Forum Replies Created
June 2, 2014 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm in reply to: How do I convert? I want an exit strategy! #1018591
26 posts and no one remarked on the use of the word “conversion” for a shift of practice *within* Judaism. As though Sephardim and Ashkenazim practice different faiths….May 19, 2014 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm in reply to: Tznius in our Community #1015877
FriendinFlatbush and LBK, no one really invited you to inspect strange women’s clothing down to the inch and then indict the whole community for the findings.April 14, 2014 8:34 am at 8:34 am in reply to: baseball games #1011728
CharlieHall, for what it’s worth, Branch Rickey desisted from playing baseball or even attending games on Sundays all his life on religious grounds and on grounds of kibbud em.March 4, 2014 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm in reply to: Million Man Atzeres #1020470
On the topic of IDF leaders “believing” in kochi ve-otsem yadi — I doubt that the commenter who made this accusation ever met an IDF leader. I have, and I encountered nothing but respect for the limits of force and doubts about its efficacy. If the commenter got his information from the media, he needs to find more balanced media. There, too, Israeli generals are anything but warmongers. Most personally carry the scars of combat injuries, putting a different spin on the expression ?????? ?? ????.March 4, 2014 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm in reply to: Were we all Sephardic once? #1006926
Fensterz asks, “Would your society or clan consider a shidduch with a Skvere Chosid? Would you have considered marrying a Klausenberger girl? Could you easily see your sister or daughter marrying a Teimani or someone from Bobov?” Answer: my society is full of wonderful observant couples from all backgrounds with the probable exception of Skvere. As for me, I was very fluid in my shidduch days and my benefactors indeed set me up with people of many backgrounds and ethnicities. Were they wrong in thinking that I was looking to marry a person and not a group? As for maintaining the Ashkenazi-Sephardi schism, I repeat my opinion: the two populations are amazingly, miraculously similar. It’s hard for me to imagine someone having a real issue about remaining seated vs. standing during Kaddish, and not solving it by asking a simple shaila.March 3, 2014 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm in reply to: Were we all Sephardic once? #1006894
Earth to commenters: the degree of *similarity* among Jews after centuries of dispersion is a miracle of history or, if you wish, evidence of hashgaha pratit. Yet most of the commenters find it better to emphasize dissimilarity and affirm, or create, non-intermarrying castes. Baruch Hashem, my society doesn’t buy into it.March 2, 2014 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm in reply to: Million Man Atzeres #1020442
lesschumras, he isn’t disconnected from reality; he’s connected with a personal simulacrum reality — the notion that there’s basically no State of Israel but rather 1920s-style Zionism and Zionists, the ostensible obsession of all “Zionists” with defeating the practice of Judaism, the idea that ceasing to take “Zionist money” excuses one from obeying national laws, the imminent glorious bloodbath, and (trumpets!) the reinstatement of benevolent Muslim rule. The whole refrain, repeated tirelessly up to ten times a day.February 26, 2014 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm in reply to: Hakaras Hatov for Israeli Soldiers (IDF) #1005846
HaKatan counsels: ” Iguess you will learn the answer regarding the halachic validity of Chassidus and everything else, BE”H, when Eliyahu haNavi tells us all BB”A.” Ein hachi nami: “everything else” by definition includes Zionism and should preclude the labeling of masses of Jews ‘ovdei ‘avoda zara etc.January 20, 2014 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm in reply to: Jewish music? Mah zeh? #999875
Layning is Jewish music.January 20, 2014 3:20 pm at 3:20 pm in reply to: Mussar from current events #1001284
HaKatan, why in your rants against Zionism do you insert expressions in Zionist havara such as Eretz Yisrael (not Yisroel),Eliyahu HaNavi (not HaNovi), Brisker Rabbanim (not Rabbonim) and avoda zara (not zora)? Are you a troll after all, or are you just incontistent?January 12, 2014 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm in reply to: Scientology #998028
Scientology is no joke: It’s a honey trap based on pseudo-intellectual babbling that lures the uninitiated, the bored, and the susceptible. It *sounds* religious, heavy, profound. Once they’re in, the initiates are offered training in the “priesthood” at hefty expense, sometimes involving the signing over of savings, credit cards, etc. Once this has happened, there’s almost no way out. Whole families exist this way. Those who do break free report escaping within an inch of their lives.November 25, 2013 2:07 pm at 2:07 pm in reply to: Are ancient artifacts tamei? #989211
HaLeiVi, it is my understanding that implements once used for Avoda Zara are OK if the Avoda Zara was discontinued by its practitioners, as would probably be the case for almost anything from the Bronze Age.November 12, 2013 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm in reply to: Shalom Bayis Question #986706
When I was a newlywed, an in-law who qualifies as da’at Torah gave me his view on dividing up the housework without my asking: each of us, he said, should see him/herself as responsible for all the housework.
