Forum Replies Created
Kapporos is an unnecessary minhag altogether – even on money. It is certainly not required.
I myself haven’t done kapporos for 4-5 years. Why? Because I don’t like the idea of ‘transferring my sins’.
I believe that if I did something wrong, then I should suffer for that. I do not need any ‘atonement’. Not a chicken, but not money either. If I do something wrong, then I will bear the consequences.
Therefore, kapporos is, to me, simply of no value whatsoever and I don’t do it.
I heard that in Bnei Brak they like iPhones recently, even Rav Chaim Kanievsky is talking about them.
I myself have a Sony (Ericsson) Xperia Arc S, from the 2011 series. Pretty good phone, *with* replaceable battery. I use a lot of power and I use my phone as emergency GPS device when mountaineering and in rough terrain, so I always carry spare batteries. No sense in using a phone with a fixed battery then. (Think iPhone.)September 24, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am in reply to: please pass along; cars being TOWED from toys r us parking lot!! #1017332
“And if they towed, you could prove it was their error by producing the shopping receipt (and denying leaving the mall area.)”
You criticize me for being a vegetarian which is such a horrible aveirah – but here you area, saying it’s completely fine to lie to get away from this?
Sorry, any respect I might have had for your opinion just went down the drain.
I agree with those who say you should take a second look at the UK.
We moved from E”Y to the UK last year, also for financial reasons, and it worked out great. We, too, came without any funds – we had to rely on family and friends to give us money for the flights and to rent an apartment (flat) here, but we made it. Now, we earn about twice what we earned in E”Y, we’re paying off our debts and in another year our financial situation will be quite good!
Now, following the others who praised their hometowns, I’ll do the same – though Gateshead isn’t really my hometown (I’ve only been here for just over a year).
First of all, Gateshead has the smallest significant frum community of the UK, around 450 families I believe. Total number of people is 4000 during ‘season’ including the sems and yeshivos. Advantages?
* There are possibilities for children with special needs. I know there are several here, and the mainstream schools do a good job, AFAIK, in helping them.
* Life is cheap here. Much cheaper than in London, Manchester, or the US. Housing is quite cheap (cheaper than London and Manchester and much cheaper than the US), shopping isn’t too expensive. Public transportation is very cheap and you absolutely do not need a car here.
* The area is quite safe. Not very safe – some of the local non-Jewish population is rather unpleasant – but in general, it’s a pretty quiet and peaceful area.
* I think tuition is a bit lower here than in the US. Don’t have any children myself yet unfortunately, but from what I know I think the US is slightly more expensive.
* There are jobs around here, if he’s a qualified UK accountant it shouldn’t be impossible for him to manage here. If he’s willing to travel a little bit (say up to 1 hr by public transport, which is what I do) and work with non-Jews, I’m sure he will find a job in no time. The area is quite big and has plenty of major employers – Gateshead is basically one with Newcastle, and a few other towns/cities next to it; altogether the area has something like 1 million people.
@iced – you must be a very nice person. So open-minded and able to understand that there are people with different opinions.
yytz said everything I would say – his words are my words.
I’m no expert on US kehillos – but I think that in order to get an answer for your question, I think you should mention your husband’s occupation.
“My husband has been in Kollel/smicha for the last 13 years”
“He is a professional”
Unless with ‘professional’ you mean ‘Jewish religious studies professional’, this warrants further explanation…
@yytz: thanks for the tip. Honestly, I have a hard time believing this is serious – I mean, he’s probably about as chassidish as I am. (When I was living in Yerushalayim I was more part of that world – now I am just myself.)
Regarding vitamin B12 – I’ve had a few tests throughout my life to check whether I have some deficiency, but each test has shown that I don’t need any supplements – not for that, nor for iron or any other vitamins. I’m glad with that, since it proves that being vegetarian is perfectly normal.
@iced: no, there isn’t. Or well – I’m sure there is. It’s probably written in the same sefer that has the requirement to steal and burn other people’s iPhones and that declares that someone who doesn’t wear a hat for davening is a kofer. (Meaning I couldn’t care less. Such things are not halacha but nonsense.)
