m in Israel

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  • in reply to: An Only Child #869422

    m in Israel
    Member

    There is a ton of psychological research out their on family placement and personality. Obviously each individual person does not necessarily fit the rules (just as there are boys who are more feminine and girls who are more masculine), but there are definite patterns. Only children have certain general characteristics, as does the oldest child, the youngest child, the only boy/ girl, etc.

    If you google it you can find a lot of information.

    in reply to: Multi-Level Marketing #863028

    m in Israel
    Member

    I made a lot of money from Amway when I was in high school, by babysitting for all the Amway members who were going to meetings to try to recruit more sellers, or who were going to the Chizzuk meetings. Helped me pay for seminary!

    in reply to: Move to Eretz Yisroel Without Accepting Citizenship #943708

    m in Israel
    Member

    Avi K — I completely don’t understand your post — or maybe you didn’t understand mine. First of all, for the record, we DID make Aliyah, and my entire family (including the kids born in the U.S.) are full Israeli citizens. However, I am quite confused as to how maintaining a foreign passport has anything to do with the sin of the spies! And of course you can renew your expired passport at any time under normal circumstances — you obviously didn’t understand my reference to “hishtadlus”. I didn’t elaborate as this is off the topic of the OP, but I’ll clarify here. The point is that since of course we are in Galus, and one doesn’t know at any point what the future may bring (i.e. nuclear war, etc.), keeping passports current is a form of hishtadlus that many people feel is appropriate. Chas v’Shalom in case of war or even simply the need to travel suddenly it may help. (Before we made Aliyah I also always made a point of having our US passports current. I know of a situation where someone died suddenly in the U.S. and they wanted to do the kevurah in Eretz Yisroel and the daughter of the niftar almost was unable to go because she did not have a current passport. They eventually found someone with connections in the State Department to help expedite things, but it added a lot of stress to an already stressful situation.)

    in reply to: Move to Eretz Yisroel Without Accepting Citizenship #943693

    m in Israel
    Member

    oh, and crazybit is right — there are strict limitations on if you can legally work here on a student or tourist visa (I don’t know what the work situation is for a permanent resident.) I worked here the year I was in seminary on a student visa, and I had to get a special amendment to my visa that allowed me to work in that one specific job. I believe those rules are pretty much the same today.

    in reply to: Move to Eretz Yisroel Without Accepting Citizenship #943692

    m in Israel
    Member

    AinOhdMilvado — There are actually not so many “zechuyot” for an oleh chadash today. (I am someone who did make Aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh, so I know from whence I speak). Basically it boils down to some cash (called the “sal klita”) over the first 7 months that you live here, very small amount of money towards rental assistance for the first few years if you don’t buy a house, free health insurance for the first year (after which you have to pay for mandatory insurance like any other Israeli), 75% tax instead of 125% if you buy a car within the first 3 years, the right to bring in 3 lifts of household items tax free, and possible help towards college degrees if you are young enough. Oh, and the State of Israel will pay for your one way airfare to come, and give you a free ride from the airport to anywhere in the country.

    On the flip side, I can perfectly understand someone wanting to keep their foreign citizenship. We are still in Galus, of course, and people feel it is prudent hishtadlus to keep their options open. (The U.S. has no problem with dual citizenship, so that was not an issue for us — but I make a point of keeping both our Israeli and U.S. passports current for the same reason.) Additionally since Israel is a country with a mandatory draft for all citizens, there are people who are nervous about becoming citizens and having to send their kids to the army. You may feel that is not right, but it is definitely a real factor to many people, particularly considering the dismal situation for frum people in the IDF.

    As far as the original question — there are many legal ways to move to Israel without declaring Aliyah and becoming a citizen — the most common ones are via a student visa or the “permanent resident” status described by The Chassidishe Gatesheader in his very informative post. However I believe that yungerman1 is wrong about the kids. My understanding is that although the parents are not citizens, any children born in the country have the automatic status of citizens unless the parents specifically renounce it. If you don’t want your kids born here to be citizens, make sure to renounce it formally after each birth.

    in reply to: infertility issues/the blessing of children #918726

    m in Israel
    Member

    bpt — It seems you are bringing up a completely different (and I believe valid) point — that people may be making choices regarding having children due to peer pressure. (And by the way, it goes both ways as well — I know of people who have children close together and have gotten comments such as “I can recommend a Posek for you to speak to if you want. . .”) If you wish to open a discussion on this topic, by all means start a thread. To raise it in this thread, where the OP is expressing pain at his inability to make that choice seems to me to be highly insensitive.

    This is particularly so when prefaced by your first post which dismissed the whole concept of secondary infertility and accused those who feel pain over their situation (including the OP) as being “selfish”. You did this by setting up a “straw horse”, and putting words into his mouth that he didn’t say. (“I think it is very selfish for someone with one or two children to equate themselves with someone who (loi uhlainu) has no children.” — The OP clearly did NOT equate themselves with someone with no children — he even specified that his awareness of those suffering with no children makes him doubt his own pain!) Perhaps you object to the use of the term “infertility”, which in your mind means no children. Infertility however is a medical term referring to a medical condition that prevents one from having kids. Both primary and secondary infertility are medical diagnoses.

    Finally, I don’t quite understand your comment with regard to the first 2 children. I would hope that no parent is having constant discussions with their older children with regard to their desire for more children. How are they sending this “unintended message”? By davening? By having treatments which I would assume the kids are not told about? The families I know are certainly not walking around talking about it with their kids — unless the kids bring it up, which is often the case. Additionally, where do you see in the OP’s post (or in my description of my relative for that matter) that anyone feels that “they have achieved nothing” by not having more kids? Each child is a complete world, not to mention that the people I know (and I assume the OP as well) have achieved much in many other arenas of avodas Hashem as well. That doesn’t change the fact that one can legitimately desire more children and be pained if circumstances beyond their control prevent it. It seems you are projecting your own negative social experiences, and perhaps the feelings you think others have towards you, onto a whole class of people in a very unfair way.

