Forum Replies Created
August 13, 2012 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm in reply to: Best Gemorah Pen #890942
Try a Micron 005. It is an artist pen that I use for my calligraphy/safrus work, but also to write in seforim. Can’t be beat, but has to be used with a gentle touch – otherwise you will destroy the tip very quickly.
.20 mm line width, and no need to press on the pen like a ball point, and no risk of ink bleeding like with a gel pen.July 22, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm in reply to: Netanyahu's office #886469
Depending on where on the office walls your looking, you’ll see a Shulchan Aruch, a Tur, a Frankel Rambam, a Tal Man Shas, and a Mossad Rav Kook Mikra’os Gedolos Chumash.July 20, 2012 1:42 am at 1:42 am in reply to: When your spouse gets "OUTED" #888917
Bustercrown: Sorry to say,but you got some really, really bad advice from whichever Rav you spoke to. Frankly, he seems to know very little about dealing with marital issues, addiction, pornography, or all three.
Of course you need to tell him you know. As it stands now, he is trying to avoid getting caught, so he lies. You become upset by his lying when you know the truth, and he is likely angry at himself for lying to you, but he can’t see another option. Continuing like this is a recipe for disaster and added tension and animosity.July 20, 2012 1:04 am at 1:04 am in reply to: Going off the Derech #1181912
WOW: You probably won’t like this one, but my response would be: “Thank you for telling us in advance, since we do worry when we don’t know how long you will be or when we can expect you back. Please try to stay safe. It would be wonderful to see you in the morning.”
He is going to do what he is going to do. The best thing you can do it neutralize his “victory” over you by changing the dynamic from a battle and confrontation (one that he is certain to win, by the way), to a collaboration. If he isn’t winning anything, there is little reason for him to fight you. This won’t spawn immediate results, but it will make an impression over time. “Hey, my mom is not out to fight with me and control me. She is just concerned, and appreciated when I told her what was going on.”July 19, 2012 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm in reply to: Who is the Manhig Hador? #899001
Democracy is a very, very Jewish concept. Learn through the hundreds of teshuvos dealing with kehillos – elections, taxes, legislation of takkanos ha-kahal, choosing poskim and dayanim, punishment, individuals freedom and their obligation to the community.July 19, 2012 1:07 pm at 1:07 pm in reply to: Who met Rav Elyashev? #886297
From a comment on another site:
I was once in miluim on the Lebanese border and received a message from my bank that a rather large check that I had deposited had been returned because of insufficient funds. After a short investigation, I discovered that the person who had given me the check was scheduled to leave Israel that very night. In Israel, giving someone a check without coverage is a felony and there is a government office called hotza’ah lapoal – which is an arm of the court system – which one can use to collect the debt. However, it was doubtful that I – or my lawyer – would be able to finish and submit the necessary paper work on time to be able to collect before my client left the country. My only option was to have the police issue a warrant preventing him from leaving the country until I could submit the paperwork to the court. To get the police to do so, I would have to personally appear at national police headquarters in Yerushalayim. I was unsure as to whether the entire procedure was tantamount to going to a secular court and whether I was allowed to do so without first attempting to take him before a beit din.
I told my commanding officer that I needed the rest of the day off as I had to immediately travel to Yerushalayim to ask Rav Elyashiv a question. He could not understand why I needed to ask him – aren’t there any rabbis who live closer – but I convinced him that there was no point in explaining as he would never understand why I had to go to a rabbi before going to the police. He let me go and by hitchhiking, I got to Rechov Chanan in Meah Shearim at exactly 7:05 P.M. Trouble was, in those years, Rav Elyashiv only received the public until 7:00 and the door was closed. I knocked and the rebbitzen opened the door and sweetly explained that I would have to return the next afternoon. I was standing there in an Israeli army uniform. I explained to the rebbitzen that I was in miluim in Lebanon and could not return the next day and I needed to ask the rav a question.
She told me to wait at the door and went into the room to ask him if he would see me. She returned a moment later and said that the I should accompany the rav to ma’ariv. You can just imagine the scene, walking through the Meah Shearim shuk with the rav while dressed in a rather unkempt uniform with an M16 on my shoulder.
Oblivious to the stares of the passers by who were watching the strange scene, Rav Elyashiv asked me what was on my mind. I told him that I had a shayla in Choshen Mishpat, whereupon he looked at me with a big smile and said: “Choshen Mishpat! When did that become part of Shulchan Aruch. Very few people have questions about Choshen Mishpat. They ask about Orech Chaim, Yoreh Deah and sometimes about Even ha-Ezer. But Choshen Mishpat they’re quite content to pasken on their own.” I laughed and asked the question as to whether I could go to the police and then later to hotza’ah lapoal without getting permission from a beit din. He responded that there was no reason not to use the police and the court as a collection agency. As we walked up the stairs to Tifferet Bachurim, the shul above the Meah Shearim shtieblach where he davened and learned, he turned to me and said: “You must be a tzaddik if you came all the way from Lebanon to ask a shaylah in Choshen Mishpat. I’ll give you a berachah that you should be matzliach and collect the debt without delay.”July 19, 2012 2:41 am at 2:41 am in reply to: Who is the Manhig Hador? #898974
I have my manhig, you have your manhig, and yennem has his manhig. With the utmost respect, R. Elyashiv was not really your manhig, though he may have been your manhig’s manhig (or perhaps the connection was even more attenuated). I imagine your own Rav will decide who to refer major questions to now, assuming he ever referred his questions to R. Elyashiv. In any case, I don’t think R. Elyashiv was being manhig anyone for the last year or so, and that those who previously relied on his age direction already chose new poskim, and teachers to fill the void.
