smerel

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  • in reply to: Is Aish too Zionistic to be Effective? #1775976

    smerel
    Participant

    To an extent, this is a valid concern.

    Partners in Torah warns their Torah Mates not to discuss politics because you can only lose.
    (1)If you disagree you can alienate a passionate supporter of the opposite side of you (2)waste energy on politics rather than Torah (3)some of these people’s current religion is liberalism. Their whole value for Torah is largely only to the degree that they believe it supports liberalism. They believe in liberalism with such a religious fervor that if told it conflicts with Torah they won’t accept Torah.

    OTOH when it comes to Zionism I’m not sure this is such a big concern because the younger generation anti-Zionist crowd would not be receptive to Kiruv either way. They don’t identify with Judaism as a religion in any way. Their anti-Zionism seems more motivated by an effort to fight and deny their Jewish heritage and assimilate than a principled understanding of the issue. (It is also motivated to fight the emptiness they have in their lives by rallying around self-righteous self-aggrandizing causes like being anti-Israel)

    They would never agree to sign up for Partners In Torah to being with. They aren’t coming for a Shabbos meal either way. Or if they are only to make fun when they leave.

    So Zionism won’t make a difference either way to them. Can you imagine doing kiruv on a guy like Bernie Sanders?

    That it is who you dealing with today

    in reply to: Child Victims Act now in effect in NYS #1775042

    smerel
    Participant

    Comments (1) that comment is stupider than saying all trump supporters are white supremicists, including the Jews.
    Pure motzei shem rah on any number of people and totally ignorant.

    Comments (2)but I guess I should be thrilled that you didn’t have pretend statistics to “back it up”

    Whoa, Syag Lchocma,

    I knew my comment would hit a raw nerve but I still was expecting a more intelligent response. After all, you have the entire anti frum social media world to copy them from…

    in reply to: Child Victims Act now in effect in NYS #1774891

    smerel
    Participant

    Here is a rule of thumb I see when reading comments about this law.

    Those who hate the frum world and are the type to automatically take the anti frum side see it as a wonderful development.

    Those who are not anti frum see it very differently.

    e.g. On the anti frum blogs the law is being lauded

    Even Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz with his consistent advocacy for protection for abuse and for abuse victims is against it.

    The rest is all commentary.


    smerel
    Participant

    Comparing Trump to Hitler is evil. I won’t dignify the comparison with a response.

    Instead, I’ll make a different point. If It’s not just Brown and Hispanics being rounded up for deportation then don’t accuse Trump of being racially motivated with these roundups.

    in reply to: Anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism: Legal Implications under U.S. Law #1760554

    smerel
    Participant

    If a non-Jew is anti-Zionist but not ALSO anti-Palestinian then they are an anti-Semite.

    Every single current complaint the anti-Israel crowd uses are things the Palestinians are or would be a lot more guilty of if they took over. They don’t even pay lip service otherwise.

    I do not believe the OBSESSION with anti-Zionism in some circles in the frum community is really motivated by Kovod Shomyim. There are a lot of worse Jewish groups and a lot more things to worry about. Fighting Zionism (with repeated reference to people and ideals that are long dead) is the wrong battle for today’s time.

    And the endless seeking of confrontation in some circles in the frum community is a big part the CAUSE of a lot of the problems the frum community in Eretz Yisroel has today.

    No anti-religious candidate shows footage of Bochurim learning in say Chevron Yeshiva in his campaigning. They do show the confrontations and protests of the anti-Zionist groups to get votes. With a lot of success.


    smerel
    Participant

    And here we are a few days before Shavous and of course, the paper did not actually come out…

    in reply to: Monetary value of a pint of blood #1732517

    smerel
    Participant

    In most states and many countries, hospitals are not allowed to charge for blood that was donated to them. Those places usually charge about $125 for blood collection costs. In places where they are allowed to charge for blood, the cost can be anywhere between $300 to $800 a pint. Platelets are $1200.

    As far as the actual question being asked here ask a Rav and let us know what he says.


    smerel
    Participant

    Seems like a trial balloon at making a new newspaper and not an actual decision

    I googled this and couldn’t find it on any other site.

    Nothing written in Hebrew posted here has anything coming from Rav Chaim Kanievsky. In fact the only indirect reference to him mentions “BAIS H’Rav Kanivsky” which implies that it is his gatekeepers and not him personally looking to make a new paper.

