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  • in reply to: Jeans #665106


    you obviously say that because you studied in some treife Medical School, where you had to study evolution, human anatomy, and all sorts of subjects not fit for a nice Jewish boy or girl.

    Our new Mehadrin Medical School, at the Universitat Ya’ar Agam, will not have such subjects.

    (Therefore our male doctors, nurses, and technicians will not wish to wear pink. They will not be exposed to such toeivois.)

    Feif Un, yes, we will have 2 separate wings in the hospital, but until the first Mehadrin medical class graduates, we are having trouble staffing them.

    Unfortunately, costs for procedures performed in our hospital are higher than the costs at other hospitals. This is because of the need for special equipment. Do you know how difficult and expensive it is to find autoclaves that can sterilize hats and sheitels? But fear not, we are “on top” of the situation.

    in reply to: Jeans #665101

    Well Sammygol, I know of hospitals that have pink, purple, green, etc.

    But when we open that new hospital (Bet Chumra) we will only have white scrubs.

    Don’t worry about the stains, because all the doctors (men only, of course) will have to wear black jackets over their scrubs.

    in reply to: Jeans #665100


    You are making a statement to those that judge by appearances.

    While I would admit that that is a majority of people–is that what we should be doing?

    in reply to: Jeans #665094

    Well, according to the fashion police here, I guess that precludes you from wearing jeans.

    Now let’s talk about scrubs.

    in reply to: Chinuch for Toddlers #664302

    I also like playing games with the tfillot, like finding the “secret names” in l’cha dodi and zmirot.

    And finding the names of the astronomical bodies in ” -l adon”.

    in reply to: Thanksgiving celebration #664266

    Halloween had its origins as a pagan holiday.

    Valentine’s day, as currently celebrated, is an invention of the greeting-card companies–but it originally was yet another saint’s day in the church calender.

    Thanksgiving is either of those–a truly secular, American holiday.

    in reply to: What Should we do About so Many Collecters? #664675

    We certainly do have to announce and discuss “fake collectors”.

    these people are taking money away from those who really need it.

    While I would include the donors in that, I especially mean the people that are really in need.

    Fake collectors are robbing widows and orphans.

    in reply to: Jeans #665092

    I guess I don’t.

    And designer jeans are not my thing.

    I do, by the way, work with designer genes.

    in reply to: Jeans #665090

    Painters, plumbers, and electricians are all honorable professions.

    Where would we be without them?

    Fashion critics, on the other hand, strike me as, well, —not as useful to society.

    Whether the criticism is based on the fashion advice in Paris, Rome, or Brooklyn, or Lakewood.

    in reply to: Chinuch for Toddlers #664298

    One thing that we do is, immediately prior to candle-lighting, is call our daughters in to put money in the pushka. In addition to teaching them the importance of tzedaka, It also emphasizes that immediately after, we do not touch money. they like the idea of putting the money in themselves, of course, as it is an activity, rather than just a passive learning experience.

    in reply to: Bochurim in Japan #668516

    I am really trying to understand the reactions of the Hareidi community.

    This is a terrible chillul Hashem, and it puts every Hareidi travelling by air under the eye of law enforcement officials. These guys do profile, and if any of us who are openly identifiable as Jews show contempt for the law, the law will certainly return the favor.

    It is in our interests as a community to find those responsible for these actions and punish them to the full extent of the law.

    It is also in our interests to educate our children in good behavior and halacha. The importance of dinah d’malchusa dinah cannot be overstated. In addition, an education in common sense such as “don’t take any packages from strangers, no matter their appearance” would be helpful.

    All of this should be an important part of any education, even the most cloistered. Otherwise, when the students do go out into the world, they have no idea of the behavior expected of them (by the legal authorities) and it is easy to run afoul of them–and pay extreme penalties.

    in reply to: Bochurim in Japan #668513

    If indeed these men are innocent dupes, they should have no problem with providing the legal authorities with the information about those that duped them, and to provide testimony against them. there is no reason to protect these people. If the person who bought the ticket was also an innocent dupe–then who duped him?


    Someone planned for them to smuggle drugs. Whether or not that person is a member of the religious community–I do not care–he or she should receive the full punishment mandated by law.

    in reply to: Government Programs for Low Income Families #667242

    For those of you comparing the financial situation of graduate/medical students to that of kollel students:

    1. Medical students do not receive stipends. (The only ones who do are in MD/PhD programs, and it is for the work on the PhD that they receive money–more on that below.) A great many medical students take out loans to cover the cost of tuition and living. The collateral for those loans is the MD’s earning ability later on–repayment of those loans is long-term–as the MD will not be able to repay them for quite some time. Average debt for medical students–about $150,000.

