Monday, December 31, 2007

If I rule the world

Today's world is a crazy place. Nothing is scarier than the upcoming presidential election and the current state of affairs in Israel. The baboons in politics are obviously the problem, and so therefore I would like to nominate myself as the leader of the fascist party. If you guys agree with my platform, please let me know, and second my nomination.

The first and foremost thing I would do as a fascist dictator is start a program to end world stupidity. I plan on accomplishing this by instituting annual IQ tests for ALL people, and not just to school children. I will also institute creativity tests and annual interviews with professional psychiatrists. Based on the results, I will separate the society. I will not discriminate based on race or color or gender, but solely on IQ/creativity/interview scores. The smartest people will be given their own island, or CEO headquarters where they can become my advisors and help me rule the not-so-smart people. Then I will institute a physical strength test. The strongest people in the world will be assigned to help me enforce the laws. However, the really dumb strong people will not qualify, and the really smart muscular ones will be on their own island, unless there is an emergency. The lower, not smart, uncreative, weak people will be the serfs or the slaves of the land. They will run the offices, and the factories for the smart people. They will be unable to accomplish anything further than being mere "employees" unless I see progress on their annual exam scores, or if my CEO's see progress on how their factories are running and can nail it down to a specific employee or team of employees. This system is slightly based on Plato's Republic. All peoples under my empire will have equal opportunity to learn, and will all start from square one. Each pupil will learn at his/her own pace, NOT at class pace. The really dumb people will be stuck on another island with a few retired genuis CEO's. On that island they will train them to use common sense, and logic, and reason. If this method is unsuccessful in contributing to more common sense in the world, the dumby will be forced to continously push rocks up hills that will fall, until death. There would be no point to this excercise but to keep the dumbies out of the way.

The second thing I would do if I had the opportuinity would be to forbid all hachnosas kallah organizations. If one is poor and cannot afford a wedding, they should not have one. There is NO halacha that requires weddings as anything more than 2 witnesses, a ketuva and a chupa. If you can't afford a wedding, don't have one. Society does not OWE anything to anyone, and if you're dumb enough to use the argument "people will go into debt to throw big weddings" then you are just dumb and will most likely end up pushing rocks up hills.

The third thing I will do if I get to rule the world, would be to forbid kolel. Hashem created time zones. Time zones ensure that someone is always learning Torah. A system of mandatory Torah learning will be enforced. The system will be calculated by the genuises (who will have to abide by the laws as well) in such a way to ensure Torah learning WILL go on around the world. The best Torah learners will be able to learn "full time" by going into chinuch as rebbeim. However, the term "kollel" will not be used. Semantics, I know. But hey, its MY fantasy dream world.

The fourth thing I will do, is forbid the formation of crazy chumras. Anyone who does something completely ridiculous, like deem garlic "chometz" because their chassidishe ancestors used it to store chometz, will be thrown into prison. Any chassidishe people (other than lubavich, they're funny :)) will be forced into litvishe customs (which will surely be moderated as well). No more knickers and white socks being deemed as "Jewish clothing." No more Black hats either. Abe Lincoln was NOT a Jew, therefore we have NO reason to deem the black hat as a "frummer than thou" identifier. You're not frummer, you're just dumber, and probably have nothing better to do. Pray you don't end up pushing rocks up hills.

Military wise, I would have a team of scientists form an anti-radiation bubble, which would be used to cover the entire country of Israel. For about a two-year span I will have each and every arab interviewed by therapists. If the therapists feel they are good, and decent, they will be allowed to go under Israel's anti-radiation bubble. After all the arabs are interviewed, I will nuke the entire mideast as it is the only way to prevent them from bombing us first. There will be plenty of people surving because of the bubble. The only sure extinct group of people are the Neturei Karta. They would not even be given opportunity for psychiatric evaluation, they will be automatically deemed evil.

Although I see the significance in having large families, I do not understand the people who want seven kids, but do not plan on raising them. People who are crappy parents will not be allowed to raise their own children. This will be tested by psychaitric evaluations and IQ/creativity tests, as well as nutrition tests. If the children are lacking in their development, the parents will be monitered. If it is deemed the parents fault, the children will taken away to live with families that want to spend time with them. If the "bad" families continue on having children because of some ridiculous chumra that birthcontrol is somehow assur d'oraisa, their kids will be taken away at birth. All birth parents will be granted the right to see/visit children unless they are abusive (physically as well as emotionally).