Yehi Zichro Baruch. But let us not despair. We have lost leaders before, and new ones are chosen to take their place – often, the new ones already are in place.July 19, 2012 2:17 am at 2:17 am in reply to: Who met Rav Elyashev? #886290
Met him briefly several times while i was in Yeshiva. My Yeshiva was about a two blocks from his shtiebel and apartment inside the walls of Mea Shearim, and it was a regular thing for guys to go for Mincha on Shabbos. Never heard any Torah from him, just a good shabbos and a few words. My impression: He was kind and seemed genuinely interested in exchanging the few words we did, wishing me hatzlacha in my learning.July 17, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm in reply to: yeshivish hipsters #889846
Just some food for thought: Men not being into fashion is a relatively new phenomenon, and like all things is part of an historical cycle. Men were VERY into fashion throughout the 1500s, and remained so until the strict puritanism of the early 1600s coupled with a backlash against the aristocracy led to much more conservative dress. In the United States and England, men’s fashion was again very important and flamboyant during the latter half of the 1700s until around 1810-1820, when men’s fashion become more muted in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and the republican revolutions. Men again were more fashion conscious in the 1840s-1860s, but in the Victorian age, there was again no real men’s fashion to speak of (think plain black frock coat, pants, waistcoat, and hat). The roaring 20s were again a time of high fashion for men, but the Depression and WWII put an end to that – a plain and conservative trend that continued until 2005 or so. Since then, men’s wear has become more varied and fashionable, more unique and individualistic.
Its just a revolving trend. Go with it.July 11, 2012 1:59 pm at 1:59 pm in reply to: Why do YOU want Moshiach to come? #1058526
Of course, there is the “other” approach, that Moshiach doesn’s just “come” and solve all our problems. Instead, Yemos Hamoshiach /Acharos Hayamim will come to be only when we have fulfilled our mission as Jews – to be an or lagoyim and bring all the people of the world to a realization of their task to live as Human Beings in accordance with God’s Will. Moshiach does not “come” and magically transform the world; the world will enter a state of yemos hamoshiach when we have done our job as mamleches kohanim v’goy kadosh, when we have fully realized our potential as an am segulah.
We should not look to moshiach to solve our problems. How many times throughout our history have Jews been destroyed physically and spiritually because they looked to a person who seemed to be moshaich as the answer to their problems? Instead, we must solve our own problems, work through our challenges, improve ourselves and by example the world around us. If we do that we might merit to witness the day when we have successfully been “misaken olam b’malchus Shadai, v’chol binei basar yikra’u bishmecha.”
Just look at and really think about the paragraph in the Amida for Yomim Noraim beginning “U’vechein tein pachticha”; that says it all.
Shlishi: Very good. Let’s say you are right. Al pi halacha, a decedent’s estate passes in accordance with the laws stated in Shulchan Aruch.
Guess what? You can rant and rave all you want, but if Chaim Yankel dies without a will giving away his goods al pi halacha, then IN FACT his estate WILL BE DISTRIBUTED under local laws of intestacy whether you like it or not.
The biggest irony is that the only way he can preserve the default halachos of yerusha is by writing a will, but once he is writing a will halacha allows him to give away his money however he sees fit. So yes, back to square one – unless you live under some kind of autonomous Jewish jurisdiction, the halachos of yerusha do not really have any substantive play in how a person’s estate is distributed after he dies.
akuperman: Well written! One correction: American law does not allow kids to dump their widowed mother and walk away. Even if the father’s will disinherits the mother, the widow almost always takes a significant portion of the estate (usually 1/3 or $50,000 – it’s called Equitable Share, you can look it up).July 2, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am in reply to: Going off the Derech #1181807
WOW: Its been a while since I commented on this thread, but I after reading your last post, I couldn’t help myself. You said, “Only in the Torah world is there real simcha . . .” I commend you for believing that, but it evinces a mindset that may do more harm than good when dealing with you son.
Simply put, it’s just not true. Many, many, irreligious Jews and non-Jews enjoy much real, genuine, and lasting simcha in there lives. There is much simcha to be had in raising a family, going to work, bringing home a paycheck, watching a ball game, spending time with friends and neighbors, reading books, and yes, even in going to Church/Mosque/Temple and living as one’s religion dictates. Granted, I imagine you have not gotten to know many non-Jews, or happy, fulfilled, irreligious Jews. But let me tell you, from my own experience, some of the most happy, fulfilled people I know have nothing to do with Torah (at least not with Tanach, Shas, and Shulchan Aruch – the way they live is still a lifestyle the Torah and God can be proud of).
