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  • in reply to: Support Group for Epilepsy #669193

    To Health (laBriut!);

    while I agree with you about jthe idea of being open about disease and syndromes on a wholesale level (in principal) I think that as far as retail goes (individual cases) we cannot necessarily apply something in every case. We have to take into account the individual’s own needs, and if this will make family matters significantly worse for them, they should not be expected to just do it for the overall good of educating the community.

    And unfortunately, in the hareidi community, neurological/psychiatric disorders do affect the chances of the patient’s ability to marry as they would like, as well as that of their siblings. However, given the community’s resistance to “modern” ideas, it is unlikely that such feelings will disappear soon, and any individual family might well feel that educating the community is not worth hurting their childrens’ chances for a shidduch.


    in reply to: Support Group for Epilepsy #669188

    People need support groups for a number of reasons, whether or not the disease is controlled.

    Think about it, it could be that the parents find it difficult to convince a child to take medication, or avoid certain activities. And furthermore, some people feel better after sharing their experiences with others who have similar problems. It is quite difficult to live with a chronic disease, especially if the patient is your child.

    This is especially a problem in the Hareidi community, which stigmatizes many diseases, especially neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Didn’t you read CQ’s post about the fact that the parents could not tell her parents or in-laws? Support groups can be a great help in educating the community about how to deal with these issues.

    in reply to: Support Group for Epilepsy #669172

    I hope that the moderators will allow me to post a link here.

    This is a good website with links to support groups and information pages.

    Note that it is a tandard Medical Center page, and has nothing to do with anything

    religious. However, in the NYC area, people are well acquainted with the desire to have a support group within a given community, and you could give them a call.

    in reply to: Orthodox Jews #669093

    To say that the Hareidi charities “are contributing more to the country than the whole IDF” ignores a number of things. Furthermore, charities like Ezer Letzion are not supported only by Hareidim. You post about Hatzolah and Zaka as if they are the only organizations of their type. Have a look around.

    First of all, Laniado hospital. there are plenty of hospitals not under Hareidi auspices that service all clal Yisrael as well, and the same can be said for all the nonHareidi charities as well. Hareidim and datiim in general are not the only ones that contribute to charity.

    In any event–no charity work is more of a contribution than service in the IDF. They are two different concepts. Like it or not, the Jews in Israel are under threat of attack. Hareidim as well as chilonim. The youth in Israel that serve in the IDF do so whether or not they agree with the policies of the current government, as it is recognized by all but the most obtuse that self-defense comes before any particular political orientation. These people literally risk their lives–and you think that performing charity work contributes “more to the country than the whole IDF”? Tell that to the parents whose children have paid with their lives to defend clal Yisrael. Keep in mind that those children do shmira at machsomim near towns like Emmanuel and Beitar– which are exclusively Hareidi towns.


    in reply to: Aliyah: To Move Or Not To Move #668481

    Oh, I’m sure that we will have lots of advice to give; we are Jews, after all.

    Do you wish to start with specific questions?

    What kind of neighborhood/area do you wish to live in? City, town, moshav?

    What is your religious orientation? Do you want to live in a place where most of the folks are at about your level of observance, or do you want something more diverse?

    How many children do you have, and what kind of schools are you looking for?

    Do you have work lined up, or will you be looking?

    Istrael has many different climate zones. What kind of weather do you like?

    in reply to: Should We Give The H1N1 Vaccine For Kids #671908

    I am quoting Best Ima’s post earlier in this thread:

    “It has been going around our community like crazy in the last few weeks. The schools over here are giving it out but poeple were so confused they didnt know if they should give it to their children or not. My 7 year old daughters best friend just came down with it a few days ago and she is in very critical condition. Theyre switching her to the city now there are better machines for her there. Please everyone daven for her she needs our tefilot. Sarah Miriam bat Tamar. Bezrat Hashem this horrible virus should stop very soon. “

    “The schools were giving it out, but people were so confused that they just didn’t know…..”

    The major hospitals, epidemiologists, and virologists, immunologists, and research physicians have been recommending this vaccine for quite some time. Yet, because of the fear-mongering and disinformation out there, people “just didn’t know”.

    The Yeshiva community is exceptionally susceptible to this kind of fear-mongering and misinformation, because of the relative lack of secular education and the distrust of the medical community (being composed mostly of people unlike themselves).

    We see the consequences in this all the time in the Hareidi communities in Israel, where distrust of the “medina” and the medical community makes them (the Hareidim) one of the communities in which we are most likely to find infectious diseases.

