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When Rav Shimon Schwab was asked how his Kehilla could sing Mah Tovu to the melody composed by Lewandowski, who arranged mixed choirs? He answered, “Haben Sie Besseres?” (Do you have better?) Meaning, this melody is the best melody and therefore it is used.
I ask the same question about Carlebach nigunim: Do you have better?
In Sefer Igros Sofrim there is a letter from the Chasam Sofer zt”l (Siman 2). He writes that the reason for not learning before Chatzos on that night is as follows.
The Goyim go to church and celebrate Mass at midnight. Since they are awake for their Avoda Zara and the Yidden are asleep, it might be a Kitrug in Heaven that the Goyim stay awake for their god but the Yidden do not stay awake for Hashem. Therefore, he writes, it is an ancient custom that the Yidden go to sleep early and do not learn their nightly Seder and get up to learn at Chatzos so that there will not be a Kitrug.
Today’s custom of not learning at all that night and playing chess instead of learning is stam bitul Torah, the Atzas HaYetzer, and does not accomplish anything,.
Rav Moshe Feinstein wrote in the Introduction to Igros Moshe that the Sefer was not written for the public to follow his conclusions in practice. Rav Reuven Feinstein explained that this is the case because his father did not provide the details of the questions sufficiently. Rather, the whole purpose of the Sefer was to teach the reader how his father derived the answer from the sources that he quotes, to teach them how to analyze the source material.
Yente is a derivative of an Italian name Gentille. Shprintze is a derivative of the Italian Esperanza.
In Ashkenaz, the custom was that everyone had a secular name. Four weeks after birth there was a special ceremony at home for giving the child this name, called Chol Kreish. The name was used everywhere, except in schul. A boy had a Shem Kodesh that was used for a Aliyah, that he was given at his Bris. Since women do not get Aliyos, they do not need a Shem Kodesh. Therefore, it was always more common for women to have a Shem Chol and no Shem Kodesh. For example, the daughter of the MaHarshal, her name was Valentina. There are boys who are named today after an ancestor whose name was Yitzchok Aizek, Shlomo Zalman, Dov Ber, Yehuda Leib. Really their Shem Kodesh was just Yitzchok, Shlomo, Dov, Yehuda. Their Shem Chol was Aizek, Zalman, Ber, Leib.
The prophet Yeshaya tells us (????? ??:?):
?? ??? ??? ???? ???? ????? ???.
“For the day of vengeance is in my heart and the year for my redeemed ones is coming.”
The Talmud (Sanhedrin 99a) states:
??? ??? ??? ????? ???’ ??? ????? ?? ???? ???: ???? ?????, ?????? ???? ?? ?????.
“What is meant by the day of vengeance is in my HEART? Reish Lakish said: I [HaShem] have revealed it to my heart, but not to the angels.”
The Midrash (Breishis Rabba 65:12) says:
???? ????? ?????? ???? ??? ???’ ?????? ????? ????? ????? ???’ ????? ?? ??? ??? ????.
The Midrash (Shocher Tov 9:2) says:
?’ ????? ???? ??? ?’ ?????: ?? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ?????? ???, ?? ????? ??, ??? ????? ?? ??? ??? ????, ???? ????? ?? ???, ???? ???? ???.
“R’ Shmuel learned in the name of R’ Yehuda: If someone tells you when the final redemption is coming, do not believe him, as it says, the day of vengeance is in my heart. The heart did not reveal it to the mouth, to whom could the mouth reveal it?”
Therefore, nobody could know when the redemption is to arrive. Rather, every day we need to pine and look forward to its arrival in the future, whether it is to arrive today or in fifty years.
Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky zt”l was asked: When is Moshiach coming? He answered: Those who know, do not say. Those who say, do not know.
A Yekke is someone who wears a short jacket.
An Ashkenazi is someone who lived in an area where they spoke German.
Is OTD: On The Derech or Off The Derech?
RebDoniel is right.
I am looking for clothes for myself.
I am at least a size 70. Most clothing stores don’t carry larger than 66, if that.
