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Out Of The Mailbag – To YW Editor (My Trip To Boro Park)

yw logo6.jpgDear Editor;

I consider myself an orthodox Jew and proudly wear my yarmulke at all times. Recently I found myself with my fiancé in Boro Park for a few hours of shopping. I want to write about something that really troubled me. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt at all times so please if this letter seems to shout out at you, take it as constructive criticism. No one is perfect and we all have what to work on.

Our first stop was a shoe store on 13th ave. My fiancé found a shoe she seemed to like and was admiring it in her hands. A very rude lady just grabbed it out of her hands without so much as a word and asked the saleslady “how much is this one”. The rudeness completely shocked me, there was no apologies, no excuse me’s. The saleslady did not even so much as twitch.

On my way out, I held the door open for a few people who did not even so much as glance at me.

We left the store and headed down the block.

Next stop was a candy store. We picked out some “junk food” and went in line. Three people attempted to just walk in front of us on line. Again, no apologies, just a look of “I am better”.

Time for lunch, went across the street to order some pizza. The rudeness was everywhere. From trying to order a slice to the dead stares.

On our way to our car, we stood by the corner waiting for the light to change. A police officer was next to us and watched as some kids dangerously ran across the road. The officer saw my expression of horror and said “no one here listens or has any respect for the law, there is nothing I can do”. I apologized out of pure embarrassment.

To our car we went and found that someone had selfishly decided to double park their car and block us in for 25 minutes. Again, no apology or excuse. Just a dead stare and away he went.

My question for the readers of Yeshiva World, is what can we do to teach the next generation to have some manners and Ahavas Yisrael. A Jew – no matter what he looks like is still a member of our great nation and should be treated as a brother or sister.

Please teach your family about having some respect for the law as well. “Dinah D’ Malchuta Dina”. We have allot to be grateful for in this country and the least we can do is show our gratitude by respecting the laws which have been put into place for our safety.

David F.

179 Responses

  1. Absolutely no excuse! I am ashamed that my fellow Jews behave like this towards other Jews. Unfortunately, I have become accumstomed to this type of behavior.

  2. I grew up in B.P and now live out of town. I agree that there is a lack of consideration, but I dont think its B.P more than any other NY frum community and to take it a step further, any (non frum) NY community(in a smaller dose). You obviously aint from da hood.

    I love to visit NY just because of the reasons you wrote -:) Just make sure that you ready to deal with it…

  3. Its a disgrace how it has become the norm. I dont live in the Tri-State area but every time I go into Brooklyn of Borough Park, it seems like I see the same thing. The cray part of it is that if you complain or you act like a Mentch, then you are the minority. What a disgrace.

  4. Dear David there is a famous saying “Dont judge Judiasam by Jews” Meaning no one is perfect ,maybe you should be a litle more optimistic.2ND Maybe that was just another test from g-d I wish you much luck


  5. Dear David F.
    I thought i was the only one who noticed.
    Unfortunately people think the saying of “bishvili nivra Haolam” means only for them but they fail to realize that applies to everyone. The world is meant to be shared by all. Unfortunately not everyone realizes that. Geneivas Zman is not something someone can ever pay back. May everyone except your mussar and make the world (especially the frum area)
    a better place to live in.
    Mazel Tov & may you build a Bais Neeman Beyisrael!!

  6. Of course its wrong, but compare it to any other religion we are the most respectful and moral people. 2 “Dont just talk your hole life do somthing”


  7. I dont know what any of you are talking about. I cant testify about NY, because i do not live there. But Meah Shearim and Geula, Bnei Brak… are nothing like that you just said. This is all lies and motzei shem ra. LIES! LIES! LIES!

  8. It’s unfortunate, but this has become the norm in a place like Boro Park. I am not from B.P., but have been there many times and I’m just unfortunately used to this “behaviour”. It’s HORRIBLE!!! I hate going to B.P. for that reason. David, I’m imbarrased to say this- but in a place like Boro Park-the behavior just ‘aint gonna’ change!!!

  9. Originally from Indiana, I have lived in Boro Park for some 30 years; my wife, from the LA area, since we were married 21 year ago. We have become inured to this behavior. We have NEVER become accustomed to it. I have personally filed it under “uncurable, endurable.”

  10. My suspicion, similar to Comment #2, is that this is the NY city culture unfortunately. As Bnai Torah we need to fight it and conquer it, but this is how I understand the beast. We might be in Galus, but don’t let Galus be in us!

    However, if this is not the behavior you find in NY city beyond the borders of the Frum neighborhood, then the tragedy here is far worse.

    In either case we need to cry, to focus on these matters as a community, and take the practical steps to change.

  11. Why am I not suprised??
    Memaila if no one answers me when I greet them by saying Gut Shabbos- they look at me as if I just got here from Mars- but basic Mentchlichkeit??

  12. The author’s comments are of course right on target, except that they are understated. They are the basis for my pseudonym. I could add many of my own stories, but why bother. However, the one area in which the author does not even scratch the surface is that of dishonesty and lawlessness. As a friend of mine once joked, just as it is permissible to be ‘off by one’ in gematria, so too it might be more appropriate to refer to the place as ‘Crook’lyn.

  13. It is Loshon Hara to malign a Jewish Community. The fact that you feel it is true does not take away from the Loshon Hora aspect. I am suprised that the editor allowed this article and the associated comments. If you ask any Rov familiar with Hilchos Loshon Hara, he will confirm that this is the Halacha.

  14. There is a report out on another blog that discusses the anti semitic remarks by a TV reporter in Sacramento. Whilst I agree wholeheartedly with David’s comments, & apologise on behalf of my fellow Yidden, I am concerned that instead of focusing on a virulent & public enemy, the anti-semite, the arguments over this & similar issues are taking up so much time & energy.

    All we need to do is just be more mentschlech towards each other. We are not #1. If we treat each other well we can show Achdus in fighting those who still seek to destroy us.

    I’m so tired of these topics. We KNOW we’re a rude bunch. Let’s change & confront our real problems.

  15. its just the same in flatbush. and no-you will not find the rudeness in israel or in any other jewish community. there is something that the people think, they gotto do something and will do anything asap to get it done-AT THE COST OF OTHERS. like grabbing a parking spot although it is clear someone was waiting for it. and then theyll cry to the police to forgo the ticket of double parking and scream. it is not everyone but some people need serious help in learning respect to others arounf them. open up your mouth to these people and ask them what they think when they do rude actions!!!!!!!

  16. #9 Tatti:
    You should go out of your house/apt sometimes and tell me that people living in Geula, Meah Shearim etc have bassic manners….

    It is not loshon horo, some people love it and feel like its holy to live in an oblivious world, but when you push someone, cut in front of a line, dont say please/thank you/you welcome or have terrible B.O it offends others…

    Then again, to the writer of the letter, I dont think that its a B.P thing, as much as it is a NY thing.

    Yochi, (living out of NY for 10 years, but a New Yorker for life!!)

  17. The worst thing about living in Boro Park is…
    Those of you who went to Camp Agudah will know what what I mean, is having the worst team on neighborhood day -:)

  18. The beautiful part of Brooklyn is that it is so full of Jews that every type of chesed imaginable is accomplished here. The ugly part of Brooklyn is that it it is so crowded that every form of selfish aggression is accomplished here.

    David, the people you encountered weren’t simply rude, they were thieves. “Borrowing” the shoe, cutting the line and the tour de force- double parking is geneivas zman plain and simple. Forget about aggressive behavior, it is an isur d’oraisa.

    For some, it is such a part of life that people will cut you in line explaining that they are double-parked. In other words, its not bad enough that they created an illegal and dangerous situation-now you must accomodate it.

    I went to parent-teacher conference recently and encountered plenty of women who butted ahead of others and held places in three lines-because their time is apparently more precious than mine.

    Your problem has a very simple solution. Fix the parents’ behavior and the problem will disappear

  19. I fully agree with you!! I hold open the doors for poeple, help them with their packages, etc. and most of the time I don’t get a thank you. Lately I started saying: “YOUR WELCOME” and they just stare at me as if I’m off the moon!!
    (and I’m living in Boro Park all my life!!)

  20. Any wonder we’re still in galus? Because “everyone’s like that” and “everyone does it” only makes it worse! As a yeshivish person from Lakewood, I get similar treatment when I go in to BP, so at least they don’t discriminate.

  21. #20. One can not cut in line when there are NO lines. Lines dont fom here in Israel like you are at the MVA in the states! That is just the way it is! As far as not saying please and thank you, the answer to that is because Jews look at one another like family. Do you say please and thank you to your brother and sister for everything little thing? Lets face it, this has nothing to do with morals, it is just a socialogical thing. As far as Crooklyn (#16) Besides being loshon hara/ motzei shem ra, it is just stupid. Of course there are crooks everywhere. More than any other place? No. Much less? Yes. Go move to Harlem or Jamaica. See what comes of you. We Jews are the cream of the crop. Some of us more than others…

  22. This is very sad. Whenever I came to B.P I saw this behavior you are talking about and it really bothers me. When I was about 15 I experienced my first yom tov in B.P. It was Simchas Torah, I was walking with my friend and noticed that when greeting others with a “good yom tov” like I do where I live I was either ignored or the person would stop and ask me “do I know you from somewhere”? I was very shocked! That’s when I heard this joke which has a strong message. A fellow was walking in B.P on shabbos and greeted someone with a “gut shabbos”, the person asked him “do I know you from somewhere”? and he answered him back “if I am not mistaken, I was standing next to you in Har Sini”!!!

    Baruch Hashem there is so much chesed in our communities but chesed is not only helping and caring for a fellow jew who is r”l sick or is going through hard times, we got to always be nice and kind to each other. We are all the children of the רבש”ע. If want the רבש”ע to be kind to us then its a good idea to treat all of his children nicely, even the ones that look “weird”!!

  23. To all of you who maintain it is not a Boro Park thing but rather a NY thing- I have been to many corporate affairs in NYC- and everyone lines up very nicely at a buffet and waits their turn patiently- and they are mostly New Yorkers- the same is true at out of town simchas- having recently attended an afair in a Modox community far from NY- I was warned not to push and cut the lines by my relatives-
    A real issue of Chilul Hashem is involved when we show ourselves as lacking basic mentchlichkeit!

  24. Duvid,

    You bring up some excellent points. I never understood why when traveling to communities that are supposed to be more ehrlich the people act like a bunch of closed off, abnoxious punks. They do not show much respect for fellow yidden. This is a great Busha to these frum communities. If you would travel to “modern” communities such as teaneck, the people are more polite and have more derech eretz for everyone.

    Kol Tuv and we should make an effort to treat all Jews and also non Jews with the respect they deserve.

  25. Whats the problem.

    1. She grabs the shoe. You, grab it back. Your fiance will respect you.

    2. Somebody shoves your lady. Accidentily bump into him when he is juggling the big diet cherry coke.

    3. Blocked you in. Take a key to it. Or if you want to be nice just let the air out.

    But seriously in brooklyn people are unfortunitly used to it.

  26. HaKadosh Boruch Hu made me see the answer before I saw the post. Once a week I give a shiur in NYC. We are not talking frummies here. One girl walked in and started complaining how she cannot stand Manhattan anymore. She basically gave a detailed run-down of a day she had going to Bloomingdales, which sounds like the description above, just worse. She says she had it when she went out and was wacked by someone’s umbrella. Thinking to change the world, she tapped on the offenders shoulder and said, “you just whopped me with your umbrella — I think you should apologize.” and the reply of the offender was, “everybody wacks me with their umbrellas so its no big deal that I did that to you.” So, folks, although this gent who wrote this wants to portray the rudeness as a frum issue, it is not so. It is a disorder endemic to the NYC metro area. Not excusable. But not a Jewish thing. Just a regular NY experience.

  27. This post contains nothing except loshon hora.

    In the comments, more communities are maligned.

    It may be true, it may not be, but loshon hora it is. There is no excuse.

    How do you ask mechilah for saying loshon hora on communities that have hundred of thousand of members?

  28. The most tried and effective way to cure this problem (and get into the next Artscroll book) is to say the following:

    “Wow! You know I was just getting religious, attending synagogue more and about to switch my children to a Jewish school out in Tennessee where I live. I came to Boro Park to buy some kosher food, find modest clothing and see what religious people are all about. This is not for me”.

  29. Unfortunately this is what you get in crowded cities. I don’t think it has to do with the fact that it is Boro Park per se. In fact, in Manhattan it’s worse! This aint no hicktown.

  30. david f. come to lakewood to see how beni torah act . they act to you or anyone else the same way no matter if ur a Ben Torah or a Baal Tsuvah bec. a ben torah understands that ur also jew even if maby you don’t look or act the same. I grew up in boro park & now I live in lakewood . I or anyone liveing in lakewood whould never want to live in b”p besides the hi rent etc. its also how the people act there. I think its a big chilal hashem . good luck 2 you ! you will love lakewood u will see the diff. its like a diff. world here ….

  31. To those who say this is Lashon Hara and shouldn’t be discussed –

    If the purpose here is to diagnose the problem and make the efforts to force a change (as reflected by most of the comments) isn’t that a permitted form of Lashon Hara? Do you remember the practical improvements that resulted from the YW post about teens in Woodbourne?

  32. An Orthodox Jew does not eat anything before checking IN ADVANCE whether it is kosher. Hopefully, everyone agrees.

    The same way, a truly Orthodox Jew does not say anything before checking IN ADVANCE whether it is permissible, according to the laws of Shemiras HaLoshon. Otherwise, it is just as treif (and worse) as a cheeseburger.

