Forum Replies Created
July 28, 2016 2:08 am at 2:08 am in reply to: Why people become OTD (with the focus on the "why") #1164845
@Avik. Yes, that is largely R’ Sperbers point. Torah is eitz chayim hi and while the trunk remains, the leaves fall off and get replaced and the poskim used to make calls in each generation, and often the trend toward lechumra (or Chadash, assur min hatorah as it was meant by the Chatam Sofer) is new and in his opinion, not preferable. In his opinion, the Chatam soffer would not even say that today or at least not take it as far as charedim have.
as far as listening to judges of the times, the question of course is which judges? Joseph (and others) take the position that MO is not really lechatchilah, and R’ Sperber presents the other side of the coin if you are interested over about 45 minutes with examples.
@sparkly –I am not sure which “him” you reference, but clearly, there are two sides to this argument and there are people on both sides of it.July 27, 2016 6:45 am at 6:45 am in reply to: Why people become OTD (with the focus on the "why") #1164842
If you want to hear the other side, Google rabbi David sperber modern orthodoxy true orthodoxy.
In a nutshell, he argues that prior to the Chatam Soffer, Jews lived among society and made changes within halachic parameters. . That ultra orthodoxy is actually the newer phenomenon created to combat reform.
Even though I know you disagree, I found it an interesting 45 minutes.July 26, 2016 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm in reply to: Why people become OTD (with the focus on the "why") #1164832
@Avik. First of all, I will say straight away that It has been about 20 years since I learned these halachos.
Also, you are arguing nuance, when my point is that technically, most jews have a chezkas kashrus.
relying on what you wrote, there is an inherent issue, which you appear to recognize. Specifically, even according to your definition, you need two male frum halacachic witnesses to testify before a beit din. This does not typically happen.
Also, the non-orthodox wedding is a totally different issue for a host of reasons including that there, you actually need eidim to attest to the marriage. Here, you are discussing when some loses chezkas kashrus instead of obtains marriage. Its different.July 26, 2016 2:56 am at 2:56 am in reply to: Why people become OTD (with the focus on the "why") #1164828
@wolfish–LOL. I am also not sure Joseph is correct anyway, as from my recollection, which certainly is not perfect, only a mechalel Shabbos befarhesya loses chezkas kashrus. And that requires ten (probably frum) men.
So, not counting those who drive through orthodox neighborhoods on Shabbos, that would mean most have a chezkas kashrus.
@DY–your point #2 is a fair point. I suppose I could argue that if you hold per Rambam that its a mitzvah to settle and conquer, that probably someone thinks that mehadrin is the settlements, which are still perhaps not 100% conquered. That said, my larger point was simply that I suspect that if you asked the question of “do you think the medinah is hashem’s will or in violation of hashem’s will” you would have people line up on similar sides, though I grant you, there is room for the middle ground position you point out.
@simcha– Fair enough.
@simcha, I think the OP was trying to phrase the question in a way that avoided the halacha, but maybe I misread it.
And even as you phrased it, even if you are halachically permitted to move there, why would you unless you also conclude you have a duty to do so(unless you conclude it is just as safe, which it is not)?
Which of course, leads you right back into the real question (is the medinah a good thing or not). And similarly, without checking, I would bet that (almost?) no one who holds that the medinah is hashem’s will would also hold that it is assur to move to shomron.
OP—If you Google “parts of shacharis that can be skipped” you will get many websites and at least you can see who the advice is coming from.
This is another interesting discussion but it is just another disguised way of arguing whether there is value or not in the medinah as it is now.
First, it is absurd to suggest that anywhere in Israel is as safe as anywhere in the US for a Jew, especially a Frum jew. That there is rampant gun violence in the African American community in Chicago has no bearing on any of us.
I do not know if they keep statistics on this, but I would venture to guess that there are FAR fewer frum jews who die from murder/terrorism in the US than in Israel when considering percentage of total population as opposed to raw numbers, which are meaningless(and that does not even take into account the better health care).
So to me it is clear that 1) it is more dangerous in the settlements, and 2) it is still good that Jews are willing to live there.
Of course, my #2 conclusion is based on my conclusion that the medinah is a good thing, which brings me to my point, this is just another way of arguing about whether the Medinah is a good thing or not.
