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Matisyohu, you need to tone down your language a bit. The ikar of Torah is menschlachkeit. From reading your posts, one would think the RBSH is a very angry being, when in fact he is malei ahavah. As far as going out of town, even the yeshivish believe that this is a big toeles, and they open kollelim in small towns, as well. I even read in the JO that there is a special havtacha that the out of town marbitzei torah will not have problems with their kids, although the environment is difficult. Second, the Rebbe was just as big as any of the gedolim of today, and if he felt it was the right way to be a shliach, who is anyone else to argue?
Cherrybim, unfortunately, the animosity against chabad started long before the petirah of the Rebbe. I once decided to leave a yeshiva 14 years before he passed away because I couldn’t stand the loshon hara against chabad. Personally, I believe it was because he went to college, and that same reason was the cause of the animosity against Reb Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik zl, and even his brother, Reb Aharon Soloveitchik zl.
BTW there is a gemara in chelek that says Ee medechayi kgon Rebbe Yehudah Hanasi, ee mdeshochvi, kgon Daniel Ish Chamudos. As far as the elokisten, we are all a chelek eloka mimaal. The Litvisher go to the kevarim of tzaddikim just the same, and daven for various requests. For shidduchim, they always tell people to go to Amuka. I don’t see much of a difference.
The ikar is ahavas yisroel to all groups.
Dear Rabbi Silberberg,
I whole-heartedly agree with you. The Rebbe was a great man, and Chabad as a whole does great things with their ahavas yisroel and kiruv. The moshiach stuff doesn’t bother me, as even in the gemara there were tannaim and amoraim who were mistaken about the identity of moshiach. In Perek Chelek, four yeshivas each thought that there own Rebbe had the name of moshiach. It is good that we yearn for moshiach. The Rebbe certainly was big enough to have been moshiach if the generation had been worthy or the time had been right.
It is somewhat sad that the chassidim miss him so much that they have not appointed any successor. He was a gaon olam, and an oheiv yisroel. He never spoke bad about anybody else, and lived totally bpashtus. His over 100 sefarim are filled with amkus in nigleh and nistar. Nevertheless, we must make sure not to say or do things that could cause someone to lose his emunah. When a number of years ago, one Lubavitcher leader called a mass rally to say that the Rebbe was going to proclaim himself moshiach, the secular media came, and when nothing happened, it made everybody look very foolish. We need to be careful with things like that.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t take away from the gadlus of the Rebbe, ZTL, or with the goood things that the movement does as a whole.
I believe I read this story in the Jewish Observer quite a few years back. The story also goes that the doctor always consulted with the Chazon Ish afterwards, and when the Chazon Ish passed away, the doctor gave up medicine. Either that story or the fact that the Chazon Ish said he could cure cancer, but there is always a worse machala that would take it’s place.
At any rate, regarding this story and the other thread about the person who was never jealous, the Torah says that all the nissim that Moshe did were L’einei Kol Yisroel. We all saw first-hand. I am not sure we are mechuyav to believe any mofes that we do not see with our own eyes. Any mofes which is told over does not carry the same weight. Eino domeh shmiyah lr’iyah. If you get chizuk, then fine. If you think it is a bubba mayseh, that is also fine.
One additional point, one amora said he davka took off his jacket, because he didn’t want to appear choshuv. There is a maila in anivus and simplicity. Remember the story of Choni Hamagel or Reb Chanina ben Dosa. Another tanna stated that if he rested his head on his kness a whole day, the RBSH wouldn’t listen, while Reb Chanina does it for a moment and he is answered. His wife asked him, why, are you less choshuv. He said, no, but I daven like an officer in front of the king, while he davens as an eved in front of the king. The simpler, the more rachmanus hashem has, sometimes.
Finally, we live in a casual time where even a jacket may not always be necessary when seeing a president. President Bush himself is often photographed without a jacket and tie.August 8, 2008 3:48 am at 3:48 am in reply to: The greatest financial supporter of Torah Jewry in the world #634076
Just a very quick comment that the first Islamic terrorist was Mohammed, who killed out entire cities of Jews, and who predates Zionism by well over a thousand years. Please read the Koran, and see that it is not a very peace-loving document, especially towards the Jews. If necessary, I will get you the details of terrible pogroms in the Arab world throughout history.
RabbiofBerlin, my kids also look chareidi, with a hat, etc. if you could believe it.
On the topic of Reb Shlomo ZT”L, he once wanted to get a law passed in the Knesset that everybody in the enitre country is required to dance 3 times a day.
Jent and Joseph, you have both claimed that the glass houses concept, and he who is without sin should cast first stone are non-jewish. I previously provided a source from Sota about the chossid shoteh who is machmir on others and maikil on himself. Possibly another proof, as well.
If you believe one who is weak in an area should still be giving mussar to others, then that reminds me of a very funny incident.
There was a very famous president a while back who did some very infamous things with an intern. A very famous minister was called in to provide mussar and lessons and teachings on how to control the yetzer hara and strengthen the family structure of this president. At the very time this minister was providing these valuable lessons and counseling, the minister was busy with his own “friendship” and was having a child with someone other than his wife. The entire country found this out-and-out hypocracy rather humorous. I would say that Jent and Joseph are probably the only two people in the country who are on the side of this very famous minister. You should both be congratulated for mounting a very spirited defense of the minister. I am sure he would hire you on his PR team. My only request is that I should get a percentage of your fees for making this wonderful shidduch.
Just one brief thought, whether mitzvah tantz, or bringing the kallah in to the men’s side to sit next to chosson during dancing, shouldn’t there be some opportunity for the chosson and kallah to be together and enjoy the dancing and simcha together? I have seen some recent yeshivishe weddings where basically they for all practical purposes are in separate rooms, as the mechitza is so high and thick. Might as well have them in two different cities, with a shliach to be mekabel kiddushin. Shouldn’t they laugh together?
Lu yetzuyer chas vshalom there are shalom bayis problems later on, and a counselor will try to be mechazek them and ask them how they felt towards each other when they were enjoying the wedding. They will say they did not have any feelings towards each other, since they were kept separate the whole time.
BTW, Reb Jent, let your ears hear what your mouth is saying. You say that keitzad merakdin may not be shayach in our dor, since some, instead of having kavanos lshem shomayim with no yetzer hara, might instead be having kavanos shelo lshem shomayim.
That is exactly one of my taynahs against kannaus. Since some may have kavanos shelo lshem shomayim when they yell and hit and throw acid, let’s be mevatel the whole thing, even though there may be some who are sincere kannaim.
Think big, that was a very nice post, and I still owe you a reply to an earlier post. Very booked up this week and next, but will get to it IY”H. I appreciate your civility and sticking to the point without the insults and the empty slogans that some use. In general, anything one says should be followed by a hesber, or it is just wasted words, and you take the time to do so.
