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  • in reply to: kmayim panim el panim…. #809751

    you can look up the mephorshim on the posek – there are quite a few.

    in reply to: maaser money #809732

    Abba bar Aristotle posted the following:

    The Chofetz Chaim in Ahavas Chesed writes that the main giving of Maaser should be to help support people who are preparing to teach Torah.

    I strongly encourage you to follow this advice.

    in reply to: how do Israelis shave? #809808

    i would like to stress that i explicitly mentioned that the chafetz chaim DID NOT PASKIN against trimming in his VERY STRONGLY WORDED letter against it.

    however he DOES treat it as a halachic issue. i trim my beard. i have NO agenda. i just want people to realize that this is a SERIOUS ISSUE and not to be taken lightly.

    that is all


    in reply to: Platonic Relationships #810102

    ????? ????? ???, ???? ???? ?????

    sounds like talking to me, unless all conversation is “striclty professional” i don’t have any friends with whom i dont have casual conversation, light banter, and the occasion humorous exchange.

    pretty sure thats covered.


    incidentally, i once heard a rav ask (very seriously, he wasn’t being facetious at all) why does the shulchan aruch say ??? ??? ? wouldn’t one ??? have been enough? after all, the word ??? already exists to provide emphasis, it doesn’t add to the halacha at all. he said this lashon is extremely rare in shulchan aruch.

    he answered that the first ??? is there because some people will say, ok but not me i can handle it, i am capable of platonic relationships. to that person we say ??? ! STAY AWAY! so why the second ??? ? because there will STILL be people EVEN AFTER we said STAY AWAY ??? who will say, but i have a rationalization! we only talk/we are cousins/we grew up together/etc!!!! therefore says the shulchan aruch ??? ??? EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL RATIONALE, JUST STAY AWAY! VERY FAR AWAY!


    in reply to: Yes, we live in America but…… #810258

    hahaha you just reminded me of something….. although its really not funny at all.

    in germany, just before the rise of nazism, parliament (or cabinet? i forget) meetings in germany during the winter or if they went very long even other times used to break for mincha so the members of parliament who davened didn’t need to miss the zman……………………..


    in reply to: how do Israelis shave? #809805

    let me explain, in case i wasn’t clear. the fact that i am not scholarly enough to hand down a psak on the issue does not mean i am an ignoramous. there is ample evidence that many consider the practice of “not touching the beard” to be an issue rooted in halacha, not merely an issue of conflicting minhagim. the reason i quoted the minchas eluzar is because he is one of the most recent mekoros of a halachic discourse of the issue, and indeed some factions of klal yisroel quote him as a source that trimming ones beard at all is an absolute issur, and not a minhag at all.

    the reason i quoted the chafetz chaims letter is because he also in his letter treats it as a halachic issue. however, he does not paskin on the issue, he merely stresses that those who choose to follow the psak that permits beard trimming are doing so to indulge in a detestable habit. again, he treats it as a halachic issue, NOT an issue of minhag or divrei kabala.

    therefore, even though you or someone else might come from a community where the accepted psak, and thus your mesorah, is to trim the beard, and therefore FOR YOU it would only be a chumra or minhag to take upon yourself to not do so, that may not be true for someone else.

    so to write on a public forum the words “When you talk about people “who wouldn’t touch their beards” i.e. not even to shorten with a scissors, that is not a Halachic issue, but one based on Minhag and Kabballah.” is in fact FALSE. this is because you do not know who might be reading your post, and even if it is true for some members of klal yisroel, for others this is indeed a HALACHIC ISSUE of serious import, for which they might need to consult a qualified rav.

    incidentally, the shailos utshevos of the minchas eluzar, and the shailos utshevos of those he quotes and rebuffs, absolutely definitely positively completely fall within the realm of halacha seforim. the minchas eluzar was not writing for his or our amusement, and he felt that trimming ones beard at all is a serious issur, and that brings it into the arena of modern-day halacha.