I think ‘screen names’ are a very bad thing. The biggest danger of the internet, as I see it, is the anonimity it provides. You can do anything you want online and nobody will ever know. You can write the most insulting things, and nobody will ever get angry with you.
As for me, quite a few people in Gateshead know who I am. (Though I’m not really all that chassidish any more – I’m a bit more modern nowadays…) That means that anything I say here, I may be asked about later. I think that’s ideal.
It always greatly annoys me as well. In those years that I can make it to slichos, anyway. I need to sleep 8-9 hours (preferably 10) per night and get up for work at 6:15, so it’s usually not really possible for me to get to a slichos minyan.
@2scents (and shein):
“The activists have a point, they are right! according to logic man has no right to kill animal. However, Hashem has told us otherwise that is why Jews have permission to kill animals for food.
IN other words, an atheist or anyone that does not believe in the Torah, has no permission to kill and eat animals, it is only the word of Hashem that permits us to do so.”
Correct. We have *permission* to eat meat. However, we do not *have* to. I freely choose not to eat meat. As for those who consider it a requirement to eat meat, it’s generally the same kind of people who consider davening without a hat to be avodah zarah. Ie, very closed mindset.
I never said we’re not allowed to kill animals. The Torah clearly says we are allowed to. As for me personally however, I simply see absolutely no need to eat meat. I don’t need it, my body is completely healthy without it (and without any supplements also). So since I do not feel any need to eat it – on the other hand, I find meat repulsive – then why should I try and convince myself to suddenly start eating eat?
My wife eats meat, every frum person I know eats meat. I am most definitely a rarity. But I’ve always been rare, so that’s nothing new.
From Yerushalayim, take Superbus line 183 (to Ksalon), get off in Ramat Raziel. Walk from there to Eshtaol (on the Beit Shemesh road, road 38). You start off by following the road (road 395) for about 15 minutes, then at a place where the road drops sharply and turns left and there are some benches and signs, you turn right and follow the path that goes around the hill and gradually down into the valley.
At the end, you turn left and see a bus stop 200 meters ahead of you where bus 415 back to Jerusalem stops every 30 minutes (and moniot sherut as well).
This walk is especially beautiful during late afternoon / early evening, watching the sunset from the mountain side. It’s about 2-3 hours of walking over light roads with beautiful views. It’s just walking down, easy for children as well.
I am a lifelong vegetarian. My mother always was (got it from her parents) and my father became vegetarian when he met my mother. So me and my sisters grew up without meat/fish.
I’m completely healthy, as are they. And I don’t take any food supplements at all.
Reasons? As Sam2 says, I find the treatment of animals in the meat industry apprehensive. But even without that – I simply grew up like this and will never change it. The thought of putting something in my mouth that was once walking around and had a brain, eyes, ears and bones, makes me totally sick. I will never in my life eat meat, and I don’t care what anyone thinks about that.
By the way, it’s interesting to know that on the same piece of ground on which you could put animals to get meat to feed 50 people, you could grow vegetables to feed 200 people (not sure of the exact ciphers, but I know the principle is true). It is a fact that if the entire world would cease eating meat, there would be no hunger and starvation in the world, and every person in the world would have plenty of food, even if the world had not 8 but 20 billion inhabitants.
WIY – I question how much experience you have with cats (and dolphins). I doubt any.
@uneeq, I’m not going to waste words on you.
I myself took 3 cats straight off the streets of Jerusalem, took them into my house and took them with me when I moved to the UK. They’ll be staying with me as long as they live, hopefully at least another 15 years or so.
Actually there was a fourth cat as well, but she unfortunately didn’t live, since she was too weak and wounded when we found her (and I failed to notice that she was severely hypothermic and did not handle that appropriately).September 14, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm in reply to: You see a product from Israel with some Rabbis name on it #896657
All I know is that I relied on the hechsherim which other decent frum people I knew relied on. I don’t have time to involve myself in the detailed intricacies of each and every kashrus agency, knowing each of their exact standards. Generally however I’m quite sure the hechsherim I mentioned above are *at least* as good as OU or LBD. For me, that’s enough.
