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  • in reply to: Modern Orthodox OTD by Gender #1986380
    yytz
    Participant

    UJM: We know literally nothing about these “studies,” except that a rabbi mentioned that they exist in a single blog post. They could be completely worthless studies, or fraudulent, or they may not exist at all. All we have is an unsubstantiated rumor of the existence of studies.

    Sure, we should try to prevent frum families, whether MO or not MO, from sending their kids to colleges where they will live a typical college lifestyle. Ideally, they should go to frum colleges or colleges with a large Orthodox population.

    in reply to: Modern Orthodox OTD by Gender #1986231
    yytz
    Participant

    There have been no published studies on OTD rates. A rabbi mentioned two unpublished studies on his blog but we know nothing about them, such as their methodology or anything else. We don’t know if the studies are accurate or well-designed. As far as we know it could be a study of 20 people in one city or something.

    in reply to: ADHD help #1981998
    yytz
    Participant

    Seriously, call Moshe Stamler in Lakewood! You’ll be glad you did! He’s an expert on the subject with much experience with young adults in this situation and is a great person.

    in reply to: Satmar Rebbe criticizes election engagement. #1927488
    yytz
    Participant

    See the FrumJews4Joe Twitter account for a recording and translation of some of the Satmar Rebbe’s remarks.

    If I recall he said something about the frum following for Trump being like a cult, and Trump having more “chassidim” than any Rebbe.

    in reply to: Was Every Married Guy Perfect when they Went Out on Dates? #1926796
    yytz
    Participant

    Many of the above posters have given good advice.

    To add to bored guy’s list: 1) don’t be negative about anything in your conversations, 2) smile, 3) don’t talk too much, 4) ask questions, 5) relax.

    Be patient and don’t give up. Thank Hashem for everything, even this challenge.

    Hatzlacha!

    in reply to: Are anti trumpers actual liberals? #1923953
    yytz
    Participant

    I’m not a Democrat. But I’ll answer anyway.

    Free collage for all? No. If people want to make a collage, or any other art project, they should buy the supplies themselves.

    More taxes and regulations? To some extent.

    Open borders? No.

    everyone white automatically inherently racist? No, but racism exists and still harms people, including us.

    All policemen bigoted? No, but some reform is needed.

    Pro abortion? No.

    Anti 2a? The UK and Israel have much better gun laws, and for that reason have much lower murder rates.

    Iran nuclear deal? Against it.

    Ect…………….

    in reply to: Are anti trumpers actual liberals? #1923939
    yytz
    Participant

    Rav Moshe was pro-Roe v Wade because in the system we have now, you can ask your Rov and base the decision on that. What would happen if your Rov paskened that an abortion is required (due to a mother’s life being in danger) and the government says no?

    Personally, though, I’d be happy if the Court overturned Roe.

    in reply to: why did our conservative news site go liberal? #1923941
    yytz
    Participant

    So you’re claiming every single fact-checking website is part of the liberal conspiracy?

    Do some research. Most fact-checkers are non-partisan and debunk the right and left alike.

    Spend a few minutes looking at any fact-checker website. You’ll find dozens of proven lies by Trump in seconds.

    It is completely ludicrous to deny that Trump is a pathological liar, far beyond any other contemporary American politician.

    Think about frum Jews’ politics before Trump. Were we into far-right conspiracy theories, and the politicians who embraced them?

    No, we mainly supported mainstream Republicans like Bush I and II who had more-or-less normal middos, acted in a “presidential” manner and lacked any obvious personality disorders.

    in reply to: why did our conservative news site go liberal? #1923917
    yytz
    Participant

    Didn’t anyone notice that Trump has been spouting baseless conspiracy theories since before he was president? For example, Birthergate. It’s no different now. Don’t be a fool.

    It’s also easy to prove that Trump lies multiple times almost every single times he speaks. Neutral facts checkers routine document numerous proven lies in a single speech.

    Many politicians occasionally make misstatements but Trump obviously makes up things off the top of his head, or repeats some conspiracy theory that he read from some anonymous tweet. That’s just his personality.

