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The NK of today has zero connection with that of years ago. They are not recipients of any mesorah, and I doubt there is even a family connection. Regardless, they give us every reason to question their ancestry. Are they even Yidden? They have certainly engaged in horrific forms of chilul Hashem, and they have caused great harm to all of Klal Yisroel. They should be ostracized in every way. Not given entry to our batei midrashim, not accepted for shidduchim, and otherwise isolated from our community. Yes, their children should not be accepted in our yeshivos. Don’t get swayed when reading communications from tzaddikim of long ago that spoke about NK admirably. This isn’t the same group at all. This one is an enemy to Klal Yisroel.
The child being raised in an environment that is lacking one of the essential elements of the intact family, is ridden with instability rrlated to conflict, illness, and the like is apt to experience negative effects. This is universal, and it is not debated.
The couple that is engaged in the process of marital conflict, separation, and divorce is generally concerned about the effects on the children. But the judgment is that the kids will be better off when the parents are no longer fighting constantly. So they perceive divorce as the lesser of the evils. Sometimes they are right, and sometimes not. That the kids emerge with issues is almost always true.
There is a hybrid of multiple factors here, and there is no single answer that holds merit. It is the synergy of many issues that has this painful outcome.
First, our population has grown, bli ayin horah. Even if percentages had been the same, the actual numbers would be higher.
Second, we know of more divorces today because of the rapid, effortless communication that provides these troves of information everywhere.
Third, today’s divorces get lots of press. You may inquire from those involved, whether via rabbonus and batei din, or via court, lawyers, and litigation. The intensity of divorces has skyrocketed. Each such case ends up costing lengthy and bitter battles in either the beis din arena or in the court. This costs fortunes, and there is an industry that is enriched by this.
Fourth, there is an undercurrent that affects individuals and even helping organizations that is prominent. It is a culture that has its roots in the western societies. One feature of this is victimhood. While cases of abuse and domestic violence certainly exist, there is a rish to claim the victim status, whether it is true or not. Our world gives royalty and power to one claiming to be the victim. The other individual is either defensive by definition, or needs to protect him/herself from being buried by falsehood and baseless accusations.
Fifth, divorce, by definition, involves negative emotions. While the strategies used might be irrational, they are driven by negative passion. So we see things as baseless claims, demands and corresponding withholding of financial support, custody battles, and use of children as pawns in malicious and vicious wars.
Sixth, we have grown much more entrenched in a throw away society (in עברית, known as חד פעמי). Unrealistic expectations in marriage with poor skills to manage relationships can lead to the decision to simply toss it away. While not every struggling marriage can be repaired (and some should not be), many can. It requires much work. Aside from the actual work, there needs to be willingness, capacity to compromise, and the curtailing of the ego that blocks this.
Seven, outsiders need to be blocked from the interfering roles. Many who may be well intentioned, tend to interfere, providing advice and direction. Support is not the same as guiding, recommending, or suggesting to someone in marital struggle to take divisive actions. These individuals might be family. Others can include askanim, whose claim to be volunteers and focused on the spreading of peace in Klal Yisroel is a tragic lie.
Eight, the role of those who prepare children for marriage, including parents, mechanchim throughout yeshiva and school years, and chosson and kallah teachers is of primary importance. This role was once much less involved, and focused on only detailed issues including halachos. Much less effort was devoted to the formation of a cohesive bond, with the requisite communication and emotional connection. That doesn’t work today, for a variety of reasons. Much more needs to be in place for a couple to smoothly create their home and build it as a מקדש מעט.
I bet there are more issues to add to this list.
Unsure of the definition of “troll”. The scenario described is very real for many, and it is one of those situations that one is between a rock and a hard place. There is no pat answer for this, and every case is unique. Worse is that compromises can be imposed via beis din, court, or other forms of mediation. However, compliance is never guaranteed. Parental alienation has become epidemic in the frum community. And the alienating spouse is most often the one with residential custody, and requires only time to insure the efforts to alienate bear fruit. Sadly, askanim are often employed to facilitate this. As they have no professional ethical standards, there is no recourse to their violations of privacy or honesty. Getting rabbonim into this role is also not uncommon.
“Staying together for the kids” is a nice sounding thought. In reality, this is immensely difficult to achieve without exposing the kids to incessant fighting, bitterness, and all of the awful midos we would rather they not see.
Divorce (and the pre-divorce fighting) bring out the worst behavior and attitudes in people. The same chesed driven people can be seen behaving in manners that range between cruel and ruthless. If our chinuch is to have any value, we should be transmitting values and midos tovos. Putting kids through this nightmare is abusive, regardless of who is “right” in the marital conflict.
Your statement is a generalization. It is often true. Just as often, it is not. Having witnessed (or experienced) the negative effects of divorce, there is tremendous motivation to avoid and prevent it. The challenge is that we reach conclusions because of the label “divorce”, and fail to evaluate the situation to determine the true dynamic.
There are matters that need to be faced in the aftermath of a divorce.
1. The children will always be affected. This can happen in multiple ways. To explain them all would take a book, not an essay to publish to the internet. Many children are resilient, and do not bear much scarring. Some may even make lemonade out of their lemons. And some situations can diminish the magnitude and variety of negative effects.
2. Despite the increased divorce rate, the stigma is still as strong as ever, and perhaps more. And this may be without regard to the success of coping and resilience.
3. There are many concerns in the consideration of a shidduch. I would strive to see my child that lacked good modeling for marriage to enter a family that does have a better than intact home. Rejecting that child because of a label might be unfair.
4. In the frum community, we have grown to recognize a dynamic that is highly painful. Divorce is intended to be an event that is “krisus”, and complete severance. However, as batei din and attorneys know too well, that is plenty that follows the completed gett and divorce. There is bickering that continues on, sometimes for years. Yes, loving feelings are certainly not dominant in divorce. And negative judgments of each party on the other are standard. But the bitter fighting that continues, usually with the kids as the pawns in the middle, is devastating to all. It wastes lots of money, and places the children in horrible positions. If there was a small chance of a prospective shidduch having such issues, I would think at least twice before accepting such a shidduch for my child.
