Forum Replies Created
November 18, 2016 6:50 am at 6:50 am in reply to: Converting to Judaism, how do I explain to family about Xmas? #1193157
It is sad to read some of the insensitive replies on this thread.
You should most definitely keep up a good relationship with your family (except in some unusual situations). They are good people, too.
JC is a very very complex topic. There are mainstream opinions. There are lesser known opinions. There is also much that was made up, and much that we don’t know.
When with your family you should seek common ground. For better or worse, early Jewish xtianity promoted the Torah commandments for Jews and the 7 commandments for non-Jews. When the non-Jews took over, they seriously confused many things. But in any case, there is still a lot of common ground. The fact that xtians do not follow most commandments is still in agreement with the Jewish position that they are not commanded to.
So focus on what we agree on. There is so much. Most of the rest you can say we really don’t know all the facts. Some things you will have to respectfully differ, but with the attitude that this is right for me.
Eilu v’eilu. Can be either way.
424 can also be ?????? ?????
I am an insider outsider. Many years in Kollel etc etc, mostly part of the regular crowd, but still different.
I do not shun secular knowledge, and I have no issue with evolution etc etc if it is true.
My first allegiance is to the Mesorah, which I will always strongly defend, but not blindly or stupidly. The Torah did not give over every detail in the surface pshat, and some things were said in ways that we can relate to and are not necessarily meant to be literal.
writersoul. I did no victim blaming. Bushah was a big component. But it was more than that. In any case, back then, the victim generally wanted to marry the person who did it. Sounds strange but it is true. Read Navi and you will see that Tamar wanted Amnon to marry her. Things were different then.
Outsider. My post was not in reply to yours at all. I see now that it can seem that way. I actually think we are on the same page.
From many of the posts it seems like there is little understanding about compulsive disorders (which the OP seems to have). They are not controllable. Yes, for a few minutes or sometimes hours or even a whole day, but by and large it cannot be controlled.
3 compulsive anxiety disorders that everyone should read more about are OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), tourettes syndrome (vocal and motor tics), and trichotillomania (obsessive hair pulling).
There is also little understanding of hilchos shabbos. Compulsions are not misasek. A person may start off not knowing, but then they do know what they are doing and can’t stop. Compulsions are anus, not misasek. In gemarah times it was called ruach raah. See Eiruvin 41b.
I was not discussing the effects of medicine on these disorders. Medicine is always an option, but its effects are somewhat of a mixed bag.
Some people here are so ignorant. Maybe first look up things like tourettes syndrome and trichotillomania and then talk. These are anxiety compulsions that can only be slightly controlled.
As for Shabbos, nail biting and hair pulling is midirabanan.
Second, compulsions are anus. The gemara in Eiruvin discusses similar situations.
Third, dirabanans are mutar in cases of tzar. The anxiety of compulsions is a great tzar.
This does not mean that we should do these things lichatchila. But if one ends up doing it because of an anxiety compulsion, it is not a an issur.
On the other side, these kind of issur look alikes might stem from or be suggestive of deeper issues, so it is always something to you need to be mifashfesh.
These things are also always meant to humble a person.
Rape as per the Torah is a completely different situation than we are dealing with today. The Torah assumes they will marry and the man cannot divorce her. Many are reviled by these things, but they just don’t realize how things were back then. When a woman was raped back then, she wanted to marry that person. Just read some Navi about Amnon and Tamar. Read also some Navi about how the Binyaminites got married.
Rape today is akin to murder. Do not compare the two.
No reason to get bent out of shape over evolution. If it is true then it is true. If not not.
The Torah does not say every exact detail. Moreover, it is commonly accepted that maasei bereishis represents the sefiros much more than it represents pshut pshat. The pshut pshat is still generally well regarded, but it doesn’t have to be exactly literal. It might be, but it doesn’t have to be. The Torah’s surface pshat is not giving a physics lesson. It is telling us how to generally relate to what took place.
Aside from all that, 99% of questions have answers. Often, the true answer is only revealed after the easier or more comfortable answers are proven false.
It is not worth trying to prove or disprove Torah, God, etc. There will be evidence for both ways and people will side with what they want to side with.
So why do we believe?