I'm sure I have more things to discuss here, but I am getting tired, and therefore will either comment, or write another post in the future. People, please nominate me! :)

Nominate ME to represent the Fascist party :)!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

More goyim hire mohels

Apparently more and more mohel's are being hired by non-Jews.

Just thought this was interesting

Cut off wife's ears, nose

Husband cut off wife’s ears, nose on Eid day

The above article is about a muslim guy in Afghanistan who cut off his wife's ears and nose, even after she SWORE she wasn't cheating on him. Does it matter whether or not she swore it, does anyone ever have the right to cut off your ears/nose even if you DO cheat on them? I guess if you're a barbarian...

Monday, December 24, 2007



yomtova commented: "Re: Flatbush, I guess if it's in Brooklyn and not Boro Park, it must be Flatbush. :)" on one of my last posts. What she doesn't realize, and the majority of the frum people do not realize, is that geography happens to be very important. Being able to tell apart the neighborhoods is crucial to living and surviving Brooklyn.

For example... If you go to Brighton Beach, and tell a bunch of Russians, they live in flatbush, they'd probably call the mafia on you. They'd probably call you a "dumb American" and tell you to go to hell, well actually the exact translation would be "to the devil". Russian's sing songs about Brighton Beach IN Russia. For them its like (l'havdil) Jerusalem for Jews.

Then imagine going off to Manhattan Beach and telling them that THEY live in flatbush! They'll start cursing at you. Manhattan Beach is a rich community, where people work hard. These people are doctors, and lawyers, and they ENCOURAGE their children to go into such professions, in hopes that their children turn into hard -working and proud people, as opposed to in "flatbush" where they encourage taking charity and going on welfare to support kolel-lifestyle's.

SheepsheadBay isn't like flatbush at all. The zoned public schools in the bay area aren't as scary as the ones in flatbush. People in Sheepshead are almost like the one's in Manhattan Beach. Sheepshead is mostly Russian, "modern orthodox" american/BT Russians, and a few token blackhatters. The MO in sheepshead are incredibly anti-kolel. They mock the token black-hatters. The blackhatters are secretly envious of the MO because they don't worry about the color of their tablecloth and they don't worry about marrying off their daughters based on how much money they can offer her/month to marry an unemployed guy with absolutely no life experience or future.
Which reminds me of a joke...
Q)whats the difference between a cell phone and a lakewood boy?
A) the cell phone has a plan!

A VERY important reason not to call everything flatbush, is because most of the time the frum family doesn't live in flatbush. Most frummies are in the midwood area.
Learn your geography people!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Death of common sense

I got this in my email.

Too bad our grandchildren won't know him.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense., who has been with us for a long time. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain.Why the early bird catches the worm.Life isn't always fair.And maybe it was MY fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies:Don't spend more than you earn and reliable strategies like adults, not children, are in charge. His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6 year old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Tylenol, sun lotion or a band-aid, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense became discouraged to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment and more rights than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little on her lap and was awarded a huge settlement. It didn't make sense to Common Sense that soldiers who lose limbs and lives defending our country got no such settlements. Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion and Loyalty, his daughter, Responsibility and his son, Reason. He is, however, survived by his 3 stepbrothers; Mr. I Know My Rights, Mr. Someone Else is to Blame, and Mr. I'm A. Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you are one of the few who happened to remember him, you might want to pass this on.

common sense is not so common

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ahh...Thank you Ohr Naava?

