The little I know

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  • in reply to: what is the cause of income inequality in the jewish commnuity? #2035110
    The little I know
    Participant

    I suggest the cause of inequality is the attention paid to the numbers and the yetzer horah to compare and contrast them. I look around, at my family both immediate and extended, the neighbors, the others davening in the shul where I go, and I could bet with certainty that there is a wide variety of incomes represented. Except that no one really cares, and it doesn’t really matter. The latter for multiple reasons.

    Someone who is happy with his lot is far better off than someone with greater wealth but who is not happy with his. The tzuris that Klal Yisroel suffers, while sometimes a public or political issue, include many troubles that are experienced by individuals, not always known to others. So if someone has monetary wealth, but a family member who is seriously ill, does their income suggest they are happier?

    Granted, someone on a meager salary might not be able to distribute tzedokoh in a manner that resembles the gvir. Is that all there is to our lives? The meager earner that gives according to his ability is doing his mitzvah royally, perhaps more or al least not less than the gvir who doles out the larger sums.

    Lastly, מה ה’ שואל מעמך? I thought our existence as Am Yisroel is about what we are, not about what we have. Why are we paying attention to these differences as “inequality”?

    The little I know
    Participant

    Bored:

    Just as the requisite partnership can have its advantages, it can be misused. Your example of the toothbrush is appropriate. I have heard of rebbeiim and teachers expecting a parent to punish a child for misbehavion in school. Whether this extends to homework is debatable. Personally, I agree that homework should be minimal, and often zero.

    in reply to: Kids Used As Mules, Pidyon Shevuyim #2032713
    The little I know
    Participant

    Hold onto him long enough to verify who sent him. Find the drug dealer and make sure he wishes he were dead. Drug dealers have a lacha of rodef. Looking for the easy way out, giving him protection of any kind is against halacha and a threat to all.

    The little I know
    Participant

    I can’t speak to the research, as I have not reviewed it. But I can opine on the saichel of giving homework. A big tachlis is that it unites the school and home environments. The parents and hanhala doing the teaching need to be partners in raising the child. Each has important roles, and the more successful the partnership is, the better the product.

    My opinion is that the material taught is only a vehicle to transmit the values of Torah and mitzvos. The ability to “spit back” the material that was ingested is reflective of memory skills, which is only one of many skills needed to grow into an adult ben Torah and Yirai Shomayim. The seforim on the mitzvah of Talmud Torah do extol the virtues of yediyas haTorah, but it is secondary to Ahavas haTorah. The latter promotes devaikus, the former is apt to be limited to downloaded data unless it is paired with Ahavas haTorah.

    in reply to: I have COVID #2030454
    The little I know
    Participant

    Does using a screen name protect you like masks would if you were in physical proximity? Or does that just work for computer viruses?

    in reply to: Girls have it so easy #2023838
    The little I know
    Participant

    C’mon man.

    I can rewrite the opening diatribe with simple modification of the details, and it would say the virtual opposite.

    A guy just needs to wear a neat suit, pledge to spend unlimited years in kollel, dress in the mandated uniform of the yeshiva, look down at peers who chose careers to provide parnosoh, have lots of kids, broadcast the latest in chumros to impose on the family, and proudly get accepted with a yes that must just not be truly deserved. But then, it’s usually too late to back out.

    Shidduchim entails a huge element of Syatta Dishmaya, and many defy logic. The two candidates that met were just propped images that were provided for the other to see, with little reality until after the wedding. With all our efforts to screen the prospects, we must still daven intensely to be zocheh to find the right one, and to establish and maintain a good marriage. The genders do have different experiences, but if we total all the variables, no one wins and no one loses the contest.

    The little I know
    Participant

    Ys…123:

    You wrote: “the absolute worst thing a school can do is capitulate to parents and decide the curriculum based on what they demand.”

    Aside from not agreeing with you on this, there is a greater error in your thinking. The parents are not deciding what to teach. They are revolting against the new ideas that are being invited to invade the curriculum. The new garbage is not teaching, it is indoctrinating. That must be STOPPED. It is not about education, and those pushing that agenda know that well. It is about creating a younger generation whose beliefs are in socialism. It has zero to do with slavery. It is about removing patriotism from our texts, and replacing it with discrimination and reverse racism. NO! And anyone with a moral thread needs to resist this. The narrative by evil Dems is that this resistance is domestic terrorism is a malicious lie. Those promoting that need to be voted out of public office.

    in reply to: Preventable Marriage Disasters #2021657
    The little I know
    Participant

    The quip repeated often is that “Marriage is Grand. Divorce is a hundred grand.”

    Aside from the financial cost, the emotional cost on all parties can be severe. You are correct in noting that. The question is whether “staying together for the kids” is a good idea or not. And there is no simple answer. Each case is different. Some parents can handle this. Others cannot. Making a decision on this requires doing something that no one can truly do well – predict the future. There is no “One size fits all” here. For one couple, divorce can be the lesser of the evils. For another, staying together with all its challenges might be better. Trying to apply a general answer to this is simply irresponsible. And being blind to negatives of each option is similarly foolish.

    in reply to: Preventable Marriage Disasters #2021451
    The little I know
    Participant

    Phil:

    I am not quite as comfortable about someone staying in a bad marriage. I have seen it happen. On occasion, the family can ride it out successfully. But that is the exception. More often, the home environment is bitter. The fights, while perhaps not violent, are destabilizing for the family. Sometimes, they play the game well enough that the neighbors don’t know. But the kids almost always do.

    These kids later enter marriages, and get into trouble. They did not merit seeing parents resolve disagreements, and have no model to do this. They then repeat what comprised their environment for most of their formative years. Result: The short term looks positive, with the absence of the bitter wars that characterize so many divorces. The long term is not so rosy, with children entering their own marriages with baggage.

