Forum Replies Created
January 9, 2017 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm in reply to: CONTROVERSY IN RAMAPO – LoHud Article Has Community Buzzing #1208258
Mammele: Not all the photos are from Kaser- the street they specifically profiled was Herrick, which is either Spring Valley or unincorporated Ramapo, not sure which.
My mom grew up (frum) in one of the areas that turned chassidish (which is now unincorporated Ramapo). There were serious problems- not in the people themselves, but with a general culture clash. After a while, my grandparents sold their house for a good price (where it was replaced with another eighteen apartments), but it’s not unreasonable for people to feel like they’re being hounded out by the new people, especially given the intimidating amount of physical space the buildings take up.
Also, the infrastructure here in Monsey cannot support the volume. I live far from the main problem areas (though the developments are creeping closer and closer to my neighborhood) but it’s becoming impossible to drive through Monsey. My mom remembers 59 as a country road, not a parking lot.
Can I STRONGLY disagree with lilmod about Michlalah (especially as I’m unclear why she thought it was a bad idea)? It sounds like a great place for you! You will find a lot of girls very similar to you (I know one girl almost certainly going there next year who I could actually see you being friends with from your description of yourself π ) and it’s an amazing place. I believe they’re getting a new program director who will bring it in a slightly more MO direction than it is now (it’s currently being run by a charedi woman). But there is a serious mix of teachers, and you can definitely pick the ones who you work best with (I did, and I had an amazing learning experience).
I wouldn’t necessarily pick a BY seminary- they are much more likely to try to dissuade you from dorming in college. I do agree with lilmod’s recommendation of MMY. (Again, I’m unsure why she recommended it over Mich.) I have several friends who went there and loved it.
If you want something more on the quirky-BY side, perhaps Midreshet Tehillah? I know a girl who went from there to Harvard, and she described it as a balance between a bit hashkafa-driven than Michlalah and yet still very intellectually motivating. The girls are probably more modern than the average Mich girl, and about the same as MMY girls. (However, MT is more likely to get LW BY girls, and MMY is more likely to get RW MO girls. Michlalah gets both.)
If my personal background makes a difference- I went to a middle-of-the-road, BY type high school and am now in Stern.
WinnieThePooh: People say a lot about “we know” or “we don’t know” when there have been different opinions throughout Jewish history. There have been rishonim who acknowledged (and in the case of Raavad even gave tacit approval in some ways) to the idea of God having some kind of “hand” or “finger,” for example, and some parts of the Torah have been described as purely mashal (with Rambam saying that the entire Iyov is purely mashal). There are also a lot of different opinions on which midrashim to take or not take literally.
SO take “everyone knows” with a grain of salt.
My personal effort has been to not put myself in the shidduch market, making way for the older single girls. π
lul: I would not describe MMY as chardal at all. Chardal is an Israeli term and phenomenon which is basically incompatible with the American term MO. I asked friends who went to both schools what the difference was and they described MMY as more academic and Shaalvim as warmer. There are some more RW teachers at MMY, like R Teller, but the vast majority are similar in hashkafa to Shaalvim’s. I haven’t really heard from anyone of a practical difference in the hashkafa taught at each places, though I think that on average, MMY’s student body is more RW.
The other sems you recommended are MUCH more BY than any of the sems she mentioned (besides Meohr, which is probably only a bit farther to the right than DB, and maybe Pninin/Neimos).
It’s so funny how everyone’s assuming that frum people wouldn’t have voted for Hillary. I know plenty who did, even if they didn’t like her, in order to vote against Trump. Most people I know, though, either stayed home or voted for everything but president. Where I live went blue just barely- but there are for sure frum people who voted Hillary and nonfrum/non-Jewish people who voted Trump. I don’t assume one way or the other.November 16, 2016 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm in reply to: Seminary Help: BY/MO, out-of-town, maybe Zionistic #1192423
Wow, this went places since I was here last…
Futuregirl- In some schools, havara might go back and forth- I have friends who went to Migdal Oz who had teachers who used sav instead of tav (mostly rabbis). I wouldn’t be hung up on it. I’m not sure about DB, but Michlalah certainly celebrates Yom Haatzmaut (I have great memories of it). MMY, Shaalvim, etc certainly do as well.
This might sound weird, but check out the list of schools that do Kedma (YU-sponsored choir competition for charity). Often, more BY places won’t allow their students to take part, and you can kind of detect a pattern. In yeshivish parlance, it’s basically DB and left. Also, you might want to check out the sem guide on YU’s website. (I think it’s basically the same schools.)
As far as gemara goes, some schools teach it, some schools don’t want to know if you learn it, and some schools may be more disapproving. Mich doesn’t teach it (though apparently they used to have an underground chug with a member of the administration) but they wouldn’t care if you did on your own time.
This could just be me, but I feel like, based on your description, places like Machon Maayan, Harova and Baer Miriam might not be as serious as you seem to want. I could be off base about that, though, so definitely talk to people who went there to find out for sure. If you are looking for that sort of thing, like I said, Midreshet Tehillah might also be a school to look into.
I don’t know if you live in NY, but you just missed YU’s Israel fair- maybe find out if your high school is having one?
LU- I wouldn’t knock Mich as being “not out of town” really. They got plenty of in towners, but also girls from all over the US and the world. I’d say it’s on par with DB in that regard (and on instinct, I’d think that DB was more “in-town” style). I also believe that if Zionism and MO aspects are important to futuregirl, she might prefer Mich to DB. I’d also say that I definitely know girls who are as the OP describes herself who went to Shaalvim, but I agree, MMY might be better.
Also, I like what you said about women’s gemara skills- you won’t find a lot of women on the same skill level as the average yeshivish man, but that’s only because he’s been learning gemara* for a very long time. Girls often just happen to have spent less time on the subject. Girls in coed schools with mixed gemara, for example, do just as well as their male classmates. And when they do put in that intense effort, they continue to shine.