The point is that there is REAL fulfillment outside of the Torah world. We, of course, believe strongly that living according to halacha is the RIGHT WAY to gain happiness and live a fulfilling life. But it isn’t the only way. If you portray to your son, who may be tasting a bit of that non-Torah happiness for the first time, that it’s Torah or a drug-induced, promiscuity-laced, wasteful life on the streets, you are not going to get anywhere. HE KNOWS THAT THAT IS NOT TRUE, even if you as yet do not.
Consider that he may feel genuinely fulfilled and happy in the way he is now living. I doubt it, since he is a teenager, and most likely not engaged in a meaningful non-Torah lifestyle. But he may well see the potential for a happy non-Torah life somewhere down the line, while all he sees in the Torah lifestyle he grew up in is repression of his unique needs and personality, the need to conform, misunderstanding, and a denial of reality by his peers, rabbeim, and family.
As I have read this thread of the past weeks, I see that you really are working on the right track. In many ways, my thoughts are unnecessary. But I just wished to point out that perspective, and how it may be that your son might take your negative attitude towards anything non-Torah-based to be unrealistic. Remember, he is experiencing a new world, a world that is appealing to him right now, and a world that he knows you cannot understand as he does because you have never experienced the positive of it.June 25, 2012 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm in reply to: askanim and their actions on behalf of other religions #882316
Avi K: very good, but those factors only relate to passing muster under the FEDERAL Constitution. State constitutions can and do prohibit the government from doing things that are allowed under the Federal Constitution. Blain Amendments are more restrictive on State governments than the 1st amendment.June 25, 2012 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm in reply to: Hashkafa for entering secular workforce #880985
Loyal Jew: Indeed, according to R. Samson Rapahel Hirsch’s TIDE, the workplace (and the street, the grocery store, the art meuseam, the cruise vacation, the college, and anywhere else you find your self) is an “applied yeshiva.” You learn in order to know how to act properly in the world – how to participate fully in the best of human civilization within the parameters of halacha. According to R. Hirsch, our GOAL is to apply halacha in our lives in thw world – using halacha to decide what to eat, how to work, how to speak to our co-workers and clients, what are to look at and what not to look at, and how to judge the validity of the art’s message, what classes to take/not take in college, and judge the legitimacy of their messages, ect, ect, ect. Learning is a means to this end; lilmod k’dei laasos. And by living Torah, by making Torah-regulated life a reality, we show the rest of the world by our example how to live full, Godly lives. We cannot do this in the closed-off walls of the beis medrash; we can only do this by following halacha while we fully participate in and embrace all that is good and worthwhile in the world. We need the beis midrash to know how to act outside, but if we never make it outside then we are learning for our own self-indulgence, not lishmah – for the Torah’s sake.
You may not like this outlook, and that is your privilege. But please don’t denigrate a major stream of thought about what it means to be a Jew by perverting R’ Hirsch’s thought and calling it his own.June 25, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am in reply to: Hashkafa for entering secular workforce #880980
No, actually, Naftush’s haskafa is quoted more or less directly from R. Samson Raphael Hirsch. That says it all.June 19, 2012 9:42 am at 9:42 am in reply to: How and where do they get the Parchment for Sefer Torahs? #880395
There is an old-fashioned parchment maker in upstate NY in the Hudson Valley who still makes it the old way – soaked in lime, hand stretched on metal framed, had scraped, and hand-prepared even before it goes into the lime bath. I have NEVER worked with such amazing quality parchment before. Since it is all hand done, they can often make it to-order, so I can choose the size, dimensions, and thickness of the piece, and can even get it surfaced for writing on both sides. They do cow, sheep, goat, and occasionally deer and buffalo skins. Unfortunately, they are not Jewish, so I only buy from them for when I’m writing non-kisvei kodesh (In addition to megilos, I write and illustrate kesubos, custom bentchers, haggados, and other art-pieces).
The place is called Pergemena. Check them out online.June 14, 2012 2:10 am at 2:10 am in reply to: Rock musician gives mussar! #880018
Daas Yochid: Right, except if you ATE the non-kosher chicken at dinner you would have violated several issurei d’oraysa; whereas merely LISTENING to the foul language (especially if she didn’t expect to hear it) is not. Or is passively listening to someone else’s foul language somehow mitamtem your own lev? If so, you better steer clear of all public spaces because people are known to speak with graphic expletives from time to time.June 10, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am in reply to: Infertility treatments – Tzedaka?? #883787
Simple answer: It isn’t “INCUMBENT” on anyone to donate to any organization/tzedakah. The only contributions that are every required are (1) on Purim, l’chol posheit yado, (2) obligations that you contractually agree to (shul membership, school tuition, ect.), and (3)in the time when we had organized Kehillos, you were halachicly bound to pay taxes to the kehillah to maintain local schools, shuls, mikvaos, and tzedakah institutions.
No one is obligated to donate to infertility organizations, school tuition funds, tomchei shabbos, or any other worthy tzedakah. The minhag is to set aside 10-20% of your net income for tzedakah, but you have full discretion about where you wish to give that money. Give it to whichever organizations you feel are most deserving of the help.