    Also due to his personality, it was widely (and correctly!) predicted that he would refuse to concede, because his narcissism keeps him from doing anything but bragging about his supposed victories. He claimed there was fraud before even looking at evidence, and he paid people to find it and yet they still haven’t found any.

    in reply to: Touro #1921279
    yytz
    Participant

    What are the most popular “other frum programs”?

    in reply to: character vs policy Which is more important? #1917886
    yytz
    Participant

    So according to you, Health, every Yeshivah teaches that Noahides not only can, but should, use the death penalty for every single possible thing?

    Fortunately you’re wrong. Rabbis today have a variety of opinions about whether and how much the death penalty should be used by non-Jews today.

    Health, what would you want the government to do to Donald Trump if it were your daughters he assaulted?

    in reply to: Do American Jews care about Eretz Yisroel? #1917879
    yytz
    Participant

    Remember that the “Trump peace plan” involved putting pressure on Israel to approve a Palestinian state, which the Likud has been against for decades.

    Remember that the “peace deals” with Arab countries with which Israel was never at war (UAE, etc.) were only obtained at the price of canceling Netanyahu’s plan of annexing the West Bank, which would have been historic and game-changing.

    Remember that Sharon’s disengagement from Gaza, which was opposite to his political instincts and would not have happened without American pressure from a Republican president, GW Bush.

    Remember that Israel remained a strong country and dealt with its enemies appropriately more or less, even during the Obama years. Perhaps there was more pressure, but the US was always an ally, not an enemy.

    Trump was more sympathetic to Israel but there has still been inappropriate pressure. Things will change a bit with Biden but Israel still has the power to make the right decisions; they just need the guts.

    Regardless, our Neviim have often warned against putting our trust in geopolitical alliances, including particular countries or their leaders. Let’s trust in Hashem and daven that Israel makes the right decisions regardless of pressure.

    in reply to: character vs policy Which is more important? #1917550
    yytz
    Participant

    Avi K: Trump has been credibly and publicly accused of sexual assault by over 20 women. As in the case of Bill Cosby, when you have these many allegations, there is little change they are false. Biden and Harris may have had some misconduct but it’s nothing compared to Trump’s history.

    Noahides or the king may technically be allowed to use the death penalty for anything (if necessary to perfect the world) but of course the ideal is the Torah system with all its procedural safeguards and restrictions, which execution in only rare circumstances, and according to one opinion in the Gemara, only once in 70 years. Many countries in the world have extremely low crime rates (and low incarceration rates!) and no death penalty, so experience shows it’s not necessary.

    in reply to: Daati Leumi/RZ Rabbonim call on public to vote for Donald Trump #1916464
    yytz
    Participant

    R’ Moshe Lichtenstein (son of YU Rosh Yeshivah R’ Aharon Lichtenstein) and R’ Menachem Genack (OU kosher division CEO) are known to publicly support Biden.

    in reply to: character vs policy Which is more important? #1915858
    yytz
    Participant

    Health: Both Trump and Biden have their senior moments. Did you see the study showing that Trump’s vocabulary has shrunk in recent years, a likely sign of age-related cognitive decline?

    Regarding the death penalty, the Torah does not provide for it, for the crimes committed by 95% of the prison population. The vast majority of those in prison are not murderers.

    Executing someone for drug possession, gun possession, burglary, assault, robbery, fraud, etc.–that is, the kind of crimes most prisoners have committed– would not be possible under Torah law.

    in reply to: character vs policy Which is more important? #1915687
    yytz
    Participant

    As suggested by one of the above posters’ names, our goal as Yidden should be to spread Torah values in society, rather than to promote a certain candidate or policy.

    Due to the fact that there are disputes about what the facts are in nearly every area, it is up to each individual to do their hishtadlus in figuring out what version of the facts are most correct. It is also somewhat a matter of debate how Torah laws and values should be translated into actual policy, and which policies are most important. This is also a very individual decision.

    Personally, I agree with Trump on a few issues (Israel, social issues, courts), and with Biden on others (criminal justice reform, taxes, health care, environment, public health). I also think Trump is an unstable person with severe personality disorders who is incapable of empathy or dispassionately analyzing facts.

    While the issues Trump is good on are important to me, I think the issues Biden is good on are more likely to change in the near future, and affect a larger number of people.