I do not think Cruz made the decision based on political expedience. I think the politically expedient thing for him to do was to have endorsed Trump. No one would have faulted him for it (especially because of the pledge). And Cruz’s endorsement or lack thereof is not affecting the outcome. If anything, his failure to endorse actually cast Trump in a sympathetic light and might benefit him.
Indeed, all the reports seem to be that trump new he would not endorse him, and he let him speak anyway. In short, of course he wants to run in 2020, but not endorsing trump will not help in that endeavor.
Anyway, we are certainly living in interesting political times for the US. No matter who gets elected, 40% of the country will despise the president. Its a little crazy.
@moshe. He was thinking what many conservatives are thinking who are not distracted by or swayed by the fact that trump now claims to be a republican. Hillary is preferable to trump. That said, I’ve really could have had it both ways. If I was writing his speech, I would have said. “I made a promise, and my daddy always told me to keep promises no matter what so I will endorse Donald trump”. But he could not even bring himself to do that.July 21, 2016 2:08 am at 2:08 am in reply to: Why people become OTD (with the focus on the "why") #1164781
@sparkly. I do respect your views and most of my posts are just schmoozing on day to day issues or respectful discussion. And if i go over the line unintentionally, you have mods to keep me in line (and ive only been edited once and it was on the gay issue and because it was inappropriate for a pg rated website, but it wasnt because it was a criticism of halacha). Indeed, with the exception of this thread which asks a specific question, in most of my posts, i try not to make my level of observance evident.
The two jews who appear frum and who do not appear modern orthodox on my flight seem to think so.
I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later but my post got edited. I am now writing from my iphone at airport which doesnt let me copy the quotes above. Removing what i believe drew the mods erase button….
@health. I do not know what liberal policies you speak of. If you are referring to the position on gay marriage, No serious us politician advocates for a ban on the actual torah prohibition of the act. The debate is over marriage, but almost all us politicians agree the act should be legal.
I am unsure why you believe banning them from getting married would stop spreading any disease. If anything, it is safer as it keeps two people together.
Joseph: A nondenominational international State should have been created in its stead.
Me: Wow. A sort of moderate position out of Joseph. I realize why he takes that position, but it is in the middle of the two extreme positions. (No Jewish state/the medinah is counter to g-ds will/ and the existence of a medina/jewish state is g-ds will).
PS Perhaps Joseph will clarify and say he does not want it controlled by Jews, but then who would it be controlled by?July 20, 2016 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm in reply to: Why people become OTD (with the focus on the "why") #1164777
Truly, I am one of those people that loves the sport of a good argument, whether it be halacha, American law, politics or whatever.
That said, I respect that this is a frum site, and so I choose my words very carefully when I post because the last thing I want to do is put doubts in anyone here.
So I will just say this: There are many exit ramps between the liberal and non-orthodox position of “there is one true god, and Torah is at least inspired by g-d but contains much allegory and the traditions, customs and law have value but are not absolute” to the charedi position of the entirety of it is min hashamayim, chazal was perfect on torah issues if not science too, etc. (despite devarim’s “lo bashamayim hi” which the MO school I went to taught meant that chazal could be wrong, but we had to follow them anyway as opposed to that however they resolved the halachic machloket was perfect).
But look, I hear you all and other arguments, I have a lot of life left to live (hopefully), and who knows what the future will bring.
So many absurd comments above, do not know where to start.
1) I agree that Hillary is a liar but all politicians are liars, please do not suggest to me that Donald Trump has any relationship with the truth. This notion that Hillary lies more is fox news spin. They both are liars.
2) From the Shabbos tables I sit at when I do, I am usually arguing the liberal position because I disagree with both sides and most MO at the Shabbos tables I am at are conservative.
3) The idea that aids is the fault of liberals is pretty absurd. First of all, people will be gay whether the law allows gay marriage or not. Second, the torah prohibition is on the act. no republican perhaps outside the deep south thinks that should be illegal. the issue that was being debated before the supreme court ruled was marriage, and even that is now settled. The 1.2 million number is the people currently living with aids, and today in the US, may survive (more than just magic Johnson).
4) politicans and torah ideals? huh? There are only 7 mitzvos benei noach and the only one that is arguably at issue (not really, see above) is the gay issue but politicians are irrelevant. Supreme court has ruled. Not to mention that most republicans are Christian and many poskim (if memory serves) feel that is avoda zara, so most republicans are probably not scoring to well either according to those poskim.