    Personally, my mother had complications when my youngest sibling was born that prevented her from having any other children (there were no treatment options available for the situation, so she knew it was over). It wasn’t till I was an adult that I realized what pain she must have felt when she knew at the age of 31 that she would never be able to have another child. She never expressed that pain to me, however, and the only discussion I remember with regard to it was one time when I was innocently commenting (for probably the hundredth time!) about “when we get another baby. . .”, and my mother explained to me that because of how sick she was after — was born her body is not able to have any more children. I certainly felt disappointment — but for myself, not for her!

    in reply to: infertility issues/the blessing of children #918717

    m in Israel
    Member

    bpt — I’m sure there are people who have kids due to “peer pressure” — but there are also plenty of people who want children. Why do you assume the reason your “Couple B” is having treatments is due to pressure?

    And since infertility, both primary and secondary, are often medical conditions, it is normal for someone to feel “something is wrong”. This is not a discussion on people choosing a smaller vs. larger family — it is about someone facing circumstances beyond their control that prevent them from having the family they were hoping for.

    Beyond that, I don’t understand why “secondary infertility” is something you dismiss in such a belittling fashion. The concept that someone cannot feel like they are “struggling” just because others have it worse seems a bit bizarre to me. Would you say that someone who is struggling with Parnassah in a low paying job has no right to feel bad because there are so many people without any jobs at all? That someone with an illness that has a good prognosis cannot feel pained because there are people with terminal illnesses out there? Everyone has their own nisayon, and I believe that belittling someone else’s pain is insensitive no matter who you ask, even if you think they have no right to feel it.

    I have a relative who has been trying for over 8 years to have a third child. Of course she appreciates the bracha that she has of her 2 great kids. She and her husband are wonderful parents, and really wanted a large family. Her pain of loosing that dream is certainly not the same pain as a childless couple, but it is very real nonetheless.

    in reply to: infertility issues/the blessing of children #918703

    m in Israel
    Member

    Secondary infertility brings with it a very complex emotional roller coaster. That feeling of “am I wrong for feeling this pain when so many people don’t have any kids and would give anything for the Brachos that I already have” is very normal. It is also very legitimate and normal to feel that pain. The advise to check out some forums specifically dedicated to this topic is a good one. But you most certainly are not alone.

    If you are the type to get chizuk from fiction, Sara Weiderblank’s most recent serial in Binah featured a beautiful and realistic portrayal of someone dealing with secondary infertility. Maybe you can get the back issues from someone.

    Hatzlacha to you in this nisayon.

    in reply to: What's the argument against having a Madina? #852496

    m in Israel
    Member

    Avi K — It is definitely brought down in Chazal that one who tries to do the right thing is helped. The question is whether that logic can be inverted to say that if one is helped in a specific situation, therefore you can conclude that your actions are right. I was specifically told by an Adam Gadol that such is NOT the case. One must figure out based on Halacha/ Torah Hashkafah if a specific action is right, and not just based on how successful it is. The idea here is that Hashem may have many calculations as to why something should succeed in addition to the above mentioned concept of helping someone doing the right thing (one example being that He is allowing the Satan to create confusion so as to enable us to exercise our bechira.) As I mentioned in my previous post, there were many evil individuals and countries throughout history who enjoyed power and success for many years (how many years did the Inquisition enjoy tremendous success?)

    To be very clear, I am not saying the creation of the Medina is right or wrong — simply that I do not believe you can use the Nissim that were seen in many of the wars here as some sort of “proof” that it is right.

    For the record, I do live in Eretz Yisroel, and I am a citizen who votes. We asked Sha’alos before we made Aliyah, both from my husband’s Rosh Yeshiva in America and from 3 of the biggest Chareidi Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel, and were told we should come.

    in reply to: What's the argument against having a Madina? #852417

    m in Israel
    Member

    Avi K. — I am not at all disagreeing that we must give tremendous thanks to Hashem for Nissim that saved Jewish lives and enabled us access to Mekomos Kedoshim. Throughout history individual communities have commemorated yeshuos that came when various dangers have faced them. I am just questioning if a yeshua (or any miraculous success) indicated someone is doing the right thing. Do you have a source for your statement that a Chazaka of yeshuos indicates that ones behavior is correct? I know for certain that in individual life this is definitely NOT the case!!! (I once heard from a Rosh Yeshiva with regard to a completely different topic that if things are going remarkably smoothly on a project that is usually a reason to take a closer look that everything is Yosher, as when real Avodas Hashem is occurring the Satan tries very hard to make it difficult!)

    Mod 72 — Although I agree with the bulk of what you are saying, I don’t believe that “aisav sonai as Yaakov” means we don’t need to look at our own behaviors. Chazal have very clear instructions as to how we should behave in galus. They don’t say “well, they hate us anyway, so just do what you want.” We are specifically told to take a low profile in galus, not to antogonize the goyim, etc. Again, I am not addressing whether or not the creation of the medina falls into this — I am not an expert on the topic.

    Additionally, it is interesting to note that historically Jews have gotten along much better with the Arabs (who technically are not benei aisav) than the Christians. Obviously there were plenty of rough times, but many of the communities in the Middle East (such as those in Iran and Iraq) were actually there in relative stability since Churban Bayis Rishon! This is in stark contrast to the constant expulsions and worse the Jews throughout most of Europe faced. It was only really post WWII that things became so bad in these countries and the communities began to leave.

    This happens to be one of the strong arguments against the whole concept of the “Palestinian refugee” issue — since the creation of Medinat Yisroel, as many Jewish “refugees” were forced out of their homes in Arab countries as the number of Arabs who left their homes in Israel. The difference is that Israel absorbed these Jews into their country, while the Arab countries made sure to keep these “Palestinians” separate to perpetuate the complaint.

    Finally, my personal feeling is (no source for this, just my thoughts) that whatever the proper Hashkafa is with regard to the Zionists and the state of Israel, I have tremendous Hakaras Hatov to the rank and file soldiers who are putting their lives on the line to protect other Jewish lives — including my family. When we lived in Chutz L’Aretz I had appreciation for the U.S. military, how much more so I daven that Hashem should protect the young Jewish soldiers who are doing their hishtadlus for our security.

    in reply to: What's the argument against having a Madina? #852382

    m in Israel
    Member

    Avi K — I am not commenting on the main question of the pros and cons of Zionism. But your comment of “In nay case, the wondrous success of Zioinism shows that Hashem has released us from them and the time has come” is hard to understand. The fact that something is successful doesn’t mean it’s right. There were many reshoim throughout history who enjoyed tremendous success, and many very evil empires that lasted for hundreds of years. In our world of hester ponim, the fact that Hashem allows someone or some group to succeed does not mean it is right!

