Forum Replies Created
Charlie, While it is true that no religious test is required for the Presidency or any other national office and that, in theory a Wikken or a Zoroastrian could be President, I don’t see how you apply that to the current Office holder. President Obama claims to be a Christian and a Protestant to boot. He has been accused of being a secret Moslem. I am not aware that either of those two persuasions are polytheistic.
Assurnet, a couple of items:
1. You might be arguing against yourself. I think that there is some confusion engendered (no pun intended) by conflating “SSM” with the forbidden act. The forbidden act is one of the arayos, no better or worse than any of the others. Adultery used to be a crime here. Why aren’t we protesting decriminalization?
2. I don’t like the use of the term “Toeivah Marriage”. True, the forbidden act is called “toeivah” but that is not a halachic term. The Torah penalty is the same as that for adultery. Toeivah it is a term the Torah uses to describe an act that is not only assur but repulsive. Note that the Torah also refers to dishonest business practice as “toeiva”. nevertheless, Bernie Madoff is not chayiv skeilah.
3. Civil marriage is not, nor was it ever, about personal relations. It neither sanctions or permits those acts. Civil marriage, same gender or otherwise, is strictly about spousal protections and inheritance. Note that no penalty accrues to couples, SS or otherwise, that live together without benefit of a license. Many among us have established batei ne’eman b’Yisroel without bothering to get a civil marriage license. Being married K’daas Moshe v’Yisroel is sufficient.
4. I’m impressed and pleased that so many of the posters on this thread are not only good Jews but good Americans as well. They understand that the rights, protections, and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution are not needed for thoughts, words and actions we agree with, It’s precisely because that the Constitution guarantees freedom both of and from religion that we Jews enjoy a station in society unique in all of our 2000 year golus (per Berel Wein). Not even in the Golden Age of Spain were Jews so thoroughly accepted and integrated into the fabric of the Nation nor as free from religious discrimination or coercion. The same First Amendment that countenances license and debauchery is also the First amendment that guarantees our mosdos and our lives as ovdei haShem.
I once made a liar simcomment to Dr. Abraham Twerski to the effect that those mosdos and practices that we enjoy in complete freedom are the direct result of what he derisively referred to as the “sacred First Amendment”, and if, to enjoy all this, all we had to put up with was Madonna and a couple of Kalvin Klein commercials, I thought we got a good deal.
Sturgeon’s Law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Halevai, achizas einayim is another way of saying “slight of hand” or “misdirection.”. It was assur because the simple folk of the time could be convinced that it was real magic. Some poskim hold that is still assur today even though almost everyone knows it’s a trick.
“do not take council of your fears.” – George S. Patton Jr.
“When the facts change, I change my mind. What, sir, do you do?” – John Maynard Keynes
“Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” – Barry Goldwater
Optimist: “The glass is half full.”
Pessimist: “The glass is half empty.”
Engineer: “Looks like you have too much glass for amount of water you have.
“”Shidduchim are like parking spaces. All the good ones are taken and the rest are for the handicapped.” (slightly modified for the Coffee Room)
“The higher the altitude the lower the multitude.”
“When I was in Africa, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How it got into my pajamas, I don’t know.” – Groucho Marx.
As was previously mentioned, Orthopraxy isn’t a new phenomenon. No one can tell what’s in a person’s mind and heart. If a fellow is shomer mitzvos, is koveiya itim, is oseik b’tzorchei tzibbur, looks and acts as a Jew, what he believes is nisht dayneh gescheft (to coin a phrase). That’s between him and G-d.
P.S. Read “The Yeshiva” by Chaim Grade about this issue in prewar Lithuania. Original in Yiddish but English translation is available on Amazon.
You cannot imagine how little I care what Sean Hannity does.
Well, it would depend on which version of yemos haMoshiach turns out to be the correct one. If the RAMBAM’s version is correct, as I think it is, I guess I would pretty much do what I’m doing now. Making a living, taking care of my family. Of course, I would be contributing to the new Bedek haBayis, maybe buy memorial plaques for my parents, A”H”. I would also have to become familiar with hilchos kadshim and make arrangements to be oleh regel. Don’t think I’d move to E.Y. Home prices will be though the roof. I guess I can be oleh regel from chutz la’aretez just like they used to do in the old days.