I on the other hand find the Americans to be extremely confusing. The only ones I know are the OU (which is M-O and I know it’s ok for parve things in any case) and the CRC (Satmar) which I rely on for anything. About all the triple/triangle/square/round/inverted-Ks, I haven’t got a clue.September 13, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am in reply to: You see a product from Israel with some Rabbis name on it #896655
That really doesn’t make sense. There are plenty of excellent or at least acceptable hechsherim in Israel.
Personally I’ve relied on these:
* Edah HaChareidis
* Rav Landau – Bnei Brak
* Rav Rubin – Rechovot
* Machzikei HaDas of Belz
* Sheeris Yisroel – Bnei Brak
* Chassam Sofer – Bnei Brak
* Chug Chassam Sofer – Petach Tikva
* Agudas Yisroel – a little less but still ok for bread and the like
* Yoreh Deah (Rav Shlomo Machpoud)
* Beit Yosef (Rav Ovadia Yosef)
All of these are ok for me. (Keeping in mind I don’t eat meat in any case – I’m vegetarian.)
For most people it’s just politics. Nothing to do with actual kashrus standards.
Ashkenazim don’t use Mizrachi hechsherim, for some weird reason – and that’s not just about meat. Tell any Ashkenazi chareidi that you’re willing to rely on Rav Ovadia Yosef or Rav Shlomo Machpoud and they look at you as though you’re completely crazy. (While many Mizrachim have told me that these hechsherim are fine.)
Then, in Bnei Brak, half the city (the Litvaks) boycot Rav Landau, because he is not one of theirs. They only use Sheeris. The other half of the city boycots Sheeris, and only uses Rav Landau.
It’s all just politics and I refuse to be part of that.
Amazing! I hope you succeed in building up a real kehilla there. With the increasing number of Orthodox/frum people, it is only logical that there should be more places with kehillos. No need for everyone to be living in a handful of giant monster kehillos (aka Lakewood, Brooklyn etc).
@The Rashbak – I think he’s talking about the Ashkenazi, chassidishe nusach Sfard.
Always fun having to explain to fresh BTs/gerim that nusach Sfard has nothing to do with Sfaradim.
@Curiosity – that isn’t a Hebrew word, it’s a German/Yiddish word.
As Sam2 says, just say it silently by mincha. That’s what I do as well. I’m in a similar situation, davening a nusach that is in between Ashkenaz and Sfard but closer to Sfard on these things, while virtually all minyanim here are Ashkenaz.
In any case, the idea of “davening nusach s’fard for mincha and nusach ashkenaz for ma’ariv” is absolutely not possible. One must daven either one nusach or the other. That said, if you are shatz you use the nusach of the shul – even if it’s not your nusach, but for your own private shmoneh esrei you use your own nusach. That’s how I’ve always done it.
1) Chazal were only commenting on Science known in those days and could be wrong on those issue
2) Chazal were correct and Modern Science is wrong
3) We did not understand Chazal
4) Chazal were correct in those days and the Science has changed
I go for 1, which probably makes me a total heretic and chayav missah.
In the UK, every place where you can just walk in and talk to somebody is referred to as ‘surgery’.
Thus, police officers hold surgeries. The HR department holds surgeries. The council (municipality) holds surgeries. And if you’re ill, you go to your GP’s surgery.
(BTW, I am not British – I’m used to American English, and these things greatly amuse me as well.)
I was sitting in my studying room, studying and listening to music on the radio. Then on the radio a news alert said a plane had crashed into the WTC. I went to a room with a TV (I wasn’t frum yet then), turned on CNN and saw the second plane go in. I clearly remember that at first, most assumed it was an accident. When the second plane crashed, things changed….. Suddenly it was realized this was not an accident at all. Then came the Pentagon, then came the one in a field. I remember it all quite well.
Why, actually, does everyone seem to remember only the WTC planes? There were 4 planes – one in the Pentagon and one in a field as well. The people who were on those planes, and in the Pentagon, are no less dead, unfortunately.
I’m also working on my licen[c/s]e, by the way. Now *that* will be something.
@Toi “certainly not to spell.”
I assume the OP is from the UK. Here, we write “licence”. And we have a Ministry of Defence. Also, we go shopping in the town centre, after going to see my company’s HR department during surgery hours. Things are much more civilised here!