    I concur completely with the hiding of mental illness being completely wrong and disgusting. It is serious, and prevalent. I am aware of rabbonim who counsel and advise to withhold such information. The results are major destruction. The Chofetz Chaim was bold in guiding shidduch information to be open and honest, and that phohibition of lashon horah was not relevant to these situations.

    in reply to: Preventable Marriage Disasters #2021355
    The little I know
    Participant

    It is bizarre, and incompatible with Torah, to proclaim that there is a mitzvah to enter a bad marriage. It is similarly blasphemous to blame this on the mitzvah of pru urevu. There are so many clear references in Torah that a marriage is intended to be a loving relationship that denying that is either foolish, or borders on apikorsus.

    Let’s begin with Yitzchok Avinu – ויאהבה. Shall we continue with ושמח את אשתו. The metaphor for אהבת השם is אהבת איש ואשתו as per שיר השירים. Shas is replete with open references to this relationship. אהרן הכהן was busy with being אוהב שלום with specific reference to בין איש לאשתו. A relationship lacking this is not the Torah model.

    We all understand that some marriages are not ideal. But to proactively push someone into such a situation is cruel, and has no Torah position in its defense.

    in reply to: Seminary girls getting engaged #2021352
    The little I know
    Participant

    Ujm:

    May I acquaint you with this Gemara. Sotah 44A.

    תנו רבנן אשר בנה אשר נטע אשר ארש לימדה תורה דרך ארץ שיבנה אדם בית ויטע כרם ואחר כך ישא אשה

    There are prerequisites to marriage. It is said of Rav Aharon Kotler, who initiated and promoted the concept of kollel in America, that was asked how he could violate this direction of Chazal. He reportedly responded that this was a horo’as sho’oh. That reported dialogue was about skipping the prerequisite steps in order to transplant Torah in America after the Holocaust. That was in the 1940’s.

    To extrapolate that readiness for marriage is the intent of Chazal is a given. Do you force a boy or girl into marriage because their time on the clock has run out? Or should they wait if otherwise not ready?

    in reply to: Abbreviations? #2021058
    The little I know
    Participant

    And when we wasted the maximum time on this pseudo-language, we should turn to deciphering license plates. The letters are roshei taivos, and the numbers are gematrios.

    in reply to: Seminary girls getting engaged #2020185
    The little I know
    Participant

    ujm:

    Go ahead. Make sure that every bochur is married by 20. But then you should follow the suggestion of Rav Henkin ZT”L. He recommended that when the rav arranges the writing and signing of the kesubah, he should attend to the gett. He probably said that tongue in cheek. But your proposal makes it necessary.

    The age for marriage is determined by way too many other factors. And your making date of birth the only one to matter, you are essentially doing publicity for toanim and batei din, and for lawyers and courts. I caould also add in therapists and askanim.

    Your statement of “maximum age of 20” is not pshat in the Gemora. So the Roshei Yeshivos who had talmidim learning well past that age were מסייעים לדבר עבירה? If that’s your message, I will not participate in any further discussion.

    in reply to: Seminary girls getting engaged #2020131
    The little I know
    Participant

    philosopher:

    I do not support girls being convinced at age 16 that they are ready for marriage. Can’t say that they cannot be ready, but I am not apt to buy their proclaiming to be ready just because they say that. What I am saying is that readiness is not determined by the age according to one’s birth certificate. Nor is the announcing that one is ready a clear indication of anything. I have watched people believe they were ready when it was clearly untrue. I find these generalizations irritating.

    in reply to: Seminary girls getting engaged #2020105
    The little I know
    Participant

    ujm:

    That’s not true or relevant to this conversation. There is specific mention about boys marrying by 18, בן שמונה עשרה לחופה, and the Gemora says הגיע לעשרים ולא נשא אשה תיפח עצמותיו. There is no such statement about girls. If you have one, share the reference. If someone is not marriage material, regardless of any age, there is no posek that would push for marriage. I know that the “til death do us part” is a goyishe expression. But Torah does not push for marriage just to divorce or have a suffering situation because one or both parties are not ready.

    Once again, Chazal are making a statement about expectations. Not a deadline.

    in reply to: Seminary girls getting engaged #2020088
    The little I know
    Participant

    It seems that ignorance is abundant, and that saichel has gone to sleep. These generalizations are silly, even childish. There are girls who are ready for marriage before seminary, and there are others who aren’t ready even after it. No girl shoud get married because of her biological age, and no one should enter a marriage bond just because others from their peer group do. It’s an individual thing. I am aware that many a parent will begin to address the subject of marriage when a child reaches a certain age. But that doesn’t tell us a bit about readiness.

    Quite a few of the broad strokes in earlier comments are nothing shy of ridiculous. Some girls emerge from seminary with zero enthusiasm about Yiddishkeit, while others are brimming over with spirituality. There are so many variables that determine the health of a marriage that focusing on one or two speaks little for intellect.

    in reply to: Why Does YWN Baselessly Attack Biden? #2016123
    The little I know
    Participant

    Spin and narrative are vastly different. The MSM creates fiction, calls it fact, and then builds their crusade on that. It is a digital version of the blood libels that plagued Yidden for centuries. That is morally intolerable.

    The conservative media spins things. And, while one might take issue with that, the dishonesty level doesn’r even come close. Here’s a taste. Crime statistics inched upward toward the end of the Trump administration. It was not ignored or dismissed. The President spoke about it often, and was not effective in getting the Democrat cities and states to crack down on crime. Meanwhile, the buffoons in the Biden administration spew all this anti-police gibberish, with Kamala y”sh supporting the violent rioters, murderers, and arsonists, and the bulk of them either pushing or silently supporting the defund police agenda. Did any crfime either stop increasing under Biden or start decreasing? If yes, someone share the numbers. Pointing out this as Biden’s America is a spin, but more accurate than not.