One thing- first you say “many gedolim” might not agree with Zionism, then you say “the gedolim.” Wouldn’t that itself- the implication that some of “the gedolim” might not be as against Zionism as you say- imply a bit more of the pluralism that you say isn’t really right? How many gedolim are needed to form a consensus, and to whom must it apply? Must a person get approval from every gadol for their hashkafa? Or can someone rely on gedolei Torah whom they personally follow? And no, not all RZ is like Mercaz Harav, but plenty other RZ yeshivos and groups also are lesheim shamayim (I’d say all, just as I assume that all charedi groups are as well).
word substitution. Sorry but the negativity was not gonna fly, and I hope that isn’t a personal perspective πNovember 13, 2016 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm in reply to: Seminary Help: BY/MO, out-of-town, maybe Zionistic #1192373
Do you prefer an outright Zionist, unapologetically MO place? If so, what about MMY or Shaalvim? There will be a mix, but there will be plenty of girls like you.
Michlalah is a little bit moving charedi-ward but is technically “nondenominational,” and DB has basically totally charedi staff, pushing kollel, etc while the girls tend to be more BY-light. (It’s a great school, though, from what I’ve heard, the question only being whether it’s you “type.”)
I went to Mich-
Michlalah is Zionist but not MO. Great teachers, most of whom are charedi but also most of whom do not push a charedi hashkafa. You will get answers and discussions if you want them, and you can also select your schedule to get the mix of hashkafa and textual learning you want. The student body is quite varied, and there are people from all over the place (one of my best friends from there comes from a place without a Jewish community at all). You’ll find a LOT of people like you. I don’t know whether gemara is something important to you or not, but Mich does not have it and MMY and Shaalvim do.
kj- cut it out.
nava: Those are all pretty different, from what I know of them from friends who have gone to them.
Darchei Binah is a charedi-run seminary with girls running the gamut from equally charedi to from more MO backgrounds. The teachers and education is charedi. It gets a lot of chilled-BY girls.
Tomer Devorah is I believe similar in some ways faculty-wise, but with a more eclectic and MO-oriented student body.
MMY is completely MO and has a much more academically “serious” vibe than the others. (Shaalvim would be the more “warm and huggy” version- Michlalah would be the somewhat more charedi-oriented version.)
If you’re looking solely for serious, based on the schools you mentioned I would pick MMY if you’re looking for an MO place and Michlalah if you’re looking for a more charedi-style place. (In the past I wouldn’t have put Michlalah down as charedi-style- I went there, and it seemed to be making an effort not to pin itself down- but now that R Copperman zt”l is gone and there have been other administration changes, I think it’s heading more in that direction. It’s still definitely not a BY.) Of course, there will be girls of all types in all of these places- but if you are serious, you will find serious girls there to grow with.
If you’re looking for something more in the style of DB and TD, what about Midreshet Tehillah? I get the impression of it being similar. In all of these places there will be academically and spiritually serious girls (I know a girl who went from one to Harvard, and several baalei teshuva who went to another) but I get the impression that the emphases in the program are different.
I could be misreading some of this, as I obviously only went to one of the sems on this list* :), but I know people who have gone to all three and been very happy. I would contact the administrations with specific questions. (And I’d be glad to answer questions about the Mich if you’re interested!)
*actually, I do know a girl who went to two of the seminaries I mentioned here- one for shana alef and one for shana bet…
It takes a lot of decision making for someone to decide to go on meds. It also takes a lot of adjustment, tweaking, and acclimating to get to the point where meds are helpful. This is a decision which nobody makes lightly, and it’s a serious decision- meds which are brain altering can literally change personality.
So there are probably plenty of people out there who should be on meds but aren’t- and that’s a valid call to make. I am close with people who are on meds, should be on meds but aren’t, and could go either way (and generally have not elected to start). It’s such a weighty decision that you can assume that those who are on meds are taking them with great care and under the guidance of medical professionals- and many who should be on meds are not necessarily under any guidance. If done well, meds can be amazing for many people, and certainly, there are risks- but there are much bigger risks than going out with someone who is on doctor-controlled medication. (I would recommend only going out with someone who has been on the same medication successfully for a reasonably long period of time- different meds can wreak havoc on a person if they’re wrong and it can take a while to hit upon the right med at the right dose.)
tl;dr- yes, I’d go out with someone on meds. And a good chunk of the above argument came from someone very close to me in her decision to go on meds even as she was concerned about shidduchim.
I thought it was fine. (I mean, I think they, or not specifically they but these sorts of publications in general, should publish pictures of women, so naturally I thought it was fine.) I’d think it’s too little too late, as many people I know do, but I know the kind of pressure it would’ve taken to get to this point at all, so this does seem like the best they’d do under the circumstances.
An ad in the FJJ did the same thing, actually (also to Hillary). Someone wrote in to complain about it, except that the guy who put it in was the guy who owns the paper. (Someone also wrote in to complain about how his glasses make him look like Harry Potter, so either way it seems like the bar can’t be set too low in the letters section of the FJJ…).
When you say “at-risk,” do you mean at risk of leaving “the derech” (whichever derech you may mean) or at risk of dangerous behaviors? I think that the conflation of the two problems is a huge issue, as it can mean that people think of leaving a Torah (or even just a specific hashkafic) path in the same way as engaging in behaviors which can risk their lives. (Before anyone starts about how risk to the soul is as dangerous as a risk to the body- if a person dies, or even is injured or damaged enough physically, there’s no going back. There is no equivalency between someone leaving “the derech” and going to college and getting a productive job and someone leaving “the derech” and living on the street taking drugs. I’ve heard it way too often and it’s awful to suggest such a thing.)
If you’re talking about being “at hashkafic risk,” I think the best you can do is provide good and wholesome education in childhood and keep on providing adult education for those interested. After that, in the cases of both meshama and guf, adults are adults and are ultimately responsible for their own decisions, and when it comes to maintaining physical health and well-being should always be supported to make sure that they remain safe (to the best of one’s ability, without being stifling).
