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Ben Shapiro is a frum renowned conservative political pundit, syndicated columnist, lawyer, and NYT bestselling author. I often listen to his daily podcast which covers highlights of of the daily news from his humorous and wise perspective, answers questions emailed to him from subscribers to the podcast, and interviews high profile people in the political world.
2 of my friends, as well as one other person who is friends with my friend, were molested by their brothers. So from this teenage girl’s perspective, Amudim is absolutely spot on in saying this.
Parents- please do your duty and protect your children!!
Same here, S613! Hope your life is going smoothly and happily.
Rabbi Wallerstein’s latest shiur on Torah Anytime is very pertinent to the topic of this thread. It’s called “Beware! He Is Waiting For You!”July 5, 2017 5:42 pm at 5:42 pm in reply to: Requesting information about frumteens and R’ Yaakov Shapiro (hear me out mods!) #1311312
Here’s a quote from an article written by Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein entitled “Rabbenu Murphy”, which was published on the website Cross Currents, back in March of 2005:
“The one I will apologize for is my review column in Jewish Action [Spring 2005; not available online]. Even good friends and supporters got it wrong, which means that I must have missed the mark of effective communication. (The only blog I read with regularity is Hirhurim, and even Gil misunderstood my intentions.)
No, this leopard has not changed his spots. I find Frumteens� hashkafic pronouncements odious and repugnant. When I interviewed the mysterious Moderator, I told him that I would have to point out in print that our readers � myself included � reject his views. I made good on that promise.
The mistake which people made (for which I have to take some responsibility) is seeing the article as some sort of endorsement of the Frumteens site, or of Mr. Frumteens. I thought I had made it abundantly clear that the site was valuable in giving parents a glimpse into the world of troubled teens. I continue to believe that many parents are in denial about what is happening in our community, and that hearing first person accounts might give some of them a jump-start into getting more involved. I have no reason to doubt that Frumteens provides a rare window into a little-understood world.”
My thoughts: (I tried forming a cogent reply, but I’m having a hard time connecting my thoughts, so I’ll just post them in bullet form.)
-You’re not alone in feeling the way you do. Thousands of other girls that just got back from their seminary year are struggling with the same identity crisis. I’m off to seminary once this summer is over, iyH, and I’m pretty certain that I’ll be just as confused as you are, this time next year.
-Growth needs to be internal- not just external. Real growth takes place when you realize that your behavior doesn’t match up with your values, and you change your behavior so that it reflects your values. Life is about figuring out what our values are, and working on ourselves to get as close to shleimus as we can get by fixing our behavior.
– I very strongly recommend that you discuss this with a mentor- preferably someone who you’ve spoken to in the past, knows you, and is wise. Remember that generally speaking, people gain wisdom with age- it would be smart to look to a woman who has seen enough of life to be able to advise you properly. If you have never spoken to a mentor figure about personal issues before, now is an excellent time to start! There’s so much potential for good in a mentor/ mentee relationship. 🙂
– Talk to Hashem. He planned every aspect of your life. It is no surprise to Him that you are rethinking your growth, now that you’re home and it’ll take great effort to maintain your new standards for yourself. He is NOT angry at you. He’s your lifeline. Just talk to him.
– I really like what Nechomah said in her above post. I agree with every word of it. Nechomah, you’re amazing! 🙂
– Life is composed of ups and downs. Every up is followed by a down, and every down is followed by an up. Both stages are necessary and normal. Don’t give up on life, or on yourself, just because you’re in a down now. The up will come!
Hold on tight. You can do this.
I’m currently in the process of signing up for AIM medical insurance, and feel that I should clarify that AIM has changed their policy on preexisting conditions. There are 2 plans- gold and platinum. Gold is about $120 cheaper than Platinum, and doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, whereas Platinum does indeed cover them.
Thanks, golfer! :)!June 20, 2017 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm in reply to: how many shabbos outfits should i bring to camp???? #1301046
I agree with chabadgirl. It totally depends on what type of girls attend your camp. I’d recommend that you ask a girl who has previously attended the camp (within the last few years) this question.
Hatzlacha! Hope you have an amazing experience 🙂
Aw! Thanks, Syag, DY, and oyoy for your positive feedback. I’m touched 🙂
I handed it in already, oyoy… Ah well 🙂
Oyoy, no pressure to read it. 😉 It’s quite boring.
Here it is! 🙂 Hope you enjoy.
Someone once asked Harav Aharon Feldman, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ner Yisrael in Baltimore, which is the most important middah for one to work on. Rav Feldman replied, “Hakaras hatov; from hakaras hatov, one can attain many other good middos.” He explained that this is obvious from the teachings of Chazal and the baalei mussar who placed great emphasis on hakaras hatov, both in our relationship with Hashem and with one another.