    2. Graduate students in sciences–many do receive stipends. This, however, is not provided stam–it is generally a salary for teaching classes to undergraduates. Otherwise, they may receive a specific stipend for performing a specific topic of research. This, however, is something that the student’s adviser has gotten through grant applications–and they are very competitive. The grants are very goal-directed, and go for a very limited amount of time. Progress reports are demanded. For this, the student is expected to spend 60+ hours/ week in the lab on slow days–and over 90+ hours/week during the high-stress times. and there is no such thing as “ben hazmanim”. In other words, graduate work in the sciences is a more-than-full-time job. These students are exempt from tuition by their institutions.

    3. Graduate work in the non-sciences is much less funded than what I have described above. There are a few teaching positions available, and a very few stipends. So most of the students doing graduate work in history, or literature, or such topics—have to solve the problem in other ways. Those who do not have money in the family usually hit upon the same original idea–they go to work. They study part-time, and work part-time to support their study. These students usually pay tuition, as well.

    in reply to: College, Secular Studies & Judaism #1169620

    Well, sammygol, this could really be a problem. Not the shiksa thing, but…..

    Let us say that our nice Yeshiva boy goes to University to study, say chemistry.

    He chooses a school that has mixed calsses–a strong Jewish community.

    While his midot are such that scantily-clad shiksas hold no attraction for him, he cou8ld still meet a…….

    …..modestly dressed religious girl who is there for her own education. This could be a real problem, since she is likely to regard her own education as important as his. Who knows, perhaps her subject of choice could be pre-med or Yiddish or even….dare I say it… Rabbinical Exegesis! This could even require actual Talmud study!! Who knows where that could lead?

    He could marry her–and raise daughters whose education is as important as that of their sons.

    I suspect that the above scenario is as treif to certain members of the Yeshiva community as the shiksa scenario.

    in reply to: Medicines and Antibiotics #664140

    Grapefruit juice contains a number of compounds. We do NOT fully understand the actions of some of these compounds. In addition to their effects on drug metabolism cited above, some of these compounds can affect other biological systems as well. For example, how much of a given drug enters the brain.

    I urge anyone taking any drug whatsoever to take the time and read the label describing the interactions of that drug with others, and reading the contraindications. Then follow the instructions, they are not there for nothing. If you do not understand, don’t be embarrassed, get your doctor or a pharmacist to explain it to you. Don’t be shy, this is your health that we are discussing.

    Again, for any visit to the doctor, bring a list of your medications and the dosages that you take. Do not rely on the doctor to have it on file or look it up. Especially in the cases in which you consult multiple specialists, a single doctor may not have the entire list on file.

    So take responsibility for your own health!! The system is not going to do it for you.

    In addition to keeping an updated list of your medications and dosages, do not fail to keep a similar list for your children, and especially, for your parents. Many of our elderly take a bewildering combination of meds, and have difficulty keeping track of everything. Their physicians are overworked and underpaid, and often do not get the complete story. It is our duty to make sure that our parents/grandparents receive quality medical treatment.

    in reply to: College, Secular Studies & Judaism #1169618

    As far as that goes, sammygol, there are University programs in which one can embark on a serious study of Yiddish as used in traditional writings.

    It could still be a dangerous thing to do. One might end up wearing a colored shirt.

    in reply to: Child Safety Laws #670479

    Er, no offense, haifagirl, but I never heard of this. Now, having access to all the major biomedical libraries, I could run a search.


    I am highly allergic to a number of substances. After reading your post, I did the empirical experiment. I held several substances, some of which I am allergic to–some of which I am not.

    With my eyes closed.

    In every single case, I was able to resist the push.

    I do not know where this comes from, but there is certainly empirical evidence against it.

    in reply to: The Bus Problem #665930

    If, indeed, “They know how to act and behave”, then there should be no problem.

    Otherwise, you have 2 solutions:

    sequester them even more than you do now,

    or subsidize alternative forms of transportation.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666438

    When the Eastern Europeans started immigration to Israel the Jewish inhabitants of the land, who were Samech Tet-nikim, called them “Vusvusim”–because they could not understand a word of the spoken language of the land–and replied vus? vus? to any question put to them.

    in reply to: Yummy Kosher Dessert Recipes #665317

    Take a bottle of dry red table wine. Nothing fancy. (Sweet wine will not work for this recipe.)

    pour it into a pot & heat. Put in a cinnamon stick and some cloves.

    Dissolve brown sugar or demarara sugar into the wine as it heats. Increase sugar till the mixture tastes sweet.

    Let the mixture cool.

    Slice several peaches or nectarines.

    Pour the mixture over them and leave out for a couple of hours, then chill in fridge.


    in reply to: Modern Orthodox Judaism #663739

    Mezonos Maven–

    As far as the mistakes made by the Rabbanim–you think that they were not done “with malice”.