One thing that I never understood is the people who make a huge effort to make baal teshuva yeshivos and schools for kids at risk to be welcoming, inclusive, enjoyable and full of opportunities in both academic and social ways and nobody makes the same effort to those who can more automatically slide through the system. If we turned all schools into “baal teshuva schools” or “at risk schools,” we could have the refuah before the makkah. The current system seems the epitome of reactionary behavior.
Is it weird if I have no idea what particular post this is we’re referring to? I just glanced over the thread and I don’t THINK I see anything different than I saw yesterday…
If it helps, gaslighting is when someone bluffs you into believing a lie about yourself- they plant evidence and lie so that you second guess your own experiences.
LF: Lol, I’ve been here five years, I just stopped posting so much within the past few years- but thank you for the good wishes (and right back atcha! π )
lul: What do you mean? I’m not talking about anything specific he said here (I’m honestly just skimming)- more of a systemic issue I’ve noticed in the five years (holy cow…) I’ve been here. I specifically brought up the issues with women because of points made by posters like gofish and litebrite, but Joe has a history of being deliberately incendiary which I think is a big part of all of this. And if mods are admitting that they find some of his posts problematic but are relying on poster damage control, then I think that’s an issue which is entirely separate from the actual hashkafic question about women. (And Health’s tantrums and deliberate trash talking of women- I don’t think I need to defend myself for criticizing that…)
I happen not to really agree with you on “if you explain the true role of women any girl would be satisfied” thing- I know many girls who aren’t, even after all those years of BY which according to many posters here do such a bang-up job of instilling those ideas and giving the lie to feminism- but I didn’t want to get into that discussion. I more wanted to raise issues with moderating policy. (And honestly, I had no idea whether my comment would actually be published… my last comment of the type wasn’t.)
Do not confuse “moderating policy” (as in ‘mods are admitting that they…’) and “how different mods handle subjective material differently”
Mods- I have to say, I understand the logic you mentioned about letting Joe’s posts go through, but it really does seem like there’s a bit of a double standard/blindness to certain issues in letting through some posts and not others, especially as relate to women. If someone weren’t to respond to a Joseph post (and many people give up after a while), would you delete it after the fact? I’ve occasionally been that person to respond and respond and then give up, because I honestly have better things to do. It’s not other posters’ job to keep Joe in line. To be honest, it’s yours.
It’s hard to say from the perspective of a poster how the things you let through compare to those you don’t, as we’re not privy to the rejected posts. But if you’re letting through posts by people who have been dismissive of women to an absolutely absurd degree, whether Joseph from a “lomdishe” perspective or Health being just plain (apparently) inappropriate (which I’ve complained about in the past, and you’ve taken a post-by-post approach to deleting his stuff which is starting to feel not enough), then it raises the question of whether it really matters to you.
I hope this doesn’t sound too harsh, but while I’m not around so much anymore, what I do see here doesn’t make me too eager to return. (That in particular may not be a particular problem to anyone, but it seems as though some of the same things dissuading me are bothering other posters as well)
“What are brisker boys? Do you mean boys who learn in paterson or fallsburg for 3 years, then in brisk (freqeuntly without ever getting into shiur) for a year and a half, and then BMG?”
Or- perhaps- they go to Brisk NYC π
Someone I know actually didn’t want to date a CC guy because she didn’t want to end up in that scenario, and ended up marrying one who she was specifically assured planned to stay in the NY area and go into a healthcare-related field. Now, they’re likely to move out of town anyway for his job. So man plans and God laughs.
The description above sounds accurate, and all the CC guys I’ve known have been great. Nothing wrong with a bit of pigment in a guy’s shirt.October 26, 2016 4:00 am at 4:00 am in reply to: Ideas for a meaningful Simchas Torah for single girls #1188276
I gave out candy all through high school! It’s a great boost in self esteem, if your idea of ideal popularity is among 4-8 year olds :). But it was loads of fun. I would have this year and last year except that I forgot to buy stuff and my family’s reached a point where we don’t automatically buy candy anymore. I wouldn’t say it was meaningful, but definitely fun, and (at least at that point) a step above talking awkwardly to neighbors I never actually see during the year (I’m not a major shul goer).
I didn’t go at night this year, but during the day I went to a small shul with the majority of my extended family. On the one hand, it was nice, because I got to see my relatives and play with their adorable children, but it was in a tiny cramped basement and the women couldn’t even see into the men’s section (where they were, depending on personality, being spiritual, boozing and having a blast, or a combination)- I just started talking to people and basically forgot I was in shul, which wasn’t a great feeling. I did catch up on Nach learning that I’d fallen behind in, which was nice.
It’s a shame- I’d love to go to a shul where women dance on Simchas Torah. Not with a Torah- I was at a shul like that (as a guest) in seminary and was weirded out, not to mention that I ended up in a massive argument with a friend over whether it was muttar. But going off into a separate room, no sefer Torah, no official hakafos- many women experience that joy of limud haTorah and it’s a shame that for so many people, including me quite often, Simchas Torah for women is sitting around bored and disconnected when there are deep feelings that can be brought to light.
My parents both married at an “older” age and while neither of them specifically speak a lot about specific emotions involved, both remained happy and connected by surrounding themselves with good friends, some of whom were in a similar situation. Half of my childhood consisted of hanging out with my “aunts,” or my mom’s best friends with whom she’d been single for so long, getting together for small things regularly and for big vacations every so often- bH they’re all married now, though some had to wait longer than others (my mom was one of the first). By forming that strong bond together and holding it close through everything that happened, they had a boost. While my mom’s chevra was specifically a “singles chevra,” my dad remained close with a lot of his friends who got married in the interim- as well as some single friends, who are sadly not all married. One criticism of a singles chevra can be that people get too complacent- and while that can happen, I feel like happiness and connectedness should take priority over a concern for complacency, as it’s entirely the person’s choice in the end anyway. My mother did note that it was harder for her than for my father to stay in touch with married friends- she made it a priority, but in the end shared experience and availability won out.