    Sadly, many comments here did not measure what they say before saying it.

    Would the most hostile posters in this thread be so kind as to actually explain why this is “not loshon horo” (as Yochi #20 claims without proving it)? Sefer Chofetz Chaim lists specific conditions that must be met before such information is allowed to be said. By the way, there are seven of them?

    Can anyone answer this question? Politely and to the point?

    That’s if we were to assume that this information is true. Somehow, my impression from living in Boro Park for many years is very different from what the letter author reports.

  33. The story about the shoe store must have been a misunderstanding, sounds crazy! However the other issues I believe comes from a deep feeling of Ahavas Yisroel. When ever yidden get together (chasuna, a rest stop on the way back from the mountains) there is a real feeling of connection. We’ll Daven, shmooze together, even though we don’t know each other. Perhaps this connection takes a way a bit from the achrayos we have to be more sensitive. Everyone double parks in Boro Park, but the same people wouldn’t do it in Manhattan because we don’t feel the connection there. Never the less we all have to learn musser to correct this problem. One of the reasons why Reb Yisroel started the musser movement was be cause Reb Yisroel Salanter was walkng in the street on erev Yom Kipper and he asked someone for the time. The person didn’t even hear Reb Yisroel because he was so en rapped in his Yom Kipper preparations, yet Reb Yisroel felt that it was still not proper. We have to learn musser every single day!!

  34. #32 – There is a lot of Lashon hara here. But its not All lason hara (read my previous comment). I think enough was said about the problems. The question is how do we change them?!

  35. #37 – if i remember correctly, there are seven conditions: has to be letoeles have to have seen it yourself and not heard it from someone else can not exaggerate
    4.there are no other ways to have the issue corrected’re not saying it in order to have someone hate that person (or those ppl)
    6.the consequences resulting your saying it will not be worse than if that person would’ve heard it from a bais din

    sorry i can not remember #7 but i’m almost positive there is one….
    please feel free anyone to correct me if i made a mistake.
    Thank you!

  36. #32: Unfortunately shouting loshon hara has become now become the first line of defense for every wrongdoer and scoundrel. There is no more clever way to defeat constructive criticism and communal self-examination — which will only take place, if at all, when enough people express how fed up they are with the status quo — than to turn the tables on those who seek positive change by accusing them of loshon hara. This is wrongheaded and despicable. The author of this article has rendered a valuable service, as have those who have registered their agreement, and all of this is very much l’toeles.

    Perhaps you should give some thought to how many potential baalei tshuva are turned off by the conduct of the conduct described above, and worse.

  37. You want to fix th problem? Here’s how:

    1) Remember and repeat “Eilu VoEilu Divrei Elokim Chayim” Jews are your brothers and sisters. all of them. treat them that way.
    2) Live your life as if your children were watching you every minute. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want them t emulate.
    3) Remeber that Hakodosh boruch hu chose YOU to be an Ohr LaGoyim. You have the responsibility as a Jew to model behaviour that the Umos Haolom will WANT to emulate.
    4) Learn something from your neighbors. I know many non Jews who are exemplars of politeness goodwill,and consideration. Ask them for advice, or if that is too embarrassing, watch and learn. Don’t be so arrogant that you would believe that you as a frum Jew have nothing to learn from them.
    5) SHmiras Haloshon – it goes without saying that we must guard ourselves agaiinst nivul peh, rechilus, loshon Horah, and the like. But Rudeness is also a product of your brain and your lips. The same mouth utters tfilos three times a day. Don’t ruin the klei kodosh you use for tfiloh, limud Torah, and chesed with the sewage that comes out of some people’s mouths, or the sneers, or the tone of Gaivoh and superiority. Remember ‘Vhaish Moshe Anav meod mikol Adam”

  38. Move to Washington Heights. The Yidden there know what Torah Im Derech Eretz is about. No I don’t live there, but I admire the Chinuch of
    the families.

  39. Lashon Hara?
    This is a public chilul Hashem!
    It’s a disgrace for anyone to act this way, let alone people who are supposed to be a “light unto the nations”. Should we just ignore this, say it’s Lashon Hara, let it fester and continue this chilul Hashem, or should we address the issue?

  40. Hey I live in bp and love it I think your whole story is just made up, I never had so many rude things happen to me in one day back to back to back. So dont make up stories just to bash a niehgborhood.

  41. This is a nutural result of overcrowding. In out-of-town communities, behavior is much better.

    Author Desmond Morris described this phenomenon in his book The Human Zoo:

    Book Description
    How does city life change the way we act? What accounts for the increasing prevalence of violence and anxiety in our world? In this new edition of his controversial 1969 bestseller, The Human Zoo, renowned zoologist Desmond Morris argues that many of the social instabilities we face are largely a product of the artificial, impersonal confines of our urban surroundings. Indeed, our behavior often startlingly resembles that of captive animals, and our developed and urbane environment seems not so much a concrete jungle as it does a human zoo. Animals do not normally exhibit stress, random violence, and erratic behavioruntil they are confined. Similarly, the human propensity toward antisocial and sociopathic behavior is intensified in todays cities. The Human Zoo sounds an urgent warning and provides startling insight into our increasingly complex lives.

  42. Dear David F.
    I must disagree with you, I find that people in Boro Park are kind, thoughtful, polite and courteous. Frankly I think you have a bone to pick with Boro Parkers, and I think you are grossly misstaing the truth.

  43. David F
    Yes we got a problem but ..
    did you see Hatzolah rushing to a call at 2am or missaskim bikur cholim chesed shel emes ETC ??
    yes we are a tough natoin but we are also an unbelivable one too !!!!

  44. #42. These are the seven conditions:

    1. Make sure all of the information is reliable; you know it first-hand or verified it
    2. Don’t jump to conclusions about what happened and who is right, before you know all the details the context and the relevant halochos
    3. Do not exaggerate (including do not leave out mitigating factors)
    4. Make sure you are saying this for a LEGITIMATE (Torah-recognized) constructive purpose (sounding off in public to express your emotions is not included), and that the constructive purpose can indeed be achieved this way
    5. Choose another way to achieve your constructive purpose if there is one
    6. Approach the guilty party first: he may have an explanation (Yosef’s brothers) or you may be able to convince him to correct the situation
    7. Make sure you are not causing excessive damage, i.e. more than the beis din would pasken (othewise, you may create a bigger problem than the one you tried to fix)

  45. to #47 (lovebp)
    i agree with you..
    i had my doubts about this story being true…looks like i’m not the only one..
    to me it looks like this guy has an agenda but i’m having a hard time figuring it what it is……

    BTW I live in bp

    Kol tuv

  46. Hey Yochi ( #3)
    10 times worse ?
    Have you ever tried to get on to a bus in those areas you metioned ?
    It a HUNDRED times worse ! the pushing and cutting in line. Say something to the people doing it is not worth the effort- because they dress the part, and they look the part.


  47. #42: We are not screaming “Loshon Hora”; we invited everyone to explain why what you said is not Loshon Hora. You displayed the typical loshon hora pattern:

    1. Say whatever you want to say and dress it in self-righteous clothes
    2. Don’t bother to check whether it is loshon hora and how to best say it
    3. If anyone asks you to explain why it is not loshon hora, avoid answering
    4. Attack them instead

    #45, You are trying to equate rejecting Loshon Hora with not doing anything about the problem. These are not the same. There are ways to work on the problem without saying Loshon Hora things and creating even more Chillul Hashem in the process. And saying negative things may be justified, but only after measuring them against the halocha, NOT BEFORE.

    Publically disregarding a major area of halocha (that includes violating 31 mitzvos, as listed in Sefer Chofetz Chaim) is also Chillul HaShem.

  48. LoveBP – My wife and I both grew up in BP. Our parents still live there. The first Shabbos I moved away (22 years ago) I was walking in my new neighborhood to shul. When the first person walking to shul told me “Good Shabbos”, my son asked me “Ta, you know that man?”
    When I sent my teenage daughter into a bakery in BP one Erev Shabbos, she came out and asked me if Dinei Negiah don’t apply when “chapping” challahs from someone’s hand. She said she felt like she was on a subway being pushed around, BY MEN WITH LONG BEARDS AND PEYOS.

  49. I will never forget an experience I had in a restaraunt in BP .
    I approached a waiter and asked, ‘ can I have some more mustard PLEASE?’ He gave me this look of shock horror and replied, ‘ did you say PLEASE????’ You aint from this neck of the woods, thats for sure!

  50. 47 uve either grown too used to it, are very lucky, or are just plain delusional. People park me in all the time. People cut in front of me all the time. People grab things from me in clothing stores, amazing savings, etc all the time. I hold open doors for other mothers w/ strollers and just get stared at. I a friend recommended this fun game: “test” ppl on Shabbos, walk down a street in Flatbush, smile, and LOOK at ppl and say “good shabbos” to every person you pass, and only about 50-60% will give you any sort of response (grunts included in the positive response side) E/t the author says is completely believable.

  51. I wonder who is at fault for this arrogance… hmmmm. Could it be our wonderful Yeshiva`s??? When was the last time one of our so called “leaders” spoke out about this??? Another reason why my Family will look for a house away from this corrupt place.

  52. thinkfirst, thank you for the more accurate conditons. let’s hope that now that there are posted, ppl will take them into account before just posting whatever goes through their mind.

  53. to #55
    your comments are ‘shtusim’.

    to #57
    yes people park others in..people cut in front of the line…people grab things out of the hands of other peole ALL THE TIME (this one i havn’t witnesed yet even though i’ve been living in bp for about 55 years now)

    BUT david said that ALL OF THESE THINGS happened to him in ONE DAY.
    THAT is stretching it a bit.

  54. 55 & 57 u guys r nutz i walk n drive in flatbush and c the same double parked cars as if noone cares there, its just an overcrowded nieghborhood with no room, i dont like it either but ya gotta realize this is the city were in dont tell me flatbush is different, same thing n about the good shabbos thing I say and get good shabboses in return without stares and frowns so guys just pipe down n dont just look to bash

  55. DEAR Outraged:

    Your anger and resentment against frum people comes through very clearly. I wonder why you feel this way. It’s not normal.

  56. sorry kids, I lived in NY for about a dozen years and in other cities around the world and what the original poster described, much as it breaks my heart to say this, is accurate

    I used to admire folks who dressed a certain way and who eschewed the tarfus of modern culture, and my world-class favorite place for breakfast is still in BP, but the utter rudeness and arrogance I’ve seen displayed there makes me want to run away

    I love BP and its authenticity; I love being on a street with fellow Jews, davening with them, eating with them, supporting their businesses –

    but anyone who says that the original poster is spinning yarns is simply walking the streets with eyes tightly shut

  57. Unfortunately, not all everyone is saying is false. We can argue to the hilt whether it is loshon hara or not, but the trut remains. I can not agree that the cause is overcrowding because as a G-d fearing people, we should be above that.

    I lived in Boro Park and my life was saved by Hatzolah early one morning when I had a massive heart attack. However, on more than one occasion, I’ve seen ambulances unable to move through the streets because of yidden (and I know from the cars and the stickers they were yidden) who would not allow them through.

    I thank Hashem daily that my heart attack happened at 5:30 in the morning because I have no doubt my ambulance would have met the same fate had it been later.

    No, Boro Park is no different than Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx or any other borough/neighborhood in New York. However, we as Jews should be different. The chillul Hashem is that we aren’t.

  58. This may not be the longest thread ever, but I think it’s the quickest-growing thread YW has ever seen

    Everyone seemingly has strong feelings about the BP community – good or bad

    Bottom line: If you can handle it, feel free to settle there! And if ya can’t, DON’T MOVE THERE… cuz it ain’t changing, not in this millenium
    (Apologies to all those who insist that this is NOT lashon hara because it’s for a constructive purpose – yeah, right)

  59. please stop concerning yourself so much about the loshon hora and focus on the reason for it. usually the people that look to excuse it add in how wonderful that there is always a minyon, cholov yisroel etc. it is time to demand decency bain adam lchaveiro and stop excusing this nonsensical behavior with “look at the goyim” as an answer because it is not an answer

  60. It is all how you want to view and observe situations.

    I have seen people drop quarters in meters on 13th ave before the cops issue tickets to strangers cars they have never met. Can you tell me another neighborhood that does that?

    Have you ever gotten pickpocketed by another Yid on 13th ave?

    If for whatever reason you are looking for the bad you will find it everywhere and with any human being even the most righteous.

  61. David F:
    Kudos to you for writing this letter and Kudos to Yeshiva World for publishing it.

    Sfox you are totally wrong about David’s letter and about hilchos loshon hora. NO! This is NOT loshon hora #17 (Ask your Rav)

    David was not maligning a community; he was crying out to us–all of our tiereh yiddelech— to remember one of the most important precepts in yiddishkeit—MENTCHLICHKEIT.

    Rebono Shel Olam what has become of us?

    Should David have written the letter YES!
    #17 Tocheiach es amee’secha IS A MITZVA IN THE TORAH.

    This letter was the best form of Tochacha:
    If one person changed because of the letter; it was well worth it.

    Once again thank you David and YW.

  62. one must look at these things in the proper perspective, true there is a problem.REASON: jewish people have a lot more obligations then gentiles therefore we have a lot more things to focus on improving,such as learning, halachos, prayer, ect. that is why we are “spread thin” when it comes to middos and dont give it the focus it deserves. this is not a justification for anything improper middos wise, but at least understand the root cause does not come from being a bad person.