    (In fact there were many events leading up to the rise of Hitler, yemach shmo, that could be called wondrous or miraculous. Obviously Hashem has his reasons for why things need to happen the way they do, but you cannot determine if something is good or bad based on how successful it is. Just to be clear, of course I am not comparing the Zionist movement to Nazis! I am just making a point that success, even “miraculous” success, is not an indication of anything.)

    in reply to: Is the vaad the mafia?? #831269

    m in Israel
    Member

    “I thought the vaad was supposed to help restaurants”

    Um, actually a Vaad Kashrus is not there to help restaurants — its role is to ensure the Kashrus of the restaurant, and allow consumers to know that a specific restaurant is meeting certain Kashrus standards. And as midwesterner pointed out, like it or not, hashgacha is a business. Did this lady tell her other employees that she can’t afford to pay them their salaries now, but when business picks up she’ll pay them? Why is the mashgiach any different?

    in reply to: JERUSALEM JOBS??? #826271

    m in Israel
    Member

    Are you legally able to work (i.e. you made aliya or have a work visa)? Nefesh B’Nefesh has an employment department with constant job postings.

    in reply to: 11-11-11-11-11-11 #827702

    m in Israel
    Member

    Um, shticky guy — check out your halacha facts! In Eretz Yisroel we began saying vsain tal umatar libracha at Maariv on the 7th of Cheshvan. (The Dec. 4 date only applies in Chutz L’aretz.)

    in reply to: Herzliya: Concerns Over Youths Becoming Frum #825948

    m in Israel
    Member

    Amen! This is going on all over Eretz Yisroel — the Jewish neshama longs for its roots. Despite the stereotypes of how the Chilonim hate the Chareidim, often all it takes, especially for the younger generation, is contact with some normal, friendly frum Jews to start breaking the barriers. The brainwashing that the anti-frum tried for years is backfiring. These kids have been told that Chareidim are so awful (backward, smelly, uneducated, selfish,etc.), that when they meet normal frum people it throws them off, and leads them open to knowing more.

    Look at the amazing stories out of Ayelet Hashachar. They go into completely anti-frum Kibbutzim and are having tremendous success spreading Torah!!

    in reply to: racial harassment by charedi children #825985

    m in Israel
    Member

    I’m so sorry for your terrible and unacceptable experiences. However I think that you are making some generalizations that may not be completely accurate. A lot may depend on the neighborhood, etc. My kids go to a chareidi cheder in Ramat Beit Shemesh. I have also seen this phenomenon that kids here are more openly negative towards people who are different. (And it is not just skin color — my kids were made fun of because of their lack of Hebrew skills when we first moved, and I know of other kids having different issues as well.) However I have found the teachers and administration to be trying very hard to stop this type of behavior. When I spoke to them they were in complete agreement that these things were unacceptable, and spoke extensively to the students about proper middos and derech eretz. They also punished the ringleaders.

    I don’t think that the rebbe you spoke to who brushed it off was reflective of the general attitude of all chareidi people.

    It is also true that society here is much “tougher” than what is acceptable in the U.S. – both the secular Israeli society and the chareidi Israeli society. For better or for worse, people ARE more “thick skinned”, with it being the norm to yell and argue vehemently with others in public, etc. I was told when I got here that when dealing with bureaucracy I should never be afraid that I am being too rude or pushy, because as an American it is impossible — even my rudest and most aggressive conversations would be considered normal business here.

    Onaas Devorim like you were the victim of is never muttar — but it helps to understand the cultural context that these kids are coming from as well.

    mdd — On what do you base your rather strange assumption that Jews in Eretz Yisroel are not so concerned about “bein adam le’chaveiro”? Is there less tzedakah and Chessed in Eretz Yisroel? More stealing or cheating? More Loshon Harah? My experience has been quite the opposite, with the tremendous amount of Bein Adam L’chaviero here being quite inspiring. From gemachim on every corner to Chessed organizations, and the huge plethora of “ahavas yisroel” and “shmiras haloshon” groups. Are there those individuals everywhere with bad middos? Of course! But to make a general statement that the situation in Eretz Yisroel is as you described it just motzei shem rah on huge numbers of ehrliche frum Jews.

    in reply to: 11-11-11-11-11-11 #827699

    m in Israel
    Member

    I missed it, too, for the simple reason that I have no clue what the Gregorian calendar date is these days, so I didn’t think to look out for it. One of the lovely things about living in Eretz Yisroel is the ability to use only one set of dates — ours! The first time I wrote a check here and dated it the 4th of Av was really exciting. I also no longer need to remember each year the “Jewish date” for my kids birthday’s, as I can simply glance at their Teudat Zehut or passport!

    in reply to: Going to Israel for a Yeshiva/Seminary #825482

    m in Israel
    Member

    2scents — It seems you are more familiar with the boys yeshivos than the girls sems. There is a LOT less hefkeirus among the girls seminaries. Most have dorms with strictly enforced curfews and madrichot living in the dorm and an aim bayit either in or right near the dorm. Attendance is taken at classes, and students who are AWOL one to often are accountable. Meals are generally provided all week, and some Shabbosim, with assistance for girls who need to find places on weeks that the dorm doesn’t provide Shabbos meals.

    Seminaries tend to do VERY thorough checking on their students, so it is unlikely that there will be “very bad students” in a seminary that is catering to “good” students. There are also seminaries who cater to girls who want more freedom, or who are looking for more “fun” then than learning, but if you are going to one of those seminaries you are most likely aware of what you are going for.

