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  • in reply to: Donald Trump should not be the President of the United States #1705972
    M
    Participant

    He is certainly too big a tzaddik to deserve the tzarose that have come upon him.

    in reply to: Guns #1681487
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    Participant

    Many people here have suggested that making guns illegal won’t decrease gun violence, since bad guys would obtain guns anyway. Would people making this argument, then, say the same thing about drugs — making drugs illegal doesn’t decrease drug use, since bad guys get them anyway –> we should make drugs legal? marijuana, cocaine, anything?

    in reply to: Guns #1681234
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    Participant

    Question for Curiosity – can you please elaborate. Are you suggesting that there are no good ways of reducing gun killings, and we should leave everything as is? or are you suggesting that we use “psychosocial factors” to determine risk? Is your idea that everyone applying for a gun must undergo a psychosocial exam (as is done in Israel)?

    in reply to: Rav Yitzchok Lichtenstein shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Torah Vodaath #1609613
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    Participant

    An article on YWN a few days ago points out that R’ Yitzchok Lichtenstein is married to a granddaughter of Rav Reuvein Grozovsky, one of the early roshei yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath. So he’s not a total outsider.

    M
    Participant

    Let’s say they created 50,000 jobs, but destroyed another million, as in people who work in bookstores, department stores, etc. Would you still be excited about the 50,000 jobs they created?

    in reply to: Washing produce on Pesach #1497696
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    Participant

    DovidBT – even more economical and easy to find than white vinegar is *water*. This is the most traditional way to wash fruits and vegetables and is mentioned in all of the achronim and poskim on the shulchan aruch. Fortunately, it’s also possible to find KLP water. That money saved on the vinegar can help pay for the matzas.

    M
    Participant

    In my community, shaloch manos is almost always candy and other junk food, so anything that’s not that feels a bit strange. A bagel and cream cheese? Strange. Carrots and chummus? Weird. Anything that’s healthy feels like it’s a criticism of our regular menus of potato chips, potato kugel, and potatoes. If you want to play it safe, send hamentaschen, soda, and a bunch of other candy.

    in reply to: Why are Yeshiva bein hazmanim so long? #1474002
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    Participant

    Here’s a question I don’t see addressed in discussions of this topic. Perhaps having more regular breaks would help talmidim learn and understand what they learn deeper. Like maybe having a few weeks here and a few months there would actually help talmidim develop as bigger lamdanim and talmidei chachomim. Would yeshivas then say, ok, or would they say, af al pi that the breaks help, they’re still bittul Torah. Any thoughts?

    As someone who’s learned in yeshiva before knows, you can’t be awesome without serious and complete dedication to learning, staying up in the beis medrash yomam valayla day after day, week after week. But it’s also important to sometimes have breaks, and do something else, either for a few minutes or a few days, or maybe even for a few weeks. Does that matter in this discussion? Like, in an ideal yeshiva would there never be any breaks at all?

    in reply to: Does a Jewish magazine need a rabbi? #1462773
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    Participant

    Every Jewish organization and store MUST have a rav. A yeshiva, a shul, a magazine, a restaurant, a store, etc. For example, even a a store that “just” sells office supplies must have a rav. There are just so many shaylose that come up all the time. Without a rav, how can the store owner know whether it’s ok to sell certain smartphones? How would thy ever know how late they’re allowed to stay open on erev shabbos? How would they know whether they can put up an advertisement with a woman’s face on it? These are very serious shaylose. The same is true for every business, including mortgage brokers, doctor’s offices, food stores, etc, etc. So many shaylose in chosehn mishpat and yoreh dei’ah, I can’t at all see how someone would think of opening such a business without a rav!

    in reply to: Proving the existence of G-d #1461238
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    Participant

    Joseph, why are you posting this? Also, do you think that this argument will really convince someone? I know many people that have seen apples and seeds, Cheerios and flowers, and still don’t believe in G-d. Do you think that deep down in their hearts they really are convinced by this argument and just won’t admit it? I think they just don’t find it at all compelling.

    in reply to: Daas Torah for Goyim #1439369
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    Participant

    Ok, great, so just to be clear, are you, Joseph, suggesting that the Lakewood PD, for example, is chayav to ask the gedolei hador about what traffic rules they can enact and enforce near BMG? And the explanation for this is that they are chayav in sheva mitzvose, and the gedolim are experts in that, and also because interactions between gentiles and Jews are governed by halacha, and the of course the gedolim are experts in that too.

    in reply to: Daas Torah for Goyim #1439312
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    Participant

    I actually don’t understand what Joseph means. Joseph, are you saying they’re chayav in sheva mitzvose, and included in that is listening to daas torah? Or are you saying they’re only chayav in sheva, l’afukei daas torah? or do you mean something else?