  63. What you say is obvious to any “out of towner” who has ever been in Boro Park or, to a lesser extent, Flatbush. Grabbing the shoe from you fiance’s hand is a new one on me, but eminently believable. I have rationalized it as a product of centuries of distrust for the goverment which has extended itself to anyone they don’t know. Most do not even say “Good Shabbos” if they don’t know you. My only recommendation is.. do not judge Jews in general by Boro Parkers. Most are wonderful people.

  64. Doesnt the chofetz chaim him slef many times through out sefer cofetz chaim say “many yidden are doing a certain averias for example…” and then he goes on to teach us what not to do. For example in the end of sefer CC he says here are some examples that yidden are over every day in business… NOW did the chofetz chaim say lashon hara??? of course not! by saying yidden in general to bring out a point can help the klal be more carful. (plese use saychel next time when saying something is lashon hara dont just say it with out know what is really lashon hara) Thanks Yeshiva world for printing such a letter.

  65. OK, I can top your little stories about rude behavior on the part of our people in frum neighborhoods. My mother, a senior citizen, was about to get beat out of a parking spot in front of a store in a frum neighborhood by an “externally frum” Jew, if you know what I mean. It was a busy Friday afternoon. She was backing in, parallel parking, and the guy fronted in from behind her. When she got out of the car to insist that the spot was hers, the guy told her, “old woman, you had your turn. It’s my time now”. My strong little mother didn’t back down, and he pulled away, grudgingly. My only hope is that he had a car full of kids with him to see his despicable behavior, since they had just learned a clear lesson on how their father thinks an elderly person should be treated. May Hashem grants him arichas yamim so that they can treat him in kind.

  66. Don’t get us wrong, David – we all feel very bad about the series of unfortunate events you experienced…

    And although I previously agreed with those who maintain that this is lashon hara, #72 (leonard613) – I think you are right. This should be taken as brotherly rebuke for our BP friends and something to for us all to think about.

  67. Deepthinker:

    You have it all wrong.Yes Im angry about certain things that go on in our communities. You know why? Because I care how we as a whole represent G-d. All too often I can be driving or walking the streets of Brooklyn with a non-Jewish client and be in total embarrasment as we pass by rude drivers etc… And I point out people like the Rosh Yeshivas because THAT IS THEOR JOB. Leaders are suppose to lead. Not sit back and do nothing.

    Again, I have not hate within me. Only caring. Do I go overboard sometimes.. maybe… but at least I try to make a difference.

  68. englishteacher #70
    You say “please stop concerning yourself so much about the loshon hora and focus on the reason for it.”
    NO! We will not agree to disregard a major area of halocha. Yours are not new ideas; even befpore you some people said to stop keeping kashrus and just “focus on the reasons for it”, to stop keeping Shabbos and “focus on the reasons”, etc.

    Leonard613 #72
    You have it backwards. When a person eats a cheeseburger, should he ask someone else to prove him it’s not kosher?? Shouldn’t he himself check whether the food is kosher BEFORE eating it??
    The same way, it is the responsibility of the speaker to check whether it’s Loshon Hora. Did YOU ask YOUR rav? Just claiming “NO! This is NOT loshon hora” is not a proof. Please see #37 and 51. It’s basic halocha, not rocket science.
    What David F. and Co. did is not tochocha; there is nothing frum about their words. Please learn the halochos first before you call on these concepts. Please substantiate your words and don’t avoid giving specific answers to our specific halachic questions.

  69. Dear David F;
    The syndrome you witnessed is “big city syndrome”. Nothing to do with Jewishness. Try any other highly congested neigborhood (and record all the swearing).

    Try to spend a shabbos with these *same* bp people in a resort or a villiage and you will be amazed. Actually, why not spend a Shabbos in Boro Park? Anyone out there ready to invite David F for a Shabbos in bp? (I have three kids per tiny room, so its a bit tough to invite guest right now.)

    Also Dear F; I wish you many children and when you will have them, you will appreciate a mother or father of 8+ kids doing rush shopping. (On a nerve wrecking schedule.)

    And chas vesholom had you or fiance required first aid on 13th ave, you would have been taken care of by chassideshe bp guys, with tender loving care, within moments.

    Also, had you been hungry and short of money, you could have stopped by the “Shomer Shabbos” shul on 13th, and fill your tummy for free. [If chas vesholom short of cash,] You might have also stopped by in the *free* Masiba restaurant and served a complete meal for both of you without any questions asked. (Maybe the only question might of been if you would like a free pair of shoes and a new coat, which is available by this and that gemach. (Half the shoppers on the avenue are volunteering their time to help others, with these purchases, one way or other.) )

    Oh, and tell that cop, to try do the beat in The Bronx or Harlem. (We in bp get the largest share of tickets than any place in NYC.)

    To the editor: Although I have learned portions of Shmiras Haloshon, I don’t see anything wrong with posting this. It enables us to set the record straight and hopefully put a fellow yid in the right frame of mind.

    Editors Response: Although you have learned Shmiras Halashon, your comment needed serious editing. You know which parts too. 🙂

  70. ok i saw all the comments gants gut evrybody on his level but first to you david klall yisroal is a am keshai oref this is what thay are called
    (2) evry coin has 2 sides look at the good and evry body has malos and chasrones but when you take klall yisroel as a hole what a nice nation
    but waht i do agree is that why is it that some
    times you could see that a chasidsha looks at a person with out a beard as if he is from a nother planet if thay come in shul to daven mincha thay look at him how does he know to daven and thae same thing is vise verse that this madern or llitfish guy looks at a chasidisha person that alll these peapole now is fight or other things that i wont write on y.w lets be united after all we all want mishiach should come and he will come to evry one bekorov mamesh amen.

  71. I live in Boro Park… In a house that you prbably drive by and drool at. But Like I said… I am leaving

    You should probably stay. With that kind of attitude you’d be out of place in most other places.

  72. While the Chillul Hashem caused by the actions of some people certainly is terrible, there is so much Kiddush Hashem in BP that should not be overlooked.

    David – go into Shomer Shabbos Shul. You’ll see rides at all hours of the day & night to anywhere in the world. In the basement there’s coffee, cake, etc. for all.

    Then, check out the hundreds of chessed mosdos throughout NY. There are too many to list.

    There is no excuse for the things you saw. But, try to look for the positive next time you visit – you’ll come away with a different opinion.

  73. #73 is on the right track. Frum people today are faced with far more pressure than the society around us. We have obligatons to our families, davening and learning, shuls and yeshivas. We are running from one obligation to another. If you’re running home from the business trying to make the daf on time, trying to get home in time from shopping because your kids are coming home from Yeshiva any second with tons of homework, catching a mincha during your lunch hour at work, you will not necessarily have the time to stop and exchange niceties with people.

  74. #81 Shlepper:

    Nobody is saying that there are no positives. But the glaring negatives stick out like a sore thumb and are a public Chillul Hashem. Perhaps it’s more difficult for people who are used to it to see, but for those who have never lived in Brooklyn, such as myself, it’s painfully and immediately obvious. We should not overlook the negatives because of the positives. We should correct them.

  75. This is not really a jewish issue: Use Google to search for “population density” and “aggression”.
    There may be a tendancy for certain segments of chariedi society to live in such high-population-density environments. (including economic and family size bli ayin hora etc. . )

  76. “dasyosher” #75

    You say, among other things, “(plese use saychel next time when saying something is lashon hara dont just say it with out know what is really lashon hara)”. Please apply it to yourself first. We gave you specific points. You answer with hazy pointless false quotes. It is obvious from your comments that you have never learned Sefer Chofetz Chaim.

    For instance, how can a person with saychel equate the Chofetz Chaim saying that “many Yidden do something” with bashing an entire specific frum neighborhood, across the board, with blanket claims about things that supposedly “everyone” “always” does. These claims also do nothing whatsoever to solve the problem. NO CONSTRUCTIVE PURPOSE…

  77. scy4851 (#61)

    “you mean to say that, your NOT coming to bp after all?”
    how sad…

    Please tell me the point of your comment. Everyone has made a point (good one or not it doesnt matter, at least its a point)…you are obviously one of the Boro Park people that David is talking about. Do everyone a favor and if you have nothing smart to say…DONT SAY ANYTHING!!
    Dont you realize this is the time we all need to come together?? Everyone has faults, but you are REQUIRED to love them nonetheless!!
    Dear Outraged…
    You make very good points! Chillul Hashem is prob the worst averah you can do because it is almost impossible to do teshuva for it, there are too many facets that were affected…Please, lets all try to portray Hashem in the correct light!!

  78. To # 85 & 73-
    The last time I checked – Derech Eretz Kodmoh Letorah was still very much part of Pirkei Avos- even if you are running to your Daf and Minyan or for your challahs on Friday!

  79. Shtender,

    You obviously didnt get the sarcasm in the comment by outraged…
    I believe he/she was trying to make a point (and a good one at that)…Which is, another problem with Boro Park (and plenty of other places too). Why just because you have money do you feel the need to shove it in everyones face? What happened to the modesty?

  80. Let’s not forget that the most civilized and mannerd peopole wre the German’s YM”S so mannerd that they even killed 60000000000 in a very mannerly fashion. I know that this is a stupid and ruthless comment if taken at face value because of course there is no excuse for unmannerly behaviur [according to halacha] but the point is why not ask it in a question: why is it that in neighborhoods and congregations that are extremely ortherdox there is a big lack of manners compared to secular and more modern communities? I don’t necceserely know the answer [even though I think I do] but that isn’t the point, the point is that as a whole these peopole and communities are much better then any other communitys an the chesed etc… even though there is alot of room for improvement it doesn’t take away from the greatness of these people it’s just that many pepole feel alot better by degrating these special people and communitys The point is that IT”S A GOOD QUESTION NOT AN ANSWER. I have a lot more to write but since so many of you wrote above about Bittul zman I don’t want to be in that catagory so let’s leave it at this.

  81. the truth hurts…. so please NO pushing in line when I am waiting for my Thursday nite Cholent (after an inspiring Mincha) in Sloatsburg this summer.

  82. i would like to think that BP is a place where the majority of people have common decency and would respond with a simple thank you to someone holding the door open for them,being that i will find myself there today i’m going to do a poll:i will hold the door open for 10 people and post the results

  83. To “think first”. #80

    I have a few questions for you.

    When is something Loshon Horah and when is it tocheicha?

    David was talking in general terms. No specifics. Only this is what happend to me. No names. No stores. No hints. All he said is that it took place in BP

    Let me ask you a question: Did David’s story even bother you? Do you not see the issues that he raises as serious problems that must be addressed?

    Do we need a weekend on thanksgiving to discuss problems in our kreizer (communities)

    Why can’t we discuss issues in a kosher forum:

    Why it is it wrong to address GENERAL problems in our communities.

    One more question: If David would have merely said I went into a well known Jewish City instead of B.P., according to you, would that be better?

    Also to all of you addressing our Maalos.

    Of Course. Mi Keeamcha Yisrael.

    Chai Lifeline. Zichron Shloma. Hatzalah. Mikimi. Refuah Cancer. Chush. Tomchei Shabbos. Bikkur Cholim. Echo. And all the HUNDREDS OF WONDERFUL organizations of people dedicated to the kllal that NO NEITHER DAY NOR NIGHT that I left out.

    But you get my point. Mi Keeamcha Yisrael.

    That is not the issue here.

    David was discussing a particular issue: MENTSHLICHKEIT. Let us stick to it.

    Let us all get better.
    That was the point of the letter.
    Let us hear his cry and improve.

  84. As I always mention, this is the “Dor” of Mashiach. The middos are horrible, and when people believe that their job is to fill the world with children without teaching them any middos, there is a big problem…

    At the same time, our Rabbis tell us that the roughest people will be in this generation, many gilgulim (reincarnations) of animals— as Hashem’s way of giving every Neshama a final chance — so the animalistic traits are all around us.

    That said, I totally agree with the author. It has happened to me many times. The Chutzpah is unbelievable- reminds me of what my wife’s teacher told her class when they were tough — “you give me hope that Mashiach is coming soon”. I’ve been shove by 16 y.o. girls in a public place; been almost knocked down on several different ocassions, etc… Makes you wonder if these people see you as part of the wall.

    All we can do is pray. Unfortunately our Rabbis are inundated with people who defrauded people out of money, houses, etc., people who won’t give their wife a “get”; people who build on their neighbor’s property; fraud in kashrus, etc… you know the drill. They scream and scream, but we can’t hear… Maybe the “ropes of Mashiach” are stuffing our ears. Maybe the stress is too much and we can’t even begin to work on our Middos.

    Whatever the reason, we must all committ to better ourselves and teach our children BY EXAMPLE. Above all, we need to pray– for ourselves, our children and all of Klal Yisrael. The geula is almost here, we just need to hold out a little bit more — as hard as it may be.

  85. “ThinkFirst” # 88

    First B”H I have learned sefer Chofetz Chaim!
    2nd I wasnt looking at any specific points to answer I was responding to #17!
    3rd The writer did not say the people were chasidish or litfish or isreali or sifardic he just said from boro park (they could have come from anywhere.) Of course people can double park in any community (including washington heigts or Lakewood) but, what happend to the writer happened to be in bp. So as I said its a general statment on klal yisroel which, when written ltoeles is ok as the chofetz chaim himself does say things like that as I mentioned in my previous post.

