The Great Bear of Creedmoor

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  • in reply to: Speaking Yiddish #851801

    Correct, hakohen.

    Those parents and grandparents who did not want to pass Yiddish on were the assimilationists and compromisers – even among the frum – in EY and the US.

    My friends’ parents and grandparents lament how badly the generation after us will speak the language that they held on to even in Communist times when the Jewish Commies tried to remove any kedusha from it.

    However, as Lipa becomes more popular and others like Beri Weber start singing in simple, Americanized Yiddish, a new Yiddish revival may take place.

    Regardless of what the world speaks, we Jews have our language(s). Ivrit is a misbegotten and deformed child that may die out due to English being a necessity for anyone in the medine to succeed. Some type of Yiddish will always be around.

    in reply to: Move to Eretz Yisroel Without Accepting Citizenship #943729

    Those drug dealers are the sad grandchildren of those dispossessed of their heritage by the maabarot. The few charedi dealers in jails out there are not from EY; they’re from the fringes of US and UK communities. The ones helped by Chabad and the charedi askonim that back them are the ones whose grandfathers were geshmadded in the maabarot. Those dealers, by the way, are the very face of the medine in Hungary and Romania – in Romania, an official complained that EY once exported irrigation equipment, then switched to hi-tech and now criminals. He’s right – I saw it with my own eyes in Budapest and Prague where every illegal business is controlled by EY gangsters.

    EY is far more dependent than, say, the US or Russia, on other countries. Other countries do not need it in any way as it is a small market, and others can do what its firms can do for far less. That is why any firm that does make it big in EY sells out or moves its headquarters to the US.

    If the medine were given a shut-down order by the UN tomorrow, the only thing we would notice except refugees in our shuls is a Bamba shortage for a few weeks until Nestle switched production to another factory. Some smart-aleck refugees would probably stoop to selling their Bamba at $5 a pack to the very people who are volunteering to help them resettle.

    The medine is tiny, and it has a very small elite that controls everything. That elite, which owns the press, in turn dumps on charedim in order to mask the fact that they are stifling their fellow chilonim by keeping an iron grasp on the real assets of the EY economy – and stifling the charedim by making it uncomfortable for them and even for the few remaining dati-leumi with standards to serve in the army.

    I know far more people that tried EY out of real idealism, were disappointed, and ended up leaving and doing very well back home than losers here-losers there. The second type are the Nachlaot/Kikar Crack crowd and they, too, go back and forth.

    There is no mitzva to live in EY at present. There is ABSOLUTELY no mitzva to take part in any of the affairs of the medine. The first is a misinterpretation of Torah. The second is a tenet of a philosophy called zionism which, like deformed, preservative, deconstructionist, bundist and every other dead or dying movement, is based on prikas oil. Rav Kook tried to metaher a sheretz. He failed.

    However, there is a mitzva to help Jews from EY who end up searching for Judaism find it wherever they are, and not to tell them to go back to EY if they are floundering and living as shkootzim there. If it were not for that, I would probably davka forget how to speak Ivrit.

    in reply to: Speaking Yiddish #851794

    The Rambam, Ramban and Ibn Ezra certainly did not speak what is known today as Ivrit.

    They probably spoke something close to the Judeo-Arabic that Moroccan Jews spoke until recent generations. (I think Ladino came later but that is another possibility.) That was their “Yiddish.”

    Our ancestors all spoke Aramaic as a common tongue at one time. That would be the best solution – renew it as a daily language among frum Yidden, keep Yiddish as long as people want to keep it, and make it clear that Ivrit has no kedusha and should be considered as a last resort for shiurim, even below the local language.

    in reply to: oprah and chassidishe family #851918

    LOL do you think anyone in Monroe or NS or Willy would ever appear on TV in this way? Someone in Williamsburgh might have been willing to do so, but they risk a fight with the local kanoim if they do. The other 2 places would expel anyone who went on TV at worst, or control their every word at best.

    Your only choices for a show of this type are Chabad, Breslov or one of the Hornesteipol Twerski brothers’ actual families.

    That being said, I, too, am surprised she just did not do the show in Crown Heights, where she had already filmed before the show itself. I guess she wanted the background of BP.

    in reply to: Memoir called "Unorthodox" and its effect on us #868673

    MDG – actually I made a mistake. I meant to say that he stayed up and said tehillim all night for the soldiers and asked his Chasidim to do the same.

    in reply to: Speaking Yiddish #851788

    Uneeq, I have some news for you. No one speaks Yiddish to create machloikes. We speak it to keep our old world alive in the new world and we are very happy when someone wants to learn it.

    Most Yiddish speakers would be very happy if you asked them to help you understand Yiddish. No one except the occasional bad apple you might encounter in any bunch is looking to divide or to be condescending. If anything some Yiddish speakers would love to have one more person to pass the language on to.

