throughout.
What makes music Jewish isn’t the style, it’s the connection. If it connects you, speaks to you, inspires you, then it’s working for you. If it inspires someone else, then it works for them.
I once asked an Adam gadol about going into music full time (I didn’t do it). He said two important things:
1. If the oilam does something, we cannot say it’s assur. This was his answer to me about singing psukim, and performing for Stam events where many would hold music is assur.
2. The only thing that matters is our connection to HKBH. You can sing the exact same song, and in one instance it’s a tefillah, and in another it’s a show. Nobody but the performer knows which it truly is. But if you are real and sincere, it will inspire others.
There was a famous gadol in NY who ended his shiur on Thanksgiving by sending talmidim home to eat turkey.
There is no chiyuv, but there are many rabbanim and communities that do celebrate. Shivim panim, no reason to make a macha’ah.
If your child had a condition where they could not be vaccinated, or if your six month old was CV exposed to the disease because they were too young for the vaccine, you wouldn’t have the same mentality.
There is no such thing as plenty of herd immunity. Herd immunity requires near 100%. The downsides to vaccination are virtually nil. Don’t be selfish and put others who cannot vaccinate at risk.
Let’s get one thing straight. The police are here to protect society, to enforce the law. I know better than most that not every cop is a hero (I was once beaten by copy due to mistaken identity), but most cops are good people just trying to help us, the civilians. To be offended because a woman who has put her life on the line to protect society is touching you, is bigotted and foolish. Would you be offended if a female firefighter or soldier saved your life or carried you out of a burning building? Would you be offended if you collapsed on the street and a female EMT revived you?
For what it’s worth, the gabbay/driver of a gadol told me that when his Rav used to fly at the end of his life, he was often assisted by female flight attendants. He never once asked for a male to help him, and was very polite to the flight attendants and appreciative of their assistance. I asked the gabbay how this was OK, and he said that the Rav said that this wasn’t derech chibbah. It’s like a nurse helping you.
There is nothing wrong with a policewoman enforcing the law. If you are concerned for hallachik reasons about negiah from a policewoman, don’t break the law. If you believe that you are entitled to protest a law, you must be willing to accept the consequences. Speak to your rav and make the right hallachik decision.
BTW – I asked the shayla about going to female health professionals, and there are different shittos. It’s not black and white, and I’m not sure this is the same thing. I can choose my health professional much of the time. I cannot choose which police officers are on hand.
Any obsession is unhealthy, but being a fan of something is usually fine. Think of this like sports or foodies. Some healthy insight of conversation is fine.
Rather than just focussing on what you enjoy, consider asking them to explain what makes for a better wine. Try to learn a bit, to appreciate this from a torah perspective. Hashem gave us these gifts, let’s see if we can channel them. I have often found that showing that I am interested in what others are interested in, will open them up to things that I may want to share.
We cannot know all the facts because it’s already third or fourth hand information. If the only factor was age, this could be an example of when a Rav should be consulted. Parents play an important role. Sometimes parents overstep, and it’s up to the young woman and possibly the shadchan to consult a Rav when this occurs.
Agav, please don’t call these young women “girls”. It is demeaning and belittles their role and voice in this parsha.
As a frum Jew living in Israel, I do both. My son’s talmiday Torah (that’s what they call a cheder here) has special classes and education on Yom hashoah, which is great because they are closed on Tisha BeAv. We say an extra kapitel tehillim on Yom Hashoah, and have an extra shiur or two. And we mourn them in context on Tisha BeAv. You can be a frum Jew and not be poresh min hatsibur.
At work, there is a moment of silence. Some people quietly say tehillim. But it’s a beautiful thing to see everyone stop their day and just remember, cry, feel the loss.
May we be zocheh to the geulah shelayma very soon.August 3, 2018 9:43 am at 9:43 am in reply to: The Badeken — The origins and meaning behind the Minhag #1568865
Brides wearing white is a recent trend, one that came from a Mary Queens of Scott’s when she became the French queen through marriage, wearing a white dress. The style spread.
There is precident in yahadus of girls wearing white, such as in Shilo, but as far as I have heard, this started as a secular style.
Not all frames and glasses are the same. But they are close.
If your optomotrist is very specific and thorough, Zenni should be fine for most people. Most lenses come in universal, large shapes and are then trimmed to fit the glasses. All lenses are mass produced. If you can automate more of the process, the savings are real.