It has worked rather well for 31 years.November 12, 2013 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm in reply to: Shalom Bayis Question #986705
As a newlywed, an in-law who qualifies as da’at Torah gave me his view on dividing up the housework without my asking: each of us, he said, should see him/herself as responsible for all the housework.
It has worked rather well for 31 years.October 31, 2013 1:11 pm at 1:11 pm in reply to: Is Turkish Airlines safe for frum Jews? #1145305
Several years ago, my wife and I flew Turkish Airlines from TLV to Copenhagen via Istanbul. Security before boarding the connecting flight was such that they insisted that my wife remove her hair covering and steered her to a booth where female inspectors were working. She found it icky but benign.
Also, flight crews may not be familiar with the rules for microwaving sealed kosher meals.September 15, 2013 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm in reply to: Becoming Yeshivish #1018483
Econjew, having mentioned RSR Hirsch, you may have discovered an adage from the Gemara that his successors quoted in a sourcebook on his teachings (I believe it’s from Berachot 24): Derech Eretz is one of four things in need of reinforcement (a pasuk is given). Then the Gemara indicates how this should be done: the merchant in his merchanting, the professional in his professional practice, the soldier in his soldiering. By extension (and so RSR Hirsch taught), your college studies aren’t distractions from Torah, they are part of your Torah. Please rethink the idea of your life being a race in which there’s someone you must “catch up” with, particularly if those you’re shidduched with insist on pressuring you in that direction. As for being dissatisfied with the quantity of “real” Torah that you’ve been learning, that can cut positively or negatively.September 12, 2013 4:32 am at 4:32 am in reply to: Artscroll Controls Chareidi Hashkafa #974535
The real answer is to learn and use Hebrew. Then no one will be able to mind your mind.September 10, 2013 1:32 pm at 1:32 pm in reply to: Why working out is assur #1191403
Steven, we’ve been down this road before, mostly unpleasantly. The whole issue of the use of leisure time (unless you intended to become a professional weightlifter) appears to be exactly as you presented it: between an individual and h/her rebbi. Broadening it to a public forum is asking for responses unbefitting the 10 Days or, really, any time.August 26, 2013 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm in reply to: Do I have to forgive Dov Lipman? #972328
David Hamelech himself, when informed that his people were in need of livelihood, instructed them to “make a living from each other,” i.e., participate in a productive economy.
Did those around him call him Amalek? debate over whether to forgive him?August 20, 2013 1:52 pm at 1:52 pm in reply to: Mishpacha interview with Shadchanim Levy, Lewenstein and Katz #972957
Rebdoniel, that judgmentalism goes a lot deeper than gerim and bt’s and it’s not limited to haredim. What a luxury it is to be able to investigate your neighbor’s ancestry, hobbies, scrape-or-stack, and all the rest. When RSR Hirsch established his kehilla in Frankfurt, he set two conditions for membership: brit mila and a kosher marriage. When Jews began to move into Borough Park, there were enough shomrei Shabbat to sustain only one shtibl (Chevras Shomrei Shabbos, it’s still there). In many European communities today, the Rav sees the smiling side of a minyan on Shabbat only, if then. All across America are communities that report one-sixth affiliation with Jewish institutions of any kind (e.g., JCCs).August 20, 2013 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm in reply to: Do I have to forgive Dov Lipman? #972275
Shraga, why vacillate about MK Lipman only? Others are gouging us Israelis for less-noble reasons without a moment of reflection, let alone regret. Start with employers who shove as much of your (under)pay as possible into “benefits,” for which you don’t get pension credit. Continue with the Lands Administration and its artificial inflation of land prices. Keep going to the builder of your apartment, who jacked up its price by shuffling his work crews from project to project instead of finishing the work swiftly. Now look at the ports, classic examples of monopoly overcharging and inefficiency that raises the prices of all imports. Closer to home is the fellow who fixes your appliances and lets you pay cash under the table. You’re paying his taxes on top of yours and mine. Etc. Etc. Why single out MK Lipman?August 8, 2013 1:38 pm at 1:38 pm in reply to: A kol koreh for this, but not for that? #970028
Anyone with a modem and/or $50 in raw materials and a pot of glue can put out a kol koreh. That’s roughly how valuable they are.August 8, 2013 1:33 pm at 1:33 pm in reply to: Trip to Europe, Summer 2014 #988240
My wife and I “specialize” in visiting European cities that have very small populations of committed Jews. Before going, we make contact and offer our services (mainly mine as a baal koreh, etc.). No one in these communities gets excited about that until we really show up and contribute. Then we are treated royally. It can be done in many, many towns, especially with so much lead time to build relations.August 8, 2013 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm in reply to: Medicine to become a gadol #969801