One quick point, not living in Lakewood, I had no idea of the status there, and was not aware of any recent breach. I just know from a few visits and simchas a while back that they all seem to dress fine according to all halachic opinions. Since these are bnai torah, one would expect that they know the halachos quite well. Nobody here has supplied any of the gory details of what the exact problem or change is. I am not saying tznius is not something to worry about, I am saying that when one is already in the 95th percentile, compared to Anystreet, USA, how much room is there for improvement?August 5, 2008 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm in reply to: The greatest financial supporter of Torah Jewry in the world #634049
Joseph: I was not referring to Brisk.
Rabbi of Berlin: Thank you for your kind support. We “apikursim” must stand up for each other.
Jent, The CD is called the Responsa, and it is distributed by TES software, based in Monsey Ir Hakodesh, with a branch smack in the middle of MEAH SHEARIM. Now how much more kosher can you get than that?
BTW, because Bar-Ilan didn’t want to be somech on scanning, I was told by founder of project many years ago, they would hire educated kollel wives who knew how to read rabbinic Hebrew to type every word in letter by letter. This gave parnasa to kollel families.
Of course, Jent, I am not even going to bother refuting your assumption that the word Bar-Ilan makes something equivalent to kefira, as it is too silly.
Bowzer, I agree 100% with that. The RBSH can be my eid that all the time I spend on this blog is to drive home only one msg. That shabbos is kodesh, tznius is kodesh, learning is kodesh, but ahavas yisroel and staying away from onaas devarim and loshon hora is kodesh kadashim. Even a single sharp word should be a yeihareg v’al yaavor. If I have violated my own principles here, then I ask mechila, and it is inexcusable, because I will have reinforced the opposite msg that I wish to bring.
That is why kannaus is treif in our generation. Your description of what ruchniyus is to some people is correct. It is a feeling of what a great zchus it is for me not to be like them, those reshaim. I am lucky to be so much better. (As somebody pointed out, ANA avda dekudsha brich hu.)
This is incorrect and false ruchniyus, based on gayva. The real and highest ruchniyus is to put a smile on somebody’s face. Especially a poor yid who may be suffering and has no place to go, or food to eat, or who needs medical care and can’t afford it. To say, I am fortunate to have a family when I need help, maybe this fellow doesn’t, and has nowhere else to turn except me. Ruchniyus means to give a yasher koach to the garbage man in the morning, and the bus-driver, and the soldier. (As this person pointed out, emphasis should be ana AVDA dkudsha brich hu.)
As I said a few months back, it pains me that there are actually some in the chareidi world who will not stand for Yom Hazikaron, when there may be a wife or mother of a deceased soldier who might see this lack of respect for her sacrifice. Anti-zionism is a disease not because of the political aspect, but because of its inherent roadblock towards true ahavas yisroel for all yidden, frum or frei.
Those who are zocheh to true anavah and ahavas yisroel know a ruchniyus which is incomparable to anything else. You will be zocheh to be mechadesh vortlach off the tip of your tongue. You will need to write them down, as you will come up with so many.
Just one short vort here. Chazal say kol bracha shein bah shem umalchus eina bracha. One must mention that the RBSH is the king of the world, not just his name alone. Why? Does he feel insecure without his official title, and gets angry that he is not getting his due praise. Unlikely. Rather the pshat is that if you say thank-you for the apple, it ignores the tremendous effort that went in to producing it. First there had to be soil. There had to be nutrients in the soil, there had to be water, there had to be sunlight. There had to be a sun. There had to be farmers who grew the apple. There had to be those who transported it, and those who invented trucks, and those who produce gas and those who run the gas stations. They need houses, and clothing and food. There need to be stores to sell the food, and computers to run the billing, and police to maintain order, and an electrical company to power the store. So for your simple apple, you need a whole universe to make it possible. By not mentioning melech haolam, you are simplifying the process and will not have hakaras hatov for all that went into it. You will not thank the farmer and the driver and the storekeeper, and the engineers and builders, etc. That is why it is crucial to grasp the complexity of the entire world and the work of so many whose kochos were ultimately given by the RBSH in his great chesed, who manages the entire universe and supports all of these people, which ultimately enables us to eat the apple.
As it says in Avos: Al t’hi baz lchol adam, v’al t’hi maflig lchol davar, sh’ein lecha adam sh’ein lo shaah, v’ein lcha davar sh’ein lo makom.
Ahavas habrios is kodesh kadashim.
Will Hill, it was not I who said times have changed, it was the Chazon Ish. As I explained at length earlier, he says that since we have no open hasgacha pratis, we can only use ahavah as a tool of kiruv for chilonim, not anger and violence. Please reread my earlier posts where I gave a hesber, and look up the Chazon Ish in hilchos shechita.
Think Big, just saw your long letter now. Don’t have time to respond to all of it, but will at some point. I appreciate your arichus and patience. One point is that that was a gevalidgeh story about Rav Grossman, and that type of behavior is exactly the type I am trying to encourage. Yirbu kmoso byisroel.
To all those quoting the MB about hats. What you fail to see is that the mechaber says even a straw yarmulke is sufficient, but the MB says if the derech to walk in the street is with a hat, then that should be worn. Over and over he says the criteria is what one wears in front of chashuva people. Since hats are out of style today, a hat would seem not to be required. The claim that it is a minhag is incorrect, since the minhag was based on the styles of those times.
Doesn’t Rashi in Shabbos somewhere mention a special suddar (handkerchief) that was worn around the neck only by talmidei chachamim? Is there any reason today that we should revive such a minhag? Clearly not, as dress has changed. Am I a bad American since I don’t wear a long flowing white wig like George Washington used to?
I am not addressing jackets for now, just hats.
Jent, are you serious that you have a problem with the Bar-Ilan CD? All it is is a database of shas, meforshim and poskim. Don’t worry, there is not any secular studies in there.
Will Hill, so you are diagreeing with the Chazon Ish in hilchos shechita who says the only way to bring back the chilonim is with ropes of ahavah?
Kanaus was fine in the days of Pinchas. Times have changed.
The only thing worth being a kanai about today is ahavas yisroel. And lo and behold, if this is done, then there will be more shabbos and more tznius and more learning, and everything else will fall into place.August 4, 2008 2:51 am at 2:51 am in reply to: The greatest financial supporter of Torah Jewry in the world #634042
UJM, very interesting. Let’s hear the proof. BTW, let’s honestly consider some facts. The chareidim claim that the zionists cost lives with certain policies during WW2. The zionists claim that the chareidim cost lives by not listening to them to get out and go to EY long before. (Just saw on web from the wife of one Rebbe, that her last words were that we should have listened to the zionists, but I can’t corroborate.)