    I would modify that a bit–we have firsthand accounts to the motzei shem ra that the Rabbinical leadership of the time committed –besmirching the names of those that did encourage emigration. Was that malice? The book “Em Habanim Semeicha” is a nice place to start–and the author’s reliability surpasses Hecht’s by light-years.

    You say “Let’s for arguments sake say that the “Hareidi Rabbinical leaders” (however you wish to define that) made mistakes. Let’s for argument’s sake say they made wrong decisions. To the best of my knowledge, and correct me if you know otherwise, NO ONE has ever alleged they did so with malice.”

    Nobody has shown “malice on the part of Kastner either.” What has been shown on the part of Kastner is results. One thousand, seven hundred of them. You condemn the man responsible–and have shown absolutely nothing comparable on the part of your ideological colleagues. Nothing. How many did they get out?

    Others that did manage to get out were aided by efforts of Modern Orthodoxy and Religious Zionism. Leaders of YU at the time come to mind.

    Any involvement by Hareidim in the US to rescue Jews primarily concentrated on other Haredim. They wanted to rescue their own first. Just like the Zionists.

    in reply to: Modern Orthodox Judaism #663730

    No, Kasztner was not a tzaddik. And judging people who lived in those times, under those conditions, is, in my opinion, somewhat beyond our understanding. In any event, we have a Dayan Emet.

    Many people made very bad decisions in those times. Kasztner has been singled out for vilification, especially by the Hareidi antiZionist community, who have consistently ignored the mistakes that their own leadership made during those times. Hypocritical, to say the least. Especially since they claim such wisdom (approaching infallibility) for those leaders that they may not be criticized. If they possessed such wisdom, why were their decisions not better?

    This does not denigrate the wisdom that the Hareidi Rabbinical leaders do possess. But they were wrong on this occasion. People who believe that all Jews should be held accountable for all actions during the Shoah must include the Rabbinical leaders. Those of us who believe that we should not judge our fellow Jews for their actions and instead place all blame where it belongs–should include Kasztner in that accounting.

    in reply to: The Working Poor Crisis #663820

    Jothar posted: “Starwolf, there have been many scientific studies done PROVING that boys do much better academically when there are no girls around. you also seem to be unaware of a basic fact of life that occurs in mixed environments. Speak to any educator in a co-ed high school for a proper second opinion, and he’ll give you an earful. Mixed classes are a churban. “

    You may have an opinion of mixed classes based on your particular view of proper behavior. However, I teach in a few Universities for a living, and I see no particular academic churban as a result of mixed classes in the high schools of my pupils. And I spend a considerable amount of my time speaking to both primary and secondary school educators–in Israel, at least.

    It is somewhat more difficult for those students who have been in a separate environment all their lives. We do see some Hareidi students in University in Israel, and they do not always look comfortable. The system does go to some effort to ensure that they are accomodated as much as possible within the framework. of course, this is more so in Israel, where we have a better understanding of what the needs are.

    As far as my misunderstanding of what goes on in mixed environments–rest assured that I have been associated with Universities as a student and teacher for quite some time. If students wish to fool around (in any way), of course I cannot stop this. But I see very little of it in the schools that I am associated with. Keep in mind that, in Israel, most students are older, the vast majority of them work, and they are not there to have a good time. (In the US, I am associated with rather elite institutions at which the students are well known for working their you-know-whats off.) I reinforce this by giving the student very heavy workloads, encouraging debate in the classroom (meaning that they had better be on top of the material) and being completely willing to fail students who do not fullfil the course requirements.

    I understand that this may not fit the standard view that society has of University–as TV and the movies portray it. I also understand that some people do party their way through college. In my schools, I see this kind of behavior very very rarely. Apparently, many students seem to be able to resist the siren calls of fooling around in college. Perhaps I only see the serious students. Whatever the reason, one would hope that after 12 years of religious education, our (the Torah world) children would be among the serious ones, who go to school with a mission, not to fool around. If our children are not among these, then the fault must lie with our system of education. Either with the curriculum, or the social environment. Or does anyone have any other theories?

    in reply to: The Working Poor Crisis #663801

    Well, bemused, you certainly bring up some interesting (and valid) points.

    Certainly there should be no problem with a child who decides that he is more suited for cabinetmaking than medicine. However, professions like these still require instruction and training for the vast majority of people. These types of schools can be community colleges, state schools, vocational institutes, etc. Of course, it is very unlikely that they will be single-sex. And very unlikely that they will be primarily Jewish–especially if one lives outside of the NY area.