    For example, the US is the most punitive country in the world, with the world’s highest percentage of incarcerated people. Some countries in Europe have 1/20th our incarceration rate! It is not necessary to be so brutal. In fact, Torah criminal law has almost no provisions for prison at at all! As Rav Hirsch writes, prison is inherently dehumanizing, and this is why the Torah prescribes other means (like having a thief be a servant for an honest family for a few years, to learn proper behavior.) Other ways of dealing with and preventing crime are far more consistent with the Torah. Trump has done some things to reduce incarceration but the Democrats are for more committed to this issue. Remember that many Jews, including some frum Jews, are victims of our incredible harsh criminal justice system (Rubashkin is just the tip of the iceberg.)

    I would prefer not to vote at all, but due to this factor, and Trump’s dangerous personality, I lean toward Biden.

    As for social issues, aside from appointing conservative judges to courts, there is relatively little the government can do, when a huge proportion of the country and most of the media have views that are diametrically opposed to the Torah. It would be nice to one day have a president with Torah-compatible values who actually inspires people to adopt these views, rather than someone like Trump who doesn’t seem to care about these values and certainly violates them in his personal life, and alienates everyone but his most hard-core supporters. But regardless of who is president, activism, media, kiruv, and other non-governmental methods of changing pubic opinion are ultimately necessary to guide society on these matters, and are just as important (perhaps more so) than who is president.

    in reply to: New Conservative Supreme Court Supermajority #1915037
    yytz
    Participant

    I agree the Lawrence is unlikely to be overturned. Even among hard-core social conservatives, few are eager to return to criminal prosecutions of this kind. No one’s going to even try to overturn it.

    Obergefell is different. It is a relatively recent 5-4 decision, which Scalia called “lawless” in his dissent. Some experts may claim it’s unlikely to be overturned, but really nobody knows. It all depends on whether someone tries to challenge it, and what the justices decide. I think there’s a pretty good chance of overturning it if there is a decent challenge.

    Roe is different because it’s an old case, a so-called “super-precedent.” But it could still be overturned. It all depends.

    in reply to: Thinking behind the motorcade #1913931
    yytz
    Participant

    It’s mamash the worst kind of assimilation.

    Copying the goyim who, in a series of a similar incidents nationwide, have made pro-Trump motorcades through leftist neighborhoods or protest areas in an attempt to cause a violent reaction.

    This is a Jewish thing to do?! Intentionally provoking violence in an attempt to make the other side look bad for a moment, even though that probably won’t change anyone’s mind?

    Rachmana litzan.

    in reply to: Charedim Voting for Biden: Please Respond #1913930
    yytz
    Participant

    Hershel: That’s the Ami poll, but as you know, polls aren’t always accurate. It’s not easy to poll the frum community.

    The Nishma Research Political Survey of the American Orthodox Jewish Community Survey, Conducted January 14-26, 2020, found that among Charedim, 65% considered themselves Republicans and 20% considered themselves Democrats, while among the MO, 52% were Democrats and 37% were Republicans.

    We could try to guess at the relative accuracy of the two polls by examining their methodology.

    But we need a lot more polls to see which one is closer to the truth…

    in reply to: spanking #1911592
    yytz
    Participant

    I was only spanked once or twice and I don’t think it affected me.

    But that was then. This is now.

    Many rabbis have said human nature has changed and spanking no longer works in improving behavior. Instead, it just makes them worse.

    This is supported by modern psychology; a number of studies show spanking makes children more aggressive, violent and angry over the long term.

    It may seem absurd for the Israeli government (I think it was a court decision) to ban spanking.