    Also, what do you mean that goyim are required to treat Yidden in accordance with Torah law? Do you mean that goyim can’t write tickets? or they can write tickets? I actually don’t know what “Torah law” says about prohibiting parking in certain areas and writing tickets for people that do. Or, do you mean that of course this is included in dina d’malchua dina?

    in reply to: Lighting on flight #1430322
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    Participant

    ubiquitin – Although what you wrote is “common knowledge” to some, it is not correct and based on a misunderstanding of a braysa in shabbos. The braysa says: “תנו רבנן מצות חנוכה נר איש וביתו”. The word בית there household, as in one’s family. Some mistakenly understand it to mean “house”, as in the physical place in which one dwells. But of course this is a mistake, as is clear from an even casual reading of the Rambam, the mechaber, etc. I understand that some very recent poskim believe otherwise, but this is really a huge chiddush and against the gemera itself and rishonim.

    in reply to: Sheva Brochos #1417787
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    Participant

    And here’s a quote from Litzman in an article in Hamodia (MSM?) less than a year ago: “In the past, Rabbi Litzman said that among the biggest “victims” of junk food was the chareidi public. Children are often “treated” to snacks at Talmud Torahs or shuls after they participate in learning sessions, and that practice needed to stop, or at least to be adjusted in order to prompt children to eat more healthily.”

    in reply to: Sheva Brochos #1417759
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    Participant

    Joseph, there is a general principal of חזקה אומן לא מרע אומנותיה. Do you think that the health ministries would completely make up false (and easily falsifiable) data? What would they gain by saying that the chareidi population has significant obesity issues compared with that of the general population? You might now know that until last week the health ministry was run by Ya’acov Litzman, an exceptionally competent minister who happens to also be chareidi. Since taking office, Litzman worked very hard to raise awareness of food health, including cutting junk food in schools.

    in reply to: Sheva Brochos #1416854
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    Participant

    I hear that. Of course I trust my good friend but I guess there’s no reason you should since you’d don’t even know me, let alone this friend.

    And my anecdotal observations are just that – anecdotal. I guess you don’t see higher rates of obesity among chareidi communities than among other ones, so obviously I can’t disagree with that if that’s what you see.

    in reply to: Sheva Brochos #1416819
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    Participant

    At first I had the same reaction to Joseph, hey, did you just make that up?, but realized that I also did the exact same thing! About the tooth decay, a good friend works as a dentist in Lakewood and told me how much tooth decay he sees, and how much worse his patients’ teeth are than kids he sees in goyish communities. About the diabetes etc, I guess I don’t actually know that, but I do see relatively high numbers of grossly obese people when I visit Passaic, Lakewood, Brooklyn, Monsey than I do in other communities. But I guess we should ask someone that works as a health professional in that population who can tell us more. Anyone here?

    in reply to: Sheva Brochos #1416512
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    Participant

    I know this is an aside, but I think what GH meant was that younger people today, perhaps moreso the educated crowd, are more conscious of food choices.

    Eating at a massive wedding shmorg an hour before eating a full-size wedding dinner? Serving massive plates of oil-flowing potato kugel and cholent at your shul kiddush, and then going home to eat a massive shabbos lunch whose only vegetables are the the potatoes and onions in yet another cholent? Want to give your kids candy for answering a dozen parsha questions, then potato chips at pirchei and pizza and soda at avos ubanim? All while implicitly discouraging exercise? These are fine choices (it’s a free country!), but don’t be surprised if you find high rates of diabetes, heart problems, and teeth decay that are typically associated with the poorest populations.

    in reply to: Sheva Brochos #1415161
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    Participant

    And here’s a really solid discussion of the sugya: sorry link removed

    Agav, there are several interesting points about this discussion: (1) In his opinion, a ideally a bris milah should davka real meat, and not just chicken. (2) He concludes that lma’aseh it’s fine to have a milchig bris. (3) He quotes the tshuvose chasam sofer (OC 69) who states kdavar pashut that one can make a milchig bris, and even on shabbos.

    in reply to: Sheva Brochos #1415150
    M
    Participant

    I think Joseph’s post here (sorry Joseph!) highlights one of weaknesses of the CF and similar discussions elsewhere. In particular, people tend to post essentially made-up things.