    Start by following along with the lyrics as you listen to a Lipa Schmeltzer song like Gelt, unless you davka want to learn only Litvish Yiddish – in that case get the old Avraham Fried Yiddishe Oitzros albums with the lyric books. If you want to hear what people in the street are saying, Lipa-lushen is best because today, mostly Hungarian and Polish Chassidim speak Yiddish on a daily basis. Lipa’s Americanized Yiddish is only a slight exaggeration of the way people speak today; Michoel Schnitzler and Yonason Schvartz sing very clearly as well and I would say they are singing in exactly the same Yiddish most people speak today.

    Once you feel ready, find a shiur given in Yiddish and you will catch on very fast. Usually, you find someone who davka wants to help you keep up with the shiur and that person will help you if you even look puzzled when the magid shiur is speaking.

    The Chumash Beis Yehuda helps you learn to read Yiddish.

    And then, you can tell the occasional condescending menivel “Shygetz Aross” (or is that really Hungarian? :)))

    in reply to: Move to Eretz Yisroel Without Accepting Citizenship #943727

    There is a mitzvah to bring kedusha wherever you live. The mitzvah of yishuv ha’aretz is very optional today.

    Many who live in EY are covering themselves in kedusha rather than spreading it because moving to EY is taking the easy way out. Some so-called frum olim even make trouble in EY (like Naomi Ragen) and spread klipa. Anyone can be frum in EY, where Shabbos is enforced by law and kosher food is all you can find everywhere. In EY my biggest decision is Rav Landa vs Badatz – Chinese vs Moroccan. Here, it is – do I have time to make it to the one kosher shop and restaurant before it closes or do I have to find fresh fish or eat vegetables again.

    I have met a lot of unhappy Western olim, often with children in distress and most of their family back at home, justifying themselves with this superior attitude when in reality they are depending on their relatives back home for all but the basics.

    The medine itself depends on the goodwill of the nations to survive. Its industries depend on export, and most countries have restrictions on dealing with EY for security or political reasons. Everything EY can design, others can also design (often better) and Asia has to make. Asian firms, although not owned by anti-Semites as European firms are, would rather avoid problems with increasingly fanatic local Muslims and therefore consider EY very secondary.

    On the other hand, Herzl has his dream of a “normal” people. Every country has Israeli drug dealers in its jails. And where do they go for help? Not to the embassy, which just lets them lie there. They go to charedi askanim, usually through Chabad, who raise money to get them legal representation.

    “Od teshvu poshim vezoinois birchovois Yerushalayim” is my Peerim parody of an MBD song, but I based the words on Herzl, not the Admou”r meCreedmoor.

    LOL GC – as for Babylon vs Google – you are 1000% right. I tried Babylon for fun, and it did a great job translating French to Gibberish. At least with Google, I have a base text that I can then work from.

    in reply to: Move to Eretz Yisroel Without Accepting Citizenship #943724

    My only identity is – Jew. The only place I feel at home is in a shul or Jewish neighborhood, regardless of where I am. Tel Aviv has many places that are so secular as to be non-Jewish (never mind the central bus station area), and parts of EY are not settled by Jews even with the medine.

    I carry one passport and reside in a country other than the one that issued it. I am entitled to and will soon take another one from another place that I will not settle (I would like to and have many friends in that country, but it’s COLD up there and living there is expensive too).

    in reply to: Memoir called "Unorthodox" and its effect on us #868670

    I have not read the Protocols of Elders of Zion, or Unchosen, or any Boteach book, or this book. (Sadly, I wasted time and money reading Naomi Ragen’s and Anne Roiphe’s garbage novels about frumkeit.)

    However, I can smell dreck from afar without rubbing my nose in it.

    in reply to: Memoir called "Unorthodox" and its effect on us #868669

    ZDAD does it AGAIN! I really feel like I am arguing with a kindergartener here, or with an NK type who just wants attention.

    Do you know what the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s REAL position on EY was? Do you really think he was a Zionist?

    The difference was that the Lubavitcher Rebbe accepted reality and realized that there are Jews in EY whose lives are in danger if they are not defended properly, and that the best way to protect Jews was to have as much of EY as possible under very flawed Jewish rule. If he had believed that peace was possible by surrendering land, he would have advocated giving up even the Kosel. However, he understood the Arab mentality very well, and had the misleaders in EY listened to him, the world would be very different today. He did not believe in reishit tzmichat etc and argued very strongly against it. He also did not believe the medine had any kedusha at all – he sent people to bring kedusha to Jews in EY going back as far as when he made it clear that our yeshivas were to accept boys from Teiman and Morocco etc who were suffering at the hands of the tzioinim in the maabarot. (Rabbi Gershon Mendel Garelik, today the head shaliach in Italy and the rav hamachshir for a lot of our favorite wines was one of those Lubavitchers who did this kind of work in the shmad camps; he was practically a refugee himself at the time.)

