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I cannot be 100% sure, but it seems clear that none of you posters have ever been asked to actually risk your lives for the sake of the Jewish people. None of you have been shot at with telescope guided rifles, had mortar shells directed right at you, or have had to experience booby trap bombs explode in your faces. You should kiss the feet of those soldier Jews who care enough about other Jews to be willing to do what I just described, many of them saying tehillim or mishnayos as they go about their duties.
Sounds like a nice Bat Mitzvah. Every family is different and each family is entitled to do it their way. It’s a perfectly good hashkafah.
In Europe, Bat Mitzvahs were not celebrated, and most often neither were Bar Mitzvahs. Today there are many celebrations big and small for many events and a Bat Mitzvah is one of them. If someone doesn’t like it, say no, thank you, and stay home.
It’s obvious that having t’naim right before the chupah is either to give kavod to another two eidim and the reader of the document, or to fulfill the emotional need to say “We had t’naim”. Either way, it’s rather pointless. In Israel it is often skipped and no one is worse off for it.
As far as asking a shailoh if breaking an engagement is acceptable, I recommend asking the shailoh on condition that the answer will be affirmative. If one of the two parties involved don’t want to be married, then break it off. To force the marriage is stupid and evil.
Sorry for the rude awakening. However, there a few things you must learn about the yeshiva velt:
1. If you play the game, you must obey the rules.
2. There are no excuses for not knowing the rules.
2. If you break the rules, there are consequences.
You apparently chose to play the game before you learned the rules.
Good luck next time. Or, don’t play this game, as you surely know from your own upbringing,there are others with different rules.
I normally refrain from giving advice but here I will make an exception. I have been living in Israel for many years.
1. Contact nefesh b’nefesh, it is a very effective organization and they have the means and contacts to help you in many ways. For Americans considering aliyah, it is almost automatic to go through them, and well worth it.
2. Do not , under any circumstances, decide yet where you will live permanently. You don’t know and you don’t have to know. When you arrive here as a mishpachah olah (not just a pilot trip), you will have the opportunity to investigate many wonderful communities and decide which is best for you. A cake baking rebbetzin is not a valid criterion for choosing a community. Don’t rush, you will have time.
I wish you much hatzlachah when you finally arrive at the only real home of the Jewish people. We are all rooting for you.
Starwolf: A better one is …????, ?????? ?? ???? ??????? ?????
There are times when I listen to a CD and wish that I could have heard the chazzan sing this piece in shul and even on Yom Kippur. I hope our esteemed Cantoresq will agree that Kvartin’s Ribbono Shel Olam can bring tears to one’s eyes. It does to mine. There is no doubt that chazzanus is capable of creating the highest level of kavannah. There is no obligation to appreciate it, but there is immense value for someone who does.
This is a complex topic. I will summarize the salient points (i.e. the rules of the game).If you don’t abide by the rules you can’t play the game. The Roshei Yeshiva combined with peer pressure enforce the rules.
1. Given: The mentality in Israel is different than in Chutz la’aretz.
2. The previous and current generation of yeshivishe Jewry has placed finding a good learning boy for your daughter as the highest life priority by far.
3. Good boys cost good money. The boy is selling the product (himself) and the girl is the buyer. It is a seller’s market.
4. A top boy gets an apartment plus enough money to live for “x” years (siddur mallai). Better boy, bigger “x”.
5.It doesn’t matter where the money comes from, either you have it or you don’t.
6.If you don’t have the money, you may settle for a second tier boy. Less money, lower level boy.
7. The system as described above is currently collapsing for obvious reasons.
Unfortunately , this thread is not a joke. It is however, a sad testament to the shallowness of thinking (sic) of certain people in the yeshiva world.
The minhag in Eretz Yisrael is that after the first round, the rules loosen up quite a bit.It is still preferable to call a cohen first, but then a levi should be second, etc… In a case where for example there are two cohanim left and no one else, the second cohen is called up like this:” ya’amod ploni ben ploni af al pi shehu cohen”.