    Perhaps Joseph could have written something more thoughtful along the following lines. Although a braisa in arvei pesachim states that אין שמחה אלא בבשר ויין, that is already qualified as being only בזמן בית המקדש (ועכשיו שאין בית המקדש קיים, אין שמחה אלא ביין are the words in the continuation). Even on shabbos, which you probably would also call a seudas mitzvah the Shulchan Aruch HaRav (242,2) wrote that there’s no chiyuv to have meat if one does not like meet.

    The Maharam Shik (AH 89:2) actually writes that one is actually chayav in basar at a seudas mitzvah, but it’s not clear that this is universally accepted. In fact by a bris milah, which most probably believe constitutes a seudas mitzvah, it seems that many kehilose had takanose that they davka not be fleishig, and only include fish, because of the high costs. Of course if there was a real chiyuv to have meat such takanose would have been meaningless.

    Of course Joseph can offer other perspectives, but blankly stating “A seudas mitzvah should be fleishigs.” doesn’t really contribute anything to the discussion. Indeed yid18 was just asking what people would prefer. For the record, if it’s at dinner time I’d probably prefer fleishig, unless I had had many fleishig meals that week in which case I might prefer milchigs.

    in reply to: I didn't donate to Wikipedia #1414312
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    Participant

    I try to donate a small amount ($5 or $10) each year. They provide an invaluable resource for those wanting to understand the world. In many areas such as the exact sciences their articles tend to be excellent. Their system, in which anyone can contribute, but in which content can also be checked for quality, is really amazing.

    in reply to: Why its important to show pictures of Married Couples #1366073
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    Participant

    But are the rest of us really on his madreiga?!

    M
    Participant

    To Avram in MD and JJ2020. There is not always a right or wrong. Your rebbi might be a malach Hashem, but perhaps you want to have a different marriage than he does? Perhaps he is rarely home, doesn’t cook, clean, shop, or help with the children. That’s perfectly ok and I sincerely believe that he and his wife can be genuinely happy with that arrangement. But maybe you won’t be. Or your wife won’t be. There’s no guarantee that two people will want the same things in a marriage, even if they did 10 or 20 years ago when they got married.

    I’m not saying that wanting different things from a marriage is a valid justification to get divorced, but I think it’s a reasonable one. Remember that according to Beis Hillel valid justifications for divorce include הקדיחה תבשילו and according to R’ Akiva include מצא אחרת נאה הימנה. Can you believe that?! Would you approve of these “justifications”/”excuses”? Maybe these would be insufficient — or even “liberal” — reasons in your eyes, but they are reasonable to R’ Akiva and Beis Hillel.

    All of these situations are terribly sad — people whose lives are upended, whose dreams are shattered, children hurt, and often it’s not because of any one person’s fault, maybe not either of their faults. Maybe they just fell out of love, or were never in love in the first place, and they want something else now. Maybe they’ll find it elsewhere, maybe not. Maybe they’ll be happier afterwards, or maybe they’ll regret it for the rest of their lives. If you were genuinely unhappy in your marriage, and sincerely believed there was no way you ever would be, and thought it was in yours and your spouse’s and childrens’ best interest to work towards ending it, I would be understanding, even if the mizbayech will shed many tears.

    in reply to: Should the Township of Lakewood be renamed the Shtetl of Lakewood? #1319406
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    Participant

    Joseph – “A huge portion of federal taxes go towards national defense and homeland security.” Are you suggesting that the US cuts such spending? or only that frum Jews don’t benefit from this spending? This sounds strange to me. I mean, should a farmer in Iowa pay less taxes if he doesn’t feel like he benefits from national defense and homeland security?

    Also, “Another huge chunk of … taxes go towards social benefits …” Roughly half of the federal budget goes towards social security and medicaid, medicare, chip, etc. Are you suggesting that frum Jews don’t benefit from this? Unemployment and disability? I imagine that frum Jews in Lakewood, let’s say, receive at least as much if not more federal/state/local dollars in aid as they pay in taxes. If 49.2% of Lakewood residents report income below the poverty level (2015), then certainly they’re not paying much in taxes. It’s hard for me to imagine that the remainder of those living there make so much as to offset what they are receiving.