@health above. “The democrats have failed this country in many ways” is not a point, it is an opinion. I disagree. As far as your point about the debt, its a little misleading..
The gross federal debt under Obama — as of April 7, 2015 — is $18.15 trillion. So, while Bush added 5 million, Obama added 8 million, but a lot of that 8 million is due to the economy bush left when he left office. Not to mention inflation and interest distorts the numbers.
Bottom line, it is true that Obama added debt, but Bush doubled the debt, Obama only added about 1.7 times the debt, so he is arguably on a better pace then bush.
I am by no means an expert in Halacha, but if memory serves, halacha prevents you from going to civil court, so renting to a jew is much riskier without some sort of heter as eviction courts are usually expedient, at least they are here in Florida.
RebYidd: He only ran as Republican because his friend Hillary took Democrat. Now they both win either way because together, they have both major parties.
Me: It truly is unbelievable. One of the two following statements will be true. 1) Donald Trump is the sole reason that Hillary got elected (because she beats no one else, possibly with the exception of ted cruz, but I do not think she beats him–that trump/cruz were 1 and 2 republicans is unreal), or 2) Donald Trump is the next president. It is mind boggling.
Health: You make assumptions that are false! I’m only supporting Trump, because he’s presumably running as the Republican candidate. The Democrats have failed this country in many ways….
Me: No that is exactly my point. You are only supporting Donald Trump because he has the R next to his name. As to Democrats failing this country, again have to disagree on that. Take a look at California’s economy. Now look at Kansas or Louisiana, etc. More importantly, look what happened to the economy under Bush vs what happened under Clinton or Obama.
And my usual dilemma is gone. The republicans are typically better with the military and protection of Israel but Clinton is better on the middle east then Trump, who literally knows nothing.
By the way, it would be interesting to see what true fiscal conservatism would look like. But they not really exist in the government. Republicans spend just as much as dems, they just usually spend it on the military, while dems spend it on social issues.
In any case, can someone tell me how to start a new topic for discussion? I must be blind as I do not see that as an option. Thanks.
Health: RBG is a Supreme Court Justice who shouldn’t get involved in the executive branch of government!
Me: I am sure you were equally concerned when Oconner admitted that she voted the way she did in Bush v Gore in part because she wanted Bush to choose her successor.
Anyway, I am quite familiar with the three branches of govt, none of them are supposed to act the way trump does. And frankly, I do not much care how he acts.
I do find it amusing though that someone who was a democrat until he decided to run against Hillary now draws your unconditional support.
Indeed, until Hillary embraced Obama, the only person who disliked Obama more than republicans was Hillary, as she felt he stole her job. Trump was pro Hillary so he bashed Obama and the republicans fell in love with him. This is almost too funny.
Joseph: The Islamic State became as big and powerful as it is now because Obama pulled out of Iraq.
Me: True, but a little misleading without at least acknowledging that the above is only true because bush went in the first place. If Saddam was still there, odds are no ISIS. Or at least, not what you have today. That said, I do acknowledge that a little bit its like the old arcade game of Hit the frog and Iraq is the new location.
But my point is to say “its obamas fault for pulling out” is a little absurd without first saying “its bush’s fault for deposing saddam, who had control over the area.”
@mw13 1,000 percent agreed. Trump’s coalition is 1) those who vote republican no matter what, 2) People who think we should deport all Mexicans, etc…
By the way, @ Health it is somewhat amusing that you are complaining about an improper comment of RBG when Trump says so many, you cannot keep track.
HOWEVER, we are now EIGHT YEARS later! And many things have happened since! Including ISIS created by Obama, amongst many, many other things.HUGE difference.
Me: Bush creates ISIS. His belief (which you would like to excuse because he did not have enough information apparently) was that Islam was peaceful and that radical Islam was the fringe that could be countered by demonstrating to mainstream Muslims the virtues and joys of Western democratic institutions, which he thought he could bring to Iraq, which was the most “liberal” of the middle eastern countries.
That failed and the rest is history. It is sheer bias to blame Obama for Isis. Could he have done better fixing the problem. Probably. But republicans blame Obama for everything, and on the two biggest issues (safety and economy) bush created such a mess, that to blame Obama for not cleaning it up fast enough etc… is a little absurd.