As far as tying up the chazzan and other shenanigans, this utterly despicable “minhag” exists only in chutz la’aretz. It’s shocking that frum Jews would even consider this behavior.
Rav Schorr is right on the mark here. Texting is so rampant that studies have shown that the average teenager doesn’t spend more than a very short period of time without interruptions from texting. These interruptions ruin the concentration necessary for proper learning. You’re in yeshiva to learn? Put your learning head on and avoid anything else. You don’t like it? Find a yeshiva where every two minutes your phone buzzes.
The halachic aspects of using a shabbos goy and how it has evolved over time is beautifully laid out in one of the most well written books concerning halacha. The book is “The Shabbos Goy” or ??? ?? ??? by Professor Jacob Katz z’l, available in any online bookstore and many other places. The original Hebrew version has more detailed footnotes and is highly recommended, but the English version is also good.
In Eretz Yisrael, all are buried in tachrichin and nothing more. No coffin either, of course, just the body in the tachrichin. There is no kittel for anyone. The tallis is on the mes for the hespedim (for women there is a large cover similar to a paroches) and is removed as the body is lowered into the grave. If I’m not mistaken, there is a tshuva from Reb Moshe zt’l written to a person who was informed about this minhag and was fearful of not being buried in his tallis when in the future his time comes and he is sent to Eretz Yisrael. Reb Moshe allayed his fears and told him that in Eretz Yisrael all are treated the same and when he goes upstairs he will not suffer from not being buried in his tallis.
PM: Your extensive personal experience makes me think that my source’s explanation is inadequate. It is possible that the virus theory is correct, or some combination, or maybe some other factor that hasn’t been considered. I might add that my source noted that the gartel issue does not lie at the top of the priority list for researchers (surprise). Maybe you could research it, come to a conclusion, and we will then call the phenomenon “PM’s Gartel”. Good luck and chag sameach.
I apologize for the incompleteness of the explanation of the gartel in the esrog. Here is a fuller version.
At the end of the flowering stage, the petals fall off, leaving the very beginning of the fruit surrounded by a relatively tightly closed ring of filaments with anthers at the top of the filamnts. As the fruit expands, this ring of filaments breaks apart and the filaments and anthers spread out to allow more room for the fruit to grow. Occasionally, more in certain esrog varieties and less in others, the filament ring does not break apart so easily, and for a while will pinch the fruit, forming the gartel. Interestingly, the esrog is unique among citrus fruits in that the final shape of the esrog is unidentifiable at the beginning of the growing stage, whereas in all the others, the shape is easily recognized from early on.
It was once proposed that the gartel is caused by a virus, but the proponent of that theory has since retracted his opinion.
This is not my field of expertise. The source of the information above is a talmid chochom and yarei shamayim who makes his living as a full professor and Chief of Agricultural Research at the Israel Agricultural Institute.
The gartel is a natural occurence, the string theory is a myth. When the esrog starts to bud, there is a ring of fibrils surrounding the developing fruit that exerts a certain amount of pressure on the midsection of the fruit. At a certain point, this ring falls away to allow the fruit to continue to develop. Sometimes, the ring does not fall off so quickly, and the pressure indents the fruit in the middle, causing the belt tightening effect we call the gartel. Sometimes it’s 360 degrees around and sometimes not. It is an anatomical quirk and is not related to the kashrus of the esrog. Every tree will have a few like that, some more, some less, it’s pretty random.
Some people like it, some don’t, the hiddur of it is dependent on what your ancestors liked or didn’t. To each his own.
There as been some misrepesentation of the halacha here. I hope to clear up a few things.
1. The minhag mentioned by and rejected by the Rema regarding women going to shul, seeing the sefer torah, and by the way, saying shem hashem (including all forms of davening, bentching also included)applies only to women while they are “ro’ot dam” and not when they are in shiva ne’ki’im or after. Therefore, this entire discussion has nothing to do with tum’as nidah or going to the mikveh. Married (mikveh going)and unmarried ( non-mikveh going)women are equal. To repeat, the Rema rejects this stringent opinion and permits women to daven, come to shul, see the sefer Torah, etc… at all times.