Since neither you nor I are historians and we have no way to be machria, let’s leave it even steven. It was not the fault of the chareidim, and it was not the fault of the zionists. You know whose fault it was? It was the Nazis.
So given a 50-50 doubt, how do you pasken? The answer is on the side of ahavas yisroel, and you befriend the zionists, and work together with them, instead of this anti-zionist sinas chinam which pours forth from the chareidi world.
You want to know something else. In the two yeshivas where arguably the most anti-zionist sinah and vitriol emanated, one from the chassidish world, and the other from the chareidi world, there have been major splits, and members of each have fought each other right on the Bais Medrash floor, and this lovely scene has made the papers over the last few years. Do you want to know why this has happened? Because when there is a problem with midos, it eventually causes problems from within. Had midos tovos and ahavas yisroel been the focus, instead of gayvah and sinah, this would never have occurred. Even the thought would have been so impossible as to be ridiculous.
Anon, the sad thing is that the guy probably just hated cats. He used the religion as a convenient excuse. Imagine the nice impression this mayseh made on Bowzer’s children who were called goyim, just because they were feeding kittens, as all children would. This is exactly my point. It is not too hard to figure out why kids are going off the derech. (Of course, I hope that never happens with Bowzer’s children.)
In the real world, it is very easy to tell when you are dealing with an obnoxious neighbor. In the chareidi world, obnoxious behavior is easy to masquerade as frumkeit. I personally can’t tell the difference. Maybe the other’s here who have ruach hakodesh can.
Lgbg, If you really have a day open for Sheva Brachos, and think it would be possible for us to make you one, please get in touch at [email protected]. Can’t promise, as need to speak to my wife, and don’t know when the chasunah is, but we should speak. Maybe some of the YW crowd would come (if we can all stop fighting for 3 hours or so).
Bowzer, I agree about the animals. Moshe Rabbeinu was chosen not because he was the best guy in Lakewood, but because he shlepped a poor sheep. I was going to add this to a list which Reb Jent has asked me to compile about differences in chareidi culture, but will take some time to make full list. Your example is exactly what I am talking about. ALso, the fact that they called your kids goyim, and think that whatever inyan there is (if indeed there is any at all about animals) overrides onaas devarim and tzaar baalei chayim is the typical behavior I am taking about. I could not have said it better myself. The word chareidi too often means fear and trembling before one’s neighbor who will get your kids removed from school, and ruin shidduchim. It also means avodah myirah rather than meiahavah, as in my earlier post.
Another example, relatives in Lakewood told us about a guy who bought a convertible car, and was riding with the top down in Lakewood. Sure enough, they took all his kids out of school. Now, I am not defending an overly flashy lifestyle al pi mussar, but lmaysah, al pi din, there is not an iota of a problem with such a car. It simply didn’t mesh with the chareidi culture, so you have the right to be metzaer beyond all words every single member of the family including young kids. Is this what the RBSH wants? This ugly gayvah, I am better than you, and you are not good enough for our clique.
It is too long for now, but the Chareidi world is very frightened about anything that will cause the kids to go off the derech. What they do not realize, is that the hysterical fear itself is what is really causing the kids to go off. It is mamash like living in a witch-hunt. I don’t know how one can take it living in certain neighborhoods. I am willing to bet that the Vaad Hatznius will lead to less tznius on the whole, as kids and families snap under the pressure, and go their own way.
Reb Jent Shlita, Do not see anything in your citation that is kneged what I said. It says that apikursim were makpid on colors, michlal that yidden are not. A rayah to me. Doesn’t mention any one sect of ovdei avodah zara who wore all white. M”B brings the Pri Chadash who says if he gave an immediate amatla (explanation) that he was concerned about kovod hamakom, he can daven, but Magen Avrohom says even if he says it is anivus lifnei the RBSH to be in all white, we still do not let him daven. My Bar Ilan CD is version 12, and doesn’t have all the nosei keilim. Plan to upgrade, and think they have more, now.
Do not have any recollection of saying pshat in gemara brochos about story of sour wine bottles or of arguing with you over pshat. Please remind me. (I think you argued with someone else.) If true, will be my honor to argue with you over it again. Im shamata byoshon, tishma bchodosh, v’im lav, shuv lo tishma.
Just happened to see in the haskamos for the Frankel Rambam, including the Steipler, Reb Moshe, and others, that they all seemed to say that any copying was forbidden by halacha. (I get the impression that the publisher asked them all to make a statement to that effect, and they agreed.) Look them up when you get a chance. (Handwriting of some very hard to read.)
Lgbg, I should stick to making chulent.
Bowzer, I found your last post very hard to read and understand. But I do agree that there are many positive aspects of chareidim. However, those aspects are the ones that come from halacha. However, they have tacked on many layers of culture which have nothing to do with halacha and shulchan oruch onto the Torah. By doing this they are in the geder of kol hamosif gorea. They make it seem like keeping the Torah is such a terrible burden when it doesn’t have to be.
Let me give an example from the book Miracle Ride by Tzipi Caton (Shaar Press). The book is about a 16 yr old girl with cancer. Because of chemo, her hair fell out. She got a sheitel, but was uncomfortable wearing it sometimes, since she didn’t want to look married. She liked to wear a bandana. One motzaei shabbos she went to the store to get some things (Lakewood, I believe). A frum woman confronts her and says the bandana is not appropriate. She says to the woman that she has a disease, and it should be rather obvous why she is wearing it. The woman tells her, I don’t care. It is setting a terrible example for other girls. They get into an argument in front of the whole store.
Can you imagine the horrendous midos of this woman? To fight with a girl who has cancer in public??? Furthermore, there is absolutely no halacha whatsoever involved here. Just some stupid conception of some stranger that she doesn’t particularly like the style of a certain head-covering, and invents some frumkeit on the spot. Literally makes up a new Torah right out of thin air, and has the chutzpah to impose it on someone else.
This is chareidi culture, which has zero to do with shulchan oruch. Wearing black and white only for men is another example. A mishnah even says that one who thinks hashem won’t answer my tefilos if I wear colored clothes, must immediately be removed from being a baal tefila, and we are choshesh that he is an apikorus.
I hear that in Kiryas Sefer, boys may not play any team sports after a certain age (well below bar-mitzvah, I believe). Men may not jog. Correct me if I am wrong.
When you add on things that have no real halachic basis, and despite the fact that exercise is healthy according to the Rambam, (uses word mitamel, just like modern word hitamlut), you turn the rest of the klal off even to matters of real halacha. They just assume that everything the chareidi does is untraorthodox chumros, so they will not listen even to the halachic matters. I gave example of movies. Why should they listen, when you also tell them ball-playing is ossur. They rightly assume you have a different culture and upbringing. Again, kol hamosif gorea. If we want to bring the klal together, we may have to shed some excess baggage. Why not use the shulchan oruch as a nice compromise. The entire klal will keep the shulchan oruch, no more and no less.