    Personally, I think that the solution lies in education at the High school level. Sooner or later, our children will go out into the real world and interact with other people of both sexes, Jews and nonJews. (I realize that there are communities which are exceptions to this.) I personally think that the Orthodox world has carried the separation of the sexes too far–and when they are finally thrown together, many of our children have no idea of how to interact. Perhaps with a little exposure to people of the opposite sex–during high school–say, a mixed mathematics or history class–might be a good idea. They could learn that not every encounter between boys and girls at a social level need lead to an aveirah*. Perhaps then, they could attend a vocational school or college alongside members of the opposite sex, and still keep their eyes and minds on the job–that is, getting an education.

    *Yes, I am also aware that there are those who believe that simple conversation between a boy and a girl is an aveirah.

    in reply to: Medicines and Antibiotics #664088


    I did read your posts, and mine was not meant as a criticism in any way. Nor is this one.

    I simply strongly believe in added precautions and warnings.

    But now that you mention it, just as you posted, while the substances that you mentioned have been tested, not all substances sold in “natural food” stores have. Also, keep in mind that just as with drugs, a small percentage of people can have very bad allergic or other reactions to some of these substances, and not all companies post adequate warnings on their labels.

    in reply to: Men Wearing Colored Shirts #669375

    I do not understand this obsession with clothing–I never have.

    I remember one time during a late night experiment many years ago. Present were myself, the laboratory chief, and a student who came from a very Preppie background. All male.

    After a long period without conversation, the graduate student asks “should your socks match your shirt or your pants?”

    The lab chief and I (longtime friends) looked at each other in astonishment. The student pressed me for an answer. All I could do was reply “I think I’m doing pretty well if my socks match each other.”

    It still holds true. People no longer ask me “who was that guy in shul with the purple shirt” questions. They are likely to get a response of “there was a guy in shul with a purple shirt?”

    in reply to: The Working Poor Crisis #663795

    Retarding the cost of tuition, I certainly agree.

    I do not understand the breakdown of religious schooling costs.

    I sure wish that someone in the know could post a fairly detailed summary of how it works. While I am sure that there are costs that are hidden from the customers, a little knowledge would go a long way in helping us understand why tuitions are so high.

    Some questions that come to mind:

    Yearly property taxes

    Cost of insurance

    Cost of infrastructure (upkeep and repair)

    costs of running the place (electricity, heating, AC, water)

    before taxes salaries: Principal, teachers of various levels, support staff

    teacher/pupil ratio

    Then throw in:

    cost of full tuition

    number of pupils paying full tuition

    average tuition subsidy

    number of people receiving average subsidy

    Stick all of those into an excel sheet, and things should more or less match up.

    in reply to: Medicines and Antibiotics #664084

    People who “automedicate” can be making a horrible mistake.

    Consider that a physician relies on courses in anatomy, physiology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, pathology, immunology, virology, parasitology, and others to get his basic knowledge of the human body and its associate workings, as well as courses in pharmacology to get a knowledge of drugs.

    Replacing those basics, as well as years of experience, with a few bits of knowledge gleaned form the internet, or what was told you by your “interlaws” does not make sense. Just as there are good, logical reasons that we get piskei halacha from Rabbanim, we get medical opinions from doctors. While they do not know everything, their knowledge is better than that of those who have not acquired it.

    Regarding all the “herbal” remedies mentioned above, a word of caution. Many people feel that these, since they are not “drugs”, need not be approached with caution. This is a misconception. They are not regulated by agencies such as the FDA. This, however, is a legal issue, not a medical one. Just because these substances occur in nature does not mean that they do not pose any dangers. Many natural substances can kill, be addictive, cause uterine contractions or abortions, and have many other side effects.

    Be careful, amass information from reliable sources (usually academic)and consult a physician that knows you. If you don’t have one, get one.

    in reply to: Working Mothers – How Do You Find the Strength? #663369


    I completely understand about it being impossible to do everything.

    In addition to helping out as much as possible, one thing that is very important

    for us guys is to appreciate everything our wives do–and to be understanding if

    something is not attended to.

    In addition, for those of us whose wives do work, it is important to understand that their work can be as important to them as ours is to us.

    in reply to: Modern Orthodox Judaism #663668

    And so Joseph believes that all he need do is quote people who casually dismiss the advice of the leaders of the Hareidi community not to emigrate and it all goes away? Especially when, given unique opportunity, some of those leaders did escape–and left their flocks to the gas chambers?

    Shall I really name names here?

    Shall we name Hareidi leaders who–after being rescued by efforts of all streams of American Jewry–made no efforts to lend their names to further rescue efforts–especially if they were not Hareidi?

    For decades, Zionists leaders had been encouraging Aliyah. This, after all is what Zionism is all about. A great many (by no means all) of the Rabbinical leaders of the time opposed leaving Europe. Joseph indeed has cited decisions that “better a physical death in Europe than a possible spiritual death elsewhere”. Joseph has also implied that those decisions were correct. In that case, it is difficult to blame the Zionists.

