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  • in reply to: SHOULD I LEAVE #1112826

    Two quotes from chazal come to mind

    1) you will be influenced by your neighbors

    2) better the tail of the lion then head of the fox

    Leave and leave quickly. Pick some place where you aspire to be like the guys there, that is a way to help ensure growth.

    I recently heard a story from Rav Reisman. He was discussing a bochur that left Yeshiva and surprisingly (considering he hadn’t done much in Yeshiva) he was learning a lot. When he asked the young man what was the cause of his growth he responded, “in my neighborhood, if you don’t learn, you are nothing”.

    in reply to: Chazoras hashots of Simchas Torah #1105608

    Only of the month?! Shucks, I was trying for “troll of the year award”

    As the Kutzker would say ” it may not be nice, but it’s the Emes”

    in reply to: Chazoras hashots of Simchas Torah #1105605


    If someone thinks it’s ok to act this way in shul, he is far beyond taking your question (and yiddishkeit) seriously.

    in reply to: Should I run from this guy??? #1100058

    Someone who admits they had anger issues and sought counselling is someone I respect.

    Isn’t admitting our faults and seeking to stop them the whole point of tshuva and rosh hashana.

    That said you need to do a lot of research into his divorce, and even (if you are unsure) ask him for permission to call his therapist.

    I know several cases of people who did this during shidduchim

    And Mashiach Agent

    your comment sounds like a condemnation of your entire field. Aren’t psychologists supposed to be able to help people cure their problems?

    Frankly we all deal with anger issues, Rav Moshe in his sefer talks about how he suffered from anger issues.

    We all need to learn how to control our anger, maybe this guy was successful and is a great guy.

    in reply to: Frum Men Who Color Their Hair #1098208


    According to the Chinuch the main reason of the issur (wearing clothing of the opposite sex) is to prevent male/female mixing.

    But as discussed, the poskim extend it to other areas, clearly to treat men and women differently and thus create boundaries that prevent pritzus.

    I know frum men who go to nail salons. I have an issue with that. It is inherently a place reserved for women and thus against the spirit of the halacha.

    Obviously societal norms play a role. If a frum Scot wore a kilt, that would be mutar. I would even guess that we may allow a frum asian girl in vietnam to wear those baggy pantaloons. (since they are tznius and the norm)

    The question is, “how long does it take for something to be considered a societal norm before the halacha may change?”

    I personally would want it to be universal (and not something inherently pritzusdik). If all american guys colored their hair then maybe I can see a posek reversing a previous opinion. But I may be wrong. It could be that once something is assur in a society, we don’t change it. (ie lo-plug)

    in reply to: Fitbit on Shabbos #1097832


    But you knew that answer already

    And please don’t ask ” why ?”

    It’s obvious to anyone who isn’t a goofus

    in reply to: Frum Men Who Color Their Hair #1098203


    Beged Isha includes all activities normally reserved for women. The poskim include hair coloring. If you wanted to wax your chest it would probably also fall into this category etc.

    When I was in yeshiva I knew two guys that had white patches in their hair. Both asked shaylos about coloring for shiddichum. They asked two different poskim. Both said assur

    in reply to: What is the Temple institute? #1094297

    Not to mention that creating “Kelim” is guesswork

    How can they claim to know the exact dimensions and look of the kelim?

    Can you imagine putting your entire lifes kochos into building these kelim only to be told, whooops, you got it all wrong.

    in reply to: We really do need to stop abusing animals #1091320


    I’m not confusing anything

    I’m making a point and the point is that Halacha needs to guide our sensitivities not the other way around.

    You made an opening point that you can’t be cruel to animals . as the Gemara would say “pshita”

    But then you said “I’d you see animals being abused do something about it”

    What do you propose? Calling the police?

    Then you implied it was against Halacha to buy eggs from certain poultry farms. Do you have proof for this?

    I did see that argument being made by the conservative movement when they created their own “hashgacha” that only certifies poultry farms that are “humane”.

    I applaud you for your extra sensitivity in the mitzva of tzar bal lchaim

    But halachic definitions of what is considered humane is far different from current secular thinking

    in reply to: We really do need to stop abusing animals #1091314


    Even if it was against halacha, how does that translate into sending someone to jail.

    Stealing is against halacha, but that doesn’t mean I would send them to jail.

    If I was on a jury and a 16 year old boy was brought in front of me for shoplifting a chocolate bar, I would not send him to jail

    Jail is for the most violent of criminals who can’t be around other people.

    I would do what the torah says, make him pay a fine.

