Forum Replies Created
June 29, 2012 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm in reply to: Why are US Jews all opposed to the Affordable Care Act? #881487
Good question, Gatesheader. I fully agree with you. The only problem I have with the law is that I’m not sure it will work — what I’d really like to see is Medicare for all (Canada-style healthcare) (or maybe Veterans Administration for all, which would be UK-style health care).
First, I don’t think it’s true that 100% of frum Jews are against this health care bill. Political allegiance differs among different segments of the Orthodox community. There are many Democrats among the Modern/Centrist Orthodox, and I’m sure there are some among Yeshivish and Chassidic communities (though they may keep quiet to avoid getting flack).
Second, the main way to answer your question is to talk about why it is that many Orthodox Jews are Republicans rather than Democrats. It’s an empirical question, but I have a few hunches: a) Republican ideology and strategy since Nixon has used code words to take advantage of anti-black prejudice and fears, and many frum Jews could be susceptible to this because they often live in or near high-crime inner-city areas; b) the culture wars (gay rights, feminism, etc.) have a higher prominence in the public imagination than economic issues, so it’s natural for members of a conservative religion to side with the right, and then end up getting persuaded by the rest of their ideology; c) many frum Jews are apparently convinced by economic conservative arguments about free markets, low taxes (keep in mind that this madness is also believed in by many lower-class whites who would be better off with higher government spending, more unions and a regulated labor market, etc.); d) mainstream Republicans aren’t very good on Israel (the disastrous Gaza withdrawal was basically Bush’s fault), but Obama is the worst yet (for that reason I would never vote for Obama — I’ll probably not vote at all — even though I’m to the left of Obama on most economic and environmental issues).June 29, 2012 1:17 am at 1:17 am in reply to: What now with ObamaCare upheld? Obama must have applied massive pressure #881552
Jbaldy: It’s still the same individual mandate; the law is still going to be enforced as originally written. The Court upheld it as constitutional because for all practical purposes the fine for noncompliance was equivalent to a tax (if you don’t want to pay the “tax,” buy health care.) It’s a way of interpreting the mandate (following the principle that statutes are presumed to be constitutional and are interpreted as constitutional if at all possible); it doesn’t actually change the law. About the Anti-Injunction Act, read the opinion and you’ll see what the Court said about that.June 28, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm in reply to: What now with ObamaCare upheld? Obama must have applied massive pressure #881549
JBaldy, a majority of the court found that the individual mandate would not be constitutional under the Commerce Clause, but that it is constitutional, after all, under the government’s taxing power. That doesn’t mean they “found it unconstitutional” — they found that it was constitutional. That said, the Commerce Clause aspect of the ruling does represent a victory for those who want the Commerce Clause to be more narrowly read in general (ie, libertarians and state’s-rights people). As to the standing issue, in the state where I practice, once a law has been passed, anyone with an interest in the matter has standing to ask courts to rule it is unconstitutional. I haven’t read the whole decision, but I assume they explain the standing issues.June 28, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm in reply to: What now with ObamaCare upheld? Obama must have applied massive pressure #881547
Nechomah, the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution includes a “Confrontation Clause” guaranteeing defendants in criminal cases the right to confront witnesses against them (by cross-examining them in court during the trial). For a long time Supreme Court precedent allowed states to get around this rule in various ways. Recent Supreme Court decisions, always with Justice Scalia in the majority, have strengthened confrontation clause rights. For example, if you get caught with what the police believe are illegal drugs and a forensic analyst issues a report saying the substance is cocaine, they used to be able to admit that into evidence even though the technician who did the analysis did not testify (and so the defendant’s attorney could not ask him questions about the test). Now, they have to produce the analyst to testify. This is important because many forensic tests are negligently or fraudulently conducted — which has led to many innocent people being convicted (even of serious crimes like rape and murder).