    Perhaps the definition of those with Joseph’s viewpoint is that, aft4er ignoring the advice of the Zionist movement, they then blame the Zionists for not doing enough to rescue them. We certainly can observe that in the case of one famous anti-Zionist Rebbe–he was not rescued by any Hareidi organization, but rather by the same people that he spent a goodly portion of his life besmirching. Need we name names?

    While nobody accuses the Rabbanim of cooperation with the Nazis, bad judgment on their part was rampant. Furthermore, because of the way that Hareidi society is built, discussion of such topics is basically suppressed. However, this does not hold true for the society outside of Hareidi purview–which describes most of Jewry–and even most of religious Jewry. Plenty of research on the topic is available. Plenty of eyewitness accounts are available–having been transcribed by organizations such as Yad Vashem. Including eyewitness accounts of people who heard these psakim directly from Rabbanim.

    In any event, perhaps Joseph can continue to use the issue to deligitimize Zionism and Modern Orthodoxy. Maybe he can even convince a few people who will not accept any source besides the ones that he brings.

    in reply to: The Working Poor Crisis #663787

    There are a number of ways that this can be addressed, and some of the most important have been addressed already by the earlier posters.

    The first is changing the educational system. At present, some institutions are teaching our children that kollel is a higher madreiga than working. (Note that for all cases, including those of us that have full-time jobs, we are still required to learn Torah. That is a given.) Where did this idea come about? Examples from the gdolim? We certainly know that a great many gedolim did not support themselves by Torah, and worked for a living. There is no reason to teach people that working for a living is somehow a shameful pursuit.

    Second, there is nothing wrong with a secular education to make a decent living. This hold true for both boys and girls. There are not enough teaching positions in Bais Yakov to fill the employment requirements of the entire Hareidi community.

    Third, something must be done about the high cost of Jewish education. It is simply impossible to sustain. Lower-cost alternatives must be found. We approve of large families, how can we require them to begin their budgets with several tens of thousands of dollars/year for that most basic of Jewish requirements?

    Fourth, this is the time that the nonsustainability of the kollel model is beginning to be felt. The major Yeshivot encouraged Kollel learning only. That talmidim and their wives responded magnificiently–as did their parents. A great many of trhe parents were of the generation that did not discourage secular education. studied, became professionals, and earned enough to support their children in Kollel. However, the next generation, encouraged by a great many Yeshivot–discouraged such secular learning, with the result that they do not have the same earning potential. Therefore, to support their own children in the same kollel lifestyle that they themselves enjoy is impossible–it falls on the community.

    So what is the solution to the fourth problem? There are only 3 possibilities:

    1) admit that the Kollel system is flawed (in this respect, at least) and downscale it;

    2) hope to increase support form the Hareidi community. In today’s financial situation, this may prove to be a difficult goal to accomplish–people have less money to contribute–not more;

    3) persuade the nonHareidi community to increase its support of Hareidi institutions. This may be difficult for 2 reasons: The first is that the financial crisis affects these sectors as well, and in addition, they have their own institutions to support. The second one can be read right here on these pages. A number of folks from the Hareidi community make no attempt to disguise their lack of respect for Modern Orthodoxy (much less other streams of Judaism). When one speaks to Roshei Yesivot and Rabbanim associated with hareidi institutions, they seem at great pains to tell us that we are all areivim zeh lazeh–we are all brothers in Torah. Yet this seems not be communicated effectively to their talmidim, who speak with a great deal of zilzul toward institutions such as YU, etc. If you feel that way about your fellow Orthodox Jews–that their derech is not only different than yours, but posul–fine. But do not expect us not to take notice, and do not expect us to support institutions that teach that our haskafa is treif.

    I have no idea if any of these are being considered by those in charge of the institutions–who are the leaders of the Hareidi community. Thgat is up to them. If they do not, the system will simply collapse of its won weight. What a shame.

    in reply to: Working Mothers – How Do You Find the Strength? #663366

    I was not going to reply to this thread until other men jumped in. If the women feel that I am hijacking the thread, I am sorry.

    I must say that I am amazed by the common sense shown by the women posters on this thread. Perhaps the gene for common sense is on the X chromosome–and women get a double dose? (Nerdy joke–I do realize how genetics works.)

    The necessity for women working in many families (including my own) is unquestionable. This is especially true if the man learns and does not bring in any money to help the family. Now, mind you, if a family chooses to live in this manner–it is their choice–and if any of the rest of us have an objection to the lifestyle, tough. As far as the need for others to support that lifestyle–well, that is a matter for another thread.

    One of my basic questions for those families living that lifestyle is–how much do the men help around the house? If your wife works and takes care of the children, do you share in the latter duties–or any of the housework? Does the man do the laundry? Putting in a load takes about 5 minutes, as does a transfer to the dryer. What about cooking? Cooking an average meal takes 10 minutes. How about the weekly shopping? How about the homework?