    Rav Chaim Kanievsky is certainly NOT known to have such an involvement in politics that he would want to start and be on top of a newspaper. If anything it would be people looking to start a newspaper trying to claim his support


    smerel
    Participant

    Why do they share names unless there’s a shaychus between the American and Israeli Yateds?

    Thirty years ago when the American Yated first started it was affiliated with the Isreali Yated

    They have long since parted ways

    in reply to: Why is Kiruv Rechokim becoming much more challenging? #1725559

    smerel
    Participant

    The 70s were the heyday for the American Kiruv movements for a few reasons that are no longer true

    (1)Back then even secular American Jews had a very strong Jewish identity

    (2) Back then there was more of a general turmoil and seeking in the world.

    (3) Back then the truth of Torah M’Sinai was much more accepted by most Americans, Jew and non-Jew alike.

    Over the past thirty years, however, the atheists have very become much more aggressive in the general America media and public life, which have become way more hostile to ALL religion (with the exception of Islam)

    Hence the continual decline of American kiruv success

    The above is only true about the US. In Israel, the BT rate is not really less today than it was twenty years ago

    in reply to: Info about BMG #1725561

    smerel
    Participant

    Based on your last two questions it doesn’t seem like BMG is for you


    smerel
    Participant

    If the developer is asking for a variance OR building something that will inconvenience everyone else by putting an extra strain on the limited infrastructure (parking) then yes he should be required to(1) have affordable housing and (2)pay an impact fee for all the inconvenience he is causing everyone else.

    If he does not need a variance and his building won’t impact anyone else then he has no other obligations

    in reply to: Beth Isaac of Flatbush (R Yerucham Leshinsky) Closed? #1657730

    smerel
    Participant

    “if a rav opens a shul on his own even though he solicited funds for it ,its still his own private shul ”

    This is not so simple in halacha. The donors to a shul sometimes do have a say about it’s being closed down or sold.

    I’m not saying that is the situation here. I just talking in general.

    Go through the sugyos of Beis Medrash shel Krachim/Kefarim

    in reply to: Beth Isaac of Flatbush (R Yerucham Leshinsky) Closed? #1657725

    smerel
    Participant

    There are many complicated halachos about closing down and selling a shul building. Particularly if it was built with funds solicited from the public. In the 1970s when many neighborhoods were deteriorating and many shuls were closing down it was a major contentious issue with many Diney Torah and L’havdil law suits.

    There are too many factors involved to discuss it here.

    I know of some shuls that made a deed restriction that if the shul ever closes down and the building is sold then some external organization like the Agudah or the OU will (1)decide where to distribute the money but (2)can not distribute the money to themselves in order to avoid a conflict of interest when the shuld gets sold

    in reply to: What happened to Talmud Yerushalmi? #1645427

    smerel
    Participant

    Firstly the Rishonim didn’t write nearly as extensively on the Yerushalmi

    Secondly being that the Bavli was written later , halacha K’basrah, we always pasken with the Bavli over the Yerushalmi. Therefore if you are looking to learn a sugya aliva d’hichasa it has to be done based on the Bavli. The Rambam, Shulcha Orech etc are primarily based on Talmid Bavli.

    Therefore there is a much greater focus on it.

    in reply to: Why Are Torah Observant Jews Overwhelmingly Republican/Conservative? #1633713

    smerel
    Participant

    It’s not just frum people. Most religious people are Republican/Conservative. (with the possible exception of Muslims).

    Without going in some of the many other reasons the democrats and liberals are becoming increasingly hostile to religion. The pundits wonder why the evangelicals support Trump even though he isn’t even nominally religious in his personal life. The answer is simple. Much as Trump makes fun and insults other people , one group he NEVER starts up with or makes fun is religious people or religious leaders .

    Yes Obama is a family man who went to church for twenty year listening to Jeremiah Wright deliver his message of hate. But when he talks about “clinging to guns and religion” instead of joining his enlightened crowd, when he tried t force Catholic employers to violate their religious principles it’s easy to understand why religious people don’t want his ilk in office.

    in reply to: Why Are Torah Observant Jews Overwhelmingly Republican/Conservative? #1633712

    smerel
    Participant

    It’s not just frum people. Most religious people are Republican/Conservative. (with the possible exception of Muslims).

    Without going into some of the many other reasons the Democrats and liberals are becoming increasingly hostile to religion. The pundits wonder why the evangelicals support Trump even though he isn’t even nominally religious in his personal life. The answer is simple. Much as Trump makes fun and insults other people, one group he NEVER starts up with or makes fun is religious people or religious leaders.