The point is, to me, beyas haMoshiach is real. Not a fairy tale. Not “pie in the sky by and by”. Moshiach is a real person and you and I, real people will be there when becomes, b’meheirah beyameinu.
I don’t like shidduch jokes. I’ve seen to many of them get married.
I, too, have a problem with “yenne maachleh”. Hey, cardiovascular disease kills more people than cancer. Why don’t we call it “yenne maachleh”?
Ah, MDD, MDD. What are we going to do with you? It is certainly possible to be mekayim hating resayim and still avoid judging. Let’s see if you can grasp this concept. All of us, me included, hate reshayim conceptually, but to say that particular person is a rasha? that’s pushing it. The idea of a virtually impossible mitzvah is not so strange. We have a mitzvah to deal with a ben sorer u’moreh. The maskana is that there never was one (although there is a das yachid that there was one). We see that that mitzvah is virtually impossible to be mekayaim, the purpose of which is pedagogical, it isn’t a far stretch to say that hating reshayim without judging any particular individual a rashah serve a similar pedagogical function in teach us to hat rishus.
Now, y’all will probably disagree with the above. That’s okay. When you and I appear before the Beis Din shel Ma’alah, as we both certainly will, I guess we’el find out if I’m right.
Please! I think that there is a common misconception of the psul of gamblers eidus. It is not a psul haguf. It is certainly not k’ilu gezel. The reason clearly implied in the Gemorah is that they are untrustworthy since their testimony can be “bought”, I.E. they chazakah of lying for money. The rayah is that if the baalei din agree to accept the testimony of a gambler or a cowboy, his testimony is accepted. Therefore, if Reb Shmelke goes to Foxwoods once in a while, that would not necessarily passel his testimony in beis din if he was otherwise deemed trustworthy.
There certainly a satanic quality to compulsive gambling but the idea that a visit to AC or a Thursday night poker game will inevitably lead someone to the road to degradation is simply not true.
Why wouldn’t the secularization of Halloween be analogous to passeling an avodas zorah which Gentiles can do? I therefore think that the issue avodas zorah does not apply to the modern observance of Halloween. However, there is still an issue of chukas haGoyim.
Although trick or treating is rare in our communities I think that one should give treats to any kids who do show up mipnei darchei hashalom. It goes, I think, without saying that Jewish children should not participate.
P.S. To all of you want to take me to task for “paskening without a license”, please note the qualifiers, “I think” and “why wouldn’t”.
We await the coming of Moshiach every day, ergo, he must be alive in the world right now as he is in every generation. How else could he come at any minute?
This issue illustrates the difference between theoretical halacha and real psak and the reason that, in serious issues, one should not rely on looking it up in Mishna Berurah or asking a such shailah to your average Rosh haYeshiva. If you have a serious question that involves life and death (real of figurative) as your Kehilah Rav, someone who deals with real people in the real world.October 20, 2013 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm in reply to: Should I be embarrassed about using a use a translated siddur? #981320
You certainly should not be embarrassed. Personally, I find I cannot daven from an interlinear siddur. The pages are way too busy and confusing and it’s hard to concentrate on the davening because one is used to reading English from left to right and in the interlinear you have to read the English backwards. You will eventually learn the meaning of the words.
I have more of a problem with the actual Artscroll translation. I think the old Birmbaum translation was truer to both the meaning and the meter of the tefilos. The Artscroll translation is mostly accurate but too literal. There are a few important mistranslations also. My own pet peeves are 1.) lechayos meisim does not mean “to resuscitate the dead.” Resuscitation is a technical term to restore breathing. The Birbaum translition of “revive the dead” is much better. “Revive” means to “restore to life.” 2.) “Ad-noi Elokeinu” does not mean “God our L-rd”. As it is printed, “YKVK Elokeinu means YKVK our G-d” The term of Adnus means Lord or Master. Therefore, the Traditional translation, “the L-rd our G-d”. is the correct one. I get the feeling that Artscroll just changed the translation to sound “Frummer”.