Not only was the Chasam Sofer zt”l not a Chassid, but he was against Chassidus. A close friend of mine has worked on a book, showing, based on the very writings of the Chasam Sofer, that in over 200 places in his writings, he is uncomplimentary about Chassidus.
This does not mean he did not get along with Chassidim or their Rebbes. But it is clear that he had difficulties with their ideology and practices.
A girl should look for a boy:
1. who appeals to her
2. has a good reputation
3. is ambitious
4. and responsible.
1. What appeals to one girl is uninteresting to another. Each person has his own likes and dislikes. This is an emotional thing and cannot be scientifically qualified. However, a girl should know (and so should a boy) that this surface appeal is meant to help them develop a loving relationship early on in marriage, because this “stunning” or “ravishing” look will fade over time, either through aging or habit. The attraction should later be based on who they are and not how they look.
2. The boy should have what the girl considers a good reputation. A reputation for honesty and integrity, good manners, consideration for others, empathetic, etc. are all good stuff.
3. If the boy is a Ben Torah, he should be ambitious about trying to maximize the number of years (and hours of the day) that he could learn, and heights of Torah scholarship in all areas that he could reach.
4. Nevertheless he should be responsible about his duties as a husband, father, and breadwinner.
The Gra did not put the Besht in Cherem. He put the Baal HaTanya and the Breslovers in Cherem. The Gra was too young during the time of the Besht.
The Arizal did not make any changes in Nusach. The Ari never made a Nusach Ari. To the contrary, his talmid Rav Chaim Vital quotes him that there are 12 gates of prayer in heaven and since nobody knows exactly which tribe they are from, each person should stick to the Nusach of his ancestors, because if he davens the wrong Nusach, his prayers will not be accepted in Heaven. This idea of the Arizal constructing a Nusach that will go through a 13th gate, this is a Chabad invention that the Arizal never spoke about and never heard of. The Chasam Sofer already wrote against this idea.
Nusach Ashkenaz was transmitted from generation to generation since the time of the Tannaim, as the Rabbeinu Elazar bar Yehudah of Worms z”l (Rokeach) traces his Nusach. He states that one who adds or subtracts words or letters, his prayers are not accepted in Heaven.
Nevertheless, if anyone could find me a Nusach for Avinu Malkeinu that has no more and no less that 247 words, as Rabbeinu Shlomo bar Shimshon (one of the Chasidei Ashkenaz) writes that there may not be more or less than 247 words, I would really appreciate it.
There was once a Sefer Raziel HaMalach, presented to Adam HaRishon by the angel. However, the book now touted as the Sefer Raziel HaMalach is not that celebrated Sefer. Rather, someone culled information from a kabbalistic Sefer written by Rabbeinu Elazar Rokeach z”l of Worms, and then put in a velt of garbage, incorporating also idolatry and heresy. See Shu”t Panim Meiros 1:45 I cannot imagine that this book is a segula for anything except making a buck for the seller.
The Ramban writes (Milchamos Hashem siman 24) that nobody is born Moshiach. When Hashem decides that Moshiach should come, someone who is already living is chosen. That is, one cannot know who is Moshiach until the time of the Geulah. Even the one who is chosen does not know about it until that time.
Unless someone could show me a scholarly precedent that would discount my opinion above, I stand by it.
Although I have not been able to separate sufficiently from my emotional reaction to this event so as to have an absolutely intellectual response, it would seem that in Beis Din Kipa could not be meted out here.
You see, all Beis Din would have here is:
1. Victim is seen with man on video.
2. Man goes into car and drives.
3. Car is found in front of house.
4. Remains found in freezer.
5. Man’s confession.
The confession is what ties all the points together. However, in Beis Din, a confession is totally invalid as a piece of evidence in a case of personal crime (to exclude monetary cases), let alone in a capital offense. We are used to putting a perp on the witness stand and convicting on the basis of that testimony. In Beis Din this is not admissible. Someone cannot testify about his own personal movements, whether that testimony is in his favour or otherwise.
It is possible that Beis Din could lock him up and throw away the key so as to insure that the public is no longer endangered by his presence, if they ascertain that he is a menace to the public. But to kill him actively or passively on the basis of a confession, it doesn’t seem probable.