    Yes Obama is a family man who went to church for twenty year listening to Jeremiah Wright deliver his message of hate. But when he talks about “clinging to guns and religion” instead of joining his enlightened crowd, when he tried t force Catholic employers to violate their religious principles it’s easy to understand why religious people don’t want his ilk in office.

    in reply to: Anim Zemirot and Shabbtai Tzvi #1625772

    smerel
    Participant

    I think he is confusing Anim Zemiros with a different song sang on Shabbos that is alleged to have been composed by Shabsei Tzvi. I’m not saying which one.

    (most people attribute that song to the Arizal)

    in reply to: Rav Yitzchok Lichtenstein shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Torah Vodaath #1610665

    smerel
    Participant

    Are any of the current Roshei Yeshivos of YTV considered to be the primary RY, in the same sense that Rav Pam zt”l held that title?

    Rav Pam held that title only because of how well known he was in the outside world.

    He didn’t have the power that most Roshey Yeshiva have

    He needed permission from the board of directors for many decisions. Even for things which he didn’t need the board’s approval the power in the Yeshiva wasn’t exclusively his. He shared it with other hanhala members to a much larger degree than most other Roshey Yeshiva do.

    Rav Yitzchok Lichtenstein will probably find himself in the same position.

    in reply to: Taxing shopping bags #1545696

    smerel
    Participant

    (1)A taxable transaction doesn’t require buying or selling

    (2)Why would anyone charge tax on a free item if the law didn’t require it?

    in reply to: Would you have learned differently in yeshiva/kollel in hindsight #1536656

    smerel
    Participant

    There are things that I wish were different in the Yeshivos I learned in but the stress on Lomdus is not one of them.

    When I go online and see how bungled Torah topics are by those who don’t know how to learn I really appreciate the focus on Lomdus and knowing how to learn. The focus on Lomdus also teaches people not to understand Torah superficially. Those who don’t understand that seem frequently misled about Torah concepts online. Etc.etc.etc.

    in reply to: 150,000 Assimilated Jews proudly fought whe Nazi’s #1531648

    smerel
    Participant

    <i>J Street and their ilk do not fear generally fear antisemitism (I suspect that many Jews on campuses who publicly espouse anti-Israel positions do so out of fear). They are ideologically opposed to any form of nationalism.</i>

    If J Street’s issue was nationalism then they wouldn’t be pro Palestinian either because the Palestinians are way more nationalistic than the Israelis are.

    Their issues are that they very much want to assimilate completely but (1) it is difficult for them to be pro-Israel when the prevailing feeling in the left is so anti-Israel (2)anti-Semitism masked as anti-Israel makes them realize it isn’t so easy to assimilate .

    To drown out those thoughts they take a very anti-Israel position to tell themselves there is no anti-Semitism in the anti Israel bias and to tell the non-Jews. “No we’re not like those Jews. We are just like you . Let us assimilate among you.

    It isn’t for no reason that the head of J Street frequently takes a salami-ham-and-cheese sandwich to interviews. He is trying to make a point that he has nothing to do with “Jewish” Jews.

    in reply to: 150,000 Assimilated Jews proudly fought whe Nazi’s #1531379

    smerel
    Participant

    The headline isn’t accurate at all. There were people with Jewish ancestors who fought with the Nazis but they weren’t assimilated Jews. Almost none were Jewish halchicly and they weren’t people who actively assimilated themselves .

    Also the number 150,000 sounds way to high.

    That said the concept is true. I used to wonder how secular Jews in America were so indifferent to the holocaust and even sabotaged rescue efforts. I was sure that today things would be different .Until there starting being groups like J Street . They would act the exact way .

    in reply to: Mussar Yeshivios #1519310

    smerel
    Participant

    I think you mean a “Haskafa Yeshiva”. Not a “musser yeshiva”

    If you aren’t extremely frum and motivated going to a “musser yeshiva” can be damaging. I can think of two Yeshivas that were very heavily focused on and heavily stressed Musser twenty five years ago. They both toned down their focus to be more mainstream because their original focus had been damaging for American teenagers.