Wives have a great need to tell their husbands all the details of their lives. Instead of just listening sympathetically, men have a tendency to criticize the wife or to tell her exactly how should fix things. This is a big mistake! It’s far better to just listen. It’s very important not to criticize your wife even in the slightest way — it is impossible to do this without her being very hurt and resenting you. See Rav Shalom Arush’s marriage manual.June 28, 2012 7:39 pm at 7:39 pm in reply to: What now with ObamaCare upheld? Obama must have applied massive pressure #881545
Nfgo3 is right. In addition, it’s important to keep in mind that Obamacare is basically the same as Romneycare, and the individual mandate was originally proposed by conservatives and libertarians in the 80s or 90s. Conservative Republicans proposed something similar back in the 90s when President Clinton almost passed universal health care. Ironically, everyone agrees that if the government simply passed Canada-style health care (Medicare for all), there would be no constitutional problem with it at all. even though it’s much closer to real “socialized” medicine. It has to do with which section of the constitution is at issue.
As an attorney who has read numerous state and federal supreme court decisions, I can tell you that a supreme court justice’s political preferences do not always predict which side they vote for in a case. For example, Justice Scalia often votes with the liberal justices on 6th Amendment issues, and Justice Breyer (a hard core liberal) often votes with the conservative justices in the same 6th Amendment cases.
Google loshon and in the first page of results you’ll find a good pdf summarizing everything. In short, we’re lenient about it for practical reasons, as Itche says, and because Rema and others approves of the general custom of being lenient about it.
1. According to Avot 2:2, all Torah and no work will end up being worth nothing. Same with all work and no Torah. So the ideal is clearly to work part-time, enough to support yourself but to give yourself time to devote to Torah and mitzvot.
2. Some professions demand long hours, while others are more flexible and are easier to do part-time. Consider acquiring a skill that will allow you to be an independent contractor or start your own practice. I know someone who learned how to hang wallpaper in three days and then went on to be his own boss and work whatever hours he wanted for several decades, making a decent living. A lot of things probably fall into this category –web design, plumbing, doulas, etc.
3. Working with secular Jews and gentiles presents tremendous opportunities for Kiddush Hashem. Most secular Jews don’t think very highly of frum Jews, and many gentiles are especially anti-Semitic when it comes to the Orthodox. If you do a good job and smile (see Avot again!), people will begin to look more fondly on frum Jews and Torah Judaism in general. If you spend enough time with secular Jews, you may end up being the main factor influencing a secular Jew to make teshuvah.
4. Check out this quote by Rabbi Pinchas Eliyahu Horowitz of Vilna (Sefer HaBris):
Also, such a person can be confident that he will not miss even a single day of his service of G-d, since his means of support is always at hand, and his sustenance is available in his dwelling and his own city. He will not lie down at night without having eaten, because a tradesman is never without sustenance, nor will he need to travel to faraway places in other lands to seek his sustenance. For when travelling, by necessity a person must be neglectful of the service of G-d, as is well known; there is no way to turn aside and focus on Torah and prayer with concentration when one is away from his place and has set out on the road.
[work and Torah learning]
Csar, I’m in full agreement with your first paragraph — thanks for the clarification.
“Failure to keep even one of them (i.e. immorality, petty theft, idolatry, etc.) constitutes them forfeiting an afterlife.”
But what’s the source for this? What about gilgulim, teshuvah, G-d’s mercy, etc.? What’s even the source for the idea that large numbers of people can just “forfeit the afterlife”? I thought extinguishing someone’s eternal existence after death was an extreme punishment.
There are also a few sources in the Gemara and elsewhere that say, if you do X, your sins will be forgiven. For example, Hashem is merciful to those who are merciful to others, and Hashem forgives those who forgives others.
About teshuvah, I don’t have any sources, but it seems obvious that goyim (whether bnei Noach or not) can do teshuvah. Feel bad about the aveira, ask G-d’s forgiveness, and resolve not to do it again — this isn’t just Rambam, such ideas are very common around the world. The Zohar says there’s one sin for which repentence is not possible (spilling seed) but Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said that can’t be taken literally — repentence is always possible. I don’t see why it would be any different for goyim.
In response to the question, the standard belief is that a goy is only better off converting if he is going to be observant. Why would he convert anyway if he only plans to be observant for a little while? If that’s really the case, it’s questionable whether the conversion is valid — conversion involves a lifelong commitment.
Then again, historically people were converted before they even knew what most of the mitzvot were. Following that logic, some LWMO rabbis today (such as Rabbi Marc Angel, and I believe Rabbi Joseph Telushkin) advocate for allowing people to convert (especially if they’re already married to a Jew) without completely accepting the mitzvot. Of course that’s controversial, for good reason!
A couple other comments though.