5. With all the animosity between divorced parents, it is not surprising to see the rampant forms of parental alienation. And this totally disgusting practice is often with support from rabbonim, askonim, toanim, and occasionally attorneys. And there are also lots of do-gooders that offer advice that is damaging and provocative. The justification of this abhorrent behavior is malignant, and speaks to someone’s core moral values. Nowhere in the calculations that produce parental alienation is there consideration of what Torah value is. Oh, there is often use of vocabulary that sounds “as if” the conclusion is true Torah direction. But is it really so?August 23, 2023 11:29 am at 11:29 am in reply to: Is there really a Shidduch crisis because of too many available women? #2218858
We must be extremely careful with regards to the “bashert” or the zivug of bas ploni l’ploni. This is the default that is created for every one of us, male or female. However, as the gemora states, this can be undermined or altered. The concept of “bashert” allows in place obstacles. Let’s examine a simple non-shidduch related example. We are told “מזונותיו של אדם קצובין לו מראש השנה.” Our parnosoh for the year is predetermined in our din on Rosh Hashanah. If that is taken at face value, we can all retire on Tzom Gedalia. Our income will find its way to us. Who needs to work? Sounds a bit bizarre. Well, that’s because it is.
The Gemora tells us that a zivug that is bashert can end up elsewhere through tefilah. It stands to reason that if we stop attending to a “shidduch” system, we might not be available to actually meet and marry the one that is “bashert”.
Our Chazal were not placating us, but nor were they telling us to spend our time on the couch waiting for the blessings to shower upon us. This is similar with parnosoh and shidduchim. We must engage in our efforts and hishtadlus. When we “hang it up”, we guarantee that it won’t happen. This is not the failure of Ratzon Hashem ch”v. It’s ours.
Many fairy tales can actually be quite frightening to children. Moreover, many contain themes that are not exactly custom made for our children. There is a handsome amount of greed, crime, murder, dismemberment, jealousy, etc., a treasure of awful midos. Yet our Divrei Chazal contain much allegory that is similarly frightening.
With a retrospective view, I see far more damage, actually wreckage, coming from the youth who were raised on the literature that is pushed by the radical left, ratgher than the time tested fairy tales of Grimm, Perrault, and Andersen. True, they are not politically correct. But none of them push the woke agendas that is destroying whatever moral fiber existed inthe creation of United States. Go ahead and provide your children with stories written al taharas hakodesh. But don’t protest Goldilocks that much. It’s mild and relatively harmless.
I feared this. The direction of the comments has deviated from the applicability and meaning of labels into a debate about chassidus. If the parsha of Korach means anything to us, it needs to be the lesson about refraining from machlokes. I haven’t an issue with different approaches to Avodas Hashem, regardless of their similarity or contrast to mine. If someone has reasons to serve Hashem differently, go ahead and do so. Don’t attack the mesorah of others if you don’t understand it.
This discussion is somewhere between silly and meaningless. After all the opinions posted here about what should be precise definitions for these terms, they get used by people who have not investigated the linguistics, and are used interchangably. They mean whatever the speaker meant at that moment. And there is no established lexicon for any of these. I hope to save the time for many people who would otherwise waste their time opining here.
I note your conciliatory tone in the last few comments. I remain stuck on a few things you mention that are still indicative of lack of knowledge here. So I will clarify further.
You draw attention to the trend observed today that there is hyperfocus on trauma and victimization. I agree that this is overdone. I also note the early works of Sigmund Freud in which a great portion of the focus of psychoanalysis was about childhood trauma inflicted by parents. Current thinking has removed that obsession. With full recognition, there remains a huge amount of victimization, and there is nowhere enough resilience to brave such situations. Part of the increase in trauma is directly related to the decrease in resilience.
You are correct that Torah contains every element needed to build self worth, and that this issue is central to many of the conditions brought before therapists. If we had the means of transmitting this to others, we could go far. This is expounded upon in many of the books from Rabbi Twersky. There are other books in the Judaica marketplace (many might be long out of print) that address the role of Torah in therapy or as therapy. I name Rabbi Bulka from Canada as one noted author. And many of our most recognized and revered Baalei Mussar were vocal on this. With sadness, I note that such approaches to human behavior lack the popularity deserved. And even among Rabbonim and other community leaders, this is not the rule.
I can relate volumes of stories of individuals seeking rabbinical guidance on personal matters and suffering more than before. It is not for naught that our Chachomim established a line in our Viduy of יעצנו רע. That was set into place long before the advent of psychology.
It is a mistake to portray the mental health field as basing all pathology on the client being the victim of someone else’s cruelty. That may be a common lay perception, but it is no more respectable than the proverbial comment of the psychiatrist asking, “Do you love your mother?” I haven’t a clue what your personal experience of therapy was. If it was a primitive as your generalizations, I feel sorry that your time and money were wasted. There are good therapists and some lousy ones. There are some good rabbonim and some who just don’t have it.
You point to a valid distinction, that therapists create their career to give an allotted time to their clients. Rabbonim typically do not have that structure. A frequent result is that the Rov responds to the presenting problem, seeking to give advice, and figuring that compliance will resolve the problem. However, it is rarely true that the “presenting problem” is the real issue. That becomes a decoy, and addressing that misses the point. We have merited having some Rabbonim, including many of the Gedolei Yisroel, whose insight was stunning. They read through the individual immediately and got to the real crux of the matter. Without training or a Divine gift, this is not a “given” for a Rov.
I welcome a course to train Rabbonim to be more proficient in providing services to their kehilos. Personal problems, marital, individual, parental, etc. abound, and the reality is that many in our community will approach their Rov before seeking professional help. If that Rov could recognize what falls within his domain to help, and what needs consultation and referral to a professional, there would be much to celebrate.
I note your remark about Torah as an alternative to living as a survivor. I disagree. Torah gives us many reminders of our status as survivors of golus Mitzrayim, referring openly to the suffering there as well as the geula. But we are survivors. What you might have meant to say is the status of victimhood. That is a horrible place to be. And even for someone that underwent severe trauma, remaining the victim is prolonged torture. The goal of treatment is to help the individual rise from that to the status of survivor. That is actually a lofty status, and one the Torah openly guides us to recognize.
As first port of call, I agree that this is sometimes indicated. Often, it is not. By the time many couples reach out for intervention, the dysfunction has progressed to a very serious place. There are many other factors that are outside the domain of the most well intentioned Rov. There are psychological and psychiatric conditions that can be involved. This is not the exception either. And the untrained will seek to focus on what would otherwise be good advice, while missing the forest for the trees.