    Almost all Yeshiva have Musser Seder. You can learn haskafah seforim during that time. And other times.

    in reply to: “Lehovin” Jewish Newspaper #1506299

    smerel
    Participant

    From the name alone you can tell that it is a propaganda paper.

    in reply to: Lakewood vs. Flatbush #1492321

    smerel
    Participant

    Lakewood has more room but less infrastructure than Flatbush. You won’t fight for parking but you will fight to get your child into school.

    in reply to: Lakewood vs. Flatbush #1492318

    smerel
    Participant

    Lakewood has much more Torah, space and cheaper housing.

    Flatbush has a larger variety of kehilos and Yeshivas. e.g. There are more Mesivotas in Lakewood but if you want a good one that also offers a good secular education you will have a easier time finding one in Flatbush. If you want a shul with a Rov that you can build a relationship with you also will probably have a easier time in Flatbush.

    in reply to: Does a Jewish magazine need a rabbi? #1462186

    smerel
    Participant

    It is way more important for a website to have a rav that it answers to.

    in reply to: Raising Difficult Children #1451299

    smerel
    Participant

    Does anyone know where the Gemara being quoted which says that if a person has צער גידול בנים, if he has difficulties in raising his children, then אינו רואה פתחה של גהינים is?

    in reply to: Have you ever been mekarev a paleontologist? #1421243

    smerel
    Participant

    I’ve never once met a paleontologist who I wasn’t immediately fully mekarav

    in reply to: Why are the lakewood rabbanim so against an eruv in thier Town?? #1417876

    smerel
    Participant

    GAON

    This issue is beyond the scope of the coffee room but if you are going with the argument of “it has always been done” then in Lakewood you are dealing with a situation where as a matter of principle “it has never been done”.

    in reply to: Why are the lakewood rabbanim so against an eruv in thier Town?? #1417790

    smerel
    Participant

    To answer in very general terms.It is almost impossible to make an eruv over a large area of non privately owned property according to all shitos and without many kulas. Usually the larger the area the more difficult.

    There are so many differences in halachas of making an eruv between the cities you mention it is beyond the scope of this answer to discuss them all.

    in reply to: Hashkafic views on taking money from the medinah #1412874

    smerel
    Participant

    akuperma:

    My point is that if you aren’t so frum about the D’Oyraases involved in taking money from the American Government in a less than 100% glatt yosher manner then it’s not your place to worry about haskafah issues involved in taking money from the Israeli government.

    in reply to: Hashkafic views on taking money from the medinah #1412457

    smerel
    Participant

    (1)If you aren’t makpid on 100% Glatt Yosher when it comes to taking money from the American government then the you should have no issue with taking from the isreali government.

    (2) Once you take money to a certain degree you are implicitly giving them legitimacy in FINANCIAL areas.

    in reply to: People Without a Rov #1404783

    smerel
    Participant

    I would love to have a rov but out of all the shuls in my neighborhood only two have a practicing rov.

    One has a shul so crowded that I could never daven there the other is of a totally different haskafa than me.

    in reply to: Lakewood vs. Flatbush #1396575

    smerel
    Participant

    Two weeks ago I davened in Torah Vodaas Friday night and Motzey Shabbos. There were about 35 people there. I remember 25 years ago when there were about two hundred people there.That is more than a 80% decrease.

    On the other hand the other side of Ocean Parkway in Kensington seems to have much more frum people than it did 25 years ago.

    in reply to: The Next Lakewood #1395888

    smerel
    Participant

    Jackson is up and coming but it won’t be like Lakewood

    Which new community was ever just like the old one?


    smerel
    Participant

    The R’MA says a sukkah cannot be built on public property (R’Shus H’Rabim) The later Achronim discuss to what degree the RMA meant it. All agree that the R’MA was not speaking about a case where you got a permit. The Biur Halacha even seems to say that if your backyard is government owned land but nobody ever goes there or uses it and the government doesn’t place any restrictions on things like your kids playing there then you can make a sukkah there even without a permit.

    If this is relevant ask your LOR

    in reply to: Are their chickens in Humash? #1381623

    smerel
    Participant

    So it seems that “mesorah” in the case of birds does NOT mean from Sinai, but means only “a well established custom among the frum Jews”, which leaves open the question of how such a “mesorah” comes into being.