    By all means, daven and say tehillim for this poor girl and all others who are in danger form this and other diseases. Say those tehillim with special kavanah–when you are waiting for you and your children to be inoculated in the doctors’ office.

    in reply to: Should We Give The H1N1 Vaccine For Kids #671901

    Oomis1105, in that case I sincerely hope that none of your doctors’ patients fall into the at-risk categories, since H1N1 has already killed several of those people.

    in reply to: Owning a Gun ? #717553

    A600KiloBear wrote: A 600 kilo bear is what you need as a guard animal nowadays. Criminals have become brazen enough to steal dogs nowadays. Go for the white furred polar variety because the others sleep all winter. “

    Upkeep is extremely expensive; they can eat you out of house and home.

    in reply to: Should We Give The H1N1 Vaccine For Kids #671888

    There are several reasons why Hareidi communities are hit relatively hard by disease outbreaks. Some of those reasons apply more in Israel and less in the US, but that does not really matter since the communities in Israel and the US associate with each other.

    The first one is that so many of the activities in the Jewish community require public assembly. Men feel that it a requirement to go to minyan and the bet medrash, and will not forego this in the early stages of the flu, when symptoms are mild (just a little cold) and the risk of contagion is high. Who among us (Hareidi or not) has not participated in such behavior?

    Second is the distrust of outsiders. We know that Hareidim vaccinate at far lower rates than does the rest of the population, and one of the reasons (not the only one; see below) is distrust of authority outside of their own communities.

    Third is the lack of education. Many in the Hareidi communities have not had an education in the sciences beyond middle-school level, and have no idea of how vaccination works, or why it is safer to vaccinate than not to vaccinate. In many cases, this also applies to the leadership, who the rank-and-file look to for advice. Although well-meaning, it is difficult to offer advice if there is no education providing a foundation for that advice.

    Last is the method of dissemination of information in the Hareidi world. In certain communities in Israel, information is disseminated only by word-of-mouth and by pashkevilim. Hareidi society is particularly susceptible to anecdote: “I heard from my neighbor, who heard from the gabbai of a chashuvishe Rav that his niece (chalilah) got very sick from the vaccination….”

    Such rumors, in the lack of other information do not make for intelligent decisions, especially about health. Of course, any clinician will tell you that he or she has to deal with these kind of rumors from a great many patients, Hareid or not. However, Hareidim have less access to other types of information, and thus have to give greater weight to anecdotal information.

    in reply to: Hebrew Etymology #667439

    I don’t know when “ekonomika” was last sold. Still, these words take on a life of their own.

    in reply to: Hebrew Etymology #667436

    I think that bleach became ekonomika the same way that kleenex became tissue. simply because of brand prevalence.

    in reply to: Hebrew Etymology #667426

    I saw a great bumper sticker with leopard tracks on it that said in Hebrew:

    na nam namer menumar.

    I have been looking for one ever since.

    in reply to: Cantorial Music #667794

    Personally, I do not like chazzanut, for many of the reasons stated above. I have difficulty sitting for protracted periods of time, and having tfilot drawn out does not exactly enhance my davening.

    However, I recognize that others may have different views. I do know people whose davening is inspired by chazzanut. The best answer is to have multiple minyanim, so that we can pick the one that best answers our individual taste. This is not always possible, for reasons of limited space. However, I, like many with my preferences, am willing to get up extremely early for a hashkama minyan to satisfy my davening preferences, even though I would much prefer to sleep a bit more.

    in reply to: The Role Of A Frum Woman, Controversial! #666908

    It is unlike that wee will receive any other answersd form MM than “the gemara says it”.

    I understand his dilemma.

    Many women may well not wish to believe that the only way for them to merit Olam Haba is through the actions of their husbands and male children.

    They may well get the idea that they can merit Olam haba through their own mitzvot–or through studying Torah for themselves. After all, if studying Torah is meritorious, it will be so for women as well; the Torah was not given only to men.

    However, this kind of attitude is a direct threat to the way of life that MM believes in. The more women who believe that their education is just as important as mens’–the fewer who will willingly stay at home cooking and cleaning or work at jobs that they find unfulfilling so that their men can learn all day.

    That is the real point of this argument.If a woman does feel fulfilled by sending her husband off to Kollel to acquire Torah for himself and herself–there is nothing wrong with that. However, more and more women do not feel like that, and there is no reason that they should be led to feel that they do not merit olam haba. I’m pretty sure than most of us would feel that a woman who goes to medical school to work in pediatric oncology or to study treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease sufferers qualifies for a share in Olam Haba, as does a woman who writes a modern commentary to the Torah, such as Nechama Leibowitz whom I mentioned above. However, women who follow these two examples are unlikely to share Mezonos Maven’s opinions, and unlikely to support his seemingly preferred way of life. So he defends that way of life the only way he knows: “It’s in the Gemara”.