I haven’t a clue about those unhappy people who went to therapy. There are unhappy people who have gone to therapy, and many who have not. Your use of this as a representative is connecting dots that are unrelated. There are mood disorders that are partially relieved by therapy, not necessarily making the person happy, but improving function. Might a dose of spirituality help them? Perhaps. But there are plenty for whom this is not the missing ingredient. Meanwhile, your maligning therapy as contraindicated except in a small number of exceptional cases is baseless.
I, too, use spirituality in my guidance for people. It is a precious tool. But it is often not the deficiency that is responsible for the condition, and it is also not always the cure. There were Gedolei Yisroel who had various conditions. Shall I quote the Brisker Rov ZT”L who had OCD? How about a few of the Chassidic Masters who had mood disorders? Were they not erudite enough or lacking in spirituality to overcome their conditions?
As I noted earlier, there are important roles for everyone. Rabbonim have much to offer, and many are quite perceptive and insightful. Anomg the frum therapists, there are quite a few that are quite learned. And there is much cooperation and collaboration among them. I would not dismiss the professionals as purveyors of goyishe values, nor would I consider the average Rov a competent therapist (the Rov, in all odds, does not claim to be a therapist either). Your generalizations are not supported by the facts. I do not challenge your experience. But that does not reflect accurately on the global scene.
You have a point that CS and I are addressing different scenarios. Perhaps. Meanwhile, CS has taken the liberty of presenting a position in which professionally trained therapists are imparting goyishe values, anti-Torah to their clients, and are to be reserved fpor only certain cases. And adding that the average Rov is well qualified to deal with all but a few severe situations. These accusations are not just offensive but patently untrue.
There is a valid point the tri-state area of the northeast has sizable numbers of frum professionals, which is not the case OOT. The significance of this disparity is somewhat less in the era of teletherapy. There are unvetted therapists, though I am not sure what the vetting process might be and who would oversee this. I would safely say that a great many of the frum mental health professionals in the tri-state area regularly work alongside rabbonim and are thus vetted. And one might also hear from these rabbonim of those professionals who should not be patronized. So I characterized “true” professionals as not having been in that last category.
I completely believe that Torah can nurture healing and health. That is not a novel concept, nor is it a matter of debate. I applaud anyone that can utilize Torah in all of its facets to bring about improvement in anything. I do believe that Torah is the root of all knowledge, whether the sciences, or anything else. But that doesn’t guarantee that one can extract all of this from the Torah. Much of that is part of the hidden aspect of Torah, and we are stuck deriving this from the sciences. And we should bear in mind that some our greatest have lauded the discoveries of science. I call attention to the Rambam, and to the Ramban, who spoke of this openly.
I have grown to be amused by the generalizations about psychology that are touted by those not trained in the field. Such things as the “selfish approach”, and the imposing of goyishe values on clients. Conclusions and generalizations of this sort are foolish, and reflect a dearth of information.
I am quite thrilled that CS was able to find relief and strength in Torah, whether emunoh, bitachon, whether sifrei mussar, chassidus, or Rabbi Twersky’s books. Those are wonderful resources. But they will not help the masses of marital and psychological problems, even with rabbinical guidance. The need for professionals, as recognized by the greatest rabbonim among us, is far greater in both magnitude and volume than the rabbinate is equipped to handle. As I noted earlier, the Rov might serve well as a first responder. Some situations should remain in front of the Rov. Others should be moved on to the professional. And the treating therapist, if frum, is likely a good stop to assume the case in its entirety. Regardless, most of those I know have a Rov ready for guidance should there be a need, and many are regular “chavrusas” of rabbonim, utilizing them in a supervisory capacity. I once heard Rabbi Twersky say (I think it’s in one of his books) that Moshe Rabbeinu stopped at 10 (Aseres Hadibros). Had he continued, number 11 would have been “Thou shalt not generalize”.
You draw attention to R’ Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin. He is exemplary, but he is also an anomaly. It is truly spectacular that he remained what he did throughout the torturous isolation. He is worthy of all the raise and admiration, and then some. And he was able to utilize Torah sources for his chizuk, which he described in his book and in countless speeches since then. We would all do well to have our lives run in a spiritual manner.
I do not fault anyone for approaching their Rov with a personal issue, whether individual or marital. I am repeating myself, but for good reason. The Rov who is within his domain will utilize whatever resources he has to be helpful. Yet, there are a great many situations for which the average Rov is likely unequipped. Having professionals to consult or to refer to is critical. This concept is well known among the experienced rabbonim, and the Gedolei Yisroel repeat this often.
You continue to castigate the professionals as people who deliver goyishe values to their clientele. That is parently false. In fact, the true professional does not impose their values on clients. And even more important, the professionals learned their science from the goyishe resources, יש חכמה בגוים, but have not subscribed to their values. And if you would mingle with these professionals, you would discover people who actually are well respected by the greatest of the rabbonim of all facets of the frum community. You will find people who are regular “chavrusas” to the great talmidei chachomim in our community. You will find quite a number of them are talmidei chachomim in their own right. And I challenge you to locate any of them who bypass Torah value for the goyishe standards as you accuse.
Lastly, it is not the role of the frum therapist to teach Torah. Most that I know use Torah in their work often. And if they recognize that a client would benefit from Torah and Mitzvos as part of their healing, they would certainly support that.
You do need to revisit your beliefs about the frum professional community. See what is fact and what is fiction. My exposure is quite different, and your accusations are pathetic and baseless.
I read your subsequent comments as well as your rejoinder to me. All I can say is that you are digging yourself in deeper. There are realities that you may choose to deny, but they are nevertheless fact. The current training for rabbonim (there are few exceptions) does not include giving advice for personal problems. In fact, there are several mechanisms in place to reduce the ineffectiveness of rabbonim in this regard. There are several institutes that offer training for rabbonim to assist them. The reality is that many people will approach their rov and/or rebbetzin with such issues. And they need to be capable of guiding them appropriately. Yes, there are situations that they can probably handle. But they are first responders, and must be equipped to guide them to the right professionals and resources. The Agudah under guidance from the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah takes this position. Many of the chassidishe rebbes are connected with various professionals. Even many roshei yeshivos are similarly connected.
Your complaint about your doctor operating outside his domain – that’s plainly foolish. Your doctor was pointing out that your stress level is affecting your health, and that a practical approach is to destress. Many doctors do that, and it is well within their domain.