    People need to be sensitive to animals because we need to be sensitive people, not because they have rights.

    Peoples rights should always trump animal rights

    in reply to: We really do need to stop abusing animals #1091311


    I’m simply pointing out the degree to which PETA has been successful. It’s not unlike what just happened with toeva.

    Our society thinks it’s ok to take a human being and degrade them. To lock them up. To put them in a locked jail where they will be abused. For the “sin” of abusing an animal.

    Of course its not ok to abuse an animal. But it’s an animal.

    where do you draw the line?

    Why can I kill a mouse in my house but not the cat that keeps on digging up my front lawn (punishable by jail in NYC)?

    why does the “rights” of an animal justify taking away the rights of a person.

    Why not leave this persons punishment up to GOD, just because his actions disgust us doesnt mean we need to punish him and degrade him?

    The fact that you think its ok to send him to jail is because your thinking has been altered by the animal rights group.

    in reply to: We really do need to stop abusing animals #1091309


    you can argue that by almost all animal slaughter, people making money from animal “cruelty”. its a slippery slope

    In addition jail robs a human of his freedom and is inherently cruel, can you justify doing that to a person because he hurt an animal?

    This morning on the NYC news they were discussing kids that ran over canada geese to make a cool video. These kids will probably be arrested. sure what they did lacked sensitivity, but the government kills these geese all the time. and is killing them with a car much different then a needle, stun gun or shcita knife?

    in reply to: We really do need to stop abusing animals #1091306

    Barry and Charlie

    what do you mean by not tolerating abuse?

    does someone really deserve to go to jail for animal abuse?

    Because that happens frequently. And IMO opinion I find it difficult to justify.

    in reply to: The real reason for the ban against chassidish women driving? #1086770


    All your logic doesn’t necessarily support your conclusion

    Your conclusion is a rather feministic theory and as a general rule I think we can be dan lkav zchus that chassidush rabbunim have more morality than what you are suggesting.

    So whats the answer

    First you need to understand that the answer may simply be, its tradition.

    I am a litvak, and therefore all your questions are questions that I would ask.

    But thats not how chassidum look at things. I have chassidush relatives and they look at anything that is traditional as halacha. They don’t ask questions (not halachic nor modern ) on an established tradition.

    Even though that’s not how I do things, I respect that approach to our religion.

    in reply to: Getting Wealthy from Mechalel Shabbos- What Happens? #1087880


    Dude he said nothing of the sort


    lets use this example

    Asnan Zoneh

    It’s a completely assur “profession” that doesn’t technically involve a loss to either participant (no stealing, mugging etc)

    we know you can’t donate the money to the bais hamikdash. We know there is an inyun for a yeshiva to not take the money.

    But you are asking

    “Is there a chiyuv for the zoneh to get rid of the money to do a complete tshuva”-maybe donate to a charity that is not kodesh (ex orphans)”?

    Al pi mussar , I would say yes, it’s kind of hard to say “I’m repentant” and then use the money to buy a car.

    But does she have a chiyuv?

    You just gave me a learning project for Shabbos, thanks!

    in reply to: Jews listening to non Jewish music #1121806

    One of the reasons listed in the gemorrah for achur (R Meirs rebbe) going off the derech is that he was always singing goyish music.

    Al pi mussar

    I would say any goyish lyrics no matter how “clean” is probably not clean. If the song has to do with any goyish topic, and you sing it over and over, it gets in your head.

    Anything in your head affects how you think and respond.

    Our religion is all about degrees of sensitivity.

    Let me ask you this

    If you have ever tried to stop listening to goyish music (and television) did you find it difficult?

    Did you maybe stop for a while and then relapse?

    I struggled with these things in my early years and only recently have I seemingly mastered the ability to be indifferent to these 2 things.

    Why was it difficult to stop? why the relapse?

    I would venture that bad habits are always difficult to stop because there is a yetzer hara, and this should prove that it’s not good for you.

    I can also tell you that whenever I relapsed, there was a yereda in my davening and desire and ability to learn. when I would stop, it would take , on average 3 months , to get back to where I was before the relapse.

    Before I started learning (I didnt enjoy it), a rebbe of mine once said to me “How do you know if you don’t like it? you never really tried it?”

    So I decided to try and for 2 months I pushed myself to be the masmid I didnt have any desire to be.

    After two months, I understood why people enjoy learning.

    I’ve, gone up and down many times since then, but Ive seen many times how a push of a couple of months brings a new perspective and sensitivity.

    So why not try an experiment? Try 2 months without goyish music? and at the same time, push a little more in learning. Then start listening to the music again and see how it makes you feel and what it does to your learning.