I have many close friends and chavrusas in the chareidi world, and they are ehrlich people. I never was bothered by that world until I started reading some of the posts here by certain hotheads, who I am trying my hardest to convince myself are not representative of the chareidim in general. But unfortunately, I do believe that their hashkafas do reflect the chareidi leadership, although not necessarily their behavior.
As far as terrifying and primitive, I was referring to the pedagogical tactics of some, but not the chareidim in general.
Getting back to the original Tznius topic. Let me say that I don’t believe a Vaad Hatznius is the way to go in Lakewood. I predict a few things things will happen:
1) Bnai Torah will resent being told that they of all people don’t know how to keep tznius on their own. But because of the terror of getting a friendly letter or knock on the door from the Vaad which could mean that their kids may be taken out of school, or hurt shidduchim prospects or cause embarrasment, they will in turn terrorize their wives and children about how they dress.
2) This will lead to a spike in shalom bayis issues and people moving out of Lakewood.
3) The takana will be repealed, as was Takanas Ezra many years ago.
Have more to say (as if I didn’t already say enough), but another time.
Joseph, Just FYI, the gemara in Avodah Zara tells us the story of Rebbe Yehudah Hanasi who was best friends with the Roman ruler Anthony (Antoninus). They were so close that when Anthony died, Rebbe was crying and said nisparda hachavila (the bundle has been separated.) I believe other tannaim or amoraim were mentioned there with similar situations.
We should not drink with them, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends with them.
As I have quoted the Chazon Ish in Hilchos shechita, and as others have quoted what are probably similar views of his from his other writings, today we must talk gently, as they will interpret harsh speech as violence, (which implies al achas kamah vkamah that violence itself is forbidden. The Chazon Ish says that the halachos of moridin vlo maalin only apply at a time when hasgachas HKBH geluyah l’ein kol. (When hashem’s providence and control of the world are apparent to all. In those times, aveiros were clear cut rebellion.
But the Chazon Ish provides no makor and no hesber on this statement. Let me offer a hesber. The Rambam says that before a navi is believed to be a navi, he must authenticate himself. That means he must be tested and pass. The test is that he must make predictions and mofsim that come true exactly as he said. The Rambam says this can be done multiple times if we are not convinced. We can give him more tests. (He says we should not overdo it, but he doesn’t seem to say a specific number of times.)
After a person has been shown that this navi actually says the word of hashem, he must obey. However, in our generation, we have no nevuah, and therefore if you go over to a frei yid and tell him he must keep shabbos and start screaming at him, his first question will be why should I believe you that you are right. Even if you throw around all the names of all the biggest gedolim who say to keep shabbos, his response will be a) I never heard of them, or b) who said they are right.
And you know what? he has every right to do so. Why should he believe some stranger on the street who is screaming at him? If you are prepared to make a mofes for him or predict the future, then please do so. If you are unable to do so, you have no right to scream or hit. Pinchas only applied in a totally different generation. In today’s generation, the only way to get somebody to keep shabbos is by gentle motivation and teaching by example.
Maybe this is pshat in the Chazon Ish.
BTW, WolfishMusings, I have often thought of your sevara of familiariy, as well. Here is a limud zchus on those who don’t wear the full ragalia when davening, auch as the times when people are about to fall asleep at night and realize with a scream that OY VEY I DIDNT DAVEN MAARIV. How many can say they get fully dressed? (BTW, once heard from a yeshiva bochur that he saw his roommate davening in his pajamas and hat.)
Here is the limud zchus: We are supposed to dress like standing before a king. However, what if you are the son of the king, or the wife of the king. Does the king’s 5 yr old son dress in his suit every time he wants to speak to daddy? Same for his wife.
Klal yisroel are hashem’s children. Banim atem lashem elokeichem. Also we are compared to the betrothed of the king. So for a family member the halacha is different. 🙂
For all the kannaim here, there is a tshuva of Reb Moshe to a Rabbi Yalow in Syracuse, regarding a giyores whose mother was ill, and wanted to see her children and grandchildren. After some shakla vtarya on this Rov’s suggested heter, Reb Moshe says there is another much more basic reason to be matir. People will say that dinei torah are not b’yosher. How could it be that somebody who converted to a higher kedusha ends up giving her mother less kovod than when she was non-Jewish? So from menschlachkeit considerations, Reb Moshe says she should visit her mother.
(The reason in general why too much visiting is discouraged, is so that the giyores should be able to build her new life, and not fall back into her old patterns, and end up abandoning her new-found religion. However, that does not mean one cuts off her family, and shows disrespect or cruelty.)
UJM: I said no hat is necessary, but pointed out that one amora took off his jacket in eis tzara. I feel that probably a jacket would be necessary, if you use the geder of omed lifnei hamelech, although some seem to be meikil here, as well.
Now you are happy: Please learn a zman at the Yeshiva of Sederot whose Rosh Yeshiva is a huge talmid chochom, and a huge mensch. Watch how the bnai yeshiva try to be mechazek a downtrodden, frightened and depressed town. I doubt they wear hats and jackets there, but if that is not a makom torah, then we must be members of a different religion. I believe Reb Zalman Nechemiah and other gedolim periodically say shiurim there. Obviously, the heter to daven in hot places in shorts and the like was used by the people of EY for many years, since it is hot, and A/C wasn’t available in many places.
Think Big, I am not a Talmid Chochom, just a poshuteh yid with a lot of ahavas yisroel. I don’t know anymore who I identify with. I think the modern focus too highly on entertainment, while the chareidim do not focus enough on ahavas yisroel (outside their own group), and put down secular knowledge.
I have said here many times that we have a break in the nation. If a chareidi tells a modern person to give up movies, he will tell the chareidi, you are from a different world, since you also want me to give up college, as well, and to hate the state of Israel, (which to a modern person is the most ridiculous thing he ever heard to hate his own Jewish state) therefore I am not bound by your views on movies, either.
The chareidim have much mesirus nefesh for learning and shmiras hamitzvos, but have not been able to adapt it to a modern society. They either deny the existence of things they don’t want to hear, or else ban them. They are afraid of secular knowledge, when in fact it can be used to raise one’s level of avodas hashem by seeing the gadlus of the RBSH in the way he runs the entire world. (Do you have any clue of the complexity of even a single nerve cell. Did you know that in the brain a single cell can receive inputs from over 150,000 other nerve cells? Scientists are working as hard as they can to understand this complexity.) It can also be used to make a parnasa and to create a sense of ahavas hashem for giving me the ability to make a parnasa through the gifts that the RBSH gave me. It can also be used to heal those who are sick and handicapped and paralyzed. (There is nothing a sick person wants more than refuah. It is the biggest chesed there is to cure him.) So when I hear a chareidi knocking science, which is quite common, I think he must be from another planet.