    just for reference, an issue of minhag for example might be using olive oil to light ner shabbos instead of wax. the reason it is an issue of minhag as opposed to halacha is because it the poskim have clearly been machria that one may suffice to use wax. thus, the issue of olive oil instead of wax can be called an issue of minhagim. the ramifications of this are many, among them might be that if you grew up in a household using olive oil, or you did so yourself, but then you want to change, it may be possible to do so merely by being matir neder (THIS IS NOT A PSAK, I AM NOT A POSEK) however, if you are part of a community that believes that trimming the beard is an issur, it may be much more complicated to change your derech, as you are now changing your halachic mesorah. this doesn’t mean it cant be done. i am just trying to demonstrate what it means when an issue is halachic in nature as opposed to one rooted in minhag.

    i cannot discuss halacha midivrei kaballah, as that is another issue entirely, and btw is not given enough respect i think by many, as it in fact is a very serious issue.

    ^_^ hope i made myself clear!

    in reply to: how do Israelis shave? #809804

    nope. i didnt say it definitely is halacha. i said it definitely is a halachic issue, as opposed to an issue of minhagim or divrei kabbala.

    in reply to: Platonic Relationships #810094



    Can something like a platonic relationship exist? Amongst family members (outside of siblings obviously)?




    Some believe platonic relationships can exist even with non-family. A lot of people think they can’t. Some would be appalled at the idea that cousins of opposite genders can be friends while others would be appalled at the idea that they can’t. It depends on the community and the people.

    how interesting. here’s a little tidbit for you. when the torah was given at har sinai, one of the psukim mentions the word bechi, which means crying. the meforshim explain (there are other explanations given) that even though the simcha was so great, many marriages had to be dissolved because of the issurei haarayos that were given at matan torah! can you imagine? all those forbidden relationships existed!

    now, maybe you will say, yes but surely it wasn’t commonplace!

    well then. some meforshim further explain that in fact it’s puzzling, why DID the torah assur the arayos? (obviously genetics isn’t the answer, as people had been doing it for many generations. indeed, most of the early generations of klal yisroel married blood relatives. it would seem that the genetics issue must have come about at a later time (or perhaps are a result of the issur? but thats a little mystical. not my style.). in any case, it isn’t the answer the rishonim give, so it is a moot point.) some take the question even further and ask (read carefully) that indeed this would seem to contradict logic, as the most sensible person for you to marry would be a close relation, SUCH AS A BROTHER MARRYING A SISTER! the reasons are obvious – they are from the same family, so they would be familiar with each others habits which would facilitate the developement of the relationship, in derech of avodas hashem they would have similar haskafic outlooks, and there are many other “minor” reasons it would be beneficial as well (inheritance, etc.) in addition, close family would be the natural first place to look, even outside the brother-sister relationship. meaning, one would naturally pair together a boy with his aunt if his sister wasn’t an option, for the same reasons mentioned above.

    now isn’t that fascinating? (puts a whole new spin on why touching derech chiba is, according to (i believe most if not all) poskim, strictly forbidden outside of your mother and father.

    the answer the rishonim give is that since people are biased, it could possibly happen that there would be a non-related girl who would really be better suited as an ezer kinegdo, but a man might still rather take his sister, because this way he can avoid a lengthy search for the right person (what about zivug? good question, i dont know, clearly the rishonim were dealing with the question in terms of our hishtadlus), and he already has a relationship with his sister so it’s much easier (or vica versa for girls). THUS hashem insured that we would always enter into a search for the “right” zivug, resulting in the appropriate level of hishtadlus leading up to marriage.

    now that doesn’t sound platonic to me.

    halacha, incidentally, reflects this to a degree. without parents in the house, it is assur for a brother and sister to live together for more than a week or two (the exact time frame is debated by poskim).