    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083337


    I have no requirement to improve the gashmius of others. If they need tzedakah yes, even to go to the degree that if someone who had a lexus and lost his money, and needs a lexus to “feel ok” then I have a requirement “al pi tzedakah” to provide him with it.

    But otherwise why would I provide gashmius to a rich person?

    as to your response to newbee, it’s not worthy

    to imply he is hyptocritical and therefore his point is not valid, well, thats not being intellectually honest

    in reply to: The requirement for everyone to give Tochachah #1145239


    I will grant you the point

    you may be right

    But, in theory everyone with “extrodinary circumstances” should be required to get a psak on it, which I’m guessing didn’t happen

    And wolf

    out of everything said on the subject

    Yours was the best said

    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083334


    What should I tell them about the guy with a yeshiva background?

    Should I say something nice and liberal, like “everyone is entitled to their own philosophy”?

    As to not changing minds and choices

    I think better of the readers than you. I believe that anyone who goes to a website named yeshivaworld, is looking to improve themselves through learning and mussar

    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083330


    By “us all” I meant even you (though clearly you disagree)

    and peer pressure amongst teenagers is real (and clearly is even real among adults-hence the takonos)

    and all peer pressure fits the example, whether fashion, smoking, cell phones etc.

    The anti-semitism comment is the position of numerous gedolim, so I don’t have to defend it



    I don’t point fingers

    I educate my children, about why I behave differently than others. I teach them mussar, I teach them that pursuing gashmiuos is wrong and bad for their soul. And when they ask about the neighbors mansions I tell them not to judge, maybe they didnt have a yeshiva background like me.

    If you feel that’s “pointing fingers” than I can’t help that.

    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083325


    There is a vast difference between a luxury tour and a mansion

    A mansion is a permanent and blatant statement of wealth. It is not tznius and, as per my previous statements, it is “pas nisht” for golus.

    A luxury tour doesn’t have people/goyim pointing fingers

    in reply to: The requirement for everyone to give Tochachah #1145230


    It could be argued

    but since there was no exclusion clause for the very wealthy, it would be a wrong argument


    The pressure to conform comes from those setting the high standards. Which of course places the blame on them for setting those standards in the first place.

    Hence, my example from Rabbi Frand on the other thread

    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083324


    That is disingenuous and doesn’t address either example

    I mentioned affecting teenagers not me

    I’m pretty sure that if I used smoking as an example, you would relate. You would certainly understand if i said, “50% of my sons high school class smokes and I’m afraid it might affect him”

    I also mentioned the klal and anti-semitism, which you didn’t address.


    this is not about jealousy. I can B”H afford all these things, it’s about making people think twice before indulging and maybe bringing a little more sanity and modesty into our community.

    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083321



    when a publication in any public format comes out that draws an opinion that some might take issue with does that make it lashon hora?

    No, it’s a philosophical / halachic debate.

    I don’t need semicha to reiterate obvious concepts of mussar that have been published for eons

    If people are taking offense it’s not because there is anything wrong with the message or the forum, its because they don’t like the conclusions (or have a guilty conscience)

    Its a very American liberal attitude that you cant say anything that might make someone feel “judged”

    This is yeshivaworld right?

    Yeshiva implies growth through learning and mussar

    In addition, a public forum is the right place for this. The rampant gashmius in Brooklyn affects us all.

    For example

    those that can’t afford brand name labels, have to deal with teenage kids coming home from certain schools asking for the latest in expensive fashion. If you are raising your kids one way, its hard to keep that tznius attitude once your kids hit high school and are exposed to other kids

    Even anti-semitism is increased by blatant shows of wealth (so says rav eyebshutz and others)

    If only one reader of this takes a more tznius/more mussardik approach than there is a to-elis

    in reply to: The requirement for everyone to give Tochachah #1145224


    According to your rationale how do you explain the wedding takonos from 15 years ago?

    There was nothing technically wrong with extravagant weddings, yet the rabbonim attempted to give mussar to the tzibur and reign in spending, and they did this to the klal, even though many were clearly not on the level (as can be seen by the blatant disregard of the rules)?

    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083315


    I’m just curious

    according to your point

    How does the Rav of a shul get up and give any mussar

    isn’t he running into all the problems you have stated here?

    Throughout the years many gedolim have used the public forum to have halachic debates / give tochocha

    most recently publications such as “dialogue” take strong positions against a whole host of issues.

    These publications have been produced and used by gedolim since the advent of the printing press

    whats the difference here?