Of course, you should keep in mind that the halacha does set a list of priorities for distributing your available tzedakah money (priorities, which unfortunately many people seem to ignore to the detriment of local genuinely poor people and local institutions and to the benefit of more “flashy” tzedakos).June 5, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am in reply to: R' Ilson's Yeshiva #878094
1) I would reccomend it for an “open-minded yeshivah guy” (not knowing more about you than that). Keep in mind that the experience is very different than Mir. This is a very small Yeshiva with a relatively large faculty that allows for a decided focus on each student (I know, it sounds like a cliche, but it’s true). You get a lot of independence, but at the same time, R. Ilson, the Mashgiach, and others that you become close to will have a sense of how you are progressing and will be able to guide you to develop skills in seriously reading and analyzing texts (instead of just listening to and parroting a shiur). Their is a very heavy, individualized focus on skills-development which I think you cannot get in a place as large as the Mir. If that sounds like something you want to work on, then it may work very well for you.
2) Simply put, they draw the red line at halacha. Of course, that’s a bit of an amorphous concept – after all, what may be a hashkafic issue for MO may be treated as halacha in chasidish circles. I wish I could give you a better sense of it, but “halacha” is the only decent answer I can give. Students are free to wear whatever style of clothing they like – it is a personal choice – as long as they maintain proper kavod for the beis midrash and their learning, and also respect the neighborhood. For example, when I was there, most people wore white shirts and dark pants, some wore colored shirts, a couple wore polo shirts and even jeans on occasion. Most wore jackets for davening, some wore hats, some neither. Some read philosophy and history in their spare time (moi), some read Artscroll biographies, some didn’t have spare time to read anything other than a gemarah. It’s a diverse group (less diverse now), but any well-established normative hashkafa-based conduct is acceptable (Chareidi, Torah Umadah, Torah im Derech Eretz, Chassidus, Tzioni, ect., ect.). But, you MUST come to seder, you MUST come to davening, ect., you get the point I think. Basically, much room for individual expression and personal taste/style within the wide bounds of halacha. – The faculty is decidedly Chareidi, however (though most are pretty broad-minded and can relate to the students well).June 4, 2012 7:40 pm at 7:40 pm in reply to: descriptions on shidduch resume? #879567
Regardless of whether it is a good idea to put such paragraphs on your shidduch resume, it is a good idea to think long and hard about why you are reluctant to write these two paragraphs.
I can’t speak for you, but as I imagine this may be read by any number of others, I’ll offer a few words of caution.
One of the chief reasons why someone may be reluctant to write two paragraphs describing their self and describing what they want in a spouse MAY be that they simply cannot answer these terribly difficult, but absolutely vital questions. It is easy to vaguely want to get married to the perfect/right/bashert person; it is much harder to put down on paper what you imagine that person is like. Writing this all down forces you to be honest with yourself; you can’t hide behind vague senses left in the confines of your own mind. It forces you to be concrete and definite, and that is both scary and difficult. Best be sure you CAN put this down on paper before you go off seeking your life partner. Even if it never makes it to the resume, you will have done yourself a great service.June 1, 2012 1:21 pm at 1:21 pm in reply to: R' Ilson's Yeshiva #878088
Chulent: VERY good question. For two reasons. (1) R. Ilson wants his Talmidim very focused on their learning; the schedule is demanding and although this is not a typical Chareidi yeshiva, it does not engage in recreational activities during the zman like many of the other post high school yeshivos do (no tiyulim, special trips, ect.). The only organized tiyulim are one during succos bein hazmanim, one during chanukah, and two shabbatonim. I imagine he fealt the location would help avoid distractions from learning and set the Yeshivah apart from others. Also, the location is very in line with the yeshiva’s message that “we each choose our own hashkafos.” An open-minded, litvish, YU-influenced can exist in the heart of Meah Shearim a block away from Neturei Karta headquarters and three blocks from R. Elyashiv, close to the Mir, ect., and have good relations with all its neighbors with whom we share a common halacha if not a common hashkafa.
(2) The second reason is that supposedly, R. Ilson’s late wife zt”l had some family connections that she used to get a desirable building in a desirable location.June 1, 2012 2:05 am at 2:05 am in reply to: R' Ilson's Yeshiva #878085
Ah, I forgot the most important part:
R. Ilson was a talmid of R. Soleveitchik at YU for 10+ years. He received smicha from the Rav before marrying the daughter of one of the Ponevitch Mashgichim (the shidduch was made by R. Shneur Kotler,with whom R. Ilson was very close, if I remember correctly) and moving to Israel. He was originally Rosh kollel at Torah Moshe (R. Meiselman’s yeshiva), but left to open his own Yeshiva due to hashkafic differences.
As a Brisker, R. Ilson tries to give over a particular derech to his students that teaches them to learn simple p’shat in the gemarah and rishonim by “reading the words.” He is not fond of pilpul and “reid.”