On this issue, I am quite conservative. However, I do note the hypocrisy of complaining that Obama refuses to call it Islamic terrorism when George bush had the same policy. Among many similar comments, bush said. We are not at war with Islam, etc… Indeed, pbs has a web page dedicated to the who said it game, bush or Obama to demonstrate they both basically had the same policy and if you do not actually remember, it will be hard to guess.July 14, 2016 2:55 am at 2:55 am in reply to: Within the next 10 years, Israel Will be mostly religious #1160944
That there are enough does not mean they will willingly do it if half or more of the country is given an exemption. And even if they do, will they do it as well?July 14, 2016 12:30 am at 12:30 am in reply to: Within the next 10 years, Israel Will be mostly religious #1160942
Charlie quoting me: “If we take g-d out of the picture”
My point simply was that there is a disagreement among the Torah world as to what Hashem’s will is so it is reasonable to remove that part from the discussion.
In any case, as you point out, the Torah is replete with people taking action in furtherance of Hashem’s will as relying on prayer alone is not sufficient. (i.e Yakov prays but also strategizes to avoid being killed by Eisav).
The real point was it seems that one of the following must be true A) Israel will remain mostly secular and have a large number of people to serve in the army, or B) Israel will become mostly religious and some of the religious are going to have to serve to protect the state.July 13, 2016 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm in reply to: Within the next 10 years, Israel Will be mostly religious #1160936
If most Israelis become religious be had better hope that they are Dati and not Charedi because if the latter the IDF will dwindle down to nothing and the Arab rashaim will overrun us all.
This is an interesting dynamic. If we take g-d out of the picture (which is reasonable for the purpose of discussion since one side states that the state is the will of g-d and the other that it is in direct contradiction to it), if Israel becomes mostly religious, will the charedim start serving to protect the state.
And if not, what happens to the state?
Time for Truth: Miami,et al,
Does it need to be zero sum?
Women [ with men] could vote for the House, while
men vote for the Senate
It would be ‘Progress’ [for those who need to have]
ME: I am not sure if this is an attempt to demonstrate that the moderate position does not always make sense. If that is the point of that comment, I agree, it does not always. But more often than not, in my view, it is more logical then the extremes because most arguments taken to extremes produce absurd results.
However, here, to me, there is only one possible answer that women’s suffrage was not a mistake. I understand that is influenced by my world view that A) it is not inconsistent to say that women and men are not exactly alike and might be better off in different roles, but B) they are equally as intelligent and there is no reason to prevent them from what I consider to be such a basic right.
Also, I have already acknowledged that my prediction about this halachic issue (which was due to my incorrect assumption that women voting was too new to really have been dealt with) was incorrect.
I do not for whatever it is worth (and I realize, that is not much), think that R’ Kook’s arguments were very convincing. He clearly stated he felt women were not as smart, and it seems all of his other views were consistent with his conclusion that women were not only not as smart as men, but did not have the same neshamah as men etc….
And Indeed, all of his other reasons appear to be in support of that main conclusion, which I have to assume is not normative halacha.
The rest of his reasons: Marital strife? So does that mean single women can vote? Modesty? Anything a women does that you feel is a man’s purview can lead to that argument.
Anyway, I admit, my prediction on this one was incorrect. But again, while perhaps not in the charedi world which believes in absolute daas torah, one has to distinguish between a rabbi’s views that are based in halacha vs ones that really are not and are on non-halachic issues.
It would not surprise me if at the time, he was in the majority on the voting issue because that is where the world’s mind was at. Indeed, that was yet another one of his arguments, that Israel should not be among the first to do it. But that does not mean these were halachic opinions as evidenced by the fact that there are religious women in the Kinneset today.
I doubt his answer would have been the same if the question was about an issue that he believed had a clear halachic answer.
Again, just my .02.
Joseph–your quote is immediately above and too long to quote.
Based on my quick research, you appear to be correct. However, the gist of what he says would appear to apply to America, but he was saying it for Israel. R’ Uziel took the opposite position and R’ Kook appears to be in the minority.
In any case, I acknowledge that I was wrong. I figured voting was too modern for their to be any real binding halachic authority on it, and that whatever people may think on various issues, it would seem they would allow the vote. Which appears to be the majority opinion, but not the only one.