  86. GOOD EYE !!

  87. Stop blaming the Roshei Yeshiva and the Rabbonim. They are the best people we have.

    The main burden of teaching our children Derech Eretz falls on the mothers of our community. Why aren’t they doing the job? (I know, there are many exceptions, but there are too many rude “vichtig machers” around)

    One answer is that so many of our moms are AWOL, because of financial pressures.

    In the 1950’s, most mothers stayed at home, while the fathers made enough to support the family. Today, with Federal, State, and City taxes soaring to astronomical heights, owr moms have to go to work to payoff the government hijackers.–our moms have, in effect, become tax slaves.

    So, there is no one at home to give our children the full-time chinich that they should be getting.

    “Al TiTosh Toras ImeCha!”

  88. I went to visit Williamsburgh twice, and both times I found everyone there polite and helpful. I recall asking a young woman for directions and she walked half a block out of her way (with me – a non-chasidish person) to point me to the correct street to take.

  89. WOW!! not stam… what a response!

    I must say that most ppl here have valid points.

    First, I did a research paper not too long ago on helping behavior and there is definitely a difference between big city and small city in regards to behavior altogether towards others. Jewish, Non Jewish, it is a fact.
    However we as Yidden are not supposed to fall into the pit b/c of our surroundings… oy lerasha oy leshchaino- If you live in NY you gotta watch out for that automatically blending into citylife.
    Sometimes it’s accentuated in BP, as the kids see it and see their parents and really it is a very gross sight sometimes. HOWEVER some of the nicest friendliest people I know chasidish and litvish and yeshivish are from our very own BP!! I once asked in a store why the people are so unmannered and the saleswoman explained that many are and many arent but the ones that are rude give all the others a bad name!!! And how true it is.

    I walk into a pizza shop and say Thank you and please- they ask me wher I am from. I tell the waitress she provided excellent service and she tells me “wow, nobody ever told me that!” Have you ever tried to thank the band at simchas or the caterer- they are so touched and know you are from out of town. But it’s not always true there are some intowners too!

    The first time I walked the streets of Flatbush on Shabbos, I was expecting to be ignored and didnt know if I should bother wasting breath on Good Shabbos. But Guess What?!?! I passed A LOT off ppl and ALL of them were makdim shalom to me first with a friendly Good Shabbos except a few. It was all types!! So Do not fear… pppl are more aware of the behavior and improving within NY.
    DelibEsoteric- you know- dont be so sure it wont change anyone- I have faith in Klal Yisrael, even if it only changes a few.

    It is definitly angering and saddening to see some of the behavior that goes on in our chareidi public whether here in Brooklyn or in EY neither is excusable and no need to fight which is worse. I was going to report a ton of incidents that happened to me but I think I dont need to. We’ve all seen it… even those who have become oblivious to it! Let us be strong.

    Fellow Brooklyners– I ask for you to work with me and respond appropriately. When I smile at you on the street even if you dont know me SMILE back. DONT stare at me please… it’s quite uncomfortable… if you see a cat sitting on my head kindly approach me and pleasantly make me aware of it. if you are in a rush PUSHING and shoving is a childesh behavior that is unacceptable, please kindly excuse yourself and explain your predicament and if I am able to I will let you go ahead of me. If you see an accident or scene DONT STAND THERE and STARE!!! I’ve been a victim and I could have cried more from embarrassment of your stares then from the scare of the accident!

    Remember you are used to it, but we are all tzelem elokim and dont deserve any treatment you wouldn appreciate being done to you.

    David F- I am sad to see that you saw the wrong ppl in BP. They are not all like that and many of them are working on not being like that. Come back around some day and get to know the ppl. they generally are all very good people and friendly too- once you break thru the ice 🙂

    A reminder to all those parents who prefer intown shidduchim as opposed to out os town girls for your sons- You will be satisfied with the product of an out of town girl- they proudly profess midos tovos and qualities unlike described above. A good option to consider if David’s letter bothers you.

    Wow…. sorry for taking so much space… shkoyach!

  90. to those saying that it’s a NY syndrome & not necessarily BP, I’d say it’s more “City” like. when so many people live together, squashed in 1 neighborhood they naturally feel more “heimish” with each others, & are therefore not so makpid on their manners. – just like you would act less formal w/ friends.
    also, ppl don’t mean to be rude. they simply sometimes place their own needs b4 others’. I was in Williamsburg recently, waiting @the “hitchplace” for a very long time in the freezing cold. several cars stopped, but of course the men got in right away w/o thinking twice, not even giving me a chance. Finally, when all my fingers & toes were frostbitten already, a nice (chassidishe) yingerman stopped by. As you can imagine a group of Bucherim huffing & puffing (having arrived 10 seconds ago) quickly tried zooming into his van but.. he told them that he doesn’t let anyone go in b4 I find a seat.(obviosly I’m not a man) the boys were caught a bit off gaurd but hopefully it’ll make them think twice next time…

  91. I agree with the writer. I can’t say I had all these things happen to me, but I can well imagine. Mentchlichkeit is the key to everything.

    I was recently at a wedding in Boro Park and was embarrassed to be at the Chuppah. I can now tell you who is working as what, who is looking for a job, how each person’s children are doing, etc…
    And yes, I’ve been to weddings out of town and have not had this problem. People are quiet.

    First the parents need to learn mentchlichkeit before passing it onto their children.

  92. now about the issue if the pushing, cutting lines, rudeness etc. is worse in Israel..
    there’s definitely a lot of pushing there but at least the ppl stick up for themselves..
    if someone tries cutting the line he wouldn’t just get away with it – the ppl would protest.
    #2- i’d like to what nameless mentioned: I ate lunch in a restaurant & on my way out i dropped the tray off @the counter. the shocked saleslady raised a few eyebrows & said ” you are the first person to return the tray to its place in all my years of working”
    i have to add here that she probably exaggerated, – I’m sure I’m not the only ‘nice’ person around, but it’s something to think about.

  93. to Potato kugel “99”
    The abishter does not except bribes just because there is torah & chesed does not allow for Bad middos.
    Rebbi Akivas talmidim had plenty of Torah & chesed but they just didnt have enough kavod for each other that the abisther expected from them. (and look what ended up happening.)

  94. #86 Shtender:
    I am not trying to portray the good to ‘wash away’ the supposed bad. I am saying that the proclaimed bad is not really that bad, considering the workloads of these people. In other words, these are good people at the core, and the supposed bad is due to an extremely overworked workload of mitzvos and chesed.
    To put it another way, someone who is not yet married with a family has no idea the many responsibilities (happily accepted) associated with a single work day. So, please don’t judge.
    Furthermore, we are not witnessing bad midos at all. Many people assume (maybe wrongly so) that something that doesn’t bother them also doesn’t bother others. Many people don’t mind being blocked by another yid for a few (say 10)minutes. So they do the same.
    Case in point: The same yid that double parks in BP would not dare do so, in non-jewish neighborhoods. The fact that he/she does it at home is NOT taking advantage of another yid, but rather relying on the “family feeling” that the a) only going in for a minute, b)the yid will likely not be upset.

    #93: You make a brilliant point. And as you say there is much to say about this. Along the same lines, there are people who love animals, but alas, only animals. Many animal lovers (not all) hate other types of people! I think the root is that everyone likes to feel that s/he is a good person. The evil gets cloaked up in the irrelevant single good thing. Like the millionaire that tosses a quarter to a homeless person.

  95. Thank you PotatoKugel
    IM glad to see that there is at least one nice and polite person in boro park,or so one might expect after reading all the posted comments.
    I too am proud, proud to be a member of the nation of rachmanim bnei rachmanim.I for one will take any Jew polite or otherwise over any goy ,any day any way .Stop this petty critisizing of other Yiddin we all need to look in the mirror.
    boruch atoh hashem shelo osani goy !!!!

  96. I’m having a very hard time with all the excuses and buts that have accumulated here….He had a lousy expereience because we don’t behave properly. We don’t treat people with the basic respect people deserve for the fact purely that they are people (Don’t need to get involved in religious issues here.) I find myself looking for cover out of embaressment when I see these episodes. Yes, mothers, you are the ones to blame here for not instilling in your children, BY EXAMPLE, common decency

  97. May I divert and bring up another inyan which is at core a gross defficiency in Derech Eretz- I was recently at a Bar mitzvah in Lakewood and the loud conversations that were taking place by many people were terrible- and it wasn’t a Rov speaking – rather a well known Rosh Yeshivah- and it wasn’t the women who couldn’t understand- but rather the men- for the most part Bogrei Yeshivos!
    V’edoch Zil Gmor!

  98. To Leonard613 #80

    Chofetz Chaim says clearly that Loshon HoRa about an entire city is even worth than about an individual. It applies to any Jewish city, BP or not.
    The more people are included in the bashing statements of the post and comments, the worse it is. David F. started the bashing of an entire *specific* Jewish community.
    (This answers your questions: “David was talking in general terms. No specifics. Only this is what happend to me. No names. No stores. No hints. All he said is that it took place in BP”, “One more question: If David would have merely said I went into a well known Jewish City instead of B.P., according to you, would that be better?”)

    As far as “Did David’s story even bother you? Do you not see the issues that he raises as serious problems…”
    My view is also that Derech Eretz and Menchlichkeit are not optional. But:
    1. David’s story does not look credible, especially given that I do know the neighborhood.
    2. When someone (especially publically) violates one mitzva d’Oraisa (speaking L”H), we cannot assume that he is scrupulous in all the other mitzvos, for example, that he does not lie. That’s why mitzva #2 in Ch”Ch’s list is “Do not accept a FALSE report”, i.e. since this is L”H we treat it as false.
    3. Using common sense, it is obvious that the poster and many commenters did not carefully measure their words to make sure they were precisely true. Instead, we saw lots of exaggerations and generalizations.

    As far as “When is something Loshon Horah and when is it tocheicha?”

    See #42 about L”H. This is the first step which too many people chose to skip.
    Tochocha: It should be said privately and in a soft manner (that is, if one wants it to be effective): Lo sisa olov cheiyt. Even when we want to help someone work on his shortcomings, we still have to go by the halocha as far as how to do. When step 1 is to scream about his shortcomings publically, before considering anything else, it is not tochocha at all.

    As far as “Do we need a weekend on thanksgiving to discuss problems in our kreizer (communities)? Why can’t we discuss issues in a kosher forum?”
    No, you don’t need a weekend or thanksgivings in order to address these problems. You just need to do it according to the halocha. You cannot ignore the halocha under the guise of “addressing” these problems.

    “Why it is it wrong to address GENERAL problems in our communities?”
    No, it is not wrong to address these problems. And it is right to work on them. But the BP bashers in this thread are not addressing these problems. BP bashing cannot possibly produce any positive results. The BP bashers did not say, “what can we do to help our brothers and sisters to achieve sterling Derech Eretz”? Because it is not as much fun as bashing…

  99. Furthermore, we are not witnessing bad midos at all. Many people assume (maybe wrongly so) that something that doesn’t bother them also doesn’t bother others. Many people don’t mind being blocked by another yid for a few (say 10)minutes. So they do the same.

    Are you kidding me? That is pretty much the epitome of bad middos. This is an explanation?! How can someone possibly think that it’s okay to have the chutzpa of assuming that someone else would not mind being blocked in for 10 minutes? I honestly cannot wrap my mind around such a rationalization. This is precisely the mindset that leads to these issues. Wow.

    Case in point: The same yid that double parks in BP would not dare do so, in non-jewish neighborhoods. The fact that he/she does it at home is NOT taking advantage of another yid, but rather relying on the “family feeling” that the a) only going in for a minute, b)the yid will likely not be upset.

    Ribbono Shel Olam. The Yid doesn’t do it in another neighborhood because it’s not accepted to act like the world belongs to you there. How unfortunate that people will act with bein adom l’chavero only to aino yehudim, but not to members of the Aam Hanivchar.

    Your comment here reinforced my opinion of those who act in these ways. We need serious help if this is the prevailing mindset.


    1. She grabs the shoe. You, grab it back. Your fiance will respect you.

    2. Somebody shoves your lady. Accidentily bump into him when he is juggling the big diet cherry coke.

    3. Blocked you in. Take a key to it. Or if you want to be nice just let the air out.


  101. Hey you out of town hicks! If you can’t stand de heat gedadof the kitchen. That’s the way Brooklyn is. Try to say “please” in Bensonhurst and you’ll get kicked in the other side.

    I was born and raised in Brooklyn and I love it. We don’t tolerate dopes with smiles. I had the misfortune of spending a week out of town where everyone gives you a firm hand shake and asks with a smile “How are you?” and says “How Nice!”. I wanted to ask “What’s so funny, ole MacDonald? The cows cracked a good joke?” I couldn’t take it and escaped as soon as I could back home to Brooklyn where real people reside.

  102. “Dasyosher” #98

    1. Please reread my post (#88). You did not answer me.

    2. You say “the chofetz chaim himself does say things like that” No, please look in the sefer before claiming. Ch”Ch never mentions any identifying details about any specific Yid or group of Yidden. To the contrary, he holds that L”H about an entire city is even worth than about an individual.

    3. You say “The writer did not say the people were chasidish or litfish…” But naming the specific group of people affects the opinion about the entire group. Ch”Ch did not make an exception for maligning a city; on the contrary, he specifically gives this example. Even though some people one may see in that city are not local residents.

    4. Even if there had been a constructive purpose, there was no justification in naming the specific neighborhood.

    5. But in fact, there was no constructive purpose in the bashing comments in this thread. Because bashing people (instead of truly helping them to change) is not effective in achieving any constructive purpose.

