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  • in reply to: Should Wedding gowns for the extended family be discontinued? #1775505

    rational
    Participant

    “Unless some sort of rabbinic directive is given it will be too embarrassing for people to stop getting gowns. It’s become too much of a given at every chasunah.”

    Thank you for this post, the issue is clear to me now. This custom is simply a result of social pressure started by the monied who need to flaunt their wealth. It is against everything taught in the Torah world, as it glorifies materialism for materialism’s sake. And everyone is embarrassed into complying. How Jewish.

    In Israel, this unbecoming custom is unheard of. One will not see it among the yeshivish, chassidish or dati leumi. Only in America, the land of chitzonius.

    in reply to: Yeshiva Learning Styles #1775508

    rational
    Participant

    No criticism intended. I am amused that one can write a long paragraph on learning styles today without using the word “Brisk”. Go figure.

    in reply to: Elon Musk’s Shabbos Car #1772575

    rational
    Participant

    David Y, well done.
    They were called the Karaites, and they still exist

    in reply to: Why Is “Tu B’Av” such a Yom Tov???? #1771460

    rational
    Participant

    It is a Mishnah in Masechet Ta’anit, Perek 4, Mishnah 8

    אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל: לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה-עשר באב וכיום הכיפורים, שבהן בני ירושלם יוצאין בכלי לבן שא[ו]לים, שלא לבייש את מי שאין לו – כל הכלים טעונים טבילה – ובנות ירושלם יוצאות וחולות בכרמים. ומה היו אומרות: שא נא עיניך, בחור, וראה מה את בורר לך; אל תתן עיניך בנוי תן עיניך במשפחה

    in reply to: Eating Fish #1770313

    rational
    Participant

    Read the thread again, it’s easy to spot

    in reply to: Why Give Garlic Cloves at a Pidyon HaBen? #1769560

    rational
    Participant

    The list of segulahs is massive, seemingly endless. Most of them are intended to assist in providing children (including all necessary preparations leading up to it), health and financial prosperity (בני, חיי ומזוני) There are books filled with segulahs that are easily purchased. Some people believe in them , some less, some live by them and some completely avoid them.

    in reply to: Eating Fish #1769559

    rational
    Participant

    Swordfish were eaten by Jews in the Mediterranean countries for over 350 years. In the early 1900s they were also eaten in the U.S. In the early 1950s a prominent U.S. Rabbi paskened they were forbidden, and much controversy ensued.
    Partly because the Conservative movement approved the fish, the Orthodox vehemently opposed it. This psak l’chumra was never accepted in Israel, yet as time passed fewer restaurants and stores were willing to sell it, and one cannot find it here anymore. Its scarcity contributes to the general feeling that it is tzu pas nisht. However, one can find yesteryear poskim who approved it.

    In answer to LightBrite’s question, yes, there are a few well-known and some not well-known experts on this subject. When a company or individual wants to market a new fish or four-legged animal, the question goes to the experts at the OU, the Edah Chareidis, the Chief Rabbinate in Israel and Orthodox academic authorities to discuss the issue. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they do not. The aim is to achieve a consensus opinion one way or the other, cooperation which is good for klal yisrael.

    All of the information above can easily be found online. I have access to one of the experts on these issues, so I have heard much of it from him.

    I suggest avoiding attacking Rav Hershel Schachter, one of the truly great Torah scholars and poskim of our generation. It reflects very poorly on the attacker and displays great ignorance. When asked a question in learning or psak, Rav Schachter answers with full intellectual honesty. OU public policy and corporate considerations will not enter a personal discussion with him, and anyway, are governed by different rules.

    in reply to: What’s The Difference bw Agudah & The OU? #1769592

    rational
    Participant

    The Agudas Yisrael political party is an integral part of the management of the Zionist State called Israel. There are Agudah Ministers and Vice-Ministers, mayors and city councilman, attorneys and accountants who work for and mange Affairs of State. It is most fitting that it’s American counterpart Agudas Yisrael of America fight for Zionism.