    (All of this is moot, as I also posted before, as the Mishna is clear that ALL of Am Yisrael has a place in Olam Haba–a point evaded by Mezonos Maven)

    in reply to: Illegal Immigrants #667196


    many of who live in overseas also pay US taxes.

    in reply to: The Role Of A Frum Woman, Controversial! #666887

    I wonder if MM and thopse with similar opinions believe that Dr. Nechama Leibowitz merited olam haba by her own (considerable) Torah learning.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666587

    Well, I have lived in Israel for a total of over 18 years, so my idealism is a little less starry-eyed than one might think. Most recently I took a rather large pay cut to move back here with my family, and yes, my wife and I knew the economic costs of moving here before the move.

    I have lived in Israel through economic good times and bad, and it is my own experience that someone who moves to Israel from the West is indeed somewhat starry-eyed. It is difficult for me to address people moving here from the Ukraine and such places as I do not know much about the economic situation there.

    Yes, the Medina does seem to just muddle through, at times. One could certainly hope for beter long-term planning, and more idealism. A great many of our politicians leave a lot to be desired–but I could certainly say the same about the US, and my friends from other countries say the same about their politicians.

    Still, we DO muddle through. Despite our net export of brain-power, our research and development output is greater than that of many Western countries of greater size, and in general, the bureaucracy is getting less and less. Our dream is alive, and growing. It may appear broken to A600KIloBear, but not to us.

    So A600KiloBear is welcome to his pessimism, and I will take my optimism. I am glad that he is happy with his choice of not living in the State of Israel, and my family and myself our thrilled that we are. So everyone’s happy.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666585

    First of all, I am not suggesting, nor have I ever suggested, that the Jewish world can exist without Torah learning. What I am suggesting is that not only Hareidim learn Torah.

    Speaking of deluded, where do you get the idea that Rav Zvi Hirsch Kalisher was not a Zionist? I would say that his founding of the Mizrachi movement, his collection of money for settlement activity, and his correspondence indicating his philosophy that the beginning of messianic redemption would be brought about by human effort and by the will of the governments to gather the scattered of Israel into the Holy Land. Have you ever read Drishat Tzion?

    If those activities do not qualify someone as a Zionist, I don’t know what does.

    You may play your game of “my Rebbe is bigger than your Rebbe” all day long. I need not accept your views, nor need you accept mine. If I personally think that Rav Soloveitchik was greater than any of his contemporaries, that is my privilege. Your mileage may vary.

    The reason that certain Rabbanim are recognized across the board is that MO Judaism does not disqualify someon’e Torah learning because of his hashkafa on Zionism or the professional world. We are taught to respect Rabbanim from all streams of Shomer Mitzvot Judaism. The fact that others do not have this respect is nothing to be proud of.

    in reply to: The Role Of A Frum Woman, Controversial! #666881

    So according to MM’s interpretation, young unmarried girls do not get olam haba, career women do not get olam haba, etc. etc–no matter what else they do in their lives, no matter how many mitzvot they perform. Of course this directly contradicts the Mishna that I quoted above. Unless, of course, MM thinks that “Kol Yisrael yesh lahem chelek l’olam haba” does not include women.

    It is so easy to latch on to a single phrase from the Gemara, one which makes a suggestion on how a woman can merit olam haba, and decide that this is the only way–simply because it is the only way mentioned. (Actually, I do not know if this is really the only way mentioned; I have not learned all of Shas.)

    in reply to: The Role Of A Frum Woman, Controversial! #666879

    Sorry MM–we all did read your quote of the Gemara.

    But we (at least myself, not presuming to speak for anyone else) are interested in each others’ opinions, not only in quotes of the Gemara.

    You were asked: do you believe that that is the ONLY way for a woman to merit Olam Haba.

    In other words, what about the examples given above by Bemused?

    in reply to: Illegal Immigrants #667186

    The emergency rooms and other medical specialties use plenty of immigrants, who go through mountains of paperwork to come in.I fail to see how an illegal could possible get a licese to practice medicine in a major hospital.

    I would imagine that the situation is similar with nurses, although the US is facing a crucial shortage of nurses in many places. Hospital nursing is bone-breaking work, with long hours, huge responsibilities, and in many cases, low pay.

    I would hope that the paperwork requirements for nurses is equivalent (more or less) to that of doctors–but I am not sure. Certainly in the better and more responsible hospitals it is.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666581

    MO has certainly produced our share of Rabbanim, the fact that certain people do not see them as Gdolim is not our problem.

    Rav Soloveitchik, Rav Lichtenstein, Rav Amital are just a few examples. Going further back, Rav Kook, Rav Kalisher.

    Where do MO go when we need help? The same places that all Israelis go-

    Hadassah Hospital, Shaarei Tzedek, MADA, etc etc. Do we use Yad Sarah? Sure. We also support Yad Sarah–form individual contributions, to paying for services, to huge government support. If you think for a minute that Yad Sarah is supported by Hareidim exclusively, you are completely divorced from reality.