I can’t make it to any slichos at all. I need to sleep at least 8-9 hours. Since I have to get up at 6:15 (actually 6:00), where would slichos fit in?
And no, I cannot survive on less. When I sleep 7-8 hours, I fall asleep at work numerous times during the day, even in the middle of calls with customers.
It may seem excessive, but for an adult to need anywhere between 5 to 10 hours of sleep is not excessive, not abnormal. Ideally, I need 10 hours indeed, but I only rarely get that.
Games are a total waste of time, IMHO.
I may spend hours every day in front of a computer, but I do not spend a single second on things that I consider to be a waste of time. I read the news, weather, study scientific subjects, learn Torah as well, read my mail and stay in touch with friends.
Games are addictive.
I have that with my old phone, a Nokia E72. One Indian/Paki-run little mobile phone store here in Newcastle has someone who knows how to open it up and clean it for 10 pounds. Went to at least 5 stores before I found him, though!
(If Nokia would do it, I’d first have to take it to a service centre about 150 miles from here, it would take a few weeks and cost 70 pounds.)
@aurora – I read that as well, and indeed I relied upon that for my cats – though I symbolically ‘sold’ them to my non-Jewish family (who were in E”Y then); one of them was actually taken to the vet by them.
We took 3 cats straight off the streets of Jerusalem – two males, one female. In a miniature house like the one we lived in then, there is absolutely no way we could have managed with more. (In fact, 3 was way too many already – but we *had* to take them in.)
I found all three of them in a very bad and difficult state. One had just been thrown out of a house and was living on the street and deteriorating day by day. The second was a nearly dead miniature skeleton that barely weighed anything at all, had burns on its body and no teeth. The third was also very young, very sick and weak. All three would, without a doubt, have died within a month (the second within a day probably) if we hadn’t taken them in.
I don’t understand the logic behind some people here. Some (actually, most chareidim) argue that it’s completely fine to just kill street cats – but oy vey, if you would neuter them it’s a horrible thing that must be protested against. But killing them is fine. Sorry, but I just fail to understand the reasoning behind it. Luckily, so does Rav Amar and a few other dati leumi (Religious Zionist / Modern Orthodox) rabbonim, and that is who we relied on when we took them to the vet. I usually wouldn’t rely on their psak but in this case, I saw no other choice.
The question is whether, if the work would not be done on shabbos, this might lead to serious danger to life. Basically the same criteria applying to anyone else commonly found working on shabbos, such as hospital staff, firefighters and the utilities (electrical, in particular – quite a lot of people depend on life-saving equipment at home that needs electricity).
Such people may be found in different branches than you commonly believe. I, for example, am an IT engineer working for an IT company that supplies absolutely critical equipment to, amongst others, sectors such as the government and medical. It’s public information (just checked) that amongst our customers is the Israeli Air Force. Imagine one of their critical systems would stop working on leil shabbos and they need someone to fix it *now* or, maybe, they won’t be able to operate the computers that keep the skies safe? (DISCLAIMER: I have not the slightest clue what the Air Force exactly does with the equipment the company provides – I’m just wildly guessing here!!!) Should we just not let the UAVs fly over Gaza that shabbos, thereby *not* being able to spot terrorists about to launch rockets on Sderot that might kill someone? Should we shut down the computers that analyze the radar images? Should we shut down the intelligence-gathering systems?
There’s a situation that is clear and obvious pikuach nefesh, isn’t it? So just to show, the military definition of ‘pikuach nefesh’ is not necessarily that of a combat soldier with a rifle on a battlefield. In fact, it could theoretically even involve *me* sitting right here in the UK working for an IT company. Pretty unlikely but possible. This also shows that one can hardly consider teshuvos from the 19th century as relevant to today’s situation.