    A BROTHER AND SISTER???? can you imagine? well halacha can.

    just my two cents ^_^

    in reply to: Avodah Zaroh in Nail Salons #810595

    how sad; this is where common sense and halacha leave a gap apparently. the jewish nation is supposed to set an example by their behavior, and the one thing we must avoid at ALL costs is chillul hashem. so if one is a respected and well loved member of a community, and by saying a line about idols needing toilets he will cause some irritation, but not more than that, well i dont know maybe its ok.

    but now imagine that saying that to a woman in a nail salon with whom you have no realtionship will cause her to be angry at your mockery of her belief (i am not saying this will happen, we have not been provided with enough information, i am merely wondering aloud to all those who blindly promote mocking idol worship) now she and all her co-workers go home and, fuming, tell all their families angrily about the rude jews who have no respect for others. well i wont draw up any crazy fantasies, but things could easily go beyond this point.

    however, even without going farther, are you SURE that this behavior is what hashem desires? avraham avinu is not a good example; he was trying to accomplish something very different, and indeed had his own unique mission. NO ONE believed in god, and he needed to break through their belief system in a dramatic way. (according to many mefarhsim, not only was he was not aware god was going to perform a miracle for him, but he was actually quite certain that breaking all the idols like he did would result in his death. if mocking the idol worship in the nail salon would result in you being murdered, would you still be confident it was what hashem wanted?)

    i would take a more appropriate example from the nun at rav yaakov kaminetskys levaya.

    in reply to: how do Israelis shave? #809801

    “When you talk about people “who wouldn’t touch their beards” i.e. not even to shorten with a scissors, that is not a Halachic issue, but one based on Minhag and Kabballah.”

    this is far from the truth. (and this is coming from someone who trims his beard and used to shave clean). i do not have the wherewithal to have a scholarly discourse about this, i am simply lacking in knowledge. however, there are QUITE a few major poskim who take issue with jews who do not grow beards.

    of special interest in the minchas eluzar, the munkatch rebbe in pre-world war 1 europe, who wrote a lengthy teshuva on the subject, quoting and rebuffing many other poskim who in his time had come out with the “revolutionary” psak that maybe it was ok to not have a beard. he writes in an addendum that he later recieved letters from several of those poskim who surrendered to his superior reasoning, and one who explicitly stated that he (the writer of the letter) wished he had never published his original learning, as he now realized the topic was of far greater importance than that which he orginally ascribed it. i dont know which teshuva it is, i read it (quoted in its entirety) in a sefer about the subject of whether it was ok to cut off one’s beard.

    there are also writings from the chofetz chaim on this subject, in which he discusses the matter in far stronger terms than “minhag” or “kabbala”, indeed he writes about the “detestable habit” of those who do not keep their beard.

    it is interesting to note that in the opening lines of the minchas elazars teshuva, he remarks how upsetting it is that there are those in society who try to talk about the growing of beards as though it is just a matter of minhag or kabbalah……..

    well i do in fact shave my beard. but you should be careful how you talk about it, it DEFINITELY IS a matter of halacha.

    in reply to: shidduch dating, advice needed #810848

    im puzzled…….. what on earth is wrong with casual (NOT strained) shmoozing with your daughters potential date for a few minutes? although my own children are not yet of marriagable age, i remember my own dating experiences quite well, and many of these meetings were awkward and strained. if you do not have the skill to have such a “pre-shidduch” conversation without a show of buffoonery (most people, sadly, fall in this category) then by all means, have your daughter ready asap (within reason, i read 80’s comments) and end the travesty quickly.

    however it IS tragic that you should not have a chance to interview the gentleman who will be spending an evening with your daughter (as a marriage prospect, no less) for a few minutes. i remember those few parents who mastered the “art” of shmoozing (and an art it is). we had very pleasant conversation for a little bit, and then i went on my way. indeed i remember one shidduch (not my wife) where i was warned beforehand by the shadchan, that the father of the girl, of european descent, had the “minhag” to talk to the boy for a while before letting the girl leave the house with him, and i shouldn’t bring it up again on the date because “the girl was sensitive about it”. indeed i spoke to the parents for 20-30 minutes before being let out of the house. i recall the conversation as being pleasant and not forced in the least.