    And A600KiloBear’s statement that “If we lived according to Torah in EY, we would not need a state, nor would we have a fight with the Arabs.” defies belief. Sure. Right. There was no killing of Jews in E”Y (or anywhere else before the rise of Zionism. The rise of Arab nationalism was only because of the rise of Zionism. Anything else you want to blame on Zionism? The Shoah? How about Chmielnitzki?

    As far as girls who do sherut leumi, more and more communities rely upon them to help teach, work with disabled children, etc. And as for the ones who do serve in the IDF (religious or secular) –plenty of them risk their lives as well. Certainly the opening of more tafkidim for girls has guaranteed that their contribution to the security to the state and people of Israel only rises. And your referring to Hareidim is laughable–putting themselves on the line indeed. Tell that to the solders who spend their time guarding Hareidi towns and the roads leading to them.

    The fact that you come to Israel and only see malls does not mean that that is the only thing here. For that, I truly feel sorry for you–I have no other way to put it. In any event, if you find the medina such a terrible place, I am glad for you that nobody forces you to live here and see this “terrible” place day-to-day. Enjoy the Ukraine–paradise on earth–with such a history of welcoming the Jews.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666579

    MM- I do not think that the educational problem that I brought up is the primary reason, but it is one of the reasons.

    Nor do I agree with A600KiloBear that the primary reason was the disengagement from Aza. This change preceded the disengagement. As far as the disengagement embittering RZ people: while a great many disagreed with it, the vast majority accepted it. The threatened “revolt” of RZ officers and soldiers never materialized. Yes, several “hilltop youth” resolved not to serve, but let’s just say that they are not exactly considered “grade-A material” by the IDF in the first place.

    Somehow I doubt that the “older, established” folks who supported settlement in Aza and are disappointed by the disengagement turn to Chareidi philosophy as a remedy. Chardali? Perhaps–but the operative part of that includes “dati leumi” which means service in the IDF etc.

    What makes a person Chareidi? The clothing? Who cares about the style of dress? (Spoken like a true RZ, I know.)

    The primary reason for the shift are the birthrates; the numbers there are difficult to ignore.

    A600KiloBear is correct when he posts that “MO young people do not go into chinuch in the US”–at least, currently. Yet, things change, and I know several young people who are doing exactly that. Perhaps things will change there, perhaps not.

    As far as Hareidim succeeding financially–I certainly hope so. Unlike others, I do not say that any hashkafa other than my own is “not Torah Jewry”. Nor do I wish upon them poverty, lack of financial success, or anything else. That does not mean that I see supporting the institutions condemning my hashkafa as my responsibility, nor do I think that such teachers should be employed in my children’s schools.

    And as far as the comparison between Teaneck and Yerushalayim–I think not. We still see large numbers of RZ youth in IDF induction centers, asking to go into all-volunteer infantry units. The RZ schools are full, and Universities are full of RZ students in every field–some of them including a half day of kollel along with their University studies. (By the way, these programs are stock-full).

    in reply to: The Role Of A Frum Woman, Controversial! #666873

    Mezonos Maven posted: “cantoresq, based on my understanding of the passage I quoted and on the limited description you provided of the women you refer to, I don’t see anything they’ve done to merit Olam Haboah. “

    Luckily, MM dos not know who merits olam haba, that knowledge is limited to HKB”H.

    As far as his interpretation goes, I would prefer to accept the simple pshat of the first pasuk in Avot.

    in reply to: The Role Of A Frum Woman, Controversial! #666852

    In my opinion it is completely understandable if a woman wishes to gain Torah by studying it herself rather than by vicariously getting it by cooking and cleaning for her husband.

    in reply to: Stories of Courage #666774

    Mazca wrote: “….when a person has a disease and fights it, it is truly heroic people do not realize that that person fought in his mind and body to get better, prayed a lot and of course never allowed depression to overtake him. So I would consider heroisim a person that fought a disease and became better…..”

    This is especially true when this applies to children, who do not have any understanding of what is happening to them.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666575

    Thank you for the clarification. You are entitled to your opinion.

    In one of the other threads, A600KiloBear and I were discussing Hareidi vs Modern Orthodox hashkafot. He predicted, IIRC, that “my children would be Hareidi”. I assume that he meant because of demographic trends in Israel (and in the US).

    One major difference in the MO versus the Hareidi hashkafot is that of mutual tolerance. As you posted (if I may paraphrase) “all Torah Jewry” opposes Zionism. This implies that, in your opinion, a Zionist cannot be a Torah Jew.