He is a truly brilliant mind (working on sefarim on Ohalos, Chullin, and Sefer Hamitzvos), and has a very likable style of saying a shiur. Very warm and personable with his talmidim one you get to know him (you need to make the effort) – in learning, but also in personal matters (e.g., he will occasionally IM me if we both happen to be online at the same time to see how my life is going, ect.).June 1, 2012 1:57 am at 1:57 am in reply to: R' Ilson's Yeshiva #878084
1) If you have specific questions, I may be able to give you a better sense of things, but I’ll try to give you a general overview.
2) The yeshiva is located on Rechov Nachum Ish Gamzu in the heart of Meah Shearim. The building is quite nice, the dorms are quite livable (3-4 people per room (no bunk-beds), every two rooms has a toilet and shower with additional toilets, showers, and washer/dryers in a separate room in the building). All meals are provided by the Yeshiva in the Yeshiva dining room(except “off-shabbosim,” once a month). The Rosh Yeshiva, R. Ilson is VERY health conscious, so the food is cooked fresh, and the meals are pretty good and well-balanced in terms of nutrition.
3) While the whole yeshiva learns the same mesechta, for first seder the Yeshiva currently has three sections. A first-year section hears shiur every day from one of the magidei shiur (not R. Ilson). The second-year+ section hears shiur from R. Ilson every day. The Kollel hears shiur from the Rosh kollel, but has a shiur klali from R. Ilson once a week. After Pesach, the first-year guys join the second year guys in R. Ilson’s shiur.
2) Second seder is bekiyus in the same mesechta as first seder with a shiur twice a week. Mussar seder before supper every night with a smuess once a week. R. Ilson gives an incredible shiur on Rambam Sefer Hamitzvos on Friday mornings to everyone. There is a halacha seder after davening, before breakfast, and a halacha shiur on various issues once a week.
3) The Mashgiach is a TRUE TZADDIK (I cannot emphasize this enough). He is a walking mussar sefer, and one of the most incredible, understanding, inspiring person I have ever met.
4) The Yeshiva is kept small – maybe around 30 bachurim and another 10-12 in the kollel. The guys come from all different types of backgrounds and haskafos. If you are looking for a uniform black-and-white place, this isn’t it. R. Ilson is known to look for people WHO WANT TO LEARN HOW TO LEARN. As he says, its not a place for “frumkeit” or for “flying off into the clouds on spiritual highs.” Most people there are RWMO, some strictly yeshivish (but obviously a bit more open-minded), a couple may be LWMO. Again, the Yeshiva doesn’t impose a hashkafa – it want’s everyone to think and decide for themselves about those things; it’s all about serious limud Torah, acquiring a derech halimud, and following clear-cut, cold, hard halachah.
5) The student body is small, but there are quite a large number of magidei shiur, mashgichim, shoel u’mashivim, ect., so you can find someone to build a kesher with.
Please let me know if you have more questions.May 31, 2012 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm in reply to: R' Ilson's Yeshiva #878078
Takish: I didn’t forget about you. I am very busy for most of the day, but will try to write you a longer response as soon as I can (hopefully tonight).
Also, feel free to contact the mods and get my email to contact me directly (I don’t know if they will allow it, but I give them permission to give you my email if they can). It’s a wonderful place for the right kind of people and I am always happy to steer the right one’s there.May 30, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm in reply to: R' Ilson's Yeshiva #878073
Are you talking about R’ ILSON’s Yeshiva on Rechov Nachum Ish Gamzu in Meah Shearim?
If so, I could tell you plenty. I spent some wonderful time there.May 24, 2012 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm in reply to: Filtered internet in public library #876715
Midwood Yid: I expect you won’t like the explanation (I don’t think it’s very principled mayself), but here goes:
Every library must make choices about what materials it offers. If has a budget and space limitations that limit the number of books it can have – it can’t have every book ever printed, so it has to make some choices about what to offer. It may make the choice whether or not to offer its patrons certain materials based on a variety of factors. For example, a public library in Boro Park might choose to spend a significant amount of money of materials that would interest the Jewish population and to not spend money on entertainment DVDs.
BUT, a government funded library cannot choose which materials to offer based on the viewpoint expressed by those materials. Thus, library could not categorically refuse to buy any materials advocating communism, a two-State solution to the Middle East conflict, or the Democratic Party.
For the same reason, filtering internet content is highly problematic because it typically is directed at censoring a certain point of view (i.e., pornography (yes, that is considered a viewpoint about various “issues”).
Thus, while a library could decide not to buy computers because it thinks buying books is a better use of its budget, or could decide to buy computers but to not offer internet access (again for budgetary reasons), it cannot buy the computers, offer the internet access, but limit access to only certain points of view or topics. Imagine the library in backwoods KKK country deciding to block access to any website that says anything positive about Jews.
Obviously, as Torah-observant Jews, we believe that their is a qualitative difference between accessing YWN and pornography. But for good reason, in the eyes of the law, the government cannot distinguish between them. If the library cannot limit patrons’ internet access to only online editions of Mein Kamf, it also can’t limit access to only non-pornographic material.May 24, 2012 3:40 pm at 3:40 pm in reply to: Filtered internet in public library #876712
To make a VERY long and convoluted story short, the Supreme Court has basically held that people’s First Amendment right to speak freely translates into a prohibition on government institutions’ preventing others who are interested in the speech from accessing it due to censoring/filtering of internet content.