    At the end of the day, I think that frum Jews are very happy to be living here, paying taxes, and receiving welfare from the state.

    M
    Participant

    Imagine, for a moment, that Lakewood became a completely independent township/shtetl/etc. Even better, imagine that it became its own state or country, and no longer had to pay any local, NJ, or federal taxes. Who, then, would pay for all of the social welfare benefits? Do you think that the amount in taxes paid by all residents of Lakewood more than cover all of these benefits, so that breaking away would save money? The costs of maintaining roads and parks and utilities, and of school busing, and rent subsidies, food stamps, etc? My guess is that if Lakewood became independent, it would either very quickly fall into terrible disrepair (much worse than its current state), or else quickly people would realize that the model cannot survive, and way more people would start working.

    in reply to: Halachic army #1318984
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    Chaver: “I think an army based on Torah would look almost like any other army.”

    Wait, do you think that women should be allowed to join (as they are in almost every other army)? Also, what would happen on shabbos? Would the army function the same as on any other day? Would 18-year old boys join the army? or would they be allowed to sit and learn, leaving army service for non-Jews? or women?

    in reply to: Halachic army #1318539
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    Participant

    Joseph, the question is hypothetical, and was not meant to be about zionism. Instead, what does a halachic army look like? Nicha, maybe we shouldn’t have a state and army today, and maybe bimose hamoshiach we won’t need an army (?), but that’s why I asked bimei malchei yehuda and yisroel – what would a halachic army look like? How would it have been conducted? What would they have done on shabbos? Who would have been the soldiers and generals? Would the mo’etzes gedolei torah oversee all military strategy? Would they spend their days teaching the general shor sh’nagach? For many who accept the state just don’t like the army, these questions are relevant even today. For others like you, the questions can be purely hypothetical.

    M
    Participant

    Thank you Gadolhadorah for providing some of the important takeaways from this terrific discussion.

    Let me add one additional (imperfect) suggestion not previously mentioned. Many people pointed out the near-tenure-like status rebbeim have, where it’s very difficult to fire them. Even if we keep that, perhaps we should have a probationary period during which a rebbi is initially evaluated for “tenure”. That is, perhaps it should be made explicit that for the first X years, a teacher will be carefully observed and at the end of that period will be evaluated for a longer-term job. At that point in time, maybe roughly 50%, or 90%, or 30% of rebbeim will become “tenured”.

    This period will likely motivate rebbeim during those first few years to be excellent, look for feedback and training, improve, and become excellent teachers. With proper guidance this will be helpful even for the great rebbeim. Meanwhile, rebbeim that could be good or bad will be motivated to become good, and hopelessly bad rebbeim will know full-well from day 1, and through regular feedback, that there is a considerable chance that they won’t be kept around, and might allow them to plan accordingly. In many universities, professors who do not get tenure are given a year or so to find another job. This will relieve some of the stress that some rebbeim would certainly endure in being unemployed, and would hopefully also end the horrible practice where schools might notify teachers in the summer (!) that they won’t have a job in the fall.

    M
    Participant

    ywcomment2 pointed out one elephant in the room – rebbeim generally receive very little training. Their counterparts in girls’ schools, by contrast, often spend years studying to improve their teaching skills before they start. Should we be surprised that in general they are more effective?

    Here’s another elephant. Many people who eventually become rebbeim have little education or training for any job (forget teaching), leaving them almost forced into becoming rebbeim. Imagine you can’t support your family on a kollel stipend, and aren’t qualified to work as an accountant, lawyer, etc, then you might turn to teaching, even if you’re not cut out for it. If “the system” provided a more robust education generally that allowed people to later pursue honorable professions, then in addition to alleviating tremendous poverty in our communities, we might also mitigate the oversupply of under-qualified rebbeim.

    in reply to: Please help! Falsely Accused Lakewood family #1316751
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    Participant

    I just said a tefillah on behalf of innocent people falsely accused. May HKB”H help them so that false charges against them are immediately dropped, and may public trust in such people be quickly restored.

    in reply to: The Post Kollel Financial Crisis #1314838
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    Participant