2. The Mishna Brurah quotes the Chayei Adam (and agrees with him) only regarding looking at the words of the Sefer Torah while it is lifted up in hagbah. This would also apply ONLY to women who are actively ro’ot dam.
3. Women who want to touch, kiss, or dance with the Sefer Torah do not see the letters , since the Sefer is always totally rolled and covered, and therefore, any alleged prohibition is misplaced.
4. Rabbonim who are not in favor of women dancing with the Torah do not do so because of nidah, as we have shown here. It is because of concerns relating to the women’s true intent, feminism, reform, etc… This of course is debatable, but has nothing to do with nidah.
5.The Mishnah Brurah mentions the minhag of a yoledet refraining from going to the cemetery until she is toveles. This also has nothing to do with tumah (the cemetery by definition is full of tumas ha’mes). Rather it is connected to kabbalistic ideas regarding mazikin and sheidim.
The bottom line is that issues of nidah for women dancing with the Sefer Torah are irrelevant.
A yeshiva boy in a co-ed college?
Wonderful idea, absolutely yes. The yeshiva boy is steeped in Torah and Yiras Shamayim and his beliefs are rock solid. A good college education will enable him to meet people with different ideas, study literature,science and other valuable disciplines, teach him to interact with less reigious Jews and non-Jews, and enable outsiders to learn to respect him for his beliefs. A kiddush hashem and a win-win situation.
I was told by several travel agents that if a U.S. citizen has an expired U.S. passport and wants to travel from Israel to the U.S., he shouldn’t even bother going to the airport, they will not let him on the plane. This may be a new rule, but it is in effect. I know some people who tried anyway, and indeed, they were turned away until they received an emergency passport from the U.S. embassy.
Every single Jewish performer today listened to and borrowed from goyish sources. There is no other way to study and perform music on a high level. So which way do we want it? Believing that all our inspirational modern day frum performers have damaged neshamas? Or realizing that music per se, that is, the musical notes, can be beautiful,enjoyable and even inspiring, even if they are from goyim? Are we ready to ban Beethoven? If someone is, he’s never really listened to it .
The recent posts boil down to this: Either God created a universe with a long history , which appears to science to be very old (and comes with stars already shining on earth, dinosaur fossils , etc…)but is in fact only 5770 years old, or He created the universe billions of years ago and our recorded history begins only 5770 years ago.
Since I am of bona fide Jewish stock and do not require giyur in Bnei Brak, I choose to believe in the latter possibility.
onlyemes, I can answer your question to the editor. Send me an email and I’ll be happy to explain it to you. [email protected]
I do not buy into the opinion that one can learn science from Torah. If Chazal said something of a scientific nature, it was due to the then prevalent scientific “knowledge”. If you want to then call it Torah, fine, but it is just prevalent knowledge and was known to goyim also. If a Rav or posek reads a secular scientific book ,paraphrases it, and I then read the Rav’s writings, I have not “learned science from Torah”.
Please be intellectually honest. No Rov will make the claim that he can study only traditional Torah and seriously know current engineering, medicine, physics or math. I challenge any Rov or godol with no secular education, to take the National Boards Examination in a medical discipline or GREs in any science. So claiming that all of science is in traditional Torah when no one in history has achieved anything approaching this is dishonest.
And curiously, unless I missed it, I have not seen an angry letter from the International Society of Mermaids attacking me for denying their existence, past or present.
To Editor 26,
Yesterday I wrote that the world is billions of years old and you deleted it with the comment “Totally off topic”. I hope you realize that this was a mistake, as many posts have concentrated on this very point.
Legufo shel inyan, there is no question that the universe was created billions of years ago and that this is one of the fundamental tenets of astronomy; studying it without this assumption is foolish.
Again, those who feel this is kefirah, stay away from it; you are entitled to your opinion. But I am of the belief it is not kefirah, on the contrary, denying it is denying God’s universe itself.
Chazal knew what was known in their time , but not more. This should be obvious. Chazal and rabbanim only 200 years ago believed in the existence of mermaids. If one wants to believe in mermaids, it’s his prerogative. But then he should not expect to be taken seriously on any discussion concerning science.