    The Satmarer Rov believed that the world would force the evacuation of EY or place it under UN rule with no harm to Jews. Wishful thinking and it is too bad that tzaddik goizer veHKBH mekayem did not come true in this case.

    The only real disagreement was about Entebbe and whether it was a ness. By then, Reb Yoilish was very unwell and who knows what he really said or meant. That was about the time that the problems started, and once the Berach Moishe took control as best he could, the problems died down (proof that what we now know is true is true – the troublemakers were oisvorfen who needed a good potch.)

    Reb Yoilish cried during the Six-Day War. The Lubavitcher Rebbe ZYA never uttered the word medine.

    in reply to: Move to Eretz Yisroel Without Accepting Citizenship #943721

    CG, thanks for proving that much of the so-called tech boom in EY depends more on chu”l than the other way around. Many of the wannabes in EY often announce new discoveries to boost otherwise worthless stocks.

    I got an alert for a new discovery for treatment of yenne machle from a public company in EY. It took me 2 seconds to realize it was a scam at worst and a very premature announcement at best. I posted on the comments section for the linked article that no one should get their hopes up because the announcement is a stock play, and I quoted the part of the report that made it clear what was going on.

    Miraculously, the whole comments page for the article disappeared the next day. I was not surprised; today’s EY financial fraudsters are just as creative and intelligent as their grandfathers who sold a kilo of chicken for less than the next guy in the shuk because they cut the weight of their kilos to 650 grams!

    I do NOT want to be in EY when the next bust comes. Then again, no one will riot as they did in Greece – secular and national religious alike will just head for the exits, as the most talented and ambitious in EY always do even in boom times. At that point, all that will keep EY afloat, besides US aid, is the influx of frum money from abroad, including tourists visiting the mekoimos hakedoishim and buying apartments for retirement, or vacation use, or for children who learn there.

    in reply to: oprah and chassidishe family #851916

    clean characters like Mickey Mouse.

    Please see my prior post. The Lubavitcher Rebbe ZYA did not consider Mickey MOUSE a clean character. Noiach did not either, and my friend who is an exterminator would most certainly agree. You disagree – fine, but we follow our Rebbe and you follow your daas Torah – elu ve’elu. For us not to know about cartoon mice, especially when we do participate in all the world has to offer on our own Torah terms, is a source of pride.

    The Ginsberg children were brought up in BP, where there are Jewish toy stores or Judaica gift stores filled with toys on every commercial block. Why would their parents, who represent the Rebbe’s teachings in BP, bother with Mickey Mouse? It is like asking a balabuste in BP why she doesn’t use Gold Medal flour or can’t remember the name of some popular brand of margarine – why should she if Kemach and Gefen are available on every corner.

    Even if the older ones know who Mickey is, it is like asking me if I know who Tebow or Lin are. Sure, I do – I know they are sports stars. I would not recognize a picture of either of them. I do not know their first names. I am not sure what team they play for, and I’m not sure what sport Lin plays – I think it is basketball but I really would have to double-check. For that matter, is Lin the right spelling of his name? I don’t know. I know Tebow plays football and got some attention for his beliefs. I am very proud I do not know more about sports – for me it is mental clutter.

    They may well know that Mickey is a cartoon character, but that’s about all they know. They don’t count that as knowledge.

    in reply to: Argo Tea…kosher? #851727

    Pig tea? The Creedmoor grocery once had some with a Sikrik hechsher from the timadige medine, but they usually only have it in Adar. Try in a week or 2!

    in reply to: Memoir called "Unorthodox" and its effect on us #868659

    One of my biggest regrets is that I have yet to visit KJ; as an admirer of Reb Yoilish, at the very least I should visit his kever.

    It’s just an NYC thing for me – when I am there I forget that NYC is part of a state and a country.

    I have spent a lifetime total of 16 hours in Miami, three hours in Monsey (completely forgot that the Ribnitzer ZYA is buried there) and about four hours in Cedarhurst :).

    in reply to: Move to Eretz Yisroel Without Accepting Citizenship #943718

    Don’t worry. Avi K and AOM will be back to their senses in their countries of origin in due time, unless they are independently wealthy.

    I’ve had the last laugh at many an idealistic “oleh” who eventually finds himself in trouble with the banks, or with job loss, or with Bituach Leumi, or personal problems, or seeing how much he is missing compared to his old friends back home – and at the nick of time, back he runs to Mommy and Daddy who were sending him bits of their pension money anyway because he was complaining about his low salary the whole time he was there.

    If you want to live in EY, keep all of your options open. Keep every citizenship you have, and if you are the child or grandchild of refugees from Poland, Hungary or the Czech Republic among others, you may also be able to get an EU passport. Your best bet is to telecommute, because wages in EY are far lower and prices far higher than in the US. There is an unsustainable bubble in real estate right now in EY, and when it breaks, there will be Greek-style misery for many who are now riding high.