1) We believe because our souls want us and inspire us to.
If your soul does not do so, then you either don’t believe or are struggling with it.
2) We believe because those who love us train us and nurture our souls to believe. A good person must have a first allegiance to the training of those who love him.
Is this not true for every religion?
Yes it is. And so what. If you were raised Jewish, your first allegiance is to be Jewish. That is the team you were put on.
Do people sometimes change teams? Yes, but you need a very good reason to do it. Converts find these compelling reasons. If a person is compelled in a certain direction, then they must carefully explore it. If not, just stay on your team.
First a person has to be a mentch. Baal Teshuvas tend to see things in black and white, but that isnt the way it really is. Somethings are no-nos but can still be thrown at you in a twist of fate, and Hashem wants you do deal with it.
Is it a no-no to marry a goy?? You bet it is. But it was still a twist of fate in Esther Hamalkas life to deal with it.
It is obnoxious to tell someone you are no longer their friend because you are now more religious. Ouch!
Now you have to be a mentch and deal with it. If she still wants to be your friend and respect your choices, then you should be her friend.
Torah and militarism are two distinct aspects of Judaism. At times, the two factors converge into one. This is the malchus of David Hamelech, the Torah Warrior. Joshua is also the same idea. At other times, the two factors are separate causing a rift. This is how it was by Yaakov and the rift with Shimon and Levi.
Historically speaking, we are now in the galus of Yaakov. As such, Torah and militarism will remain distinct factors and cause a rift. Neither is wrong. This is why there is currently such a rift in Israel over this issue. The two factions will not integrate into one. Neither is wrong.
The next Torah warrior integration will be in the times of Moshiach. Moshiach will battle the battles of G-d and destroy the wicked.
Some pointers on this issue:
1) Don’t expect too much. Do your best and accept whatever was decreed from above.
2) It’s not about you. Take the anger of your lost dreams out of the picture. Sharing your hurt in a non threatening way, occasionally, may be ok, but be careful about that too, and don’t pour it on.
3) On the practical side, keep religion out of it. You don’t see eye to eye on this, and you need to accept that.
4) The goal of your interactions with him should be 99% about responsibility. Turned off from religion is one thing. Being an idiot is another.
5) You should try to inspire him about religion in a non threatening way.
6) If you love your child unconditionally, that is fine. If you don’t, that is also fine. Do not fake what you feel for what you don’t feel. It does not work. Your feelings are what they are. It is how you express them and deal with them that is more important.
Hope this helps.
There was good advice on this issue before people started addressing the wife, but not much afterward. There is surely a good aspect of not confronting the husband and shaming him. But keeping quiet is also not the answer.
The fact is that great people can have great taavahs and nisyonos. Even if one succumbs to them many times, that person can still be a great person, although not exactly in the straightforward way. There are two paths to greatness, one as a tzadick, and the other as a baal teshuva. And often times, teshuva is a never ending continuous process and struggle.
The ikkar is that the wife needs to look into his soul. Is the husband a complete faker? If yes, then it is best to leave him. Does he espouse righteousness, but secretly feels absolutely nothing for it. If he is a complete faker, a closet apikores, leave him.
If however, the husband has nisyonos and wants to be good, but aino yochol lichvosh yitzroh, then the wife needs to cry along with him and share his burden. If his heart and soul is good, tell him you understand his difficulties and are there to support him in any way you can.
To confront and shame him is wrong!
To keep quiet is wrong!
No, you did not ask for this burden, but it is yours nonetheless.
Step up to the plate and be there for your husband!!!
That is your nisayon!
Will you pass it?
It just occurred to me to add the following:
We can now explain a well known portion of Tehilim (with a twist).
Infinity, Zero, and Yesh Maayin
(This dvar Torah is so fundamental, please feel free to copy and distribute.)
Infinity and zero are opposites. Zero, more down to earth, is somewhat more manageable than infinity, but both are transcendental incomprehensible opposite forces, the eternal versus the void.
Mathematically, infinity and zero have unusual qualities. Unlike standard numbers, zero times or divided by any number is still zero, and infinity times or divided by any number is still infinity.