It’s a strange rule, even according to many Constitutional law scholars. But it is what it is.May 22, 2012 9:29 pm at 9:29 pm in reply to: Beis Din of America #877364
The question is a bit strange. Oftentimes, halacha incorporates “secular values,” particularly in the area of dinei mamonos. Halacha often instructs us to follow the minhag hamakom or minhag of the profession/business in the absence of an agreement between the parties to the contrary. Is that “eschewing halacha in favor of secular values”? Halacha directs batei din to conduct themselves in a dignified and orderly manner. If the Shulchan Aruch gives no particular direction, and the beis din incorporates tried-and-true concepts of American legal procedure, is that “eschewing halacha in favor of secular values”?
I could go on. Suffice it to say, the BDA is one of the finest batei din around (in the tri-State area); they follow halacha, and have the knowledge and broadness to be able to fully understand “secular values” when the halacha instructs us to incorporate them.May 16, 2012 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm in reply to: High level Shiurim #874511
Try Rav Rakeffet’s shiurim on YU Torah. He has some of the most varied and interesting sources you will likely ever come across.April 30, 2012 1:22 am at 1:22 am in reply to: hp or dell #871921
SONY, bit more expensive for the same hardware, but after using Dell and HP, SONY is by far more durable.April 30, 2012 1:21 am at 1:21 am in reply to: Bar Ilan CD #871341
Derszoger: You’lle notice that Bar Ilan doesn’t use pdf copies of the pages of printed editions of the seforim, they merely reenter the text of the sefer into the program; its essentially the equivalent of you sitting down and typing the entire Igros Moshe into MS Word to have your own copy of the sefer. Bar Ilan is using the though-product, the Torah itself. They aren’t reproducing the efforts of publishers who invest money and time into producing the sefer.
Better question is how does Otzar HaChochma do it; they use pdf copies of the actual pages of the seforim, and unlike Hebrewbooks, they make money off the effort. Could be they only use seforim whose copyrights have expired, and for others they pay the publisher for use. But I don’t know.April 30, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am in reply to: Bar Ilan CD #871339
I have seen teshuvos that interpret tis view to mean that no one can have ownership over the ideas themselves; i.e., no one has an ownership interest in the intellectual product of Torah learning. But, if someone invests money to typeset, footnote, edit, and print a sefer, one may not simply photo copy the whole sefer (as apposed to a page or to) in order to avoid buying it.
In other words, Rabbi X has no halachic ta’anah on someone who uses his Torah ideas (unlike in secular law, where people “own” their intellectual work product). But Oz V’hadar, for example, can bring a din Torah against someone that makes photo copies of their edition of the gemarah in order to avoid buying a cop from the publisher. In that case, it’s not the Torah that is owned; its the work that went into the typesetting, editing, and researching, and printing that particular edition.April 27, 2012 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm in reply to: I have Otzar Hachochma also!!! #870963
What’s your experience with it? Do you find the search engines easy to use/learn?April 18, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm in reply to: Written Sworn Statement #868294
Probably not. except for the degree to which you may be able to explain the written/oral statemnet in a way that does not render it untrue.
*** I am not an attorney and am not in any way offering legal advice. You should consult a licensed attorney before taking any action with respect to this matter. (Kinda like ask your LOR before acting on any halachic info you get in the CR) ***April 18, 2012 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm in reply to: Going off the Derech #1181210
Write or Wrong:
Forgive me for saying so, but you sound like your in a bit over you’re head. And its important that you keep yourself cool and objective so that you don’t make things worse, and hopefully, make them better over time.
Please don’t take that the wrong way. Let me explain:
In some communities (call them MO, more worldly, ect.), parents tend to handle teens going OTD a bit better than in other circles (more yeshivish, chareidi, lakewood, ect.). From your posts, it sounds like your family is more yeshivish. Oftentimes more chareidi families and parents have a narrower view of what is within the range of acceptable than those who are more MO. I’m not saying that is a good or bad thing; just trying to state the facts.
Anyway, with that more insular worldview comes a more emotional reaction to a teen’s going OTD. For many MO parents, even when a teen does things that are completely unacceptable by any measure (chilul shabbos, kashrus, ect.), they can handle the change rationally and proceed just as ProudtobeaYid suggested – they remain accepting of their child as a person, support him/her emotionally, and leave the door open and light on. While it may tear at their hearts for their teen to come home in a car from a Friday night concert or the like, they will not scream or yell, or even give him the cold shoulder when he walks through the door with a cell phone in his/her hand talking to his/her buy/girl friend, ect. Ultimately, they make sure their child can return home, and as long as he can respect their choice to be frum (i.e., no cheeseburgers in the kitchen; no loud music on shabbos), they can respect his choice not to be. Its a tragic and painful way for the parents to live, but oftentimes it results in a positive change years later, and if not, at least the relationship between child and parent hasn’t been destroyed forever (who know, maybe that connection can bring back grand children).