    No, I think our news outlets should report facts as facts, and confine opinions to sections labeled accurately. The site, and others, should have the fund raising posts similarly confined, not waved as news stories. All outlets can have opinions. But call them such. Sadly, the cows have already left the barn.

    in reply to: Macha against men not giving gittin #2015030
    The little I know
    Participant

    Ujm:

    Perhaps you haven’t encountered this yet. But virtually every Askan, therapist, Dayan, and to’en have. The couple are living a life that is on a crash course, and that all efforts to resolve differences have failed. One or both has made it clear that they will never agree to make changes. A similar scenario is where there has been abuse of whatever variety, and the victim will never be able to feel safe. These marriages are over, and the array of professionals including Rabbonim are certain of that. Now, wife approaches BD, requesting a gett. Husband counters that he wants Shalom Bayis. With all recognition of technical Halacha, what’s correct? Sadly, such situations are not rare. The position asking for Shalom Bayis is just another form of abuse. Trouble is that Halacha is not flouted here to help this woman become an almanah. But all the expletive labels are appropriate for him.

    I repeat my earlier quote. לא חרבה ירושלים אלא בגלל שהעמידו דבריהם על דברי תורה. When one exploits Halacha to personal advantage, particularly in the case of cruelty, we have a no goodnik causing churban.

    in reply to: Macha against men not giving gittin #2014866
    The little I know
    Participant

    I had a rebbe eons ago that said that the Torah contains one more mitzvah that precedes Beraishis. It reads, “Be a mentch.”

    The technicalities that one is obligated or not to give a gett remain true. However, trapping someone in a loveless marriage, where their lives are miserable is nothing to brag about, or to claim that one is abiding by halacha. Abusiveness, even without causing bruises or drawing blood, is still disgusting, and violates the “mitzvah” of being a mentch. There are plenty of guidelines in how to behave in relationships that are not spelled out in halacha. And the Torah gives plenty of consideration to values, ethics, and morals. Precisely what halacha is implied in דרכיה דרכי נועם? Our volumes of mussar, authored by the greats of previous generations are not halacha texts per se. But they are filled with the guidance on how to conduct one’s life to be compatible with Torah value. Just because a man can bask in the glow that he is not obligated to give his wife a gett does not make him a tzaddik, or even a nice guy. Quite the contrary.

    in reply to: Macha against men not giving gittin #2014726
    The little I know
    Participant

    Abba:

    You wrote: “If it’s the children’s money and she can’t use it on herself then the father should not complain.” Correct. The legislation and the courts are banking on an assumption. It is expected that the expenses of the mother (can include rent, clothing, food, etc.) are enough that the money provided will be used for trhese expenses. If it can be verified that mother used the money for vacations and such luxuries for herself, the fatgher may have grounds to make a case. This is technically possible. But highly unlikely.

    in reply to: Macha against men not giving gittin #2014709
    The little I know
    Participant

    Syag:

    You wondered: “What kind of person complains about supporting their own kids?”

    I wonder whether visiting in court as a spectator is possible. If so, try it. You may have a point, that a father doesn’t really complain about supporting his own children. However, the kids are, by defintion, minors, and this support money is given to their mother. That’s the rub. The man divorcing his wife is not exactly fond of handing her money.

    Having said that, the Shulchan Aruch – Rema (Even Hoezer 71) I referenced earlier speaks openly about the father who is a deadbeat and doesn’t want to support his own children. This is not new.

    in reply to: Macha against men not giving gittin #2014594
    The little I know
    Participant

    Syag:

    While I cannot vouch for the 50% figure, the basis for calculation for child support is not based on the expenses for the children, but on the parent’s income. I believe in NYS (you may check with the statutes and with attorneys for accuracy here), the demand for support of one child is a max of 17% of the parent’s income. Assuming that the child is residing with the mothers, we are talking about the father’s income. For 2 children, that percentage rises to 25%. I’m not sure whether there are higher percentages for largewr numbers of children.

    in reply to: Macha against men not giving gittin #2014585
    The little I know
    Participant

    ujm:

    You wrote: “That being said, the majority of frum divorces, in fact, do NOT end up in contentious/bitter secular court proceedings. I certainly stand by my assertion that the large majority of frum Yidden are Yirei Shamayim.”

    As per the observations of several askanim who are busy with the parsha of divorce in the frum community, the amount of contention is quite high. You might be correct that not all of these end up in secular court. I do not know the numbers. And the issue is not just the number of cases, but the magnitude of bitterness and prolonged conflict that is so destructive to all involved.

    I would like to agree with you assertion that a large majority of frum Yidden are Yirei Shomayim. I won’t be mekatreig to say the opposite. But there are a few things worth noting. One – the arena of divorce is highly emotional, and brings out bad midos, eventhose that have been well controlled until now. Two – as much as I wish that one can assume the fellow wearing talis and tefillin at the next table in shul, who is there on time every day, who does not talk during davening, who gives his tzedokoh to the panhandlers regularly is a Yerai Shomayim, it may not be true. I refer to the problem that there are many, many people with dual lives. In public, they conform, and do all as one would hope. In private, there are other dynamics. There are those that (albeit with justifications) cheat in business, are massig gevul, are otherwise dishonest, use their devices (in private) in manners that are not permissible, are apt to gaze where they should not, and numerous other infractions that are away from the public view. I wish your assertion was accurate. Striving for that is a challenge, even for the individual. And today’s world is frought with nisyonos that surpass anything ever imagined by earlier generations. So, I’m not judging, just commenting.