    But Rav Shalom Arush explains that since spanking is no longer effective, Hashem arranged for it to be illegal to take this method of discipline away from us.

    in reply to: Charedim Voting for Biden: Please Respond #1911369
    yytz
    Participant

    Gadolhadorah: Good point, but I didn’t ask about MOs because it’s more common. (A poll suggested the Democrat/Republican split among the MO is about 60/40 in favor of Dems. It also seems out-of-town Orthodox Jews are less pro-Trump.)

    in reply to: Understanding Statistics Re: Masks #1910865
    yytz
    Participant

    Pekak: The Highest Power requires us to follow halacha, which includes 1) dina malchusa dina, 2) pikuach nefesh, and 3) guard yourself (your health) very well (Devarim 4:9). We also must do our hishtadlus and not rely on a neis.

    in reply to: Understanding Statistics Re: Masks #1910675
    yytz
    Participant

    Your right the evidence is mixed. But recent studies (including a “natural experiment” comparing states with and without mask mandates) have shown community mask use reduces the spread of the virus. Certainly, masks will work best when combined with social distancing, hand washing and other measures. Masks also shouldn’t make us complacent and willing to take unnecessary risks for our and other’s health, such as going in public while having systems or spending time in crowding indoor places. They don’t prevent all transmission, but they do reduce it.

    There’s also a compelling logical explanation for why this would be. The main way the virus is spread is through droplets of water in the air that come out of people’s mouths and nose while they talk, sneeze and breathe. The amount of these droplets being emitted is drastically reduced when properly wearing a mask. The idea that since viruses are smaller than the holes in masks, masks must be useless, is completely wrong because this ignores the role of droplets.

    Regardless, people shouldn’t cherry-pick studies to justify flouting public health guidelines, causing a chillul Hashem, violating halacha (dina malchusa dina and pikuach nefesh). There are indeed some studies showing masks work, the government is mandating them, and many rabbonim are also requiring them.

    in reply to: Political alternate universe #1910235
    yytz
    Participant

    I certainly agree that that the Torah’s economic system is nuanced and flexible and different from the modern welfare/regulatory state.

    Perhaps once Orthodox Jews are the vast majority in Israel we will see what a Torah-based social welfare and economic system could look like.

    But where is your source for saying that halachically, teacher’s unions are forbidden? And what gemara are you referring to?

    in reply to: Political alternate universe #1910158
    yytz
    Participant

    Great question, Avram.

    Definitely A.

    This is essentially similar to the religious parties in Eretz Yisrael, all of which (Bayit Yehudi, Shas, UTJ, etc.) are left-wing on economic issues but right-wing on social issues.

    The Torah’s economic system is not a free market one. It is designed to reduce or eliminate poverty and other social problems, by making sure everyone has land or a job allowing the to be self-sufficient. See the teachings of Rav Hirsch.

    in reply to: Name a Gadol That Endorsed Biden #1899288
    yytz
    Participant

    Rav Moshe actually held a pro-choice position, even though ruled against abortion in nearly all cases. Since abortion is required if the mother’s life is at stake, he wanted the ultimate decision for whether to allow an abortion to be with the rabbi (who can decide whether the woman’s life is in danger in the terms of halacha) rather than giving that power to the doctor alone or the government.

    Remember that the Satmar Rebbes told their chassidim to vote for Hillary last time. Many complex calculations are involved in deciding who is best to elect, so ultimately it must be up to each person.

    The Torah is vast and contains a multitude of laws and hashkafic views. How could one candidate or party incorporate all of that? Note that all the religious parties in Israel are left-wing on economic and social-welfare issues but right-wing on security and moral values. There is no equivalent in the US.

    And voting is not just a matter of halacha but also a matter of common sense–that is, is the person a stable and reasonable person who is literate, well-read, kind, understanding and deliberates before acting?

    in reply to: October Surprise #1891976
    yytz
    Participant

    Charlie’s right.

    Something very extreme and very unlikely would have to happen–like multiple assault allegations against Biden or a complete economic recovery–for Trump to recover in the polls and win the election.

    The public is simply sick of Trump’s antics and his poor COVID governance, and I don’t think there’s any way to change that enough to ensure victory.