(BTW check the Rambam in Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh (CH 17, 24) who says that anything proven scientifically even by goyim has as much validity in halacha as something told to us by the neviim. They are both emes.) (I used Bar-Ilan CD.)
So I feel that the modern need to improve in many areas, but they will not, because of the negative attitudes of the chareidim. The modern need to work more on their midos, they don’t talk as refined as the chareidim who are often more eidel, and sometimes the modern get a bit too over-confident with themselves, and don’t have the same softness of heart needed to do chesed and the same dikduk in mitzvos. However, the chareidim have the training necessary for hasmadah, amkus in learning, chesed and gentle speech and anivus, but when it comes to the modern or the tzionim, suddenly all the chareidi’s good midos are thrown out the window, and he talks the most vile and hateful way against the tzioni and the state and secular knowledge. I went to try to visit a certain chareidi godol in EY a few years ago in the afternoon, and was told he was resting, but will be at mincha at 3. So I thought, good, that is only in 20 minutes, before I have to leave. But his grandson explained, but that is not daylight time, since he doesn’t hold of the medina (or something of that nature) who enacted daylight savings time, and keeps his watch set to regular time. I personally can’t make heads or tails out of that attitude. Where is it getting us?
I have said before that the only way to bridge this gap and reach shleimus in our nation and bring the geula is to make a giant asifa where the chareidi and the IDF come together, and the chareidim show true overflowing ahavah and thanks towards the soldiers, with gedolei yisroel making speeches of thanks (and possibly apologizing as well for the historic negative attitude towards the state). And then they dance with the yeshiva bochurim and the soldiers (Lshem ahavas yisroel, not lshem kiruv). I am sure that many soldiers will be overcome with ahavah as well, and will start on their way to becoming frum. The media will come and report on this wonderful unity, and it will be a kiddush hashem ayom vnora, and moshiach will show up, as well.
Bowzer, thank you for your kind words.
Joseph, I am not trying to bash Chareidim. I am trying to look for the emes. I myself used to be a bigger kannai than you, believe it or not. But I am now in the process of doing tshuvah for it. I realize that in the past I had said things to people which were arrogant and hurtful because I thought I was acting lshem shomayim. I sometimes belittled things that were important and dear to others because I thought they were narishkeit, since they weren’t shayach to learning.
I now realize that everything people do for yishuv haolam is choshuv, and that there are many ehrlich and fine people who do much good for this world who are not frum, and not even Jewish.
In addition, people are not perfect robots, and there is nobody who doesn’t slip sometimes. Ein odom tzaddik baaretz. That is why we have a Yom Kippur.
Finally, those who know somebody who has R”L been ill with conditions such as a nervous breakdown, or have been in a situation which was so difficult for them that they felt like they were about to have a nervous breakdown because they couldn’t pay a bill or whatever, you realize what chochma the RBSH put into the world just to keep us all sane. If you see someody walking down the street whistling, you should immediately thank the RBSH that He has provided for the needs of this person so that he is relaxed and calm and happy and not in pain. Without knowing anything about that person, you can immediately tell how much effort the RBSH put into him. Sometimes I see certain minority girls walking into their local pizza place and like dancing while they wait to be served. This shows the gadlus of the RBSH that he made them happy and not in any pain.
Just to survive and remain sane for some people is a major avodah, and maybe they can’t take all the stress of doing every prat. This is another reason why I get upset at your attitude that it is a given that there is no compromising in halacha. If you really believe that, either you are dishonest or not living in the real world. You are denying the struggle that all people go through.
Lgbg, I do not know anywhere near that level in learning. I just know how to look certain things up, when necessary. I also have a Bar-Ilan CD which helps.
Also, the vort on aniyim merudim tavi bayis of earlier post I heard from somebody else. It happened to be Reb Shmuel’s mechutan. (So, obviously I would never be pogea in Reb Shmuel’s kovod. However, I still disagree with certain aspects of the chareidi hashkafa. Mainly in what the emphasis should be, and how to relate to other non-chareidi groups.)
Finally, one thing that turned me off to some of the chareidi thinking was what I read right here on YW. When I read about the ban because of the logo on the Bamba, and the letter from the guy who wouldn’t stand on Yom Hazikaron and who also held that one doesn’t need to thank his auto mechanic, I almost expelled my meal.
There is definitely a problem which is not being addressed in their way of thinking.
Now you are happy: Say what? Please see mishna berurah O”C 91 s”k 13.
Bowzer, you are 100% right about this scaring business being total nonsense and detrimental to a yid’s development, and frightening to a child.
First of all, Moshe asked the RBSH why tzaddikim often suffer and reshaim often prosper, and the RBSH said that he can’t give him an answer (vraisa es achori v’es ponai lo yerau). There is a concept of yisurin shel ahavah.
It seems one of the basic reasons for so much of the negativity and scare tactics used by the chareidi world stems from an incorrect understanding of why the RBSH created the world. The prevalent attitude is there is this very mean guy in the sky, and he gave us many difficult and mean laws, and if we break even one detail of one of them, then the mean guy gets no greater pleasure then bashing our heads to pieces, and burning down our houses. The mean guy has a major ego problem, and even one hint of disrespect will cause him to pour down his wrath. He created the world and the laws as a sadistic means of torture.
This hashkafah is baloney. The RBSH is an Av Harachaman. He only wants to give and give more. He loves it when yiddishe kinder daven and make brachos. Not because he needs the brachos, but because this teaches the children midos tovos, that they should always appreciate the effort that goes into all the good things we have and that people do for us. We must learn hakaras hatov.
We fast on Yom Kippur, as the haftarah says, to feel what it is like for a poor man to go without food. We learn to share our food, and invite the aniyim merudim into our homes. The RBSH wants nothing more than people should not hurt each others feelings, and should care for each others needs.
We have a Shabbos to teach us, that although we always worry so much about where our next meal and mortgage payment will come from, we have the right to relax, and let the RBSH worry about that for one day a week. We trust him that he will take care of us, even though we can’t do anything on our own that day. We also learn that even the other days when we do work, the results all come from him. He gave us our hands and our minds and all our talents, and created a sophisticated word that allows one to be paid for his skills. We also get a day to be with our families and learn intersting Torah thoughts, without the constant stress.
