Forum Replies Created

Viewing 34 posts - 451 through 484 (of 484 total)
  • Author
  • in reply to: Giloy Arayos (Movies, etc.) #703247

    1987 – this is a site for adults. Children shouldn’t be reading it. Frum adults need a forum where we can discuss serious issues, not just the sanitized versions that make the “mainstream” (HaModia, etc.) media.

    We had problems for years with censoring types saying that some things couldn’t be discussed because “the children might hear.” Those days are over. The reality of life has caught up with us and we need forums where speech can be free – within the boundaries of Torah and civility – and not make everything “safe” for your hypothetical average twelve-year-old. If this troubles you, be more selective in which threads you read. This thread has some very serious issues that adults in our days are facing, and done it with derech eretz and decency.

    in reply to: Republicans Vs. Democrats #822500

    So right – you haven’t been paying attention. There’s a Republican candidate in Ohio right now who’s being criticized because he wears Nazi uniforms doing WWII re-enactments. A lot of the right-wing Evangelical types really believe that we’re going to burn in Hell forever because we don’t accept J-. And they aren’t shy about telling you to your face either.

    Both parties have their share of anti-Semitic types. Yelling “anti-Semite” is a great shortcut to avoid having to think. And we all know thinking is hard work. Drop by your local library and look up George Bush’s stand in the newspaper archives. It’s also true that being openly anti-Israel is not good for your electoral chances. As to economic issues, read up on the issues and make up your own mind. Think for yourself. It’s not easy, but it’s a good feeling in the end.

    in reply to: College Interview #699857

    As usual, CharlieHall is right on target. No matter how prestigious the place, it could be very very difficult for you as a frum Jew. Watch out for mandatory first year dorms (some of them are co-ed!) and other surprises. Also, prestigious colleges usually give doctoral degrees, which means that your introductory courses will be taught by grad students, who may or may not know how to teach. (I didn’t at first – my students taught me!) Teaching is second-class, after research and getting published.

    Try to talk to other frum students who have graduated there. Don’t get pushed into going to a particular school just because your family wants bragging rights or you want the ego boost. A school is a kind of shidduch, and you want the right match. It might even be a state university, and your parents will save a fortune 🙂

    in reply to: Is Respect Dead? #699874

    There is another factor here – everybody listens to talk radio these days, and from what I hear most talk radio consists of the host insulting other people – politicians they don’t like, celebrities they don’t like, the “government,” whoever their personal choice of “bad guy” is, and of course the poor people who actually call in and disagree with the host.

    The level of old-fashioned civility on radio is in the negative numbers, and so many of us listen to talk radio because it’s not television – so it must be OK, right?

    I’m not so young, and I remember when one mark of a frum yid was eidelkeit, and kids were taught that only the ignorant were offensive. Looking back, I can see that the change started about the same time that talk radio became popular. We’re always being told about how what we hear influences us, so why are we listening to the type of talk that my parents would never have tolerated?

    in reply to: Keeping A Good Posture #699845

    A really great system for posture is called the Alexander Technique. It’s used a lot by dancers, actors, musicians, etc. It works by changing the way you experience your body from the inside out, so to speak. It requires a lot of mental work, but not a lot of physical sweat. Google “Alexander Technique” and you’ll probably find something useful. Or ask the librarian at your local (secular) library.

    I had terrible posture until I took up martial arts, but I don’t think too many frum girls in Bklyn would be open to that. The Alexander Technique is a little less drastic, and even a bit of fun.

    in reply to: Republicans Vs. Democrats #822497

    The bottom line is – you gotta think. You gotta read what the candidates say, and check the record about what the candidates have done. And be careful where you get your information. Fox you know already will be Republican. The New York Times will be Democrat. The Washington Times is owned by the Unification Church (i.e., the Moonies) and they’re definitely not left wing 🙂 So be careful and don’t just follow your prejudices. Don’t be anyone’s patsy.