I don’t understand this thread. The minhag of kaporos with a chicken is very old and is still encouraged in many communities. The shechitah process is no different than any other shechitah that was practiced for centuries. Many poskim including the Mechaber, were against it for various reasons. The Ramah defends it. For various reasons also, money began to be substituted and is considered an acceptable alternative. To each his own.
I did a very superficial search on basic astronomy on the internet. Total time spent, approximately three minutes. There is a site which lists the “Top ten basic astronomy facts”. Some of these facts are in disagreement with the Yeshiva World News hashkafah and are regarded by many here as kefirah. From this point of view, any in-depth secular informational source will only be worse. If one wants to avoid this ,one must stay far away from modern astronomy. Better to learn Shor Shenogach.
Completely off topic. 26
It is very beneficial to read good literature. It sharpens the mind, expands horizons, and gives one a broader appreciation for the world and the human experience. All of these benefits are good for a Jew. It certainly is more valuable than reading shallow magazines or other mindless material.
In recent times, great rabbanim were well versed in classical literature, especially Russian literature. One godol reprimanded his students who had never read or even heard of Anna Karenina (Tolstoy). In addition, many extraodinarily eloquent rabbanim owe their erudition to a good education that they received in their youth. Without names, the best spokesmen and commentators for the chareidi community are those who are well read, with one having an impressive Ivy League degree under his belt.
So called Jewish novels for the frum are almost all poorly written and do not provide any intellectual stimulation or insight. Do not be afraid to read high quality books, including history , science, classics and the like. There is of course an endless treasure of quality literature on Jewish topics, be it history, sociology and other disciplines. They will continue to enrich your life forever. Enjoy.September 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm in reply to: Traditional Spelling of Cambridge (MA) for ketubah? #659010
In general, due to the fact that even transliteration can be spelled many different ways, it would be best if the site was spelled out in the native language also. Kesuvos are written in aramaic, which was once the native language. Writing it in Hebrew AND in English would remove any doubts. Recall just a few weeks ago when one of the gedolim suggested a non-traditional spelling for Lakewood.
It would be very simple for the Rov , when personally invited, to simply say, “Mazal Tov and much nachas, I don’t know if I will be able to attend, so please forgive me if you see I didn’t make it. Mazal tov and much nachas again.”
Simple menschlichkeit.August 24, 2009 3:59 pm at 3:59 pm in reply to: Altering Photos in Photoshop for Fundraising Purposes – Okay? #655057
Forgive me for interrupting here, but from a broad sociological point of view, I find it absolutely astounding that every single one of the colored shirt commentators have assumed that the boy’s shirt was blue, and not green, gray, brown, beige, or any other color under the sun. Where did this incredibly narrow assumption come from?
Full disclosure: In the original photograph, the talmid’s shirt is blue.August 24, 2009 5:24 am at 5:24 am in reply to: Altering Photos in Photoshop for Fundraising Purposes – Okay? #655047
Thanks to all who have so far responded with their comments on the scenario I wrote above.
This scenario is not hypothetical, but happened recently at a well known yeshiva, and the proof is incontrovertible. I think that the rules of the site here prevent me from offering more details.
If I am wrong, the editor will let me know.August 23, 2009 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm in reply to: Altering Photos in Photoshop for Fundraising Purposes – Okay? #655012
mdlevine: The title (Altering Photos in Photoshop for Fundraising Purposes – Okay?) was composed by the editor, not by me. I did not pose a question, I simply stated a scenario and asked for comments.
I’d like to make a footnote contribution to this interesting discussion. From all the posts,the following can be inferred:
1. It’s good to know math
2. Multifactorial math problems are difficult to solve
3. Unknown or unmeasurable sociological influences confound the solution
4. Scientific (measurable and verifiable) research here would be helpful
5. Sociological research is valuable
6. A high-level secular education is the only way to understand and achieve notes 1 through 5.
7. Leaving this research to the goyim would be unproductive.
To the moderator:
I respect your editing decisions, as printing my comments is a privelege for me and not a right. However, I would appreciate it if when editing, you write that I was edited. Cutting out entire paragraphs without mentioning that they were cut gives the impression that my comment was written exactly as it is read, and that is not true. As a result, my comment can be misunderstood or misinterpreted. Thank you.