We have tznius to teach us that we can’t take what doesn’t belong to us. Each person has only one spouse. If we start up with another person, we deprive somebody else of his relationship with his spouse. We also ruin our own relationship with our own spouses. By reading the papers, we see how terribly certain famous people have messed up their lives and their careers by not keeping the laws of tznius. Hashem doesn’t want this to happen to us, as it is very painful. Even though these halachos are difficult, it saves us even greater pain in the long run.
We can go on and on. There is a moral lesson in each law to make us better and kinder and happier people. The laws are there for our own benefit. By learning Torah we learn more and more of Hashem’s kindness. We learn the chochma with which he created the world. We also learn to split hairs to arrive at the emes. Chas vshalom one penny should not be taken from a person unfairly in a din torah. This requires trained thinking skills which we get from the gemara. The Rambam says we can also develop ahavas hashem from studying science, and learn the incredible details and precision that are present in every part of the world. All these details are needed to make the world operate correctly for our benefit.
We have a beautiful Torah and way of life, and much to be thankful for. You can be sure that the RBSH is happy when he hears the sweet singing of a yiddishe mama when she makes challah. Rebbe Yisroel Salanter once said when someone complained of a maid’s singing that she has every right to sing, and the men need to get out.
It is sad that some in the Chareidi world miss the boat big time on the entire game plan, and in the process instill fright into little children in order to get them to knuckle under to their terrifying and primitive world view.
Bugnot, you daven in the hall during the Rabbi’s speech. (Just kidding.)
Bogen, the minhag in America is that to meet the President, one would not wear a hat. So it would seem to be unnecessary. The Poskim seem to stress that it depends on the minhag hamakom, and a yarmulka is sufficient.
As far as a jacket, one probably would put on a suit and tie for the Pres, but few do for davening.
The poskim also say that in hot places, even short pants are fine, since that is what is normally worn. Some people find the heat of a jacket very bothersome, as well.
Finally, the gemara says that one of the amoraim would davka take off his jacket (shadi gleemaih) when he davened in an eis tzara, so as not to appear choshuv. It is more anivusdig to appear plain.
So as usual, if you are mechaven lshem shomayim, that is what really matters.
Willi, that was beautiful. Did you write it yourself?
Were you trying to say that we rise to the crest whenever we get dressed?
What are crocs? Do they bite?
Workingman, that is not the yiddishe attitude. yehei din shel prutah chovov alecha kdin shel meah manah
Joseph, UJM, Qwerty,
Please look at Sotah 21b. Heichi dami chosid shoteh? Rav Zerika amar Rav Huna zeh hamaikil l’atzmo umachmir l’acheirim. (One who is lenient with himself but strict on others.) Also see Rashi on Rav Yosef bar Chama amar Rav Sheshes zeh hamachria acheirim b’orchosov.
So it is absolutely clear that one who gives tochacha on an area in which he is lax in is a chosid shoteh which today we would call a hypocrite, and it would seem, therefore, that he is patur from the mitzva of tochacha. So the concept of people in glass houses is indeed a yiddishe concept.
For this reason, I exempt myself from tochacha, since I don’t trust myself to be on the level to criticize others.
UJM, could you kindly cite where I advocated going against Shulchan Oruch?
As far as my remarks about the tznius asifah, I apologize and will try to ask mechila from the gedolim involved, since some may have interpreted my remarks to be against them.
In fact, my astonishment was how Lakewood which is the citadel of Torah, could be considered lax in tznius? It would be like saying the NY Yankees should practice hitting from a Tee-Ball to learn how to properly hold a bat. Or like telling Isaac Stern he is not holding his violin right, or like saying the people in Harvard are getting lax in long-division. How is it possible that in Lakewood they are lax? Nobody has thus far given me any explanation on what they are lax in.
As far as the Nun joke is concerned, think of it mathematically. Currently, the people in Lakewood are covering X square inches. The Rabbonim would like them to increase to Y square inches. But how much difference is there between Y and Z square inches where Z is the number that are covered by a Nun. Since the current dress custom is X which is already presumably a very high number, if you go up much further you must automatically end up at Z. There is simply physically not that much room between Y and Z.
Another point, Reb SHmuel doesn’t live in Lakewood, so he must be relying on info told him by others of any purported problem. But didn’t we have disastrous results the last time that happened when certain kannaim gave misleading info to the gedolim about the concert ban. Both Reb Shmuel and Rav Belsky needed to later independently qualify their positions, with Rav Belsky even using the term forgery of his signature, I believe. I simply don’t trust kannaim.
First of all, I apologize if I offended people, but I really never heard before that there was such a problem in the premier yeshivishe community of the USA. I still can’t believe it, and wish somebody could better explain.
Second, Charlie Brown, I am glad that the kannaus problem is being addressed. But here is the point: Nobody can tell the difference between sincere kanaus, and bad midos. Therefore, I feel there should be an asifa to make it clear that kannaus is assur completely. Lo pelug rabbanan. Yomru kol haserikin asssurin vserieki baytus mutarin?
Third, the kannaus must stop not only in deed, but in word also. That means we stop crticizing all people, including the sectors we disagree with. Again, how are we supposed to teach kids not to speak loshon hora, when it is “mutar” to speak against Rav Tendler? Do you think kids understand the difference (if there is any)? Do you think yeshiva bochurim understand? We therefore desperately need to call an asifa against all kannaus, and all loshon hora, and all onaas devarim across the board.
Fourth, One reason I was having trouble with the tznius asifa is because let’s say tznius isn’t perfect in Lakewood, although I personally think that it is anyway 95%, for arguments sake. However, the kannaus is tearing apart our nation. So for an extra 5% of tznius you call an asifa, but you don’t call it for the reason the bais hamikdash was destroyed, the sinas chinam which in my humble opinion is a far greater threat to the klal. Now I realize that the gedolim have endorsed and appeared on the CHofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation tapes to encourage an awareness to onaas devarim. But what bothers me is that unless kannaus is forbidded, all the lessons in those tapes and videos go down the drain, because people will always justify that their loshon hora is lshem shomayim, as opposed to the other guy whose lshon hora is simply bad midos.
SO I propose that we assur kannaus, and all loshon hora and onaas devarim completely, and make it clear that THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. Maybe this will bring the goel bkarov byameinu mamash.
Josephf, are you really giving yourself a pat on the back, and announcing that you have kept every halacha perfectly to a tee your entire life? I would be honored to meet someone of such high caliber. Someone perfect is ideally suited to give tochacha.
One additional reason why I never do, is I am always thinking that I have so many chesronos, that who in the world am I to tell somebody else how to act and keep mitzvos. What kind of a hypocrite would I be to tell someone he is doing something wrong when I have so many things I need to work on.