First, I’ve heard people say that goyim only have a share in Olam Haba if they are ben Noach. But does anyone know the source of that? I’d be surprised if that’s the only view. If “all nations have a share in the world to come” and G-d is kind and merciful and everything, how could He let the vast majority of the world (those who aren’t bnei noach in the strict sense) just die with no afterlife? It doesn’t make any sense.
Second, all this talk about whether someone merits olam haba or not is not the only way to look at things. Belief in gilgulim is not just for chassidim and mekubalim — even the Gra wrote a sefer (about Yona HaNavi) full of stuff about reincarnation. Also, we don’t believe in eternal hell, right? Basically everybody will either get purgatory (for a year or less), olam haba right away, or get another gilgul — right? In truth, though, it can be more complicated, since the Arizal said we actually have more than one soul, and parts of various other people’s souls, so it’s a little complicated to talk about what happens to each individual after death.
Please don’t consider divorce further until you’ve read and implemented the book Garden of Peace by Rav Shalom Arush. I think a lot of people fail to realize that what a spouse is like, even basic personality characteristics, can be completely different depending on how the other spouse is acting. So it’s likely that if you implement the teachings of this book, you will see a change for the better in whatever’s bothering you. Many people, myself included, have been amazed at how useful the book’s teachings are. May you both be blessed with happiness and true shalom bayis!
It’s not OK to start smoking with the idea you will quit. Tobacco is so addictive that a large percentage of those who start will never stop. Many, many prominent rabbinical authorities have ruled it’s absolutely forbidden. Prominent rabbis in Israel have ruled that a smoker can’t be a kosher witness, or be a shochet, mohel or sofer. If it’s “cool” — then where there is no man, be a man, and run away from these “cool” people.
Marijuana is extremely harmful. Solid evidence links it to increased risk of all kinds of mental illnesses, even schitzophrenia. Any pot smoker will tell you it makes them “paranoid” — irrationally anxious — sometimes. It can even lead to longterm problems with panic attacks. A very dangerous drug, much worse than people think.
Google Canfei Nesharim — it’s an Orthodox environmental organization with lots of info on what mitzvos are involved with environmentally-friendly actions.
Smartstart: I suggest starting with Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory — in addition to the basics of music theory, it has a detailed chapter on how to compose good melodies. An easier way to compose a song is to find a chord progression you like (there’s even a website full of Jewish song chords), and keep playing it while you start singing, until you come up with a melody you like. Alternatively, you can come up with words (whether it’s something you came up with yourself or some Torah quote — the latter is what chassidic singer-songwriter Yosef Karduner does), and then try to find a chord progression and melody that fits it well. If you don’t already know how to play chords on a guitar or keyboard, learn how — it’s not that hard.
I’ve always loved this quote from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov about chumros:
Don’t follow excessive stringencies in your practice of the Torah. “God does not rule over His creatures with tyranny” ( Avodah Zarah 3a) – “The Torah was not given to ministering angels” ( Berachot 25b) .
Our rabbis have taught that it is proper for each person to choose for himself one mitzvah to observe with particular care in all its fine details ( Shabbat 118b ). Yet even with your chosen mitzvah, you should not be excessively strict to the point of folly. Don’t let it make you depressed. Simply try to keep the mitzvah carefully in all its finer points, but without excessive punctiliousness.
As for the other mitzvot, simply follow the essential laws without adding extra stringencies. If only we could keep all the mitzvot of the Torah according to the simple interpretation of the law without seeking to go beyond it!
There is no need to look for extra stringencies: this is foolish and confusing. The essence of serving God is simplicity and sincerity. Pray much, study much Torah and carry out many good deeds without seeking out or inventing unnecessary restrictions. Simply follow the path of our forefathers. “The Torah was not given to ministering angels.”
There is nothing that you absolutely must do or else. If you can, you can. But if you cannot: “God exempts a person under duress” (Bava Kama 28b) .
Sichot Haran #235
Like a couple of people who’ve posted so far, I’m liberal on most domestic policy issues. I can’t vote for Obama in this election, though, because of Israel. Every time Jews want to build a new house in East Jerusalem, Obama condemns it! Ridiculously biased. As if it’s OK to tell Jews they can’t live in certain neighborhoods! Romney probably wouldn’t be much better — I think Bush was also pretty bad on Israel, even if seemed a little more sympathetic. Santorum was pretty good on Israel, though. I can’t stand Republican domestic policy, so I’m not going to vote at all. Hopefully one day the U.S. will stop telling Israel what to do.