    You gotta do your homework, you gotta weigh the options, and you gotta make your own judgment. Don’t let other people tell you what to think – not your spouse, not your co-workers, not the nudnick who sits next to you in shul.

    This is a democracy, and it’s up to us to make it work.

    in reply to: Shidduch Resumes #699899

    Be very, very careful what you put on paper – or on the web. You’d be surprised how files can “get around.” It might not even be the shadchan, but the shadchan’s kid or whoever who has access to the files. And if someone hears something and declines to believe it, the reply, “She wrote it herself,” is hard to meet. And anything that’s on the internet – even if the site is frum – is open to the world forever and ever.

    Another disturbing thought: I have known shadchanim who shmooze about their clients, the idea being that if you don’t mention specific names, then it isn’t lashon hara. Unfortunately, sometimes they give details that would make it possible to identify the person if the hearer knows the “client.” This might be less of a problem in a smaller community where everyone knows everyone else anyway, and sees them as whole people rather than just some gossiped-about quirk, but where the families are strangers, it could be fatal. Shadchanim should never, ever talk about their clients in any way, shape or form unless it’s for direct tachlis. It makes for duller conversation, but being a shadchan is in the same league as being a counseling psychologist – what goes in the ears must never come out the mouth. Anything else is an aveirah and a betrayal of trust.

    in reply to: Sleep Remedies #700177

    Back to the original question:

    Goldielox: you don’t want to sleep less if you’re a student. Your brain consolidates what you’ve learned while you’re sleeping. Less sleep = less remembered. That’s why if you throw an all-nighter before a test the “knowledge” doesn’t last past the next day. Trust me – I just got a graduate degree in psychology and we had to take bio-psychology from a very, very good neuropsychologist. She used to lecture us constantly on getting enough sleep.

    If you have trouble falling asleep, are you using your computer right up to the time you go to bed? The concentrated light from the screen will keep you from getting to sleep for quite some time. So an hour before you want to go to sleep turn off the computer, get a nice dull book and settle in with a reading-light and soft music. Try a statistics textbook – that worked every time for me!

    in reply to: What's Wrong With Therapy? #698390

    Poppa –

    Something in our community which is not trivial and unfortunately widespread is anorexia/bulimia. Eating disorders, especially, but not only, among girls, have become fairly common, and unlike other problems, such as bipolar disorder, eating disorders can literally kill.

    Our mania for size 2 girls and the anxiety/control pressures our young people face make this a top-ranking hazard, just as important as the “heavy-duty” disorders we usually think of.

    Paschabchochmah – ask around among your friends. I’m sure you’ll find one or two (or more) with this problem. Pay special attention to it during your training, and you’ll be prepared to help so many of our young people.

    Being a good therapist is right up there on the mitzvah-list with being a good doctor. The therapist is actually doing chesed, and the mitzvah of v’ahavta l’re’eicha by giving good advice. R’ Zelig Pliskin is the epitome of this approach, which is both professional and Torah-dich

    in reply to: Shidduchim for Children of Balaei Teshuva #699113

    For those who find BT involvement with their non-frum families to be problematic –

    In most cases what you find unacceptable or shocking is something that has probably been brought to a Rav for advice as to what can or can’t be done. Most BT’s I know have a Rov who is knowledgeable about these issues. In many cases the Rov permits, for the sake of keeping good-will in the family, participation that would not be permitted in other circumstances. A BT going to a sibling’s wedding in a Conservative synagogue is not in the same ball-park as you, an FFB, going to your second cousin’s wedding in the same place.

    The question here is one of maar’as ayin – yes it looks fishy. But the real issue is dan l’chaf z’chus. Assume that the question was taken to a Rav and his advice followed. If you’re not a BT, you have no idea the conflicts and heart-break that some go through in order to be shomer Torah u’mitzvos despite misunderstanding and even outright oppostion from their families. Ask yourself if you could pursue your own course when every single member of your family thought you were crazy? Those of us who don’t have to go through this diplomatic nightmare should be grateful, and give the BT credit for his/her choices and fortitude.

    in reply to: Hashkofos & Apikorsos #699657

    This entire thread makes me feel rather ill, especially the long posting that heads it off.