    Meno – tremendous tzedakah is given for limud Torah. Even ignoring the tremendous costs of tuition (is that not the most beautiful example of “supporting Limud HaTorah”?!), many communities have local yeshivas and kollelim which they help support, in large sums. And all this is after they contribute to poor people who cannot help themselves. As it is, I’m sure that BMG and similar kollelim receive millions of dollars in donations per year. Of course that’s not enough to support everyone! But, do you expect everyone to just double their donation?! And then if every random kid on the street wants to sit and learn, that the tzibbur should pay him to learn? This sounds a bit crazy to me.

    in reply to: The Post Kollel Financial Crisis #1314826
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    Participant

    Asking for input. Many yungerman are a bit surprised when they are 29 or 34 and not sure where to start looking for parnassah. When they were 23 they probably did not realize how much it would cost to raise a family, and maybe even how money “really” works. Would it help if yeshiva alumni, maybe CPA’s or similar, would give a short one-hour presentation to guys when they’re second, third year beis mederash, and so these issues would be a bit on their minds much earlier on. Maybe the Agudah would put together some sort of seminar on the basics of finances, which might be helpful way down the line when someone is thinking more seriously about the rest of their lives. Thoughts?

    in reply to: The Kiddush Hashem of Lakewood #1312748
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    Participant

    DaasYochid: “Also, I’m curious; how long do you think the average stay in BMG kollel is?”

    My guess is that the average stay in BMG is 5 years, which is after 4 or 5 years learning in beis medrash and/or in Eretz Yisroel, and before another 2 or 3 years learning in a smaller yeshiva in town.

    What’s important is not exactly how long they spend in BMG, but that they start thinking about supporting a family when they are 28 or 29, making it extremely difficult to eventually enter a job market in something that requires more than minimal training. And so they are 35 with 7 children earning less than a starting salary for a college graduate at 23.

    When I think of numerous friends that spent 3, 4, 5 years learning seriously in yeshiva, and then pursued an education (not at the same time of course), and are now serious talmidei chachamim that support their families with respectable incomes, are koveya itim latorah, give shiurim, give generously, are involved in chesed and in leadership roles in the local schools and shuls, I think, wow, these are the people that I find inspiring and that I believe will inspire my children.

    in reply to: The Kiddush Hashem of Lakewood #1312711
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    Participant

    Huju, you are right that we don’t know whether these 10 (or 26) people are guilty or innocent. We just don’t know. But we do know — and NO ONE living in Lakewood questions this — that (a) there is tremendous poverty in this community; (b) a very large part of the population depends on social welfare programs; (c) it’s very easy to cross the line in an attempt to merely survive. This is not a recipe for success, it’s a recipe for regular fraud.

    Imagine everyone was forced to cook in kitchens in which milchig and fleishig pots, pans, and cutlery all looked identical. If a news article came out claiming that many people were eating basar b’cholov, would you be surprised? No, of course not, because that system is a recipe for disaster.

    in reply to: The Kiddush Hashem of Lakewood #1312624
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    Participant

    Of course huge theft occurs in every community, frum or not. But few communities effectively push people to the brink of starvation, where they feel a real need to toe the line of what’s legal, and then act surprised when this happens. “Don’t steal!” shkoyach!! But what, then, should an average family with “only” 7 kids making $53,000 a year do?! How should they pay their bills?! How can they afford school, and food, and yuntif, …. Did they really expect that they could encourage tens of thousands of bochrim to sit and learn forever (or for ten years), and then that miraculously people would be able to support themselves afterwards?! Even if the US government sent out checks of $10,000 to each family, and gvirim and ba’alei tzedakah send them another $10,000 a year, still they wouldn’t have a way to stay afloat….

    in reply to: The Kiddush Hashem of Lakewood #1312623
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    Participant

    It seems to me an unfair diversion for the hanhalah of the yeshiva to get up there and tell people, “gneiva is assur”. Of course it is, but what about the pressures created in the yeshiva that push people to the brink of poverty, and beyond, and which then force them as it were to make extensive use of the welfare system, sometimes pushing the envelope of what’s legal? What about the system that leaves people without any training or education to bring in a respectable salary? It’s not as if someone can learn in a mesivta, then a yeshiva, and kollel until they’re 29 or 32 and then expect to leave learning and make a decent parnossah. Sure some can do it, but most can’t. What, start an e-bay business? for real? And you can’t just say then, ok, I’m going to be a doctor or a lawyer or accountant or public school teacher, etc.