    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083314


    “Sorry I cant provide exact at the moment but start with Devarim 16:15 and bavli, Shulchan aruch and Rambam on Hilchos yom tov both mention simcha on yom tov specifically with regard to eating. Also see Beitzah 15b regarding Shavuos everybody holds need “Lachem” ie time dedicated to physical yes physical! enjoyment in of itself is a mitzvah on yom tov!!”

    You have simply repeated what i said

    The mussar seforim / gemorah allows indulgence on shabbos and yom tov, but discourages it all other times

    On shavuos I came across several references to this VERY basic mussar idea. (even though i wasn’t researching it) This is truly basic mussar. For example, In igros moshe concerning the yisssacher zevulan relationship he writes that though a rich man is not doing assur by surrounding himself with fancy stuff, it’s a problem al pi mussar. In megillas rus the gra writes that we should apply hashems middah of din to ourself in the area of gashmius and limit what we own etc.

    This is really basic mussar

    And thats what this thread has always been about

    I never commented on the halachic dinner

    But I did defend newbee who took a mussar approach against it, and then was jumped on by the commentators here. Neewbee’s approach is by far the more valid one. It fits with all the gemorrah’s and all the mussar seforim. If others (including yourself) don’t want to live that way of life, thats fine, you aren’t doing anything assur (as long as you are giving maaser)


    at least be modeh to the emes

    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083305


    That comment of the gemarah of answering for not partaking of mutar items can be used to rationalize a lot.

    Clearly it’s not meant to contradict all the mussar seforim and to allow indulgence. It certainly can not be used to allow the building of mansions and driving fancy cars.

    All the seforim are clear that Indulgence and pursuit of gashmiuos is bad.

    So how do you explain that Gemorrah?

    Rav Hirsch went to switzerland to see the Alps because of that Yerushalmi. Would he say that you could use that Aggadata to rationalize yearly ski trips to switzerland. Of course not. Moderation and minimalization is the key.

    Notice the gemorrah mentions partaking with an implication of ONE TIME not continued indulgence.

    When it comes to food the gemorrah is clear, if you see something good save it for shabbos. That’s how you indulge properly, but it still needs moderation and should never stray to gluttony.

    A person needs to be continuously working on himself whether its to be more stringent in halacha or to teach himself to minimize his gashmious. Unfortunately we are a society that is growing more and more toward gluttony and indulgence.

    I never expected for these comments to be popular. For every fancy house and car out there (and there are a lot) There is a person rationalizing. Learn the mesillas yeshorim. Learn the yarot devash. We are in galus and should live accordingly.

    Hatzlocho and gut yom tov.

    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083303


    you are absolutely correct

    I personally don’t open these circulars because my heart breaks.

    It is devastating to me to see countless ads geared toward making your kitchen “Exquisite” for $100K, or any other of the many ads geared toward making us feel we need to spend a small fortune on something gashmiusdik. Even the fact that people think it is normal to spend $150 on a skirt for a teenager has me scratching my head.

    The frum velt has some serious issues in this regard.

    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083295


    There is a famous vort from Rabbi Frand about why the torah lists all the gifts given by the nisiam in parshas Naso

    Why repeat the identical series of korbonos 12 times?

    The answer is that each subsequent nasi could have said “the last one threw a party with xyz, I’m going to do one better!”

    They didn’t, and each one resisted that urge to stand out and showed tznius and mentschlikiet by doing the exact same thing as his predecessor, the torah rewards them by singling out each and repeating the gift of each to show how beloved it was to Hashem

    Your philosophy is not compatible with this.

    There are norms of society. whether it’s weddings or cars or houses. When someone “one ups” his friend and the societal norms for any reason, he invokes all sorts of problems, from ayin hora to being responsible for setting an atmosphere of “keeping up with the jonse’s”,

    such a person is not a baal mussar.

    I can easily afford a lexus, but I dont. Not because I don’t appreciate the luxury, rather its because its not what Hashem wants and because its good chinuch for my children. So says the mussar seforim.

    I have never encountered a statement in all my learning that says what you said “that some said you should live well” Just the opposite

    Especially amongst the goyim, A jew is supposed to not stand out.

    See the Yaalot devash by Rav Eybeshutz and what he says about drawing attention to ourselves with fancy houses etc.

    in reply to: 'Halachic Dinner" – What do you think about it? #1083287


    I think the only reason the posters are being deliberately thick on this issue, is because they are all rationalizing. You have articulated your point quite well. Your point is obvious and true.

    Bottom line

    If you are a baal mussar, you choose to work on yourself and one main area that all people need to work on themselves in , is limiting the gashmius in their life.