    Of all the problems that we have, why are we wasting our energy arguing about who is or isn’t an apikoros? Why so much effort to work to posul out another yid? Why tell stories about which Rav thought which Rav was an apikoros? Some of the posts above are breath-taking in their triviality, small-mindedness or just plain nastiness.

    We just had Simchas Torah and now we jump right back into machlokus, name-calling and – let’s be honest – some good old-fashioned sinas chinam? Have we forgotten the achdus of the Yomim Tovim already?

    Heaven had better help us – we’re doing a rotten job of helping ourselves. HKBH tells us to do justice, love mercy and walk with Him humbly. Presuming to know what exactly is and isn’t apikorsus, ruach hakodesh, etc. and who to condemn for not fitting our definitions doesn’t seem to be quite in the spirit of that pasuk.

    in reply to: Davening for Yourself for a Shidduch? #698300

    This is a very strange thread. Whence this idea that you have to “buy” something from HaShem by giving the required number of Tefilas, perek Tehillim, etc.? You daven to get close to Hashem. You say Tehillim to grow in ruchnius. We trust that HaShem knows what’s good for us and will provide what He knows that we need, not what we may think we need at any given time.

    100 brachas a day for 100 days and you’ll automatically get your shidduch? 613 Shmoneh Esrehs? There’s a name for this sort of thing – superstition. If they’re teaching this sort of thing in sem these days, it’s no wonder we have girls going OTD because they start thinking Yiddishkeit is meaningless. We have emunah and bitachon, and don’t try this weirdness of “forcing” or “buying” HKB’H to do what we want.

    in reply to: Kli Yakar – Don't Join The "Frummies" In Gehinom #700362

    The real question nowadays is, “Am I doing this for my own growth in ruchnius or am I doing it so that yenem will think I’m holy.” It seems to me that a lot of chumros are taken on because of what other people will say if we don’t follow the fashion.

    The joke “Chumrah of the Month Club” sums it up. Back in the day people belonged to “clubs” that sent a copy of the currently most popular books to members at a reduced price, so members could be reading what everyone else was reading without paying too much. It strikes me that this is what’s going on now. It’s a lot easier to keep yoshon than to keep your temper. Being pleasant to your employees / co-workers / the taxi driver requires real self control of the kind that doing something that isn’t even halachically required doesn’t. And it’s really difficult to explain to your friends why you’re not jumping on the latest bandwagon.

    So – it’s easier to get a reputation for being super-frum with an “easy” mitzvah bein adam l’makom than it is to be makpid on bein adam l’chavero when we really have to work at it.

    in reply to: Typing on chol Hamoed #1034946

    Another thought:

    There’s no kiyum to typing on a computer screen. It isn’t “really” there. On the disk it’s just a pattern of magnetism, and on the monitor it’s just a pattern of chemical dots which have been momentarily activated by an electron beam.

    BUT printing out is another matter. Then it has a kiyum, like anything written or typed on a machine. I don’t print anything out unless it’s a davar ha-eved or a need for the chag (e.g. grocery list).

    Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

    in reply to: Shidduchim: Why is everybody lying and is it ok? #698173

    Whew! Talk about heated discussions! Makes me very happy that I don’t have kids in shidduchim these days.

    My two cents: How are boys supposed to know about what is important and what isn’t when they’ve hardly ever seen their parents since the age of 14-15? In Europe very few boys – and then only the “prodigies” – were sent away from home at such a young age. Kids learn how to be adults by observing the adults around them. If there are only a few adults around them, and those only the rebbeim in class, they aren’t going to get much input. Of course they don’t know what’s important. When did they ever get a chance to learn? If you live in NY and not in Oshkosh why are you sending the boys away? Don’t kid yourself, if they’re dorming they’re being raised by each other, not by their parents, and those of us who survived the ’60’s know where that leads.