Similarly to what I said, the same applies to cyber-warfare, for example. What if a giant attack against Israel’s (or the UK’s or the US’s) critical infrastructure takes place on shabbos and the mission-critical systems provided by some company don’t work? Should we then just allow the Iranian attackers to do whatever they want? It seems logical to me that the employees of that company must be available for assisting on shabbos if needed for the purpose of protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure.September 5, 2012 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm in reply to: What Food Item Would You Like To See Get A Hecsher? #895467
@shein – ever heard of those rare, strange, awesome creatures called BTs and gerim?September 5, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am in reply to: What Food Item Would You Like To See Get A Hecsher? #895463
This is the best form of MO outreach. Nothing could be more successful in attracting chareidim than simply banning each chareidi person who owns any non-kosher device as posul.September 3, 2012 8:57 pm at 8:57 pm in reply to: What Food Item Would You Like To See Get A Hecsher? #895460
I don’t consider it dropping my standards, rather, I consider it being realistic. I was in a less than optimal mental state (and still am), suffering from a lot of stress and mental exhaustion. I’m not going to make my life any more difficult than it already is. I went through some pretty rough times. I’d rather focus on being stable on basic things than trying to outfrum everyone else and then dropping like a brick and becoming chiloni.
My advice, as usual, is not to set any prerequisites yourself.
When I went looking, the only things I asked for where 1) she shouldn’t be seriously overweight and 2) she must speak at least some English. (That was in Israel and I spoke, already then, rather good Ivrit.) The very first shidduch I went on was the very last one as well – I found the right girl immediately. I still don’t know how that happened, seeing that others go through 100 and yet can’t find the one for them!
Basically, if you don’t think the other one is ugly, if you have some common background and common interests and common hashkafa and plans for the future, go for it. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Anyway, I don’t have any practical advice either. I would advice any other BTs however, not to wait 22+ years before starting on the shidduch market. I myself was 16-17 when I started becoming frum, came to E”Y at age 19, and got married at age 21. There is no point in waiting until you’re 30 – it will be a lot harder to 1) find someone and 2) get used to married life, by then.September 3, 2012 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm in reply to: What Food Item Would You Like To See Get A Hecsher? #895458
@shein – yep, correct.
I used to be rather strict about hechsherim (only Edah and Rav Landau) but nowadays, I rely on many others and eat cholov akum. Yes, I know I’m probably going to die for that.
As for Switzerland, I rely on the IGB, ICZ and IRGZ.
The Netherlands, NIK.
Austria, IKG Wien.September 3, 2012 8:33 am at 8:33 am in reply to: What Food Item Would You Like To See Get A Hecsher? #895455
I recently discovered Ovomaltine (a Swiss chocolate brand) and Almdudler (an Austrian drink) are approved now by certain rabbonim. I almost bumped my head on the ceiling when I discovered that. Didn’t touch those things for the past 8 years or so (since I became frum). You can’t imagine how I felt!
“Noisy/ loud eaters!! slurping soup… chewing loudly etc….”
That. I go absolutely mad inside from that. I hide it quite well, but whenever I hear that I want to start screaming.
I think ideally one should first learn proper German, then learn Yiddish. That would prevent the deterioration of Yiddish from continuing.August 30, 2012 7:15 am at 7:15 am in reply to: sheitel-wearers, any advice in choosing wig for chemo patient? #894266
I have alopecia (for 16 years already). Had a wig for a short while. It was total horror, I hated it and got rid of it very fast.
To this day, that is why I don’t want my wife to go through that horror.
I’m quite the other way.
2 years ago at work:
Someone: “You’re BRILLIANT! You’re a genius!”
Me: “Yeah, I know.”
Life in Europe is simply different.
There is a major difference between countries, and cities, though.
First of all: most of the trouble comes from Arabs, not from locals. At most, locals will give you funny looks, like you’re an animal that just escaped from the zoo. (Like an Essex lion, for the British here.) That said, I was attacked by ethnic Europeans several times as well.
The most dangerous countries are those in Eastern (former East Bloc) Europe, and those countries with a lot of Muslims. Still, in those countries as well, the actual danger is really just limited to those major cities where a lot of Muslims live.
Personally, I am from a very old but small (50,000 inhabitants) city in the eastern part of the Netherlands, close to the German border. The only Muslims there are Turkish and they are generally peaceful friendly people, not aggressive troublemakers. Same for most of the country. The same applies in the other countries, like Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden and the UK. You won’t get beaten up suddenly walking through some small town somewhere – the risk is in the big cities, like Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin, Goteborg, Stockholm or Manchester. That’s simply because most anti-Semitic Arabs tend to live almost exclusively in those big cities. They don’t usually live in rural villages, and the inhabitants of those might look at you with a curious look, but no hostility.