    (now although im advocating 20 minutes) i was so impressed by those parents behavior. (bad grammar i know.) i think sometimes people lose sight of an important thing – this isn’t some romantic novel where your daughter and her shidduch date are the protagonists and the parents are support characters who cheer (or boo) from the sidelines. THIS IS JUDAISM. where dating is an amalgam of research, focused interviews solely for the purpose of determining marriage prospects, and objectivity for as long as possible. (thats why you do as much background checking as possible BEFORE you go out, because once you like a guy, it will be harder to dispassionately analyze data)

    IN ADDITION a LARGE portion of the responsibility to assure a proper shidduch is made rests on the parents. YOU are responsible for making sure your daughter marries a mentsch. sounds archaic? don’t worry; so is no electricity for 24 hours out of every seven-day period. the idea that parents should just do some checking and then smilingly propel their daughter out the door into the arms of some guy who they hardly know is bizzarre, and a construct of a society where people are more worried about creating 5 minutes of discomfort than what might actually be the right thing to do.

    i dunno. maybe im way off, but i think you should take the time to get to know this guy, at least in a rudimentary way, before allowing him to spend time privately with your daughter. i geuss i am old fashioned that way.

    (my father who is from a different generation (i am his youngest son) often tells me stories about how when he went out, most of the first date was spent with the parents of the girl, with many parents not even letting you leave the house on a first date. it slowly tapered off until before each date, you had a lil meet n greet like we have now before the first date. i asked my father if those meetings were awkward. he said “sometimes. but so what?” as in, therefore they should be done away with? well you can’t roll back the clock (your daughter would never get married) but i think they were doing it right back then, and 5-10 minutes of a prospective chossons time to get a sense of who he is is important, and shouldn’t be so easily discarded because it might GOD FORBID cause a few moments of awkwardness. i would hazard to say that if those small moments cause him not to marry your daughter, then it wasnt bashert.)

    well thats all.

    haha spoke too much.

    in reply to: learning vs working – which is harder? #806906

    rsrh, i am truly envious.

    in reply to: learning vs working – which is harder? #806896

    hmmmmm. i geuss the only thing that peeves me is when people bring an attitude (either way really,) to the table with them.

    and you DO hear it all the time. “oh he’s in learning (frown) well that’s nice but i actually work for a living” is a comment i have heard at many a time. indeed, a relative of mine recently asked me rather bluntly (and he was well meaning, i have been married 5 yrs and am still in kollel, all the credit goes to my aishes chayil) “when are you going to stop fooling around in kollel and get a job”

    such comments really get me, i think the slackers in the learning community have somehow become the stereotype. i know in my own yeshiva, they are the exception, so it really puzzles me how this happened.

    in reply to: girls!!!! DON"T SELL YOURSELVES CHEAP!!! #805791

    maybe popa, but tell me this, if was frustrated and annoyed, should she post here, or in her private diary?

    in reply to: Who believes the Talking Fish Story from 2003? #805821

    hmmmm. in fact, health, i do actually agree with you on that point, although only to an extent, and not to an extreme.

    in reply to: Who believes the Talking Fish Story from 2003? #805819

    hahaha health you may have missed my point. my point was, who cares if you believe it? hopefully the person who it was supposed to affect believes it, and hopefully it affected them the point i was trying to make was this:

    we may never know what really happened in that morgue. but that doctor, who was a sane, rational, and very smart human being really honestly truly truly believed that a dead man came back to life to give him a message from his zeide, and you know what he did with that experience? he went up to the break room and had a laugh. even if it was his neshama talking, a message from hashem it was either way. turns out it wasnt wasted because 10 yrs later it eventually helped nurture a decision to go to arachim, but the bottom line is he did nothing after a man came back from the dead to speak to him (again; thats what he believed)

    whether or not a fish spoke is a non-issue. the result, however, is not. we do not have to believe a fish spoke or did not speak, because it will affect us very little whether we view it skeptically or not. are you going to move to yerushalayim and never speak divrei bitul again for the rest of your life if you allow yourself to believe it might have happened? BUT! what about the person who claims it happened to them? did they change as a result?