    I am not denying that a certain number of young people get involved in inappropriate behavior when living away from home for the first time. But your statements that “MOST” young people learning here change for the worse is just not supported by any facts whatsoever. There are literally thousands of seminary girls and yeshiva guys here from Chutz L’aretz, and a huge percentage of them end up growing tremendously in their avodas Hashem. (I was one of them, and I had many close friends who had similar experiences. I also had a few sisters who came to Eretz Yisroel as well, and my mother is involved in Chinuch Habanos in Chutz L’aretz and has had literally hundreds of students who attended seminaries in E”Y. So although I don’t claim to be an expert, I have enough first hand experience to find your generalizations to be wrong.)

    in reply to: Going to Israel for a Yeshiva/Seminary #825476

    m in Israel
    Member

    2scents — Cinderella is right, and it also depends on the seminary. Your statement that “most” kids are involved in these things is just absurd — Ben Yehuda couldn’t hold “most” of the yeshiva and seminary students in this country! I went to a serious B.Y. type seminary in Eretz Yisroel and stayed on a second year as a madricha, and neither year did anyone in my seminary get drunk. Curfew was strictly enforced (the doors locked and you had to sign in in person, even on Motzei Shabbos), and I don’t know of anyone in my sem who hung out on Ben Yehuda. I did have friends from high school in different seminaries who became part of that scene — but these were the same girls who would hang out in America at pizza shops on Motzei Shabbos, etc.

    RabbiRabin — Almost everything can be gotten here for a price (even zip lock bags!) . You just need to determine if you’d prefer to save the money by bringing it or avoid the shlep and spend a bit more.

    I do advise bringing your own deodorant and sunscreen, both of which cost a fortune here and offer you much less of a selection. Also a box or two of really soft tissue for when you get a cold. (Kleenex is available here, but only the basic versions, and noses can get irritated pretty quickly).

    Coming with a list of people she can call for Shabbosim is also helpful — maybe an older friend, neighbor, or relative can give your daughter numbers of people she knows or met who enjoy hosting girls.

    Good Luck!

    in reply to: Chofetz Chaim Yeshivos #850977

    m in Israel
    Member

    shmuelgr — If you are in a CC high school as you say, then your current Rabbeim definitely know the nuances between each branch and can help guide you to a good match. A general question of “what is the difference?” will not get you too far.

    In a nutshell, all the branches are following the same basic derech halimud and learning the same mesechtos each year. They also have the same style of Mussar. The difference lies primarily in the fact that each branch gets slightly different types of boys, and each branch has different Roshei Yeshiva and magidei shuir. You need to figure out which type of boy is most likely to be a good fit for you (and by some of the smaller branches this may vary year to year as well), as well as where there are rabbeim who you will likely connect with. Only someone who knows you can help you figure that out.

    Good luck!

    in reply to: Rain within 3 hours after 1sr prayer of year for rain #824164

    m in Israel
    Member

    YakovL –The OP is talking about “we” in Eretz Yisroel, who DID start to ask for rain Thursday night at Maariv — the night of the 7th of Cheshvan. That same night there was the first significant rainfall of the year (there was one brief rain before Sukkos, but that was it, despite a few times when the forecast predicted more.) It also continued to rain here in Eretz Yisroel over Shabbos, B”H!

    Zehavasdad — That is the difference between Eretz Yisroel and NY. Here every drop is viewed as a Bracha, while in NY it is just a nuisance!

    I don’t want to be pessimistic, but remember that last year immediately after 7 Cheshvan there was also a rainfall — but then we had no more rain until the end of Kislev. So although I agree that this seems like a great siman Bracha, make sure to keep up your Kavana in vsain tal — halevai this should continue all winter!

    in reply to: Cupcake Recipe #823439

    m in Israel
    Member

    You can replace the milk in cake recipes with parve milk such a soy milk, almond milk, or rice milk, either the “original” versions or the “vanilla” versions. You can also usually replace it with diluted orange juice (half juice half water). The orange juice adds a bit of a flavor which may even improve the results.

    in reply to: Inglish – as She is spoken around the world #823321

    m in Israel
    Member

    I’ve seen some of these before, but some are new to me, and I think they’re really funny!

    There was a similar type of thread a while back with similar mistakes when trying to speak Hebrew which also had some good lines.

    in reply to: whats the deal with the sikkrikim #833356

    m in Israel
    Member

    Yserbius 123 — They most certainly are NOT in Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph! The Beit Shemesh group (which is connected to the group in Yerushalayim) live at the edge of Ramat Beit Shemesh Bais, at the side bordering Sheinfeld — not even the side of RBSB that is near RBSA. The individual interviewed in the Ami article didn’t even live in Ramat Beit Shemesh at all, but in the Kiryah Chareidi of Beit Shemesh proper, which is actually pretty close to the area where these nuts live. Ramat Beit Shemesh A is quite a distance (over an hour walk) from there, and is actually a very normal place with a majority Anglo population.

    I’m not sure what “recent attacks” you are referring to. The attacks on Manny’s as well as the recent beatings back and forth were carried out by the Yerushalayim people, not the Beit Shemesh ones. The Beit Shemesh nuts are involved in a fight with the Orot girls school at the border of the neighborhood, and have been protesting, calling names, throwing rocks, etc. there.

    in reply to: Another Kiruv Question #823377

    m in Israel
    Member

    cinderella (and toi)– Perhaps you should discuss your question with the person who gave the seminar. It may be that they meant you should not “bond” with the person you are doing Kiruv with over things that are assur, or attempt to ingratiate yourself with them by showing that you are also “with it.” In your example, where the girl asks point blank “did you see that movie?”, were they recommending you lie and say “no, frum Jews don’t watch movies” even if you did? That sounds strange to me. I agree you shouldn’t respond “wow, it was great, I thought it was hysterical when . . . .”. Sometimes you can explain why we don’t do certain things without getting personal, and avoid the issue, but if her response is “you mean you never watch movies?”, I still think a response like “I try very hard not to, although this is an area that I am still working on” is better in the long run then a lie, which if eventually discovered will certainly lead her to view you as hypocritical.

    Toi — My experience in Kiruv has generally involved adults, not kids at risk, so perhaps for kids it is different. I have never come across someone who got the message that I “can’t deal” with Halacha or it is “not worth it” when they found out for example that I find myself occasionally doing serious aveirahs such as speaking Loshon Harah. The usual reaction was the opposite — that even though I am FFB, I don’t just go on auto pilot and assume I’m good enough, but I am working on myself in the areas that are difficult because I truly believe in this and value it.

    Additionally they get the message that we really believe what we preach. I know of someone who started becoming interested in Yiddishkeit after coming across a copy of the Chofetz Chaim’s sefer Ahavas Chessed, which is a Halacha sefer. The person found the book inspiring because he said “Everyone talks about being nice — but you guys actually have tons of technical rules about it. Not just ‘give charity’, but how much, who comes first, when not to give, etc. This shows your really MEAN it! It’s not just a nice philosophy!” Sharing your struggles can show this is a real way of life.