    Rabbi Twerski ZT”L once shared with a public forum a story of a talmid of Rav Chaim Vittal who passed away young. He appeared in a dream to his rebbe, and inquired why he received a sentence in BD Shel Maaloh that was punitive. He stated that he was a huge talmid chochom, a mekubal, and a list of other wonderful traits. Rav Chaim Vittal answered him that these positives were all true. “But,” continued Rav Chaim, “At home you were a tyrant. You abused your wife (either emotionally or other).” This Yirai Shomayim, who was indeed accomplished in life, was judged in his abolute judgment according to the rest of his being. I approach the assumptions about YIrai Shomayim with reservation.

    in reply to: Macha against men not giving gittin #2014515
    The little I know
    Participant

    ujm:

    You wrote: “I don’t believe any judge will override their amicably and jointly presented agreement to the court. Even if there is some law on that books giving the judge that technical right.”

    My experience is in NYS. This is what usually happens, because the toanim and BD are cautious to not include anything that flouts the law. Let me explain. In NYS, no arbitration panel has the authority to rule on matters of custody and child support. If the agreement provides less child support than the court mandates, the agreements, even with all signatures affixed is trashed. The court views itself as the advocate for the children, and will not allow the parents to cheat the kids out of the minimal support required by the law. There are ways of tinkering with the settlement issues here, which are exceptions included in the statute. And the batei din and toanim are usually well versed in this. Your statement is not acccurate, but it happens that way most of the time.

    in reply to: Macha against men not giving gittin #2014464
    The little I know
    Participant

    ujm:

    The deference I give to the secular court is not because I feel they should have a role. It is the consensus of the overwheming majority of rabbonim, batei din and toanim that it is necessary to be in accordance with the court to avoid the potential for other conflict. This might be made into a stronger argument because the batei din (or any other arbitration situation) have no jurisdiction in custody or visitation. And these agreements get filed in secular court. In NYS, anything in the agreement reached in BD concerning these matters is ignored. And the court reserves the right to litigate. In other states, the arrangement might be different. So it is the batei din that defer to the court, or look to rule in accordance. It should also be noted that batei din have a glaring distinction from the courts. The goal of the psak is that both parties agree to it, and that the BD not impose its psak on the two parties. Court does not do that. It rules and imposes.

    You seek that BD should rule according to Halacha. Yes, in an ideal world, that might be possible. But I draw you to the Gemora (Bava Metziya 30A) לא חרבה ירושלים אלא שהעמידו דבריהם על דברי תורה. The finality of halacha requires something else besides the strict application of halacha. I would not say this alone. This is a Gemora. In reality, BD tries to “work things out”, which is about creating compromises (also required in halacha).

    in reply to: Macha against men not giving gittin #2014191
    The little I know
    Participant

    ujm:

    You are correct in noting that there is no halachic obligation to pay alimony. There is about child support. Here, there is considerable misinformation. I am not a posek. So I will share what I gather from exact references.

    Even Hoezer 71. This addresses the obligation to support one’s children. Rema says age 6, but clarifies this as whenever is the norm as per the chachomim of the times. While I have heard this being less than perfectly consistent among rabbonim, it is sometimes 18, other times 21. I have yet to encounter any rabbinically drafted agreement that specifies any age below 18.

    You are correct, that support for children might be delivered in a manner that bypasses the mother. That could conceivably comply with halacha. However, there is a serious bump, and I say this based on hundreds of hours spent with dayanim, toanim, and frum attorneys. The court tosses agreements that do not pass muster in the court for adequate care/support for the children. Even with full agreement by the two parties, the court will force litigation if they feel the children are not being supported enough.

    Not included in much of the dialogue here is that the father has several other expenses for the children, often serving as snags to the negotiation. Tuition is halachically the responsibility of the father. Does this include day care, tutors, etc.? Health care is not addressed in halacha. But it is a reality. Who takes the responsibility, and by what percentage? How do we insure the visitation occurs as agreed upon? As part of the civil divorce, the agreement gets filed in the court. Can the court be used to enforce it, or does this enter the discussion of mesira and arkaos? Is there basis in secular law to provide additional child support for the months of chagim?

    In reality, toanim and batei din are keenly aware of their role vis a vis the secular court. And they tailor their work to avoid conflict. In many states, batei din have zero input into decisions about visitation and custody. In others, they have an opinion that is regarded, but not binding.

    Lastly, no beis din has authority to enforce any of their rulings. In my experience, batei din look for the secular courts to back them up. And I am referring to the most “right wing”, frum batei din.

    Smerel made a point that the videos of some agunah protests seem to involve onlookers who are uninterested in the case, but attracted to the drama. I have never witnessed these events, perhaps for the better. But I do hear the suggestion, and I do know of individuals who might well fit that profile.

    in reply to: Macha against men not giving gittin #2014060
    The little I know
    Participant

    Same topic, different label. So we see the same comments, many sane, others, not. But mostly all are unwelcome because they generalize. And this is ridiculous because every situation is different. There are men who are jerks, and refusing to give gittin because they are simply not mentchen. I’m not sure that much is accomplished by the drama that some people and organizations do to these individuals, but it does create chilul Hashem, bizyonos, and often damage. And there are many cases, probably the majority that involve delays in giving gittin because the affirs of division are not resolved.

    I have encountered many cases where the women made their husbands miserable in court for prolonged months, even years, with no legitimate claim. According to matrimonial attorneys, a huge percentage of claims of abuse, whether against the children or domestic violence, are simply fabrication. (And sometimes they are true.)

    While the guy is busy defending himself, having legal expenses that she does not have (she uses the prosecutor’s office), and being publicly shamed much of the time, she has the court fighting for her, penalizing him constantly. Moreover, she finds the tricks to withhold the children from him while making him pay for that, too. No, withholding is cruel. But the issues are not resolved yet, and the severance of the gett is not complete.