    Friends of mine who are “Israeli” by birth to begin with thought they’d run from their Obama-related financial problems in the US and start over again in EY. They lasted 18 months there before they realized they made a mistake and that even the tzimtzum of the US under Obama is nothing compared to the constant malaise of life in the medine for all but the wealthiest (or those who have no interest in getting ahead and just chill out in Nachlaot by day and in Kikar Crack by night).

    Russia and Ukraine have more emigrants returning than immigrants leaving as far as EY is concerned. Most of those leaving are either students who should never be counted as olim as they will come back or old people who have valuable apartments here and can sell them for enough to live out their years in EY.

    in reply to: Memoir called "Unorthodox" and its effect on us #868654

    Popa, yes, I agree – and the one thing I should add is that if you conduct yourself in a manner that makes them think you are looking for trouble, Satmarers will make sure you do not have a chance to make any trouble. It would not surprise me to find out that Zdad and family conducted themselves as if they were tourists looking at the locals the way I look at chayes and behemas in the zoo – and if so, I understand why they got such a reaction.

    13th Ave is an outdoor mall and a tourist attraction. Willy, even Lee Ave, is a residential neighborhood. Even the other avenues in BP except New Utrecht and 18th, to say nothing of just about any BP side street, are very different from 13th Ave.

    in reply to: Memoir called "Unorthodox" and its effect on us #868653

    BTW Ive walked down Lee Ave and walked into some of the stores on Lee Ave and you can see and feel how the Satmar Looked at me and my family and no we were not dressed crazy.


    GOTCHA! Up until now, I considered you a harmless crank.

    Either you are just expressing your own inadequacy and realizing you should look more like a Jew, at least when you are among Jews – or you are just lying the way the author lies.

    I am sure you know the history between Chabad and Satmar (BH it is way behind us; it was a matter of miscommunication and the work of a few oisvorfen who were out to destabilize Satmar as much as they were to hurt Chabad). Anyone from Satmar can tell very easily that I am from Chabad, and I’m not Yerushalmi Chabad so my dress is nothing like that of Satmar.

    I have never felt more welcomed than when I walked along Lee Avenue one Shabbos morning a few years ago on the way to the Lower East Side to daven in a friend’s shul. More people wished me git Shabbos than do at home, and I ended up being sorry I could not run into one of the shuls for tea as I am sure I would have had a good time meeting Yidden or even hearing divrei Torah on the way. They also offer us water and cookies every time we walk through Willy in groups – so much for old misunderstandings.

    I had a minor car emergency on a legal holiday in 1992 and the closest frum store that was open was on Lee Ave. In 1992, there still were some bad feelings between the communities, so I was a little concerned. I parked my car, with a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZYA on the front and a giveaway bumper sticker on the back, on Lee Avenue and ran into the hardware store (the one on the same side of the street as Donath’s, for any Willyites who are reading this) to get a jug of antifreeze and some brake fluid. All that happened was that the owner asked me how we were managing after the riots, and wondered how we could live in CH after the mess.

    Ever heard of Satmar Bikur Cholim? Like Reb Yoilish, whose Rebbetzin founded it, they don’t care what a Jew believes or what he (and more often she) looks like – they are there to help.

    in reply to: Compelling All Jews to Perform Mitzvos and Follow Halacha #852040

    We can beat up abusers,

    This is the only way to do it. Many of them are arrested and get light sentences. Rav Shtarkman’s 1000-pound beis din is the only deterrent to abusers.

    we can beat up those who who dont pay taxes or pay their workers off the books


    WRONG! We are not allowed to act as enforcement agents for non beis din related crimes and we certainly cannot act as vigilantes for the government. Nonpayment of Jewish workers – yes, we should act. Anything else – that’s the government’s business and we who are straight pay taxes for government enforcement agencies that are supposed to weed out those who are not. Mesira is ossur lemehadrin in most cases. Abuse is one case where it is not, and so too might be reporting an investment scheme with Jewish victims. Otherwise, the only type of financial crime I would even ask a shyla about, is if I myself had to go to a consumer protection agency to get recourse against a frum seller for an item where beis din costs would be more than its value.

    If anything, we should have lynched some members of the US government for letting Jews perish during the churban rather than allowing them into the US. That was the one thing the radical tzioinim did right (to the British) during the war.

    in reply to: YWN Radio songs #851404

    Don’t complain. Another online radio keeps playing Sefardi slihot songs as they have been doing since Elul!

    Ben adam ma lecha nirdam…sure puts me right to sleep after the first or second time I hear it in a day.

    in reply to: Memoir called "Unorthodox" and its effect on us #868613

    The book should be renamed: “The Protocols of the Elders of Satmar.”

    in reply to: Tanach Trivia (real!) #1159948

    What are the names of the children of Er, son of Yehuda?

    in reply to: another sem #852315

    SEM – Send Extra Money

    in reply to: oprah and chassidishe family #851907

    Yes, ZD, and I threw the silly joke right back at you, so that you would admit that what you saw has nothing to do with what I wrote.

    in reply to: Seizures #869876

    Natural methods are not like s’hin dalets as you said!