Popa: You say you’ve read a lot of their rubbish on the Internet. Would you mind giving us some examples of these things, which in your understanding prove they are outside of rabbinic Judaism? If the mods won’t let you post links, then you could give us the names of the articles or sites.
This article (R’ Benjamin Hecht on Yated and YCT) does a good job of explaining why people should not just blithely accuse YCT of heresy — it takes advanced study to determine if whether such accusations are valid.
In response to the bold response (presumably by a mod) on my comment: It’s not conservative Judaism — YCT is LWMO, and it’s not your role to re-categorize them. And unless people have any substantive knowledge about what they’re supposedly doing wrong and why, they shouldn’t be bashing them.
This thread is disgusting and should be shut down. If YCT is problematic hashkafically or halachically, write an op-ed or academic article about respectfully analyzing their actual statements and actions (and if you don’t have the capacity to do that, what business do you have judging them?). Throwing out random obviously illegitimate “teshuvas” that even a Conservative rabbi wouldn’t make — that’s just offensive, bigoted and wrong. Derech eretz, people.
You want to write an op-ed for the site? Email it to the contact us. Meanwhile, what’s wrong with a few jokes about conservative “judaism”?
For men, charedi means an Orthodox Jew who wears a black hat or at least a white shirt with a black velvet kippah. For women, it means either being married to a man who fits that description, or for unmarried women, identifying with a charedi community (Yeshivish or Chassidic). Often, for women it also means having somewhat stricter tzniut standards (ie, always wearing tights, longer skirts, etc.)
For men, Modern Orthodox just means someone who belongs to an Orthodox shul, and identifies as Orthodox, but doesn’t wear a charedi uniform. (Not all who belong to Orthodox shuls are Orthodox.) For women, Modern Orthodox means being married to one of these men, or for single women, considering themselves a part of the MO community.
In Israel, if you belong to an Orthodox shul but don’t wear the charedi uniform then you’re dati leumi, national religious (unless you’re not very nationalistic, then you might use the term modern Orthodox).
There are many other dimensions of the charedi/MO definition (chumros, mysticism/rationalism, hashkafa related to israel, careers, education, science, da’as torah, feminism, etc.) but since the most visible thing is clothing (and which shul you belong to), that’s the main thing people will use to put you in a category. When you get beyond the clothing, it’s all mixed up and many people will look MO in one dimension and charedi in another.
Ms. Critique: I’ve read all their (Rav Arush’s and Brody’s) books, and I’ve read Rav Brody’s blog for years, and they’ve never said a negative word about the MO, or said anything about being charedi rather than MO. In fact, Rav Brody periodically features MO musicians or other people. When he toured the US recently, he even spoke to non-Jews and at non-Orthodox shuls (apparently got a heter from R’ Ovadia Yosef). Although their own community is charedi, they’ve made it clear what’s important is not how you dress or what Orthodox shul you go to.
Charedim are destined to be the vast majority of Orthodox Jews because of the birthrate, but that doesn’t mean MO is doomed. Also, what is charedi and MO will change with time. For example, there’s apparently a growing phenomenon of “post-charedim” or moderate charedim who may look charedi but don’t buy into all the beliefs and practices — daas torah, for example. And many MO are becoming more stringent without necessarily wearing a black hat.
According to his wikipedia entry Rabbi Sidon is a ger and the current Chief Rabbi of Prague and of the Czech Republic.
If that’s not a position of communal (non-committee) authority, what is? However, I don’t know of any shul rabbis who are converts. Maybe there are some? If a community did want a certain convert as a shul rabbi, maybe they could appoint two rabbis as shul rabbi (the other one not being a convert of course), so in effect it would not be a lone position of authority. I do think that converts are not supposed to sit on batei din for the purpose of finalizing a conversion (which makes sense). But that doesn’t mean a ger can’t be a shul rabbi, because conversions normally go through a well-known beit din (there’s a list now that is approved by the Rabbanut), not just any three rabbis thrown together.