    Again, I am not saying to make this person your personal confessor! But if I topic comes up, I don’t believe that telling lies in the long run will serve your best interests, and I don’t believe that is necessary to avoid learning any topic or Halacha that you have trouble with. I can even see a positive result if when learning a sefer on Tznius you explain in the beginning that tznius is required by Halacha and something you also struggle with, and you hope by learning together you can both become better in your avodas Hashem.

    I’m not sure where your comments on them liking you more come in. I have never experienced anyone liking me more or less as a result of my struggles in avodas Hashem. How much others like you is usually a result of your middos and interpersonal skills, not whether you keep all of Halacha perfectly or have some areas where you struggle.

    in reply to: Another Kiruv Question #823375

    m in Israel
    Member

    mdd — yes, I was aware of that aspect of Chillul Hashem, but I’m not sure how it connects to this discussion. You did not discuss things that only “appeared” wrong. You spoke about stealing and immorality — both of which are completely assur and would consitute a Chillul Hashem no matter who did them!! I thought that your point was that if this chashuv person sinned because “he has his struggles” then it should not be considered a ta’ana on him, and not a Chillul Hashem. My response was that of course it’s a Chillul Hashem and an aveira — but how much of a “ta’anah” it is on him only Hashem knows, as only Hashem knows how great the nisayon was. It is still just as wrong and just as much a Chillul Hashem.

    in reply to: Another Kiruv Question #823353

    m in Israel
    Member

    mdd– Obviously one is never exempt from keeping any mitzvos — that is not my point. No one is perfect, and of course there is a din v’cheshbon for everything someone does. Only Hashem knows what you could have/ should have done, and what any individual’s reward/ punishment should be. My point is that Kiruv does not require hiding the fact that you make mistakes. I am not condoning those mistakes — I am saying that there is no need to pretend to be perfect if you are not.

    Just to be clear, back to my example. It is 100% assur to dress in a way that is not in accordance with Halacha. Someone who dresses this way will be judged by Hashem, Who knows all the factors, motivations, circumstances, etc. and will reward/ punish accordingly. Someone who is not keeping this Halacha is WRONG. HOWEVER, if you are in this situation, and you are involved in Kiruv, I believe (and my limited experience has shown) that pretending you are perfect is not a better kiruv technique then sharing your own struggles in avodas Hashem.

    As far as your question with regard to Chillul Hashem I’m not sure how it connects. Any time a person does an aveira (stealing and immorality are both aveiros), he creates a Chillul Hashem. If this aveira is done intentionally and in public (or it becomes known publicly), particularly if it is in front of a minyan of Jews, it becomes a Chillul Hashem B’farhesiya — a public Chillul Hashem, which is an additional aveira besides the original aveira that he committed. Whether there are mitigating factors, taavos, etc. that affect this individual’s “nekudas habichirah” is Hashem’s cheshbon. The actions however, are still wrong. This Chillul Hashem exists whether the person committing the aveira is a Rabbi or an apikorus — the public, intentional performance of an aveira by a Jew is a Chillul Hashem.

    Similarly a person without a knowledge of Halacha who does an aveira is still doing the wrong thing. Whether or not he is completely accountable for that action is a separate issue; we are not the ones keeping the accounts, and Hashem will determine for each person what the ta’anas against him are.

    in reply to: do you confront someone when they hurt you? #822705

    m in Israel
    Member

    The Baalei Mussar learn from the story of Yosef and the Shevatim that if someone has taanos on someone else it is better to express them (keeping it in your heart while acting friendly may even be considered chanifa). However your goal should be to try to deal with the hurt and maybe either heal or end the relationship — not just to “yell and scream” and get back at her.

    As hard as it is, try to approach her calmly, in a private place, and give her a chance to explain. Keep the focus on your feelings, not on how awful she is. For example you can say something to the effect that “I was very hurt to find out that you did xyz. I’m sure you didn’t intend to hurt me, but it made me feel like you were . . . (backstabbing me, interfering in my life, etc. — describe how you feel). I would really like to understand why you did this so that I can feel better about it.” Maybe she will have a good explanation, and if not you should just end the conversation with something to the effect of “I’m glad I got this out in the open.” Try not to get sucked into a bigger fight.

    Good luck!

    in reply to: Another Kiruv Question #823350

    m in Israel
    Member

    Toi — What better role model can there be for a potential BT then someone who is also growing in their avodas Hashem? Obviously we are not talking about saying “I don’t like that one”! But what kidn of “disastrous effects” will come if, to use the example of the OP, you are learning Hilchos Tznius and share some of your own personal struggles, in line with “this is the Halacha, and it is what Hashem requires of us. Unfortunately I have a big taava with regard to wearing skirts that are “borderline” Halachically. I know it’s wrong, but I find it hard and I’m working on it.” You are showing this potential BT that even FFB’s have their nisyanos that they struggle with. Why does this “destroy” yourself as a role model.

    I am not a BT, but the people who have been the biggest role models in my life were people who I had a close enough relationship with to sometimes see their flaws and how they were trying to deal with them. No one is perfect, and pretending to be so will not bring people closer to Avodas Hashem.

    in reply to: Another Kiruv Question #823333

    m in Israel
    Member

    I am in no way an expert on Kiruv, but I find your premise very puzzling. You state “I know that when talking to someone who is not frum one is not supposed to let them know if the do the same things if those “things” are not within Torah boundaries.” Why on earth not? Did you hear this from someone with experience in Kiruv? Unless you are dealing with a young child who may be confused by “mixed messages”, I would think that one of the greatest Kiruv techniques is to share your own struggles. You can teach by your example that we are all trying to grow and improve and get closer to the ideal at all times. For example, if you learn Hilchos Tznius, I don’t see what is wrong in saying “This is what Hashem wants, and honestly it is something I am working hard at but struggling with. I know it is the right thing to do, and I hope that soon I will be living up to what I know I need to do.” This can apply to anything you are doing “wrong”.