    One reason for the demographic shift from Modern Orthodoxy/Mizrachi Judaism to Hareidi Judaism is educational. Over the years, OM schools have been employing Hareidi teachers. This was done for 2 reasons–the lack of emphasis on teaching in the MO sector we simply didn’t have enough people who wanted to go into those fields; and the philosophy of “what can it hurt? We are all Torah Jews here”. We see the result in the demographic shift.

    Well, we were slow to see it, but it is sinking in. There are now major changes in the educational hashkafa of the Mamlachti Dati movement in Israel, and one can hope to see it in the MO folks in the US as well. First of all, huge numbers of young mamlachti-dati people are going into education, at high school, middle school, and elementary school levels. They now see this as of paramount importance, which of course it is. Second, many paerents of children are serving notice to the mamlachti-dati school system that we do not want Hareidi teachers in our schools. This si because we believe that the attitudes that they teach are, in many cases, exactly those expressed by Mezonos Maven–that a Torah is incompatible with Zionism/Modern Orthodoxy.

    Of course, the Hareidim consider this unfair, but they can hardly complain since they have never exactly welcomed teachers of any hashkafa other than their own into their schools.

    So what is the net result? One of them is much less employment for Hareidi women. Teaching is one of the primary occupations permitted them, and the Mamalachti Dati schools were a major source of employment to them. This is now drying up. Will this increase the poverty in the hareidi sector? Sure–and I don’t think that that is a good thing. But I do not wish people from that sector teaching my children.

    Israeli religious schools also employ Rabbanim, and the story above goes for them as well. I do not want Hareidi Rabbanim coming to give shiurim at my childrens’ schools–and I am far from alone in that opinion. Many of us now understand why our population is shrinking and the Hareidi population is growing–and it is not only birth rates.

    I am beginning to hear similar talk from my friends and relatives in the MO communities in the US. And since those schools are private, the shift to exclusively MO teachers should be even easier.

    To those who ask if we are afraid of exposure to Hareidi ideas, I reply that we are adopting the successful Hareidi strategy of emphasizing our own hashkafa. Whether or not it will influence demographics remains to be seen.

    As far as religious values, I believe that the mamlachti/dati/Mizrachi/Modern Orthodox hashkafa is far better than that of the Hareidi one (else I would not be what I am) so we have nothing to lose by this.

    As far as economics goes, the mamlachti/dati sector of society is not affected, except that more of our own are employed in the schools. Not a bad thing at all.

    And as far as the Hqareidi sector goes, well, their own attitudes have brought this about. Why would we send our children to schools that employ teachers who teach that we are not Torah Jews?

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666573

    MM, I picke Rav Yoseef for a reason. Now how about my other examples?

    I do not see how you reconcile your definition in the above post with your earlier statement.

    in reply to: A Job in Israel? Any Ideas #684276

    A600KiloBear is correct when he writes that the income tax authorities will turn your life into gehinom if you evade taxes. Of course, the same could be said of the IRS.

    While taxes are higher here in the US, they have been lowered in recent years.

    But the main thing is that if you do take self-employment in any way, you must set yourself up as an “osek murshe”, which provides you with a framework for paying taxes and national insurance.

    Yes, it is a terrible pain in the well, everything, but you pretty much have to do the same in the US as well, if you wish to obey the law of the land.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666571

    Mezonos Maven wrote:

    “starwolf, Once again you completely missed the boat. Sure, society by its imposition identifies some people as Chareidi. And as a matter of verbal convenience some of those people refer to themselves as such. But they are not a “stream of Judaism”. They are merely the folks who follow the traditions laid forth at Har Sinai.

    I know this is a painful fact for those who don’t follow these traditions, and they thus deny this truth. But be that as it may, as painful for them as this fact is, it shall be spoken. “

    You make the claim that only anti-State people are Torah Jews. Was that really your opinion?

    Now, I assume that you mean the people who identify themselves as Hareidim. Again, this is self-identification.

    So what makes them “Torah Jews” by your definition, as opposed to Modern Orthodox or Mizrachi?

    What makes them (in your opinion) the true inheritors of the traditions of Har Sinai?

    Is it: anti-Zionism?

    their mode of dress?

    their self-isolation from the rest of their people?

    Their reliance on their Rabbinical authority for opinions on every issue?

    Their refusal of secular education?

    Refusal to educate women?

    How anti-state do you need to be to be a “Torah Jew”? Do you have to go as far as A600KiloBear (following the shita of Rav Blau, for example) or can you also take money form the state even though you do not fully participate in its institutions (Belz would be a good example)?

    I of course realize that all of the above do not apply to all those who consider themselves Chareidi. I just want to know what MM’s definition of those Torah Jews are. I also want to get an answer to the question posted above: in his opinion, can a Zionist be a Torah Jew? Is, for example, Rav Ovadia Yosef a Torah Jew?