Ohr Naava is a women's program. It is a program headed by Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein. The program has shuirim, and many other activities, free of charge. Although I have personal issues with the program, I do beleive the program is a very good idea, however I do not beleive it deserves all the praise it gets. The following is a letter written to the Readers Write forum in the Yated.(I will not copy the first part it, because it is on a different subject, and is therefore irrelevant to this post).
My comments are in italics:

On a different topic, the shidduch parsha is truly a crisis. Ask girls who graduated high school 6,7,8,9 or even 10 years how many girls from their grade are not married. They all give a similar response: 5 to 7 girls.
I'd like to publicly thank Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein for making the shidduch parsha much easier to bear. By arranging shiurim Sunday through Thursday, for approximately four hours a night in Flatbush ok...Ohr Naava is NOT in Flatbush. I do not understand what the obsession with frum people and "Flatbush" is, but 23 str and ave V is NOT Flatbush, it is "sheepshead bay". Sheepshead Bay people pride themselves on not being part of the "flatbush" community. Sheepsheadbay people are more accepting. They ENCOURAGE girls to seek careers and discourage them from marrying full time learners. They actually want what is best for the girl, not for the girl to "take upon the new trend" which ends up leading to financial crises and tuition crises, he has changed the lives of many girls. Rabbi Motti Miller, Rabbi Label Lam and Rabbi Skaist, each of you has made the parsha easier for the many girls you inspire weekly. I heard Rabbi Miller, he really is good, but maybe because I'm not an "older" single, but I cannot fathom how he could have possibly "made the parsha easier" to bear.
To those who claim that the girls will become too knowledgeable and scare off bochurim, let us see you fund and organize something else! Seriously? What are these guys going to get intimidated off? The fact that this girl was inspired? There is nothing intellectual being discussed at these shuirim, except at maybe Rabbi Freiman's shuirim because he actually discusses ideas and halachos, as opposed to the other guys who basically just try and inspire the girls with far-fetched reasons as to why keeping certain halachos are actually good for them.
Kudos to Rabbi Wallerstein for providing a kosher place to go for all the girls who finish working at 5:00 p.m. and would be bored otherwise. Why won't these girls just go and get themselves hobbies? Maybe read a little bit? he has made the waiting process a learning and growing experience.

I don't know how many of you have been to Ohr Naava, but if you've seen how many girls come for Rabbi Wallerstein's shuirim you would realize that in order for him to really help these girls, he would bring in some guys. He would make atleast one event per month that is co-ed. What better way to "change" the lives of these girls?

Why be jealous?

Last week a friend of mine had attended a wedding. Before the wedding, she called me and was all annoyed because she did not want to attend the wedding. That was one wedding she really should've WANTED to go to (she knew both the bride and the groom very well). The reason she didn't want to go, was jealousy.
My friend is almost 20, and unfortunately because of our ridiculous society she is one year away from being deemed an "old maid". My friend is feeling pressured, and instead of being happy for her friends for finding each other, she is jealous.
I'm a month older than my friend, and apparently that should make me feel even more pressured. However, I think all this shidduchim craze is completely ridiculous, and I'm not going to allow myself to go crazy.
Infact, even if I were to be jealous, this particular couple is not one to be jealous of.

This couple, is relatively young. The kallah is 20 and the chosson is 21. Neither of them have a job, and they both have a few years left of college. What will they be living on? Their parents!
I think this is the most ridiculous situation to be jealous of. Why would anyone be jealous of a couple that isn't even self-sufficient? I understand parents HELPING, but fully supporting? What's the point? Isn't marraige about working together to start your own family? So why have your parents still be 100% financially responsible for you? I just don't get it.
Why be jealous?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Judaism and Existentialism

Existentialist philosophy says that existence comes before essence. A person creates their own purpose for existence, and what you become and how you develop yourself is your essence. Existentialists such as Camus and Taylor compare the uselessness of life to that of the Greek mythological character Sisyphus. The myth goes that Sisyphus was punished by the gods, to spend eternity (literally, he would never die) trying to accomplish one task, roll a rock to the top of the hill. Every time Sisyphus would get the rock to the top, it would roll right down the hill. Camus and Taylor say that all life is like Sisyphus. Completely pointless. Sisyphus is "the absurd hero" because he recognizes the uselessness of his existence, but he accepts it.
I always wonder what the purpose of life is. Everytime I hear a Jewish discussion "on the purpose of life" I often have a hard time agreeing with the points being made. For example, the number one thing every speaker and/or Rabbi will discuss while giving such a speech is that the purpose of life is to "serve Hashem" through mitzvahs. They say that Hashem does not perform open miracles, therefore our job is to put the "effort" in so that the miracles don't appear so open. I also, often hear, that the purpose to life is to do mitvah's, because it makes Hashem happy and fulfilling mitzvah's makes us good people. I have a problem with both reasons.
The first, "effort for miracles", is a problem, because Hashem could easily make homeless people find money. I don't understand how my giving charity makes it any less "miraculous" than if the homeless person finds $100 and then buys himself a shower(as in pay someone to let him use it), a new sweater and pants, as investments in finding a new job, and then FINDING the new job. Then with the theory of "mitvoh's make Hashem happy because then we're good people," I ask, what about mitvah's such as baking challah? How does baking challah make us better people? In the old days(I can see them claiming) that we were good wives/daughters, because we had fresh bread, but nowadays, the mitzvoh has absolutely no relation to how good we are as people. So what is the purpose of life?
I don't think G-d wants us to know. Or maybe there really is no purpose. How do we know that Hashem didn't really just create the world "for fun" and the purpose of mitzvahs is to tame us? I'm a 100% beleiver in G-d, so don't think I'm a heretic, I'm not questioning His existence, I'm just questioning why He created us.
Any ideas?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Divorce causes global warming