Based on you narrative, this girl is a constant source of disruption and defiance. Tell me. Is she a new student or has she been in this school since early grades? if she has, has she always been disruptive or is this relatively new behavior? I’m surprised that the school has tolerated her behavior for so long. Would the school suffer loss, either financial or social if this girl were kicked out?
Again, based on you narrative, I don’t think that this girl is acting out because of unanswered hashkafic needs or emotional problems. I still believe that she is behaving so because she can get away with it and has for a while. She is a bully and the more she can make you feel inadequate and “try to reach her”, the more satisfying a victim you become.
Wolfie, I have had the same experience. I explained to the individual in question that what we were doing was called tefilla b’tzibur and if he wanted to carry on a private conversation, even with G-d, he should take it outside.
And that is the key point. A minyan isn’t just ten guys davening. It’s ten guys davening TOGETHER. If one man’s davening or actions farshster the davening of one of the other mispallelim, the whole minyan, the tzibur is farshtert.
Many folks don’t realize how chamur the inyan of tirchah d’tzibura is. Just to remind everyone, the reason we take out two sifrei torah on Yom Tov (three on Shabbos Chanukah, Rosh Chodesh) is because of tirchah d’tzibura. We actually mevazer and endanger a sefer torah just so the olam shouldn’t have to wait while we roll it from parsha to parsha.
GHJ, As others have have suggested, if you Shokeling is really farshtering someone eles’s davening either tone it down or go to the back of the beis medrash.
For an observant Jew, morality isn’t relative. Right and wrong are what Toras HaShem says is right and wrong. But even though halacha is brought down from Ksav, though Shas, Rishonim, Achronim down to present day, the bottom line is the individual psak for the individual case. Psak is not necessarily black and white as learned it the beis medrash . Competent poskim understand the subtleties of the case, the character and disposition of the principals, and shape the psak of fit. One of the reasons that R’Moshe, ZTKL, held that the Aruch Hashulchan was more authoritative than the Mishna Berurah was that, although the Chafetz Chaim was certainly a tzadik and a baki. he was basically a Rosh HaYeshiva and a mechanich while R’Epstein was a Rav and a Posek who he felt had a better understanding of the application and dynamics of halacha in the every day world.
1. How old is the girl? I get the impression that she is between 14 and 16.
2. How is she doing academically? Never mind her attitude, how are her test scores?
3. You say her parents are rich. Does the school depend on them for major support? Could it be that the girl thinks that she can get away with anything because Papa hat gelt and the school needs him? Does Papa have the same attitude, I.E. You have to keep/accept my daughter or I’ll walk?
If the answer to #3 is all yeses, what is happening is that you and the school are being bullied by an obnoxious girl raised by obnoxious parents all of whom think that their wealth and social status lets them do as they want. The only effective way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them. I strongly suggest that the girl be summarily tossed out of school and if Papa says he’ll take his money elsewhere, tell him, “Go ahead. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out!”
Be certain that the One Who Provides Sustenance to All will see that the loss of revenue from this schlemiel will be made up by others and, who knows, maybe finally being stood up to will have an educational effect on them. You’re a teacher. Not all lessons are taught in a classroom.
Short answer to the OP: Yes. Zai nisht frum af yenne’s cheshbon.
You know, the future may be as immutable as the past. Suppose you found out that you would die (C”S) on April 5, 2023 of heart disease. Okay, so you lose weight, stop smoking, eat right and exercise. you maintain yourself in superb health. On April 5, 2023 you are crossing the street and get hit by a car whose driver had a heart attack behind the wheel.
ZD, It was my yeshiva experience, admittedly some 50 years ago, that it was actually “the best of the best” who were most likely to go OTD. It’s not so much the kids who can’t keep up, although they are one demographic of kids who drift away, It’s the kids who get bored waiting for the rest of the kids to catch up to them. The vast majority of yeshiva mechanchim are simply not capable of dealing with genuine illuim. They’re the ones who ask the questions that the Rabbeim can’t or won’t answer. Yeshivas, despite their protestations, really only want to deal with nice bachurim of average intelligence (for Ashkenazi Jews). They are not prepared, nor are they willing, to deal with kids who are smarter than they are.