Your diatribe against the frum mental health professionals being basically goyish trained that deliver those values to their clientele is a malicious accusation and one that is beyond false. I suggest you prepare a method of asking mechila of the hundreds of mental health professionals that are yere’im and shleimim, dedicated to promoting Torah value to those that you cannot help. I bet you can find a therapist or two whose values you might question. I know a mashpia or two who are menaces to the Klal, and certainly NOT what the Rebbe ZT”L had in mind when he brainstormed that idea.
I suggest you speak to several of these frum mental health professionals. Visit their conferences, attend their shiurim, and even test them on their Torah knowledge. Then see what the Gedolei Yisroel say. Once you’ve done that, express your opinions. A bit of truth wins over the conjecture and grandstanding.
You are doing a great disservice to the public. Much of what you say is mistaken, and you should be taking sheker seriously. There are also misperceptions. Allow me to clarify.
You average Rov/Rebbetzin is either untrained or undertrained, and generally inexperienced to assist with a troubled marriage. Ignoring whether they have a good marriage themselves, there is a huge amount of information that training provides. Whether this comes from a secular or Jewish text, professor, teacher, or training program is inconsequential.
Now, you also need to recognize what most gedolei Yisroel already do. There is a ballooning growth of frum mental health professionals, who are not just professionally trained and experienced, but work together with Rabbonim and Gedolei Yisroel all the time. Many of these professionals convene at conferences like Nefesh International, and the mental health Track at the Agudah Convention. They are in constant contact with Daas Torah, mutually providing their experiences so that the therapists can maintain their Torah connection while providing responsible services, and Rabbonim giving advice and paskening shailos are doing so from a educated perspective. Instead of declaring these therapists being in ignorance of Torah, why don’t you connect with some and discover how wrong you are. Then ask the rabbonim what they think about the professionals.
A Rov/Rebbetzin without such background and experience can be among those who give dangerous guidance and advice. It is too often that marriages are torn apart by the ignorant advice from the Rov who considers their erudition in Torah a qualification to behave as a therapist.March 26, 2023 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm in reply to: Should girls wait for older sisters to get married? #2177018
It is clear from the teshuvah from Reb Moshe ZT”L that this is not a matter of halacha. It is, however, a question about yashrus. And the question is whether there is an “inyan” to wait. If one follows the dialogue that Gedolei Yisroel have had about this, one would easily see that there is a question that is not about halacha, but about what is fillting and proper. And there are different opinions on this. Some address that the subject of younger ones not marrying before older siblings is the tzava’ah of Lavan, and we are not obligated to do that. Others say that anything that makes another person feel bad is something that should be recognized and dealt with in a manner that considers the perceived offense. One should seek guidance on such matters, but the “poseik” is not the quality one needs to seek for this. The “moreh derech”, with the wisdom to guide one in personal matters is.
The discussion here has morphed into something embarrassing. Just a few notes:
1. The environment/culture is constantly changing. So is the reaction to it. Mental illness can easily be getting worse, without regard to the growth of the “industry” of therapists and medications.
2. The lay person often wants to appear more educated and knowledgeable than he/she really is. You may theorize why this is so. But we do observe it almost everywhere. The comments about where and when to use medications are laughable. None of the commenters here have the training, experience, and expertise to know anything about it. The casual remarks border on the comical.
3. Halacha is misused by many, with priorities that halacha accounts for being ignored, and chumros being considered mainstream halacha that is relevant to all. Our Chazal guide us to have a Rav that provides guidance. We should all have someone that can guide our Avodas Hashem so that we don’t treat minhagim and halachos in a manner that either underplays or overplays their true significance.
4. All halachos and mitzvos exist for our betterment. Ideally, we should be thrilled and proud of our adherence to every mitzvah and halacha. This includes tznius and many other things. Presenting them with a fire and brimstone approach is not true chinuch. It might be bullying, it might be control, but not chinuch. Ask our Gedolei Yisroel. Read up on how the master mechanchim and Gedolei Yisroel addressed the subject of chinuch. There is a groundswell of such seforim, many in English as well. There are even several role models that can be studied for how to abandon the fire and brimstone, and thereby actually bring our younger generation to a place where they love Hashem, His Torah, and mitzvos.
5. Mental illness really exists. It is ignorant to dismiss everything as bad middos. And there are conditions for which medication is the most important intervention. Yes, many feel stigma regarding medication. But medication gets a bad rap by those who know nothing about it. I leave diagnostics to the professionals, and the prescribing of medications to those trained to do so. Psychiatry has grown to be more focused on medication use, since the number of fields of trained professionals to conduct therapy has grown. We might debate whether there has been enough training, but that would be separate thread. Basically, running around and proclaiming that these meds are being overused, underused, or misused makes me think, “Pardon, your ignorance is showing”. The field of mental health has progressed greatly in many ways, and much more is understood than just a few decades ago. Like much else in life, it has fallen under influences of culture, where ideologies that are foreign have affected judgment. For the most part, the majority of issues facing the mental health field have little to no relevance to the woke culture, and remain mostly scientific. And I leave the rest to the experts. I fail to see any of the above comments reflecting expertise.
The Brisk Myth
The assumption by the OP and some commenters is that Brisk is the top yeshiva. By deductive reasoning, one should expect our Gedolei Yisroel to have Brisk on their resumes. Sad to disappoint, but they do not. Now, this is not a put down for Brisk. It has a reputation, not because it produces the most superior products, but because it is one of the most selective. If it’s hard to get admitted, it must be top. The same logic is the doctor who only takes appointments months in advance. If it’s that hard to get an appointment, it must be a better doctor. Well, that’s a myth.
Brisk follows a derech of learning that is great for some and not so for others. Rav Chaim ZT”L was Sar Hatorah. He was as capable as anyone to learn with depth. But that was not his derech. And his learning was not inferior. It would be pretty audacious to minimize his Torah learning since he neither attended Brisk nor did he use their derech.
If we refrain from this form of “identity politics”, we might avoid serious pitfalls.
I am impressed with the degree of foolishness exposed in the OP. What energizes the audacity to determine the quality of a yeshiva? For one talmid, the so-called “best” yeshiva would be a disaster. For another talmid, the “worst” could be producing a Gadol Hador. Is the number of boys that enter Brisk the yardstick?
It’s one thing to explore the characteristics of a yeshiva. It’s another thing to rate them. That smacks of holier than thou, and this is not consistent with Torah value.
It is a mistake to confuse the Gemora that addresses the child who is not a talmid chochom with the contemporary concept of OTD.