    in reply to: Why Give Garlic Cloves at a Pidyon HaBen? #1768812

    rational
    Participant

    There is a kabalah (Rabi Tzadok Hacohen) that eating from a seudat pidyon haben is equivalent to fasting 84 days, which is a segulah for atonement (kaparat avonot, Rav Chaim Vital). The remez is פדיום = פ”ד יום. In order to partake in the seudah and reap the benefits, it is enough to eat even a slight amount of food, provided the food has a noticeable taste. Since garlic and sugar have distinct tastes, there is a minhag to hand out garlic and sugar at a pidyon. That way a large number of people can benefit at a very small cost.

    in reply to: Which famous people have you met? #1767460

    rational
    Participant

    These are the “famous” people with whom I have had one-on-one meetings or discussions and only in private, never in public. Some meetings were for up to an hour, and many I met with more than once, all one-on-one:

    In alphabetical order, lest anyone be offended:

    Rav Ben Zion Abba Shaul
    Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach
    Rav Yosef Elyashiv
    Rav Shneur Kotler
    Rav Yitzchak Ruderman
    Rav Eliezer Menachem Man Schach
    Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik
    Rav Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss (the Minchas Yitzchak)
    Rav Eliezer Waldenberg (the Tzitz Eliezer)

    in reply to: ADHD is EXTREMELY underated #1766300

    rational
    Participant

    “ADHD is commonly diagnosed so that schools will receive state special education funds.”

    So too in Israel, particularly in Chareidi schools.

    in reply to: Why is Yad Soledes Bo so Cold? #1765955

    rational
    Participant

    Indeed, Rw Shlomo Zalman zt”l held that it was 45 degrees Celsius.

    Machon Tzomet manufactures their Shabbat devices with this psak in mind, and because of the nature of thermostats, allows for a small error. Therefore, they set their products at a maximum of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees F).

    I’ll add that the halachah does not say אצבע סולדת בות but rather יד סולדת בו , indicating that any part of the hand that would recoil is considered too hot. Essentially, this criteria determines an upper limit. Once the hand recoils, it’s already too hot, so it’s best to be cautious and set the temperature less than the limit.

    One more thing. One cannot compare air temperature to being immersed in water. A human can survive very hot or very cold air temperatures, but not water. At a water temperature of 50-60 degree F, one can lose consciousness within a few hours. On the warmer side of the scale, cells start to die at a water temperature of 106 F.

    in reply to: The wrong impression #1765002

    rational
    Participant

    I wasn’t there, but maybe the gentile cut the line, and so the chossid yelled at him. That would be his right.
    The fact that his child was littering is irrelevant. Try stopping your kids from throwing their empty bag of pretzels on the ground. Good luck. Make them pick it up, yes.
    I’m not sure what is so dramatic here

    in reply to: Can a frum Jew go on birthright? #1763400

    rational
    Participant

    Is a frum yid allowed to go on birthright?
    Of course he is, but he’ll be uncomfortable, out of place, and will wish he hadn’t.
    Permitted, yes. Recommended? Very much no.

    in reply to: What are any issues with serving a role in Conservative Shule? #1763394

    rational
    Participant

    The Conservative movement has been on the wane for decades. Just like the period when Shuls were taking over abandoned churches, it makes sense for Orthodox minyanim to use Conservative shul property (basement, social hall, etc…) for Orthodox minyanim, and eventually buy out the building itself, creating a new Orthodox shul. For this purpose, the edict not to enter a Conservative (or Reform, for that matter) shul is irrelevant and certainly does not apply. To claim that by doing this the Orthodox contingent would be tempted to join the Conservative movement is laughable.
    I see here that this process is actually happening in certain communities, and it is perfectly acceptable.