    They are worse. Those who engage in them without telling patients to see regular doctors are roitzchim.

    in reply to: make-up #853239

    Why do you wear make-up under a burqa? Some kanoim do mattir coating the face with Rust-Oleum gray primer followed by flat black Rust-Oleum paint for the gym or other women-only situations where a burqa is not practical. (do NOT use the Tambour equivalent in EY – it is a tzioini firm and its products are ossur lemehadrin – use only real Rust-Oleum from the US if you cannot get a Saudi or Iranian paint and primer).

    in reply to: oprah and chassidishe family #851904

    You yourself said Lubavitchers are not Chassidim. So which is it?

    Miami is the Las Vegas of frum Jewry anyway – what goes on in Miami stays in Miami (which is why I never stayed more than a night in Miami :)).

    In any case, for us, Mickey Mouse is a mouse. Col. Sanders is also a corporate icon, and I assure you no one brought up in a Chabad household knows who he is unless it is someone who has eaten in the old mehadrin KFC in Mevaseret Zion.

    in reply to: [sticky] Ice Cream #851384

    You really want to know about ice cream?

    Just why is the major, brand of Cholov Yisroel ice cream so substandard in terms of taste, texture and appearance? The answer will surprise everyone – it is not ice cream or cholov yisroel at all!

    First of all, a little background – Klein’s is not a Jewish owned firm at all! The “Chassidim” who own Klein’s are Gambiner Chassidim – followers of a certain Sicilian chassidus that tops even the Sikriki when it comes to certain behaviors. As is well known, the Gambiner Chassidim have extended their evil tentacles throughout dairy production and distribution in the New York area.

    So, when real Polish, Hungarian and Ukrainian Chassidim arrived en masse after World War 2 and the Communist takeover of Hungary in 1956, the Gambinerlach smelled an opportunity in providing these refugees with the food products that their standard of religious observance demanded. Therefore, an entrepreneur by the name of Vito da Candeggina purchased an ice cream parlor on the Lower East Side al pi minhag chassidei Gambino. In other words, he simply walked in and explained to the Greek proprietor, Mr Themistocles (Tommy) Malakapoulous, that if a sale was not forthcoming, he would simply arrange for Mr Malakapoulous to be buried in a cement casket in an unknown and hard to locate spot in the depths of his beloved Aegean Sea. Mr Malakopoulous, himself an upstanding citizen who had amassed many apartment buildings in New York City through profits from various forms of gaming and other illicit entertainment that he laundered via his ice cream parlor, was only too willing to deal.

    The next day, the ice cream parlor was relabeled “Klein’s Kolov Isreal Ice Cream.” Why Klein’s, you may ask? Well, you see, like all Gambiners, Don Vito da Candeggina was a real ba’al chessed. He hired 2 dwarves to run his new venture, and since his Jewish lawyer informed him that Klein means small in Yiddish, he even named it in their honour.

    And he was so honourable in the way he treated them – you see, all production was literally carried out underground so that the unwitting customers would not see the real contents of what they were ingesting. As the basement was rather shallow, and also needed to be used for storage of certain former business partners of Don Vito, only dwarves could fit into the production facilities.

    And the wages he paid them were also rather dwarfish – five counterfeit dollars a day, paid every third week, in arrears. Never mind the working conditions – I will spare our more squeamish readers the details of same.

    Now, as for the method of production. Every day, a shipment of brightly coloured sponges was delivered to the Klein’s ice cream shop. In the dank, stinking basement, the two dwarves would heat the sponges, and puff up the resulting molten mixture with compressed air from a tire pump. A small amount of rancid milk was mixed in so that the certifying rabbi, a blind dupe who wore a clerical collar and was the rov of K’Hal Adas Our Lady of Palermo, could at least say it was a dairy product al pi halacha.

    It was then quickly transferred to the freezer, where it took on a texture similar to, well, frozen sponges. The Cholov Yisroel consumers of the time were only too happy to have any sort of frozen dessert for their KAH burgeoning families full of young children. Since there was hardly any knowledge of American kosher symbols among them, the official looking seal of the certifying rabbi was acceptable to them at the time.

    Of course, given the Gambiner involvement in distribution and lack of tolerance for competitors, the products were muscled into the freezer cases of every little kosher grocery that cropped up on the Lower East Side and later in Williamsburgh and Boro Park.

    Nowadays, the dwarves are no longer employed there – the successors of Don Vito (who himself was discovered in a rather large freezer in the meat packing district one spring day, and who was actually mourned by many a frum Yid for his contribution to kosher food production) still hire dwarves, but these dwarves have a new job – sitting inside ATM machines and producing reams of three and seven dollar bills on order every time cards marked “Banco di Sicilia” are inserted into these machines, mostly located in social clubs in Bensonhurst and Ozone Park.