Anxiety is an extremely common problem, and there are many ways to deal with it. Many books have been written for anxiety sufferers. Psychiatrists will give you meds for it, but I recommend against it if you can avoid it (since there are side effects and you can become dependent on them). Some recommendations:
1) Stop all caffeine (tea, coffee, soft drinks).
2) Avoid all illegal drugs like the plague (shouldn’t have to say that one, but it’s important because many of them cause severe and long-lasting anxiety.)
3) Get some exercise, either long brisk walks or aerobic exercise daily or several times a week.
4) Get enough sleep.
5) Work on your emuna/bitachon. Constantly remind yourself that everything is for the best and there’s no reason to worry. Read books on the subject (such as those by Rav Shalom Arush).
6) Meditate. This helps to calm and settle your mind. There are many kosher ways to meditate which you can find out about online. Set a timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes, remove everyday thoughts from your mind, and focus on a concept (like feeling love for Hashem, being in awe of Hashem’s greatness and goodness, yearning for Hashem, feeling His love, feeling thankful, etc.) Do this everyday and it can make a big impact on how you feel.
7) Do hitbodedus. Spend at least 15 minutes a day walking alone in nature with no cell phone, thanking Hashem, praying that your anxiety gets better and asking Hashem for guidance on this issue and anything else you or others may need.
8) Think of people you know who also suffer from anxiety or other problems (like depression or serious mental illness or chronic pain). Daven for them a few minutes every day. It is taught that if you pray for others first, your prayers for yourself are more likely to be answered.
9) Pray some tehillim each day. Say a brief prayer in your own words before and afterward, asking for improvement in your anxiety.
10) If you want to go to a doctor, consider going to an acupuncturist first, rather than a psychiatrist. I know someone whose anxiety was helped a ton through acupuncture.
Just some thoughts! Let us know if any of it helps.
Gerim can get semicha. There is a rule, however, against a ger having a position of communal authority (not sure of the origin though). I’m not sure, but the reason for this law may be that having a ger as a leader may make the community feel uneasy or suspicious, and the ger himself will notice and it will be an unpleasant experience (since gerim are more sensitive). However, I’m not sure how strictly this is applied in practice. For example, I think the Chief Rabbi of the Czech Republic is a ger.
My favorite is probably Yosef Karduner. He has a lot of videos online (though I’m not sure about a cappella). He is also heard pretty often on radio.breslev.co.il (an online radio station) and Shmais radio.
I’m against NK as much as anybody, but I’m not sure this is the worst thing they’ve done. I saw another Orthodox rabbi say the same phrase in videos, and he doesn’t seem heretical at all — just mainstream dati leumi/chardal. I think it was Rabbi Froman, the main rabbi behind settler peace movement Eretz Shalom. (They’re pro-settlement and against the two state solution, but they promote coexistence and harmony with the Arabs in the territories. It doesn’t sound realistic to an outsider but apparently a lot of the Palestinians get along with them fine and like their message.)
Are they from Israel or America? What shul or yeshiva are they associated with? There are many groups within Breslov — nanachs are just one of many. Just wondering — thanks in advance to anyone who can fill me (an out-of-towner) in.
I don’t think any gadol has ever accused Breslov of being kefira (unlike with Rav Shach and modern Lubavitch). The idea of a tzaddik (such as Rebbe Nachman) having extraordinary power is not kefira — the Zohar says that a tzadik is more powerful after death than during life. Some Breslov prayers say “I hereby attach myself to all the true tzaddikim of this generation and previous generations and particularly Rebbe Nachman ben Faygie.” This isn’t some kind of pseudo-Xian idea, but rather the idea (common to chassidic thought in general) that individuals should attach themselves spiritually and intellectually to the greatest tzaddikim (and one in particular who you have the closest affinity with) so that you can benefit from their greatness and best achieve your tikkun in this world. Of course, it’s possible that some individual chassidim may have over-simplified views of this that are hashkafically questionable. Regardless, people should be very careful about labeling something as kefira unless they have done an in-depth study of the theological issues involved and the views of gedolim and other Torah scholars.
Some great Litvish/Yeshivish rabbis who have spoken highly of Breslov chassidus:
*Rabbi Elya Lopian on Rebbe Nachman’s books: “These are real books of mussar.”
*Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Mir: “Through (learning) Likutey Moharan, the mind is opened.” He also said “We work on trying to solve problems (in scripture) and they (Breslover Chassidim) work constantly on ‘fear Hashem and love Him all your days.'”