Divorce causes global warming

Thats right. It does. I'm just surprised frum people didn't make this up first. Or maybe frum people would come up with something like "Immodest attire causes earth to heat up"
I can see the Jerusalem Post mocking it now!


In 9th grade, my chumash teacher was the school principal. She was also the one that gave "workshop." Workshop was a "class" that met once a week. It was a "class" that was created for freshman, to help them in-getting settled in. As a freshman, I had to take that class. (not that it mattered, I thought it was rather fun). The first day of workshop, we went around the classroom and introduced ourselves.
After we introduced ourselves, the principal starting welcoming us into the school, and then she gave an even more cordial welcome to the girls who came from different elementary schools. Because she recognized me, and knew I had come from PS, she asked me "what is the one thing that you miss most from Public School?" Of course, it was only a week into the school year, so other than the fact that now I had to wear a uniform, there really wasn't a major difference, so I didn't really begin to miss anything, but I had to answer, and so I told the truth "I miss the boy's talking back to the teachers." She started cracking up, and I looked around the room, and I saw some of my new friends all tense. I couldn't figure out why, maybe they were nervous she'd call on them?
It wasn't until the next day that I realized why they were so tense...apparently, it was because I mentioned boys. What did i know? I had no idea it was some sort of taboo to speak about the other gender. News of the 'event' that took place in workshop, spread throughout the kiruv program I was in (wasn't to hard, only about 15 girls from the entire school, and we all had Hebrew classes together). They, unlike myself, did not come straight from public school, but came from other "kiruv" schools, and apparently knew the etiquette of what not to say. One girl started freaking out, and said "I'd NEVER mention boys in class, especially infront of HER (referring to principal)." You see, I had NO idea that I said anything wrong, and I still had no idea why they were freaking out. Why would it be wrong to mention boys?
Anyway, my class members weren't nice enough to explain to me that I wasn't supposed to mention boys because it WAS taboo, and you were considered "slutty" if you spoke to them. It took me about 6 months to realize why what I said was wrong. And, even to this day, I can't figure out what the big deal was, considering the principal started laughing!
I don't understand why they don't allow us to talk to boys. I mean, if it weren't such a taboo, half the girls wouldn't be so curious about them. They'd feel comfortable speaking to their brothers friends, or their neighbors. Lately the frum divorce rate has been rising, while theirs simulataneously a shidduch "crisis." Would there be a high divorce rate if we had the opportunity to really figure out for ourselves what we wanted, as opposed to have our parents and teachers TELL us what we want? I understand "things" can happen, but with proper education and self-respect, nothing would. maybe an occassional lapse in shomer negia, but the speakers the schools bring in, would guilt the girl out of every doing it again. And if those speakers DON'T guilt her, she's a lost cause, and probably would not have been so shomer even if she weren't allowed to talk to the guys.

Anyway, a bit off topic, after I slowly started realizing what I can and cannot admit in this new school, I started remembering other things I did, that weren't so 'good'. Like the first day of our music class, the teacher asked us to write down what our favorite songs and bands were. And I, wrote the truth. I wrote "98 degrees" and "o-town" and then "My Everything" and "Baby I would." Imagine how much trouble I would have been in had I NOT been from Public School?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

No Homework - Two Days A Week

This is an article from the Jewish Press. My rants are in italics.