I also have cats – three, to be exact. Took them into the house from the streets of Jerusalem when they were small, weak and sick. Now they’re the happiest and healthiest cats in the world. In Israel, especially in Jerusalem, there are hundreds of thousands of homeless cats.
Now, this may sound a bit funny – but indeed, I was wondering whether there was somewhere, anywhere, I could mention my cats now and then in prayers. What I do now is that I mention them in birkas hamazon (grace after meals), since one can pretty easily add all kinds of people there. (there is a section that goes like “may the Merciful one bless my wife/husband, my father, my mother, my children…” as applicable; I just mention “my wife, my father, my mother, and my cats”). I realize others may think it’s a bit weird, but I can’t see anything wrong with it.
@midwesterner – mazal tov!
As for me, I was rather serious through the whole thing. No crying, no laughing. I tend to be a rather serious person and not sway one side or the other very quickly, especially not during pre-planned events such as standing under the chuppah.
I think it’s a chillul Hashem that frum Jews are discussing actively participating in a non-Jewish non-frum TV show!
Walking along Jabotinsky Street on an evening walk all around town. Suddenly a group of Russian youths started following me, shouting insults at me, spitting towards me. I got away without damage B”H.
* I got into a huge fistfight with a drunk in Prague who hit me in my face so hard I almost broke my nose. Hit back as much as I could.
* Again in Prague, someone made me trip on a metro and then hit me in the back.
* In Amsterdam, I was suddenly surrounded by 10 Moroccan/Arab youths who obviously didn’t want to say ‘hi’. A police officer came to help me but was attacked by them, they focused on him and I fled into a large store with security guards.
* I got spit at by someone shouting “f…. Jew” in Amsterdam as well.
* In The Hague, a neo-Nazi on a bicycle tried to kick me but just missed.
And more, and more. Anyway, all of those incidents were ~10 years ago, when I was young and foolish enough to walk around the street with visibly Jewish symbols. I know better now, so I rarely get into any trouble.
I was beaten up, threatened and spit upon numerous times in various countries (including in Israel – in Bnei Brak!). Must get a lot of schar then.
Nowadays I go completely undercover with a cap wherever I go, outside of E”Y.
Though there is another reason for that – I have a hair disease and therefore a kippah and/or hat easily blows away with even a little wind. A cap is a lot tighter and catches less wind.
Falling in the shower / bathtub can be really dangerous. Here’s one instance:
My wife’s father slipped in the bath while showering, fell on his head, landed up unconscious in the bathtub and was niftar. Her brother found him there the next day (probably – it could even have been a day earlier… he lived alone).
He also had diabetes (type 1), so it could be that he was unconscious but living and the diabetes led to the end.
I never met him – it happened a few weeks before the first date.
The biggest danger of the internet is its anonimity. If everyone knew who everyone else was and everyone was using their own names for everything, and everyone could see who was on a certain website at any time, then the internet would be a MUCH better and safer place.
Assuming all I do is read the news, check the weather, plan a vacation, do my job, and study – why should I be bothered by others knowing who I am and where I am online?
Now, since there are basically virtually no chassidim in Gateshead, I chose my name like this since it obviously leaves me with NO anonimity. Several people (probably more than several) who read YWN know who I am. I think that’s a *good* thing, not something bad.
Anyway, don’t want to pretend anything, but I’m not all that chassidish. I’m just a plain frum yid who dislikes rivalry and knows that he is lower, simpler and less knowledgeable (being not FFB) than everyone else in Gateshead. Back in Yerushalayim I affiliated with certain circles there and adopted chassidishe dress, but, honestly, I never made it 100% to that madreiga. Meaning right now I’m a sort of Frankenstein wearing colored shirts and working in IT, working with the IDF (Tzahal, yes) a lot of the time (it’s public knowledge that my company has a lot of dealings with the IDF), while on shabbos I turn into a shtreimel-wearer.
I think I need to find something to do, I seem to be bored.August 1, 2012 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm in reply to: Correction about Halacha of listening to music during meal #889277
Virtually all ‘high-end’ chassidim do not listen to music the entire year.
(I’m not on that level.)