    There is no Mesora from Sinai on all Kosher birds. There is only a Mesora on which are the NON kosher birds listed in the Torah. Being that today we no longer know which birds are non Kosher we, therefore, need a mesora on which birds are kosher. Once we know they were always eaten we also know that they aren’t from the non kosher birds the Torah lists

    in reply to: Why do many chasidish yeshivas start on rosh chodesh cheshvan #1365885

    smerel
    Participant

    The Litvish Yesivos also start on Rosh Chodesh Chesvan. And most Chasdishe Yeshivos go through the entire Av


    smerel
    Participant

    It is a lot easier to collect funds for mosdos located in Eretz Yisroel than it is to force those who head mosdos in Lakewood to accept children into their schools. I question if they would even have the right to do so.

    And no I’m not negating in any way the school shortage problem in Lakewood.

    in reply to: Can a Non-Religious Jew be a Tzadik? #1350064

    smerel
    Participant

    I don’t know about a Tinok Shensibah but I have the following observation about the current OTD crowd:. Although many of them are very self righteous and judgmental I never met anyone who went OTD that would be considered a principled idealistic person by SECULAR standards.

    in reply to: Describe your experience as a partner in torah mentor or similar kiruv. #1346827

    smerel
    Participant

    Why do you ask?

    I did it for Partners in Torah and for Oorah. In my experience it depends a lot on the partner you are set up with and their interest in learning. If every week they have a new excuse why they can’t learn it won’t work out. If they are committed it will.

    It is little different from teaching anyone else on a one on one basis.

    in reply to: Are they faking their beliefs/identity?! #1346454

    smerel
    Participant

    I don’t know if people are faking their identity but I do suspect that many coffee room posters would have not turned out well had they actually grown up in an environment that holds of the haskafa they are pushing.

    in reply to: The RCA Are Outta Control, And Do NOT Speak For Me #1341342

    smerel
    Participant

    Without going into the specifics of this case we are in Golus. You don’t publicly pick a fight with the president of the United States over something that doesn’t directly pertain to the Jewish community. Even then you have to be very careful.

    He has enough people criticizing him over this. No need for the RCA to chime in.

    in reply to: The slowly disappearing community school of old. #1335582

    smerel
    Participant

    It was more like twenty five years ago when Lakewood schools didn’t make a major issue about tuition. Back then you were dealing with a crowd who considered paying tuition a priority. No one who said they can’t pay was spending money on luxuries. Also thirty years ago the Rebbeim in Lakewood Cheder went on strike for not being paid. Today neither the Rebbeim or parents would tolerate such a situation. So of course there will be more pressure to pay tuition.

    Much as I wish community schools were still around I do have to acknowledge that they were not very successful. They end up becoming schools for all those who have issues or aren’t interested in learning. It is important of course to have such a school but truthfully they didn’t disappear because of their successes.

    in reply to: chasidish / litvish yeshivas #1334724

    smerel
    Participant

    The little that I know:

    From what I remember thirty years ago the bochrim who considered themselves yesivish for the most part had peyos behind their ears like today. The VERY Yeshivish crowd had “Brisker Peyos” The percentage of kollel yungerleit who had beards was smaller but not so much smaller than today.The Chidusay Harim on Shas was commonly learned in Litvish yeshivos. (There is even a GRNA”T answering a kasha in it.)Long malbushim and bend up hats are no more common today than they were then. In fact frocks and homburgs are LESS common than thirty years ago in yeshivish circles.

    in reply to: Kensington, Brooklyn, NYC versus Kensington, London #1333305

    smerel
    Participant

    There are lot more Talmiday Chachomim and Yeshivos in Kensington Brooklyn.

    in reply to: Fromer Friends from Yeshiva avoid me (troll thread) #1329686

    smerel
    Participant

    Well as the old saying goes “Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate” But seriously it is unlikely that they are consciously avoiding you because they don’t associate themselves with people of your kind. Rather it is probably because they have moved in different way and have much less common ground with you. (out of sight out of mind)It is also very likely that they aren’t inviting you to simchos because they are scared that doing so would be rubbing in your face how they have families and you don’t (yet).

    Put yourself in their shoes. Had the vision you had for yourself of torah ugedula bemakom echad,came true how often would you still be thinking about those who you knew forty years ago that didn’t make it?

    When you were the one who was considered a baal kishran, and envisioned a life of torah ugedula bemakom echad,how much attention did you pay to the bochrim who found learning difficult, were not socially adept and had no friends?

    in reply to: How can I learn Yiddish? #1325018

    smerel
    Participant

    Do you understand any Yiddish at all? You can listen to Shiurim in Yiddish and when you come across words you don’t understand look up their definition. If the speaker is American born his Yiddish will be easy to understand.

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