I’ll regret writing this, but I can’t avoid seeing irony in the encouragement of pharmacological treatment to enhance performance in the beit midrash, contrasted with swift condemnation yesterday of a baseball player who doped himself to enhance his performance on the field.August 5, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am in reply to: Double Standards #970164
Toi, Herzl was the ultimate tinok nishba who, out of nowhere, dropped everything in his successful life to work for the permanent protection of Am Yisrael. He hadn’t the G-d and Torah awareness to be a rasha let alone a kofer and, ?? ?????, to hate G-d and Torah. If it’s part of the “normal frum world” to hate Herzl’s guts, I and everyone I know must have missed out on that part of the training. And if you seem to know next to nothing about Herzl, you know flat-Kelvin-zero nothing about the Zionist Movement, which deviated from Herzl’s prescriptions from the get-go.August 5, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am in reply to: Letter sent to Mishpacha magazine. #970469
RSR Hirsch repeatedly stressed our “light unto the Gentile” mission in exile and did not smile on those who would disavow the mission by jumping the Mashiach’s gun. He firmly rejected the proto-Zionism that he lived to encounter. That he would have forsworn subsequent phases on Zionism, a fortiori the state once it was established, cannot be determined. Either way, his spiritual successors were and remain prominent in the religious Zionist movement, so they at least do not see him as a Brisker-style, let alone a Satmar-style, anti-Zionist.July 29, 2013 2:16 pm at 2:16 pm in reply to: Letter sent to Mishpacha magazine. #970415
HaKatan paskens: “There could be other practices that help bring the redemption that are permitted. But founding a State far exceeds that which is halachicly permitted.” So HaKatan concedes that founding a State helps to bring the redemption. But where does he draw the line on what’s “halachicly permitted”? In davening for redemption, is there too much kavana? How about sinat hinam: should I keep some of it around just in case? Does talmud torah have a shi’ur after all, and I’d better not breach it?July 25, 2013 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm in reply to: Regarding the Draft #967850
HaKatan,you wanted some Zionist answers, so here are a few circumstantial ones (which are *not* false ones): a Jewish nation-state crystallizing while the rest of Jewry faced annihilation (Holocaust) and deadly assimilation (America). Whacking combined Arab forces repeatedly. Being known by the CIA as *capable* of whacking combined Arab forces repeatedly. Having more shuls and shul-goers in its *least* religious towns than in nearly all communities in galus.
Now, what are your arguments? You say Jews have paid the ultimate price for this statehood. Right, statehood comes at this price, and until now countless Jews paid it for others’ statehood. Shmad? The poskim couldn’t agree about whether the Holocaust was shmad, so kal-va-homer Israel, where nearly every secular family has a hozer bi-tshuva and the most estranged Jew can open a sefer Torah and understand what it says. The rest of your arguments don’t even argue. “Rabbi Kaplan said,” “the Brisker Rov said,” and so on aren’t arguments; they relieve you of the need to make arguments (not). And “Hashem forbids it, period” is hutzpa from someone who screen-names himself HaKatan.July 25, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am in reply to: Whats your opinion of Ryan Braun #967510
Braun is to Bonds as Rose is to Jackson.
Garvey is to Garvey.July 25, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am in reply to: Letter sent to Mishpacha magazine. #970368
Zushy, the letter is an erudite and mannerly iteration of the crudely expressed theories of Health and HaKatan: Israel and the IDF are instruments of shmad and were created for that purpose, no gratitude is owed because the secular don’t have the right kavanna (as we have the ability to rule, of course), they brought all those misfortunes on themselves and on us because they don’t keep “toira and mitzvois,” etc. I propose a counterpoint. The chazals the writer cites are parts of a makhloket. If the propriety of thanking the Romans is debated in both directions, one just might be machmir and feel a bit of gratitude to Jews who believe they are safeguarding the whole population — frum, non-frum, Arabs, tourists — with their bodies.July 22, 2013 2:08 am at 2:08 am in reply to: Regarding the Draft #967828
Health, I was not speaking of Eretz Israel as Joan Peters was. I was speaking of the misnamed Golden Age in Spain and the wretched conditions for Jews all across northern Africa and Arabia: periodic pogroms in Iraq and Algeria, on-and-off dhimmi repression in Morocco, hard-wired social abuse in Yemen, etc. There’s no need to set up a victimization contest between those countries and Europe. And Jews were not treated “fine” in EI under the Turks. One instance of such treatment in America and you’d race to the Gentile media and courts for redress.