No Homework- Two Days A Week

Homework, like everything else in our world, has become inflated and more complex over time.
Really? I mean, if this is the case than how come everyone is constantly complaining that this country's education is going down. It can't be both ways. Either HW is getting more complex (which implies the material the HW is covering is more complex) or the education IS really going down, and we choose to whine about HW because it's a good distraction from the many "crises" currently inflicting the frum community.
Schools grapple with the need to cram more learning into an already long school day, and homework seems like an attractive opportunity for reinforcing new material.
Once, homework was a few minutes' review of that day's learning, and children were expected to do it by themselves. parents were not meant to do most of the work. But for most families this is exactly what happens. Ok, firstly, aside from projects and book reports hw IS supposed to be about review. I asked people and they never had only a "few minutes" and they DID do it on their own. I know I had ALOT of HW throughout my school years, my parents HELPED me, never ever did they do the HW for me. If parents do the HW for the kids, they are sucky parents, because not only are the hindering the child's ability to develop independence and gain knowledge, but they're also avoiding their children by having to add HW to their list of choirs.
Mrs. A. Klestzick, principal of Bnos Leah Prospect Park Yeshiva Elementary School and its Menahel Rabbi Leib Kelman are dedicated to tackling and solving the homework dilemma. How hard is it, tell the parents to make the kids do their own HW, and stop feeling bad for the kids, they get to sing songs in school all day, HW is the only time real material is covered anyway!
They recognize the need for children to have downtime, playtime, and family time. You want more downtime? Make the school day shorter. More playtime? Make the school day shorter. More family time? HW CAN be family time, what better way to bond than over something intellectually stimulating?
HaRav Matisyahu Salamon, shlita, in a talk to staff when he visited the school, spoke in favor of reducing homework. He stated that homework had turned the parent/child relationship upside down. Once again, try turning HW into a bonding experience. Helping kid with fractions? Use their 4 other siblings as the "4 piece pie" and if one kids goes and helps mommy with the laundry, how many kids are left?
The ideal Torah'dige relationship is where children look to help parents, not where parents need to help children every night. Firstly, find me a passuk, or don't call it "Torah'dige". My sister and I constantly recieved help from our parents. My dad is better at history, and he helped clarify the accuracy of my essays, while my mom had more patience to explain and help with the maths/sciences. My parents usually went overboard with the "helping" by making us read a few chapters ahead in our books, so this way we are ahead in class and can snatch a few points by participating in the class discussions. I know I personally used to, and still do help my mom alot when it comes to housework, and I think that "studying" together actually bonded us even more than any form of housework or "fieldtrip" we could've gone on had I had homework-free nights. Reducing homework would restore the normal relationship between parent and child. Come to think of it, over the summer, when I had no HW at all, I didn't help my mom any more than usual. In fact, my mom used to buy books that were geared for homeschooled children. Every night after work, she used to come home and make my sister and I study from them. Apparently, all this time, we had an "upside down" relationship.
New guidelines have been put into place this year at Prospect Park Yeshiva to translate this novel idea into reality. Tuesday nights are now off-limits for written assignments and teachers cannot assign any homework, written or otherwise, on Thursday nights. These preliminary efforts have yielded outstanding results; students and parents are breathing a sighs of relief. Yea, now they don't have to pay for TiVo to record all the shows they normally miss on those days, which also frees up their motzei shabbos's because now they don't have to spend each and everyone of them making up the Tuesday/Thursday TV. Seriously, what else would they be doing tuesday nights?? on Thrusday nights, alright, preparing for shabbos, but what's a tuesday? It's the most ignored day of the week- except for when Gilmore Girls was on air. ;)
The new policy requires that teachers and parents change their attitudes towards homework. Teachers are restructuring their lessons and materials to comply with the new homework rules- and parents are learning not to measure the quality of education by the quantity of homework assignments.
Both teachers and parents are satisfied with the positive outcome of this initiative.
One parent called Mrs. Klestzick to compliment her on initiating the new homework policy. What are the chances it wasn't just that the mother felt she needed to suck up, to help gain "brownie points" because an older daughter of hers is looking for a shidduch, and needs all the thumbs up she can get? "Could you please tell other schools about this?" she asked. "It's the greatest thing that's happened to my family." Definitely beats the fact that she had kids to begin with, huh?