    But we are a spoiled society and we are americans who have succumbed to the pursuit of liberty and happiness.

    Look at the mansions in Brooklyn, Lakewood etc. Ask someone why they feel it is necessary to live in a mansion and you get all sorts of rationalization. “I have a big family, I give a lot to tzedukah, its not an aveirah.”

    Same goes for all the lexus’s and acura’s being driven. “It was a good lease” “its a business car” etc.

    We are mostly not balei mussar and its a big problem.

    So I agree with you 100%. And every day I daven to Hashem that I should not be swayed by gashmius.

    I do not go to tzedukah events that are big productions. I don’t go to charity events that are excuses to make a big BBQ.

    Do I like a good chulent on Shabbos, yes. But baruch hashem my tefillos are being answered and food is having less of a hold over me.

    Unfortunately, you and I seem to be the minority.



    I stand by my original post but would like to add one point.

    How close is the girl you are dating to her parents?

    There must be some distance since she is frum and they are not. But if she is very close to them, you need to assume worst case scenerio and plan from there. If they will basically stop talking to her, no matter what you will always be the reason for that.

    If they aren’t close, than why worry about it?

    If they were frum I would tell you to give them a copy of Rav Shlomo Friefelds biography. There is a fantastic story in there about the length he went to, to show respect to a student of his, that spent time studying Native American culture. Who knows, maybe the book would have a positive impact on their view of yiddishkeit in general.


    in reply to: IM NOT COPING!!!!! #1075693


    Kids today have a hard time coping with a lot of things that we adults call minor inconveniences.

    Its mostly because in America we never learned as kids that life is a struggle.

    In the old days kids saw hardship at an early age and learned this instinctively. But in America we are spoiled.

    The problem is that kids grow up and become spouses and parents and get jobs, all these things involve lots of struggles.

    But because young adults aren’t prepared for struggle, we have a high divorce rate and the top medications prescribed in America are meds to help people cope.


    Think of this minor inconvenience as good training for life’s struggles!

    Sorry for the mussar shmooze, but your post asked for it 🙂


    Rabbi Akiva’s wife went against her parents wishes and we all know how that turned out. She earned eternal reward for helping to create one of the most dynamic Rabbunim in all of history.


    As someone who has been married more than once I can tell you that there is tremendous friction when the in-laws don’t like you. Depending on your wife’s personality, it can ultimately cause the end of a marriage. Also , Do you really want to be part of a family that hates you?

    I would advise you to not only speak to a trusted Rav, but a really good family therapist and get more than one opinion before proceeding.


    in reply to: halachik pre-nup #1108802

    I read the RCA prenup on their website and then

    I actually contacted the RCA about the inequality of their pre-nup. I pointed out that it only penalizes the man and makes no provisions to penalize the woman if, for example, she misbehaves by not going to bais din or denying visitation.

    I pointed out that if they are looking for universal acceptance than they should produce a prenup that doesnt look like it was written by a feminist.

    The email I recieved was “we have such a document/prenup and it is available upon request.

    The fact that, that version wasn’t the one posted on the website, IMO is very telling.

    in reply to: Dating someone whose parents are divorced #1050032

    Both my wife and I are remarried (from divorces). Our kids b’h, are at the top of their respective classes and very happy.

    That is the key.

    Lior can quote statistics from today till tomorrow but the key to a good shidduch is marrying a well adjusted, happy person with a lev tov.Divorced parents can teach their kids how to be happy. They do this by remarrying, creating a happy home and by not fighting with their ex’s.

    The reason why kids from divorced homes are more likely to divorce themselves is because they saw dysfunction and came to view it as normal.That creates an unhappy person and a vicious cycle. They never got help, they kept seeing their parents fight etc.

    Unfortunately there is a lot of dysfunctional families even many that arent divorced.

    Look into the shidduch and look into the parents. If the person has a lev tov, if the ex’s dont fight, if the new blended families are happy then take it to the next step. If he/she can talk about the divorce, his feelings about it, how he dealt with it then he is probably well adjusted and a good shidduch prospect.

    in reply to: I don't deserve her #795349

    You sound like me 5 years ago. IMHO you need a serious dose of self esteem. It is only recently that i discovered my chashivus. It took a lot of self help (Garden of Emunah and others) and professional help.

    The thing is I was always a good guy. Everyone around me has always been machshuv me. But I never lived up to my own high standards for myself and my entire life has suffered because of it.

    When you discover who you are and you develop true emunah, the rest falls into place.

    Good luck!

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