I am suggesting that everyone say their alottment until the boy is found. I noticed that I never included myself, so I have revised the list slightly.
11-15 John Doe
16-20 Jolly Rancher
21-25 Shticky Guy
31-35 Ms. Critique
46-51 ursula momish
76-79 A mamin
91-95 I can only try
96-100 sof davar
111-115 camp fun
136-140 YW Moderator
A Jew and a non-jew are traveling on a train together when suddenly the goy asks “Why are you Jews so smart?”
The Jew is quiet for a moment and then says “its because of all the herring we eat.”
A few hours later the Jew takes out some herring and starts to eat it.
The goy asks “how much herring do you have?” and the jew answers “a dozen pieces”.
“And how much do you want for a piece?”
“20 kopecks” (a lot of money).
The man hands the money over and the jew gives him a piece of herring.
“He takes a bite and says suddenly “I could have bought this same herring in Moscow for a few
To this the jew responds “see… your getting smarter already.”
At an American store an old Jewish cashier announces: “We do not sell sour cream to Jews!”.
His angry supervisor rushes to him and yells: “What are you doing? Are you proclaiming anti-semitism !?!?”
The old jew answers: “Have you tried this sour cream? it`s inedible!”
What happens when a fly falls into a coffee cup?
The Italian – throws the cup and walks away in a fit of rage.
The Frenchman – takes out the fly, and drinks the coffee.
The Chinese – eats the fly and throws away the coffee. The Russian – drinks the coffee with the fly, since it was extra with no charge.
The Israeli – sells the coffee to the Frenchman, the fly to the Chinese, buys himself a new cup of coffee and uses the extra money to invent a device that prevents flies from falling into coffee.
The Palestinian – blames the Israeli for the fly falling in his coffee, protests the act of aggression to the UN, takes a loan from the European Union to buy a new cup of coffee, uses the money to purchase explosives and then blows up the coffee house where the Italian, the Frenchman, the Chinaman, and the Russian are all trying to explain to the Israeli that he should give away his cup of coffee to the Palestinian.
Yeshiva University decided to field a rowing team.
Unfortunately, they lost race after race.
They practiced and practiced for hours every day, but never managed to come in any better than dead last.
Finally, the Rosh Yeshiva decided to send Yankel to spy on the championship Harvard team.
So Yankel shlepped to Cambridge, hid in the bushes by the Charles River, and watched the Harvard team as they practiced.
After two weeks Yankel returned to Yeshiva.
“I have figured out their secret,” he announced.
“What? Tell us what,” they all wanted to know.
“We’ve been doing it all exactly backwards! On their team, one guy shouts and the other eight guys row!”
A guy buys a new Lamborghini sportscar and goes to his Orthodox
rabbi to ask him to bless a mezuzah for the car.
“What is a Lamborghini?” asks the rabbi and when the guy explains, the rabbi says “No way am I
blessing a mezuzah for such an extravagance!”
So the guy finds a Conservative rabbi and makes the same request. “What is a Lamborghini?”
the rabbi asks and hearing the explanation, also refuses to give his blessing.
So finally the guy goes to a Reform rabbi with his request.
“Sure!” says the rabbi, “but what’s a mezuzah?”
Billy Graham went to see the pope in Rome.
As he was waiting in the
anteroom, Billy noiticed a red phone.
As he was ushered in to talk to His
Holiness, he asked, “What’s the red phone for?”
“That’s to talk to God,” came the reply.
“Really!” Reverend Graham gasped. “How much is that call?”
“Well, it’s $20,000 a minute, but well worth it!” answered the pope. A while later, Mr. Graham went to see the chief rabbi in Jerusalem. He noticed that he, too, had a red phone.
“I don’t suppose,” inquired a startled Billy Graham,”that this phone is to talk to God?”
“Yes, it is!”came the reply.
“And how much does that cost?” he inquired.
“Why, it’s twenty cents a minute,” shrugged the chief rabbi.
“How come so cheap?” Billy asked. “The pope has a phone like that and it costs $20,000 a
“Well,” grinned the chief rabbi, “From here it’s a LOCAL call!”
A dying man called in a rabbi and a priest and tells them he is giving each 1 million dollars but they have to put the money in his grave.