    However, if Trump resigned, and Pence chose a good VP, he would have a better chance. Pence is a refreshingly “normal” politician who is a good speaker and a solid conservative and avoids saying anything extreme or offensive. He’s the kind of person most Republican voters would have preferred as president anyway (Remember, Trump won a plurality, not a majority, of votes in the primaries.)

    in reply to: How was Daf Yomi studied originally? #1870233
    yytz
    Participant

    It’s interesting you seem to define Daf Yomi as studying the daf without rashi. I don’t think this is really true. For example, Rabbi Schwartzberg’s daily shiur always includes Rashi. He doesn’t say the Rashi in Hebrew, but he does incorporate every Rashi in his English translation/comments on the Gemara. He also includes many tosafos.

    in reply to: Being a Ger and BT #1849619
    yytz
    Participant

    Shimon, it’s more about their intention during the actual time of tevilah, on the day they converted. If they intended to completely accept the entire Torah as binding on themselves, with a lifetime commitment to observe it, then the conversion is valid and they are Jewish forever regardless of what they do afterward. However, if someone is not observant shortly after undergoing gerus, people often assume there was no real kabbalas ol (though that may not in fact be true.) The only time it really makes a big difference is regarding the Jewish status of a giyores’s children.

    If some time went by before they “went OTD” then no one really knows, except the ger himself, because it’s all about the kabbalas ol when he converted. In most such cases, I would assume the original gerus is valid.

    Like Shimon, I don’t agree with Levi that any ger who does OTD must not have been an invalid ger. I’m sure there are people who convert completely intending to be observant for life, and yet something happens later that leads them to fall. Hopefully, b’ezras Hashem, in case of this ger, he will make the right decision and return to Yiddishkeit.

    in reply to: Being a Ger and BT #1848631
    yytz
    Participant

    Also keep in mind that if you come back to Yiddishkeit, you don’t have to say a word about this (almost re-converting to another religion) to anyone. It’s between you and Hashem. But even if you are open about I think the above poster is right that you will still be accepted and not judged.

    in reply to: Help! Husband OTD #1848629
    yytz
    Participant

    OP: Sorry to hear about your situation. Among married couples in which one spouse becomes a BT, it is common for the other not to go along with it, but in many cases the marriage still works out. As long as he’s not getting in the way of your own observance (like constantly treifing up the kitchen or something), it can work. Really depends on the situation. Hatzlacha!

    in reply to: slow online daf yomi shiur? #1848626
    yytz
    Participant

    Rabbi Elefant’s speaks pretty slowly–that might be a good option for you.
    Rabbi Stefansky’s shiur is not slow but he explains things very clearly.

    in reply to: Being a Ger and BT #1848378
    yytz
    Participant

    Sorry to hear that! Some gerim end up feeling like people treat them poorly, but among the gerim I know they say they’ve always been treated well. I wouldn’t read too much into it if you feel silently judged–it could be these individuals happen to be not very friendly (it’s about them, not you). Anyway, if I were you I would find a way to move out into your own apartment within walking distance to an Orthodox shul, and start davening there (once the lockdowns are lifted.) For now, find shiurim you like online–check out all the different daf yomi daily videos (can also be done live with Zoom), for example, and see which one you like. Eventually you’ll find a nice shul with friendly people and a rav you’re close with. Hatzlacha!

    in reply to: Private Mikva for Men #1790505
    yytz
    Participant

    Joseph: Actually, the halacha is that one should urinate around other men rather than hold it in and harm one’s health. So it is not forbidden. But still, apparently Rav Moshe thought it was an issue and we should avoid it if possible by using the stall. The same logic should apply to mikvah. Some people are naturally more reticent to expose themselves to others; why not accommodate them so they can also use a mikvah? Bashfulness is after all a fundamental Jewish trait.

    in reply to: Private Mikva for Men #1790433
    yytz
    Participant

    Rav Moshe suggests not using urinals ( Yoreh Deah 3 siman 47,5) but I’m not sure if he was discussing when they didn’t have little walls between them. I think I’ve heard this from elsewhere too…not sure where.

    in reply to: Private Mikva for Men #1790321
    yytz
    Participant

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting a more modest alternative.

    In fact, I’ve heard some rebbeim say it’s not proper to use a urinal (where other people can see you); instead, one should use the stall.

    Of course, tznius applies to men too.

    in reply to: What are any issues with serving a role in Conservative Shule? #1762479
    yytz
    Participant

    Rational: It’s not about the threat. A big consideration in their psakim was the fact that when an Orthodox Jew attends a C place, it makes the “Conservative Jews” feel like they are being validated, as somehow proof that they are doing nothing wrong by being C. That issue is still as valid as ever.

    in reply to: What are any issues with serving a role in Conservative Shule? #1762377
    yytz
    Participant

    HappilyRetired: You said that some poskim allow attending a bar mitzvah in a Conservative house of worship. Who, specifically? I have never heard of this–as far as I was aware, attending any religious event in the sanctuary of a Conservative place would be asur according to all Orthodox opinions.