    Also, if the boys are at home during most of their teenage years their parents will have a much more realistic view of what their little darlings are like, and hopefully won’t be so inclined to look for Miss Perfect. They might also have a better idea of what would make the boy happy, rather than a “list” just like everyone else’s.

    Let’s look at what Europe was *really* like, instead of our fantasies, and try to grow a healthier Torah-based society that isn’t half borrowed from the goyim and half from dreams of what never was.

    in reply to: Why Are Kids So Sensitive These Days? #695036

    Back to the original topic –

    There are two possible contributing factors:

    1} Kids are under much more pressure these days in ways which are not related to understandable factors – boys especially. Kids are expected to spend much longer hours in school for many more years, starting at a younger age, and they are expected to perform at very high levels. (Gemara at ten????) Behavior is much more regimented. If you can’t sit still for hours, or your shirt is untucked, or if you have too many of the wrong kind of questions – then you are in serious trouble.

    2) Families have much less input to their children’s lives. The children spend most of their time in school or at camp, mothers work and have little energy for their children, fathers work or learn long hours. And of course, many boys are sent away to dorm at 14 or 15, and in effect have to raise each other, without the support and understanding of parents and family.

    And then of course kids are well-informed about the demands of the shidduch scene – boys must learn well, girls must be perfect. And so on. And of course if you goof up it not only impacts you, it endangers the life chances of your brothers and sisters.

    If you had all this on your shoulders, and couldn’t go to an adult for help, wouldn’t you be a little “sensitive?” We’re crushing our children. The wonder is that more of them don’t go off.

    in reply to: Discrimination Against Baalei Teshuva #1035471

    It strikes me that a lot of the adjustment issue is related to geography. Out-of-town BTs, geirim, returnees (born FFB, went off and came back) etc. are pretty much accepted on their own merits. That could simply be that in smaller communities people can become known as individuals, rather than labels.

    In places like NYC, though, where everybody seems to belong to an “identity group” anybody who is different is going to have problems. If you wear the wrong color shirt, you’re beyond the pale. If you go to the wrong sem you’ll never get a shidduch. Once upon a time people becoming frum out-of-town wanted to move to NYC because a) that was where the “real” Yiddishkeit was based and b) that’s where everybody went for a shidduch. Now, people are moving to Boston, Baltimore or Chicago, simply because it’s now known that NYC doesn’t welcome “outsiders” any more, and everybody is too busy calling everybody else unpleasant names.

    The moral here? When you’ve got real achdus you don’t worry what music the next person is playing on their CD, and you aren’t afraid that a BT child will influence your children instead of the other way round. When major groups of FFBs start accepting each other, eventually they may get around to accepting BTs too.

    in reply to: Tzniyus During Exercise #693926

    Re: Gemorahs. Let only those who read Aramaic and learn b’iyun teitch gemorahs for us. That not only leaves out the ladies, but I suspect a lot of the gentlemen too. The current generation seems to have a lot of book-laden donkeys in it. The best thing to do is – surprise! – ask your rav. He knows you, knows what your halachic and hashkafic boundaries are, and can give you a personalized answer.

    As for me, when I exercise, I wear a long, very loose skirt which allows plenty of motion, including high kicks, a loose stretch top with elbow-length sleeves, and a light head scarf. (For some reason I feel really weird without something on my head, even if there’s no one else around.) Swimming in a skirt is, however, not only awkward but dangerous. A regular swimsuit is OK.

    That said, to each her own. I wouldn’t argue with anyone wearing pants in private. And a reminder – nobody poskens from the Gemorah, not even real poskim. Better to ask a qualified rav.

    in reply to: Biofeedback #702218

    Yes, biofeedback works for certain things. (I have personal experience here.) It works chiefly for two problems – pain control and relaxation/stress management. In fact, many insurance policies cover biofeedback for chronic pain management.