    On another level, attending a celebratory event in a social hall of a Conservative shul does not in any way lend legitimacy to the Conservative Movement.

    in reply to: What are any issues with serving a role in Conservative Shule? #1762405

    rational
    Participant

    The poskim who forbid entering a Conservative shul do so because they were raised in the period where Conservative Jewry was considered a threat to Orthodoxy. Since that is no longer the case, it should not surprise anyone that this once forbidden act is viewed today with greater leniency.

    in reply to: What’ is a “Person of Color”? #1762251

    rational
    Participant

    white is not a pure color
    but then again, neither is black or tan or brown.

    in reply to: What’ is a “Person of Color”? #1762249

    rational
    Participant

    white is not a color
    but then again, neither is black or tan or brown.

    in reply to: What’ is a “Person of Color”? #1762247

    rational
    Participant

    white is not a color

    in reply to: restaurant on first date??? #1761575

    rational
    Participant

    I hope the assistant teaching job you have is in lumidei kodesh, and I hope your parents are very wealthy.
    Otherwise, your English skills are so poor that I doubt that you would be able to support a learning boy for very long.

    in reply to: No mechitza? #1761554

    rational
    Participant

    I empathize with this father and his emotions, but unfortunately, he did knock the Orthodox system.
    It would have been more appropriate to point out that one can be just as proud even if one sits in a different section.

    L’havdil, was a certain person any less proud of her spouse Mr. T.B. when he won the Super Bowl even though this person was not physically in the huddle with him? There’s time afterwards for celebrating together. In shul, as on the playing field, play by the rules which have stood the test of time.

    in reply to: restaurant on first date??? #1761404

    rational
    Participant

    I don’t think you are mature enough to get married

    in reply to: Should we be medicating our kids? #1756252

    rational
    Participant

    It’s interesting that the yeshivishe veldt has almost seamlessly adopted the modern/haskalah/gentile system of education with formal schooling, large classes, tests , grades, and an uncompromising need to “maximize the child’s success in school.” This capitulation to modern Western society norms is most surely not what the Torah had in mind. But it is what it is, the haskalah movement has won this battle hands down.

    The result is that we are now chasing this non-Jewish ideal by way of turning our children into drug dependents. Maybe a re-evaluation of the entire system is in order.


    rational
    Participant

    The obvious solution is to notify the company, wait till they respond appropriately (or not), and only then to evaluate the product and service.

    in reply to: Star-K Article about Electric Shavers #1753977

    rational
    Participant

    If there were a halachic concept of צורה של איסור, it would be found in shas and rishonim. It is most likely a hashkafic concept created by one side in the Great Hashkafah War we are now engaged in.

    It is obvious that the whole beard issue is only pseudo-halachic. It is actually a hashkafah issue. It is chassidim vs. misnagdim, mesorah vs. haskalah, American vs. European, zionist vs. anti-zionist and all of them together. The coffee room is just one of the battlegrounds, albeit not a level one.

    in reply to: learning from an artscroll #1753597

    rational
    Participant

    I am going to violate my rule of not responding on a personal level, as I have deep respect and admiration for the Wolf.

    Dear Wolf,
    With the utmost respect, I maintain that you are the exception who proves the rule. I don’t doubt there are many like you. However, I have seen many daf yomis, individual learners, group learners, possibly hundreds of them. All good and even pious people. The vast majority have a solid yeshiva education from first grade through the great litvishe roshei yeshiva. Almost (not all, but almost all) have slowly or quickly took the lazy road to advance in a given mesechta.
    The varied interpretations of the gemara, the rashis, the tosfot, and the rishonim are passed through the fine artscroll filter. The giver of the daf yomi barely prepares, what for? It’s all explained and can be given over on the fly. When I see a person learning from an artscroll gemara, he is almost surely not even looking at the side of the tzurat hadaf. These have been my observations since the first editions came out, and it has become ever prevalent.

    So, I apologize if I offended you, it was unintentional. But for the generation that grew up without it, the artscroll has been the Waze of learning. One need not know where one is, one just needs to follow the prescribed instructions. I am of the opinion that on the grand scale, serious Torah learning has suffered as a result.

    in reply to: Star-K Article about Electric Shavers #1753496

    rational
    Participant

    I would appreciate an answer to this question:

    I have been told by a born and bred and bona fide Lakewood talmid chochom, that the local minhag is that a bochur stays clean-shaven with an (approved) electric shaver, but after he marries, he grows a beard. Is this true?

    in reply to: learning from an artscroll #1753327

    rational
    Participant

    The Artscroll Talmud has entered almost every frum home and is used by almost everyone. The result is a deterioration in the quality and depth of understanding in all areas of Torah study, from Mishna and Gemara, through Poskim and Shutim. I doubt there is a way back.

    in reply to: Star-K Article about Electric Shavers #1752011

    rational
    Participant

    One can tell when a prepared list easily found on the (more assur than shaving) internet is used in an argument. Some of the names are misspelled, and most have identical hashkafos, making it easy to compile long and impressive lists that carry little if any weight and convince no one.