The only sure way to eliminate the WIFI capability on any device is to remove the 802.11 transceiver. On some earlier laptops this was relatively easy. On a tablet, although possible, it’s very difficult and requires real expertise. There is also a pretty good possibility that the tablet will get trashed in the process. If you are that makpid about your kids not having WIFI access on their tablets, why get them tablets at all? If all they want to do is play games, they can do it on you home computer (if you have one) or a dedicated game machine under parental supervision. I can’t think of a good reason for the kids to have mobile game playing capability. Where are they going to use it, in school?
Dr. Singer’s position is that:
1. The Murex Trunculus in no way resembles the desciption of the chilazon as cited in Menachos (P.S. the Radzyner’s cuttlefish certainly comes closer.) and 2. Most compelling is that Murex dye is chemically the same as kla ilon (indigo) and will not pass the practical test described in Menachos loc. cit.
“Will I get a Shidduch?” Yes, you will but it will take a while. , After a long period of fruitless dating You will get married at 29 to a young man whom you had dated ten years previously who you “sort of” liked but rejected because of _________________________ (fill in the blank). It will be a happy marriage. You will have four children, three girls and a boy. You and your husband will have a long, happy, successful and rewarding life surrounded by your children and grandchildren, all of whom will be b’nei and b’nos Torah and yireo shamayim.
The American porcupine is not and was not found in the Middle East and could not have been known Chazal of the gemorah. The “Bushy Weasel” of Bava Kamma was more likely the common hedgehog which is, indeed, found in their localities.
In the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, Vol 40, Sukkos, 2001. Dr. Mendel E.Singer of Case Western Reserve University makes a very compelling case for the Murex Trunculus NOT being the chilazon and the source of techeiles. The article is available on RJJ’s web site.
Have you ever noticed that anyone who says that he or she is a gilgul was always someone important or significant in previous lives? No one was ever Joe Schmo ordinary.
On further consideration, it seems that this is not a binary issue of tell them/don’t tell them. What about just “faking it”? I take it that your parents live in the U.S. When you visit them or they visit you what’s wrong with simply behaving in the manner that your parents expect? What you do on your own time is your business. Why not spare your parents the grief and anguish of knowing that you are lost to them (in some fashion, at least), and who knows,” im lo l’shmah, bo l’shmah”.
You, know, I wonder how realistic the OP’s issue is. In my case, whatever shalom bayis issues that may have arisen in 45 years of marriage, tznius wasn’t one of them. I mean, an otherwise tznius wife doesn’t wake up one morning and decide that she wants to wear shorts and a halter top. If the issue arises pre-chasunah, no problem. If it arises shortly post chasunah, nu, mekach taos, seeyah! Shalom bayis implies that a bayis has been established. I can only see relatively minor issues arising in an established household, the kind that discussions with one’s local moreh d’asrah should be able to resolve.
For instance, the wife decides that she doesn’t need to wear a shmateh on her head in her own house when no one but her husband is there. There is clearly precedent for that view but it doesn’t happen to be the custom of either family and she’s covered her hair at home up till now. In the unlikely event that that a loving couple can’t straighten the dispute out themselves, a counseling session with the Rav ought to fixit. If not, that couple has bigger problems than hair covering.