    The only point I feel is different is your last one, where you say you have some questions about believing in G-d. Being that this is not simply a matter of having trouble acting appropriately, but rather the key underlying premise of everything, I would strongly encourage you to do whatever you need to the find the answers to your questions — not simply because you don’t want to be “hypocritical” when doing kiruv, but for your own self!! There are many books and resources out there, and I don’t know specifically what your questions are, but R’ Waldman’s book “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”, and R’ Kellerman’s “Permission to Believe” and “Permission to Receive” are great places to start for general questions with regard to belief in Hashem and the Torah. I think you should probably try to address your questions before continuing with your kiruv work.

    Good Luck!

    in reply to: Yiras Shamayim #822067

    m in Israel
    Member

    I believe Yiras Shamayim is how much your are internally aware of Hashem in your life, and act accordingly. It’s what you do when “no one” is looking — except for Him. Many people know how to “walk the walk and talk the talk” — Yiras Shamayim is what is left when you strip away all of the social pressures and supports.

    On a side note, I once heard from a Rosh Hayeshiva that he was once asked about a boy’s yiras shamayim when someone was researching a shidduch. His response was that Yiras Shamayim is a tremendously important thing in a shidduch — but how could any one else possibly know that about a person!!

    in reply to: Nasi Project has a new approach, I hear. Is this a nasty rumor? #823880

    m in Israel
    Member

    PBA — This is not a Ponzi scheme at all — did you read the ad clearly? The point is that these families are committing to pay very high shadchanus if someone makes a shidduch for their child, and the money is “held in escrow” so to speak by Nasi. Nasi is not paying “rewards” to anyone. They are simply compiling a list of families willing to pay these super high rates, and guaranteeing that the money will be payed by holding it in advance. Each person is paying the exact amount for themselves — not for the people before them, and if you chose to drop out (for example you get engaged via a different method!), they simply give you back your own money that they were holding (not clear if you also get back your $500 processing fee or not!).

    I’m not saying I like the sound of this — I actually don’t — but your analysis makes no sense.

    in reply to: not their fault #819545

    m in Israel
    Member

    This is a tough issue, but I think you might be underestimating your kids in your hesitation to explain the situation to them. Even a very young child can be told something to the effect that just like sometimes people get sick in their bodies sometimes people get sick in their mind in a way that makes them act or speak strangely or not nice. It is not their fault, it is because they have this sickness, and we should daven to Hashem to help them. In the meantime we should try to ignore them if they say things that are wrong, because they don’t really mean it. Especially if your kids have previous experience with those who are mentally/ emotionally disturbed they should be able to understand that explanation. (Obviously not a baby, but I assume you are not so concerned with a baby who doesn’t understand to begin with!)

    If that really won’t work, and it seems your kids are getting upset by what they are hearing, then perhaps getting together at times when you can go without your kids is the best solution. Can you tell your friend that you admire the difficult thing she has done by taking her brother in, and you do not intend it to come between you, but because being together is hard on your kids you would like to start getting together at times that you don’t need to bring the kids? Maybe a melave malka instead of the Shabbos meal, etc.

    in reply to: aliya networking #817812

    m in Israel
    Member

    Nefesh B’Nefesh’s website is a great place to start if you are coming from the U.S. or England. They have lots of information about different communities, and lots of other topics. They also sponsor “Aliyah fairs” in different locations throughout the U.S. where you can get a lot of information in one place.

    Once you are seriously considering the move, and have narrowed it down to a few areas, a pilot trip can also be very helpful.

    Talking to people you know, who know you, who have “been there, done that” is also a great resource.

    Good Luck!!

    in reply to: Are you required to Pay employees for Chol Hamoed? #817743

    m in Israel
    Member

    zehavasdad — I don’t know where you have worked, but MANY non-Jewish employers are closed on non-Jewish holidays and do NOT pay their hourly employees for those days. Generally speaking my experience has been that hourly employees are never payed for days that the employer is closed unless they have some sort of vacation day deal in place. If there was no deal in place, your friend’s experience is pretty acceptable in the general world. If there was a deal (spoken or otherwise), that is a totally different issue that has nothing to do with Chol Hamoed. . .

    For example my sister worked in the office of a non-Jewish company, and they were closed for many non-Jewish and legal holidays. She did NOT get payed for those days, but had the option to use them as part of her vacation time. Since she needed her vacation time (it was not many days per year) for the Jewish holidays she always lost pay on the non-Jewish hoidays.

    My sister-in-law also worked for a non-Jewish company. Their policy was slightly different. They required you to use the week of Dec. 25, when they were closed, as part of your vacation days, even though they were closed. So if your deal with them included 20 “vacation days”, it really was only 15, as they counted that week against your deal.

    As a previous poster said, the point is that hourly employees are exactly that — paid for by the hour that they work, whether the not working is by their choice or by the choice of the employer. (I do think it would have been more appropriate business protocol to inform the employees when they were hired as to which days they would not be working, so they can plan accordingly, but that is a side point.)

    in reply to: BMG bans cellphones with texting #815680

    m in Israel
    Member

    zehavasdad — Sorry, but that’s an “urban legend”. Stuyvesant is technically part of the NYC public school system, and subject to the same Chancellor’s Regualation A-412 as all NYC public schools. Students are still not allowed to bring cell phones to school, and if a student is found with a cell phone it may be confiscated and returned only to their parent or guardian. (You can see this information on their own website as well as on the NYC DOE website.)

    in reply to: P3 tutoring #813585

    m in Israel
    Member

    mra01385 — The situation in Queens is very different then in the rest of the city with regard to P-3 providers because most of the yeshiva elementary schools and many of the Catholic schools have direct DOE providers for SETSS services so not many P-3’s are issued. There are some issued at the high school level, and occasionally when there is an overflow of students or a small caseload in a specific school. That is not the case in Brooklyn and the rest of the city, where the primary way in which private school students receive SETSS services is through P-3 letters.

    in reply to: "intellectual stimulation" #813227

    m in Israel
    Member

    aries — From your last post it seems that we don’t disagree. If your problem is simply with the explanation that someone is working for “intellectual stimulation” then I agree with you (as I said strongly in my previous post). My problem was that you seemed to say that any woman who works when it is not out of financial necessity is a bad mother. I was simply trying to make the point that a woman who knows herself and is making choices for her own emotional health may still be a good mother, assuming these choices are within reason. I love being home full time with my kids — but I can understand how some women may find it hard.