    in reply to: The Kiddush Hashem of Lakewood #1312078
    M
    Participant

    The Avos were wealthy, through Hashem’s bracha in their work, and so if maaseh avos siman labanim means anything, then perhaps the horrible widespread poverty in Lakewood (and Bnei Brak) should be considered a huge chillul Hashem? Does the Torah ask the tzibbur to be poor nebechs? Is your impression of the tannaim, of the geonim, the rishonim, and achronim one of horrible poverty? one of כל שאינו מלמד את בנו אומנות מלמדו ליסטות? Did the chaveirim of the great Ramban only sit and learn? Did R’ Akiva Eiger tell bnei iro that they should do nothing but learn in poverty? I don’t understand Joseph’s comments at all. The current situation appears to be a tremendous chillul Hashem on a grand scale, in a sense worse than anything we’ve ever seen.

    If instead you showed me a responsible, thoughtful community in which hardworking, dedicated people worked to earn a livelihood yet were kove’ah itim latorah, who are as careful about every siman in choshen mishpat as in yoreh deah and orach chayim, who are mokir talmidei chachamim, a community that genuinely cared about Torah and didn’t just shove every bachur into the beis medrash and hope for the best. Then I’d say, wow, that is a community that makes us proud.

    in reply to: Voting thoughts #1284566
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    Participant

    To Joseph – I hear what you’re saying and am not disagreeing. For all I know, maybe changing benefit levels etc will force healthcare providers to change rates, etc, and maybe in the end the US government will pay less and more people will end up healthy! Since the US government can’t afford all of this, maybe it shouldn’t be paying so much to help the poor. And right, maybe the current benefits are too high in some sense. Instead of a family of 4 receiving $649 a month, maybe they should receive only $465, or only $65, or nothing. Who knows; I don’t think there’s a right or wrong about this.

    I’m just asking about whether these changes will make many of us, who have family and friends that really depend on them, to change our views of the president. He ran on a platform of helping the regular people. Instead he’s proposing tax changes that would substantially benefit the wealthy and substantially hurt those with less. I know my friends will feel this even if it’s just changing benefit levels etc.

    in reply to: Voting thoughts #1284501
    M
    Participant

    I agree with oyyoyyoy – it might be necessary to cut down on spending so the US won’t be forced to default on our loans. At the same time, what would you tell a mother who depends on this government aid just to survive? Too bad, this is what’s best for the country? Do you think that people will find ways of getting help from other places? Do you think that more people will decide to leave yeshiva and enter the work-force?

    in reply to: Reparing silver becher #1264453
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    Participant

    Thanks chilliworker! I actually live in the US, and it seems that there aren’t that many silver stores around these days. Hmm, I wonder if the typical jeweler (old school, not the kind the mall) would be able to do s/t like this…

    in reply to: need kiruv advice #1246208
    M
    Participant

    Thank you Nechomah for your thoughtful, interesting, and touching answer.

    in reply to: Quick question #1246202
    M
    Participant

    Joseph – I don’t know what kind of arrangement you have in your home, but what I see in most frum families is that fathers spend substantially less time with their children than mothers do. This is probably actually true in all families, not just frum, but it’s certainly true in frum ones. I’m not saying it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it is a thing. Ya, they have different functions and that’s all great. But at the end of the day, mothers tend to spend much more time with the family than do fathers; I assume you agree with this. I was just trying to understand baisyaakovliberal’s observation that Bais Yaakov teachers are more likely to speak to students about being mothers than yeshiva rebbeim are to speak with talmidim about being fathers.

    in reply to: Quick question #1246170
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    Participant

    I think it’s because in frum families, women tend to make much better mothers than men make fathers. In plenty of frum families the father does not wake up with crying children, does not change diapers, does not go shopping for food or clothing, does not cook, clean, or pick up kids from school, or help them with their homework. Instead men are (ideally) spending their time earning or learning, and much of the home-life is organized by the mother. Rebbeim in yeshivos can thus refer to their talmidim as future rabbanom, lamdanim, etc, because for many that is their primary job. Calling them fathers/husbands would just ring hollow.

    in reply to: need kiruv advice #1245351
    M
    Participant

    Some have pointed out that kiruv works when a person feels loved, and less so when someone convinces the other that Torah is emesdik. This has been my observations as well — people become close to chabad, to Aish, or whatever, when they enjoy Friday night dinner, etc. But not because we discussed whether there is a god, and if so, blah blah blah.