When Hashem admonished Adam for eating from the Eitz HaDaas, Adam responded, “The woman whom You gave to be with me – she gave me of the tree and I ate” (Bereishis 3:12). Rashi writes that Adam’s response was an act of kafui tov, ingratitude. His exact lashon is: “כאן כפר בטובה”. In using the word כאן, here, Rashi implies that on another occasion, Adam did in fact demonstrate hakaras hatov. Perhaps Rashi is alluding to the name that Adam conferred upon his mate: “Adam called his wife’s name Chavah, for she was the mother of all living” (Ibid 3:20).
Rav Avraham Pam explains: It is human nature that when someone is wronged by another, he focuses on his hurt and ignores, at least for the moment, the perpetrator’s many qualities. After Adam denied the good that Hashem had done for him in granting him a mate and then being told his punishment for having sinned because of her, one would have expected him to view that mate with disdain.
Adam did not react this way. Instead, he chose to focus on the fact that through his wife, all future generations would come into being. In Rav Pam’s words, “[In naming her ‘Chavah’] Adam consoled and strengthened her, as if to say, ‘Don’t feel so bad about what happened. You made a mistake, but look at the positive side. Your name will be ‘Chavah’ because you will become the mother of all mankind! You will bring life to this world!’”
Adam had learned from his mistake. Now, he acknowledged how wonderful it was to have been granted a wife, and he sought to minimize her shame.
There are many lessons which can be learnt from the above d’var Torah. One is interpersonal – a person must not write off people who make mistakes as entirely bad. Rather, one should make a point to think of all of the good that those people have done, and view them in the context of that.
Another lesson that stands out is that Hashem is responsible for every occurrence in a person’s life – the good, as well as the seemingly bad, and so when a person is faced with challenges that are hard for him to deal with, he must remember: the Hashem that is making me endure these painful life circumstances is the same Hashem that created me, and gave me all the people and things in my life that I love. Therefore, it would be a tremendous lack of hakaras hatov to be angry with Hashem for the things in my life that are hard for me to deal with.
The following story illustrates this point beautifully:
Rav Eliyahu Dovid Rabinowitz, a Rav in Yerushalayim in the 19th century better known as the Aderes, had a daughter that passed away at a very young age. The levaya was called for a specific time, and the Aderes was known to be a punctual person, so everyone made sure to come exactly on time. They were quite surprised when the Aderes arrived at the levaya 2 hours late. When he was asked what had delayed him, the Aderes replied, “I stood next to the aron of my little daughter and I remember how on the day she was born, I made the beracha of Shehechiyanu with intense kavanna. Now I had to make the beracha of baruch dayan ha’emes, and I wanted to make it with the same kavanna as my Shehechiyanu. It took 2 hours until I was able to do that.”
When the sons of Reuven plotted to kill their brother Yosef, it was Reuven who spoke up and convinced them to cast Yosef into a pit instead. According to one opinion in the Midrash, Reuven was motivated by hakaras hatov:
Reuven said to himself: Yosef counted me along with my brothers, and I should not rescue him? I had thought that I had been expelled from the family because of that incident (when I moved my father’s bed to my mother’s tent without his permission) and yet, Yosef counted me along with my brothers in his dream, as it says, “And eleven stars were bowing to me” (Ibid 37:9).
Rav Aharon Kotler explains that the brothers viewed Yosef as a rebel against the monarchy of his brother Yehuda and as such was deserving of death. But Reuven thought differently. He was able to perceive Yosef’s true worth, that his dreams were prophetic and that his intentions were entirely honorable.
If anyone should have hated Yosef it should have been Reuven, whose rights as the firstborn son of Yaakov were transferred to Yosef (Rochel’s firstborn) after Reuven sinned. But Reuven felt indebted to Yosef for viewing him on a par with his righteous brothers despite his having sinned. Hakaras hatov allowed Reuven to see what his brothers could not. They saw Yosef in a superficial way, as someone who sought to dominate them. Reuven saw the utter purity of Yosef’s neshamah, his inner nobility and good intentions.
When we focus on the good that someone has done for us, it allows us to see into that person’s essence, to recognize his inherent qualities and goodness.
The quality of hakaras hatov is intertwined with the quality of ahavas Yisrael, unconditional love of one’s fellow Jew. One who is in the habit of focusing on the good that others do for his sake will also focus on another person’s good qualities and will overlook his faults. In this way, he will come to love his fellow Jew.