My parents got married at an “older” age (at the least, significantly older than they’d’ve wanted, which is the standard by which I judge these things these days). While neither of them have ever given me systematic answers to all of your questions, one interesting thing which my mom mentioned once is that there were several opportunities over the years for my parents to have met/been introduced, but because of different priorities which my mom had when she was younger, which mellowed naturally (not because she’d “settled” or “readjusted her expectations” due to shidduchim), had she gone out with my dad seven years earlier she would probably not have married him. The fact is, people’s priorities and characters do change naturally over time, and forcing them to artificially hold themselves to a set of arbitrary societal standards can be foolish. (That wasn’t the specific case with my parents, but I’ve still seen it in action among others.)
Okay, so the rabbi/teacher reference is very important (did I include that on my form? If not, I should’ve). Still can’t guarantee it will always be called, and can’t guarantee it will always help- people try to find alternate routes of getting the same information- but it’s not a rookie move except insofar as you can expect that other people won’t necessarily do it.
(Basically, when I say rookie move, I meant “not necessarily a bad idea, but expect people to be ‘smarter than that’ and try to get around it, for reasons of which some are better than others.” Basically, put down references you trust, call the listed references, and try to find unlisted references as well- both on your end [people who are likely to be discovered and called] and on theirs.)
As far as the rabbi, I’m not even sure that that’s always helpful- it depends on your specific relationship with your rabbi. My family holds my (shul, because it seems that’s what we’re talking about here) rabbi in the highest esteem and asks him many shailos, but our lifestyle is quite different than his, and he doesn’t necessarily have a good picture of what we’d be looking to find out. But if you do think that you and your rabbi are on the same page about it and the rabbi is able to help you out, then that’s a great suggestion.October 19, 2016 4:50 am at 4:50 am in reply to: How are single girls supposed to be mekayem the Mitzvah of Simcha on Chol HaMoed #1187878
Maybe, as you’re still the child of your parents, one of them should buy you candy? π
The parts about his attitude toward death, for the most part. It seemed very kalt to me, especially as I read it around the time of the death of a close relative of mine. (Some other stuff as well, but I think that was just stuff that I wasn’t used to/that didn’t work so much for me.) The particular rav I talked to told me to look at it as a way of disagreeing and making a foil for Mesilas Yesharim, which takes the opposite approach- so I’m going to reread through that lens and see if it sits better with me.
Also, I randomly skimmed the responses to that thread just now (it’s a month older, and I figured bumping it would be a bit odd), and a couple things about the resume pattern I posted-
LUL- you responded to my description of my mom’s typical resume- first of all, I don’t see a problem with putting down your own eye and hair color. Asking for a specific one is ridiculous, and you don’t have to put your own down either, but for whatever reason it’s become a thing. By giving it, at the worst you’re making people feel better about not having a picture, they have a tiny handle on what you sort of look like.
And no, calling references is a rookie move. Of course they’re called, but at least as often, savvy people will realize that the references were primed, or at the very least picked because of their very good relationship with the person in question, so what they say is taken with a grain of salt. (A friend and neighbor of mine primed me as a reference but didn’t put me down as such on her resume, instead picking two other friends, because she knew that if someone called them they’re the type who would for sure say nice things, but since will probably look for other people to call, I’m statistically the likeliest person for them to discover and should probably be primed.) So yeah, pick nice people as references, but also bear in mind that many other people besides these people will be called as well, and that many people may pass over the references all together.
Also, I know several girls who don’t daven at the same shuls as their parents, and for reasons which could be revealing for a shidduch, so I’d still put it down. Why wouldn’t it be meaningful?
Matan1- I just took out Halakhic Man from the library- I actually first read it exactly two years ago in seminary (over Sukkos). Parts didn’t sit well with me, but I discussed those parts with a rav who’s one of R Soloveitchik’s talmidim and I’m going to see if it goes better this time. After that I need to get to Lonely Man of Faith.
gofish- I actually first got recommended Horeb a couple of years ago here in the CR! I was supposed to learn it with a teacher, but unfortunately it didn’t go well. I’m now trying to get a chavrusa in it with a friend, but something always seems to come up…
LUL- As far as the specifically Ivy League colleges, you can’t really just get in with motivation and good SAT scores. But that’s true no matter what school you come from, though people who went to the best public/prep schools do have a better chance- more AP classes, more clubs, more leadership opportunities, all of which Ivies will look to. But even people with the best records compete to get in, and if you can convince them that you have something about you that stands out, then you have a shot. But like you said, that can apply to anyone from any school.
For grad school (especially law), yeah, you need good scores. I know a guy who just went straight from a very RW yeshiva (with his last secular education having been in eleventh grade) to Harvard Law School with good scores but needing a LOT of work on writing and other foundational stuff. Not that he won’t do great, I’m sure.
Of course, if you’re trying to get into most other colleges (like CUNYs, Rutgers, YU, Touro, etc- probably NYU as well, though it’s a bit more dicey), the educations you’d get from basically everywhere on this list would get you in and you’d do very well.
Okiale- one thing- you say you’re looking for a yeshivish place, and your parents are looking for college prep- I’m sure this is something you’ve thought of, and the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but have you and your parents given thought to what your trajectory will be after high school? Many yeshivish schools encourage several years of beis midrash learning before college, or doing college part time while simultaneously in beis midrash, or even going to Israel. Where are you on that, and are your parents on the same page?
I generally don’t get anywhere responding to Sparkly so I kind of stopped, but just in case this helps anyone down the road who identifies with some of the same issues (not necessarily being gothic and therefore not yeshivish, but some of the other stuff)-
I do know people my age (which according to Sparkly’s account of herself is around her age as well- let’s say, within five years of graduating high school) who use dating sites- they are generally not yeshivish, though, and they generally use SYAS/YUConnects (even if they don’t go to YU). Some are yeshivish, but they’re generally more open-minded and “modern” (whatever that means). Most yeshivish girls do it through their families (99% of people I know were set up through someone contacting their parents/their parents contacting someone, with no input from them besides for veto power)- some will also contact shadchanim on their own. There have been threads here in the past with names and phone numbers of shadchanim, and more are available online. You should have a resume, which I discussed here http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/what-to-put-on-shidduch-resume#post-621721 . Try to see if/how your family can get involved. Stuff like that.