    This same mecho’oh against men for withholding should also address the women who withhold resolution. And the statistics are alarmingly close to 50-50. So we need not to make generalizations. It’s not the greedy women, and it’s not the cruel men. Divorce is a painful process, and it brings out the worst midos in a person. And way too many divorces are bitter battles, costing everyone lots of money and anguish. The wreckage left behind is horrible for all. Everyone loses (except for toanim and lawyers). The now divorced and single men, women, and the children all suffer.

    We should all take note that the organizations that exist to provide support for either the men or the women must be considered suspect here. It is not uncommon that there are individuals who provide “emotional” support for divorcing people, actually guiding them to make the process riddled with accusations and counter accusations, prolonging the cost and agony. How rich the community would become if we concentrated on ways to bring shalom to couples, and assisting them in parting (when this is inevitable) in a peaceful manner.

    in reply to: chinuch and discipline nowadays #2011720
    The little I know
    Participant

    ujm:

    You wrote: “Is this pasuk missing from your Tanach (Mishlei 13:24)?: חוֹשֵֹ֣ךְ שִׁ֖בְטוֹ שׂוֹנֵ֣א בְנ֑וֹ וְ֜אֹהֲב֗וֹ שִֽׁחֲר֥וֹ מוּסָֽר:

    It is outstanding. What is tragic is that you misinterpret it. I suggest you visit the writings of Rav Shlomo Wolbe ZT”L. He writes this in the Alei Shur. It is also found in the sefer Zriyah Ubinyan Bechinuch – a short sefer that is actuakky an excerpt of a few of his maamorim on chinuch. The use of שבטו is as a last resort, and that is why Shlomo Hamelech stated this in this manner. He never outrightly instructed to hit children. Chazal explain that this is not punishment, as use of a strap that causes pain is prohibited. Rather, a shoelace is used so it relays a messdage without punishing.

    Next, your Shulchan Aruch seems to be precisely like mine. It doesn’t say to hit your child. It emphasizes that during the three weeks, one should not even potch when it is the appropriate thing to do. You then continue to expound on the limited use of petch, a point that I have made persistently. Yes, a potch has its place (well, you know what I mean). But too many here consider giving that potch as obligatory as davening three times a day. That is not at all what the Torah says anywhere.

    Your last paragraph provides further support to my position. One must be completely cognizant of the result of giving the potch. If it is educationally productive, it is okay. If it produces resistance, traumatizes, injures, etc., it is forbidden. Again, there are times when behavior control is the immediate goal. I postulate that this is a tiny fraction of what we need to be doing as parents and mechanchim.

    in reply to: chinuch and discipline nowadays #2011129
    The little I know
    Participant

    CTL:

    First, I note that I also possess advanced academic degrees. And I have studied the subject matter extensively.

    Secondly, I must say boldly that I agree with you. You are linguistically correct in noting the true definition of “discipline”. I confess that I was using the word in its usual spoken vernacular. And, you are correct – punishment is not discipline.

    in reply to: chinuch and discipline nowadays #2011089
    The little I know
    Participant

    UJM:

    My Torah was given at Har Sinai. I wonder the source of your Torah. Firstly, tell me where it says to give petch? It is not included among the 613 Mitzvos, not according to the Rambam, Ramban, Sefer Hachinuch, and Shulchan Aruch does not give any such mitzvah. It is sometimes an option, and one needs to be aware that this is controlling, not teaching. The wanton and frivolous obsession with negative consequences is neither effective, nor is it condoned in Torah anywhere. You may study Hilchos Talmud Torah, whether SA, Rav SA, or anyone else. Find it. It is a last resort for inhibiting behavior. It doesn’t teach. You wish to see this practice as mitzvah, and seem to dive at anyhting that sounds like an argument. But I will not fall for that ruse.

    in reply to: chinuch and discipline nowadays #2010947
    The little I know
    Participant

    Logician:

    The concept of s’char ve’onesh is not at all what we are doing with reward and punishment in our child rearing.

    And, according to your expertise, what is the message of Antignus Ish Socho – Al tiheyu ka’avodim hameshamshim es horav al m’nas lekabel prass etc.?

    in reply to: chinuch and discipline nowadays #2010908
    The little I know
    Participant

    Chinuch and discipline are opposite sides of a coin. Chinuch is treaching your child or talmid what to do. Discipline is teaching what NOT to do. In fact, discipline does not teach. It controls. It has its place. When this becomes the primary mode of raising children, we have a state of confusion over our mission and responsibility.

    Discipline can sometimes be used to teach, but this requires creativity. Typical punishments can result, at best, in the inhibition of unwanted behavior. But that fails to teach.

    It is also noteworthy that the use of reward and punishment is primitive. It is useful in the training of animals, pets, laboratory animals. That is all that can be done with these creatures. I would like my children to know that behaving properly is something to be valued. That does not happen with an external reward, nor would punishment accomplish that.

    The little I know
    Participant

    And I suggest that the Mods take this thread down completely. The very headline is misinformation.

    in reply to: The Lace Sheitel thread #2006719
    The little I know
    Participant

    I will not opine on the specifics. Ask your LOR.

    This was alluded to in an earlier comment, and I may be adding nothing except for vocabulary that may make the issue more clear.

    Tznius involves two issues. One is halacha. There are varying opinions on several tznius matters that address basic halacha. Is the forearm considered ervah – do elbow length sleeves suffice? This is addressed by poskim. The second issue is the value aspect. Halacha does not proscribe bright red dresses. However, the eye catching colors are provacative. This becomes a violation of the value aspect. Again, I turn to poskim with the erudition and expertise to render rulings on all of this. But our discussion will be enhanced if we are clear about what is clear halacha and what is the spirit of the law.