Basically i think that this will never work. The teachers aren't going to "reconstruct" anything. If they'll need to give HW, they'll just wait till Wednesday night to do it. Well...its Prospect after all...they need to do something to fix their declining reputation.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Life's tough- wear a helmet

I have a major problem with this new initiative by the frummies to abandon HW. I think that HW is a necessity in order to achieve a decent education, especially since most of the B'Y schools really don't give that much HW in the first place. For elementary I was at a Public School. The amount of HW I had was intense. Starting 3rd grade, I had about 1 book report a month. Aside from that, there was spelling, math and Reading HW's, and some other random projects (art, music, etc) I was loaded with work. I wrote my first research paper, not in 12th grade like most B"Y girls but in 4th grade. I even remember the topic -Canada. It had to have a bibliography, and at least 3 sources. By 8th grade I had already written so many papers, that I had lost count. Then I went to private school...
I went to private school and I expected life to be hell. HS generally had a reputation of being chaotic and nuts, and since I was an "outsider" and very limited in my knowledge of hebrew subjects, I assumed I'd have no social life outside of the classroom. However, the naive atmosphere of the frum community made life relatively simple. I took a "skills" chumash class, and a few other "dumb" classes. Hey- I needed them, and I'm secure enough to admit it.
My chumash teacher was the principal of the school. When she found out I came from PS, she automatically gave me less HW than the rest of the class and she gave me modified exams. I was thrilled! Afterall, this was a free pass not to study and do very little HW. At first, I was happy with this, but then I realized, that she was actually preventing me from achieving my full potential. How was I supposed to reach my full potential if I was not in a situation in which I was able to compare myself too others? What was an A if nobody else in the class was taking the same exam as I was? What's an A mean? If I received a D on the test the entire class took, I'd at least know that it was most probably a "fair" exam the teacher made relative to the class material covered. If I recieved an A on a random test, was the test extra easy, or was it really an "educated" test that was meant to truly measure what I learned, and I happened to learn all the material excellently? Life is about learning the material...and on a BROAD range. Someone with few skills, starts on a low-level, and then as he gains more skills, he is promoted. But he is constantly judged by comparison.
Life is tough. School is meant to prepare students for real life. By babying it's students, schools aren't doing them any favors. Babying will only leave students unprepared for the work force, and the competitiveness of the "real world." Homework is the opportunity to learn and retain information on our own. HW allows us the freedom to study on our own terms, and not worry about fellow students interrupting us. As much as I hated, and still hate HW assignments, they are very important and are an integral part of the life of a young adult.

"Life's tough...wear a helmet"
~Eric Matthews (boy meets world)

Stay tuned... my next post will be my rant about an article in the Jewish Press about how Prospect elementary gave up HW 2-nights a week!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

chumra of the week

this is by far one of the funniest things i've ever read in my life. Just thought i should share it with you!

Yonaty and Mehadrin Min Hamehadrin Min Hamehadrin are pleased to introduce:
The Chumra of the Week Club
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• Have you ever noticed someone looking at your tefillin during shacharis as though there were something wrong with them?
• Do people occasionally hesitate when you extend them an invitation to eat at your home, or ask what hashgachos you rely on?
• Has anyone ever said to you in surprise: "Oh, are you maikel?"
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Reasons for return may include (but are not limited to):
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Lately my family's been buying the Yated every week for shabbos entertainment purposes. And when I say entertainment, I mean it. Basically, I read the articles out loud, and we make fun of the new "trends" in the ultra-orthodox community. We mostly focus on the "Readers Write" forum, because it is the most entertaining. As I read out loud, I stop and make sarcastic comments which point out the fallacies with the logic used in their arguments.
The following is my rant, not on a letter, but on an article that caught my attention. This article discusses what Jewish music is. The article itself is about 2 pages long, here is the quote that that irritated me most.