But as someone who personally doesn’t feel ready to get married for a multitude of reasons, all of sparkly’s posts here ring alarm bells. Taking them at face value, they don’t strike me as the words of someone ready for a huge step into a new life with someone new. At the very least I’d consider beginning the process of trying to resolve issues, clarifying hashkafic/communal stuff, figuring out exactly what you want, because the way you’re making it sound (and I could be totally misreading) it’s like you want marriage to make everything better. And while I’m no expert in marriage, the impression I get is that it does, as long as you are coming in with clarity. I’m putting it off for a little bit until I have more of that (don’t worry people, I’m not very old) and I’d consider that the types of posts which sparkly has been writing, AT FACE VALUE (I have no clue what the person behind the screen name is really like), indicate someone who should really try to gain clarity before making a major life commitment.
(Before anyone asks- yes, immature people get married all the time, and believe me, I know a bunch. No, I don’t think that anyone has to walk into dating/marriage with everything resolved. But it can’t be denied that a certain level of clarity can only be beneficial, though different people can debate as to what that actually entails.)
Okay, so I just mixed up RPRY and RTMA in my head- RTMA is a high school in a completely different location (and considering I know people who went to RPRY, I shouldn’t have mixed them up…).
And thanks, mod, for letting me and Okiale know… π Like I said, I only know one person who’s gone there, and as a girl I’m already starting off with a disadvantage here.
Okiale, a lot of schools will be hesitant to accept you because of that, not because they see it as a problem but because they’re not necessarily equipped to deal with it (all of the classes will assume prior knowledge- not only of reading Hebrew, but of learning gemara for several years). That doesn’t make them right, but it also doesn’t make them unusual. I assume you’re working on your Hebrew and Aramaic literacy, but I definitely would recommend sticking to a place where they know your level and are prepared to work with you- otherwise there can be resentment in both directions if you’re not prepared for the classes or they’re not prepared for a student who’s on a different page academically than the rest of the class, who through quirks of background have more experience with the material. Not that you can’t get to their level! But being in an environment that’s supportive on your terms is important.
Chizuk, if wanted/needed: I have a friend who’s brilliant (National Merit finalist and highly ranked academically at her very competitive public school) who showed up to seminary with very little Judaic studies knowledge (frum family, but had never lived in a frum community and had learned everything she knew with a phone chavrusa). I was her chavrusa throughout the year, and since she was given room to grow and knew she could learn at her pace, she made huge strides, caught up to basically everyone, and is now being recruited for a Judaic Studies grad school program only a few years later. So give yourself flex time, learn as much as you can on your own, and know what you’re getting into, and you can really soar.
Horeb is great- massive, but in digestible chunks.
Aha. College prep. MTA would definitely be the best solution then- and I got a bit of that from your post, which is why I suggested Shaar HaTorah and Ohavei Torah, which both provide relatively good educations in secular studies and whose graduates often go on to college with success.
Bear in mind that it really depends what college you want to go to- most places which would be willing to take you in and accommodate you (read: not the elitist yeshivish ones) have good enough English that you could for sure get into a state college, even if they wouldn’t actively encourage it. I have several cousins who went to schools which actively discouraged college, in fact, but provided educations which, while not great, were enough to prep them for the SAT and college.
Maybe try, as someone above mentioned, Chofetz Chaim? They seem to have a good English department, and might be willing to accommodate you. Or maybe a school like MAY in the Five Towns or Heichal HaTorah in Teaneck- still part of the yeshivishe velt, but due to being in more “modern” communities, with a greater emphasis on secular studies (generally due to parental interest, which is often absent in other places- someone I know in Monsey opened a yeshiva and at the open house was asked by a parent why he was offering “too much” English). Ohavei Torah is the same type. On the other hand, these schools might or might not have the tools to help you in limudei kodesh- but it’s worth a shot. That said, none of these schools will make it a priority to educate you for Harvard- not that you might not get in anyway (I know girls who got in from BY type schools which did not have that goal either), but it will simply not be a goal for them.
Actually, one caveat about MTA- you know how people have said that it depends which rebbi you get? It’s tracked, so I’ve heard great things from more right-wing people who ended up in the higher tracks as far as the chevra- but in the lower tracks, you might end up with guys who are less on your wavelength if you see yourself as yeshivish. (The guys in the higher track might not be yeshivish either, but even so there may be a difference socially, depending on what you’re expecting/used to.) There are other yeshiva high schools in the tristate area, like RPRY, TABC, etc, but they may have a similar situation.
If you’re already considering dorming (and I have no idea where you live so this may or may not be practical) why not look into schools in places like Chicago or LA? I don’t know much about it, but Skokie seems off the top of my head like a good place for you, somewhere in between MTA and one of the “modern yeshivish” places I mentioned. (If I’m wrong about it, let me know*- I only know one person who went there so I might not right about that.)
*not quite what he’s looking for
It is a Modern Orthodox school. It’s part of Yeshiva University (on their campus in Washington Heights), which can be a great bonus (for the record, I’m a current YU student). There is a dorm as well as buses to local communities. It is definitely on the “modern” side (a strong part of its hashkafa) but it does have a diverse mix of guys. It will probably make a big difference which shiur you end up in.
If you’re looking for something even somewhat yeshivish, it may not be the right place for you. Some of the teachers are yeshivish, but the school’s official direction is not. You will not be in the yeshivish community (for better or worse)- though of course you can probably do whatever you want after graduation.
Most people I know who went there had a good experience- I would strongly advise contacting their office and maybe going in for a tour- that way you can see for yourself.