    Meanwhile, the parlor has been supplanted by a large factory located not far from the Gambiner kehilla in Bensonhurst, and the process has been automated so that larger quantities can be made to satisfy growing demand.

    Since the Gambiner tradition of not allowing competition, and insisting on very strict control of distribution so that kashrus is observed even during the trucking process, is still very much in effect, we are still eating frozen extruded cellulose, mixed in with a bit of milk, and disguised as ice cream.

    (The above is not even remotely true. I wrote it in August 2005 to kill time on a Friday afternoon in Moscow, where Shabbos comes in after 9.30 PM in the summer. Please approve it in the spirit of Peerim)

    in reply to: Satmar Rebbe's contemporary speech #851353

    Did he speak in English? Otherwise, that is just someone’s modern translation of vehamayvin yavin.

    in reply to: Memoir called "Unorthodox" and its effect on us #868577

    and you wonder why someone would want to disparage the community, why someone would want to shame it to its core?

    To make a lousy buck!

    in reply to: oprah and chassidishe family #851897

    I don’t believe they don’t know who mickey mouse is, I didn’t watch tv growing up or now and still know mickey mouse its all over books backpacks, come on!

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe ZYA was against exposing children to cartoon pictures of treyf animals, stuffed treyf animals etc. While I know of some families who purposely or inadvertently make exceptions and let a stuffed bear or tiger into the house, mice are another story. For a child growing up in Crown Heights, a mouse is a treyf pest. For a child growing up in Kfar Chabad or Y-m, as well as here where I am, a mouse is the reason why treyf, noisy cats are very welcome in yards.

    Remember also that this family is in Boro Park, where the father is the menahel of a very strict school.

    Believe me, they do not really know who Mickey Mouse is (he’s the present occupant of the White House, right?) Even if they have seen pictures of Mickey Mouse, the character means nothing to them. My friends’ children here in Ukraine would not know about any of the local cartoon characters, even if their parents are locally born and remember them from their childhoods. If their parents are shluchim from abroad, they don’t know anything about American or EY cartoon characters either.

    in reply to: #851473

    Does DerErd Tours/Darchei Reshoim/Nesivos Chatoim still offer that mehadrin catered tour of Gehennom? I was supposed to go, but it was when bin Laden was killed so the place was just too hot to trot.

    in reply to: What beracha do you make on a hot pretzel? #997367

    asher yotzor before, hagomel afterward.

    in reply to: english names for misheberach for cholim:is it permitted? #850941

    Anyway, regarding the original topic:

    Yes, if that is the only name you have, that is what you use. Try to at least get a mother’s name, even if it is just a non-Jewish name.

    Here we have many BTs whose fathers don’t have Hebrew names, and in many cases the fathers are no longer on this earth to have brissin and take new names. We call them up for an aliya by their shem beYisroel ben their father’s only known name.

    in reply to: oprah and chassidishe family #851880

    Yawn. Chassidish in everyday haimish or yeshivish parlance does not mean Chabad. Chassidish among Chabad Chassidim means a family like the Ginsbergs that are strong in their beliefs and conform to Chabad practices of old.

    Chabad is far more of a Chassidus than Satmar, which is a Chassidishe kehilla with rules based on the Chasam Sofer’s hashkafah and with very little connection to the Baal Shem Tov. Nothing against Satmar which I happen to admire; this is strictly a technical definition.

    Creedmoor is not a Chassidus at all even though it is called Creedmoorer Chassidus. It has a rebbe whose only goal is to have his kanois subsidized by as many public bodies and insurance companies as possible. Its roots are in Szarkonosvary, a very reactionary kehilla that was established in a remote border region between Hungary and Mongolia in order to shield its inhabitants from even the slightest shred of ehrlichkeit.

    in reply to: JD/MBA COMBO #851308

    By the time you finish both degrees separately, Obama and his legacy could be gone and you might be able to find a job. If you choose only one degree, regardless of what happens in this election, you will graduate into a tough job market. If Obama is re-elected, forget anything but a basic job for all but the top grads for at least another 7-8 years.

    in reply to: english names for misheberach for cholim:is it permitted? #850933

    No, Yiddish is a Jewish language, with words that are specific to the Jewish experience. It is no different than modern Hebrew, except that it is regionally exclusive to Europe. The tzioinim claim that anything that evolves in golus is not Jewish – and that to them also includes much of halacha. We don’t define Jewish according to their standards.

    Once we convert a name, it is ours – once a non-Jew converts, he is a Jew. That name has been elevated, for whatever historical reason, and that is the end of it. If all we have for a Jew who needs rachamei shamayim is a clearly non-Jewish name, we use it – but it is also a great time to give that person a real Jewish name. And if that name is from Yiddish or Judeo-Arabic or Ladino because the person wants to remember a relative, so be it.