What does all this mean? HaShem is the infinite, the eternal spiritual source. Only one thing can bring forth something from nothing. Infinity times zero does not equal zero or infinity; it equals any number. When there was nothingness, tohu vavohu, everything could and did come forth. The infinite can do that to the void. Moreover, dividing something by the infinite is the source of complete limitation, complete nothingness. Ain od milvado. Divide something by HaShem and there is nothing. Divide something by nothing and it is infinite.
By Nosson Dovid H
mdd: A second heter (beside learning in the beis medrash) is ma’asei beis din. When halachic things need to be carried out, they are done so, without worrying about hirhur. The gemarah Sanhedrin discusses this in regard to the sotah affair and sekilah.
But to discuss these matters in the wrong venue in explicit ways and to super focus on women’s issues is just yetzer hara. Tricky guy he is.
missme: a missing word made my previous post have the opposite connotation.
I was saying that men should not super focus on tznius issues. The yetzer hara either gets you to talk about women directly, or it gets you to talk about the same things indirectly. The talk is almost identical, only that the “frum” version has the twist of demonizing the errant ones.
These are women issues. There is a special kedusha Hashem gave to the beis medrash, which allows one to cover these issues in purity. The gemarah clearly says that you should drag the yetzer hara into the beis medrash. He has no power there in its kedusha.
But when the topic is in the street, it’s total yetzer hara, whether it sounds frum or not.
In my oppinion, a public drasha even in shul does not qualify as a beis medrash learning session. These matters are best dealt with by women for women and sometimes by rabbonim for women.
In the real gutter, however, there is no excuse. And the more “frum” it sounds, the more anger and repressed tayva it represents.
Why did my post just disappear?
I will try again.
I think the solution to the tznius problem runs along these lines:
1. Instead of being shocked and disgusted, try reinforcing the alternate spritual beauty of tznius. (In other words, positive is better than negative.)
2. Don’t super focus on tznius as opposed to the many other ills of society. The ranting of some individuals against tznius might stem from a repressed yetzer hara coming out in that way. If the yetzer hara can’t get you one way, it gets you another way.
I’m surprised no one mentioned this.
Al Tarbe Sicha… has nothing to do with listening to your wife talk. It has all to do with the man saying more (too much more) than is necessary. This is great advice between husband and wife. Listen more talk less.
In the hagadah we say that the havtacha of yitziyas mitzrayim stands for our fathers and for us, through all generations, to save us from destruction.
On this the hagadah continues, go and learn from Lavan… The pshat I had on this(quite a few years ago) is that the hagadah is darshening the above question of what connection is there between Lavan and Mitzrayim?
The drasha is that the havtacha of vayered mitzrayma saved Yaakov from arami oved avi. This proves v’hi sheamda lavosaynu…
Here is a great insight I recently had on something we say twice a day in Shema.
We say: …And you shall remember all the mitzvos of HaShem and do them, and you shall not turn after your hearts and eyes…
More than “and you shall not turn after your hearts and eyes” is a commandment not to do so, it is a promise that if we remember the mitzvos and keep them, we will be guarded from turning after our hearts and eyes.
The tree of da’as of good and bad held the new knowledge that good is bad and bad is good. Physical good (temptation etc.) is spiritual bad and physical bad (toil etc.) is spiritual good.
Chava was thus surprized to see that the tree was physically good and yet prohibited, because she thought that good was good and bad was bad.
They should have gained the tree’s knowledge without eating from it, but instead they gained its knowledge in sin. And now it was clear that sin was desirous, and sin subjugated them to the desire for bad things. This caused death.August 23, 2009 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm in reply to: Altering Photos in Photoshop for Fundraising Purposes – Okay? #655013
As I mentioned long ago, I went back to my cave. Hopefully, however, I will post something now and then, but I’m not going to put myself all out on the level that I did. B’ezras HaShem, the right time and place will arrive for me to share my dvri Torah.August 23, 2009 1:06 pm at 1:06 pm in reply to: Altering Photos in Photoshop for Fundraising Purposes – Okay? #655005
In my oppinion, the image can be altered to project the usual circumstances of the Yeshiva.
If, on the other hand, the bais medrash is never full etc. etc., it would be geneivas da’as to imply otherwise.
But there is a big grey area in-between these two points.