We are witness today to families who raise many children to successful lives as ehrliche Yidden and talmidei chachomim while there is one child that just isn’t. And many of the Gedolei Yisroel have noted, אין בית אשר אין שם מת. The issue is pervasive. As much as we need to examine ourselves and our communities to identify the contributing factors, we need to recognize that parents are being given a Divine gift from Hashem – a child that has “special needs” of the spiritual type. If I have a child like that, HKB”H is telling me that He wants me to deal with it. It’s my nisayon and mission in life. Of course, I would want my child to follow in my footsteps, to carry on the heritage of my parents and ancestors. And I davened 3X daily asking for that. Hashem answered my tefilos. He said, “No.” He showed me that He had another direction for me. He wanted me to love the child that was not following my example.
Now that we are completing Chumash Bamidbor, we have covered the majority of major events that occurred during the 40 year trek, from leaving Mitzrayim through the end of the travel to the edge of the Yarden. We are now fully informed about the troubles, ממרים הייתם מיום דעתי אתכם. We read the stories of the eigel, asafsuf, mei merivoh, Zimri, Korach, and more. Throughout these times, HKB”H never missed a day of providing sustendance for Klal Yisroel, מן, בארה של מרים, and the embrace of the ענני הכבוד. Hashem was the loving provider, despite the most blasphemous and ungrateful Klal Yisroel during those times. We were OTD, yet had all the perks of the loved child. Shouldn’t we model that?
What would Rav Aharon ZT”L say?
I am intrigued by this topic. It calls into focus our critical need to examine what’s working and what’s not. And the question is similarly critical. But I suggest that we ask a different question first. Rav Aharon pioneered the kollel system as we know it in the 1940’s. His intention was to transplant the Torah that was destroyed in Europe to exist in America. There was a desperate need for yeshivos that would become centers for Torah learning, with products of yungerleit that could continue the chain of giving over Torah to future generations. And that was immensely successful. The Kol Torah achieves higher decibels continually.
But Rav Aharon was reportedly posed with a question. The Gemora (Sotah 42a) explicitly says that the proper way of the world is to establish a home, arrange parnosoh, and then marry, in that order. If kollel set marriage first, and parnosoh later, wasn’t this in violation of Divrei Chazal? To this, it is reported that Rav Aharon responded that his mission of creating the kollel system was a “horo’as sho’oh”. It was made for the moment, and was mandated by the situation.
The argument then becomes that this temporary “fix” has converted into a permanent state. Was this part of the plan? I can hear the argument either direction. But I rest my laurels on this approach. I do not believe we have the ability to say definitively what would have been. That sort of knowledge does not exist in our world, and it resides only in the Heavenly spheres. It goes under the category of “nistaros”.
All we can do is examine whether the system is working. Is the growing metropolis of Lakewood effective in promulgating the values of Torah life that was Rav Aharon’s life mission? Are the yungerleit continuing the banner of Torah, or are they just avoiding the responsibility of building their homes on their own backs? Has kollel life morphed into a culture of dependency, with the features of entitlement and egotistical ideas of klai kodesh? All good questions. What we cannot do is to reach into the crevices of the unknown, and to guess what Rav Aharon ZT”L would have said. I think he would have stated as I believe, and you feel the opposite. We’re right back where we started.
In summary. The community in Lakewood has grown immensely, and like anything else in life, it has its pluses and minuses. We should believe that Rav Aharon would have been genuinely pleased with the pluses. We might also believe that he would have been horrified by the negatives. What conclusion would he have reached? I have no ruach hakodesh, so I pass on that.June 20, 2022 10:52 am at 10:52 am in reply to: is Yeshiva system making talmiday chachamim? or stifling them? #2098535
You point to fundamental flaws here. I suggest that, among other factors, yeshivos have converted chinuch from a spiritual venture that is predicated on continuing the chain from Matan Torah to the next generation into a business. Yes, there are financial issues involved in running a yeshiva, from paying bills to payroll, etc. And much of what we parents observe is the extreme efforts to provide the money for the operation of the yeshiva, far more than the dedicated efforts to assist every yochid to excel and reach their own unique potential. We witness a system obsessed with discipline and rules, outshadowing the love that a rebbe needs to have for a talmid. You are correct in drawing attention to the lack of partnership between parents and yeshiva faculty. It should be there, a strong connection that every talmid witnesses. But it’s not all the fault of the parents. How often is a talmid punished for cumulated “aveiros” where parents had no idea until after the fact.June 17, 2022 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm in reply to: is Yeshiva system making talmiday chachamim? or stifling them? #2098061
The quote from the Chazon Ish in an earlier comment is something I heard expressed this way. He reportedly commented that the initial task of yeshivos immediately after the Holocaust was to re-establish Torah study. This meant focusing on the tzibbur – the population of the younger generation. But now (must have been prior to his passing which was in 1953) we have accomplished that goal, and our focus now must be on the individual.
My interpretation is that gearing to the masses is not the mission of chinuch any longer, and that the primary responsibility is to assist and guide each individual to achieve his maximum. I suppose if we had a perfectly verbatim quote, we would be in better to position to ascertain his intended message. If anyone can reference the exact wording, we all stand to benefit.June 16, 2022 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm in reply to: is Yeshiva system making talmiday chachamim? or stifling them? #2097695
After all the comments here, no two bochurim or yungerleit are identical in their capacities in learning. They differ in styles, their poattern of their learning כוחות, and trying to cookie cut them is irresponsible. Each one needs to develop according to their unique set of skills. I heard that Rav Chaim Kanievsky ZT”L was asked to leave a yeshiva ketana at a young age. The Steipler Gaon ZT”L took his son, and arranged for a melamed that would fit the type of learning that Rav Chaim pursued with his incredible hasmodoh. That produced the Gadol we were fortunate to see. Yes, Rav Chaim was a dropout from a system that could not educate him according to his set of skills and assets.June 16, 2022 11:16 am at 11:16 am in reply to: is Yeshiva system making talmiday chachamim? or stifling them? #2097521
The yeshiva system has zero chinuch thatis individualized that would produce the greatest talmidei chachomim. Large groups of bochurim are herded into a yeshiva/kollel, provided a shiur with a person of stature (Rosh Yeshiva, Magid Shiur, etc.), and everything is provided for the numbers of talmidim as a group. Missing here is the obvious. No two talmidim are identical. SOme need to delve more into amkus and pilpul, others into halacha, and yet others into bekiyus. It should be the responsibility of every Rosh Yeshiva to know the talmidim inside out to be able to guide them to achieve their maximum. That is only done individually, never en masse. But our current systems of chinuch at every single level are more similar to public schools and universities, where the same shiur is given to all, and all are expected to mold to the system to excel. We have all this talk about “find the right yeshiva” for a bochur. That is inherently flawed. The yeshiva needs to accommodate the talmid. חנוך לנער על פי דרכו. Nowhere does it even hint to molding the talmid to accommodate to the derech of a rebbi. The very notion of a curriculum, as we observe it in our yeshivos, is foreign to true Torah chinuch. Before jumping on me, review Hilchos Talmud Torah from Rav Shulchan Aruch, then Hilchos Talmud Torah in Rambam, then the sizable number of seforim from Gedolei Yisroel on chinuch. Then I can join a debate.