    But if this is true, that means that in theory kiruv could work for anything. If a reform person, or a Hindu person, showed someone love, showed them how beautiful communal singing is, etc, then maybe the person will become reform or hindu, etc. This seems disappointing because it means to me that we’re not *really* doing kiruv, just pushing on people’s psychological buttons, and manipulating them. Of course, if this eventually leads a person to learn, understand, and eventually do things lishma that’s great! But if it doesn’t…

    M
    Participant

    Lilmod Ulelamaid: “For hashkafa – either one. If it’s a question that’s more personal and requires someone with intution and sensitivity, a Rebbetzin might be better.”

    Do you think that a rebbetzin is any better suited than your neighbor? Until she married this rav, I imagine that was particularly more suited to offer advice than any other of your friends or otherwise. Do you think it’s that her experience over the years has made her better suited to offer advice? Maybe she’s been giving bad advice for many years, but just feels and sounds more confident about doing so with time?

    in reply to: How many Gaonim are there? #1215691
    M
    Participant

    There are 36 hidden tzaddikim in the world. You can’t be a real tzaddik if you’re not also really a gaon, so I’d say there are at least 36 gaonim. But maybe there are also some geonim that are not big tzaddikim, so there might be many more than 36 geonim.

    in reply to: Shutting Refugees out of America #1213261
    M
    Participant

    Little Frog, I think you are making it clear that you would be totally understanding of FDR’s reluctance to accept Jews during WWII to this country. You would say something like “Every law leaves some in discomfort, displeasure, disadvantage, deprivation etc. A law is made to benefit the LARGER picture, as much to a degree having to deprive the fewest possible.” The immigrants don’t speak English (true), will compete for our jobs (true), might become a burden on us (true), can’t all be vetted with perfect accuracy (true), etc. And thousands of Jews were sent back to die under the German reign of terror, as they indeed happened.

    I understand that there are legit reasons for our being unable to accommodate all refugees. Maybe some are dangerous. Maybe the US, already trillions of dollars in debt, can’t afford to take in more people. Maybe some of the “refugees” are perfectly safe at home. Who knows. But if you were a person genuinely pained at heart by the suffering of innocent people, the way that I and so many yidden wished that the US and other countries had been 70 years ago, then as human beings, rachmanim bnei rachmanim, would be pained by the atrocities taking place in Syria and other countries, and we would not make jokes about this.

    in reply to: Shutting Refugees out of America #1213253
    M
    Participant

    lilmod ulelamaid: If it is not a joke (which I still believe it is), then the claims sound completely fabricated. Is there someone out there that knows that the president “will most certainly back down, and show the world out benevolent, gracious side”? Based on what would anyone write that? With the exception of one story from 20 years ago, what examples of benevolence and graciousness have you seen from this man?

    In any case, here is a quote written by a member of congress about Poland in the 1920’s to keep Jews from coming to the US: “It is impossible to overestimate the peril of the class of emigrants coming from this part of the world, and every possible care and safeguard should be used to keep out the undesirables.” There are plenty more where this came from, both from that period and later. Are you at peace with the refusal of many governments to take in Jewish refugees from Germany, Poland, etc during WWII?

    in reply to: Shutting Refugees out of America #1213251
    M
    Participant

    Little Froggie is making a joke of what is a serious matter to many. I hope that when you are suffering, others give your concerns more respect than you can offer them.

    in reply to: Shutting Refugees out of America #1213249
    M
    Participant

    You don’t need to be a bleeding-heart liberal to be genuinely disturbed by the tremendous humanitarian crisis that is taking place in the world, and by the attitudes to these refugees taken by our elected officials. Of course our government has a responsibility to keep its citizens safe, but does that mean we have no practical responsibility to help others facing mortal danger? Are you perfectly understanding of the decisions of the many governments (including our own), during WWII, to send back thousands of Jewish refugees to Europe? Don’t forget that US government officials, including FDR, believed that these immigrants posed a real national security threat. If you’re perfectly morally content with this executive order, I don’t see how you could be troubled about FDR’s decisions during WWII. To me that is very sad….

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