    I have a friend who worked out of financial necessity in the early years of her marriage. At some point her husband got a better paying job that allowed her to quit her job and stay home with her kids. She stayed home for a year and went out of her mind — her personality was such that she craved the social interaction and structure that going to work each day gave her. The next year she returned to work part time, and although I could not relate to her feelings, I still think she’s a great mother who loves her kids.

    Obviously your kids should come first, and the ideal is for a woman to be there for her kids all the time — but part of caring for your kids is caring for yourself. There is a famous story of a woman who was at her wits end after a rough day and just needed some “me” time, so she locked herself in the bathroom and settled down for a relaxing bath. The kids began knocking on the door and asking her what she was doing. She responded “I’m making a mother for you.” It takes a lot of self introspection and honesty to differentiate between your selfish desires and your legitimate emotional needs, but it it important.

    apushatayid — I don’t understand your point. Are your trying to say that because a woman needs something to do in the years before she has a child, and getting a degree/ starting a career is a good use of that time, therefore for the next 20 years she shouldn’t be home with her kids??? She’s working because otherwise she wasted her schooling? What if she got a job offer that did not require her degree, that was a much better job, would she turn it down because how can she let her schooling go for naught?

    in reply to: "intellectual stimulation" #813224

    m in Israel
    Member

    tickle toe eitus — Actually it was very worth it, although it was difficult. I did my B.A. relatively quickly by taking many credits per semester (I was able to get certain maximum case loads waived), as that was before I had any kids. My MS took an additional two years. When I completed that I was able to take a job with much better working conditions and about a $20,000 higher salary then the jobs I had previously available. In addition the salary went up dramatically over the next years, so that my last year working I was making close to $70,000 plus benefits in a job that allowed me to be home before my kids got home from school!

    Without my degrees I would have been forced to work much longer hours, with less flexibility to be there for my kids. Additionally although now I B”H have the financial ability to stay home, I don’t know think that will be the case long term. The investment in my education will allow me to go back to work at a higher salary in the future if necessary, so it was not for “just” those 10 years.

    Although it was a lot of effort at the time, the approximately 5 years of hard work at an earlier stage in my life, when I had less family responsibilities (I finished my masters when I was expecting my 2nd child) meant that when B”H I had children who were growing older and needed me I was much more available to them while still allowing my husband to learn in Kollel and then work in Chinuch.

    in reply to: "intellectual stimulation" #813219

    m in Israel
    Member

    mikehall — I am a woman with “a brain”, B”H. Without putting up my resume right now I will say that both in high school and college I was considered very smart, and I have a B.A. and M.S. and worked in the secular world for 10 years, and am now beginning my 2nd year as a “stay at home mom”. I therefore think I am somewhat qualified to state emphatically that there is plenty of opportunity as a mother and wife to stimulate and challenge your brain!! As many people have already mentioned, the job itself involves a lot of brain power, and a women always have the option to listen to tapes, read books, etc.

    That is not to say there are no reasons that a woman may feel unfulfilled at home. IMO, one of the posters earlier who mentioned “social stimulation” is on target. It can be very lonely and isolating to be spending your entire day without adult conversation, which may be the “stimulation” these women are craving.

    aries — I personally strongly agree that ideally a woman should be focusing her talents and energy on her most important role as a mother. However as with all generalizations, there certainly are exceptions, and every one needs to know themselves. I personally love being home with my kids finally, and find myself laughing out loud when former co-workers wonder if I’m “going out of my mind” home all day (I worked until now as a result of financial necessity, not because I wanted to). I don’t believe, though, that a woman who finds it overwhelming to be home all day with her kids, and chooses to work/ volunteer/ learn outside of her house is not worthy of having and raising kids, as you imply. Obviously there are extremes in everything, and someone who is pursuing selfish desires at the expense of their kids needs a serious change in priorities. But sometimes a woman may know her weaknesses and realize that the time spent out of the house is necessary for her own well being. It’s not ideal, but these women are doing the best they can and many are wonderful mothers and wives despite these needs. I found your posts to be very judgmental.

    in reply to: Is The Story True? #811600

    m in Israel
    Member

    The “fact” is that most news items have a large element of subjectivity involved. No news source will simply report facts without context, and the context is critical to the interpretation. Even without addressing the subjectivity in deciding which stories to print, which sources to use, etc. Even the wording in a factual statement can have subtle implications that we don’t think about. For example, look at the difference in these two completely factual statements saying the same thing:

    “Mr. X was unable to comment about the event due to company policy”

    “Mr. X refused to comment about the event citing company policy as his reason.”

    Both statements are factual and contain the exact same information, without one world of opinion, but the opinion of the writer comes through just the same.

    Bottom line is that I agree with the OP that one must always be cautious when accepting information. Evaluate the sources, and if it’s about something important check multiple sources, and of course as my husband’s Rosh Yeshiva always said (albeit in a different context), “there’s never an excuse to turn off your brain.”

    in reply to: Davening while running through the streets #811010

    m in Israel
    Member

    There’s a famous “Berdichever” story. Once the Berdichever Rebbe saw some frum wagon drivers greasing the wheels of their wagons as they finished up Shachris. The Berdichever said “Look at the greatness of Klal Yisroel — even while greasing their wagon wheels they are davening!”

    Seriously, everyone has their own nisayonos, and for some waking up on time is very difficult. It is their avodah, and quite frankly none of your business. Can you say in honesty that there are not areas of Halacha that are hard for you? When people speak Loshon Hara, is that always “an open disregard for the halachos of shmiras halashon”? I would venture to say that for most frum Jews it is an issue of overcoming a particular yetzer hara, not disregarding Halacha.

    in reply to: Rosh Hashana davening #810702

    m in Israel
    Member

    Your feelings are very common. Despite the fact that we know intellectually that once you BH have a family your avodas Hashem is very different then the more direct “spiritual experiences” you’ve been having until now, it is very hard emotionally and psychologically to make that switch. Depending on your baby’s schedule, you can certainly daven most of the davening at home. Also try to have around material on inyanai deyoma that you can read. If you have someone who you can swap time with so that each of you watch the other one’s kids for part of the time so that both of you can get to shul that’s great, but keep in mind that your main obligation at this point is not to be in shul.