Another reason that Americans generally aren’t multilingual is that they don’t have to be. unless he travels abroad frequently, anywhere he goes in North America he can get by in English or broken Spanish. Europeans, on the other hand, are almost forced to be multilingual because of the close proximity of other language groups. If you leave, say, Paris and drive 1000 kilometers, you cross at least two frontiers and encounter three languages. If you leave New York and drive 1000 kilometers, you’re half way to Chicago. BTW, Russians are also often language challenged for the same reason. Anywhere they go, everyone speaks Russian. Also English is the most commonly spoken language in the world. There are more English speakers than those of any other language including 300 million Americans, 150 or so million Britons, Australians, South Africans, etc. and about one billion Indians. All these plus anyone else who wants to get along in the world. (N.B. not necessarily native English speakers. The most commonly spoken native language is Mandarin)
In answer to PO’s question, there is no easy way to tell your parents about your current situation but nit is probably better to tell them then to have them find out through other means. Be prepared for a deal of turmoil anguish and recriminations. Make every effort to tell your parents that it’s not their failure, that nothing they did forced you away, that your lifestyle is not a reflection on their parenting, that you love and respect them, etc. but remember that they will be terribly hurt by your revelation. If they may, over time, come to terms with your decision.
While they probably will never accept your lifestyle, they may still maintain a loving relationship with you. However, be prepared for the possibility of that they may totally, or almost totally sever relations with you. You seem like a level-headed, mature young man. Certainly your military service has taught you to prepare for the worst and that “no plan outlives contact with the enemy”, I.E. things are certain to develop differently from what you expect, at least in some respects. I wish you good fortune and hope and pray that you will eventually return to your people and your G-d.
P.S. This fellow is an illustration of a point I have been making for years. OTD and “at risk” are not the same thing. “At risk” implies engaging in self destructive behavior. This guy isn’t a druggie, isn’t “hanging out”, Isn’t a threat to himself or others (yeah, except to his neshama). He seems rational, oisgehalten, put together, etc. The fact is some people simply come to the conclusion that Religion just isn’t for them, no risk involved.
PP.S. MDD, you can be as judgmental as you like. Your judgment and and mine are worth bupkes. The only judgement that counts is that of the Dayan HaEmes.
TR, you go ahead and believe whatever you want. As I said, it makes no difference in your daily life. Oh by the way, your response to my post is total nonsense. It is not worth attempting refutation as your mind is made up. You are clearly guilty of the what you accuse others of being. You just go along on your merry way. Biz 120 we’ll see who was right, me or you.
I once had a conversation with my daughter along these lines. The question was whether Hashem created a tevah that runs the universe or does everything run by hashgacha pratios (hereinafter referred to as “HP”) ? It struck me at the time that if everything was HP, than the study of science is at least as important as the study of kabala. It turns out that HP is not random. It is quantifiable and predictable within both torah and scientific limits. Science is now essentially a window into the “Mind” of HKBH.
Take gravity for instance. If, as a previous poster wrote, there is no law of universal gravitation but the apple falls to the ground because HKBH wills it, it is, then, davar kodesh to note that every apple all over the world falls in exactly the same way at exactly the same acceleration every time. HKBH’s will is so predictable that I can send a rocket to the outer planets by using the gravitational assist from “slingshotting” the rocket around Venus and I can calculate it and do it every time.
So, from a practical standpoint there is no difference between tevah and PH. The scientific method works the same in either case.
FNY, your assertion that men do not have romantic feelings is obvious rubbish. It may (and I emphasize the word “may”) be that men are more physically driven than women, but every man who loves his wife gives the lie to to your statement. That’s “loves”, not “attracted to” or Infatuated with”. Anyway, this whole thread has gotten pretty far from the question of the OP.
TR, see the following
1. Economics is not science
2. No scientist claims that science is infallible. That’s why models are constantly tested.
3. Scientists, being human after all, are just as prone to bad behavior as you or me. I’m reminded of R’ Noach Weinberg ZTL’s famous warning about not judging Judaism by actions of some Jews.
4. Actually, weather prediction is pretty accurate given the enormous number of variables in the model. 3 day forecasts are usually right on the money. Longer range forecasts are much more difficult,
P,S, A general note: When a scientist refers to a “theory”, he (or she) doesn’t mean what you mean when you use the same word. Lay people use the word “theory” to mean sort of a best guess. In science the word for that is “hypothesis”. A scientific “theory” is an explanation of a phenomenon that has passed all tests of it’s validity so far. If it continues to correctly explain and predict the phenomenon for all possible tests, it becomes a “law”.