  103. #83 your right!

    to #90 (Ahavas Yisroel)
    Of course it’s sad..
    i don’t want him to go..
    i want him to stay..
    i want a house that i can drool over when i drive by….

    Oh, come on…
    are you such a ‘tehmimehsdiker’ fellow that you don’t see the comedy in some of the posts here?

  104. Awfully sorry but here in the UK it’s the largest populated city with the problems too – In London, when I visit and greet people I get an icy stare. At home in Manchester when I greet people I don’t know I get a small smile the first time, a larger one the second time and a hello after that – then we exchange names etc.!

    The most help I ever received in the US was in New York at the main bus station in Manhattan, late at night I was accompanied by four kids on my own and this drugged/drunk girl helped me get a taxi-cab – no, she did not pick my pocket, no, I did not offer her anything, I just looked bewildered and she helped me out! (and no she was not Jewish) Does that say something? I sure hope it does, and anyway I NEVER want to live in Brooklyn – having seen it a few times, I hate it!

  105. Rudeness and people being inconsiderate is growing, and not just in the frum communities. It’s a problem with the general public but becomes an issue for frum people because of our concept of kiddush Hashem and chillul Hashem. We dress (and some of us look) distinctively. I think part of the problem may be from the home. It’s not enough to tell stories of tzadikim and rebbeim, kids need to see good middos and basic consideration daily. My husband and I are careful to use “please” and “thank you” with each other and our daughter Consequently she learned to say “thank you” at 16 months!
    I understand certain places can be crowded, but when you’re pushed and shoved out of the way by grown men at a kiddush or kids at a zoo during Chanuka (happened to me in Israel), it leaves a bad taste in your mouth evne if you’re frum. Imagine the impression you leave on the non-religious and non-Jewish when acting this way in public.

  106. Shtender: You missed my point.
    How would you react (“feel”) if you find your car blocked by your daughter’s/son’s/parent’s/sibling’s
    car? AND you know that s/he knew that it was ‘only’ your car that was blocked.
    If you (you=anyone reading this) feel even a hairline of upsetness, you need to work on your midos. Then you will get my point.

  107. This article does not belong on this wonderful site. It’s pointless, and only contributes to further animosity amongst ourselves. I hate to say it, but the author, whether right or wrong, is displaying the identical traits in a different way. It almost seems as the article is dripping with hatred.

    REMEMBER!! – The yetzer horah tries to get us anyway possible. What better way than for us to attack each other over yiddishkeit. He is using our most powerful weapon against us. Our Love for Hashem, and or willingness to die to protect his honor. DON’T FALL FOR THE TRAP.

  108. to # 80 you are ( forgive me) a dumbell. my point was not to simply ignore the loshon hora but rather to stop using it as an excuse to berate someone who is voicing a legitimate point. many years ago i was in a store. 1 lady walks in and says” take care of me i have to go and the other person does not” to which the other person said ” who says i have nothing else to do which prompted the offender to lie and say that she never said the other person is not busy. i found it humurous and appaling the way people treat each other. it is time that we remember a little mitzva called love your friend like yourself

  109. To Think First # 114.

    You say:
    “David’s story does not look credible, especially given that I do know the neighborhood.”

    Do you know everything that happens in that neighborhood?

    Are you saying that not one person double parks? Are you saying that some people are not rude?

    Are you accusing a fellow yid of SHEKER.
    Are you publicly accusing David F. of sheker.
    Is this not Motzee shem Rah?

    You say:
    “When someone (especially publically) violates one mitzva d’Oraisa (speaking LH), we cannot assume that he is scrupulous in all the other mitzvos.”

    Look how judgmental you have become just because someone raises a legitimate issue.

    If one person improved because of this letter, I envy his s’char.

    In conclusion: I read David’s letter and heard a fellow Yid cry out. It hurt me. And that is why I said: Let us all get better in mentshlichkeit. That was the point of his letter. To awaken us to be more sensitive.

    You on the other hand see a “basher”.

    You state:
    BP bashing cannot possibly produce any positive results. The BP bashers did not say, “what can we do to help our brothers and sisters to achieve sterling Derech Eretz”? Because it is not as much fun as bashing…

    My friend reread the letter David F is no basher.
    And I saw no “fun” in his letter.
    On the contrary, I saw a yid in pain.

    Let us hear his cry and improve. I certainly will try. And I am sure if you reread the letter without any preconceived notions you too will agree with me that David was merely trying to raise a point that perhaps some of us (minority of course) are lax in.

    Thank you again David F. and YW

  110. judging by the vast response too many people have access to internet…and are influenced by the click and get mentality …
    get off the web…and start learning mussar

  111. I could write a book!


    About ten years ago I moved to Boro Park with my husband A”H who was dying. We moved due to conditions beyond our control. We moved from a wonderful frum, warm out-of-town community. We moved onto a “heimishe” block where noone said hello, good-bye, good shabbos, good yom tov, etc. You get the picture. My husband was in a wheel chair, an amputee and obviously very sick that anyone could see with just one look.

    I was working full time time. It was erev Pessach in a new city and my husband wanted a cup of coffee. I suddently realized that I had not toiveled the new chinek. Not a terrible tragedy you think. I could have gone to one of my neighbors and asked for some hot water and I’m sure they would have given it to me. But why in the world would I go to a neighbor who had been totally ignoring me for months. I just sat down and cried. It all hit me. I was among strangers. I might as well have been living in the middle of Nebraska. You cannot imagine how painful and alone aI felt. Yes I was overwhelmed, all it took for me was to go and toivel the chinek which I did as soon as I got myself together.

    I don’t want to hear about all the chessed here. B”H I didn’t need the chessed – all I needed was a little mentchlichkeit!

    What really got me was when I did speak to the holy Brooklyners they spoke down to me – why not? didn’t I know that they had a monopoly on Toirah and Yiddishkeit?


  112. To all, I will first describe the problem, then the solution.
    By reading this, its shows a lack of avas Yisroel, the staring from Guiva (arrogance), which will lead (if it didn’t happen now) to sinas chinam. The second Churban was not only sinas chinas but also terrible medos-like today where people treat others with no consideration or respect. I have to say this and I know it may draw fire onto myself-so be it: this will bring -chas Vshalom din-serious din from Hashem. My proof??? Sefer Devorim. Not just in Israel but din even in Germany. Think about it, the first exile was only 70 years. Why? Because the sins of bein adaom lmakom (between man and G-D). yet the second exlie was close to two thousand years because of sin of
    Bein Adam Lmachavero (between man and man) Here is the proof that shows Hashem doesn’t like this behavior. Now the solution -We need a Ahavas Chinam Parade where all the gedolim and Rabbis give strong dvar Torahs on these issues I feel a ahavas chinam parade where all jews get together and be fervent on being good and considerate to one another and these bad medos will be no longer accepted and NO LONGER Tolerated. They did this the Shabbos parade why not a Ahavas Chinam Parade.
    Jewish unity-which Hashem loves will help stop this terrible thing that is happening in our community.Something needs to be done before its too late.

  113. I do not believe this is Loshon Hora at all…

    This is a necessary thing to talk about so we could get rid of the evil in our midst. We can’t keep saying, “This is loshon Horo, be quiet!”

    Oh sure, I can go into stores in BP or Willi with my rebbetzen and be treated nicely. But I “fit in”

    I dress with a langer reckel, and flat beeber hit during the week, and my wife wears a hat on her sheitel, and seemed stockings. We get some of the rudeness, but nothing like the rudeness towards the ones who don’t “fit in”.

    I will be the first to say it. It is my own type who are dead wrong. I am grossed out by it, and I left and moved away.

    I have to admit, one of the major reason I moved away from NY was the horrifically rude way people treated each other in our communities.
    I found BP the worst, follwed by Flatbush, Monsey and Willi.

    I found every time I saw this rudeness, I felt:
    1) embarassed by the actions of my peers
    2) angry at them for behaving like that

    I found myself temporarily loosing my ahavas yisroel and my cool.

    I moved to South Florida, in Inverrary, not Miami, and love it here. People are actually civil to each other. Polite, never rude.

    I was up in NY recently, and re-visited all our our communities.

    I found all of the above just as bad as ever. But I found a nice suprise in Kiryas Yoel. The people there were polite and nice.

    The other thing I hated about Boro Park and Willi, and the rest, is the way people look down at people who obviously “are not from around here”.

    I baal teshuva, will walk into a store in Boro Park and feel like he is dirt. This is wrong.

    I have watched friends on mine in BP look down at someone simply because he/she was not dressed chassidish. I am NOT talking about people who were not dressed tzniusdik, I am talking about perfectly tznius dress, but the “wrong style” that shows they are outsiders.

    I do not believe it is Loshon Hora for us to talk about it, and hopefully, maybe talk to all me know about changing.

    The first people we need to change is ourselves.

    But, we also need to speak out when we see rudeness. This rude, nasty, sinas chinom, behavior must stop.

    I hate to say it, though I love our moisdois, and rabbonim and yeshivois in NY, I only come north now for chasinas and funerals … and try to get out of town the same day.

    Yes, in NY we have all the great food stores and butchers, but it is worth doing without to get away from the nastiness.

    Here I am watching non-frum people admire the frum people and become baalei teshuva, then we tell them to vitit the “real chareidi comminties up north to see how many of us there are, and where they can shop for the clothing they need….they go to NY to visit the “Holy Land” and get turned off totally.

    One man told me his wife went into a chareidi store and picked out nice chassidishe stockings with seams. The clerk took them from her hand at the checkout, put them back on the shelf, and told her, “These are not for you!!!!”

    I believe part of the problem is that each group among us is becoming to “nationalistic” or too into their own group’s importance or value, and looking down at others.

    What happenedd to seeing an other Jew and feeling that strong feeling of love?

    It is funny, two Jews, a Satmar and a Young Israel person can bump into each other in a foreign land, and feel this feeling, and be nice to each other. But when they see each other in NY, something happens… something not nice.

    Please let us all learn to be nice to each other. I really does not hurt to allow other people ahead of us. We can leave a few minutes earlier, and not shove. We can leave a half hour earlier and not double park blocking others. WE CAN LEARN TO SEE EACH AND EVERY PERSON AS IMPORTANT, AND EQUALLY VALUABLE! He is in Hashem’s eyes.

  114. Is there any way that not just the comments can be closed but that this can be removed from the archives? I am sure there are many cogent posts, such as 132 pro having open discussion on this important topic, but #17 is correct. This is absolutely assur and as such, it is not likely that there will be positive peiros. Now here’s hoping I can overcome my morbid fascination and not read beyond the half dozen or so posts I stopped at while skimming.

  115. Poll results:seven(7) people (all men) didn’t aknowledge me at all after i graciously opened the door for them.four(4) people (3 women 1 man) said thank the way this poll was done by 2 men


    Well said DM…!!!

    At least I hope somebody comes out of here a bit of a changed person… anybody wanna share if this thread will affect them?!?!

    Oh and please- take it easy when arguing points- no need for name calling- didnt your mommy teach you in preschool that its not nice to call ppl names and to talk not nicely?

  117. Dear #124 yid613

    It is because YW has the courage to print these painful topics and allow them to be discussed that makes YW a good website.

    Let us stop hiding our faults, but face them and work on them.

  118. Part of the problem is that today we are all clannish, whether we are lubavich , satmar bobov , litvish, we all think our particular group is right and all the other ones are wrong. Mashiach will come when we love EVERYONE, not just our own particular group.

  119. yes the chesed that klal yisroel does has no equal but the lack of midos in our doir is not strictly in Boro Park but unfortunately in many parts of klal yisroel.
    I was in Lakewood for shabbos and davened in a minyan of 60 yugerlite.Only 1 bothered to say gut shabbos or shalom aleichem.Bochurim giving up their seats for older people,especially woman, is unheard of.yungerlite not acknowledging they have become a terrific financial burden to their parents and inlaws.we can go on and on.
    but then again where should the hamoin am learn better middos if every second yeshiva has internal machlokes,almost every chassidus is torn apart by strife and yeshivas themselves showing no sense of bein adom lechavairo by openning wedding halls smack in middle of residential neighborhoods

  120. I think of myself as an out of towner (even though I have lived within 15 minutes of NYC for at least the past 20 years), but I feel bad for the people of Boro Park after reading this thread. Everywhere, there are nice people and not so nice people, in frum communities and non frum communities. Let’s not judge a whole neighborhood.

  121. There was an organization called Operation Refuah that promoted Ahavas Chinam. The concept behind this organization was as follows: Why does Klal Yisrael need tragedies from Hashem to bring us together – why only during tragedies do Jews of different stripes respect each other and care about each other? Think for a moment about the scene in a cancer ward of a hospital. Jews from all walks of life are treating each other with respect, offering a helping hand, bonding together, etc. Think about the kids at Camp Simcha (and their parents) relating to each other with respect and love no matter where they are coming from hashgafically. Think about what happened in the concentration camps…everyone was wearing the same striped prisoner’s outfit, everyone was bald – no one had a gartel, or peyos, or a black hat, or a kippah serugah, or jeans, or khaki pants, or a bekeshe, etc…Hashem put together in one bunker the chasidish jew, the reform jew, the atheist, the yeshivish jew, the german jew, the hungarian jew, the polish jew…and our enemies did not distinguish one Jew from the other. The message being we are all JEWS on the inside! We are all Hashem’s children! We are all in the same boat! We are all here for one purpose – to help each other out, to love each other, to respect each other – and by doing so we demonstrate our love for Hashem and our belief in Hashem – the Father of all of us.
    So the message of Operation Refuah was and is: Let us try to respect and love and care about each other under NORMAL circumstances so we don’t run the risk, chas v’shalom, of Hashem sending us more tragedies to unite us.