    An idea that I heard from Rabbi Ellis, shlita that I found very insightful is the concept that much of what we consider “spiritual experiences” (his term was “d’veikus bahashem”) is actually regesh — emotion. While regesh is definitely an important tool in avodas hashem, it is not innately spiritual — the ONLY way in this world to access true spirituality is to do what Hashem has told us to do. It is very helpful to remind yourself that what you are lacking on Rosh Hashana is the emotional experience of davening in shul — but not in any way are you lacking in your connection to Hashem, which comes as a result of doing his ratzon. It is now your job to try to access the same fulfillment without the aid of the “regesh” that helped you until now.

    Good Luck!

    in reply to: registering to vote #799869

    m in Israel
    Member

    To further bomb’s point — although living in NY means that as a Republican you won’t affect large elections, on a local level your vote can make a difference, and it is often the local level politicians who are very important to local mosdos and even private individuals. These local politicians are very in tune with the local demographics, and keep close tabs on who votes, often with staffers monitoring on voting day who actually comes out. If the numbers show that our community is not likely to come out, they will be that much less likely to help out the next time a local institution needs help.

    As far as jury duty goes, I’ve been registered to vote in NY for 11 years and have not once been called for jury duty, and I have friends who are not registered who have been called more than once in recent years. Jury lists are taken from numerous sources including driving licensce lists, property owners, etc.

    in reply to: Severance pay #791630

    m in Israel
    Member

    Severance pay is not necessarily a matter of “professionalism” or “accepted practice”. It may be a legal/ halachic responsibility depending on the job. If this is a practical question, check to see if your contract has any rights in this regard. Also if it is a clear industry wide standard that may give you rights. (For example in the Yeshivish Chinuch world it is generally accepted to pay one month’s salary for each year that you worked as severance pay for those who have worked at least 3 years before being let go. Bais Din will often enforce this.)

    in reply to: Do you watch movies? #800548

    m in Israel
    Member

    I’m not a very “b’shitta” type of person, so although I don’t have a TV, certainly don’t go to movie theaters, and don’t generally watch movies, I wouldn’t say “I don’t watch movies” because if I happened to be somewhere and others were watching a movie I would possibly sit down and watch if it seemed interesting.

    However I truly don’t believe there exists any non-kids movies today which are “a perfectly kosher movie” — maybe “mostly kosher” or “pretty ok” . .. .I remember when I was in high school there was a certain movie that had come out that was very popular among the girls in my OOT Bais Yaakov. Many girls who didn’t “watch movies” were watching it “just to see some of the great choreography”, and anyway, it was “perfectly clean”. A friend of mine was convinced by someone to join her in watching. About 15 seconds into the movie came the first bit of nivul peh. When my friend raised her eyes, the other girl said “oh, everyone talks like that in the world — it doesn’t count!” — and of course the romantic subplot with the related scenes didn’t count either. . .

    Although for a woman or girl watching movies is probably not halachicly assur (men are obviously a different issue), you are definitely introducing many things into your mind that you are better off without — language, twisted values, violence, unrealistic relationships, etc.

    in reply to: invited to a treif restaurant ! #790849

    m in Israel
    Member

    This is a Halachic Sha’alah that should be asked to a Rav/ Posek — not the coffee room! If it’s applicable to tomorrow, get in touch with a Posek ASAP! When I worked it the secular workplace I had similar issues at times, and the Psak differed based on many factors (the importance of the meeting — work vs. social pleasure, the results if I wouldn’t go — both the obvious and the possible ill-will as a result, the location of the meeting — in the restaurant itself vs. catered in a more neutral location like a conference room, if other frum people were involved — sometimes we were able to arrange a Kosher table)

    Maaris ayin may be more of an issue if you are just sitting with everyone sipping on a drink where it may seem like you are part of the meal then if you bring (or have ordered) special Kosher food with numerous wrappings. Sometimes a Posek may tell you to davka make sure that you have plastic utensils clearly displayed or the packaging on the table next to you so that even a casual observer can see you are not eating the restaurant food.


    m in Israel
    Member

    charlihall — That is not a similar case, as Hinckley did not actually kill anyone, so he was facing a shorter sentence. Aaron will almost certainly be facing life in prison, so it’s hard to see how getting committed to a hospital for the criminally insane can be any worse. In general over time inmates in these hospitals end up getting more “time off”, visitations both in the hospital and at home with their family, etc. then prisoners. (IIRC Hinckley himself had quite a bit of time at home with his family until they discovered that he was smuggling more Jodie Foster materials back into the hospital after these visits. . .)

    in reply to: DIVORCE CRISIS – young couples getting divorced #1200091

    m in Israel
    Member

    Peacemaker — I most certainly did not refer to a child as a “tzaar”! Please read my post again more carefully. The word “tzaar” means pain. I said the second case was “with the added tzaar (pain) of a child on the way.” It is usually true that a divorce with children (or in this case with a pregnant wife) involves more pain, even from the simple perspective of an additional person having to live with added pain (“tzaar”) in their life. Additionally it is more painful for the couple who must now worry about the impact on their child. It is the divorce which is painful, and divorce with children is even more painful — of course it is not the child who is the source of pain. In this particular case the mental health issues of the husband that led to the divorce should have been revealed before hand. This happened a number of years ago, and the child who lived many years with minimal contact with his father certainly suffered much pain — and this was an added dimension to the tzaar that always accompanies the breakup of a marriage.

    in reply to: Eating disorders… #795766

    m in Israel
    Member

    happiest — It most certainly does rate as an emergency. You are not calling his cell phone — you are leaving a message with a secretary, which is PERFECTLY FINE. This is a time related question, and I’m sure your rav will be happy to get back to you. If it makes you feel any better, there are many people who have shaalos related to fasting (such as pregnant and nursing women), and most rabbanim expect “fast related” questions before Tisha B’Av and Yom Kippur especially.

    Unless there are very unusual circumstances, it is probably in your best interest that your parents know you are struggling and can therefore support you. If your Rav has told you not to fast, that is the right thing to do.

    As far as the Rav vs. Dr. question, what I believe is usually the logical approach is to first ask your doctor or other medical professional (blabla you mentioned a nutritionist), and then ask your Rav the Shaila including giving over everything the professional has said. Remember a Rav can only give you the right Psak if you have given all of the information — NEVER try to hide things from the Rav when asking the Shaila. Sometimes your Rav may want to speak directly to the professional, and most professionals will be happy to do so.

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