Yosef Hatzaddik’s wife, Osnas, bore him two sons after he became viceroy and before his brothers first descended to Mitzrayim, which began the process of reunion with his family. He named his firstborn Menashe, כִּי נַשַּׁנִי אֱלֹהִים אֶת כָּל עֲמָלִי וְאֵת כָּל בֵּית אָבִי.
Rav Shamshon Refael Hirsch relates the word נַשַּׁנִי to נושה, creditor, thus interpreting: “[And Yosef named the firstborn Menashe] for Hashem has turned my troubles and my father’s household into my creditors.” Now that Yosef had been taken from the dungeon to rule over all of Mitzrayim, he could clearly perceive that all his suffering, from his abduction by his brothers to his being tested and then thrown into prison because of Potiphar’s wife, was for the good. Thus, he gave his firstborn a name representing his gratitude for the series of events that had brought him to this point.
I have experienced this many times in my life thus far. In retrospect, I realize that many of the occurrences in my life that were difficult and painful to endure, actually led to wonderful things. Hashem plans every part of my life – even my mistakes are no surprise to him. There’s a reason behind every occurrence in my life.
When I think about the above truth, I am filled with hakaras hatov. How fortunate I am to have such clarity!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand related that one day, his wife needed to have a prescription filled, which proved to be no simple task for the pharmacist. After his supplier twice sent the wrong item, the pharmacist called Mrs. Frand and said, “I am going to go to another branch of our chain to see if they have what you need.” Later that day, the pharmacy called to say that the prescription was ready.
Mrs. Frand wanted to thank the man for his efforts but he was not available when she called, so she wrote him a note of thanks. The next time Rabbi Frand went to the pharmacy, the man said, “I got your wife’s note. It’s so nice to get a kind word every once in a while.”
Rabbi Frand concluded:
How did the day go in that pharmacy after he received that note? I’m quite certain that the pharmacist’s employees noticed a change in their boss’s attitude. And those workers went home in a better mood and were nicer to their families, because their boss was nicer to them. Kind words have a ripple effect.
In conclusion, the middah of hakaras hatov is displayed in Tanach by people of tremendous madreiga, like Adam, Reuven, and Yosef Hatzaddik. From this, it is evident that hakaras hatov is a middah that we would all do well to invest great effort in.
Source: “Let There Be Rain” by Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein and Rabbi Shimon Finkelman
Thank you so much for looking that up, DY!! That was so nice of you. I really appreciate it.
And iacisrmma, thank you for your dvar Torah! 🙂
Oyoy, I feel so cool cuz you want to see the report! 🙂 Hang on a minute and I’ll post it.
I found another frum female singer! 🙂
Sara Hecht- Send Me a Sign and Pieces (Youtube)
I came across Send Me a Sign last year and LOVED it, but then couldn’t find it again til now. Yay!!
Dana Mase (Youtube) – I like the song Ashrei best. She’s got a very unique style and voice.
Mod, thank you for leaving this thread up, and spending the time to edit the posts. It is really appreciated.
Thank you for saying so – 29
Thank you for your OP, Shopping! I never heard of Hadassa Haller before, and am currently listening to her music on Soundcloud- it’s lovely!
Thank you so much for your help! 🙂
Really appreciate it.
“By your posts it sounds like you would benefit from some serious face to face discussions with someone who can help you sort out some of your feelings and perspectives about religion and hashkofo.”
I second this!!December 15, 2015 4:49 am at 4:49 am in reply to: Reasons to do teshuva and why the world is in such a bad situation #1117003
Your post made me feel so much better about this whole thing. Thank you so much, Oomis! You’re the best. 🙂
LF, your post made me feel so ashamed of myself. 🙁
Thank you so much for all of your help, everyone.
Thanks for your post, Oomis! I’m finding it really helpful.
Do you think that the teacher expected me to reciprocate by telling her that I love her too?
Thanks for all of the responses.
Thank you for the help, everyone!
Thank you so much for your help!
Sounds right, Mammele, thanks! How is that pronounced?
Yes! It was very popular when the three boys were kidnapped last summer…
Try getting your daughter’s high school staff involved. They often have connections in many seminaries, and can help you a lot.
RJ, please google the phrase “what’s wrong with the Iran deal.” You will find hundred of articles detailing the way that the Obama administration misled the public on their policies with regard to Iran, and is now blindly trusting them on so many different issues. It’s absolutely ridiculous!