    A600KiloBear posted his opinion on the subject. While of course I do not agree with it, it was interesting to read.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666564

    Mezonos Maven, you may think that “There is no such thing as “Chareidi”. Nevertheless, a large group of people identify themselves as such today. Whether that stream of Judaism is the best representation of Har Sinai is the point of contention.

    My original point to you was your assertion that all Torah Jews oppose the Yishuv.

    First of all, you call it the “non-Jewish Yishuv”. Halachically, the leaders and the majority of inhabitants of this country are just as much part of clal Yisrael as anyone alive today.

    Your other implication is that nobody who does support the State can be a Torah Jew. I hardly need bother posting that the chutzpah of this is enormous–who are you to say that someone is not a Torah Jew? Who set you up as a shofet of people who you do not know? Tell me, what do you think of Rav Kook? Was he not a Torah Jew? How about Rav Ovadia Yosef? Rav Shear-Yishuv Cohen?

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666560

    Mezonos Maven,

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

    Don’t expect me to share it.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666558

    Mezonos Maven posted: “Actually Bear’s position on the State is pretty tame, slightly right-of-center.

    And from his comments it is obvious he is a supporter of the Jewish Yishuv (?????? ????). It is the Non-Jewish “Yishuv” that he, like all Torah Jewry, opposes.”

    So Mezonos Maven, by posting that ALL Torah Jewry opposes the Yishuv, exculdes all of the Mamlachti Dati, Mizrachi movement, and everyone involved from Rav Kalisher on down from being included in Torah Jewry.

    I wonder if your exclusionary idea of Torah Jewry is shared by your Rabbanim. If so, perhaps it is time for a complete break between Hareidi Judaism and MO Judaism. You go your way, we’ll go ours. You learn your way, we will learn our way. You support your institutions–and we will support ours.

    A complete divorce. The only problem with that is that, as with any divorce, the mizbeach cries.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666554

    Yes, there are limitations to what a person who did not serve in the IDF (or do sherut leumi, in the case of women) can work at. But those limitation are becoming less and less. At one time, one could not be hired by the govt (which controlled many jobs), and many other sectors.

    Today, there are few sectors in which someone who has not served can work. Many of them are security-related, of course.

    However, in many cases, someone who has served will get preference over someone who has not (all other qualifications being equal). Again, this depends on the job sector. In private business, one can hire who one likes, as long as the person is a citizen or legal resident with the correct type of visa. Many private businesses will still prefer people who have served, of course. But by no means all.

    {Note on military service: I find the situation strange. For years, the only men who did not serve were the hareidim and those with criminal records. (There were times when the IDF would not take soemone who did not finish high school or the equivalent.) During the time of Raful’s tenure as Chief of Staff, he instituted the program of “noar Raful” in which even youths with criminal records were drafted. Raful’s theory was that the IDF’s job, in addition to defending the country, was to provide a basis for socialization–so that people from all sectors of society could meet each other and interact. Subsequent Chiefs of Staff have felt differently–that the IDF’s only job is to defend the country, and anything else simply distracts form the main effort. Currently, we are somewhere in the middle between those 2 views, but leaning toward Raful.

    So the major sector of non-servers was the hareidim. Then, with the rise of the “me generation”, one saw disaffected childern of the Israeli artisitc elite, who avoided service, and were proud of it. There were not many of these folks. The most famous is Aviv Gefen, who is a musician. This kind of legitimized nonservice in the eyes of many Israelis. However, they are still a small minority, and most Israelis still regard nonservice with disdain-whoever is not serving–Hareidi or disaffected youth–it does not matter.}

    As far as tax exemptions go, of course they are not framed as “for frum people”. How can a bureaucrat tell who is frum? So the laws (some national, some municipality) are framed according to number of children, or if the father learns in kollel (the latter, of course, limiting the discounts to frum people.)

    REgarding bituach leumi–those frum folks (not all chareidim by any means) that refuse to pay do so on ideological grounds. No other sector gets that privilege. This may be because the govt does not want to take the trouble to fight it.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666552

    A 600KiloBear cannot decide which he prefers–simply to condemn the State for Zionism–or to condemn the State for not be assertive enough in its nationalism. I thoroughly enjoy this little problem.

    I am also a citizen of the US. If you don’t like your tax money paying for Israel’s defense needs (which is by far the recipient of most US aid), lobby your congressperson. I’m sure you can find others who agree with you, and may you enjoy their company. As far as your community’s support- the vast majority of Hareidim support only Hareidi institutions. While Chabad does do other community work, it is one of very few Hareidi groups that does so. That still is not comparable to dedicating years of your life in National Service, and it does not come close to comaparing to putting your life on the line in the IDF.