What an interesting question! I have a better one. What’s the truth about the person inside the kapote? Is he truly someone of stature, a talmid chochom, a tzaddik, a role model for all of Klal Yisroel? When we meet our Maker after 120, we do not ascend with velvet collars nor with the numbers of followers. Our generation is obsessed with chitzoniyus. How tragic that we ignore the rerality of our Divine purpose to fulfill the Ratzon Hashem and the gloify Him in all we do. So we are busy glorifying ourselves, and pretending that all this is holy.
You are accurate about what should be. This was not quite as common in the Litvishe circles until more recently, but was always a central point among the chassidishe communities. However, it is also noteworthy, quite sadly, that there are some that have forgotten the tachlis, and gotten stuck in the process. Yes, there are those that deify their leaders. I would bet that you have observed this, too. How unfortunate that these innocent Gedolim have been casted by some to be something they are not.
And I have observed people seeking something essentially davening to Reb Shaya ben Reb Moshe. That reeks of Avodah Zarah, deifying a tzaddik. I have difficulty seeing this tzaddik tolerating being made into a G-d.
Such practices are not unknown to the chassidishe world, where their leaders are put on a pedestal far greater than a leader of a flock and a teacher of Yiras Shomayim. We can be all for the respecting of Gedolim. Making them into deities is not Ratzon Hashem. There have been tzaddikim that openly criticized those chassidim that did this.
I don’t recall the name of the Rov who guided parents to assess whether the prospective mechutanim were the kind of people one might be able to handle a gett with. If yes, they could be suitable mechutanim who would get along with them.
AAQ: You listed issues that are of really dubious value as superficial matters that can be used to knock names off the list, such as nusach, politics, sports, gebrokts, etc. I hope you were injecting a drop of humor here. I need to say that because I have seen otherwise great shidduchim bypassed irresponsibly with these trivia as the breakers. Conversely, I have seen shidduchim where these factors all matched that became disastrous, ending up in bitter, highly contested divorces.
My two cents
I have no hesitation about parents being involved and conducting the research. As a structure, that’s fine. However, I must emphasize that this investigation often focuses on trivia, and often produces heaps of bias and frank lies, rendering all the efforts meaningless. And unless the boy and girl themselves have amazing people skills and midos with a hefty dash of Syatta Dishmaya, we have created a potential divorce with its fallout.
Just what questions are being asked? How about useless ones like, “Tell me about the boy’s or girl’s personality.” Or “What levush does he wear?” “Why did he/she go to that camp?” Or another favorite joke, “Does he plan to sit and learn?” After answers to such questions, we know nothing that addresses preparation for marriage, or we have pat answers that are uninformative or plainly dishonest.
Do we know how either party deals with adversity or challenge? Are they groomed for lives of dependency, as our kollel system preaches? Do the kids have a spiritual connection or are they just robots with compliance to the community and a helping of chumros to impress others? Do they resolve conflict, or are they apt to find petty disagreements as threats to their dignioty or sense of control?
It is often that a boy or girl have life goals that differ greatly from the parents’ aspirations. Even with proper research, we are set up for conflict and trouble. No, I don’t believe kids generally do good research. But parents are not a whole lot better. The divorce rate in our community has jumped much higher than it’s ever been. One of many reasons is the dearth of accuracy in information available to the two sides. And without a huge amount of Syatta Dishmaya, it would probably be a lot higher.
You are correct in principle, though your lomdus needs correction. The Gemora (Taanis 8b – 9a) says עשר בשביל שתתעשר, that in the nmerit of tzedokoh, one merits wealth. The Novi (Malachi 3:1) stated ובחנוני נא בזאת, from which the Chazal explained that one may “test” HKB”H with the mitzvah of tzedokoh that will merit the giver wealth. The Tur and Shulchan Aruch refer to this. Tzedokoh is the one mitzvah that one may perform without the intention of “lishmoh”, and even do so with the ulterior motive of meriting parnosoh. You are certainly on target by referencing the mitzvah of tzedokoh.
Since peyos are being sported as a mitzvah, it is proper to treat them accordingly, with proper respect. If one has peyos that are oitherwise not neat, unkempt, and messay, then it is preferred that he do something to curtail that. Whatever works for him is acceptable. Behind the ear, curled, whatever. Different patterns emerged according to goegraphic location or other factors. Chassidim have a pattern of mimicking their rebbe. Otherwise, I’m not so sure there is any great significance to this trivial detail. I do not consider someone with front peyos more frum, more chassidish or more anything else than anyone else. It is time we pay attention to other things that are far more relevant than to trivia like this.
Yes, we find many references in Shas and Medrash for things that merit parnosoh. They are all holy and true. What I am about to say does not mitigate this a bit.
When the Satmar Rov (Divrei Yoel) was asked about the known segulah of reciting Parshas Hamohn, he reportedly said openly that this is effective until 8:59 am. From 9:00, the person should use the segulah called working.
The concept of segulah, as we are using it in this discussion, is a trick that provides us with something that we did not otherwise earn. This is highly suspect, and I have trouble believing that this is the intended role. Picture a young able bodied person spending his day reciting Parshas Hamohn, and avoiding going to work. Shall we believe that this the intention of that segulah? I know I don’t. A segulah is a supplement that we can use to potentiate the activities we employ to accomplish a task. It is not a substitute. And it is sad that many approach segulos that way.