I will direct you to the sources without spelling it out.
My appreciation for the following sources to A. Grossman in his Hasidot U’Mordot,Jewish European Women in the Middle Ages ,Chapter 12 (Hebrew)
Pesachim 112. and 112:,and Rashi
Yerushalmi Shabbos 10:5
Sefer Chassidim Margolies, 1019, page 561
A. Yasif, Ben-Sira, page 40
Sefer HaZohar, B, pages 202-203
I was asked indirectly for a source that the plate breaking minhag is related to the importance of keeping the tenaim.
The source is the sefer Otzar Dinim U’minhagim by Yehuda Dovid Eisenstein , originally printed in 1917. It can be found in any good bookstore. Page 438,
??????? ???? ????? ?????? ?????? ??? ???…???? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?? ????, ?? ?????? ????? ??? ???? ??? ??????.
The minhag is quite old, as there later developed chassidishe interpretations by the Besht and Rabi Nachman of Breslov. The original explanation appears to be much older.
Why the mothers? I have some thoughts, but anyone’s guess is as good as mine.
Sorry, one more thing. The method of breaking the plate seems to be inconsequential. A hammer is effective because most caterer plates are thick and not easily broken on a table, chair or anything. I think we’ve all seen the exasperated faces of the mothers who just cannot break that thing.
The reason behind the minhag of breaking the plate is as follows:
In old times, the tenaim were very strictly fulfillrd and breaking these conditions was considered a grave transgression, one that cannot be amended. A kli cheress, pottery, cannot be fixed once broken. The breaking of the plate essentially is announcing that whoever dares break the tenaim should be aware that this transgression can never be fixed. That is why it is done at the tenaim. It is not zecher l’churban.
The analysis is correct here, it is indeed musical chairs. The solution proposed, though, doesn’t solve the problem, it just changes the rate of players looking for chairs. Same number of players, same number of chairs. The problem, to any mathematician out there, is not solvable. If you have different numbers of men and women, you will have some who have no match.
Two posts above mine.
It was terribly sad to read that there are those to whom Eretz Yisrael is so meaningless to their yiddishkeit as to contemplate avoiding it when Moshiach arrives. I suggest a slow and careful reading of the Torah , any language will suffice. If a detailed explanation is necessary, that will be even sadder.
The suggestion made above to obey the commandments and leave the timing of the geulah to the Kaddosh Boruch Hu is sound advice.
It’s time to clear up some more misconceptions.
Erussin and Kiddushin are synonyms. They are the “harei at” part of the wedding, at which point the woman becomes an eishes ish, and is forbidden to all men except the man who betrothed (kiddushin or erussin) her. Not before. Repeat, not before. The nissuin part of the wedding is more complicated, as this is the part where the man takes the woman into his “reshus”. Some maintain this happens under the chuppah. Some maintain it happens as they enter the yichud room or even later. Separate discussion.
Modern usage of the terms has become sloppy and there are those who use the word “erussin” for an engagement party. This is misleading and untrue. There is no halachic bond between the couple at the L’chaim, vort, engagement party, or tenaim. None whatsoever. As I explained above, the tenaim create a contractual obligation between the parents or families or whoever obligates themselves to ensure the wedding takes place or money or dowry, or property, or whatever is transferred. Tenaim is a business contract, not a halachic one. Keeping both ends of this business deal of course becomes a halachic obligation, but is not realted to kiddushin or nissuin.
If there are no t’naim, that is, no business contract relating to the couple and monetary obligations,penalties for backing out and such (see my post above), then breaking the engagement (a secular term) is unfortunate to all, but not a halachic issue. An engaged couple means the man and woman decided to marry each other. They can change their minds and decide not to. The L’chaim, vort, or other parties were nice, but did not obligate anyone to do anything. They are celebrations and nothing more.