“Please tell us who the sides are.
I consider that I’m conservative and I believe in profiling!
It does not make sense when the cops or the TSA only pull over every 10th guy.
What does make sense – is that instead of pulling over the old lady in the wheelchair, pull over the swath – looking guy, with the beady eyes, for inspection!”
Me: Correct, the conservative view is yours and that profiling works and should be used. The liberal view is that profiling is bogus and does not work. Obviously, this is a huge oversimplification. And my view is that it does work, but that does not necessarily mean it should be used.
Also, I believe that profiling should be used re terrorism because that is life and death, and therefore we should do it. The ends (keeping people alive) justify the means. On drug crimes, I think we should not. Even on robbery, unless someone is in danger, probably not. Chopping off hands also works, but we have decided as a country that for that, the ends do not justify the means.July 11, 2016 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm in reply to: ????? ???? ? – anyone know where the song comes from? #1159483
Sorry, my bad. As I said, transliteration is not perfect.
Also, if you google “23rd palm vshavti bbeis” second one down is Chabad quoting the passuk and also with a link to it being sung if you would prefer Chabad to Carlbach.
I am sure that someone some day will come up with a passuk from tanach or a song that has been sung by anyone famous in the Jewish world that is not on the internet, but almost all of them are.
Charlie quoting me:
“This was not intended as a lesson in American history.”
Charlie: An argument was made from history. I was simply debunking it.
Charlie quoting me: “when I have both Joseph and CharlieHall disagreeing with me.”
Charlie: The question was a yes or no question. You have to agree with Joseph or you have to agree with me. Or withdraw from the debate.
Charlie quoting me: ” I also note that many of the founders held more liberal views”
Charlie: To be honest I think most of the Founders did not see a major problem with slavery. The number who became abolitionists was clearly a minority. It was a major blind spot that would lead to a horrible Civil War two generations later.
Response: First of all, there is a difference between the question in this thread (should women be able to vote) and all of the other stuff discussed. On the issue in this thread, I am quite sure we agree, and frankly, I am quite sure that 80% or more (I would hope more) of the people posting agree that women should be allowed to vote in the US. Indeed, I really do believe Joseph was just having fun with the topic/question, which is silly.
Second, you changed your position on the founders in this thread. My position has not changed on them.
Like most humans before the last 20 years when all of a sudden everyone polarized with a clarity of vision unseen in the past (religion too…almost on every issue), they were probably complicated and conflicted people. They were also a group and held conflicting opinions.
Again, the point of my comment was the founders were not perfect, so even if they did not agree with women’s suffrage (which is not a sure thing, while it did not get done until later, its not clear that at least some did not agree with the idea), it does not matter because they could be wrong.
Joseph quoting me: “This does not explain why when two individuals who are pulled over for the EXACT SAME CRIME–no question, both are guilty, whites get treated one way and blacks the other.”
Joseph: That’s your presumption which has no factual basis.
ME: That is actually not true. Google “statistics blacks treated more harshly than whites police” and you will get quite a bit
ALso, this general discussion shows why Congress can get nothing done, and why increasingly people are polarizing and unable to talk to each other.
Both sides cannot admit the other sides points and reach compromise. As I see it, it is both true that blacks are treated harsher by police, but to some degree, profiling works.
But we cannot have the discussion about whether profiling is fair because one side wont admit it exists, and the other argues that profiling does not work, when A)it exists, and B) it works, but C) should we use it?
Health: It’s obvious that you don’t know what a subculture is!
IDK if you took sociology in school. I do know that you’re very liberal. Your post tends to imply no individual responsibility!
Response: My post is intended to simply list the options. It said “multiple opinions” from “its all our (white peoples) fault” to “their leaders only care about lining their pockets.”
The latter puts the blame entirely on them. To me, those are the two extremes, and again, neither is correct. And I am actually quite moderate, I only appear liberal to you because you are clearly quite conservative.
I agree that there is a subculture that perpetuates issues but the larger question is why does that subculture not change, or why is it so slow to change?
Another answer is that they are the descendants of noach son who was cursed (a quite conservative view, but also one that removes personal responsibility). Because regardless, when you are talking about a subculture you have to ask why a group is a certain way, it requires group answers.