And many other things are also in this category. Davening by kivrei tzaddikim is a precious gem. Mekomos hakedoshim are particularly auspicious. But to treat a medical illness by refraining from medical care and sitting around in cemeteries, even by big tzaddikim is irresponsible. The velt seems to use segulos in a childish manner, to get them off the hook from being responsible. It’s time for a little maturity.
Save your accusations for those who deserve it. I do NOT condemn anybody. The Torah world today uses the Mishna Berurah as its basic guide to Shulchan Aruch. Yes, halacha often has dissenting opinions, and אלו ואלו דברי אלקים חיים. No one challenges that. I am not worried about those whose drinking is simply and only to follow halacha. I utterly abhor those who get wasted just because they consider it a mitzvah and are honestly doing it for their own hedonistic reasons. And those who believe that they are being “machmir” are nothing better than fools. Ad delo yoda does NOT mean to lose one’s mind. That is a blasphemous translation, and is found nowhere is our poskim. שכרותו של לוט is referred to in the Mishnah and the Rambam as תועבה. I am not against the mitzvah to drink on Purim. I am against its exploitation, and the extremes of drunkenness should be shunned by everyone with a Torah value system. That’s what I condemn, and I do so because our greatest Torah leaders of many generations have done that.
So when you’re ready to make accusations, fiind someone who is blasphemous for a target. Meanwhile, the mitzvos of Emunoh (as in אנכי ה’ אלקיך) remain in permanent status, and I will NOT obliterate my ability to think and be mevatel that fundamental mitzvah.
This thread contains the usual stupidity that gets repeated here annually. We read comments about being “machmir” to get drunk, as if the Rem”o and the Mishnah Brurah are finding loopholes. Then we hear about how the gedolei Yisroel who openly condemn the inebriation are in error, while the rest of the year, they bow on their knees to the same Daas Torah. And, as mentioned earlier, the subject of pikuach nefesh is completely ignored. The biggest trouble with these discussions is that the obvious message of drinking in moderation or to drink responsibly is considered blaphemous, even though it comes from Gedolei Poskim, Hatzoloh, medical professionals, and other experts in the fields of chinuch and addictions. Articles, presentations by video, podcast, etc. are considered entertaining, but ignored when it comes to following them in real life. Hypocrisy fares quite well, and the violators claim that this is “halacha”.
I have yet to hear of these same plastered machmirim extending themselves to shower more matanos lo’evyonim. No, ‘cuz that’s not halacha. Sorry, friends, but halacha is not what you want it to be, but what it is. And I turn to our leaders who shun the shikruso shel Lot emphatically. When drunk, one cannot engage in Avodas Hashem. So says the Rambam. Wanna talk halacha? Start with what the greatest poskim of our history told us. Then how about the Gedolei Yisroel who are a beacon of light in our dark golus.
There is a story of Reb Zushe published in several of the reputable collections of chassidic tales. Reb Zushe came into a town as Rebbe, and was invited to lead a meal in his honor. As he weas served the food, he turned the plate over onto his kaftan. The hoist was horrified, apologized for the mistake, and sent for another portion. This, too, Reb Zushe dumped onto his bekeshe.After the third such event, the host begged Reb Zushe to explain to him why he is doing this. Reb Zushe explained that several years before, he and his brother Reb Elimelech were traveling through this town, and they were unable to find anyone wishing to provide them with even a morsel of food. Reb Zushe related that after several days of painful hunger, he davened, and HKB”H made two nipples grow in his mouth, one providinig him milk and the other honey. That miracle was needed for his survival. Reb Zushe told him that he is now here in this same city, and being showered with honor. Reb Zushe says, “I am the same Zushe that no one would feed. All that is different is my attire, the bekeshe. This food is being brought for the bekeshe, not for me. So I am delivering it to its target.”
You are correct, and you are also wrong. The connection of tefiloh and tzedokoh is found in two places. רבי אליעזר יהיב פרוטה לעני והדר מצלי. Rabi Eliezer would give a prutah to a poor person and would then daven. This tzedokoh prior to davening seems to refer to each tefiloh, Shacharis, Mincha, and Maariv. This is divrei Chazal. There is also a minhag, referenced by the Ari Zal, to give tzedokoh during the recitation of ויברך דוד.
As far as collecting, there is no reference about this being required. Rather, it is a convenience for the collector to find people together to seek donations, not different from the collecting that is done by weddings or other gatherings. It has been happening for eons.
However, poskim address the matter of disturbing tefiloh, and prohibit collecting during parts of davening when the hefsek is either forbidden or disgraceful. Collecting during Shema is terrible. One may not interrupt Shema at all. Mishna Berurah is adamant about not collecting during Kriyas Hatorah, saying it is a bizayon for the Torah. Sadly, few collectors are careful to avoid disrespecting the tefiloh or the mispalel. I sympathize with their desperation. Even those collecting for very legitimate causes have been disruptive.
This discussion is timely. We embark soon on the holy day of Purim when collecting reaches an annual frenzy. Yeshivos typically mobilize their talmidim to raise money, insisting that this helps balance their budgets. In another thread, we might debate this. But it is not the rule that children are properly taught to respect either tefiloh or the mispalel. They often bang their pushkas during Megillah reading. I was shocked to see bochurim doing this.
Tzedokoh is a precious mitzvah. Tainting it with dishonesty and disturbing tefiloh is unacceptable.
Situations like this are ripe for exploitation. With numerous opportunities to “cash in” and claim to be raising funds for refugees, it is likely that we are in line to so victimized. While we are at the loss of our money, the truly needy aren’t getting what they need. It would be wise to scour the heimishe media, and to donate to those that are direct testimony of the atricities and destruction. YWN has several of these, and they should be taken seriously. The random emails that can flood our inboxes lack the credibility.January 24, 2022 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm in reply to: What Steps Will the Charedi World Take to Try to Prevent Abuse #2054299
The consequences of being accused are very serious. Aside from those that involve the courts, the wreckage to someone’s reputation, employment, family, etc. are devastating. It’s not about protecting the molester. It’s about allowing the devastation to progress only where there is credibility to the accusation. Whether that gets proven by a court or otherwise, I don’t care. Those consequences are also dinei nefashos. And we cannot use statistics to pasken these questions. We need to have something verified. In reality, we do not need to commit all these devastating moves for the accused. We need to take any and all immediate steps to protect the victims and potential victims. This may mean suspending from a job or moving out of a home. But the publicity that leads to all the other consequences needs to based on verified information, not statistics.January 19, 2022 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm in reply to: people who become therapists usually just want haak #2052542
And people who become hospital escorts like to push people around.