I never realized there were perfect individuals in the world, and lo and behold, right here on YW. I am sorry I am actually giving you tochacha, but the one exception is when I see someone hurting somebody else. Your constant put-downs of other people are unacceptable. Same with the other kanaim here. Any unbiased person reading this blog will automatically come to the conclusion that the kannaim are the ones who always start with the personal insults. You see, the acid throwing doesn’t just come from the fringes, as some have claimed. First the kannaim throw acid with their words. Then they use their fists on buses. Then the next madreiga is to throw real acid. But it is really all the same thing. It is just a matter of degree. When one’s midos are out of control, there is no telling what he is capable of doing.
Did you know that the kannaim once pushed Reb Aryeh Levin into the mud?
Did you know that in Beit Shemesh, Shmuel Katz in the FIve TOwns Jewish Times reports that on erev shabbos the kannaim throw debris and rocks into the roads so vehicles can’t get through? What if an ambulance needs to get by?
And they actually think that the RBSH is proud of them.
frumcouple, I don’t know what the answer is, but I feel your pain. It is hard to find anybody good, and they take so long to train, and with some, you feel you have now twice the work to undo the things they did.
But on the other hand, they need to make a living and cleaning bathrooms is such an unpleasant task, that they should be well-compensated, too.
Let me clarify further that my hypothetical moshol about McDonalds was meant to say that just like I could never believe that the Lakewood bnei torah would eat at McDonalds, (and they don’t, I was only kidding), similarly, I can’t believe that they wouldn’t keep the laws of tznius.
But let me add one further point. It seems that the science of cosmetics and manufacture of clothing and sheitels has simply advanced to the point that the products are much more attractive then they were a generation ago. Even though they cover the proper halachic requirements of the wearer, they simply look nicer. I think this is possibly what is bothering some people and what they call a crisis.
This is why I make jokes about the dressing like a nun. Please show me a source that Jewish women must be ugly and dress in shlumpy clothes, and cannot wear nice makeup and perfume and jewelry in public. The fact that the bnos yisroel look nice is that a chisaron. Weren’t many of the imahos praised for their appearance. (Rivka) Vhanaara tovas mareh m’od. vRochel haysa yefas toar vyifas mareh etc.
Aren’t there chazals that say shelo yitain einav b’acher? Shelo tisganeh al baala. Was it never the minhag of women to wear makeup and nice dresses outside the home? Please tell me what has changed.
I am not chas vshalom making choizek about gedolim. I am finding it hard to believe that the epicenter of the bnei torah in the USA would have a problem with tznius.
If you told me Times Square had a problem with tznius, I could hear it. If you told me Las Vegas had a problem with tznius, I could believe it, as well. But I am shocked that of all places, Lakewood could have one. These are the most elite Bnei Torah, I just can’t process it. I have also been there a few times, and never saw anything remotely problematic among the people I visited, or at the simchas I attended. Could somebody please explain what the people of Lakewood are doing wrong in their manner of dress?
Feif Un: I thought shaving heads had something to do with the goyisheh rulers in the middle ages kidnapping Jewish brides.
The big one: I am glad to hear that you feel that acid-throwing is from the lunatic fringe. So tell me, why hasn’t there been a big asifah to make it crystal clear that this behavior is intolerable? BTW, there are kannaim who throw rocks and debris on the roads of Beit Shemesh every erev SHabbos to keep cars from driving. What if CV an ambulance needs to get through. Why not an asifah against this type of behavior? My feelings are personally that the biggest crisis is kannaus and hurting other yidden. See post on Freikeit thread.
Second, yes, I am in denial that in Lakewood there is a tznius crisis. I have much difficulty processing that. True, I am only very rarely in Lakewood, but I can’t believe that this is a crisis. Will we next hear that posters are going up in Lakewood telling people to stop eating their Seudos Shabbos in the Lakewood McDonalds? Should we warn the Bnei Torah that cheeseburgers are not a proper fullfillment of lechem mishnah according to the Chazon Ish? Should we make an asifah to inform them that driving on Shabbos to McDonalds is assur according to the Brisker Rov, even if you only go for Shalosh Seudos, and even if you make a minyan and lein in the McDonalds.
A tznius crisis in Lakewood??? In Lakewood, a tznius crisis???
In conclusion: I have invited Sister Mary from the local archdiocese to give a short talk to the women of Lakewood on proper dress code. (Please forgive this silly joke, but I can’t get over this thread. It is too funny. In Lakewood there is a tznius crisis???) Oy vey iz mir. (I apologize and don’t mean to belittle anybody, but sometimes can’t control myself with the jokes.) Once again, let me get this straight. There is a tznius crisis in Lakewood???
The big one, Please reread. I said “EVEN into the secular”, implying al achas kamah vkamah into the gedolim. I emphasized the secular, because nobody here bashes the gedolim, while there are many kannaim here who constantly bash the secular and have trouble finding anything positive to say about them.
My secular background is that I have gone to college, as well as learned in Beis Medrash.
Charlie Brown, I don’t give that mayseh too much credence, either, but just repeating what I heard a long time ago.
As far as fleet of cars, as you can see, I have a large fan club (despite the fact that the kannaim want to throw me off YW). Just kidding.
JosephF, Believe it or not, life is full of compromises, and in fact nobody can possibly be midakdek on every nuance, which is why it is all a questions of priorities and emphasis. Let me give you an example. If you have children, and you will make them Bar-Mitzvahs, IY”H you will want to buy a pair of tefillin. But if you want to get absolutely the best around, you will find that it probably costs about 5,000 a pair (and may have to order 2 years in advance). So maybe you should spend it on the tefillin. But you may then find yourself short of money to pay his tuition. So if it is a choice of a $1500 pair, and sending him to yeshiva, or a $5000 pair and no yeshiva, you will probably go for the 1500 pair. However, you will be giving up some of the “nooks and crannies to a tee” of hilchos tefilin.
The gemara itself states that their are 3 aveiros that a person violates every day. However, if he did not interact with people at all, and stayed in a locked room, he could probably avoid the hirhurei aveirah and avak loshon hora. However, that would be at the expense of getting out to go to shul and to make a parnasah, etc., and to have a family.
Similarly, giving tzedakah is a huge mitzvah, but so is buying food for Shabbos. How do you do both if money is short, and you also have a tuition bill due, etc. What if there is an old lady who needs help, but you are on the way to tefilah btzibbur, you can only do one mitzvah now. Which do you do?.
So life is full of choices, and it is impossible to keep every mitzva fully. You may be living in a fantasy world, thinking it is possible, and probably some of the younger yeshiva bochurim who are the kannaim here (I believe) think the same thing, because they are still young and idealistic and inexperienced. But lmaysah, it is impossible.