  122. I remember my rebbe’s in Yeshiva (Satmar in Willi) drone on, “Drech Eretz Kodma L’Toiru”

    I myself witnessed The Satmar Rebbe himself, get up, move his chair over, and ask for another chair to be placed between him and the person sitting next to him to give a man a seat. What kind of special Rebbe was this man at the Satmar Rebbe’s Friday night tish? Just a Young Israel man, with a small kipa, and a shaved face. He was visiting a freind, and heard about the Satmar Rebbe and came by out of curiority.

    If the Satmar Rebbe, ZY’U, can give that kind of kuvoid to a person like that who he had never seen before, we certainly can.

    I bet that Hashem sees the person who is moderately frum but TRULY PRACTICES V’UHAVTU L’RAYACHU KUMOICHU as in a higher madreiga than people with “all the trimmings” but won’t say “A Gitten Shabbos” to another Yid, no matter what he/she looks like.

    Every day, I have many opportunities to make a Chillul Hashem or a Kiddush Hashem. If I walk through the park next to my home, dressed in my shtreimel, bekeshe and vaaser zokin, and do not greet another Jew, even if his kippa is in his pocket, I have made a Chillul Hashem.
    But, when I give any person, Chossid or Modern Orthodox, Yid or Goy, a smile and a “Good Shabbos” (good morning to the goy) I have made a Kiddush Hashem. The choice is ours which we do, and we have many choices per day.
    Are we kind and polite to the clerk in the store?
    To the bus driver? To each and every human?

    Everyone was created in the image of Hashem. How can I show a lack of love for anyone made in Hashem’s image.

  123. 129: Don’t write a book.
    The neighbour problem is real BUT it has *nothing* to do with who you are or how you dress, it exists between many who dress and look alike. I know many instances where neighbours simply don’t know each other, rarely see each other, and simply nod when they do.
    This again, is big city syndrome. I didn’t even *know* I HAD a new next-door neighbour for six months! One day he (same dress code as me) approached me and identified himself as my neighbour. I was embarrassed and apologized for not noticing. Did I have *anything* against him? Definitely not! (Even now, we see each other maybe once in two months and I have no idea which are his kids, nor does he know which are mine! But at least we schmooze for 3 minutes (unless we are both walking home, we talk longer) when we meet. We have discussed this very issue amongst ourselves and we both have many stories in this regard. (How about someone living on the *same floor* in an apartment building for eleven years and not knowing people on the same floor? The guy is truly a nice guy. Except he gets out of the house real early and come home very late.) We laugh about it and know that this is due to ‘big city syndrome’.
    Now, 129, had you known this before, you would not have assumed that it is due to your dress code. You should have tried saying hello to a neighbour (of course it should be the other way around, but as explained above..) and would have been pleasantly surprised plus you would have a bond with a new friend.

    The problem is that modern people who visit our community come with a preconceived notion that they will be looked down upon. They start out with this attitude, (it is evident on the faces) so you get these results. What more proof do you need where it says that in the beis hamikdosh, “the way people came to see, that’s what they saw”.

    Also, 129, you have a hard and painful life. Please don’t let any animosity (You don’t want to hear about the chesed? After 120 years???) spill out towards other yidden. (Editor: Please double check if this paragraph is ok. If not, kindly remove it. Thanks.) Everyone has problems, yours is just exposed to all, but you never know the pain and suffering your neighbours go thru daily, and still manage a smile at work.

    132: DM, you proved my point. You yourself say that the same Jews (Satmar and YI) in another place are friendly to each other.
    This is the point I am making “big city syndrome”. We live here in a pressure cooker. You further enhance my point by saying that in Florida the people behave great. Guess what? Many many of the people are from NY! The *same* people. I have been to South Florida, visited almost all shuls in Miami Beach including Lakewood kollel, chabad, kerestir and the ultra modern one (forgot its name) about a block from Lakewood minyan. It’s a pleasure to see and meet the same people and note the attitude difference. (Sitting on the boardwalk at night when it’s ‘clean’ and meeting people *from NY*. What a pleasure!)

    134: Dirty shirt. Your poll results are meaningless. When you hold open a door due to a poll, it is not from the heart. If you do a favor from the heart because you want to truly help that person, not because you want that person to notice you, or due to a poll, that love will be appreciated and reciprocated, -and noticed-.

  124. Boro Park is a wonderful community. There are rude people everywhere and yes there are some in Boro Park too, but they are definitely NOT the norm. I myself am from Boro Park and except for the double parking (which sometimes there is just no choice)I do not know anyone that would do the things that David describes.

  125. 142: But, when I give any person, Chossid or Modern Orthodox, Yid or Goy, a smile and a “Good Shabbos” (good morning to the goy) I have made a Kiddush Hashem. The choice is ours which we do, and we have many choices per day.
    Are we kind and polite to the clerk in the store?
    To the bus driver? To each and every human?

    Everyone was created in the image of Hashem. How can I show a lack of love for anyone made in Hashem’s image.

    Thank you for that, very refreshing to see these words, and *many* of us are watching.

  126. David F. clearly has a complexity problem. He is undoubtedly jealous of the tremendous amounts of Yiddishkeit, Chesed and Torah in New York City, but instead of channeling his energies in a positive manner, instead spews venom at what hey lacks.

    Why does he see negativity wherever he turns (as his writing makes clear)? Look for the good not for the bad. Sure everyone and everyplace has their chesroines, but why focus on them? Is David the perfect incarnation of a sinless Yid? Why not seek the amazing amounts of tzeduka given, chesed anonymously and rewardlessly provided, Tomchei Shabbos, Hatzolah, Shomrim, Chaveirim, Bikur Choilem, Gemachs galore, massive amounts of 24/7 Torah learning, etc. etc. etc.

    Where else do you have ALL THAT in Chutz L’aretz? Only in New York!

  127. The original letter by David F. sounded like he was really upset and needed to unload his frustration. Emotionally, we can relate to it. But he should not have named the specific neighborhood, especially since this is not only Boro Park’s problem.

    That’s the point: Certain things are indeed muttar to be said, but only after consulting the halochos. Unfortunately, many commenters follow the pattern I described in #54:

    1. Say whatever you want to say
    2. Don’t bother to check whether it is loshon hora and how to best say it
    3. If anyone asks you to explain WHY it is not loshon hora (according to halocha), avoid answering
    4. Attack them instead and accuse them claiming that they call this Lashon Hora not because they care for the halochos but because they are afraid of your message
    5. Do not consult the halacha even after that

    englishteacher #125
    Since you started resorting to insults, it is not worth talking to you. See step 4 in the Lashon Hora pattern above and in #54.

    Leonard613 #126:

    I am saddened that even after so many posts, you still insist on not taking the halocha into consideration. I am relying on Sefer Chofetz Chaim. What are you relying on? Please look in the halocha or consult a Rav.

    My “preconceived notions” that you complain about are based on halocha. You claims are based on your own personal opinion. I hope that everyone understands this and will not be swayed by your defense of Loshon HoRa. There is only one way to determine whether something is Loshon HoRa: to check the halocha.

    1. When I said (#114) that David’s story does not look credible, you replied “Huh!!! Do you know everything that happens in that neighborhood? Are you saying that not one person double parks? Are you saying that some people are not rude?”

    It is obvious that it’s not necessary to know EVERYTHING about the neighborhood in order to doubt the story’s credibility. And I never said that any neighborhood is perfect. But David presented a story of encountering so much garbage within a short span of a few hours of shopping and dining in Boro Park. In all of my years in Boro Park, even though I do not look like a typical chassidishe person, I have never experienced as many bad incidents in a month as he (supposedly) in a few hours! This can make anyone suspicious. Why is he so “lucky”? lovebp (#47) and flatbusher (#66) also noted this.

    2. I said, “When someone (especially publicly) violates one mitzva d’Oraisa (speaking LH), we cannot assume that he is scrupulous in all the other mitzvos.” You replied, “Are you accusing a fellow yid of SHEKER. Are you publicly accusing David F. of sheker. Is this not Motzee shem Rah? … Look how judgmental you have become just because someone raises a legitimate issue.”

    Once again, please start consulting the halocha. What I said is based on Sefer Shemiras HaLashon, Sha’ar HaZechirah, perek 12, in the note. Even if you consider me judgmental, it is an honor for me to be in the company of Chofetz Chaim ZT”L. What I’ve been saying in all my posts is not my own opinion; it is clear halocha.

    It is both ironic and sad that when so many commenters here were very harsh on Boro Park, Flatbush, etc., condemning Yidden and using all sorts of names, you did not consider them judgmental. No, in your eyes, only I am judgmental, because I, al-pi halocha, dared to defend a hundred thousand kosher Yidden (ever heard about chezkas kashrus?) against one attacker.

    4. You wrote, “And that is why I said: Let us all get better in mentshlichkeit. That was the point of his letter. To awaken us to be more sensitive.” Now you talk like a mentch. Let each of us start with improving himself and training his children in the right ways. Condemning others is not included. A mature person is demanding of himself and tolerant of others, not vice versa.

  128. My wife and I once went into Boro Park to do some shopping.

    Not twice!! Just once!!

    I see that Boro Park has not changed in 19 years.

    The difference between me and David F is that I wasn’t hung up on politeness. When 3 boys with payis shoved in front of us as we stood at the cash register of a store, I percussively threw the leader against the wall, and then told the balebos that he just lost a sale. We then walked out of the store.

  129. #129, Bas Yisroel. I beg to differ. I moved to BP from another neighborhood w/a handicapped child who uses a walker(short distances) or a wheelchair (long distance) and every few steps , every half block pple would stop him & ask him if he needed help or a ride. If he refused they would literally beg him, even if he said he lives in the house right there. He ALWAYS had pple open the door of the building for him or help in ANY other way. Yes it could happen ppl blocked the crosswalk or curb cut, but I am don l’kaf zchus, pple who don;t need curb cuts don’t think about such things. NOBODY means shlecht, they just don’t think. I myself have become more sensitive bec. I have a situation but most pple who don;t have the exp.dont think. By the way, I always say Good Shabbos, & pple regularly greet my son with a good day or good shabbos, even if they dont know him, & he for sure doesnt know them, but greets in response. THERE ARE GOOD & BAD PPL ALL OVER, THE BAD JUST STAND OUT! I can tell you dozens of stories of ppl like yourself who have been offered help, maybe there was something about you that made pple steer clear. I feel very bad that u had such an exp. but maybe if you would have made even a small effort to engage the neighbors they wouldve been all too happy to help!

  130. To ThinkFirst #147

    I commend you for your scholarship in Chofetz Chaim’s Shmiras haloshon.
    However, I am a bit perplexed about you not being able to see the forest from the trees.
    The tree being shemiras haloshen and the forest being Yiddishkeit (all encompassing)

    David F. cried out to us to please be more mentshlich.
    Your comeback line is — stop speaking loshon Horah.

    You fail to address the issue. Let me attempt to explain:

    Suppose you go to a shiur from a well respected Rav in your neighborhood. The Rov mentions that he notices that many people are speaking Loshon Horah because they do not know the halachos . The Rov states: “I am saddened about our Kehilla’s lack of attention to Hilchos Loshon Hora. We are so lax in these halachos. That is why I am here to learn with you.”

    Did this Rov speak loshon horah? The Chofetz Chaim ZATZAL stated that he wrote hilchos LH because people are nichshal in it.

    Can we no longer hear constructive mussar without resorting to: I can’t take this LH.
    Not everything is LH. “Adam dash be’akeivo”. People trample on Hilchos loshon horah. Is this statement LH.

    I am sure you get my point. There is a fine line between LH, tochacha and mussar.
    Your line and my line are obviously apart. I wait for proof that you are correct. Until then my line stays put.

    Did David F speak LH. NO. He cried out to us rabbosai stop being dash in mentchlichkeit
    I do not see David’s letter to be Loshon horah the same way I did not think that my hypothetical Rov spoke Loshon Horah.
    Kol Tov my friend. Have an easy fast.

  131. Three men were at a restaurant: a Swiss, a Cuban, and a New Yorker.
    After they ordered, the waitress returned to their table with no food, delivering the bad news of, “I’m sorry, but there’s a shortage of meat.”

    The Swiss asked: “What’s a ‘shortage’?”
    The Cuban asked: “What’s ‘meat’?”
    The New Yorker asked: “What’s ‘I’m sorry’?”

  132. The fact that this letter got so much attention (147 posts!!!) shows that it bothers all you people.
    If so let’s begin by fixing these issues and being careful ourselves and educating our children to be careful for other people’s time/feelings etc..

    Pnei Hador Kipnei Hakelev is not a mitzva! Just because it is a NY thing does not mean us Jews want to be part of it.
    Let’s start making Kidush Hashems be going to the other extreme of chessed and hopefully with time the ripple effect will make an impact.

  133. Although David’s right he is exaggerating BIG TIME. I live in Europe and spend time in Boro Park yearly. I have never experienced his exaggerations or rather lies or slander in all the weeks I have been there. Of course people should be more polite and mentslich but not that far…….