    And, as was noted in an earlier comment, certain shaitels might be more appealing. But is that what Bnos Yisroel should be wearing? I suggest we address the question, and reach the conclusion after careful deliberation. Let us not decide that we want a certain psak, and then engage in the discussion to justify it.

    in reply to: Piyutim at the end of slichos. #2005475
    The little I know
    Participant

    U:

    I am not suggesting that one must say every piyut. You are correct, a little with kavanah is better than a lot without. I am referring to either babbling through it to get done fatser. I am also addressing those who skip parts just to rush, perhaps to get to work earlier, etc. Starting earlier. A talmid chochom who I share the minyan with, begins selichos almost 10 minutes early so that he can keep up.

    in reply to: Piyutim at the end of slichos. #2004968
    The little I know
    Participant

    LYT:
    That is one of the more foolish things to comment. No one minimizes the need to go to work. I assume you work, and I know I do. That’s our parnosoh, and this is the chief means by which HKB”H provides for us. But your version of “Get Real” is sadly mistaken. Much more important is our desperate need to daven, and all our tefilos, including selichos are critical to our very existence. If you are under such severe pressure to get to work on time, begin selichos earlier. There are probably minyonim that you could attend that make this possible. The alternative of ramming through selichos, or any part of davening is inconsistent with our mission as Yidden. We need to set the proper priorities. Chewing up or trimming tefilos in a rushed frenzy to get to work is not an option.

    in reply to: Piyutim at the end of slichos. #2004728
    The little I know
    Participant

    Several seforim mention that the pituyim that grace selichos each day, are secondary to the long paragraph of introductory psukim, and to the reciting of the 13 midos harachamim. In reality all of selichos is an absolute treasure, if we had any inkling of what we are saying. Same goes for the most used book in every shul, the siddur. Our routine and robotic recitation of the regular tefilos is a “swing and a miss” (baseball lingo). We have precious opportunities to speak directly to Hashem. Clearly, diverting that time and energy to social chatter is a horrible waste. But babbling the words without emotional involvement, which would be facilitated much by better understanding of what we say, is a similar waste.

    Shulchan Aruch obligates us to review tefilos prior to Rosh Chodesh – inasmuch as printing presses were not common then, and there were limited handwritten copies of the siddur. The Mishna Berurah comments that since we have siddurim and machzorim, this halacha pertains to piyutim. I ask, which yeshivos reserve time to review tefilos, whether year round or before Yomim Tovim? Do we review the piyutim of Selichos or of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? How about the Hoshanos recited during Sukkos? As per the MB, this is a halacha. I believe we would do ourselves a huge favor by gaining more understanding of what we utter in tefiloh so that we do not squander the precious opportunity to speak directly to HKB”H (upon his express invitation).

    in reply to: Why can’t we TALK??? #1999427
    The little I know
    Participant

    Actually, the picture is quite different. Yes, the vaccine has become politicized, and that is tragic. Political views should not supersede science. There is a serious problem here. And this extends to the entire anti-vaxx movement. It is based on fear mongering first, and secondarily on junk science. I made it my business to listen to quite a few of the anti-vaccine presentations, and I am appalled at the sheer volume of falsehoods that are being presented as if they were scientific fact. I would suggest that people fact check the dribble being presented as science. It’s alarming. And so many people believe it.

    Yes, vaccines can have adverse reactions. And the vaccines for COVID are no different. Yet, the statistics are clear, the adverse reactions and re-infections are extremely low.

    I would be more than happy to TALK. But once the anti-vaxxers begin citing anecdotal data, or outright lies, we can no longer engage in debate. The truth here is that the anti-vaxx movement, whether for all or just for COVID, have made a decision. Now they are stuck with spinning anything they see or hear to support it. Typical junk science – first conclude and them seek the support. As long as the movement against vaccines bases their approach on lies and other manners of dishonesty, I will not engage in debate with them.

    in reply to: Politicizing kashrus #1993792
    The little I know
    Participant

    Here is an interesting question. A restaurant engages in shady business practices. They might be using stolen merchandise. They might be collecting cash payments and not reporting them. They might be cheating their employees regarding their wages. You get the point. Should the hechsher be withdrawn if these issues come to light? Or do we consider the hechsher limited to the kashrus of the food?

    I know of a specific instance where there were such issues, and the hechsher was withdrawn, causing the establishment to fold.

    I understood that the intent of the hechsher was to oversee the matters related to food. But a hechsher on an establishment implies that everything there is being done in accordance with halacha. I doubt machshirim examine the books. But if such issues do surface, a hechsher should be withdrawn. It’s not just politics.

    in reply to: Universal Health care, Obamacare, Managed Care #1990494
    The little I know
    Participant

    Managed care was the first step towards the universal health care goal. It placed a barrier between the patient/subscriber and the insurer. It meant that with few exceptions like emergency care, any medical service would require authorization. The people placed into the positions of making decisions to approve services were frequently untrained, non-professionals. These systems were intended to maximize the premiums, that were all raised significantly, and to minimize the expenses. The insurance companies and their investors walked away with fortunes. Hospitals, health care professionals, etc. were left holding the bag. So prices went up for anyone not covered, and the payments to doctors went down. Hospitals negotiated to become member providers, and the insurers only accepted them when the prices for services were reduced.

    Here’s the beef. Accessing medical care became tougher, and the out of pocket costs went way up. Doctors watched their incomes drop, and medical schools eventually saw applications and admissions drop. The medical field, once a target of aspiration, lost its lustre. The researchers also lost out, and the quality of medical care in America began to dip. Have we noticed people coming to America for medical care, special surgeries, etc.? They cannot develop such services elsewhere because there is no incentive for it.