    HOWEVER, make sure you have a certified practitioner that you feel comfortable with.

    in reply to: Musical Chairs and Shidduchim #694181

    Since I am removed from this discussion by geography, and age, not to mention the fact that I have no young ones “in the parsha,” perhaps I can add something.

    First, any serious problem usually has more than one cause. Looking for “the” cause only causes confusion. Each one sees the issue from his/her own perspective, so we get rhetoric rather than analysis. The “shidduch crisis” is no different.

    Second, it’s not so useful to compare the US situation to that of Europe, because there are more differences than geography and hashkafah. “Europe” as we refer to it belongs to a past age, when babies died in droves and grown women died in childbirth. Diseases like tuberculosis also cut off lives. Poverty was real. People were more pragmatic about things like age because they had to be.

    So, what about here and now? There are several reasons suggested, and most of them are right. One major reason is simply mathematical. 2+2=4 and 2-2=0. I’m comfortable with math and numbers and I can assure you that if you have equal numbers of boys and girls in each year, that if you remove the boys from three years worth of young people, that you will end up with three years’ worth of “extra” girls. Your “moving average” will asure that as boys get married and leave at one end of the pipleline and a new year’s worth enters, that if the pipleline for boys begins at age 21 and the girls’ at age 18, you are always going to have 3 years worth of girls “in excess.” This is objective. I’m not sure how to change it.

    Another major cause of grief is the “pasul him/her out” mentality. “I only want the best.” This is usually said not by the boy but by the boy’s parents, but since they are doing the screening it’s their opinion that counts. So many girls who are – horrible to say – a size 12 or whose fourth cousin is off the derech, will be ruled out. Same if they went to the wrong seminary. Boys get posuled out because the went to the wrong yeshiva or – gasp – have been seen wearing a blue shirt. Forget it if the young person’s parents have been divorced, or someone in the family hs a “problem.” So the boys’ parents posul out half the girls, and the girls who are posuled out don’t want to take the “non-BMG non-future Gadol” boys.

    And then of course we have the shadchanim making more problems of the same nature, and really creating a bottleneck that makes it all much, much worse.

    And of course everyone has their idea of the “perfect” boy/girl, usually dictated by their fear of what the neighbors will think if they “settle.”

    So what to do? As I mentioned above, the “math” aspect is beyond me. As someone else said, we should be discussing those aspects we can solve. Nevertheless, I think a major step forward would be eliminating shadchanim. Yep. ALL of them. It should be assur to take money for making a shidduch.

    I know that that flies in the face of minhag, but the professionals are making the whole process a chillul HaShem. People who indulge in indiscriminate matchmaking because they would like the money or the kavod are almost as bad. Perhaps a central (computerized?) registry could be set up and lists could be generated and sent to the parents, in addition to free-lancing by “civilian” family and friends. At any rate, make shadchanus a matter of the mitzvah alone.

    We also need to make it socially unacceptable to sit around gossiping about other people’s shidduchim. I don’t know how to accomplish that, either, since people take the idea of tachlis to the imaginable limits, but we can make a try.

    I have some other suggestions, but this post is already too long, and most of them have already been put forward.

    in reply to: English Music #746416

    There is a simple solution for the store music problem. Go to your friendly local drugstore and buy anti-noise earplugs. They’re cheap and effective. Mack’s (silicone) is a good brand, and there are other brands made of silicone or foam rubber. I always carry a pair for those stores where the music is particularly bad/loud. Why suffer?

    BTW, many years ago I walked into a friend’s house on Purim and heard that Piamenta song playing. My friend is very frum and would never have “goyishe” music playing, so I was astonished and asked her why she was playing music by this Australian group. She was herself astonished, as she didn’t realize that the song wasn’t Jewish. I told her what the lyrics are (they aren’t that bad, after all) and she was not happy at all.

    Why can’t we do our own music? Why does everything have to have a rock beat behind it with Hebrew words only to “kasher” it?

    in reply to: Shidduch Parshah Question #669938

    If the boy (or his mother) wants a picture, then the boy’s family should be willing to provide a picture for the girl.