    I think yeshivish will die out now that the Internet makes it possible to learn proper English. In any case, you do not have a written version of yeshivish (or hymish), except when Purim rolls around.

    in reply to: Memoir called "Unorthodox" and its effect on us #868550

    Problem is, she is not even smart or normal enough to qualify as an “enemy of Hashem.” I understand that she probably got into Sarah Lawrence via the “back door,” and nowadays grading in college is meant so that everyone who starts basically finishes with a degree, even if it is worth the same as alef yud papier. She just wants to have a good time and to justify doing what she is doing while she makes a quick buck. No worse than Shmuley Boteach – and no one should care what he spits out either.

    Anyone who asks whether what she writes is true can easily be told the truth, and if that person is sincere, that will be the end of the discussion. Whoever wants a reason to be an anti-Semite or a true anti-Semitic Jew (not self-hating because they don’t hate themselves, they hate US), will find one without this trashy so-called memoir.

    in reply to: Technology ruined music #850942

    I used to think the same until I listened to the “nostalgia” channel on a certain Jewish music portal. Even tracks I remember from when I first became frum, which is about when recording technology started to advance rapidly, really don’t have the sound of today’s music.

    However, indeed, it does make it easier for mediocre singers to force out a disk, and for better singers to force out mediocre disks just to stay in the limelight. With the radio stations and samplers, though, there is no reason to buy a substandard release or an album that is not for you. In the end, the substandard stuff falls to the clearance rack anyway.

    in reply to: french fries #851054

    I fry my French fries in oil of no less than 10W40 weight in the summer, and 5W30 weight in the winter. I try to use fresh oil, but sludge adds a taste that just cannot be forgotten. WD40 has fewer calories than traditional oil, but some people do not care for the light taste of food fried in WD40.

    in reply to: How to solve the shidduch crisis? #851240

    It is very simple. As long as potential in-laws do not know the right color tablecloth to use on Shabbos, their children will be rejected by every shadchan and put on the open-secret “nebach lists” that circulate in every mikveh from Monsey to Baltimore and even in LA.

    I tried to solve this problem on being a half of the Admou”r meCreedmoor. I asked the rosh kollel of the Federal kollel in Otisville if some of the yungerleit there could get me good deals on white tablecloths that I could sell to shadchanim who would in turn mark them up for resale to their clients. Instead, the rosh kollel tells me I should build a new venue for shidduch dates on this parcel of swampland he has outside Monroe. I told him I’d take the swampland off of him and build a pool hall there for oisvorfen and give him 20% of the take instead, because you don’t need a facility like that for a Monroe beshow. All of a sudden his pretty blonde therapist, or counselor, or whatever, came by, so he tells me in Hungarian, saygec arosz, sikca arann. I see him, I says a dank tzi gott far Federal koilel.

    Then, there is this problem of complete ignorance of waist sizes among bochurim and their parents. This singer that just peygered, Whitney, or Britney, or whatever, was a size 2 all her life, because she used cocaine to maintain her figure. Now, if you want that my Federal kollel connections should sell your kallah some cocaine, that’s OK, but even in Creedmoor it’s really not recommended. You want to stop this size 2 nonsense once and for all? Show a bochur a shtick holtz, 2 by 4, that’s 2 inches by 4 inches, and say that a size 2 is the width of the 2 side of a 2 by 4. Since the bochur’s mother, who is probably wider than a sukkah door by now, is really the one who is so concerned about size 2, that will put a stop to such nonsense once and for all.

    Now, as for a learning boy versus a working boy: you have to decide, you want your husband to learn when you get married, you want him to work and provide for a family, or you want him to make gescheftn and end up learning in Federal or State kollel? If you want the last, you better take a few courses in creative bookkeeping so you end up with the gelt when he goes away for a while. Also remember that you and your children will always be doing the laundry for him – washing all his shmutzig gelt through your accounts and trust funds. If you want the first, you have three choices – a very rich father in law who may also have learned in Kollel Fed, a life of food stamps and welfare, or working all your life. Remember that there are Federal advanced seminaries as well, and this is another way to provide for a kollel family. However, if you want to go that route, marry a real kollel guy and not a Federal kollel guy.

    in reply to: Marrying Within A Chasidus #850917

    Pls delete the above. It really belongs in a different thread where I reposted it.

    in reply to: Memoir called "Unorthodox" and its effect on us #868541

    Rooshe is not the word. Nebach a choila is more like it, or meniveles if you want to be more strict. She is being used by all of these bashers; they gave her the incorrect info, which clearly came straight out of Haaretz’s supposed expose on Gur that ran at the same time.