    One may just as well find the list of Neturei Karta Rabbonim or other group, all pious and God-fearing individuals to forbid voting in elections. Or to forbid human hair sheitels, or the use of shabbos clocks, or opening the refrigerator on Shabbos or davening without a gartel, or putting laces in shoes, and the list goes on.

    This method of persuasion is ineffective and irrational. It is appropriate for early adolescence. Except that even early adolescents should know never to dare utter any word that taints the great and holy Reb Moshe zt”l. Afra L’pumei.


    rational
    Participant

    “What if having less women on the Shidduch market would narrow the dating pool”

    Please read what you write before posting.
    This suggestion or even thought is outrageous.

    The Jewish people survive because men marry women and the women bear children. Any deviation from this basic tenet is dangerous to the continuity of the Jewish people. Everything else is secondary.

    in reply to: Kosher Restaurant Review Lashon Harah #1749250

    rational
    Participant

    Almost all mehadrin restaurants here in Israel have websites and customer reviews. Most customers give good or excellent reviews , not all. The owner provides this website and is most interested in all reviews. The good ones that develop his clientele, and the bad ones so he can improve his product and service. This system is universally accepted and used, and loshon hara in this system has never been an issue. Yes. the halachah is always the halachah, period. This system, agreed upon and accepted by all, does not contravene any halachah. But incorrect interpretations of the halachah of loshon hara can damage both the consumer and provider, and that would be against halachah , and more than one at that.

    Shabbat Shalom from Eretz Hakodesh

    in reply to: Kosher Restaurant Review Lashon Harah #1749214

    rational
    Participant

    Ohevet Yisroel is absolutely right, I’ll just add something.
    Restaurant owners need exposure for their businesses to succeed, word of mouth is not enough anymore. Most places are pleasant enough and many are wonderful places to dine. The good owner wants to be graded on his restaurant because he puts effort into it and knows people will like it and recommend it to others.

    Let the public have its’ say, and everyone will benefit. The fear of loshon hara here is a lose-lose situation. The customer loses because he doesn’t know the place is good, and the business owner doesn’t get to publicize that objective customer like his place.

    in reply to: Mental Health and Judaism #1747942

    rational
    Participant

    Gee whiz, if the outcome of shteiging in yeshiva in America is that the boys are fully emotionally equipped to kill, I suggest closing all the yeshivas. I cannot speak for the esteemed PuhLease, but I suggest he ignore the comments of those who have little to no knowledge of psychology, including the comment to which I am referring.

    in reply to: Why are Jewish kids books so expensive? #1747904

    rational
    Participant

    If they are not worth the money, don’t buy them.

    in reply to: Holding hands after a Chuppah #1745539

    rational
    Participant

    It makes sense to avoid holding hands in public so as not to indicate whether a woman is a niddah or not. However, that is applicable to everyday life and not to a wedding. At a wedding the opposite is true. Most , if not all couples try to avoid a chuppas niddah and the assumption is that the kallah is never a niddah. If the choson does not hold her hand, the onlookers (and everyone is looking) may assume she is a niddah. Is that what we want? No, we want the opposite. So, hold her hand, it’s normal and desirable on all accounts.