Two weeks later the man dies, and at the funeral each one puts in the grave a bag with their million dollars.
After the funeral the priest tells the Rabbi; “you know I have to be honest I only put in $900,000 and kept $100,000 for myself.”
The Rabbi responds; “how could you break your promise?”
The priest responds; “you mean to tell me you put in all the money?”
The Rabbi responds; “yep I wrote a check for every last penny and put it in the grave!!!!!”
A Priest and a Rabbi were talking one day.
And the conversation eventually turned as it always did, to the Rabbi’s Piety.
The Priest kept on urging him,”Come on Rabbi, this is the 21st century. Why don’t you lighten up? When are you going to break down and have a ham sandwich?”
The Rabbi looked at him at length and replied,”At your wedding, Father. At your wedding!”
The Priest meets his friend, the Rabbi, and says to him “You have taught me many things but there is one thing in particular I want to learn very much but you do not wish to teach it to me. I want you to teach me the Talmud.”
The Rabbi replied: “You are a Non-Jew and you have the brain of a Non-Jew. There is no chance that you will succeed in understanding the Talmud.”
But the Priest continued in his attempt to persuade the Rabbi to teach him the Talmud.
Finally, the Rabbi agreed. The Rabbi then said to the Priest: “I agree to teach you the Talmud on condition that you answer one question.”
The Priest agreed and asked the Rabbi “What is the Question?”
The Rabbi then said to the Priest: “Two men fall down through the chimney. One comes out dirty and the other comes out clean. Who of those two goes to wash up.”
“Very Simple,” replied the Priest.
“The one who is dirty goes to wash up but the one who is clean does not go to wash up.”
The Rabbi then said to the Priest: “I told you that you will not succeed in understanding the Talmud. The exact opposite happened. The clean one looks at the dirty one and thinks that he is also dirty, goes to wash up. The dirty one, on the other hand, looks at the clean one and thinks that he is also clean and, therefore, does not go to wash up.”
The Priest then says to the Rabbi: “This I did not think of. Ask me, please, another question.”
The Rabbi then says to the Priest: “Two men fall down through the chimney. One comes out dirty and the other comes out clean. Who of these two goes to wash up?”
The Priest then says to the Rabbi: “Very simple. The clean one looks at the dirty one and thinks he is also dirty and goes to wash up. The dirty one, on the other hand, looks at the clean one and thinks that he is also clean and, therefore, does not go to wash up.”
The Rabbi then says to the Priest: “You are wrong again. I told you that you will not understand. The clean one looks into the mirror, sees that he is clean and, therefore, does not go to wash up. The dirty one looks into the mirror, sees that he is dirty and goes to wash up.”
The Priest complains to the Rabbi “But you did not tell me that there is a mirror there.”
The Rabbi then tells the Priest: “I told you. You are a Non-Jew, with your brain you will not succeed in understanding the Talmud. According to the Talmud, you have to think of all the possibilities.”
“Alright,” groaning, said the Priest to the Rabbi. “Let us try once more. Ask me one more question.”
For the last time, said the Rabbi to the Priest. “Two men fall through the chimney. One came out dirty and the other came out clean. Who of these two went to wash up?”
“That is very simple!” replied the Priest. “If there is no mirror there the clean one will look at the dirty one and will! think that he is also dirty and will, therefore, go to wash up. The dirty one will look at the clean one and will think that he is also clean, and will, therefore, not go to wash up. If there is a mirror there, the clean one will look into the mirror and will, therefore, not go to wash up. The dirty one will look into the mirror and will see that he is dirty and will, therefore go to wash up.”
The Rabbi then says to the Priest: “I told that you will not succeed in understanding. You are a Non-Jew, you have a Non-Jewish Brain. Tell me, how is it possible for two men to fall through a chimney and for one to come out dirty and for the other to come out clean?”
A Jewish man converts to Catholicism, but he still likes his chicken on Friday nights. His priest comes over for dinner, and is surprised that the man is eating chicken instead of fish. The priest asks him about this, and the man asks,”Do you have any holy water with you?”
“Why do you ask, my son?” says the priest.