    Some boys are really not “put together” and some of them are – well – overweight. I was trying to red a shidduch to a bochur who was so overweight his stomach stuck out over his belt, and all he could ask was, “Is she really skinny?” The girl has just as much a right to look for a “skinny” guy as the guys have to look for a “skinny” girl. In fact, giving the risk of heart attacks for overweight guys, she may have more of a right, since she would ch”v be the one left a widow to bring up the kids.

    The shidduch scene has gotten really strange in the last ten years. Can’t we come up with better solutions?

    in reply to: Facebook and Twitter #690680

    I’m in HR, and I can tell you that nowadays when an employer is checking references, the first thing that gets checked – especially for younger people – is Facebook (also MySpace and other sites.)

    Don’t put anything out there that you wouldn’t want a prospective employer (or a prospective in-law) to see.

    That said, Facebook does have its uses. Just use it right.

    in reply to: Good Bachurim Can Smoke?! What’s the Purim Heter? #671210

    Just think about what would happen to a GIRL who smoked!

    Truth be told, nicotine is a DRUG. It is addictive, it is mood-changing, and it is – by most reports – harder to kick than heroin. It takes five-six tries for even a motivated person to quit smoking. It took me five tries, and that was with recurrent bronchitis.

    Plus, it can kill your family members too.

    A thought – nicotine is a mood equalizer. If you’re nervous, it makes you calm. If you’re depressed, it gives you an “up.” The question to ask here is, “Why does this bochur need to smoke? What is wrong with him that he needs a drug to feel like he can cope? What in his emotional life is not in order? Do I want my daughter to marry a guy who has this kind of problem?”

    in reply to: The Working Poor Crisis #663808

    This is a really interesting and constructive thread, and I’d like to add my two cents as someone with a professional outlook.

    First, as has been observed, living in the NY/NJ area is fiendishly expensive, and the job opportunities are scarce. (Looking for jobs only within the Jewish community is a good way to stay unemployed or working poor – ask any yeshiva rebbe or administrator. Frum businesses also tend to pay less).

    Second, the economy is changing even more since the crash. Even a general college degree does not bring a job automatically. Certain fields have jobs, and many others don’t, so a blanket “get educated” directive will not succeed.

    Third, too many young men finish yeshiva with a pathetically inadequate secular education. This has to be remedied, as noted above, and it will be complicated and diplomatically complex.

    Fourth, no matter what we do in upgrading yeshiva secular studies, there is still the problem of those who have gone to work or want to start but are not qualified for anything with a reasonable salary. We must do something to help them NOW. I was told by someone who has great expertise and authority in the matter of off-the-derech kids that a major factor is the stress of family poverty. It also contributes to the divorce rate, depression, you name it.

    One solution would be to start a nationwide cooperating-across-hashkafah-groupings agency that would provide:

    1) Assessment of current skills, identifying which ones are lacking. When basic skills are lacking, the worker should be helped to upgrade them.

    2) Guidance – testing the worker’s preferences and aptitudes, and combining this knowledge with what the job market is providing – or is expected to provide – to plan a career path, and what type of education or training qualification is required. Many higher-level jobs require only an Associates Degree with a specialization, which could be more practical for a person who is already married and supporting a family.

    3) Identify educational/training resources available. This will vary from community to community. Some areas have excellent junior colleges or technical schools, others have none. In most cases this will require attendance at secular programs, so information should be gathered as to how “frum-friendly” the school is (for instance, do they gladly give time off for Yom Tov and reschedule exams, or do they do it only under pressure?)

    4. Help the worker to choose, and then PROVIDE ONGOING SUPPORT. Going back to school after working as an adult can be stressful or bewildering. Encountering a secular environment for the first time can be intimidating or even, for some, shocking. Personal and rabbinic guidance should be provided throughout the educational process, and beyond into the phase of applying for the first job in the new field.