  134. As a life long New Yorker, I take great offense at the assertion that rudeness and lack of respect for others is a “New York thing.” It is the exception rather than the rule, except perhaps in certain enclaves. New Yorkers are busy, not rude.
    I’m not sure I believe this story in its entirety, but lets just say “nikarim hem divrei emes.” If this had been written about anywhere else, no one would have believed it.(Flatbush is not in the same category, and nowhere else I know of is even on the same plane.)
    Perhaps the schools should address these issues, because mentchlichkeit is obviously not being taught in some homes.

  135. thinkfirst-i understand that you believe that this is lashon hara. you have done your best trying to give tochachah which is basically being ignored. so there is no longer any tachlis in you reading this posting & the only thing you are accomplishing by continuing to read is being oveir on being mekabel lashon hara. furthermore- if you give tochachah to someone who is not mekabel- we are taught that we should stop rebuking them, because you are causing them to sin with hasra’ah.

  136. Firstly, this isn’t L”H. If you want to know why this practical situation is not L”H, then you must know the Halachos AS WELL AS be able to analyze a scenario and understand what you are looking at. There are about 1000 reasons why David’s letter and most of the ensuing discussion are not L”H. WHAT IS CLEARLY L”H, HOWEVER, IS DEMEANING AND ATTACKING DAVID F. FOR WHATEVER REASON. HE KNOWS WHO HE IS AND HE IS READING EVERYTHING YOU WRITE. WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH HIM OR NOT, YOU MUST BE CAREFUL HOW YOU SAY IT. OTHERWISE YOU MIGHT BE BETTER OFF DEAD!! (Tamar was ready to die rather than shame Yehudah. Yosef risked death by revealing himself to his brothers without his bodyguard in order not to embarrass them.)

    As far as main issue is concerned. Yiddin ALL OVER THE WORLD are not up to par! NOT JUST IN B.P.!!! Yes, everywhere and everyone has different issues, but we’ve all got our problems to fix, and we’ve better get to it if we want biyas HaMoshiach without the suffering that could come along. It’s doable, but people must wake up and take responsibility for their communities. You can’t just fix yourselves. You have to be a positive influence on your neighbors too!

    More to come later…

  137. zeveleh #157

    You claim this is not Loshon HoRa. Welcome to the club!

    It is not a coincidence that every single commenter denying that this was L”H:
    1. limited him/herself to pure claims (e.g. “I don’t believe this is L”H”)
    2. did not quote any halochos (some quoted tidbits)
    3. did not ask any Rav
    4. pretended that the 7 conditions of L”H (according to the Chofetz Chaim, #51 #51) do not exist and do not have to be met

    By the way, it is possible that David F. meant well when he sent this letter. Most L”H was in the comments. But that you didn’t complain about. Every single comment was legitimate? You said about me that I “MUST BE CAREFUL HOW YOU SAY IT”. Agreed! But is everyone commenting about Boro Park potur from being careful?

    Like so many before you, you do not consider maligning an entire Jewish community to be L”H. But you accuse me of saying L”H about “David F.”? This shows that you are totally clueless about these halochos. For one, had you learnt at least up to Klal Gimmel in Sefer Ch”Ch, you would know that when the person (or the group) spoken about is not identifiable, this is not L”H. “David F.” is not enough to identify the person; for all we know, it may not even be his real name.

    Your pathetic claim about 1000 reasons why this is not L”H is baseless. Of course, you could not be more specific and actually produce real halocha-compliant reasons, because that would require some knowledge from you. By the way, you don’t need a thousand reasons; just 7 are enough; see above.

    (To be fair, you said that most of the discussion is not L”H. But I never said that all of it was L”H! It is easy for anyone (who wants) to distinguish between productive comments and those that condemn/insult/exagerate, etc.)

    You instruct me to “know the Halachos AS WELL AS be able to analyze a scenario and understand what you are looking at”. Agreed! But why don’t you apply this standard to yourself and first learn the halochos before you argue?

  138. to #148
    if a boy shoves you (which could have been by mistake) you go & bang him against the wall??
    what are you if not a hypocrite?!
    if you believe that it’s wrong to push – please PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
    Here you’re protesting about someone’s lack of manners, then you proudly state, “.. I wasn’t so hung up about politeness”
    your mentality is difficult to comprehend.

  139. #156 This does happen in boro Park all the time. I once bought a watch by a jewelry store in Boro Park that cost $1200.00 on Friday and paid for it on Monday. I had it over shabbos with me and did not even leave anything in the store that would guarantee I come back.

  140. Dearest David, If your story is true, I wish you all the best and convey sympathy with your feelings. I do want to point out a few things,

    1. Please don’t be so desicive based on anecdotal experience. Try to look for the good in other Yidden, we have a Mitzva of Dan L’kaf Zechus, to judge other people favorably. How many books have been written and speeches spoken with stories which seemed much worse than your, only to turn out much different in hindsight.

    For example, if you’re on the bus and you see a young girl sitting in the front row. An elderly person alights and waits for the child to vacate the seat to no avail. Other pasangers begin to speak up and comment but the child ignores them all. Only after a few stops, you see the child struggling to get up with the aid of crutches and a prosthetic leg. What shame was heaped on her for no reason. If only we would have judged her with a positive light! Meanwhile, Sam from Novosibirsk got off the bus already and writes a letter to the Yated and Yeshiva world how disrespectful the youth of the generation are becoming. He relates his shock at seeing a young girl on a bus in the big city refusing to get up for an old man. How disgraceful! Where are the middos? People write in concurring and sharing other bad experiences and sterotypes.

    You mamash never know! Any experience can be revealed in hindsight to be benign if not laudatory. We should always remember te great Defender of Israel, Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev. No scene was too farfetched to be positively rationalized. No more need be stated on this topic.

    2. Come visit us here. You will have a starkly different time. People greet you on the street with Shalom (even tough they aren’t Jewish). If you greet a stranger or attemt to ask them something, if they do not help you,, they will likely not register hearing anything. You will not get any stares. We may not have 24 Chesed and Torah, but we have 24 hour pharmacies, coffee shops and banks every few meters.

    3. I think you can make a difference. I have been to BP many times and greeted everyone on the street with “good morning”, “Gut Shabbos”, etc. I have not been there enough to impact BP. However I lived in a city in Israel with 30,000 religious ppl for around 7 years and I really feel that I made a difference in this area, at least on my side of the hill. No longer do you get stares upon greeting others and some may actually greet you!

    Kol Tuv!

  141. re:106 – EVERY wedding that I have been to in the last several years included people talking on cell phones during the Chupah OR talking to each other. one conversation was wonderful to overhear Man to boy: “do you have fist fights in your Yeshiva”

    re:133 and all others concerned with L’H – While decrying that the letter and posts are filled with L’H, you are publically speaking ill of YW and the YWeditor(s) – talk about potential L’H!!!

    I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it now – if you really, really think that there is L’H here, STAY AWAY! don’t read 132 posts and then cry L’H! reminds me of the story of the person who goes to an affair, devours the smorg, eats the appitizer, drains the soup, eats his chicken and the chicken of the no show and when the desert comes, he notices a card on the table with the name of the caterer and the mashgiach and starts questioning everyone if they know if it is reliable.

  142. 143 Thank you for your concern about my feelings. I do appreciate it, really. However, I think you misunderstood part of my message. First of all, we did say Good Shabbos to our neighbors, only to be ignored. Until they needed to block our driveway (numerous times) that we were paying rent for.

    My dress code was not any different than that of my neighbors. And I don’t know where you got the impression that I am “modern”, other than that maybe you think that anyone from out-of-town is modern. Which really brings us to another discussion about New Yorkers.

    I B”H had a thorough Bais Yaakov education. My principal was a Satmer chassid and a talmid of Rav Shraga Feivel Mendelovitz z’tzl and we learned the same Toirah and Shulchan Orach (including hilchus tzinus) that I think they learn here in the heilige Boro Park. My husband A”H grew up in Williamsburg and went to Yeshiva there. We are chassidishe and I don’t think anyone would look at me and point out my dressing as any less tzinus CH”VSH than any other chassidishe woman.

    My daughters came to a Bais Yaakov convention many years ago in Boro Park, back when Boro Park still made convention which they haven’t done for many many years. Anyway, Shabbos afternoon some Boro Park girls took a whole bunch of out-of-towners over to the seudah table and said to them (while pointing to the cholent) “this is cholent! Do you know what cholent is?” For our girls that became the theme of the convention.

    I think there is something very important that many New Yorkers miss in shatzing up out-of-towners. Today B”H pretty much everything is available out-of-town, granted at a much higher price but available nevertheless.

    When I lived out-of-town and raised my children there we did so without many products which New Yorkers take for granted. There were months and months when there was no Cholov Yisroel cottage cheese, sour cream, farmers cheese, and we did without, or we froze those items when they were available. We froze our milk because it only came in once a month. Ice cream and milchege candy bars were treats that were saved for our yearly (or sometimes every two years) trips to New York. Some deli products were brought in from New York and were only available a few times a year. These are but a few items that come to mind. We had no restaurants and no Take Outs. As someone once put it so well – In New York everything is Kosher unless proven treif, out-of-town everything is treif unless proven kosher. Living this way and bringing up your children this way makes you stronger in your Yiddishkeit. I wonder how many New Yorkers would be makpid in Cholov Yisroel if it wasn’t at their corner grocery and they didn’t have to pay a hefty surcharge in addition. I think we learned that the harder we worked for something the more choshuv it became.

    I am only bringing all this up to reiterate what I wrote earlier about the Brooklyn women speaking down to me and making it clear that they thought they had a monopoly on Toirah and Yiddishkeit. There is so much New Yorkers have to learn. There’s a whole world out there with Toirah and Yiddishkeit. Contrary to their beliefs you don’t fall off the end of the earth after exiting the Holland Tunnel. Oh excuse me, even with the exception of the Catskills in the summer.

    I once heard Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, z”tzl say at an Agudah convention that no one group has a monopoly on Toirah.

    I’m sorry if I came out sounding like I have a lot of animosity. In truth, I do have unpleasant feeling about most New Yorkers. I know I shouldn’t generalize, but I find them lacking in midos bein adom lachaveiro and I think that when one is alone it is more hurtful. But I am B”H not a bitter person. The Abirshter has been very good to me in many ways. I have a beautiful family, children and aniklach, all Bnei Toirah, that I have tremendous nachas from and for which I am very grateful.

    I always tell my aniklach that they have great yichus, I elaborate on the yichus (which I won’t go into herebut are B”H very choshuv) and I remind them that in addition to the other yichus they should remember that they SHTAM FROM OUT-OF-TOWNERS!

  143. My Fellow Precious Yidden.

    Instead of arguing if these posts are Loshon Horah or not, How about focusing on how we can correct the PROBLEM.

    No, not the Loshon Hora problem, that is another issue.

    The Issue on the blog today is “Derech Eretz vs Rude and Nasty Behavior” “Ahavas Yisroel vs Sinas Chinum” and just plane menchlechkeit and manners.

    We all tend to agree that in certain of our communities there is some sort of infection of rudeness and nastiness that has gone out of control.

    Oh, sure, we all know and admire these neighborhoods for the most amazing moisdois and chesed in the history of the planet!

    Nobody in Jewish History has elevated Tzedaka to the levels by today’s Boro Park, Willi, and KY Chassidim as well as the other chareidi groups. Yes it IS wonderful, amazing and maybe even the best ever in our history.

    But, that does not excuse the bad behavior.

    Let me ask you. If a a Big, Famous Baal Tzedakaa, who has donated millions, and keeps donating 99% of what he earns to the very best tzedaka we have, walks up to you and slaps you in the face’ is he right? Does all the good he does excuse his rude attack on you? What if he simply pushed YOU aside to get to the cashier because he felt that as such a big baal tzedaka he should go first?

    Of course NOT! You would feel just as hurt or angry, and what he did yesterday would not excuse what he is doing today to you.

    So, let’s not mix in the great chesed of our Chassidish communities, they ARE famous for their tzedaka and chesed, but that is not today’s topic.

    Let’s save the Loshon Hora mussar for another day.
    (Yes, it is important, but it is not today’s topic.)

    Let us come up with ways to improve US. Let us learn how WE ALL can learn to be more gentle and polite. How we can take that Ahavas Yisroel that we all feel, and transfer it from feelings to daily, hourly action.

    And, for all you guys who think people of other faiths are worse. Sorry. I spend 5 years in the Deep South among religious gentiles.

    I learned that if I fell asleep at the red light, not only would no one blow their horn, but after it cycled 2 or 3 times, someone would get out of their car to check up on me to see if I was okay!
    All with gentleness and politeness.

    I was so amazed with this, being originally from NY, that I tested it over and over again.

    I was raised to believe that these people had all types of predudices. I tested them too. I was the jerk.

    I discovered that it was I who was the prejudiced one, towards them. I found, sadly, more negative feelings between various Jewish groups in our heimishe communities that I felt between most Southern Religious Gentiles and the Jews.

    No one passed me in the street without a greeting and a smile.

    No one ever shoved me aside in line.

    No one ever cut me off rudely in traffic.

    Oh, they asked me many questions about being a Chassidish Jew, but always polite, and the inquisitiveness was genuine as they wanted to know and understand. And, guess what? I found out that they knew more about Yiddishkeit, sadly than some of my fellow Yidden that I met elsewhere.

    Y’all want to know something else. In the State of Alabama, EVERYONE TAKES EVERYONE ELSE’S CHECKS!
    Without question. It would be just rude to allow a check to bounce, that they don’t do it. and it would be rude to not take your check.
    True if they did not know you, they may ask to see your ID. That’s all. There was that much trust.