I do agree that to an extent, personal responsibility is necessary in all cases. Anyway, on this site I appear liberal because of the bend of most, but I am quite moderate and one of the few that still exists. Most importantly, I am a lawyer who enjoys the discussion.
Joseph: There’s nothing b’dievedik regarding eved knani in the Torah.
response: I carefully did not say that. I said I have heard some say that.
I am not at all qualified to offer an opinion on the correct opinion.July 10, 2016 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm in reply to: ????? ???? ? – anyone know where the song comes from? #1159481
I found this by using google.
Not sure if that is what you want also if you google youtube and Shiviti BeBais Hashem, you get results that include what you want.
It requires a little searching due to people’s various transliterations of words, but virtually every word of torah and every jewish song ever composed is on the internet in some form if you can figure out how the poster spelled the Hebrew words in english.
That said, viewer discretion is advised whenever you include youtube in the search as other things can come up that you may not want to view.
PS I know I am doing something right when I have both Joseph and CharlieHall disagreeing with me. All in good fun. ðŸ™‚
“except America’s founding fathers, who also were slave holders” (quoting me) and then said…”Many were not slaveowners. And some became abolitionists.”
Response: This was not intended as a lesson in American history. Indeed, New Jersey allowed women to vote from the beginning, or at least since 1797.
Joseph’s point was the majority opinion at that time was that women should not/could not, and my response was the majority opinion at that time was blacks could be owned. Neither is correct. I also note that many of the founders held more liberal views, but either A) wanted the convenience of owning slaves, or B) felt that lechatchila, there should be no slaves, but the nation was not ready for it and so bedieved, it was ok.
I have heard that same explanation given for why the torah sanctioned slavery.
A far far higher percentage of blacks are criminal than are whites. So when an officer pulls over a black suspected of a crime, there’s a far greater likelihood he’s a criminal than a pulled over white. Are law enforcement officers supposed to ignore this difference in likelihood?
Response: This does not explain why when two individuals who are pulled over for the EXACT SAME CRIME–no question, both are guilty, whites get treated one way and blacks the other.
Health: There are multiple opinions as to why poverty and crime are higher in the black community from we brought them here as slaves and then kept them down with Jim Crow so its all our fault to their leaders only care about lining their own pocket and everything in between.
the hagaddah says that without g-d, we would not have escaped Egypt. I realize some read that metaphorically, but regardless, it has been thousands of years. My grandmother (who passed away 10 years ago) remembered fondly when blacks had to be off of Miami Beach at night.
So its a complicated issue that certainly cannot be done justice here, though it is entertaining to try while I am sick today and spending more time here than usual.
I really do enjoy Joseph’s posts as he makes Antonin Scalia appear liberal (even Scalia had his soft spot for search and seizure issues) and it does entertain me that people exist whose opinions on every issue can be predicted with such certainty.
To me, this question is pretty funny as it is one that everyone should agree on, and my guess is, even Joseph is just having a little fun.
Even if I take for granted (and I do) that it is probably better for at least one parent to remain home with the children, and (without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with this next premise)that it is better for that spouse to be the mom, as evidenced by Torah values and most societies, the question asks if women should be allowed to vote?
Under what possible theory should they not be allowed to vote (by absentee ballot placing their decision in the mail to avoid some other issues) in the secular government that governs them?. Even Joseph has not provided a reason for that (except America’s founding fathers, who also were slave holders, etc…). And I don’t see that there is one.
One of the reasons why this argument will never get resolved is that like most issues, both sides are half right. There is no question that police officers do not react the same way to blacks as they do to whites. Whites are cut far more slack and blacks are often treated outrageously, sometimes to the point of improper murder by police. However, for whatever reason (another issue that could fill pages), the black community has not really done as well as others and a much higher percentage remain in poverty and ghettos, etc…which of course reinforces the police officers fears and stereotypes and actions, which of course results in their poor treatment of blacks…July 10, 2016 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm in reply to: Why people become OTD (with the focus on the "why") #1164771
I was never really on the derech, but I strongly considered it and often miss the community. Indeed, I lurk here sometimes, listen to Jewish music and drop in on a chabad from time to time. I miss the life and the comfort and peace it brings, which I only had a brief window into and seriously considered at times in my life.
My own personal experience is this: My parents were twice a year jews but sent me to Hebrew Academy and I went there until 12th grade (from Kindergarten). I am now a lawyer who excelled in law school and I also excelled at Gemara at Hebrew Academy since the skill set needed to interpret and argue halacha and american law are very similar.