“Well, you sprinkled it on my head, and that made me a Catholic. So sprinkle some on my chicken and it’ll be a fish.”
An archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert in Israel and came upon a casket containing a mummy, a rather rare occurance in Israel, to say the least.
After examining it, he called the curator of the Israel museum in Jerusalem.
“I’ve just discovered a 3,000 year old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!” the excited scientist exclaimed.
To which the curator replied, “Bring him in. We’ll check it out.”
A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. “You were right about both the mummy’s age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?”
“Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, ‘10,000 Shekels on Goliath’.”
You tell a joke to a peasant and he laughs three times: when you tell it; when you explain it; and when he understands it.
A landowner laughs only twice: when he hears the joke and when you explain it. For he can never understand it.
I have organized a list of Tehillim, based on everyone’s postings. I have tried, where possible, to make each person’s allotment small and therefore manageable.
11-15 John Doe
16-20 Jolly Rancher
21-25 Shticky Guy
31-35 Ms. Critique
46-51 ursula momish
76-79 A mamin
91-95 I can only try
96-100 sof davar
111-115 camp fun
136-140 YW Moderator
Goslar (Lower Saxony)
Same gender arrangements between men are immoral. The Talmud says that this is one of the crimes for which the Great Flood was visited upon the world. Thus, G-d expects gentiles to have that much understanding. And if they have created a decadent society that can intellectually argue for the beauty and morality of such relationships, that is mankind’s failing. They were not created that way.
Same gender arrangements between women though, cannot be considered immoral. There is not even a clear Issur for Jews to engage in this practice. The Talmud deems it disgusting and shameful but the courts are not empowered to enforce their separation. Although this clearly demonstrates our duty to shun such behaviour, it can be argued that something that is merely shameful and disgusting for a Jew, without minimizing its gravity, may be acceptable for gentiles.March 24, 2011 7:13 am at 7:13 am in reply to: Bochrim Spray-Paint Over ‘Not Tzniyus’ Advertisement #759815
I would like to tell a story of my own experience in this topic.
I used to pass a certain Jewish institution daily which had a Shiite school for a neighbor. It seems the Jewish institution had rented some space at the edge of its property to a billboard company. At first, the ads were decent. However, as time progressed, the ads became indecent. I called up the billboard company and spoke to the owner, a Conservative Jew. I explained how harmful the ads were to the viewing public and the additional Chilul Hashem that was being produced by the impression that the Jewish institution, a Yeshiva, was giving that such indecent exposure was okay. He didn’t understand my concerns and refused to change the ads. The Yeshiva couldn’t help me because the contract, unfortunately, did not contain any clauses about ad content.
So I called up the Shiite School. I spoke to the pricipal, Sheikh something-or-other, about the problem and asked him if it concerned him. (At the time, they were in the middle of building a mosque on their premises.) He commiserated with me that the billboard was in full view of his office window and pained him greatly. I advised him to call the billboard company and maybe he could succeed where I had failed.
The very next day, the ad was changed and never showed an indecnt poster again. After several weeks, I was curious, so I called up the Sheikh and asked him what he said to the billboard owner. He told me that after the owner refused to change the ad, he told the owner that if the billboard wasn’t changed within 24 hours, he, the Sheikh, would have it burned down. So, that produced results because the threat was believed. I thanked the Sheikh and shared with him the blessing that we, the Jews and the Shiites, could cooperate further in the future on similar interests. What I didn’t know at the time was that the Rosh Yeshiva, on his early morning walks, would meet the Sheikh daily on the street and have mutual discussions about morality and ethics.
Now, America also has enough Muslims. Why can the Jews not take advantage of their common sentiments and get them to do our dirty work?
The Maharil (Responsa, siman 95) relies on the Rosh that our Mesorah is better than that of others and the Mesorah of others is to be rejected in the face of our own.
Rav Chaim ben Betzalel, the brother of the Maharal, states (in his introduction to Vikuach Mayim Chaim) that even the rulings of the Ramo, representing Minhagei Polin, do not obligate the Bnei Ashkenaz as they have guarded their Minhagim carefully.