    Again, if you think that the government is incompetent or evil–we live in a democracy, and the government can be changed. Of course, there is that small matter of who gets to participate. Luckily, the law as it currently stands ensures that only those who are citizens, and are in the country on election day, may vote.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666551

    Mezonos Maven posted: “The Israeli government legally prevents many frum folks from getting jobs.

    Frum folks in the Holy Land are subject to the same tax laws as anyone else. They pay the same rates, but don’t receive many of the benefits. Many they are denied (as above) and many they refuse to accept (i.e. many frum schools that refuseto accept government funds they are entitled to by law.) So there is no reason they should benefit any less from the hospital.

    And the point about Gaza was the Israeli government is already down to destroying religious zionists! “

    How does the government limit those “frum folks” from getting jobs? By limiting their education to 7th grade English and math–at best. Sorry-I am afraid those frum folks do that to themselves.

    Inf act, the govt. has many training programs in place, including several high-tech ones, exclusively for Hareidi men–such as the Israel Space Agency’s program for satellite data analysis. Hmmm, where else can a nice Yeshiva boy (without a college education) get into a program like that? The US? But it is always nice to be able to blame someone esle for one’s woes–without taking any responsibility for one’s own actions.

    Actually, those frum folks are not subject to the same tax laws as they are exempt from paying city and property taxes in many places. And many refuse to pay bituach leumi, which pays for national health care–but still receive that health care.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666543

    Anybody, Hareidi or not, can set up a business in Israel. How could the government stop you? Failure to do military servicde no longer carries the stigma that it once did.

    What does carry a stigma is making false statements. If you stated that you wish to defer military service because of full-time learning, and then prsent the govt. with evidence that you are not learning full-time–well, what do you expect them to do? Give you shlishi for sheker?

    Still many Hareidim do manage to set up businesses, even without service in the military. In general, what they will not get (or have less of a chance of getting) is govt. subsidies that are reserved for those who did perform some service to the state. And correctly so.

    I do not see any evidence that the Hareidi sector is trying to break out of the cycle. Many national service programs have been proposed for Hareidim, all involving service exclusively in the hareidi sectors of society. None of them have made it off the drawing board, as influencial Rabbanim in Bnei Brak have let it be know that they will oppose such programs tooth and nail. So please pardon my lack of sympathy. They want conditions that no other sector of society has; while enjoying all th4e benefits and paying none of the price of membership in that society. And before you say that the membership in society is marginal–that is by their choice. Certainly when we come down to the nitty-griity–they benefit greatly. When the leaders of the Eida Hareidit go into Hadassa Hospital, they are not presented with a large bill. They receive exactly the same conditions as those who have been paying bituach leumi and health insurance for decades.

    Regarding the State of Israel not being completely independent because of the amount of foreign aid–yep, that’s reality for you. I also have no problem with the US oversight, even if I disagree on many points. You gotta pay the piper.

    As far as the Israeli govt.’s policies in Gaza, you are free to agree or disagree with it. However, don’t expect to have any influence whatsoever if you don’t vote. Since you consider the state a toeva, it is just as well.

    in reply to: Illegal Immigrants #667151

    Taxes on very low salaries are minimal. Still, as I posted, the big p[roblem is that illegals are employed precisely to reduce costs to the employers. If we do not think that those costs (social security, health care, etc) should be there, fine. then getr rid of them. But if we do think that they should be there, they should be there for everyone.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666541

    There is no denying that Israel has more complicated and restrictive tax laws than the US. That is the principal reason that many Israeli companies establish their HQs in the US. However, laws change, and things have gotten much better than they were several decades agao. There are pelnty of firms that start here, and stay here.

    Of course, high taxes are a problem here, but most Israelis understand that we have problems faced by few other countries. We have a relatively small population, with huge defense needs, and huge infrastructure needs. We have a high number of elderly and children, and universal health care. We also have a large and growing segment of the population that contributes nothing to the economy in the way of production, and a system that encourages young people to join that system.

    in reply to: Illegal Immigrants #667146

    The US needs immigation. But illegal immigration is not needed. All countries need people who will work hard and be productive members of society, and follow the law. By coming to the US illegally, the illegal immigrants show that following the law is not their major concern.

    Once the illegals are in the US, they benefit from US medical care (some ERs in the southwestern US are at the point of collapse) education (registering their children in schools), etc–without paying their share of taxes.

    But the worst part is that the illegals are hired by places so that they do not have to pay social benefits. No social security, health insurance, etc. This creates a second-class system. One class gets all the benefits that society has decreed should be paid to people–and one class does not. This is immoral, and should be recognized as such. If we need to pay more for our lettuce–or more for our yard work, or more for our nannies, or more for our cleaning people–so that all of these workers can get the same living conditions as anyone else performing these jobs–I am personally willing to do so. Saving a few dollars is not worth establishing a two-class labor system. If we need the workers, open the borders to legal immigration. Illegal immigration is not the answer–and no country in the world can tolerate it.