Early on the rabbis picked up on my skill and tried to convince me to go to YU, etc…
I actually did consider being religious and for a while kept kosher in college (not what you guys would consider kosher, but applying a meikil standard, kosher).
To me, the largest reason I ended up not being religious is my discovery of the scale of issues that I had not known about and that Zev Farber has been chastised for pointing out.
Rambam figured out a long time ago that there were people who were going to question “Zev Farber issues,” some of which I saw as a young adult on my own without looking as you do not need to go to the depths Zev Farber did to search to see obvious questions. And in any case, I imagine that for Zev, that search only began after he noticed things without any search. Indeed, I knew Zev in high school and he struck me as someone who legitimately cared about yidishkeit and wanted to be believe, he was not someone looking for an excuse not to believe.
I am leaving examples out of this post for fear that if I list them, it will get censored, but they exist all over the internet. And I know that there are answers, but without listing issues, suffice it to say some are troubling to me, and became so before I met my now wife.
For whatever reason, todays orthodox community has decided to just ignore the questions. And the chareidi community has banned the internet in hopes that their community wont discover them (except that I discovered enough on my own without the internet and I have only a tiny fraction of knowledge Zev has).
In any case, I believe the burying head in sand tactic is a mistake. I believe Rambam’s approach was better. Acknowledge the questions and try the best to answer them, especially now that anyone with google can find them.
Anyway, my sunday rant. And here is a secret. R’ Fisher if he knew my life story would say I fit neatly into his hypothesis. I married a jewish girl who came from a conservadox Young Israel family, but who does not really believe or want to practice. Had I married someone more religious, perhaps things would have been different. But I do not know.
So I think that R’ Fisher is right and wrong. People no doubt respond to surrounding environment, etc… And I also have no doubt that there are people who will be negatively affected by college. But treating that as the only issue is short sighted and ignores other problems, and of course there can never be solutions to ignored problems.
Frum. There are a lot of complicated issues. perhaps the better way to say it is that it’s technically assur, but obamas justice dept has given a heter to anyone possessing it in a state that legalizes it. Note also that the contr subst act permits the atty general to reclassify drugs out of schedule one. Atty general serves at the pleasure of president. While Obama has declined to declassify, he has essentially tacitly approved a Heter in states that permit it.
And of course I realize that Supr ct is final arbiter of constitutionality but my point on that is its fluid and what is constitutional today, may not be tomorrow.
“the lottery is a tax on stupid people”
Actually, as wolf said its entertainment and more than that, when the numbers are this high, it’s a good bet. The reason. If you have a 1/3 chance of winning something, and each ticket is one dollar, it’s a good bet if you win more than 3 dollars since odds are if you play three times, you will win once. The same applies to a jackpot like this. Powerball odds are one in 175 million so a 900 million jackpot is a smart bet even though odds are you wont win it. Also, I realize due to taxes and the lump sum deduction and the possibility of two ore more winners it’s not so simple, but when it gets this high, others have built the jackpot up to where it makes mathematical sense to dream.
This really is not so simple. There remains a debate as to whether this issue should be something that is reserved to the states under the tenth amendment. It is true that right now the majority of the Supreme Court in the raich case held that the federal government has the right to regulate pot, but two justices dissented and ultimately, in this country the law emanates from some combination of the three branches which have struggled for power over time.
Several states have chosen to legalize medical marijuana and a few recreational. Two justices on the Supreme Court believe they have the right to do so. The executive branch has explicitly agreed to leave those states alone. And he arguably has the right to do that.
In my view, it is therefore legal in those states that authorize it. It is also true that tomorrow president Cruz or trump or whoever could change Obamas policy on this, or president Clinton could liberalize it, but as of right now, the president has agreed, there is a constitutional argument that the federal law overreaches the state,s sovereignty, so to say it’s illegal under federal law is not exactly right.
Ps. The federal government has been notoriously anti pot. One reason for the current laxity is similar to the Jewish law concept that you don’t make a law the klal won’t comply with. The fact is that there is widespread noncompliance in states where it is still illegal,, it is probably less damaging then alcohol, and if the states are going to permit it, the Feds are going to have a real hard time enforcing without state cooperation.