    5. As noted in other posts, counseling should be provided for people who need help with feelings of failure who may need encouragement to keep up with the program while at the same time supporting the worker in being kovea ittim. Keeping a commitment – even if not large – to Torah study is a strong factor in resisting harmful secular influences, which will be met with on the job, not just during career studies.

    6. Get the communities as a whole behind this. Each city/town should put together a committee of the local shuls, yeshivas, etc. that will ensure that the needs of the whole community will be met without anyone having to prove they belong to the “right” element, and without any pressure to conform to any one hashkafah. The word – which seems to get forgotten sometimes – is Achdus.

    If we all work together and do our hishtadlus, we can receive Siyata D’Shemaya.

    in reply to: Ignoring The Social Drinking Problem #656822

    The problem really becomes serious at Purim. I have seen teenagers who were way too young to drink who were drunk to the point of being ill (not to mention sometimes being obnoxious). Some of them had obtained the alcohol at the homes of their rebbeim whom they had gone to visit and take shalach manos! I have also seen some pretty rowdy behavior by bochrim at chasanahs.

    What goes for Purim seeps into the rest of the year. A similar problem goes for smoking. I’ve heard that many people who were hooked on nicotine smoked their first cigarettes on Purim as a “joke.” It should also be noted that using alcohol in excess is frequently a first step in using harder drugs.

    Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski has addressed this issue many times. The problem is that we have had the “shikkur is a goy” drummed into us for so long that we have forgotten that Jews can drink too. I have known a number of people who were hard-working and sober all week but who got quietly bombed at the Shabbos table. Their behavior was never offensive or non-Torahdik, but I’m sure the young people saw and took note.

    When I was in college back in the ’60’s one of the excuses my friends gave for doing drugs was that after all their parents drank at parties and got sloshed, so why is it so bad to do it with marijuana? At least you stay quiet and don’t get into arguments.

    As for guidelines, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a nation-wide pronouncement, but maybe prominent local Rabbonim could be persuaded to do something. I personally hold with the old-fashioned idea that 21 should be the drinking age for hard liquor, period, Purim or not. A small amount of wine or liqeuer at the Shabbos table should be the limit.

    For those interested in medical issues, studies in brain function and neurology have shown that the areas of the brain that have to do with judgment don’t fully mature until around 20 or so, and that excessive alcohol consumption as a teenager can have unpleasant effects on development.

    It is time to do something.

    in reply to: Yeshiva Delay – Children Sitting Bored For Week At Home #657042

    A whole week with nothing to do?

    Maybe we could just let them be kids for a week – no schedules, no demands, no anxiety.

    Let them figure out what to do for themselves. There are toys, and books, and other kids to play with. I grew up when and where only rich kids went to camp. The rest of us played games, read books, planted tings in the yard (you can plant in containers in the city, too), made stuff out of plasticine. You know, developed our imaginations, learned to structure our own time. OK, so we bugged our parents a little bit once in a while, but we figured out for ourselves how to keep busy and interested.

    Bad enough we keep them in school for such ridiculous hours during the school year, then send them off to some regimented camp.

    Can’t we just let them be kids once in a while?

    in reply to: Therapy – To Tell or Not to Tell? #657404

    This shidduch business has gotten really strange since my day (which was not that recent 😉

    Are people looking for a partner in a bayis neeman b’Yisroel or shopping for a car? If I had a daughter in shidduchim right now I would be in therapy for anxiety too!

    In regards to heritability, most serious psychiatric problems are not “inherited,” or the odds are so small that they can be ignored. The only sure way to be at risk is to marry the identical twin of someone who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Most “minor” problems are the result of life experience (which can, however, include a difficult home situation). For most medical conditions, the problem isn’t inherited. What can be inherited is the tendency to develop the illness under certain conditions, for instance, late-onset diabetes in someone severely overweight. BTW, epilepsy isn’t a psychological problem, it’s a physical medical condition, and it can only be “inherited” by things like car accidents, meningitis, or a blow on the head.