    A kollel life means that one is attuned to the Jewish clock. If the wife has a heavy schedule, why can’t the kollel man cook for Shabbat? What–the Rebbeim won’t understand that time is short on winter Fridays when the wife has to work? Many recipes are quick and easy. A good chicken dish takes 10 minutes to prepare, and a cholent about the same. Doing all of that ensures that your wife has a little time for other things.

    SJSinNYC posted: “Which means to me that the father is required to work to pay tuition. After all, he is supposed to provide a teacher for his son’s potential (unknown as a child, so you should assume he could be a talmid chacham). “

    While I agree, allow me to add a qualifier: We should provide teachers for our daughters’ potential, as well as that of our sons. Not only do we not know for where will come our next Rita Levi-Montalcini, Rosalyn Yalow, or Ada Yonath–we do not know for where will come our next Bruria or Nechama Leibovitz. The potential is there, just as with our sons.

    in reply to: Learning in Eretz Yisroel Before High School Diploma #663218


    –without knowing the individual’s background–(religious, secular, chassidic, dati leumi, hareidi)

    –without knowing the individual’s financial situation–

    –without knowing the individual’s family situation (what his parents might have to say in the matter)–

    –without even knowing anything about the individual’s health—-

    we get an answer such as “Yes. Talmud Torah Kneged Kulam. “

    Perhaps the original poster is not a teenager–but the individual who made that post has no way of knowing.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666372

    Well, if you don’t like those classes, don’t take them.

    Either prepare a course of study yourself, or wait for the Yeshivot to do it.

    If the latter, don’t hold your breath. Bears don’t look so good in that shade of blue.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666370

    Hey, Bear, what a good idea. Meanwhile, I know of several Aramit courses available at Universities in Israel, the US, and Europe. Of course, classes are usually mixed….

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666360

    Of course, one would think that in this day and age, if we feel that we need another language besides Hebrew, we should pick one equaly common to all of Clal Yisrael.

    However, it is all a moot point. You want to speak Yiddish? Go right ahead. You can communicate with those who also speak the language. Of course, that means that for most day-to-day activities, you will not be communicating, as you certainly will have some trouble conducting your business in Yiddish, if it outside of Brookly, Lakewood, Bnei Brak, or certain neighborhoods of Yerushalayim.

    in reply to: Is the FBI Anti-Semitic? #663372

    I am sure that Joseph’s knowledge of non-Jewish people is so extensive that we should regard him as an authority on these matters.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666312

    So Joseph, you are saying that my post is wrong?

    Counterexamples were brought to your main points, and your points were shown to be nonsense. If that is a little too direct for you, maybe you should emphasize those subtleties a tad more. Or shorten your posts.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666308

    Joseph posted: “Maran Hagoen Rav Elazar Shach told American educators that Yeshiva boys should be taught Chumash in Yiddish, even if the boys speak English amongst themselves. He furtermore said that both boys and girls should learn to be comfortable in Yiddish. He also said that Yiddish is spoken by “all jews” (that is his phrase). He referred parents to send their children to Yiddish teaching yeshivos. And there is good reason why Rebbes and Rabbonim give ma’amarim in Yiddish.”

    Well, on that point Rav Shach was demonstrably wrong–as there are thousands of religious (and nonreligious) Jews who do not speak Yiddish, and nor did their parents, grandparents or other ancestors. These people are just as religious as their Ashkenazi Yiddish-speaking counterparts.

    If one wishes to make a point, one should not make it in a manner so easily disproven.

    Joseph also posted: “The changes in Loshon HaKodesh that were made, both in accent and content, are unacceptable. The changing of accents from Ashkenaz to Sefard for Ashkenaz Jews is wrong. Rabbeinu Bachye writes that if you change even a komatz to a Pasach in the language, it will lead to heresy.”

    Of course, when one looks at the obviously Sephardic boys learning in Hareidi Yeshivot–and pronouncing words in a Yiddish accent–that does not seem to bother the Chareidi Rabbanim much. All one need do is walk into a Yeshiva (if such boys are allowed to learn there in the first place) to observe this phenomenon.

    “What about giving a Shiur or Dvar Torah in Loshon Kodesh?”

    We do all right.

    in reply to: College, Secular Studies & Judaism #1169577

    I do think, that for some, studying the natural sciences is a way of studying the work of HKB”H. Certainly for myself, this is the case.

    However, this does not mean that a study of the natural or any other sciences is itself enough.

    I feel that learning (Torah) is too important to be left to those in Kollel. It is something required of everyone–but even without the requirement, it is the essential component of understanding the purpose of our existence, and what is required of us.