More yeshivish parents (in my many years of experience with OTD and BT teens) tend not to react this way. Their attachment to the “ritual” of our religion is very emotional and they often react to a child’s violating those “rituals” in an angry or very emotional way that just drives the kids further away.
While it is important to seek to help you son, if he will accept it, it is even more important for you to seek help and guidance from a professional – a successful TEEN kiruv person (try getting in touch with NCSY, they really know how to give OTD teens their space to be and how to handle boundaries in terms of your frum home and your OTD child) – so that you get a handle on how to handle this right, and not react poorly and drive him away even more.April 12, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm in reply to: Davening Gemara #1017053
Years ago I set a goal for myself to learn and review meseches Makkos 101 and times. I never made it to 101 (I think I stopped at about 50). The first time I learned the it, it took about 5 weeks. After that, I reviewed it about 10 times at one week per review (about 3 1/2 blatt a day). Eventually, I got to the point were I could work through the whole mesechta in about 3 hours. It isn’t inconceivable that this guy really was learning, he could have a unique mind that thinks rapidly in this way (nothing to do with raw intelligence necessarily), or he may have learned that gemarah many, many times.
Be dan l’kaf zechus, and don’t do as he was doing if you know that for you its not real learning.April 11, 2012 2:14 am at 2:14 am in reply to: No Taxation with Representation #867340
I have always reconciled the problem with a strong commitment to federalism: I oppose the Federal government taxing people to redistribute wealth, but I strongly support taxation at a local level to provide welfare, healthcare, housing, and other such services for the poor within that jurisdiction. I believe this squares with the halachic model of expansive taxation and redistribution powers at the kehillah level, and the heavy burden born by gabbayei tzeddakah to use the funds efficiently and without waste – this can only be done by local, accountable bureaucratic administering welfare to local needy with minimal overhead and fraud.April 4, 2012 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm in reply to: An issue with a cross #868183
My great great uncle won two Iron Crosses during WWI, his family displayed them proudly until they left Germany in 1938, at which time the medals were confiscated by border authorities.April 2, 2012 1:45 pm at 1:45 pm in reply to: YU for girls #866432
“BY’s chinuch might even be questioned”
That seems like a reasonable gain. 🙂April 2, 2012 1:16 am at 1:16 am in reply to: Matzah-Why so expensive? #865165
shmoel: Unfortunately, because like the arbah minim business the matzah business is very lucrative and is controlled by several groups (a cartel, if you will) who work together to keep prices up and deel with competition very harshly (if you know what I mean). A new independent bakery opened in the Five Towns a couple of years ago, but they only lasted one year . . .March 23, 2012 5:12 pm at 5:12 pm in reply to: Yeshivish Good Learners Who Want to go to College #862120
Look into Landers in Queens.
Not the best college, but depending on what he want’s to go into, it can be perfectly adequate. Learning can be really top notch if he has the self-discipline to make it so, and there are more yeshivish rabbeim there that he can make a kesher with. Also, the college program is usually pretty open to allowing good learners to finish their 120 credits in the beis medrash learning for smichah after they complete there major and the core requirements. There is a mix of guys there, but a significant number of rather yeshivish people, especially in the kollel. If this guy is somewhat open minded and can handle being in an environment with less yeshivish/modern guys (in addition to yeshivish ones) and with more broad-minded rabbeim (though he will be able to hear shiur and speak with a mashgiach with rather yeshivish rabbeim), it might be a great fit.March 20, 2012 1:27 pm at 1:27 pm in reply to: Yale University and Its Logo's Hebrew Slogon #883757
Many old universities began principally as schools of divinity, i.e., Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, University of Paris, ect. Following the Protestant Reformation, many, many Protestant scholars began studying Jewish texts in the original Hebrew/Aramaic in order to recover the real origins of Christianity, free from Papist corruptions. For example, Isaac Newton, in addition to being one of the most famous physicists ever, was also a serious hebraist and scholar of rabbinic literature. Many of these hebraist scholars formed the nucleus of new universities like Harvard and Yale, so it is no surprise that the founders of Yale would choose to include the words “urim v’tumim,” the symbol of enlightenment and discovered knowledge, on the university seal.March 18, 2012 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm in reply to: Dating A Gerrer Guy #861500
It is, IMHO, one of the most fascinating and timely issues in halacha, and one that I have studied very intensely for years. If you look through Shailos U’Teshuvos of the Rishonim (especially, Rashba, Rosh, Maharam of Rothenburg, and Rivash, as well as other writings of the Ibn Ezra, Rambam, Mordechai; for more contemporary ways of dealing with these questions, see R. Herzog’s writings) you will discover that there are many, many different ways of approaching the topic. IMHO, to really understand the issues, you need to have a good grasp of political theory and the history of political thought. Many of the Rishonim who wrote on these issues had a very good grasp of politics, constitutionalism, and democratic and republican theory.March 16, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm in reply to: Wine for Pesach #860313
Back on topic . . .