We can do this to almost any occupation.
Electricians are not working with all circuits.January 19, 2022 9:23 am at 9:23 am in reply to: people who become therapists usually just want haak #2052503
Silly wabbit. Twix are for kids.
Someone shared with me the following:
ויצעקו בני ישראל, Rashi comments – תפסו אומנות אבותם בידם. They grabbed the practice of their fathers – davening. But Moshe tells them ואתם תחרישון, you should be silent. Why? What were they doing wrong?
In Targum Yonasan, we find an interesting translation. ואתון שתוקו והבו יקרא ותושבחתא ורוממו לאלקכון. Be silent, and offer praises to your G-d. Is singing praises silence? Perhaps Moshe is giving them guidance. He is telling them that praying and asking for something is contraindicated here. Such tefilos require the fitness of the individual. As we know, there are Mal’ochim that are mekatreg, and the situation at the Yam Suf involved kitrug of הללו עובדי עבודה זרה. Moshe Rabbeinu troubleshot this dilemma. If tefilos are expressed as שירות ותשבחות, there isn’t kitrug.
דבר אל בני ישראל ויסעו. The message is that their tefilos of שירות ותשבחות have been accepted already. Now, move.January 11, 2022 7:43 pm at 7:43 pm in reply to: Tomorrow Segula for Parnasa, Saying Parashas Haman #2050464
This entire discussion is more shallow than superficial. There is a glaring question that is either beyond the awareness or simply denied. We are told that מזונותיו של אדם קצובין לו מראש השנה עד ראש השנה. Could someone rely on that and not bother working? There are several answers to this? Here’s one.
The קצובין provides the allocation of this parnosoh. Trump allocated money to build the Wall. While Hashem will not withdraw the allocation, if the receiver fails to merit the delivery of it, it rermains unspent. People who write budgets for businesses understand this well. All the segulos won’t help the one that will fail to merit it or provide a conduit for the shefa.
Lastly, there are numerous known segulos for parnosoh. Many of these are commonplace, done by all, yet seem to have failed in the expected wealth. Others are also well referenced in Divrei Chazal, yet we have no campaigns or publicity. I can provide ample references if anyone here wants them.January 11, 2022 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm in reply to: Tomorrow Segula for Parnasa, Saying Parashas Haman #2050353
There is another nusach floating around cyber space of 8:00 am.
This quote has existed for many years. It is more believable that the supposed quote from Reb Mendel of Rimanov. The Divrei Yoel pushed his chassidim to work honestly and to learn. Reb Mendel Rimanover pushed for Parshas Hamohn daily.January 10, 2022 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm in reply to: Tomorrow Segula for Parnasa, Saying Parashas Haman #2049997
Segulos have become a subject of heavy marketing, and I seem to share the disgust in this. Tzedokoh is a wonderful thing. And when we give, we should not be purchasing anything. While it is true that one can ask for reward for giving tzedokoh, sacreligious for all other mitzvos, this has been taken to an illogical level, and actually poses a threat to our fulfilling mitzvos as Dvar Hashem that we follow to become closer to Hashem. The treasure of segulos is hinted in countless places throughout Chazal, and the greats of all subsequent generations have accessed this inyan as well. So not denying the existence of segulos in general, I am horrified when I see them become the subject of marketing. Cuiases, otherwise worthy and charitable, now suggest that they are the supreme resources for various brochos, heretofore the domain of HKB”H.
The seguloh of Parshas Hamon – reciting it daily is referenced widely, including the annotations on Shulchan Aruch. It didn’t make it into the siddur as a hoax. And the sopurce for reciting it with שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום is also mentioned by Acharonim from long ago. The relevance to Tuesday of Beshalach is the hoax. It was created by a prankster in the early post war years. There is not even an explanation for why that day is any more auspicious than any other calendar date. The spread of this hoax just testifies the level to which our community expect shortcuts in Avodas Hashem.
The Satmar Rov – Divrei Yoel ZT”L is quoted regarding the seguloh of reciting Parshas Hamon, stating that it works up until 8:59 am. From 9:00 and on, the seguloh for parnosoh is to go to work. It’s like expecting the win the lottery without buying a ticket.January 10, 2022 9:25 am at 9:25 am in reply to: Tomorrow Segula for Parnasa, Saying Parashas Haman #2049859
I’m still waiting for someone to document the Tuesday of Beshalach as a segula for anything. Reb Mendel of Rimanov pushed for saying it every day, as mentioned in countless seforim. Neither people who lived in Rimanov nor his descendants can support anything relevant to Tuesday of Beshalach. I think it’s a great hoax.
I discussed this with a friend who is a therapist. The office was located in a hospital, and it was located within several offices and large treatment rooms, so there was frequent traffic. When sxeeing an opposite gender client/patient, the therapist would ask a secretary to come to the door and open it at some point durinf the session hour. This was done all the time. when the sessions were sheduled at hours that the secretary was not there, the therapist npotified the security guard in the building to do a pop-in. The client/patient was notified of this.
This not only fulfilled the halacha requirement, as instructed by a posek, but it also provided a measure of safety that would be recognized by a secular court.
You wrote: “Having a yetzer hora doesn’t mean one isn’t a good therapist.”
That’s correct. But acting upon the urges of that yetzer horah does mean the therapist is not good. Actually, not just not good, but someone who should not be working in the field.
Having experienced quite a few situations of broken shidduchim, boys’ side and girls’ side, I must comment on the generalizations that are typical to these discussions. Boys and girls are very different, in their values, their tendencies, their middos, and all of this is dwarfed by the individual differences between any two people.
The factors in every situation are unique. And many of the issues may well be beyond human grasp. Imagine that someone can share a rational reason for wanting in or out of a shidduch. We can converse about this, agree, disagree, and our thoughts and positions on this may actually matter. However, if the reasons that someone is attracted to or repelled by a prospective chosson or kallah emanate from the emotional side, all our discussions are a huge waste of time. People differ on how much emotional connection they want to feel to enter into a shidduch or to withdraw from it. You cannot legislate emotion.
We have all heard prescriptions from various people, sometimes professionals, sometimes roshei yeshiva, sometimes just friends and acquaintances on how many dates someone needs to have before looking to conclude a shidduch. I frown on these bits of advice, as they generalize something with is specific and unique to each individual.