    I don’t think it matters if it’s one of those few Conservative places left that still has a mechitza. The C movement doesn’t believe that the Torah (particularly Oral Torah) is from Sinai.

    in reply to: Small step for man; giant leap for mankind #1762378
    yytz
    Participant

    In the audio it sounds like he’s saying “man,” but he says what he really said was “a man,” which would make the sentence more logical.

    in reply to: Kippah for Comfort #1739814
    yytz
    Participant

    No, mostly people wear kippas because that’s the same kind of kippa everyone in the group they identify with wears. A partial exception is MO–some wear srugi, some leather, some velvet, etc.

    in reply to: Kippah for Comfort #1739727
    yytz
    Participant

    Good point, Lightbright. I think people do choose kippas for those reasons, to some extent. For example, the stereotype is that charedi Jews always wear velvet (sometimes polyester instead), but a survey in Israel found that a sizable percentage (I don’t remember how much, perhaps 20%) of self-identified charedim wore knitted kippas (I assume black, but you never know…)

    in reply to: Always Wearing a Hat When Outdoors #1712221
    yytz
    Participant

    Lakewhat: There are tons of Litvaks. Anyway, this term is nowadays used as a synonym for Yeshivish. Here’s how many children were enrolled in different kinds of Orthodox day schools in 2013, according to an Avichai survey:

    Centrist Orthodox: 18,925
    Chabad: 12,649
    Chassidic: 81,940
    Modern Orthodox: 27,217
    Yeshiva: 75,681

    This shows that the Yeshiva world is very large, only a little smaller than the Chassidish world.

    in reply to: Joining Chabad #1694422
    yytz
    Participant

    1: Many people certainly become Lubavitchers. A Chabad shliach told me that he estimates that about one third of all shluchim are BTs. I actually know one guy who raised his kids totally Yeshivish and yet the son became Chabad and is now a shliach in a big city, and his kids are shluchim too.

    But contrary to Rebbetzin’s comment, most Chabadniks are not shluchim–most live in Crown Heights, some other big city, or Israel.

    Keep in mind that it’s not all or nothing. Many people may learn Chabad chassidus, learn the Rebbe’s sichos, and even attend Chabad shuls and farbrengens, and yet retain a non-Chabad appearance, and retain regular Ashenazi nusach and minhagim. It’s the same with Breslov.

    People shouldn’t feel stuck in the derech they were born in. Every combination and direction of change happens today–chassidim who become Litvaks, Satmar who become dati leumi, people who combine Chabad-Breslov-Kook-Carlebach, Ashkenazim who follow a lot of Sephardic kabbalistic customs, you name it. Whatever your soul is attracted to, go for it, provided it’s kosher–and see what works in bring you closer to HKBH.

    in reply to: Mega Millions – Bitachon Question For You #1608151
    yytz
    Participant

    Rav Shalom Arush says that it’s permitted to play the lottery but that one should buy just one ticket. That’s because if Hashem wants you to win, he can surely do so with just one ticket. Buying lots of tickets would seem to be an attempt to manipulate the odds in your favor, as if whether you win is really under your control.

    yytz
    Participant

    23andme tells you what percentage you are Ashkenazi. It doesn’t say anything about Sephardi. However, if your results say 95% Ashkenazi and 5% Middle-Eastern/North African, or something like that, then it might be a safe assumption that you’re part Sephardi.

    in reply to: Going to Uman for the Hock #1579700
    yytz
    Participant

    Mentsch1: My comment above was directed to the original poster (“1”), not you.

    “Did Rav Nachman actually say that it would be beneficial to leave EY to come to his kever?”

    Not specifically, but he taught in Likutei Moharan that a tzaddik’s kever “literally” has the kedushah of Eretz Yisrael. (I can find the reference for you if you want to see it inside.) For that reason, Breslov manhigim have approved traveling from EY to Uman, since it’s is in effect going from EY to EY. That doesn’t mean every Israeli should come–but certainly Breslovers should have no qualms in doing so, assuming their rabbonim and family are supportive.