If your looking for something that isnt too pricey, try the Cabernet Merlot blend from Mony wineries. Oftentimes blends are inferior wines, especially if they price out at the lower end of the spectrum, but this is really, really good. It has a very low acidity and is not at all sweet, BUT, it is quite fruity (tones of berries and pear) and really very enjoyable to drink. I have gotten it for around $10 a bottle, and sometimes on sale at 3 for $25.
Two points about this wine: First, it is really excellent when drunk soon after opening, it does not handle the air well, however, and I find the flavors deteriorate and the wine turns quite acidic within 24 hours after opening, even with an airtight cork. Second, since this wine seems so sensitive to air, it drinks VERY badly out of silver cups. If you use it, go with glass.March 13, 2012 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm in reply to: Eating at peoples houses with teenage daughters? #984132
Toi: I had heard it before too, I was just pretty sure your attribution was mistaken. No intention to take away from the vort itself.March 13, 2012 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm in reply to: Eating at peoples houses with teenage daughters? #984130
Toi: It certainly is not R. Hirsch’s take on those words. Look at the context of the perek; it is about various creations in the world coming to appreciate and praise the greatness and complexity of how God runs the world. In particular, the perek focuses on how every type of creation should come to understand and appreciate the world from its own unique perspective, based on its own place in creation and role in the world (“Haleluhu kol m’lachav, haleluhu kol tziva’av”). On the words, “bachurim v’gam besulos, zekeinim im nearim,”
R. Hirsch explains that males and females must come to their own unique understanding of the world and God’s role, “independently, from their own knowledge,” because they have different perspective and different tasks to do. Thus, “zekeinim im nearim”: the boys can learn from the men, whose similar roles and greater life experience enables them to teach the younger generation.
The pasuk, taken as part of the perek has nothing to do with social interactions between men and women. At least not according to R. Hirsch.March 11, 2012 1:20 am at 1:20 am in reply to: Financial Issues: Civil Law vs. Jewish Law #858558
Avi K: If your interested in this kind of stuff, you may want to look into various shailos u’teshuvos of the rishonim (specifically rashba, rosh, maharam m’rottenburg) who deal extensively with the halakhic basis for popular majoritarian government. I haven’t seen or heard r’ shachter’s views on this, but its worth noting that almost all rishonim rejected shutfus as a viable model for republican/democratic government because it would create many administrative difficulties (i.e., you would need unanimous consent to enact any new law; you would need a kinyan among everybody every time you enact a new law; you would have no basis for legislating in non-monetary areas; and a host of other issues).March 9, 2012 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm in reply to: Financial Issues: Civil Law vs. Jewish Law #858555
Popa: That may well be the case for a number of reasons.
1. As you pointed out, there may be an implicit tenai in this country that when Jews act in the public sphere they act and expect others to act on the basis of Federal and applicable State law. Were it gets really fuzzy is how far you take the implicit tenai. In the case of bankruptcy it isn’t too hard to conclude (as many poskim have) that when a Jewish lender formally extends credit to another Jew he does so expecting to be bound by bankruptcy laws and those laws are halachicly incorporated into the agreement between the borrower and lender. The same would be true for many other cases were individuals enter voluntary commercial relationships. It gets more complicated when those relationships are not voluntary or result from chance or the unilateral action of one party. For example, what about tort cases; do parties go about life conducting themselves expecting to be subject to american law or halacha in these areas. A less likely case is the one posed by the OP with respect to business competition; a Jewish merchant might expect that another Jew won’t open a competing store down the block, but he certainly opened his business expecting that a non-Jew might do so. Does that change the calculus?
2. A more expansive justification would be a general reliance on minhag hamedina. If people (that includes the non-Jewish population) entering commercial relationships generally accept certain norms (provided by secular law), the minhag hamakom might bind Jewish relationships too, sometimes even if the parties stipulate otherwise. The applicability of minhag hamakon is limited, however, to cases were halacha recognizes that the intentions and mindsets of the parties control the terms of the relationship.
Of course, none of this says anything about using arkaos to enforce secular law; its really about whether, if you go to a good beis din, the beis din will be applying local law to decide the case, or will resort to the default rules in shulchan aruch.March 7, 2012 3:33 am at 3:33 am in reply to: Women's Kollel?!?!? #859583
“The Rema adds that the portions of the Torah she’bksav that are relevant to women, they should be taught the simple meaning of, so that they know what to do when situations arise in life that affect them.”
The Rama can’t possibly mean what you seem to think he means. Anyone who has ever learned a little chumash and a little halacha knows that the “simple meaning” (I assume you mean p’shat) of any part of Torah Shebichsav is highly unlikely to give anyone solid direction in order for them to actually “know what to do when situations arise in life that affect them.”
Knowing what to do in situations would require them to learn halacha – and I don’t mean kitzur shulchan aruch. Shas and poskim are what you need to understand when something is an issue and how to resolve it. And these days, for women to learn those areas of halacha that apply to them would likely include everything a man learns (after all, women are involved in the kitchen, work outside the home, give tzedakka to the collector at the door, do homework with there children, go to school, engage in business, ect), and more (since women should probably more well versed in hilchos niddah than men need to be).