If you are looking for something more right-wing, then it’s probably not right for you. What exactly do you have in mind as far as how right-wing? Why do you want something more right-wing? What attracted you to MTA? I would advise looking into Shaar HaTorah in Queens or Ohavei Torah in Riverdale based on different clues you’ve given here, but I could be totally off base.
ubiquitin: Like you said, it’s subjective. I also refer to R Moshe Feinstein (my grandfather’s rebbi) as Reb Moshe, with obviously the utmost respect. My grandfather calls him Reb Moshe or the Rosh Yeshiva (obviously with even greater respect, having spent many years exposed to his greatness). But in that scenario, it is the convention to say this as a marker of respect. I don’t know if it is the case that in the past just saying JB was considered respectful, but in the current climate it is not, so one cannot use the subjectivity excuse anymore. If there was an era when it was considered respectful, it has long passed. I’ve heard lectures from many of R Soloveitchik’s prominent and close talmidim and spoken intensively with one of them and none of them have ever called him by that name (and one was very outspoken against it). It is “the rav” or “R Soloveitchik.” So it does seem as though whatever convention which may have justified some potential subjective okayness of calling him “JB” has passed.
Joseph: I agree with you. I personally don’t see the problem with saying R Joseph B Soloveitchik or R JB Soloveitchik, as long as everything is said in a way respectful of him. I was mentioning one person’s objection, but like you said I don’t think it is an actual issue. (Quoting things I said back at me won’t somehow prove me wrong about anything.)
lilmod: Definitely an honest mistake for many, I’m sure. Until high school I had no idea who he was, and if someone’s only exposure to him was by people referring to him as JB, then it makes sense. It’s just a shame that that’s the case to begin with. I definitely wouldn’t blame anyone for an inadvertent mistake.
Softwords: Though I’m in an environment where the vast majority of people say “the Rav” to refer to R Soloveitchik and it is very obvious that this is who they mean, I just say R Soloveitchik, because I know how confusing it is when people say “the Rav” (until very recently, I’d’ve had no idea who these people were referring to, to be honest) and it’s honestly not as instinctive to me as it is to them. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it can’t be used, just that it is confusing. And for many of those who say “the Rav,” they are indeed referring to someone who for them is their Rosh Yeshiva- after all, he granted an incredible number of semicha certifications and was a rosh yeshiva of many of those who today call him the Rav. Also, there are definitely other ways to distinguish the rabbanim of the Brisker dynasty- especially as the Israeli Briskers are almost never called Rav Soloveitchik (they’re called Reb Avrohom Yehoshua or R Dovid or the Griz or the Brisker Rav [which can be confusing itself to people who aren’t in the know] or R Chaim Brisker- we’ve worked a lot of this out already without resorting to names that have become seen as derogatory).
Sparkly: Sounds good- what are you trying to say?
I had a teacher in high school who referred to him as JB. My friend, the daughter of a close talmid of R Soloveitchik, was horrified. I don’t know where the term originated, but it’s currently only used by the yeshivish/chassidish community- Modern Orthodox people say “the Rav.” Especially in these communities, which have so much respect for rabbinic authority, I personally don’t see how people don’t consider how disrespectful it is to call a rabbi solely by his initials. (In writing, people might write RJBS or RYDS in the same way that they’d write RMF for R Moshe Feinstein- but that retains reference to the respectful title and is merely writing shorthand. Just JB is beyond that.)
One MO person once told me that she felt offended even when people would say R JB Soloveitchik- because she felt that yeshivish/chassidish people calling him by an English name is specifically looking down on him, because many consider it an inferior way of being called and they could refer to him (as plenty do) by his Hebrew/Yiddish name. I told her that people weren’t thinking about it like that and were’t actually being insulting, but I hope that in fact she is wrong about that (the indication on this thread is that it is just retaining the way that he referred to himself, which is obviously fine). But just saying JB is disrespectful.
Many of his teachings were written down by his students and became first a kuntres on gemara and then incorporated by Rashi in his gemara commentary.
He wrote several piyyutim.
He died in 1028.
His teacher was R Leontin.
I can do this all day…September 8, 2016 1:37 pm at 1:37 pm in reply to: what to do with a gap year in between grad school and undergrad? #1181144
No, I was just giving an example of friends who went back to seminary a few years after high school. That just happened to be the reason why they were there- there were people who were there just to learn and had an equally great time. (They were there for the summer, though.)
If it’s not too personal, why are you so desperate to get married?
I would ordinarily not think this was a problem. I don’t think that anyone gets into enough of a “relationship” with a particular poster that it would approach problematic territory.
On the other hand, there are some posters (one in particular) who can get either inappropriate or degrading when they know they’re communicating with women.September 6, 2016 9:24 pm at 9:24 pm in reply to: what to do with a gap year in between grad school and undergrad? #1181138
I agree with people who say to get more certifications (maybe even now) which can get you jobs and experience- like phlebotomy, perhaps. If you were to work in a retail pharmacy, phlebotomy would be a good skill.
Seminary isn’t just for recent high school graduates! A bunch of my friends just went as tutors to one of the seminaries mentioned above- there are classes on all levels and they had an amazing time.
Unless you’re graduating now, don’t give up finding a job! Contact the career center or bio/chem department heads at your college- they’re there to help with that kind of thing. You may even want to get an unpaid internship if it’ll help you get really valuable experience. (I assume this is a gap year while you apply? If so, then getting experience is an excellent idea.)
And even more died for your hat!September 2, 2016 5:19 am at 5:19 am in reply to: Book Review – One Above and Seven Below: A Consumer's Guide to Orthodox Judaism #1176628
I don’t think so, Joseph.
Look, he could have been completely correct about the minutiae of the halacha. To be honest, as you may have guessed (and are probably relying on), I am not well versed enough in the inyan to disprove his halachic statements. But it doesn’t matter- it’s one thing to know halachic facts and principles and another to apply them. There is an inyan for rabbanim to be rachmanim even in halacha- such as the rabbis who do everything they can to try to find a heter for a questionable chicken for a poor family, or after the Holocaust to find a heter for an agunah to remarry. Rabbanim can know the halacha backward and forward and be able to make a statement within the first ten seconds but still immerse themselves in research in order to potentially find a way to be merciful and apply the halacha mercifully. This is undoubted.