There is also a possibility, rarely if ever done nowadays to the best of my knowledge, of attaching certain conditions to the kiddushin, what is referred to as kiddushin al t’nai. This deserves a separate discussion and as I said, is not really practiced anymore.
Hope this helps.
The earliest references to this custom of Wach-nacht are from sixteenth century Germany, but it seems it was practiced centuries before . Before a bris is performed, the baby and the mother are susceptible to harm from evil spirits. This is especially acute for the baby on the night before the bris, hence the prayer and/or study vigil around his bed. In early times, candles were lit and food was put out on a table to placate these destructive spirits. After the bris the danger dissipates as the child is a full fledged Jew and has the same spritual protection as anyone else. Also explains why for a female this is unncessary, she is full fledged from birth.
There seems to be some misunderstanding about tenaim, I’ll try to explain it a bit.
In Europe, especially 18th and 19th century,but also before and after, many shidduchim were made without the man and woman having met. Life was tough, between pogroms, limitations on travel, death from disease and many other factors, it was not possible to “hang out in a hotel lounge and see what comes of the match”. There was alot of trust put into whoever suggested the match, and often large sums of money. The Chassam Sofer was often asked to arbiter the percentage of the dowry that the Rav receives for performing the marriage. The community also recieved a percentage from one or both parties. The terms of the marriage were negotiated and quibbled over, often as if it were a high-end business deal.
If one of the parties pulled out, there was major embarrasment and often serious financial loss. It was not to be taken lightly. There were penalties that were spelled out in the contract for whomever backed out and they were stringently enforced. These penalties were not only financial , but spiritual in the way of curses and ominous consequences for the future. Sometimes these penalties were so overwhelming and the conditions so stringent that it was decided to go ahead with the wedding anyway. This is why sometimes it was said that a divorce is better than breaking the tenaim. It also explains a shtar mechila for the party that was harmed.
Nowadays, these severe conditions are rare . Agreements are made, but not necessarily in stone. The tenaim is often a formality at the wedding that simply states that the conditions were met and everybody is ok with it. It is done for traditional purposes and not for contractual purposes.
There are probably still circles, mostly chassiddish, who take their tenaim very seriously and maybe even append penalties to them. In that case, yes, it can be a serious matter to break them. Since all these minhagim are community and rabbinically administered, each one goes by their own rov and posek and lives with the decision.
I am not sure of the question here. Does it mean to imply that one plausible answer is that this wonderful person cannot marry into the faith? That he should die single because he’s not learning full time? That it is reasonable for everyone to say, “No, I wouldn’t consider him, he’s ok, just not on my lofty madreigah?”
If one is interested in conducting a survey as to how many girls out there are looking for full time learning guys, that’s fine. But it sounds like this story presents a viable option of rejecting him across the board. I find that unacceptable.
An Israeli does not have two days Shavuos, remember it is the chutznikim who have two days, there really is ONLY one day. So leaving Israel on Isru Chag is no problem at all. The problem only “appears” when the passneger arrives in chutz la’aretz and finds himself in a land where yomtov is in effect. There are varying opinions here and one should ask their rov what to do. Some stay put in the airport till nightfall. Some leave the airport but try to be as inconspicuous as possible when they arrive at their destination. Of course some don’t even fly , thereby avoiding the situation.
A Rav hamachshir has the authority to set any conditions he wants. If the business owner doesn’t like it, he won’t use that Rav.
However, those who feel the hechsher is on the establishment in total now must require any business or establishment (linen store, doctor’s office, baseball stadium) to acquire a hashgacha. After all, if the hechsher is on the “atmosphere”, then any place with an atmosphere needs one . For anyone who thinks this is outrageous, it is being done in Bnei Brak,with more to come.
Sefardic batei knesset, and also many Ashkenazic shuls from old time Europe were designed so that all the seats faced the bimah. Obviously, that way all were facing the Torah. The sefardim do have a practice to never have their backs to the sifrei torah. I have a (sefardic) friend who in an ashkenazic shul is careful to sit behind the bimah so he never has his back to the sefer.