    the rest is just inconsequential.

    in reply to: Heels on Dates #1126018

    I asked my rav and he said that…………….

    many of my friends agree with me……………

    hmmmmm. didn’t shlomo hamelech’s son have a similar situation, where his friends said one thing, and his rebbeim something else? i forget, what did he do, and what happened as a result?

    see if you can recall.

    other than that one point, thread is a waste of time. her heel broke 5 min before you came, so she slipped on flats.(maybe; right?)

    in reply to: Out of Town Yeshiva #806874

    did you try yam hatorah in far rockaway?

    in reply to: Better Girls Than Boys?? #806726

    @ the op, she has been influenced by the world. it is sad, but it happens, do not judge her overly harshly for it. definitely if you are still dating her do not break up with her over this without consulting a rav. i was out with a girl who declared “today all girls need a rav for hashkafic support just like guys, i have my own rebbe, dont just expect me to be machnia to yours because you are a guy (meaning, if we ever get married, i will not just accept your rav and his hashkafos (which are mine as well) just because i am a girl. yes i know for sure thats what she meant).” i went to my rebbe with this and he said that given the state of society today, it can be easy for people to develop opinions about things, especially when it comes to hashkafa. hopefully people DO have someone reliable to guide them, and hopefully we will all grow up a little, and say a little less, as we get older.

    in reply to: Who believes the Talking Fish Story from 2003? #805813

    wow ANOTHER anonymous debate! who is taking this seriously, by show of hands?

    just fyi, i am involved in arachim, and had the fascinating experience of hearing the following story from a VERY well respected senior arachim lecturer (sorry i dont like to write peoples names on the net)

    he met a doctor at a seminar. @ the end of the seminar, the doctor (whose name he told to me, this was a private conversation.) emotionally stated that hearing the proofs of yiddishkeit so rationally presented had changed his life forever. later the lecturer asked him (im shorthanding this), tell me what inspired you to come? he replied, i have been a doctor for many yrs now, but always i had in mind to learn more about my religion one day, because of two reasons, and if not for both, i doubt i would be here. one is people know i am jewish, and sometimes i realize how sad it is that my christian friends, even the most dissasociated ones, have at least a basic idea of their religion, while i had no idea what mine was about.

    (posters note:READY FOR IT? HERE IT COMES. anything in parentheses is me talking)

    the second reason, is that way back when i was a resident, i was on morgue duty one night (or wherever it is they keep dead bodies in a hospital before being transported out) my duties included making sure people who had died of certain causes were really completely dead by administering increasingly higher electric shocks to the point where a human being could not possibly survive (you can google this for more info). one night an old jewish man was wheeled into the hospital, he had died naturally from a heart attack. he was sent down to me, and i thought about how he reminded me of my grampa, with his long beard and sidelocks. anyways, i administered the regular testing process, and when it was definitively determined that this man was absolutely and completely dead i turned around to get the papers to start the paperwork. i was alone down there, since in the hospital i was in they dont usually station more than one person at a time down there unless needed. when i turned back to the body he was staring straight at me and sitting up! i was more frightened than i had ever been in my life! he looked straight at me, and using my full hebrew name (ploni ben ploni) which NO ONE KNEW & i hadnt heard since my gramps made me have a barmitzvah, he said to me:

    DO YOU PUT ON TEFILLIN? my gramps had bought me a pair for my barmitzvah, but after he died, i never used them again, it had only been to humor him anyway. DO YOU SAY KADDISH FOR YOUR FATHER? he had recently died. i mutely shook my head no. the dead mans burning eyes looked straight into mine and he shouted YOUR ZEIDY PLONI BEN PLONI (he used his full hebrew name) IS VERY SAD BECAUSE OF YOUR ACTIONS! PUT ON TEFILLIN! SAY KADDISH FOR YOUR FATHER! HE ASKED ME TO GIVE YOU THIS MESSAGE! then the man collapsed, completely lifeless, back on the table.