    In addition, a couple where the woman is in her fifties or older can never be in a state of niddah. Therefore, there should be no issue with an elderly couple holding hands in public. Besides, any male who is thinking about whether any woman of any age is a niddah or not needs psychological help.

    in reply to: Siyum Hashas – Inclement Weather – What Happens? #1745312

    rational
    Participant

    If HKBH sends a blizzard, then the party was not meant to be.

    in reply to: Yiddish at Siyum hashas #1744872

    rational
    Participant

    It is very sad that the American Frum Community (or a very large percentage of it) speaks only English, a language foreign to yiddishkeit, and their (not there) English is poor to boot. A Jew should be fluent in modern Hebrew , spoken by ALL frum Jews in EY, including Neturei Karta, Briskers, and Chassidim.
    In addition, a Jew should be fluent in Yiddish, the spoken language of Ashkenazic Jewry for hundreds of years, and a wonderful facilitator of bonding. I myself greatly regret not having learned Yiddish.
    But Yiddish at the Siyum Hashas? I’m all for it.

    in reply to: SCAM ALERT: All Travellers To Israel Beware #1743778

    rational
    Participant

    It’s virtually impossible to enter Arab towns by mistake. In Yehudah V’shomron, there are very clear signs indicating forbidden entry to these towns, and there are usually soldiers and/or blockades that will prevent it. Besides, Waze is excellent here, follow waze and you will be fine.

    in reply to: R” Yoel Roths free chasunas #1743219

    rational
    Participant

    I agree with almost everything written here, but I venture that almost none of you commenters have actually paid for a child’s wedding.
    Let me inform you that you are low man on the totem pole. You have hopefully a wife, a chosson and kallah, a mechutan and the dreaded machateinister . The sum you do not want to spend is of no consequence, you are not the boss. Get that into your head. The decisions have been made long before the couple has met, and you did not make them. Wedding in the living room, no band, no fancy shtreimel or sheitel or gold watch, well, good luck. I am rooting for you, believe me.

    A few of you (be in the appropriate chassidus) may even be successful in changing society and human nature. But most of you will bite the bullet and wonder where you went wrong. You didn’t go wrong, you were in the right. But life is a bit stronger than your pure intentions. As the saying goes, “Father of chosson or kallah? Keep your mouth shut and your checkbook open”.

    This Rav who managed to pull it all off for a paltry sum needs to be regarded as no less than a hero. Spread his message far and wide. Then try it on your son-in-law tachshit who just spent two years in Brisk tilting his hat “just right” while polishing off his astronomical market value. I’d love to see you, I know how to treat a black eye.

    in reply to: Is Israel part of galus? #1743207

    rational
    Participant

    One can choose to view the establishment of a Jewish State as a positive and desirable expression of God’s will to help His people return to their Homeland. It is a gift to embrace and cherish. The Mechanism and Process that He used to enact this return to Eretz Hakodesh and what comes next was and is for Him to decide. I choose this view.

    Alternatively, one can view the establishment of the Jewish State as a condemnation or punishment by God. He loosened the restraints of the Sitra Achra, the cosmic force of evil, as a result of our betrayal of Him. Who betrayed Him? The Enlightened, the Reformists, the Zionists, the Yiddishists, the Communists, and more. We are destined to suffer from this terrible and painful long-lasting debacle until the Moshiach reveals himself, bem’herah v’yameinu.

    Unless of course we win the Yeshiva Lottery and get two free tickets on United (El-Al? shumu shamayim) to enjoy all the beautiful and holy (sic) sites in Palestine, maybe even visit our nephew in Brisk. Then we just ignore those evil forces and have a great time at Ein Gedi and the Banyas. And once we’re here, we’ll chap some Geulah (ironic name, no?) chulent on Thursday night and grab a black & white at the Brooklyn Bakery. Ahh, the pleasures of pure golus. A m’chayeh. Don’t miss the Koisel Tunnels.

    in reply to: Holding hands after a Chuppah #1743087

    rational
    Participant

    Meshicha? Ouch, might as well try hagbahah . The first mishna in Kiddushin may be a nice place to start studying the kinyanim that apply to marriage

    in reply to: Holding hands after a Chuppah #1742787

    rational
    Participant

    In a Chuppah d’ Main, they would walk arm in arm in the morning before the formal wedding took place

    in reply to: Specialized Rabbis #1742430

    rational
    Participant

    If we are are moving towards (or have been there for some time) super-specialized rabbinics, maybe the standard semicha יורה יורה באיסור והיתר should be replaced. There can be מתרץ קושיות רע”א אבל אין לי מושג בפסולי ס”ת , or the like.
    It’s very honest when a Rosh Yeshiva doesn’t consider himself a posek, but it’s not a good policy. I wonder how many would be willing to accept a person who says “I’m a Rav. I’m not a lamdan or posek, I don’t know whether we say Av Harachamim today, and I don’t even read Hebrew, but I don’t need to. I specialize in hashgachas for frum cruise-ship voyages”. Slippery slope.