    As an example, how does Mexico treat the people who try to immigrate illegally across her southern border?

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666538

    A600KiloBear is incorrect about Israeli entrepreneurship.


    in reply to: Recognizing A Stroke #667404

    A few important details:

    Prompt attention indeed raises the probability of recovery from a stroke. However, all strokes are not the same, and no human being can promise 100% recovery. Nobody. People should not raise false hopes like this.

    That being said, prompt attention is extremely important, and may indeed mean all the difference between recovery and nonrecovery–and will certainly determine the degree that medical science can help.

    One important thing is to make sure that any elderly person living alone has access to one of the medical emergency devices. This will allow them to summon help quickly if they are still functioning. Ideally, elderly people who are prone to strokes should not live alone, as someone who has a stroke can then go quite some time before discovery.

    in reply to: A Job in Israel? Any Ideas #684262

    What are your skills?

    Do you have a degree?

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666524

    I have no idea of what Rebbe Nachman desired, except for his known wish to be buried in Uman.

    Since we do have some record of that wish, it would be presumptuous of me to suggest anything contrary

    to it. Of course, I have no personal stake in the matter, since I am not A Breslover. Personally, suspect that Josh31 is correct about the idea of people leaving their families for Rosh Hashana, but the ways of Hasidim are strange to me.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666520

    Regarding disenternment and reinternment in Israel-It is quite possible that Rebbe Nachman would have chosen Israel had he made his decision today. Since he did not, his wishes should be respected, even if this causes inconvenience to his followers.


    I will be sure to come to you for communications lessons, right after I come to you for a shiur in Mussar. This may take some time, so you should not quit your day job.

    in reply to: Owning a Gun ? #717526

    Owning a gun is a responsibility. Like all responsibilities, it entails work, and time.

    First of all, a gun is little use without training. Training in how to use the gun takes time. Will you devote the amount of time necessary? Remember that you want to know how to use this gun instinctively. I am assuming that you mean a handgun–it takes a lot of practice to hit what you aim at even on a well-lit range. At night, in the dark, when you can’t really see, and you have just woken up…..

    You absolutely must put a great deal of thought into how the gun will be stored. The last thing that you need is one of the children getting at the gun. How will you store it? Will you have quick and easy access? What means will you use to stop your children from accessing?

    You also must give some thought to where you live. What are the laws? What kind of permit do you need?

    Do you live in a house? An apartment? Keep in mind that if you miss, the round that you shoot may very well go through your wall, and endanger whoever is on the other side–that could be your children. The type of weapon that you choose is very important, and should be chosen with a great deal of care.

    I am not against owning guns (I own several). However this is not something to be done lightly. You should not just buy one, have a few hours of lessons, and then put it in the safe. It is not like riding a bicycle–it takes constant practice.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666514

    Bemused–I was NOT making a joke, nor am I young. A number of those Nefashot in Europe were my realtives, whom I never had a chance to meet.

    My comment was about making Eastern Eruope a place to be idealized-swhich is something that I will never undeerstand. It is certainly not people of my hashkafa who look back to Poland, Lithuania, the Ukraine, and Hungary with nostalgia–nor do I beleive that the language spoken there is anything to be idealized.

    If you don’t like it that I find the use of such words as “taleisim” amusing–well, too bad.

    in reply to: Ramat Beit Shemesh #708119

    Ramat Bet Shemesh is not a single community. RBS Aleph is very different than RBS Bet.

    One should investigate very thoroughly about the communities before moving there, as there are quite a few problems associated with Bet Shemesh overall. This does not mean that they are unsuitable communities, but that one should have one’s eyes open (as with everything else).

    in reply to: Jeans #665112

    Oy oy oy. We are going down a dark road. Women internists, women surgeons,–who knows where this will lead. Pretty soon, someone will suggest women neurologists and women F-16 pilots!

    Why, who will stay home and bake the cookies?

    See where all this business with jeans leads?

    in reply to: Jeans #665108

    Haifagirl, we thought of that. However, modern Israeli hospitals have a mechanism in place. As system of double doors that cannot both be opened at the same time exists in every Israeli hospital, to separate the morgue from the wards. This way, kohanim have no problem entering the hospitals.

    We think that a similar mechanism ought to suffice at Bet Chumra. Of course, we recognize that things are getting more stringent. So rather than 2 doors, we will have four doors separating the men’s wing from the women’s wing. One of the mottoes of the hospital will be “arba dlatot shel chumra.

    We can economize in other ways. The shul (men’s wing) does not need a mechitza. And the “shul” on the women’s side will not need a Sefer Torah, or even chumashim. We will provide, however, a number of copies of “tzena u’re’ena”.

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