It seems no one was nispoel from my vort. I’ll just go back to my cave.
I’ll put in my two cents without the advantage of reading all the posts in this thread.
I think that a girl talking yeshivish is a shtick. I doubt that there is much toichen behind it. I doubt that most boys have toichen behind it. I see it as harmless, but some boys will like it and some won’t. In the end, you have to find someone who you can relate to. If the shticky talk breaks down some barriers to communication, then it’s a good thing. On dates, both sides want to impress. Such talk is the girl’s way of showing that she can relate to what is chashuv to the boy. Keep in mind that this kind of talk will probably end either right after the wedding or as soon as the reality of life hits both of you like a ton of bricks. So enjoy it for as long as it lasts.
If, by chance, there is toichen behind the girl’s talk, that’s another story. A special boy, who is confident in himself, will see it as an advantage. Others may get scared off.
bemused: your welcome.
a few points about ba’aley madrega.
A ba’al madrega doesn’t all of a sudden become frum when it comes to someone else’s degradation.
A ba’al medraga does the right thing for the right reasons and doesn’t promote his superiority.
A ba’al madrega has seichel and is not tzadick harbeh.
A ba’al madrega has a keen sense of when he can “break the rules.” The gemarah (kidushin 81b-82a)says ain mishtamshin b’isha klal, but lshem shamayim it is muttar. Moreover, the gemarah (nazir 23b) says that an aveirah lishmah is as great as a mitzvah shelo lishmah (which leads to lishmah).
I wish this world was filled with ba’aley madrega.
Kapusta: you are right, but it only applies to things a person is holding by fighting against. People who get disillusioned, on the other hand, need to come to terms with various realities, before they can hope for gradual change.
In the jewish world, you’re considered o.k. as long as you do the sins everyone else does, or as long as you get away with the sins that others seem not to do. Some people get disillusioned by this and go off the derech. In my oppinion, these people have an advantage over others, in terms of their sincerity, but they need help to cope.
****Dvar Torah for Sunday****
Each of the Ten Commandments is in a separate parsha except for the first two and last one. The first two are in one parsha, and the last one is in two parshas. This creates a new symmetry, as follows:
The amazing result is this:
Before one kills another, two people stand side by side. If you kill the other person, you stand alone.
Quite amazing, if I can say so myself.
yashrus: great vort. The way I heard it is that if you get something that you don’t work on, it has no affect on you. The telling thing was that the shifcha saw all that stuff and remained
First and foremost, you should look for a person who has the same chashivus for Torah as you do. This may or may not be someone who works. Secondly, because you are thought out, you have to look for someone who is thought out. Many young boys and girls don’t know what they are going to do. Because you have thought this through, go for someone who has a plan. If the plan makes sense to you, go for it. Don’t confuse dreams for plans. All boys will tell you their dreams, but few have real plans. Always remember, however, that the plans you make might not work out.
kapusta: it’s not so simple. Everyone has their peckel of stuff that they get used to doing and lose control over. Many people won’t even realize these things because they will deny or rationalize it. How many people speak loshon hara. How many people speak in shul what they shouldn’t. How many people see and hear what they shouldn’t. The list goes on and on, and I see these things all the time. But lo and behold a person admits that they’re a little confused, messed up, etc., people quickly get on their high horses of righteousness.
Moishe, I believe, is a special person who doesn’t deny or rationalize what he does. He also see’s that people don’t understand him. It’s so easy for people to be frum on someone else’s cheshbon. We don’t have their yetzer hara.
Once we lose control the point is not to stop if that is not possible. If stopping leaves us with the same confusion and emptyness, people’s inner self tells them,
“who are you kidding,” and stopping becomes impossible.
These situations require not a short but a long term cure. The long term cure involves accepting who you are, disassociating your self from the bad, being mekal yisurin b’ahava, and the other things that I have written. Slowly but surely, we can resolve our issues and come out better people on the other side.
moish: by now you should see the benefit of keeping these things as private as you can. This will give you all the time you need to work it out. What’s more important than what you do is what you are. Never forget that.
One last thing.
Dovid Hamelech said in Tehilim, Chatas Neuray uphisha’ai al tizkor…, the sins and rebellions of my youth, may You not remember. Remember me now according to your kindness, for the sake of Your goodness HaShem.