Among the Dati Leumi, the IDF itself helps to prevent situations like these by allowing draft-age men to enroll in mechinot. The men reach the induction base knowing the rules and how to snip violations in the bud. They also have access to a vast body of halachic literature on coping with army situations.July 19, 2013 2:08 pm at 2:08 pm in reply to: Regarding the Draft #967801
Toi, Jewish life under Arab rule varied from violent abuse to institutional abuse with brief interludes of light, depending on the country and the century. Putrid mellahs, high percentages of blindness at early age, general illiteracy, routine denial of basic services, dhimmi taxes, religious maltreatment … that was the norm. If this is “relativ epeace” (sic), WWII was relative war.July 17, 2013 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm in reply to: RCA statement for Tisha B'Av #968848
The RCA actually used quite a bit of restraint. It referred to “offensive name calling – including the inciteful invocation of the name ‘Amalek'” — as though both sides were guilty of it.July 17, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm in reply to: Regarding the Draft #967779
I am not at ease with equating heter with kula. Heter contrasts with issur; kula contrasts with humra.July 15, 2013 5:36 am at 5:36 am in reply to: Why don't the Rabbonim enforce Tznius? #967304
DY and Realist, thank you for challenging my comment; this is how I grow. I defend the comment on two grounds. First, an immodestly dressed woman may indeed create a mikhshol and thereby commit an ‘avera, but she hasn’t drawn me into an ‘avera of my own just by being in the street. I must observe lo taturu. Second, connecting this with lifne ‘iver and asking “the rabbis” to enforce tzniut on those grounds leads to several impossibilities. The dinim of lifne ‘iver broaden the prohibition beyond tzniut issues and also personalize it: we are enjoined against placing stumbling blocks, generally, in each other’s path, individually. For some of us, even modestly dressed women are a mikhshol. For others, guess what, the same gender is a mikhshol. Yet others are drawn to shopping malls until they endanger their families’ parnassa. For me, salty carbohydrates are a mikhshol that verges on pikuah nefesh. None of these people can demand the removal of his/her personal mikhshol from the public domain, least of all with enforcement by “the rabbis.”July 14, 2013 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm in reply to: Why don't the Rabbonim enforce Tznius? #967299
Realist, your reasoning excises a whole mitzvah from the Torah. Torah instructs us men not to let our eyes stray. Your logic has it that we have no such obligation; instead, we’re entitled to a public domain that’s been cleansed of what we’re not supposed to see.
I’d rather do it the Torah way.July 12, 2013 1:13 pm at 1:13 pm in reply to: Regarding the Draft #967723
Kasher, I also served 30 years ago, and twenty, and ten, etc. I found the nonreligious anything but hostile. They were bewildered and afraid of sudden demands, incomprehensible to them, that aren’t covered by the General Staff rules. In fact, they made plenty of accommodations to my lifestyle that went beyond the rules. As for women’s singing, they can “force” sound waves to strike one’s eardrums but they can’t force one to listen.July 12, 2013 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm in reply to: Regarding the Draft #967722
Kasher, I also served 30 years ago, and twenty, and ten, etc. I found the nonreligious anything but hostile. They were bewildered and afraid of sudden demands, incomprehensible to them, that aren’t covered by the General Staff rules. In fact, they made plenty of accommodations to my lifestyle that went beyond the rules. As for women’s singing, they can “force” sound waves to strike one’s eardrums but they can’t force one to listen.July 11, 2013 1:05 pm at 1:05 pm in reply to: The Draft and Mattos-Masei #967011
Apologies to HaKatan: I’ve accused you of basing your worldview on “the Brisker Rov said” with no further proof, nuance, or reasoning needed. Was I ever wrong! It’s “the Brisker Rov said” *and *”the Brisker Rov’s son said”.