    i was so shaken i could not move for a long time. eventually i went to the break room, where some of the other doctors saw me. concerned, they asked what happened. when i told them, they all looked at each other, and then burst out laughing. one of them informed me that it wasnt uncommon for people to have “experiences” while working alone with the dead, usually because they were tired at the end of a shift of working only with dead bodies. we all had a great laugh together about it. but i knew what had happened there was very very real. and so i resolved to one day do something about it, if only for my zeidy.

    well thats the story, and fyi the lecturer when he told it to me said he asked the man questions about details in the morgue room and other things, until he himself was satisfied that this actually happened. he is a BIG skeptic and hates all things mystical, but he told me that he completely believed that this doctor, a top notch professional who had an excellent reputation (and still does) had really had that experience.

    the lecturer then went to say “the amazing thing was, that was only ONE OF THE TWO reasons he went to the seminar.”

    so do strange things really happen? probably. but really, all thats important is how it affects you.

    good night!

    in reply to: girls!!!! DON"T SELL YOURSELVES CHEAP!!! #805784

    HILARIOUS! thank you all for a few minutes of quality entertainment.

    lets make sure i got it right –

    woman is very upset and posts short (and somewhat mild, really) rant. (she forgets that on the internet EVERYONE sees your words and judges you critically, no accusations there, this is a well known malady that has been tossed around for years by experts and psychologists studying the phenomenon of what happens when ppl can hide behind the anonymity of the internet. (RE: story about girl studying for finals, asian girls in library wont stop talking, she is super frustrated and like an idiot during her video blog because of her frustration she mouths off meaninglessly about how she doesn’t like asians and they dont belong in america, her life is promptly ruined, family gets death threats, she sends a heartbreaking apology to various newspapers FROM HIDING asking them to please print it on her behalf. you can google story for more info. its an object lesson about the dangers of venting on the net. as in NEVER EVER DO IT EVERYONE HATES YOU FOR IT NOTHING GOOD WILL COME OF IT EVER PERIOD.))

    People take her incredibly seriously and come out in full assault mode (they don’t look at it that way, they see themselves as being totally rational and objective, for some reason anonymity does that. the normal social boundaries that prevent us from saying certain hurtful or highly critical things or from using judgement to asses situations in a more positive light (because its socially incorrect not to) disappears. WELCOME TO THE NET!)

    she gets very defensive because of harsh attacks (totally normal response) (of course, why she should care about anonymous posters who she has never met is in itself a mystery, but the sense of “community” tends to do that. another not-so-well-understood phenomenon of the net.) and tries to rewrite and recast some of her words (perhaps even honestly)

    remember net criticism? rinse and repeat. she aint getting NOWHERE with this.

    i thought the coup de grace was at some point she made what seemed like a sincere attempt at somewhat defusing by desperately offering an “olive branch” in telling someone that their passion for defending others from anonymous net attacks was impressive.

    remember net criticism? rinse and repeat. she aint getting NOWHERE with this.

    tl;dr: the internet isnt your personal diary or your best friend, everyone can see what you wrote, and YOU WILL GET HAMMERED VIOLENTLY FOR IT. (im sure i will for this post, but it just amuses me so fire away ^_^)

    when you want to rant, go to a store, buy a leather bound note book, write comments like “all boys are SOOOOOO STUPID OMG I HATE MEN (cept my hubby hes the bees nees) AND AND AND THEY ARE GARBAGE TOO. (just an example, really i thought the op was ok. i had nothing to say.)

    then take the notebook and hide it where if someone finds it and sees it, you can be furious at the invasion of your privacy and private feelings.

    or confide in a close friend who understands how you talk, and knows exactly what you mean, and wont put your words up for public display, to be judged and bashed ANONYMOUSLY.


    even more tl;dr: i would love to see this conversation play out face-to-face


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