A persons life experiances as an adult make his youthful sins and rebellions practically irrelevant (in of themselves), such that HaShem will forget them. The critical thing is not the sins and rebellions themselves, but how you come out because of them on the other side. If you survive them with the love of HaShem in your heart, you will come out a better person. So whatever you do, always keep HaShem close to your heart.
Moish: you have to find the unique balance between blaming the yetzer and taking responsibility. You should blame the yetzer to the extent of not associating yourself with the bad stuff. You should also take responsibility to the extent of being happy with the yisurim that you must go through. Moreover, whether or not its your fault doesn’t make much of a difference. The fact is that doing certain things means your messed up, and you have to go through the tikkun of correction.
The difference between if its your fault or not is whether the tikkun is for yourself or for the world. Moreover, even when at fault a severe tikkun is for the world regardless. In this regard, tzadikkim suffer for the sins of the world. Perhaps you’re such a tzadick or may become one through your ordeal. Even if not, your ordeal will make you a better person at the end. So be sameiach byisurin. This will help you get through it.
i’ll do sunday again
Moish: now your on the right track. It’s better to say your yetzer hara is a bum than to say that you are a bum. You may be in a regrettable situation, but it’s something you have to deal with, not something that you are.
Pinning the fault on the yetzer is a truth. HaShem Himself did so when He said asher hariyosi. But it does not absolve oneself from responsibility. Most of the time the person is held accountable. But anyone in such a situation is all to aware of the their inner turmoil and suffering. Suffering is part of the tikkun, and many holy things come about through it. So you should know that when you look back at it, you will have gone through an enlightening experience. But you can only get the ball rolling by not defining yourself with what “the bum” has trapped you into. All in all, disassociate yourself from being the bad guy, but be happy to pay the price.
Once we get used to doing things, we basicly lose control over them. Even if we try not to do it, it doesn’t make us feel right. When we reach the level of aino yochol lichvosh es yitzro, we have to cut ourselves some slack, relax, and evaluate the situation. Beating ourselves up will do no good. Thinking that we can just stop is counter productive. Stopping and starting again, stopping and starting, makes us into a wreck. In the end, we lose hope, and think we are worthless.
The aitza is not to change the situation in ways we are not yet capable of, nor to think that we must do so, but to come to terms with the situation in ways that are productive and beneficial in the long term.
The first important idea is to not define yourself as a bum. The yetzer hara is the bum and you are its victim.
Once you disassociate yourself from what the yetzer gets you to do, you can better come to terms with it and gradually improve. The first improvement is that you no longer define yourself as bad. Along with this, you should stop promoting the bad things. The reason people promote the bad things they do is because they end up defining themselves by it. Once you stop defining yourself with the bad, you can stop promoting it.
Secondly, there is much to gain from the situation, such that when it’s over you become a better person than you would have been otherwise. The most important benefit is the easiness to acquire the trait of humility, because of where you have been. Once you come out of the dark tunnel, the humility that you have gained will put you eons ahead of others.
You have to think only about HaShem. He understands you and knows what you’re going through. He wants you to gain from the situation. You don’t need to run away from Him like you have to from others. Complain to Him. Show to yourself and to Him that you deeply care to do the right thing.
I think guilt is productive when your holding by not doing something or after you stop doing it. But when your not holding by stopping (aino yochol lichvosh yitzro), remorse and unhappiness about the situation is fine, but beating yourself up about it is unhealthy. You have to give yourself somewhat of a break, if you want to improve.
moish: whatever you do should not stop you from doing many good things and defining yourself as one who does so.
moish: not having guilt should not mean that you don’t care. You should care enough to not like the situation. And on yom kippur (at least), you can show remorse for it. The main thing is to not let it define you nor inhibit you. This way, you can have a more positive attitude towards yourself and do great things regardless of the things you may also do. As the moshol goes, losing one apple from the cart shouldn’t make you lose all of them.
We say in davening, ritzonanynu laasos ritzonecha ela shehayetzer hara meakev. We want to do HaShem’s will, but the yetzer hara stops us. This is the key to not defining oneself by the things they may be doing.