Phi (pronounced “fee” by engineers) is the square root of -1
Ultimate, Perhaps those particular 12 Jews would have not been killed or maybe they would have been killed anyway. Certainly other Jews were killed in continuing Arab attacks and are being killed still today. You seem to be assuming that if Goldstein had not killed 29 Arabs then the Arabs would not have killed any more Jews. That is transparent nonsense. There may yet be peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority but there will never be peace between the Jews of Israel and the Arab and other Muslim until we kill all of them or they kill all of us or they give up trying or we abandon Israel and our Faith. Make no mistake. Those who attack Jews in Israel don’t simply want to defeat and eliminate Israel, they want to eliminate Jews. I realize that is a hard calculus but sometimes that’s all there is.
Outsider, here are a couple of points. You are correct that a kehilla, or any private undertaking has the right to set and enforce dress codes and other rules of behavior (vide “no shoes no shirt no service”), but no individual in the group has such rights. The must be set by the kehilla as a whole, either by the governing board or by membership vote.
Ultimate, your post seems to imply that Goldstein initiated a cycle of violence between Arabs and Jews. I hasten to point out that Goldstein’s actions were, themselves, in retaliation for previous Arab murders of Jews including the Jerusalem bus bombing and other, unanswered outrages. Goldstein was wrong to take matters into his own hands (He should have let the IDF handle things) but I can’t work up much moral outrage at what he did.
I wrote the following when Kerry was running for President in 2004. My opinion of him has not changed.
I wonder how many of the above posters who are so vehemently on the side of tznius vs sholom bayis are actually married. Just askin’.
I’ve seen many pictures of rabbeim amd yeshiva leute (pronounce “light”) in Lite wearing grey hats (they are B&W photos so the hats could be other colors but they look grey in the photos) anyway, they’re not black. Every photo of my Elteren in Europe shows them wearing Litvishe yarmulkes, no hats of any color.
Marty G. in answer to your OP, it may be assur for a ben Torah to speak to his cousin, but it’s okay for you.
Interestingly, the legality of first cousin marriages seems to be a red state blue state issue where red states generally prohibit them and blue states generally permit them.
Acuperma, Clearly large cities like Minsk or Vilna had many shuls. I don’t know about other shtetlach but the town my father came from, which had perhaps 500 Jewish families (which constituted the entire population of the town), had three shuls and a couple of shtieblach. It’s an old joke but it’s true. Every Jew has to have a shul that he won’t set foot in.September 16, 2013 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm in reply to: How did the Yidden spend Yom Kippur in the times of the 2nd Beis Hamikdash? #975101
In the times of Bayis Sheini, most Jews lived in Chutz La’aretz. Being oleh regel from Bavel or from Greece was a major undertaking and not one that could be done every year, so when a family from, say, Bavel was able to make the trip for Yom Tov it was a very big deal. Many of the kehilos in Bavel maintained guest houses in Yerushalayim so when any of their mispallelim were oleh regel they had a place to stay. Reservations were, of course, required and had to be made well in advance, maybe years in advance, of the trip because, as you may imagine, finding a place to stay in Yerushalayim for Yom Tov wasn’t easy. Come to think of it, it’s not so easy today either.September 16, 2013 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm in reply to: At what point are you officially one side or the other? #983387
You know what? I dislike the term “Modern Orthodox”. Both of my parent’s (AH) came from Europe between the wars. They were Orthodox Jews. I was born into, and grew up, an orthodox Jewish home, went to an orthodox day school and Yeshiva. I’m an Orthodox Jew. It is Chareidism that is the modern innovation. Chareidim today are attempting to rewrite history by falsely claiming that they are carrying on an ancient tradition. Perhaps Chassidish tradition more closely resembles modern Chareidism but Chassidus, itself, is also a fairly modern construct. Any Jew from Talmudic times down to, perhaps, the time of the GR’A would simply not recognize modern Chareidi pracice and normative Judaism.
Durn those Mayans!
See a doctor immediately! N.B. Meesah (CVS) is also a kaporah but don’t think you’re ready for that
It is my impression that such a switch requires hataras nedarim by a chacham