On the Aron HaKodesh of Worms was etched the pasuk (M’lachim 1, 19:4) “I am not better than my forefathers”, to serve as a warning not to change the Minhagim by an iota.
The Chavas Yair (M’kor Chaim 66:9) said that Bnei Ashkenaz are healthy like oxen from distortions and ruin in their Minhagim.
The Korban N’sanel (Responsa siman 5) wrote that Minhagei Ashkenaz are based on golden foundations and are better than Minhagei Polin. The great Rabbanim who spread Torah in Yisroel, like the Maharil and Mahariv, set for all generations all the stringencies and Minhagim which we Bnei Ashkenaz are bidden to follow.
Rav Yonasan Eibeschutz (Kreisi Upleisi siman 35) states that the Torah was passed on to the sages of Ashkenaz and what do we know that they knew not?
Hello99 posted the following:
“2) Even if the community in Germany did predate the other European communities, there is no proof or logical reason to assume that Frankfort or any of the other German cities preserved the original minhagim more accurately then the communities that migrated to Central and Eastern Europe. Why should we assume everyone who moved to Poland and Lithuania wantonly chucked all their traditions overboard even before Chassidus and all those who remained in Germany faithfully preserved the “authentic” traditions without deviating by a hairsbreadth? And we see that each city in Germany had it’s own minhagim, how do you know if Frankfort, Hamburg etc is the “true” tradition?”
I suggest that anyone who wishes to get a true appreciation of the authenticity, validity, and authority of Minhag Ashkenaz, to review the Sefer ????? ?????? ?? ???? ?????, published by ???? ????? ?????. This will give a much more comprehensive impression than the few comments that I can make on this forum. If the Sefer is unavailable or unobtainable, I will endeavour to obtain a copy for Hello99 if he is interested.
Could Hello99 elaborate on this question?
“4) Why would the Magen Avraham, who is probably the foremost authoritative sefer on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, have written all the things he did just for the fun of it?”
I do not understand what promted this derisive comment?
Hello99 considers this the first of his main arguments:
“1) You have not mentioned a single name of a Rishon born in Germany before Rashi and the Baalei Tosafos, who were in France, to support your assumption that the community and Yeshivos in Germany preceded them.”
One of my acquaintances is presently working on a Memorbuch for Ashkenazic Jewry. That is, a Memorial book for all the communities in Ashkenaz that suffered persecution since the beginning of the settlement in Mainz until now. This work will also include, where available, a list of every rabbinic personality since Rabbeinu Moshe HaZakein ben Kalonymus of Lucca (who was brought to restart the Ashkenaz settlement in Mainz) until the present day.
Although this is hardly a comprehensive list, I will assemble a list of the Rabbinic personalities that preceded Rashi.
Rashi passed away in 4865, nine years after the massacres of the 1st Crusade.
Rashi learned by three great Rabbanim in Germany: Rabbeinu Yaakov ben Yakar (Worms), Rabbeinu Yitzchak ben Elazar HaLevi (Worms), and Rabbeinu Yitzchak ben Yehudah (Mainz).
These three Rabbanim all learned by the famous Rabbeinu Gershom ben Yehudah of Mainz. Rashi also learned by Rabbeinu Eliezer HaGadol ben Yitzchak of Worms and Mainz.
Rabbeinu Eliezer HaGadol ben Yitzchak learned by his relative Rabbeinu Shimon HaGadol ben Yitzchak, Rabbeinu Gershom ben Yehudah, and Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Meir HaKohen; all of whom were in Mainz.
Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Meir HaKohen himself was a disciple of Rabbeinu Gershom ben Yehudah.
Rabbeinu Shimon HaGadol ben Yitzchak is most famous for his Selichos and Krovos which are an integral part of our liturgy for the Yamim Noraim.
Rabbeinu Gershom ben Yehudah learned by Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Meir HaKohen HaZakein Leontin. He lived in the days of Rabbana Amnon (the author of Unesaneh Tokef), himself from Mainz.
Rabbeinu Shimon HaGadol’s grandfather was called Rabbeinu Abun HaGadol, and he was from Mainz as well.
This all points to well-established Torah academies in Germany, way before Rashi. If you can do the same for France, I would like to see the list.