The variables here are quite broad. I was recently present when a major posek in this field spoke about this topic. At present, there are ways that this could technically be accomplished in a manner similar to shabbos elevators, however, there are other, more social issues that must be defined. Traveling in a car poses not only questions of techum, but also the spirit of shabbos. Tachlis, not likely to be considered muttar for the hamon am.
We have bochrim from many yeshivos, including Brisk, over for shabbos. Some become regulars. My wife and I get calls about them. As such, I can tell you that where the guy is learning is less important than how serious he is in his learning and even more important is his middos. The shidduch referral very much varries by the character of the guy, far more so than his pedigree.
This comment is not meant to speak about Brisk, but the idea of elitism overall.
There are a couple of elite yeshivos where there is noone being madrich the bochurim. These guys think they are above it all. They call last minute to come for a shabbos, and brag about terrible middos. One group of guys spent an entire seudah sharing stories about how they abuse their mentally handicapped cleaning guy.
In contrast, we have had guys over from less elite yeshivos who had stellar middos. Who sang zemiros, came with a present for the family (even a bag of gummies for the kids counts), helped clean the table, shared divray torah etc.
To this who know what matters, look for a bochur who has what matters. A brilliant lamdan with terrible middos will make a poor husband and father, not to mention a weak Rosh Yeshiva.June 14, 2018 12:46 am at 12:46 am in reply to: Is there a connection between unpaid Shadchanus and the blazing Shidduch crisis? #1539179
Let’s not blame any one group for a bigger issue. In my experience, there are many amazing shadchanim who work very hard, including rabbonim, rabbeim, teachers and rebbetsins. Friends and neighbors also play an important role. I’m sure there are yechidim, whether shadchanim, parents or individuals who make mistakes. But by and larger this isn’t the case.
The fact is that is that it often becomes harder to make a match as the prospects age out of the primary dating age. The best solution is to do what you can to help. As a friend, as a neighbor, or even someone who lost touch. Daven for them. Have them over and support them emotionally in life, not just in shidduchim. Do what you can, do your personal hishtadlus, and then daven and be a good friend.
I have incredible respect for Rav Miller. It’s important to say here that Daas Torah is not universal on this topic.
When I got married, my mashgiach took my aside and asked me if we had spoken with a relationship counselor. I told him that everything was going great with the shidduch, but he told me that his Rosh Yeshiva once gave him this advice, and now he gives it over to his talmidim. Shortly, before the wedding, go to a good frum counselor – and he had a few that he recommended. Speak out your fears, your concerns, your hopes and dreams. Learn to work on your communications from the start, and you will continue growing.
Most importantly, these weren’t just people who gave eitzos. They had both degrees and were real yarei shamayim. This isn’t not something to play around with.
A few years later, I was having a hard day and wasn’t happy with how I spoke to my wife. I consulted my mashgiach, and he asked me if we had gone back to the counselor. I had completely forgotten! We now make it a point to go every few years for a “tune up”, especially when things are going well. A relationship requires constant nurturing. Not just dates and walks together, but working on your relationship itself. These sessions aren’t a walk in the park and they can run upwards of $100 a pop, but the atmosphere at home is so much better afterwards.
To be fair, overeating is assur according to many poskim. I used to be careful about this, but slipped repeatedly. Smoking is a symptom of a problem, but the cause is as simple and relatable as eating unhealthy food, not getting enough exercise, etc.
Yes, some schools push meds too often. But many do not. And some kids thrive on them, where they were failing and thinking they were a failure without them. Imagine being a first grader who cannot function like your peers. You feel completely lost! But with a bit of extra attention in the classroom and a bit of medicinal help, you suddenly find that you aren’t a failure, you do belong.
My kids yeshiva didn’t push meds. But we tried everything, tefillos, tsedaka, small classes, therapies and he was still lost. Sometimes we are to fast to perscribe, but on the flip side, sometimes we are too hesitant to give our kids the help they need. We would never ask a kid to make do without a wheelchair or heart medicine. If you have explored all options, yeshivas, special Ed, etc. If you have met with all the rabbeim and Morah, the hanhalla and experts in chinuch, don’t feel guilty for giving them what they need.
Maybe contact the chabad and ask them. You may even find a local shaliach who would be thrilled to have someone serious to learn with at nights. And you can be mechazek him in his efforts!