What you said about not depriving oneself of the enjoyments of this world is not exactly true. On the highest level of kedusha it is true that we should benefit from this world for the good reasons (spiritual components) already stated. In Jewish thought this is called “lhisanag al HaShem.”
This is why on Shabbos which is kodesh we are misaneg. Even though we may not be kodesh, Shabbos is. When kedusha applies, we are misaneg. The same is with kedushas korbanos, ain simcha ella bibasar shlamim. Since kedusha applies, we are misaneg without worry. When kedusha applies we assume that we will enjoy the thing for the right reasons.
But when kedusha does not apply, as in the other six days, and when we ourselves have not reached kedusha, then it says that prishus mayvi liday kedusha. We can’t automaticly assume that we will benefit for the right reasons. Rather, to get us to benefit for only the right reasons, prishus is the way.
However, prishus itself is a madrega and it can only be used by those who are ready for it. And the amount and type of prishus depends on where the individual is holding and what type of person he is. Nonetheless, people should engage in a little prishus during the week (except for shabbos).
gavra: to be mazik you need both. The object that is mazik has to be yourself or something you are responsible for, like your mamaon (your cow). The second factor is that you have to be poshea in regard to them. If you are o’nes your patur. I was discussing the various things we say when both the mazik and nizik were poshea. Secondly, I discussed the concept of b’rshus which is in between an o’nes and a pshia, and sometimes is considered one, and other times it is considered the other.
Tosphos holds that meshuneh gamur is considered o’nes. If your cow did something really strange you would be patur.
Adam hamazik is chayav even by some onsim. But a full o’nes paturs him too.
moish: if you didn’t promote it and didn’t let it define you, you wouldn’t have guilt.
oomis: I said they are hevel in of themselves without the ruchnius component invovlved with them. Secondly, they are hevel only when looked at with the strict eye of din. But when we take a more generous chessed approach, they are not hevel.
We find this by korbanos. The Torah says how the Cohen is holy because he offers the food of God. Tehilim, however, says that HaShem does not need our food. The gemarah in menachos based on the pasukim in tehilim and another pasuk states that HaShem thereby says that we bring korbanos for ourselves and not for HaShem.
We now have a contradiction. The answer is that with a generous chessed approach the Cohen is holy because he offers the food of God. But in the strict eye of din, HaShem does not need our physical food.
moish: The more truth you know the better.
If a person is addicted to doing certain things, I have already posted to you on this issue, on the thread “why yidden are the best,” remember?
To sum it up, be on HaShem’s team and don’t let it stop you from doing as much good as you can. Secondly, don’t promote the addiction, but keep it as private as you can. Thirdly, remind yourself how worthless it is. Don’t let it define you. Let it be something your crazy yetzer forces you to do. Fourth, get comfy with HaShem, such that you can complain about it to Him.
All in all, the main thing I will re stress is: don’t let it define you.
Pashuta: All I was saying was that for the enjoyment not to be hevel it must touch on a spiritual component. Sometimes, though, the spiritual component is subtle. Other times, like when a mother or father enjoy their kids, the spiritual component is not subtle at all.
my divrei torah are generally my own. Regretfully, then, I may have to stop when they run out.
Lets say you eat a gishmakah apple. If all you want is the pleasure of the apple, it is hevel. But if you love hakadosh baruch hu and enjoy the life he gave you and are happy to be alive to enjoy his beneficence, then you have done a mitzvah. If you look deeply, the good aspects of anything earthly involve spiritual things.
1) The realization alone is a good thing.
2) The realization alone does not make it that much esier to fight the yetzer until it becomes much more than a realization. The fight is only over when the yetzer becomes batul, and it may take a long time to get there, if we get there at all. But it doesn’t hurt or deprive us to enjoy some of its benefits.
oomis: If a positive thing is being done, then we have simcha shel mitzvah within the earthly thing. If not, then its pure hevel.
The earthly things in of themselves are hevel. What good is this earth if not for our path to olam habba. But because we use earthly things to become close to hakadosh baruch hu, they become positive things. We should never lose sight, though, that without a greater good purpose, they are empty pursuits of emptiness.
When shlomo said hakol hevel he meant the earthly thing in of itself, without the greater good purpose of spiritual things.