    That was just managed care. Once the government entered the business, it spiraled downward. No one says that there was no health care crisis. But the Obamacare and similar ideas that were full of socialist goals is not the answer. We have sunk closer to third world countries, and need to do much to restore American medicine to its former shine.

    in reply to: Medicating vs Spanking #1986828
    The little I know
    Participant

    eishes chayil:

    I have repeated this here and other threads on this subject. There is a place for a potch. However, the determination of when it is appropriate is more complex than it ever was. Instead of attempting to mimic what he know or hear about of past generations, we need to see what the gedolim of our times tell us of the guidelines.

    Earlier, there was quote about the Brisker Rov. Let’s see what he stated. I report this from a verbatim quote published in a reputable seferon chinuch. The Rov said that the first potch might be permissible under a list of conditions. The second potch is an issur min haTorah of assault. The Gemora instructs this potch to not be with a strap but with a shoelace. It is clear that the potch is not there to punish but to teach. If we cause pain to a child or talmid, are we teaching, or are we establishing the fear to force compliance. The latter might help control the classroom, but it is dishonest to call that teaching.

    With all the opinions here, I still ignore all of them, in total deference to the guidance from so many Gedolim of the current and recent generations. The material from their guidance is accessible. We cannot expect a positive result from running our homes and yeshivos like a boot camp. Teach them. Model for them. It works.

    in reply to: Medicating vs Spanking #1984751
    The little I know
    Participant

    I have repeated this countless times on several threads on this subject. So many of the comments here are coming from personal opinions, and most are without having been educated and informed on the subject matter. I suggest that before engaging with the keyboard and mouse, first engage with the seforim from the Gedolim of our present and recent generations as well as plenty from even earlier. I hurts me to see the abuse heaped on the posuk in Mishlei, חושך שבטו שונא בנו, as if it directs one to teach via discipline. This is a severe corruption. It is clearly worded to place discipline as a last resort. It also doesn’t specifically instruct to hit, and claiming it does is attributing something to Shlomo Hamelech that he never said. It is sad that we have allowed our chinuch to become founded on discipline rather than teaching. It is sad that we have made about compliance, not the transmission of values. It is sad that our yeshivos now base their success on volumes of data transmitted in place of the transmission of values of our Avos. Just look at the use of tests that translate to grades, which are nothing more than the retrieval of memory, with little to no attention paid to the effort and progress of each individual student. Tests reflect more about the success of the teacher than the progress of the students. It is sad.

    The potch has its place. It is there to control behavior, not to teach. Now remind us all of the role of the rebbe. If it is about control, you are describing a boot camp, not a yeshiva. When chinuch deteriorates to the management of the class via discipline, we have a rebbe or teacher that occupies the wrong job, a menahel who is clueless about real Torah chinuch, or a curriculum whose value is simply the paper it is on.

    This is not about secular education. It is Torah chinuch. Check your Judaica/seforim store for the publications on chinuch from Torah leaders. Then tell us about how and when to use discipline.

    in reply to: Therapists”and Mesira #1981637
    The little I know
    Participant

    I’ll make one more try at stating this simply.

    Mesirah is not a good thing. There is no debate on that. There are instances when it is mandatory – according to halacha. Yes, halacha mandates that we access the secular authorities. Contemporary Poskim have spoken about this openly, and their piskei halacha are available. So mesirah is a double edged sword. It is either ossur or it is a chiyuv.

    To the believers of the narrative that it is always ossur, you have a few problems. First, that halacha says differently. Secondly, as noted by the Gedolei Haposkim, we lack the competence to assess the credibility of an accusation. We cannot jump and accept it is certain guilt, nor may we dismiss it. We need to see to it that these is an evaluation to determine the veracity of the report. I have yet to encounter a single Rav anywhere that has the training to accomplish this.

    To IYK:

    You suggested that the needs in this situation should override halacha. That is unnecessary. Halacha speaks to that, and our poskim who know all about mesirah have told mandated reporters to fulfill their professional responsibilities. I will follow their direction any day, and ignore the rantings of those who wish it wasn’t so. In summary, mesirah can be following halacha.

    in reply to: Therapists”and Mesira #1981618
    The little I know
    Participant

    IYK:

    Your math is ok, but you did not include some monetary value for the damage to your emotion and spirit. You are correct in noting that true compensation is impossible. It is not about punishing the abuser, as deserved as it may be.

    in reply to: Therapists”and Mesira #1981371
    The little I know
    Participant

    IYK:

    I want to support the comment to you by Syag. Your experiences were horrible, and everything that can eradicate such atrocities from our community is a chiyuv.

    Syag was also correct in noting that ujm speaks from a fanatic position that is inconsistent with the halacha as stated by the Gedolei Haposkim. It is to be noted that there is room for more progress. And I am correct in pointing to the narrative that gets believed by many who are otherwise ignorant. That is similar to the reams of nonsense that permeate the ugly world of politics and the wretched mainstream media.

    Allow me to pretend to be a therapist for a moment. This thought might actually help you. The abuse field contains activists. Some are fanatics, others are responsible individuals who contribute their time and effort toward resolving this serious issue. You have the experience of being victimized. There are two directions you can take from here. You can be a victim, or you can be a survivor. The former leaves you with a prevailing sense of rage, negativity about self, and the desire to exact revenge against perpetrators and anyone perceived to support or protect them. These are painful feelings, not bad ones. However, they anchor the victim into the mud, and push deeper until emerging from the “blotteh” is all but impossible (without help). The alternative is to be a survivor. This is the dimension that Syag suggested, to get involved in constructive activity to reduce the problem. You can define the niche in that realm that is most suited for you. And professional help is extremely helpful.