    Learning any subject alone, with no context, no relations to any other subject, give a view of the subject akin to tunnel vision. While tunnel vision excludes anything outside the tunnel, it does not increase the clarity of view inside the tunnel. It only subtracts, it does not add.

    in reply to: Divorced Parents #736829

    Sounds to me like Mazal77 had the right solution.

    Give the child 2 small parties, one with Savta, one with Saba.

    in reply to: The Importance of Yiddish #666288

    Every language has made-up words in it. New words for new things are a requirement of language if it is to have any use; the only alternative is to use words from foreign sources.

    Where do you think that the word “bentchen” (pardon my Yiddish spelling ignorance) comes from?

    Like it or not, lashon kodesh is the language of the Torah and Mishna. It was also the only correct alternative for the language of the State; as has been noted here, a very large percentage of the Jews have no connection to Yiddish whatsoever.

    Is it good to keep Yiddish alive? As with any kind of knowledge, of course. It enables us to read literature that would otherwise be forgotten (at least in the original). Is it a priority of the “utmost madrega”? Not to me. First I would like an explanation of why it is holy, and I have not yet seen a convincing one.

    in reply to: What Food Item Would You Like To See Get A Hecsher? #895397

    Living in Israel, I have things pretty easy when it comes to food.

    I do love my malt whisky, though, and if anyone comes up with a hechsher

    for Pesach use…..

    in reply to: College, Secular Studies & Judaism #1169569

    The world was created in a certain way. If you want medical doctors, if you want engineers to build bridges and sewer systems, if you want computer scientists (to create computerized responsa projects among others), if you want soldiers to defend you from those who would kill you, if you want HVAC people to kewep thoses Yeshivas warm throughout the New York winter, if you want qualified people to take care of our invalids—etc etc–

    then you need professionals who must train for their jobs, keep up with the current knowledge, and then be available when you need them. This was the case since Eden, and certainly has been so as long as there was a Jewish people. The interdependence of society is simply the way that the world was made.

    One can wish that things were otherwise–but consider it insane?

    These are as much the “real things” in life as Torah–Torah does not exist in a vacuum. This is the way that the world was created.

    in reply to: Single Malt Scotch #2 #662762

    Y.W. Editor:

    have been drinking single malts for over 30 years, long before the yuppies discovered them. Unfortunately, though, you are correct, and the yuppies have turned a nice hobby (I collect as well as drink) into a status thing.

    However, you should not feel smug. The yuppies have discovered bourbon as well.

    Luckily, as a Modern Orthodox Jew, I do not have to keep my scotch and bourbon separate. While I would never, ever, mix them in the same glass, I hold that it is permissible to have bottles of each on the same tablecloth for a kiddush or l’chaim. For drinking one right after the other, I would have to say that one should consult one’s own halachic authority.

    in reply to: Single Malt Scotch #2 #662757

    To YW Mod-80–shavua tov

    “once had a whiskey that was the least horrible of all whiskeys I’ve tried.

    It was about $75, came in an oval shaped bottle. It was called something like “Rodes”

    Anyone know what it was? “

    You may be referring to Glenrothes. It is a very good single malt, and is bottled at several ages.

    If you wish, you can email me and I will tell you where to get it at very good prices if you live in the NYC area.

    in reply to: Modern Orthodox Judaism #663665

    “Harav Hagoan”–

    “My contention”–was a question that was asked back in the 1930s and 1940s. It was asked of Gdolim, and my contention here was that, in some cases, their answer was wrong. It cost some of the people who asked the question their lives- in some cases, visas were ready–some prepared by those very MO YU Rabbanim. Perhaps you feel that the spiritual dangers of Modern Orthodoxy are worse than the very real possibility of dying at the hands of the Nazis. Personally, I do not think that htis is a question that requires the attention of a Gadol. I do not have to ask a Gadol if walking on thin ice is dangerous.

    You may have the idea that Rabbanim are infallible; I do not.

    On the other hand, I do respect Rabbanim and Institutions of streams of Judaism other than my own, which is more than I see from your posts. Respect for Rabbanim is one thing. Elevating them to the status of Neviim is quite another.

    in reply to: Single Malt Scotch #675704

    I have been collecting and drinking single malt for a very long time.

    I have heard from many Rabbanim their opinions about the kashrut of the ones matured in wine casks. There are a variety of opinions, and the answer is clear (just as it always is)–ask your own Rav.

    (There is no question about the malts that were not preserved in wine casks. This is also why there is no question about the kashrut of bourbon. It is illegal for bourbon to be matured in any cask that has been previously used).

    I have also discussed the process of distilling, maturing, and bottling with several distillers as well. Each whisky is matured and finished in one or more casks, some of which may have held wine of some type (including sherry or port). These days, it is very much in style to drink these whiskies that are preserved in wine casks. Therefore, many distilleries say outright on their bottles which kind of casks have held that whisky.