Given these facts, one must make some choices. I personally have chosen ahavas yisroel of all types, loshon hora, and anivus to be my big 3. A big Rov once said that the biggest conflicts in life are between two good things. So if I get into a situation where another mitzva, as great as it might be, (say tochacha) might want me to hurt the feelings of another yid, I will pass, since it goes against my big 3. The only people I give tochacha to are my own kids, since they know I love them. A stranger on the street will likely think I have an ego problem and not listen, and be turned off.
I personally weigh the bein adam lchaveiro mitzvos more than the bein odom lamakom mitzvos, and feel that I have many many solid sources to do so, such as the gemara that says yimacheh Shmo al hamayim kdei laasos shalom bein ish l’ishto. Vahavta lreacha komocha say klal godol batorah. Mai dsanei oloch lchavreich lo saavid, zeh lol hatorah kula. Also look at last Rashi in Parshas Yisro which says that the kovod due to a human is greater than the kovod due to the Beis Hamikdash. I believe that the RBSH deeply wants us to honor our fellow man, and that it gives him great nachas ruach.
These are the choices I have made. You are entitled to make yours. But if you really believe that you will be able to do every mitzvah perfectly, I don’t think you are being honest. Choose wisely, and be consistent.
Let me conclude with a vort. Mi haish hachofetz chaim ohev yomim liros tov. Netzor leshoncha mera… What does it mean liros tov, to see good things? I think pshat is to see the good in others. If you want a long life to see all the gevaldige things that others do, then the way to see this good is to refrain from loshon hora. If you get into the habit of never even thinking bad about any yid, it is very easy never to say bad about any yid. And this will cause you to see the Tov in every yid, and you will be amazed at what they have accomplished.
Reb Jent, the gemara Kesuvos says a few places that if too strict with tznius, Lo hinachta bas l’Avraham Avinu.
My point is that I see the frum women dressed just fine where I live, and it isn’t even the most yeshivishe neighborhood. I am having trouble fathoming how there could actually be a major tznius problem in Lakewood, of all places. I have been there a few times, and didn’t see any hint of a problem. So I can only conclude that there is a movement out there to begin Burkification and Nunnification proceedings.
Incidentally, what would be if some people advocated shaving the women’s heads, as do certain Chassidishe groups? Should all women be required to follow suit, even if it is not their minhag? Can we force them? Should the acid/bleach crew be called in to insure compliance?
What do you say, Jent?
If you would ask me, I would say to be mevater. Godol Hashalom. Maybe there is some mistake, and will cause years of agmas nefesh for naught. You may not want to speak to them for a while, but the pain that family disagreements cause is usually to great to bear. You will think about it 24/7, and take up all your kochos, and get into a depression. No amount of money is worth it, IMHO.
There is a story about Reb ARyeh Levin in Tzaddik Yesod Olam in which a father was fooled by one son into mistakenly signing documents that cut his second son out of the will. The second son used to work with the father and take care of him, while the perpetrator had never helped the father at all, yet arranged to inherit all.
When the second son asked the father why he signed this, he admitted it was a big mistake, “I don’t know why I did it, and I will be glad to sign a document saying I was not in my right mind at the time, so as to nullify the will.”
However, the son said I can never degrade my father to have him state that he didn’t know what he was doing or was not of sound mind, so he decided not to challenge the will, and let it go.
Obviously, I don’t know the situation here, but keep in mind that it is a huge mental burden to go to Beis Din any time, and much more so if it involves a relative.
Willi, Reb Shlomo Carlebach Z”L once demurred to serving on a Beis Din, saying, “In my entire life, I never told anybody what to do. I don’t want to start now.” There is also a story in the book Holy Brother about a woman who said she would try shul, provided nobody ever told her what to do. She said I will keep going as long as nobody ever tells me how to act, or to be observant, etc. Each week she went, and sure enough nobody ever told her what to do. Finally after about 6 years, she became frum, and raised a wonderful frum family.
If there was ever an expert in Kiruv, it was Shlomo. Who comes close to his numbers?
UJM, because I am allergic and antagonistic to gayvah in any form whatsoever. While in Sotah we find a machlokes whether a Talmid Chochom can have 1/64th of gayvah, the Rambam paskens asur mikol vakol. Also, one shita in Avodah Zara is anavah gedola mikulam, which implies that the correct girsa is anavah mviah leydei ruach hakodesh. So if you want to go all the way up to the highest madreiga that there is, there is a shortcut, and it’s called anivus.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have oceans of pride in the midos and accomplishments of the yidden in both the ruchnius and secular worlds. Ki hi chochmaschem uvinaschem l’einei haamim. I believe that the midos we have inherited from earlier generations of kedoshim have been instilled even into the secular. That’s why we have an Einstein, an Aumann, the Marx brothers, a Dr. Seuss, etc. Even the patriotic song G-d bless America that the whole nation loves to sing was written by a yid. He wrote it because of his sense of hakaras hatov that was inherited from good yiddishe midos whether he realized it or not. The Marx brothers were like the inshi beduchi of the gemara in Taanis, who gained olam haba because they cheered up depressed people with silly jokes.
I could go on and on about the accomplishments of the yidden, (even more than Joesph, since I have a secular background as well, and am exposed to many more kinds of yidden than he is). I am bursting with pride in the accomplishments of the zionists in EY, as well. There is nobody alive who has more pride in our nation. But we must stay away from gayvah, arrogance, bragging and anything that can be construed as racism, as it is poison. We should instead share our gifts and talents and midos for the benefit of the klal and the world as a whole.
So we never have the right to feel superior. We must feel instead that we have a greater achrayus to accomplish and not waste the investment our avos and imahos have put into us, and the kochos that the RBSH has given us.
Jent, Joseph, UJM and others:
Do you agree that throwing acid on people and hitting them on buses is correct or incorrect?
Koton, I am very sorry to hear about your disability. May the RBSH send you a refuah shleima bkorov, refuas hanefes and refuas haguf, and may you regain your strength, and be oveid hashem bsimcha.
Nevertheless, Rav Blumenkrantz, who is not known for being a maikil, in his Pesach book of 2007 lists some of the kosher shavers.
Just one comment. For a few years I had used the Remington 850, and it worked well. I thought it was lost, so I looked in the book and bought a Remington 950. It was terrible. Cuts very poorly and hurts face very badly. It weighs much less than the 850, and probably spins much slower. I can’t stand when companies try to save money and degrade the product. They apparently used a much cheaper motor. Yet they give it a higher number, 950, making you think you are getting an upgraded model. Buyer beware.
Charlie Brown, I once heard from somebody who worked on the Artscroll gemara or heard the story that he walked into the office where they were writing or editing, and guess what was open on the desk, a Steinsaltz gemara.
(If this is true, I certainly hope that they gave proper attribution.)
(BTW, how else would yeshivishe guys know where to put the dots in the Aramaic?)