    Only a professional counselor can help her. I am too realistic to believe that we can proactively save every OTD neshume out there. This is one we need to let slip until she is ready to return with her tail between her legs, bereft of her 15 minutes of fame and saddled with a drug habit, a kid from some lowlife shygetz (Jewish or otherwise – bai inz der hyliger Ingarischer kanoim a yid ken ochet tzi zan a shygets/saygec) a bunch of piercings and a wardrobe full of cheap pritze dresses that she finally realizes are not who she is.

    in reply to: #851457

    He says very few Jews undergo this.

    The Ramchal did not live to see Soros, Chomsky, Levi Aron or Dwrek.

    in reply to: This is not a seminary question #850721

    Copying a couple from a list:

    Darchei Bina

    Afikei Torah

    Be’er Myriam

    Midreshes Tehilla

    Machon Raaya

    Ateres Bnos Yerushalayim


    Seminar Y-m

    I have no idea who these appeal to or what their perceived qualities may be. My Pell Grant seminaries change names as soon as the bank transfers hit my Panamanian and Belize accounts :).

    in reply to: Chemistry question #850652

    When cholent remains in the digestive system for too long, it releases vitamins and minerals in an overly concentrated fashion. This, combined with wine or slivovitz (a distillate of wood and various heavy metals including lead and cadmium), can create severe nutritional imbalances which cause unpleasant ractions known in daily parlance as brechin.

    Therefore, the Ingarischers added beans to cholent so that it would properly transition from the digestive system to the (first outdoor and then indoor) plumbing system in time for shalesh seudes. This is not observed in keegel and galle because keegel and galle have few if any nutrients. The transition metals absorbed from forks and spoons, outside of Otisville, Creedmoor and homes that want third-rate shidduchim and therefore use plastic cutlery, are not sufficient to give galle and keegel any nutrient value.

    in reply to: Marrying Within A Chasidus #850913

    Lubavitchers marry only within Chabad or, especially in EY, France and Canada a generation ago, to graduates of Chabad girls’ schools who may have their own (usually North African or Yemeni) minhagim but who are familiar with Chabad and willing to change. Even 2 generations ago, it was not completely unheard of for a Chabad bochur from Russia to marry a girl whose parents came from Yemen.

    Ger marries only Ger, vehamayvin yavin. It is a tough life for someone from outside to get accustomed to.

    Satmar and Pupa are meshadech to one another. Smaller chassidus’n are meshadech to the ones most similar to them. Rebbeish families marry into other rebbeish families – the Rebbeim of Satmar, Bobov, Belz, Vizhnitz and Lubavitch are all related through Reb Aron by marriage (all but Belz would be related to his children by blood). The Twerskis of Milwaukee, BP, Pennsylvania etc (Hornestipol) are all related to the Bobover rebbeim as well. I think the rule in Skvere is that only men who went through their system can live in NS, but a kallah from outside is welcome. Please check me on that.

    The kallah always takes on her new husband’s minhagim (which I think is halacha).

    Oh, and Creedmoor just does things Reverend Moon style – reams of marriage licenses followed by divorces depending on which benefits programs the phantom couple are registered for.

    in reply to: Memoir called "Unorthodox" and its effect on us #868526

    2. Harassing women who deliberately board a mehadrin bus in order to be a rosa parks hero and make a feminist statement, is a mitzva, and those women should be spit on.

    I completely disagree. We should never, ever sink to the level of someone like that. Had the men involved handled the situations properly, both women would have been exposed by the press, and that would be it. The haredi ministers in the government would have put pressure on the army to severely discipline the soldier, once it came out that she had posted her plans on Facebook, and the other character had ties to an official organization as well. The two “MO” women who deliberately boarded buses in RBS a couple of years ago are known meshiggenes – one has been convicted of plagiarism (and got away with another instance of it only because her victim passed away and the heirs had no desire to pursue matters) and the other one is stam a loser who fled debts in the US after trying some grocery scam and blaming her losses on Rubashkin once everyone else was after Rubashkin to begin with. All four of the yachnes could have ended up sentenced to a few weeks of peeling potatoes for a haredi soup kitchen had the men behaved like bnei Torah and not like self-appointed kanoim.

    Instead, “yadayim ydei Esav,” and the men acted like pere odom. We are held to higher standards, and we paid the penalty of ridicule in the press and increased retaliation as a result.

    in reply to: Kiddush Shabbos Morning on bronf'n #858907

    Great stuff, Yakov :)!

    in reply to: Is it mutar to be an organ donor? #853660


    I have noted that your comments in this thread and on other threads show a gross misunderstanding of what is commonly referred to as the 5th cheilek of Shulchan Oruch.

    And of course he has a clear understanding of the other four, and a very high level of English writing and grammar :).

    in reply to: This is not a seminary question #850718

    🙂 What would I know? The sems I know about are Bnos Burqa, Machon Cholere, Bnos Kanois (daytime) and Merkaz lePritzus (night sem).

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