    However, not all do. Again: Not all whiskies state the types of casks that they use for maturation and finishing. If they do make such a statement, one may rely upon it. The laws about this in Scotland are extremely strict. However, they are not required to make the statement at all. These days, most distillers and bottler that use casks that have previously contained wine put it on their label. Since these are popular these days, it increases the desirability of the bottle. It is to the bottler’s advantage to label it as such.

    However, many brands have been using these wine casks for decades, long before anyone imagined the value of advertising them as such. Their labels have not changed over the years, and make no statements.

    If you hold that it does not matter, then no problem. However, if you hold that it does matter, you must be careful. An example: My brother-in-law’s Rav holds that it does matter. When he bought a bottle of single malt for a simcha, he was very makpid that it did not state that it was matured in sherry or port, and he purchased the whisky that was recommended by that Rav. When I got to his house, I noticed that, regardless, it was a bottle that I personally know was matured in a sherry cask. It put me in an uncomfortable social situation, halachically–as the bottle was half gone.

    Back to topic: Yes, the sherries, ports and other wines really do change the taste of the whisky.

    Now, for those of you who hold that you should not drink something that has been in a cask that previously contained wine but are nevertheless wondering about this taste, I have a solution. There are now a series of malts that are matured in casks that previously contained wine (not sherry). The casks were purchased from the Carmel Wine company in Israel–and the wine inside was kosher. If requested, I can provide the distillery name and suggest places that it can be purchased (It is not that common of a label). Several caveats: 1) The wine in the casks was kosher, and produced under Rabbinical supervision. The whisky–like other single malts–is not produced under Rabbinical supervision. If you only eat or drink product that are–well, this will not help you. 2) This whisky, being a specialty item, is not cheap. 3) Although I had something to do with this process, I am not associated with the company other than being friends with the distiller.

    in reply to: Designer Labels #662791

    I have a Designer tefillin, and parts of my tallitot (katan & gadol) should count as Designer.

    Does that count?

    oops–just saw–ronrsr beat me too it. I guess I’ll have to get up earlier in the morning.

    in reply to: Modern Orthodox Judaism #663661

    Joseph posted:”

    I will take a Godol’s idea of when a spiritual danger exceeds a physical benefit any day over yours. Regardless of the circumstances, in your humble opinion.

    “the advice was not to emigrate”

    Even taking into account what I said above, this point of yours was the case in relatively few cases.”

    Nevertheless, the advice was given. The advice prevented some from emigrating, and others form attempting, Like it or not, that advice cot the lives of Jews–and no matter how you try to shrug it off or whitewash it–those Rabbanim were wrong. The results proves them so. This is not slander.

    “And like I keep pointing out, indeed it was very very few who even ever had this opportunity. It surely was never available in any large numbers, no matter the definition.

    And it was never even desired amongst the populace (to emigrate) in large numbers. So lets quit slandering Rabbonim ZT’L with false implications if not claims. “

    This does not make the advice correct. And what do we say about saving a single life? A number of these counsels weere given to people who specifically asked. That means that they were considering emigration. Whether or not they would have succeeded is moot–you do not know the answer. Mir got out–because they tried. Others did not even try-some because of this.

    ” Harav Hagoan” posted: starwolf: “the spiritual dangers most definitely did not exceed the physical benefit. Those people died in horrible circumstances.” i couldn’t have asked for a better summary of your weltenshaung. how can you possibly weigh a spiritual tradegy against a physical


    “There was no way to predict how they would have lived their lives had they emigrated.” why was the trend set by the first wave of zionist initiated immigration not an accurate prediction? “

    That comparison of spiritual dangers against physical ones was not mine. It was done by the Rabbanim of the time, as Joseph put it: “the Rabbi may have correctly decided that someone would better risk dieing a Yid in Europe than a shaigets in America (or wherever.) ” Needless to say, the word “correctly is Joseph’ opinion, not my own.

    As far as the accuracy of the prediction, many Jews had emigrated to the US, and led perfectly Halachic lives. There was not necessarily spiritual death there. The same held true for Palestinine. Yes, in Israel relatively few Jews at the time were observant, yet there were still some. And the reason for the lack of many observant Jews in Palestine is that they did not come; they listened to the Rabbanim. Too bad. Perhaps if things had been different, they might have survived, and the State of Israel would have had the benefit of their Torah learning.

    Could all the Jews have gotten out? No.

    Those that did try–some made it. Some became irreligious–as the Rabbanim feared. Others established Torah institutions that endure to this day.

    Was it better to stay in Europe? We know the answer. The advice to do so was bad advice, and it does not matter who gave it.

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