The thing is, the blogger is being very emphatic about being dan lekaf zechus when it comes to Malka Leifer and is showing no such inclination toward her accusers. He explicitly accuses them of being money-grubbing, casts aspersions on their desire to achieve justice (stating that they have no interest in her defending herself), and engages in victim shaming, casting blame on long-time victims by saying that after a certain amount of time it should be considered consensual if the victim hasn’t outwardly protested. He completely disregards and misreads current psychological wisdom about predators targeting abused and suffering children who are less likely therefore to see a way out- in fact, reading it the exact opposite way, as is the exact way which many proven molesters intend as they seek out victims. In all of this, there is NO HALACHIC ELEMENT which he is invoking to make these statements- besides being dan lekaf zechus, which he is IGNORING.
The fact is,
1) There are predators who are not pedophiles (though there is an equivalent for teenagers, if you must know), but gravitate towards teens because they may be in a position of power over them. It’s a similar concept to when we see a rabbi or therapist having an illicit relationship with a client or community member- there is an imbalance and misuse of power which is wrong in and of itself.
2) Israel is not, for better or for worse, a purely halachic state. According to its laws, it CANNOT judge her in front of a beis din and it CANNOT even judge her in a regular court. The only way for her to be tried is to be sent back to Australia. By being against this, no matter his protestations, he is in fact tacitly agreeing that she should not be forced to face up to the accusations made against her. I know that there are different interpretations of the extent of the requirement for dina d’malchusa dina, but he does have to understand that he is taking a position which has no basis in the legal realities in Israel and Australia.
3) Halacha is halacha. But middos are middos, and this man is displaying none. Rationalizing potential abuse (both physical and of power) and blaming the victims is just terrible middos. Halacha does not demand that- all it demands is an open mind. This man, I’d almost say, is being a naval birshus haTorah- using halacha as an excuse to make repugnant statements.
4) In that vein, let’s say theoretically that halachically, what happened was not a sin or a crime or anything actionable or punishable. But it was proved that it happened. Would that make the perpetrator blameless? There are plenty of places in halacha where we know that an injustice did occur but due to the rules of the legal system, it is not actionable (such as if there are not enough witnesses). Does that mean that no injustice was done? No, it just means that there is no way to punish the perpetrator. What this man is doing is not only removing the punishment but removing the blame from the (theoretical) perpetrator and the pain from the victim. He has no right to do that, and you cannot quote me any halacha which says that just because it was mishkav nekeivah with a woman above age 12 (daasan kalos, of course), the victim had no suffering or trauma. This man eliminated that from the picture by focusing purely on didactical matters, showing a clear agenda. Like I said, naval birshus haTorah- showing complete gasus in matters of ve’ahavta le’reiacha kamocha by ignoring real people’s potential suffering in exchange for milking halachic minutiae.
By the way, I’m also disturbed by his nonchalance about living two doors down from child molesters. I hope his kids are alright.
Nurses also take orgo- they just take a revised course specifically for nursing students. PAs and NPs will I think also take it, but I’m not sure. The people I know who are taking it want to go into medicine, veterinary medicine, science research, pharmacy, dentistry, and PA.September 2, 2016 12:04 am at 12:04 am in reply to: Book Review – One Above and Seven Below: A Consumer's Guide to Orthodox Judaism #1176624
Yeah, reading his blog- his stuff on sexual abuse of minors is horrifying.September 1, 2016 7:44 pm at 7:44 pm in reply to: Kollel Life in Eretz Yisroel is More Difficult and a Greater Sacrifice than Army #1176800
“if a kollel person is a zionist they are being a hypocrite”
Really? Why? (I’d better tell the post-hesder kollel people I know, as well as the friend whose husband is in a charedi hesder yeshiva…)
LUU- I think someone might have pointed this out on the other thread, but I think that you’re coming at this from a slightly different angle here. I am NOT going to make any statements on who’s right here- completely above my pay grade- but the fact is that for many charedi Israelis, kollel is the easy way out, in much the same way as that for many DL and chiloni Israelis, the army is the easy way out. Communal life is structured around it- communal expectations are focused on it- familial hopes are centered on it. A child is, through their upbringing, given a certain set of steps on how to succeed in the world, a bunch of implicit or explicit expectations which they are expected to adhere to. For a charedi boy, that expectation is to live the poverty-stricken life of a kollel yungerman, but at the same time to receive that communal praise and internal satisfaction. A DL boy is expected to serve in the army, which includes risk of serious physical and emotional injury, but in turn he will receive the praise and affection of the community for that. Either one switching to the other is at risk of serious alienation and abandonment, though we hope it wouldn’t happen. First, they lose the communal support which comes with the path that they grew up with- something pretty important to all of us. There may even be outright resentment- the soldiers who have been attacked in chassidishe shtibelach or the newly minted kollel yungerman who is blasted as a shirker- and even potential loss of family support. So in its own way, each is extremely hard, and to put it down to one or the other being empirically harder is virtually impossible. And, in general, charting a new path and making a decision to do something different and difficult is always going to be incredibly challenging. So while I don’t deny that much of what you say about the difficulties inherent in kollel life is true, there’s also that other angle, even without examining the positives or negatives in either lifestyle.
Joe: “writersoul, MO folks generally have shidduch resumes? I though the rule of thumb there was they “meet naturally” rather than being introduced via a shadchan.”
Not generally, but sometimes. The particular cases I mean are through a relative of mine who teaches in a MO setting and whose students “flip out” and decide they want to date the yeshivish way.
I currently know people who met guys on their own, met them on dating websites, or were set up by someone who knew both parties. I do know some MO people with resumes, though.
My mother has edited several shidduch resumes for people coming from MO backgrounds who didn’t know what they were doing- generally, they confused it with a job resume. But it’s totally logical, as the whole current construct is totally ridiculous.