Now, is all learning at the Brisker yeshiva done by parroting and invective? Was it done that way at Sinai, too?July 8, 2013 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm in reply to: The Draft and Mattos-Masei #966950
Akuperma, for my edification — please quote one Zionist who “demanded the expulsion or subjucation [sic] of the Arabs.” As for your crack about “doing to them” as they had been “doing to us,” that accusation is common fare on BDS and antisemitic sites, but what has it got to do with the “halachic analysis” that you say you’re promoting?June 18, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am in reply to: The Cost of Being Orthodox #960360
Move to Israel. Crocheted kippot for $3.00. White shirts for $10.00 or less. Suit and tie unnecessary, except maybe at your wedding. Kosher food standard. Religious public schools more-or-less free, semi-private ones $2000 extra. All the rest — optional or negotiable.June 2, 2013 3:26 pm at 3:26 pm in reply to: Akuperma re: "mere annoyance" #957130
Akuperma, if “everyone’s solutions [are only about] things affecting the prozdor, and if by becoming hareidi one becomes disembodied and concerned only with the “real world (as opposed to the world of sheker),” your apocalyptic visions are pure sheker. Gog-and-Magog budget battles, hareidi soldiers turning their guns on their commanders, handing Eretz Yisrael to the Turks, all the rest — they’re all totally “embodied.”May 21, 2013 9:55 pm at 9:55 pm in reply to: The Dov Lipman ResponseóControversial? #955521
HaKatan finds my post strange and then commits all the things that I criticized in it.
* citing what “the Zionists” wrote and admitted regarding their activities during WW II.
* citing “the gedolim” to “prove” that Zionism is A”Z.
* “The Brisker Rov said.”
* Rav Elchonon Wasserman said.”
And on this basis, he tars the majority of Am Yisrael and its statebuilding enterprise with the heinous charges of A”Z and S”D.
I do not retract my opinion.May 21, 2013 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm in reply to: The Dov Lipman ResponseóControversial? #955493
I defer to the moderator who deleted a post I wrote yesterday; I will try to write less acidly. Several commenters here have implicated a large population of Jews (“the Zionists” = the State of Israel and its secular population)in two of the three worst crimes in our Book: A”Z and murder. In my opinion, the quotations and views that they present to support this are outdated, irrelevant, taken out of context, or all or some of the above. In these respects, parts of some comments remind me of antisemitic comments that appear on other sites, which blame “the Zionists” (= “the Jews”) for everything that’s wrong with the world. I am particularly aggrieved when Hashem’s Name, Torah, rabbinical giants, etc., are invoked in support of these views.May 21, 2013 1:20 pm at 1:20 pm in reply to: Small Business or Career #953767
There’s a myth that deserves busting: that the self-employed choose their hours. Mostly, their customers choose their hours. Yes, I’ve heard of the Chafetz Chaim’s grocery store but I wonder if its customers weren’t the real tzaddikim for allowing him to work that way.May 21, 2013 1:15 pm at 1:15 pm in reply to: Pushing off Geirim #954022
Popa, the rabbonim do have ample opportunity to tell the difference (sincerity vs. insincerity). Their signing off on the giyur indicates that they found the geirim sincere. The trouble starts afterwards — when uninvolved Jews, citing media reports or the omniscient “everyone knows,” treat geirim singly and collectively as insincere or under suspicion.
As for those who find geirim weird and therefore fit for hands-off treatment, I don’t think there’s a non-weirdness test that geirim have to pass before, and kal va-homer after, their giyur.
It’s not an academic issue. I know several geirim who have been wonderful frum Jews for decades who now live in fear that someone whom they’ve never met, let’s say a certain dayan, is going to put their lives (and those of their children!) under a cloud of suspicion.April 29, 2013 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm in reply to: Rabbis and the draft #951188
akuperma–I occasionally wondered how you view Hashem. Now you’ve explained it: He’s someone we outsource our dirty work to.April 28, 2013 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm in reply to: Rabbis and the draft #951156
I think several commenters on this thread have carried their displeasure with Israel’s old-new draft induction into forbidden territory. Their comments resemble those of Gentile antisemites on Huffpost and Jewish antisemites on Mondoweiss. They speak of an imaginary demonic Israel-of-the-mind that conspires against Hashem and His people and is at fault for everything done to it and much else. Like the BDSers, they propose organizing to bring the country to its knees if not to its death. But there’s one difference: unlike the antisemites, these commenters of ours induct Hashem, the Torah, the rabbanim, and the halakha in support of their views, taking lashon hara to a new and ominous level. Please back down and back off, fast.April 22, 2013 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm in reply to: Teens Talking on Cell Phones in the Street #947377
Am I wrong to propose that talking on a cellphone cannot be defined as tsanua or otherwise, but that it depends on how it’s done: politely and safely, or the opposite?