You say that Israel should allow Iran to gain nuclear power, and then come in and destroy it. RJ, please research the concept of nuclear power, because this question makes it seem like you are unaware of its magnitude. Even if Israel decides to bomb Iran, which due to many factors it probably won’t, what makes you think that Iran will peacefully wait for Israel to do so? The minute they gain nuclear power, they will aim their weapons at Israel and possibly even the USA, and they will fire. In their minds, their afterlife will be most magnificent after doing so!
I didn’t like the way Fox ran the debate. They focussed more on personally attacking Trump, a candidate that they created, by the way, than on showcasing the amazing presidential candidates that Republicabs have to offer.
There were many Democrats watching that debate- 42 million people watched it. Throat is more than any other presidential debate, ever! Trump should have been asked several questions on his policies on things like health care as immigration, he would have shown how illogical his stances are, and then the rest of the Republican candidates could have showcased their positions, creating support for the Republican Party. This was such an unbelievable opportunity to gain support for our party, and Fox News blew it.
Instead of allowing everyone else on stage to say their piece, they bashed Trump, and made a fool out of him. In doing that, they made Trump supporters feel victimized, and there is now a greater chance than ever that Trump will run third party.
The reason Trump has been the front runner among Republicans is because he, unlike every other Republican presidential candidate, knows how to manipulate people’s emotions, thereby creating the irrational support for him that is obvious in this thread.
Please think logically! Whoever heard the first Republican debate will agree with what I am saying. When Trump was asked about his policies on things like immigration and health care, he had nothing to say. When asked why he funded so many Democrats for so many years, he had nothing to say. (He said he donated money to Hillary Clinton so that she’d come to his wedding!)
The only time Donald has anything logical to say is when he is combatting the political correctness that been driving people crazy lately.
In a time where Iran is poised to gain nuclear power with permission and practically support from people like President Obama, we should not be combatting political correctness. We should be focussing on the real problems in this country and around the world.
I’ve heard Ben Shapiro, editor in chief of Breitbart.con speak about this several times. Please google for his analysis of Donald Trump; it is fascinating.
Kj, that is so nice of you! Seriously. I’m impressed.
I don’t know if a bais yaakov with a dorm exists, but there are some out of town schools that girls attend and board with a local family.
I know that BY of Waterbury has girls that board. Also BY of Passaic, I think.
I wish you much hatzlachah in finding a school that’s right for you.
All My Sons. (I think that’s what it’s called…)
And lots of others that don’t come to mind right now.
Oh! Julius Caesar. We acted it out; that was really, really fun.
Keep trying! I’m so sad for you… I wish I could hook you up with some of my mentors and teachers.
It’s not like that. There are some topics that are really awkward to discuss with a teacher face to face, and so the box is a great way to avoid that awkwardness.
Zev, first off, I am so sorry that you went through that. I just want to know, did this happen recently, like in the past few years or even the last decade?
Catch yourself, +1 🙂
What is Challah Connection?
What woman would agree to marry a man despite the fact that he is not attracted to her? That is so unhealthy!
My point is that it is not impossible for that to happen, but it is wrong. It is unfair to the partner.
That is awful. That is so, so, so awful! How can you say that a homosexual man marry a woman if he is not attracted to her in any way, shape, or form? That is wrong and horrific on so many levels.
Does that really still happen? In my school, a typical Bais Yaakov in the Tri state area, questions are encouraged. We even have a Question Box, in which one can submit any questions they have anonymously if they want to.
I love Stoliner people! They combine the best parts of yeshivish and chassidish people.
The Stoliner Rebbe can be reached through the email- isn’t that so awesome? It greatly annoys me when rabbanim institute a blanket ban on the Internet, because that seems so impractical to me. Over the next few decades, it will become near impossible to live without using the Internet. Mandate a filter that filters the modem, have an accountability program- sure! But don’t bury your head under your blanket to escape reality- that won’t end well.
Yes, Stoliner women in the U.S. can drive. I think that some of them shave their hair upon getting married.
What, so your theory is that the creators of Apple had a top secret meeting at midnight in the tallest tower in LA to discuss how they can hint to the fact that Apple’s products are products of the Soton?
Wow. Just wow.
Thank you so much APY! It’s so nice of you to check that up for me… So it’s an outright Halacha that one may not sit on a table? I always thought that it was a chumra…
Lol Popa and RY.
It’s not considered cheating- I’m researching this topic so that i can grow from this experience, see? 🙂
Thanks for the help, CCR! Does anyone have the exact location of the ????? ???? ????? thing? Is it an outright prohibition, or just not the right thing to do?
Sure, S613. It’s always good to hear another perspective on things.
Frum81, this is privacy.
Privacy, this is frum81.
Now go have a discussion, for the sake of humanity. 🙂
DY, that depends on what you consider appropriate.