    Be very careful when thinking about “inheriting” medical problems. Most of the media reports on medical conditions aren’t the most accurate. Some of them shout that they’ve discovered “The Gene” for some condition, and the next study proves them wrong, or the specifications for inheriting it are rare.

    Bottom line: Only worry about inheriting something if Dor Yeshorim is testing for it. They’re the ones with the scientific knowledge. And yes, you should get tested, and check BEFORE you get serious.

    in reply to: A Mouse In My House #993945

    If you don’t like the thought of the mice suffering in the glue traps (as I don’t) you can kill them quickly by picking up mouse and trap on the end of a shovel and dropping them into a bucket of water. The mouse will drown right away.

    in reply to: Altering Photos in Photoshop for Fundraising Purposes – Okay? #655072

    The first part of my last post seems to have gotten lost in cyberspace, so:


    What if the boy didn’t have a clean white shirt that day and thought it was more important to be in bais medrash learning than in the laundromat? What if he didn’t have enough white shirts to last the week and his mother had just had a baby and couldn’t do his shirts for him? It’s premature to conclude he was making any ideological statements simply from seeing him in a blue shirt. As long as the shirt was clean and presentable, and not neon-orange, how could it disrupt the learning in the bais medrash?

    The “dress code” hasn’t just mandated “white and black” – it also informally decides what type of shirt, what type of hat, etc., and you’d better have the money to buy them or face social consequences. Many years ago The Jewish Observer had an article written by the father of a little boy who was ostracized in school because he only had plastic-framed glasses instead of wire-framed ones.

    in reply to: Altering Photos in Photoshop for Fundraising Purposes – Okay? #655067

    (continuation: sorry about the misplaced “Send.”)

    instead of wire-framed glasses. This sort of thing is guaranteed to turn people off. I can’t tell you the heartache I’ve seen with friends who have had a child “off the derech” and in a lot of cases it starts with a blue shirt. The R’Y comes down on the boy, who had no idea he was committing such a heinous aveirah. So, he figures, why shouldn’t I commit more if I’m going to get put in herem anyway?

    A clean blue shirt is just as kavodik – if it’s clean and pressed.

    in reply to: Are you going to boycott IKEA? #653471

    Starwolf – you stole my thunder! I just posted something with the same point on the main site. You are 100% right. Common sense should rule.

    Also, please remember where the Jews of Denmark fled to during WWII. They went to Sweden, which was neutral.

    Let’s all find out the email/address of that paper and deluge them with complaints, write letters to the editors of the major Swedish dailies denouncing irresponsible journalism while saying that of course we know that normal Swedes don’t think such nonsense. Most Swedes themselves are probably scratching their heads trying to figure out what’s going on.

    What does IKEA have to do with it?

    in reply to: Altering Photos in Photoshop for Fundraising Purposes – Okay? #655053

    Re the color of shirts:

    Look at all the pictures from the Yeshivas in Europe – the Mir, Telz, all the rest. Do you see a bunch of identically dressed bochrim in neat black and white? No – you see people dressed in all kinds of suits and hats. No artificial uniformity there. Does it mean that their Torah was inferior to that of today’s bochrim who dress “kosher l’mehadrin” according to the local custom/prejudice of those who can afford it (and also those who can’t)? ***EDITED*** to remove names of specific Yeshivas. YW Moderator-72

    Let’s concentrate on the ikar, not the tofel. (Maybe that way we’ll have fewer people going off the derech, too.)

    in reply to: Altering Photos in Photoshop for Fundraising Purposes – Okay? #655039

    Why on earth would anyone care if the boy is wearing a blue shirt? He’s in a yeshiva, not the IDF or the US Army.

    If this yeshiva is happy to indulge in false advertising yet has fits over a plain blue shirt (we assume it’s a plain blue shirt and not a t-shirt with a Harley-Davidson logo) then what sort of middos would they be transmitting to their talmidim?

Viewing 34 posts - 451 through 484 (of 484 total)