    “Did he even say just come to my kever for RH?”

    Yes, absolutely. See Tzaddik #406. We don’t have a direct quote from Rebbe Nachman, but Reb Noson writes that Rebbe Nachman made clear he wanted his followers to come to Uman for RH no matter what (which they began doing the first RH after his petirah).

    in reply to: Going to Uman for the Hock #1579515
    yytz
    Participant

    1: I wouldn’t go for fun or because it’s interesting to see different kinds of Jews. However, you said you enjoy different kinds of religious experience. Does that mean you enjoy them in the sense that you find them fun or mentally stimulating or something? Or do you mean that it actually helps you with your avodas Hashem? If you think going to Uman will enhance your avodas Hashem, consider going–if not, not.

    On the other hand, perhaps your desire to go to Uman is a way of your neshama telling to to draw close to Breslov in some way. Try learning Breslov chassidus—perhaps some Sichos HaRan or Likutei Eitzos or, if you want something more challenging, Likutei Moharan. If you feel a connection to Rebbe Nachman’s teachings and that is what is driving you to go, that’s a better reason.

    Keep in mind that Breslov teachings are not just for Breslovers–many Litvish (such as R’ Dessler and R’ Lopian), sephardic (Baba Sali and his son R’ Meir) and non-Breslov chassidic rabbonim (Satmar, etc.) have all praised Rebbe Nachman’s teachings. There is even a group of Lubavitchers who attend R”H in Uman, even though Lubavitchers are known for exclusively studying the chassidus of their own Rebbes.

    Don’t make the decision based on anonymous posters. Ask your Rav, ask a Breslov Rav, ask your family, etc…

    in reply to: Uman #1575849
    yytz
    Participant

    Avi, you may have a point about what sometimes happens when there is no living rebbe, but in practice, there have always been several Breslov manhigim in each generation who functioned as leaders, giving people advice and so on. For example, today there are many chashuv Breslov leaders today–Rav Shalom Arush, Rav Elazar Kenig, etc.

    Rebbe Nachman was opposed to hereditary rebbes, which most other chassidic groups have had, perhaps because it tends to create a social system in which people rely vicariously on the rebbe’s spiritual attainments instead of focusing on developing themselves by implementing the rebbe’s teachings. For example, as recounted in Reb Noson’s biography, a chassidic rebbe confided in Reb Noson that he was jealous of Breslov chassidim because his chassidim mainly came to him for blessings about material problems, while Breslovers were focused on enhancing their avodas Hashem.

    in reply to: Uman #1574761
    yytz
    Participant

    Takes2toTango: It’s completely false that “most” Israelis on their way to becoming BTs who go to Uman are “druggies or worse.” Just because you have a false stereotype in your head about Breslov BTs does not mean you should spread this falsehood on the Internet.

    For example, NaNachs are very visible and many people’s idea of what a Breslover is, but in fact NaNachs are only a tiny proportion of all Breslovers and all BTs. And contrary to what you might think, most NaNachs don’t have anything to do with drugs. (That said, I personally don’t agree with their hashkafa).

    Breslov has always had some interesting characters, since there’s no membership list and anyone can just call themselves a Breslover and thereby become one in other people’s eyes, but that doesn’t mean that most are into bad things. As with any Orthodox group, the vast majority are fine, upstanding people.

    in reply to: Uman #1574571
    yytz
    Participant

    Google “I am the soul of Rebbi Nachman” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. I’ve seen the reference elsewhere too, but I don’t remember where. It’s unclear what he meant by it.

    In a recent English biography of Rav Kook, it describes letters between Rav Kook and Rav Tzvi Yehudah in which the latter talked of his desire to become a full-fledged Breslover, but his father discouraged him, advising him to be more like himself–influenced by chassidus and various other sources instead of being a follower of a single individual.

    Many dati leumi people today are strongly influenced by Breslov (as in the Chavakuk movement (Chabad-Breslov-Kook)), so even today there are many followers of Rav Kook who go to Uman.

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