    It is not easy for an outsider to dictate to you how to get out of the mud, though professionals trained in trauma work tend to be adept at this. I won’t direct you where to place your energies and efforts. But the ditch of revenge is not a useful place to get stuck. The perps might get what they deserve, but that won’t get you unstuck. I have no problem seeing these murderers of young people’s innocence and stability locked up for life. Our community should be protected from them. But that will not contribute an iota to your happiness or diminishing the negative feelings. Activism does not mandate being a fanatic. Try becoming a survivor. You will recognize the uselessness of feeding garbage to the anti-Semitic media that will accomplish nothing. I, for one, would like to see your efforts be fruitful. Become a survivor.

    in reply to: Therapists”and Mesira #1981172
    The little I know
    Participant

    ujm:

    Again, narrative. Have you studied the halachos? Your blanket statements are simply untrue and not in accordance with halacha. No one says that these authorities do not inflict misery on the families they deal with. In fact, they get things wrong a lot of the time, and people suffer in the interim. I agree that these agencies should probably be replaced. But the issues we are confronting here are pikuach nefesh, and the many poskim I’ve discussed things with have acknowledged this openly. The fear of involving the authorities is based more on the chilul Hashem factor if word leaks to the public that such crimes occur within the community, and even more if there was a yeshiva that was derelict in protecting their students. But the mesira issue has been addressed by the Gedolei Yisroel, and has been put to rest by halachic authorities far greater than you or me.

    Your last paragraph is totally inaccurate. Poskim have ruled clearly that mandated reporters must report.

    Lastly, you were referring to “mesira”, which you see as evil, not “mesora”.

    in reply to: Therapists”and Mesira #1980962
    The little I know
    Participant

    ujm:

    You are presenting a narrative,, and I believe that a good bit of it is untrue. Let’s take it apart.

    First – define mesira. This is about police reporting. It involves the alleged or suspected commission of a crime. This would involve arrest and potentially prosecution. And there are certainly times when this is the matter at hand. But there are numerous others. I suggest you seek some numbers for how many reports to State Central Registry are rejected, how many do not involve arrests, and what percentage do. Then tell me how many of these were in violation of a psak halacha (or would have been had a shailoh been asked). Not all government entities are subject to mesira.

    Next – research the therapists to see if they ask shailos. Enjoy your sleuthing. Every single frum therapist would respond in the affirmative to such inquiry. Whether they actually do is another thing. How about if they already know the answer? Many therapists actually do, having spent considerable time with noted poskim, reviewing the parameters, and are experienced in knowing when the answer is simple or complicated. These therapists then pose the challenging ones for psak halacha. I have yet to hear of a single instance where a frum therapist went against such a psak or acted without having learned from poskim how to conduct their work.

    I was not addressing instances where secular law conflicts with halacha. I will quote several poskim, notably Rav Dovid Cohen shlit”a of Flatbush, who paskened that a mandated reporter is obligated to follow secular law, and should report anything that the law of land requires. You may call Rav Dovid to verify this. He stated this publicly many times.

    Lastly, your narrative usually assumes that the average posek is qualified to respond to these shailos. Well, that is actually not true. Most are not, and will usually refrain from responding. Do bear in mind that the typical shailos you are implying are double edged swords. There is either an obligation to report or it is completely ossur. The determination of the fact pattern is not made by the posek, but rather by the professional.

    You should connect with some poskim who are versed in issues of mental health. They are typically connected to several professionals, and have amassed a great deal of experience in these matters. You can voice your concerns, and you will discover that the narrative has quite little merit.

    in reply to: Therapists”and Mesira #1980914
    The little I know
    Participant

    Not another thread on this!

    This issue has been tortured in discussion for years. Therapists in the frum community have been thirsting for guidance from rabbonim and poskim for many years. And to everyone’s great fortune, the rabbonim and Gedolei Yisroel have been generous in lending their time to providing this guidance. There are several problems with the OP’s accusations.

    First, let it be known that all rabbonim recognize that the professional is obligated by law to make reports of danger to authorities. In that regard, there are some who direct referrals to “therapists” who have no such secular training, and are not required to maintain professional or ethical standards. However, this practice is frought with risk. These same unprofessional therapists have often had other compromises on their ethical standards, with some taking liberties with their clients that are totally criminal and worse than unethical. You might get interesting medical advice from friends and strangers, but I would rather go to someone with medical training.

    Reporting to authorities is not mesira, and no one gets arrested for raising questions to authorities. If there is evidence of a crime and there is credible suspicion that someone is the perpetrator that is responsible for it, there might be an arrest. Calling that mesira is plain old ignorance.

    Consulting with Daas Torah. Hmm… Anyone I know that consulted with Daas Torah was simply shown the green light. Some rabbonim even questioned why they were being asked. Most situations are that obvious that asking shailos is just a delay in the process. And when the question is more intricate, please tell us who you would consider the appropriate Daas Torah that has the competence to know the subject matter. Just having the expertise in halacha does not guarantee clarity of the subject.

    This OP question, often asked, is hardly intended to obtain an answer. Rather, it is a veiled attempt to throw a baseless accusation at the mental health field. We have read the stories. I have yet to hear one that should not have reported. The frum therapists are far more Torah oriented than is implied by the OP.

    in reply to: Why do used car salesmen have a bad reputation? #1980086
    The little I know
    Participant

    When I want to buy a lemon, I go to the fruit store or the grocery.

    The average buyer of a car has no idea about the mechanics, just how to drive. And most of the worst lemons make it out of the lot. It’s once you get the car home and begin driving that you discover everything wrong. Too late. Thanks used car salesman. Reputation well earned.

    in reply to: Kid names #1978160
    The little I know
    Participant

    There are Talmudic names that seem to have vanished from popularity.

    Here are a few:

    Chalafta, Abaye, Sumchus, Mesharshya, Popa, Ahcho, Antignos, Avtalyon, Tarfon, and Nechunya.

    You won’t be busy with guests and family wondering whose side the child is named after.

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