(all quotes taken from Yated Ne'eman)
"Sure thats Jewish Music"
by Rabbi Yossi Rosenberg

"Any person involved in chinuch will attest to the fact that when a boy or girl begins a downward spiral in their commitment to Yiddishkeit, r"l, the first and most direct adverse influence on these children and teens is almost always bad music. "

Though I'm not denying the truth of this point, I wonder if the Rabbi's took into account the simplicity of attaining a radio. No matter how "frum" a family is they have a radio either in their home or in their car. And if one is still in the closet about their intense cuiriousity of the 'secular' world they cannot just come home with secular books, magazines and newspapers. They need to start off with something more subtle.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Florida vs. Shabbaton

The other day my friend and I were discussing if we should go to Miami during our winter break. While taking into consideration the many factors of just picking up and leaving for a week, I came up with the idea of just going away for a shabbos. I told my friend that finding a shabbaton wouldn't be a problem. I also told her that going on a shabbaton will not only be cheaper, but less hectic in terms of travel arrangements and packing. I also discussed the weather; even though Miami will be warmer than Brooklyn (and definitely any near-by location we choose for shabbaton) the weather will by no means be worth traveling for. It's not like it'll be worth going on a beach.
Though my friend considered and recognized the significance of going away only for shabbos, she was still stuck on Florida. She explained that her parents would never allow her to go away to a shabbaton (hotel) environment because they wouldn't trust the guys in such an atmosphere.
This logic completely irritated me. It seems completely irrational too allow your daughter to travel hundreds of miles away from home to an unsupervised (no Rabbi's) hotel. I would definitely understand if we were going to spend the nights at grandparents' condos, but that wasn't going to be the case. We'd be in a hotel either way. One hotel would be full of Rabbi's and the other full of complete and total strangers completely unaware of the concept of shabbaton, never mind that of smicha.
I also find it interesting how these same parents are desperately trying to marry off their daughter. I ask you, logically, does it make any sense for them to allow her to go out alone on a date with a guy, if they do not trust guys on a shabbaton? On a shabbaton she would be with me. The guys would be with their friends. Though we would definitely mingle, the chances of anything occurring would not be so great, considering we'd all at least be slightly frum.
Maybe I'm missing something because I'm a BT and am not FFB. OR maybe their logic is just totally twisted and exclusive to them. However, I do find it terrible how they believe their daughter is mature enough to get married, yet, not mature enough to handle herself away from home.

My letter to Readers Write in the Yated

The following is a letter I had written to the "Readers Write" column/forum in the Yated. I know the writing is a bit choppy, but after reading the "Readers Write" it is almost impossible to think clearly.

I find it interesting how we talk about a 'financial crisis' in the frum community, while we simultaneously encourage kollel. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that we already have a solution, we just aren't putting it into practice! How hard is it to recognize that the only way to make money is to work for it. I remember learning in High School that Hakadosh BaruchHu does not want us to rely on miracles, rather he wants us to do our hishtadlus.
As much as reality may disappoint you, government handouts are NOT miracles- they are in fact temporary. If one follows national news, he would notice that more and more politicians (both the Republicans AND the Democrates) are trying to limit these handouts.
Just the fact that the expression "working bums" was uttered by someone in the community, only goes to show how disdainful the community is of their supporters. Don't ever forget that it's the "working bums" that pay the taxes which provide the government with money to support kollel. Its also these same "working bums" who CHOOSE to pay their 10% of maaser money to the yeshivos.
A while back, I went out on a date with a guy who said he "didn't have the personality" to sit and learn all day. He was a "working bum." The problem with him, was that he had the same mentality as the "financial crisis" whiners. He told me during the date how his life plan was to make enough "parnassah" so that he can support his sons learning full-time. I asked him what he would do if he had 7 sons, and he replied "I hope to have enough money to support them." Unsatisfied with his answer, I asked him "what will you do when your grandsons will want to learn full time, as well, and will have no money to do so?" He answered "I only think about one generation at a time" By this point in the conversation, I realized I was talking to the wall. The entire concept of PruErvu is to WORRY about the following generations.
All the major Rebbeim who influence us today had professions. Both RamBam and RamBan were physicians. Rashi worked on a vineyard. What makes us think we're better than them? What makes us think that we can look down on "working bums"? If not for working AND learning "bums" we wouldn't have made it this far as a klal. If not for "working bums" we wouldn't have anything. Just because we lost millions of people during the holocaust does not change "true torah values" of WORKING AND LEARNING!