*The Chofetz Chaim said: “If you wish to draw close to Chassidism, draw close to Breslov. They keep and follow the Shulchan Aruch.”
*Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler quotes from Rebbe Nachman in his books. In a letter to his children, he encouraged them to learn Breslov works in order to merit fear of Heaven.
*Rav Ben Tzion Apter said that here and there the Chazon Ish would speak to him about the strenght and greatness of Rebbe Nachman and each time would say “tell over a teaching of the Rebbe.”
LovebeingJewish–see the chapter on “being a man” in Garden of Peace by Rav Shalom Arush. He specifically deals with what you’re saying. What he’s saying would have never occurred to me on my own. But I think there’s a ton of wisdom in that book and every married man should read it.
My wife is extremely tired during pregnancy and takes long naps every day. So I do much of the cooking and more of the childcare when she’s pregnant, at least during the first half of the pregnancy.
Where do the Breslov chassidim hand this stuff out? Just wondering. I study Breslov chassidut (not na-nach stuff though) but don’t live in an area with a lot of chassidim.
Wondering: good question! Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, and modern Breslovers, teach that everyone should pray at least an hour a day of personal prayers in his/her own language, including thanking Hashem, examining one’s deeds and doing teshuvah for them, and asking Hashem for whatever we need physically or spiritually. Rav Shalom Arush, in his book In Forest Fields (which I highly recommend), says that one should devote half of one’s personal prayers (hitbodedut) each day to the one big thing that you need (in his examples, often this is overcoming a particular negative character trait or tendency to sin in a certain way). If the thing that is concerning you most is the refua for this person, perhaps you could devote a fixed amount of time each day, perhaps at least 30 minutes per Rav Arush’s teaching. Rav Arush also discusses in that book the concept of a six-hour prayer session when a major salvation is needed. Rav Moshe Erez Doron has also written quite a bit about personal prayer that is worth reading. For example, in Make Every Word Count he addresses the question of whether Hashem can get “bored” with our “repetitive prayers.” The answer: no! Rav Arush also addresses similar questions.
People see Breslov practices and advice and think they’re only for the Breslovers, but the truth is many non-Chassidic rabbis throughout the ages have had similar advice, to spend much time in personal prayer. And more recent non-Chassidic rabbis have also learned from Rebbe Nachman’s teachings. For example, Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler encouraged his children to read Rebbe Nachman’s works, and the Baba Sali and at least some of his sons learned Breslov works and gave them as gifts to their children.
Indeed, very beautiful and well-done! Silent One: not sure if you’ll notice it, but I commented on your post from six months ago.November 7, 2011 2:45 am at 2:45 am in reply to: Using "self-composed" prayers for people facing serious tzuros #824337
Silent One: I think what you’re doing is very good, and there’s nothing wrong with it. That said, you’ll have some trouble convincing people (for one thing, I’m afraid many people don’t pray much outside of the required prayers!).
Reb Noson of Breslov, the main talmid of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, wrote Likutei Tefilot, a book of prayers he composed to put Rebbe Nachman’s teachings into the form of prayers (most of which has been translated). I must say it it a powerful work, and I feel very aroused spiritually by davening from it. He received much opposition to the work in his time, but it makes sense that people compose new prayers over time.
It is not the case that (as one commenter suggested) there is the daily prayer service instituted 2000 years ago, and then there is personal prayer in one’s own words, and nothing else. Davening with Likutei Tefilot, for example, enriches and supplements my own hitbodedut. Also, women in Eastern Europe a couple hundred years ago commonly recited special prayers in Yiddish for all kinds of things, from good children to more kabbalistic kinds of things.
If you come up with your own prayers and you like them and you get positive feedback from rabbis, great — then publish them on your webpage and try to convince people to use your prayers. Or, alternatively, you could ask people who don’t feel comfortable with your prayers to at least spend a couple minutes of spontaneous personal prayer. I believe you are right that if more people prayed for shidduchim or children, then it would happen!
The Chazon Ish spoke very positively about the importance of personal prayers outside of the required ones, as did many others such as the Chafetz Chaim, so I’m not surprised the Chazon Ish might have explicitly approved drafting new prayers. He himself drafted some new prayers, I believe, so why not other people too?