Basically, as I think I may have mentioned on the other thread, my mom’s basic guidelines are
-current location (and hometown, if different)
-shul (and parents’ shul, if different)
-very basic appearance (hair color, eye color, height, etc)
-job (if applicable)
-BASIC family details (don’t go crazy- nobody needs to know the professions of the mechutanim- this is my mom’s pet peeve)
-my mom insists on short paragraphs of what you’re like and what you’re looking for. This is NOT usual in a yeshivish resume, especially of younger people. She prefers it because it gives a direction to go in and because people can’t always be defined by their life choices and origins.
-references (prepare yourself for nobody to call them)
PHOTO NOT NECESSARY. Really, not necessary.
Nice layout- if you can design it nicely and you think it will stand out well in a good way, great, but don’t risk it. Normal Word template is fine.
Elaborate as much as you’d like to, but don’t go crazy overboard.
Remember, at its core the whole system makes no sense. So it’s not worth your time to sit there questioning your sanity at any point- the problem is everyone else. Just swallow your pride and your questions and do it, basically.
TOL: Yes, most of the people involved in Project Makom consciously want to stay frum. There have been people who were on the fence who stayed because of PM, but you’re probably right that someone completely turned off of religion as a concept might not find it helpful. If they still were open to discussing it, though, I am sure they have volunteers who could help with that.
What they’re really trying to do is to prevent people from feeling that because they’re no longer as RW as they grew up, that doesn’t mean they can’t be religious anymore.
I’m not a representative of Project Makom, but I have some affiliation with it and know several people involved. This will probably sound like an infomercial- I have no stake, financial or otherwise, in the organization, and am simply totally impressed with it in general.
It is quite small, and still in the funding stages (they are very urgently trying to fund their therapist, if anyone wants to donate- she’s available on a hotline for members), but they’re already making a big difference. The origin story is as zdad described it. It’s basically structured with members who are seeking a different kind of community than that in which they grew up and volunteers who are in a good place religiously, usually in the MO world, who volunteer to help out. They have some events oriented at Modern Orthodoxy, but others include informational programs about getting your GED, career counseling, etc. One of their most successful components right now is the personal element. They host shabbatonim and yamim tovim in various communities (such as Memphis and the Five Towns) with speakers across the spectrum and host families, which both serve to introduce families to new communities and approaches to avodas Hashem and give the several teens and twenties in the group who are cut off from or not in a good place with their families and communities warm places to be where they are accepted as they are. They will assign mentor-mentee relationships between people who can give guidance hashkafically and in a real-world sense and those who are in need. They have barbeques and Chanukah parties and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere to people who sorely need it and who hadn’t thought that such a thing was available in a frum community.
This is run entirely by frum people. A huge goal is to make sure that people participating see a beauty in Judaism that they may not have really seen in their home communities. Religion and halacha are paramount- but there is no judgment. Project Makom doesn’t seek anyone out or proselytize; those who hear about it as they look for a derech which will be better for them- including some people who were on their way OTD and subsequently turned 180 degrees- make their way over and are welcomed.
(Caveat- the organization is MO, and that is the hashkafa of which they are proponents. However, even if you don’t want to become MO, there is still a lot of amazing benefit that can come from Makom, as it offers services nobody else does that I’m aware of.)
I don’t think there’s any other organization like it, and it’s very badly needed. It’s still in the developmental stages, and it’s hard to say exactly where it will go next, but right now it’s doing amazing work.
I was going to walk away, but I do feel like I want to clear up one misconception. (After this I actually am going to leave this conversation.)
When I describe MO, I am describing it as a hashkafa. I believe that if you are going to take on the identity of a group, you may as well take on the hashkafa, or to be honest you’re being robbed (unless you have a different hashkafa, I suppose). Anyone can be lax, anyone can be chilled, anyone can pick and choose- I know chassidish, yeshivish, MO, Chabad, etc people who do all of these things. It is only when I see MO DEFINED by its laxity that I speak up. When there is no reference to the fact that it is an actual hashkafa and not just a get-out-of-jail-free card. After all, even if you were to define MO by a spectrum of mitzvos kept (which I would think is a mistake, to be honest, as there are other factors), the unifying factor would be the hashkafa. And that’s what I’m trying to emphasize here- that MO doesn’t MEAN laxity, that there is more to it. It can include those who are lax in the name of MO- I’m aware that this is a large sociological category in MO- but it is not only this (and, of course, many of these people do subscribe to the hashkafa as well). It can also include those who have different standards than yeshivish and chassidish people based on the advice of their rabbanim, it can also include people who from the outside look identical to your average yeshivish person, and it can include people in between.
But as what I’m saying doesn’t seem to be helping matters much, I’ll leave this here and withdraw.
Joe- My point is that I don’t think it’s versions of MO. I think that there is a hashkafa of MO and that there are people who will try to “tone it down” from other streams of Judaism and say it’s MO. But one who does this should at least realize that there’s a wealth of amazing hashkafa out there that, at the very least, can add meaning to this life on its own terms.
Sparkly, why do you say that? Why is that necessary? Ask your rabbi whether R Lichtenstein is MO. (At the very most, I believe he may have referred to it as Centrist.) Why is it a problem to still be serious about covering knees while having a hashkafa of Modern Orthodoxy, engagement with the world, etc? What makes that not “modern”?
I think we’re talking at cross purposes, so maybe I’ll withdraw here. But I still do recommend the books π
Sparkly- yeah, I know (I’ve also taken classes at non-Jewish colleges)- I was saying that some yeshivish people go to secular colleges as well.
Just want to say for the record that I’m with jfem here.
Can I recommend Leaves of Faith by R Aharon Lichtenstein, by the way? (Two volumes- I’ve only read one so far.) I started it recently and it had some great stuff in it about ideals of Modern Orthodoxy. Having met the families of several of his top talmidim, I can say that they exemplify a Modern Orthodoxy which bears no resemblance to what you describe, in which Modern Orthodoxy is a derech to an unapologetically halachic life combined with engagement with the world at large.