    I do not think I locked my car doors in 3 or 4 years, and often left the keys in the ignition.

    Guys, let us all stop deluding outselves. WE may be the greatest in tzedaka moisdois, but we have slipped and fallen in derech eretz.

    (by the way, all those religious goyim tithe a full 10% off the tops of their salaries and/or their busness’s sales! and then give personal charity on the side. The tithes go to their churches. And they too have their organizations which are also very charitable. We do not have a monopoly on chesed. and they have the politeness and derech eretz too.)

    And, by the way, for those who bevieve that we are the only ones who ask sheylois to our rabbonim before acting, I was talking to a man in his business in Alabama. He is a Southern Baptist. I suggested a certain business idea. He thought it would be a good idea, but, he lifted up the phone, right in front of me, and phoned his Pastor, to ask him if he thought there was any “Shade of impropriety” in the deal. He wanted to know that he did the right thing. His pastor actually told him not to do it, as it may give a consumer the wrong idea. There are plenty of good people out there beside us. So, stop telling me that the goyim are worse. That is ignorant foolishness.

    Maybe it is because of all my travels that I can no longer tolerate the attitude in some of our Chassidishe communities. Maybe I see the rudness and nastiness now that I did not see before my travels. But I do see it, every time I visit.

    I know I myself grew enormously from my dealings with those people. I got rid of most my rudeness, Yes, I had it, I just did not see it before. I am still working on it.

    Can we not examine our weaknesses without getting defensive?

    Are we not good enough to admit our wrongs and work on bettering ourselves?

  144. Yes, I’m back. I wanted to offer my best wishes to the chosson and kallah, and apologize if I offended you in any way. I feel your pain, but am worried that not much constructive is coming of this. (See Guard Your Tongue, pp. 122-123.) Maybe we can get some grassroots Deracheha Darchei Noam movement coming, starting with rabbeim, posters in stores, I don’t know. But living in a high stress city can’t be enough to justify the behavior, and all the chesed, which I admire greatly, may not be able to cancel the other stuff out. Let’s try to brainstorm for a solution. I’ll do what I can living 100+ miles away from the epicenter. Kol tuv.

  145. ok DM, here I agreed w/ you until you started with the goyim’s maaser. right. there are some good gentiles as well, but in general most of them HATE us. shocked? I didn’t make this up- EISAV SOINE L’YAAKOV. Before ww2 the germans were thought to be the most ‘polite’ & proper nation. until they discarded the facade & came out w/ their true colors.
    wow! the gentiles give charity? amazing! it’s only morally correct. And maybe it’s also a prestige issue.
    He calls his priest to ask advice. very nice & dandy. until he’s told to do something that’s a b-i-t too hard for him.
    publicly they behave better? how are they leading their private lives? I bet worse than most of us.
    U are indirectly (or directly) stating that yidden are no better than goyim. what a chillul Hashem!!
    yes, we’re not perfect, but it’s insane to say that that the goyim even measure up to us..

  146. Most of the comments were pretty negative. Unfortunately,I must agree with the critics of the bad behavior Doing chessed work does NOT free one from DERECH ERETZ! Just because you are a Hatzolo member and active volunteer,does NOT give you the right to jump ahead of me in line at the supermarket,or use the express lane when you have 15 items. Just because you know how to learn and you give shiurim for free does NOT give you the right to schmooze during davening or push your way out of shul at the crowded exit. Just because I wear a regular hat (it IS black)but not a big round one (which in my circles ONLY the Rov wears)does not mean I’m not frum or worthy of saying “Good Shabbos” when I try to make eye contact with you and you look away (even though I see you every day in shul)When you are directly in front of me at the door (elevator,house entrance,shul entrance,store entrance)or exiting as I am entering,it doesn’t hurt to hold the door so it doesn’t slam closed on me;or not say “thank-you” when I hold it and just plain walk through. I am referring to frumly dressed men and women even in Derech Eretz land (W H ),Monsey, Boro Park,Williamsburgh, etc. .It’s not a “one area problem. The children stare at you instead of davening when you go to a shul that is basically Chassidish or Yeshivish if you’re a regular very frum un-bearded Jew who speaks and reads English! Yes,there is an arrogance among Yiddish-speaking people who look down on Shomrei Mitzvohs v’lomdei Torah who don’t speak Yiddish or wear a gartel! I’ve been around and experienced all the abuse that the above posters are complaining about. Chessed organizations do NOT exempt a community from common decency and derech eretz towards their neighbors or to strangers. I have much more to say,but I’ll leave it for another time and place.

  147. i wasnt going to post since i think its just a waste of time – things dont change just because we blog about it – most ppl are too defensive – but reading all the comments just makes my blood boil!!!!

    out of towners have a ‘better than thou’ attitude but claim NYers do!!

    alot is ‘big city syndrome’ but in BP its jUSt lack of BASIC Derech ‘Eretz – i have experienced way too many unpleasant situations in BP! anyone who denies this is just being defensive!!

    saying people dont mean harm but just DONT THINK – WHAT KIND OF EXCUSE IS THAT??????? as frum ppl we are REQUIRED to think about our actions & the results of them!!!

    saying good shabbos to everyone does not make this a ‘better place’ as out of towners love to comment all the time – if we said good shabbos to every person -we couldnt take a walk – there are SO MANY MORE ppl here!(and greeting the opposite gender is TOTALLY in appropriate!!!)

    also many times people are engrossed in conversation with their friend or spouse & greeting them is ACTUALLY RUDE!!!!!

    halevai we should actually take all this to heart & one person at a time – ON EVERY LEVEL – WHEREVER & WHOMEVER WE ARE -make a difference EVERYWHERE!!!!

  148. Coming from England where people wait in line and thank you I just have to retune myself every time I come to Boro Park to be a bit tougher-that’s the nature of the beast! But look at all the chesed there Americans are some of the most kind and generous people in the world.

  149. I have asked people I personally know,why they don’t greet me after davening,either on their own or responding to me when I say ‘Gut Shabbos’,etc. One answer I received was,”I have nothing right now that I have to discuss with you.” Is THAT a reason to not greet someone?
    Also,Why is there a custom to NOT send a “thank-you” card to people who send a Bar Mitzvah or Wedding gift? Over the past 7 or so years,plenty of people I gave or sent gifts to,NEVER sent a thank-you card,or called;and did not even mention thanks when seeing me in shul or on the street. WHY?/ Where is ‘ahavas Yisroel’? Why the Ga’avah?

  150. To tzippi #165

    “Maybe we can get some grassroots Deracheha Darchei Noam movement coming, starting with rabbeim, posters in stores”

    Kids’ books with great stories and pictures (featuring situations that we can instantly recognize) would also be great, similar to “Trekking Through Time” published by the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation. We could also apply Rav Pam ZT”L’s philosophy; he was an advocate of the pleasant way; there is even a book about him with this title.

    Bravo, tzippi! We are finally seeing some practical suggestions! You have proved to everyone that it is not necessary to speak Loshon HoRa in order to address this problem. In fact, I wonder how come no one has responded to your invitation to brainstorm for a solution? Many of the commenters so self-righteously attacked Boro Park; where are they all now when solutions are being discussed?

    This is what I said in #114: The BP bashers did not say, “what can we do to help our brothers and sisters to achieve sterling Derech Eretz”? Because it is not as much fun as bashing…

  151. I have lived in Boro Park for many years. I do not dress Chassidish and do not yet know Yiddish well. But most people I meet on the street reply to my greetings (even if we don’t know each other); many greet me first. I say please and thank you in the stores and am not the only person to do so, and we don’t get stared at just for this.

    There are bad incidents sometimes, as in any neighborhood. It doesn’t matter which neighborhood: salespeople, restaurant waiters, and drivers passing through the streets may not even be from here. But ultimately, it boils down to whether you respect yourself. If you respect yourself, someone who does an undignified thing to you does not throw you off balance; you feel pity towards someone who failed with his Derech Eretz, and you wonder; what could I do to help this Jewish brother or sister grow in middos and bring more nachas to Avinu SheBaShomayim?

    But bashing the person does not help him grow. And it tells us much more about the basher than about the one he is ranting.

  152. frimchebubche #170:

    “things dont change just because we blog about it” – Of course, no constructive purpose will be achieved by just discussing negative things. See #118: But in fact, there was no constructive purpose in the bashing comments in this thread. Because bashing people (instead of truly helping them to change) is not effective in achieving any constructive purpose.

    “but reading all the comments just makes my blood boil” – this is the only real “achievement” of the negative commenters, instead of any constructive purpose: they get their readers so inflamed with their negative comments, that the readers also join the bashing

    “saying people dont mean harm but just DONT THINK – WHAT KIND OF EXCUSE IS THAT??????? as frum ppl we are REQUIRED to think about our actions & the results of them!!!” This is not true! Where is dan l’chaf zechus? There is a big difference between an unintentional action and an intentional one. Please also think about your own actions and their results; don’t get even more people inflamed; your yourself admitted that there is no positive result anyway

  153. #176 –

    Story #1 is a real Nebich that can make you cry. I hope the guilty party read it so he can be Mekabel Tochacha.

    Story #2 is absolutely beautiful. That child must have received a wonderful Chinuch. He should be a model for what this thread is hoping to accomplish.

    I happen to know of a story similar to the New Square story that took place in *Kiryas Yoel*, as a matter of fact. The only difference is that the person really needed the childs help, and that encounter actually led to a relationship that has continued for over 20 years and counting. It had a part in producing 2 generations of Bnai Torah.

  154. HaChover Reb Yekke (169, 172):
    Certainly, no one is exempt from the obligation to treat people with Derech Eretz. I feel badly that you are having a difficult time with some of the people in your neighborhood.

    Regarding the Hatzolo member who cuts ahead of you in line, his aggressive nature might be part of his being active on Hatzolo, constantly jumping to answer calls. I’m positive that he never intentionally cut the line, but rather saw you standing there and either decided that you weren’t on that particular line or thought that you were still deciding whether you were finished shopping.
    Concerning the shiur-giver who schmoozes in shul, why not daven for yeshuos in his family?
    Also, please be aware that there are some people who find it easier to respond to a “Good Shabbos” that is said with the warmth of Ahavas Yisroel.
    Not to pardon the absence of a thank you for a gift, but the months after a simcho are often extremely hectic, and by the time things settle down enough to write those cards, the ba’alei hasimcho are frequently embarassed to send them so late; sometimes they think that those who gave the gifts already forgot by now.

    May I remind you of what you well know: that there are numerous people in your vicinity who excel in Bein Odom Lachaveiro.

    Thank you for reading my defense of those fellows in what you so aptly termed “Derech Eretz Land.”

  155. years ago I dovened into a small Chassidish Steible in Monsey for Shabbos Mincha – the place was filled with Chassidim. The 1st and 3rd aliyas went to fellows wearing {gasp} white, straw hats and both guys were clean shaven!

    additionally, I have been in New Square several times and have dovened there on a few of those times. I find the New Square people to be very welcoming of people not from New Square. Several years ago, I went to watch the Rebbi light Chanukah candles. I sat on a bench with my boys and someone told me not to sit there but to move over to a different area and he explained from where I was, I wouldn’t see anything. I moved to the other area and while waiting, the Gabbai came and sat next to me (I knew then that I must be in the good seating area). sure enough, a direct line view to the Rebbi

  156. #180,
    We’re talking about a child! Don’t put your preconceived ill will into a child’s head. He probably has never seen anyone w/o chasidishe clothes davening, so he assumed such people don’t daven. It’s innocence not hate.

    I grew up in a neighborhood without any shtreimel wearers. The first time I saw one – when I was about 6 or 7 years old – I thought the guy was dressing up as if it were purim. Not because I was indoctrinated to hate chasidim but because I had never seen such a thing before.

  157. think first –

    OF COURSE we have to think before we act – then many times the “unintentional” actions won’t occur in the first place!!!!
    what does that have anything to do with ‘dan l’kaf zchuus???

    & btw – this blog isnt what gets me angry -i was already before 😉 this just brings it out in the open & MAYBE MAYBE after reading this whol blog someone might act differently in the future!

  158. Thanks 173. I think the kids’ programs are great, but I’m thinking of something for grownups. Posters, bumper stickers, something with an edge, that will make people smile, vs. simply pesukim, or that could make people defensive (“who are these holier than thou people putting up these posters”, etc.) and think, and think again.

    I’m working on it 😉

  159. re post 173 – I saw an interesting event while in someones house. the small child was watching a dvd calling chutzpah = mukzah. the kid watched the whole video and when it was over, he was screaming at his mommy to change the dvd to something else (ok, he was only 2-1/2). 🙂

  160. Derech Eretz is old-fashioned and not applicable today. Size and style of hats are much more important. People ask when a prospective shidduch candidate is suggested;not what are his middos,but about length of peyos and style of hat,size of brim,etc. I’ve personally heard these discussions among co-workers.

  161. #180 – Feif Un

    Like #182 said – this is a child and all I can have for him is praise for helping a fellow Yid who he thought needed help. It may be humorous and confirm certain grievances you have with the more sheltered communities, but for the child it was an absolutely beautiful thing for him to do.

  162. Feif Un (187) – Sorry – it’s innocence. A child who’s already demonstrating the maturity of helping out a fellow Yid will likely not remain a child forever and will realize that Frumkeit has little to do with clothing.

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