    in reply to: Pilpul vs. Halacha #1742435

    rational
    Participant

    Dear YO,
    I respect your views, but this OP is for high school kids at best. Go help your wife make Shabbat, your time will be better spent. That’s where I’m going now.

    in reply to: Are you makpid on ע ? #1741571

    rational
    Participant

    Akuperma is right, except that literary Hebrew never died, but spoken Hebrew did. (a trivial point, it is pronunciation).
    I’ll add to Akuperma’s list the letters that Ashkenazim pronounce differently than North Africans and Middle Easterners.
    The Gimel, Vav, Tet, Samech, Tzadi (k), Kuf, Resh, Sin, and Tav.
    So the OP’s question is misleading, it’s not only the Ayin.

    in reply to: Shopping before Shabbos #1740241

    rational
    Participant

    if the price is too high, don’t buy

    in reply to: Hechsherim in Israel #1740120

    rational
    Participant

    “…thinly veiled argument that everyone should just be super meikel and eat borderline treif ”

    OU, Rabbanut, Triangle K, and maybe other hechsherim that I missed being mentioned going around the CR block a few times are apparently the reference point in this statement.

    Implying that any one of these hechsherim is borderline treif is quite a heavy accusation, and seriously weakens the argument. If one wants to be taken seriously, it’s best to stick to verifiable facts and avoid the hyperbole.

    in reply to: Unacceptable Grammar #1739851

    rational
    Participant

    “against can have the meaning in comparison to. They are on opposite sides being matched up with each other.”

    Precisely. The two are “not the same”.They are being compared, meaning there are distinctions and differences between them that are being noted. That is in contradiction to what is meant by “seudah shlishit is k’neged spiritual attributes of shabbat”

    In order to understand the use of “against” in this context, one must first translate it back into the Hebrew k’neged, and then switch to the medrashic use of the word instead of its more direct meaning. Convoluted.

    I’m signing off.
    Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach from Israel the Zionist Jewish State.
    Gut Shabbes and Gut Yuntiff from Eretz Yisroel.

    in reply to: Unacceptable Grammar #1739849

    rational
    Participant

    I looked it up in the dictionary and below is what I found. I am aware that the Hebrew k”neged can be used as “in opposition to” and in lashon chachamim as intending “corresponding to” as in “k”neged arba’ah banim”, which obviously does not mean “adverse to”.
    That was my objection to the translation of k’neged as “against”. I do not see in the definition below any mention of the word “against” as “corresponding to”, as all the descriptions are along the lines of “in opposition to, adverse to”, that is, a negative connotation. The third seudah on Shabbat is definitely not negatively disposed to or “against” any kabbalistic or Jewish concept.

    I do accept the explanation above that it is a translation from Yiddish. I am not interested in criticizing perverted translations from Yiddish to English, except to say they are incomprehensible to someone who grew up speaking American English.

    a·gainst
    /əˈɡenst/
    Learn to pronounce
    preposition
    1.
    in opposition to.
    “the fight against crime”
    synonyms: opposed to, in opposition to, hostile to, averse to, antagonistic toward, inimical to, unsympathetic to, resistant to, at odds with, in disagreement with, contra; More
    2.
    in anticipation of and preparation for (a problem or difficulty).
    “insurance against sickness and unemployment”
    synonyms: in case of, in/as provision for, in preparation for, in anticipation of, in expectation of
    “it is advisable to insure all oriental rugs against theft”

    in reply to: Unacceptable Grammar #1739688

    rational
    Participant

    “There are three tefilos which the Tur explains is against three shabosos,”

    Ouch. K’neged does not mean “against”. Translating to imply the opposite of the intent makes the sentence incomprehensible. K’neged means parallel to or representative of. Not “against”. No offense.

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