Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 435

Tuesday, March 14 2000

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 10:13:16 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Machtzis HaShekel

On Tue, Mar 14, 2000 at 09:51:50AM -0500, Yzkd@aol.com wrote:
: Where does it say that Lhalacha ...                   a Matbei'ah must have 
: the metalic value? what is needed for Machtzis (according to the opinion that 
: we do not need the value of 1/2 Shekel) is an official coin of the country 
: one lives in, that has the "name" Machtzis on it, 

Actually, I would think the burden of proof is on you. Until this century,
the words "coin" and "matbei"ah" refered to pieces of metal whose value is
inherent in the metal. A piece of silver that weighs 1/2 of a shekel is a
"machatzis hashekel" whether it's a coin or an ingot. Similarly, a half-
shekel coin that was shaved down around the edges is no longer a "machatzis
hashekel". (Which is why money changers kept scales.)

What is relevent isn't the fact that it had some picture stamped on either
side by a gov't that weighed out the silver, but the amount of silver itself.

Here we have something whose only value is in the shape of the metal, that
we all agree that a coin of a sandwich of metals pressed into a certain shape 
by the US gov't can be used to pay of 50 cent debts.

I don't see how the two can be assumed to be similar, just because they're
both called "coin" in English.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for  7-Mar-00: Shelishi, Pekudei
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Rosh-Hashanah 5b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 10:19:13 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Yisachar-Zevulin

On Tue, Mar 14, 2000 at 10:20:05AM -0500, Joelirich@aol.com wrote:
: << 
:  The Zevulun wannabe is laudable, there is sechar in accordance with his
:  regret at lacking the finances to support a Yissachar. However, the dynamic
:  of a Zevulun wannabe, but is not the same dynamic as someone who actually
:  experiences giving up money. >>

:                                              I have a hard time believing 
: that one who has an annual income of 5 million dollars and writes a check for 
: 10,000 really "experiences" more than one who earns 25000 a year and writes a 
: check for $100.

I intentionally did NOT say one is more than the other. (Please read again
the text quoted above.) I just said they were not comparable. They operate
differently on the soul of the giver, and therefore are "apples and oranges",
as I said before.

My original statement was that someone who is a Zevulun, as opposed to someone
who just gives tzedakah to people who learn full time, shows and develops a
teshukah to learning that ought to be reflected in success in the learning
he does do himself. Even though the Zevulun's of this world are people more
suited to doing something else the majority of his time. (An important point
to teach children with ADD.)

I didn't say that someone with a similar teshukah but expresses it differently
would be any less successful.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for  7-Mar-00: Shelishi, Pekudei
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Rosh-Hashanah 5b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 11:18:48 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re[2]: Aliya and Moshiach

Different mothers?

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________

> We all know that Avraham Avinu sent Eliezer to Charan to find a 
>  wife for Yitzchak because there were no girls available that were 
>  befitting him in Cna'an. And yet, one deah in the Medrash on 
>  "vaHashem beirach es Avraham ba'kol" is that Avraham Avinu had 
>  a daughter whose name was "ba'kol." So why didn't Yitzchak 
>  marry her? Very simple - Yitzchak wanted to marry a girl and not a 
>  Medrash :-) 
Without getting into wether this is a Purim Torah or a Milse D'bdichusa, 
Bpashtus Kayin (and Hevel) had Heter to marry their sisters as Olom Chesed 
Yiboneh, Rashi Vayikra 20:17, what Heter would Yitzchok had, (WRT Shimon and 
Dina, Mforshim give many answers).

Kol Tuv

Yitzchok Zirkind

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 11:20:48 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re: Holocaust , Never Again

My impression was that in the event of another threat, the Jews would be ready. 
mobilized and armed to fight back.  I do not think he meant that another 
holocost could not emerge on the horizon, and I do not think he thought Jews had
a fair chance in Europe. My impression is that he wanted Jews to be mobilized to
stand up for themselves - very similar to the evetns of 13 Adar when the jews 
killed 75,000 anti-Semites in Persia.

IOW, since in America we have the RIGHT to bear arms to protect ourselves

Therefore it behooves us to do so.

In Persia it took a separate decree from Achashveirosh to allow for this 

Kahane was saying we could all, 100% of us become partisans in the event of 
another impending holocost, the never again is not that we didn't want to 
resist, but that we had no way or opporutnity to do so.

IIRC his articles in the Jewish Press reflect this.


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________

	I don't say that things cannot be done in advance to protect ourselves 
(the one really valid point that Rabbi Kahane always stressed was that it 
should be our immediate goal to get ourselves to Eretz Israel rather than 
trying to "fight it out" here.) but the belief that the holocaust (there,
 I've said it!) was caused by the lack of will to resist,  and could be
prevented by such will in the future,  is shallow at best.


Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 10:26:34 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: RW and Historical Revisionism?

I need to add that I am willing to see the chips here fall where they may,
in the interest of historical integrity, even though this requires some risk
to my own positions, since many of you are aware of my close connection to
the RW (my wife is from Detroit).

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila    ygb@aishdas.org

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 11:31:42 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re: Avos Marrying Sisters (was Re: Aliya and Moshiach)

v'gam omnah achosi bas avi hi, ach lo vas imi, vat't'hi li l'ishah.

Breishis 20:12


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Avos Marrying Sisters (was Re: Aliya and Moshiach) 

I was thinking about this today also. Can a Ben Noach marry a 
sister? Especially one from a different mother? If so, that would be 
a heter (leaving aside the Ramban and the Meshech Chochma who 
hold that the Avos kept kol haTorah kula at least when they were in 
Eretz Yisrael).

-- Carl

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 11:41:00 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
The Holocaust and the Pope (and the RW

> Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 09:51:45 +0200
> From: "Akiva Atwood" <atwood@netvision.net.il>
> Subject: RE: The Holocaust and the Pope (and the RW)

<<Not true -- their archives are open to legitimate researchers. (I know
two Orthodox Rabbis, both historians by profession, who had full access
to the vatican archives in the early 80s)>>

	Did they see the bigdei kehuna as described in the Gemora?


Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 11:47:55 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Avos Marrying Sisters (was Re: Aliya and Moshiach)

In a message dated 3/14/00 10:55:33 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il writes:

> I was thinking about this today also. Can a Ben Noach marry a 
>  sister? Especially one from a different mother? If so, that would be 
>  a heter (leaving aside the Ramban and the Meshech Chochma who 
>  hold that the Avos kept kol haTorah kula at least when they were in 
>  Eretz Yisrael).
A BN may not marry his sister from the same mother (see Ramban by Bnois Lot), 
that is why there is question WRT Shimon and Dinah which were from the same 
mother, likewise Bakol was according to the Medrosh from Sarah.

Kol Tuv

Yitzchok Zirkind

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 11:51:33 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Machtzis HaShekel

In a message dated 3/14/00 11:13:39 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
micha@aishdas.org writes:

> Actually, I would think the burden of proof is on you. Until this century,
>  the words "coin" and "matbei"ah" refered to pieces of metal whose value is
>  inherent in the metal. 

Puk Chazi Mah Amoh Dibar

Kol Tuv

Yitzchok Zirkind

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 12:09:18 EST
From: UncBarryum@aol.com
Re: Avodah V4 #434

In a message dated 3/14/00 10:35:56 AM Central Standard Time, 
owner-avodah@aishdas.org writes:

<< Subject: Re: RW, was re: Avodah V4 #431
 That was street hockey. My record in ice hockey was not as stellar. So I
 went into learning instead. >>

So, now it's a P'shot, and, a goal? Whoops, sorry for the humor.

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 12:18:09 EST
From: DFinchPC@aol.com
Re: Avodah V4 #434

In a message dated 3/14/00 11:09:57 AM US Central Standard Time, 
UncBarryum@aol.com writes:

<< So, now it's a P'shot, and, a goal? Whoops, sorry for the humor. >>

The humor's fine. 

When RYBS deflected the goal after the p'shot, he caused the winger to d'rash 
into the boards, at which time the winger deflected the puck beyond RYBS into 
the net. While there is a theoretical difference between a p'shot and a 
d'rash, either approach allows one to make the same point.

David Finch

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 12:13:55 -0500
Re: The Holocaust and the Pope (and the RW)

Really?  Try to get full unfettered access to Vatican records during WWII.
I doubt it will be given.  Nor to the recrods of the Inqusition or even to a
single event like the Mortara affair.
----- Original Message -----
From: Akiva Atwood <atwood@netvision.net.il>
To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2000 2:51 AM
Subject: RE: The Holocaust and the Pope (and the RW)

> > since the Vatican refuses to open up its archives.
> Not true -- their archives are open to legitimate researchers. (I know two
> Orthodox Rabbis, both historians by profession, who had full access to the
> vatican archives in the early 80s)
> Akiva

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 10:35:27 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Holocaust

--- Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com> wrote:

> 	What I wrote was "never-again" ism:  the > secular
> religion based upon the
> belief that if WE had been there,  we would not have
> gone like sheep to
> the slaughter. 

> (the one really valid point that Rabbi Kahane always
> stressed was that it
> should be our immediate goal to get ourselves to
> Eretz Israel rather than
> trying to "fight it out" here.) 

I believe that it was Meir Kahane that coined the
phrase "Never Again". And I believe it was the
Holocaust and the impotance to fight it against it,
both at home and abroad, that spurred him on to his
strident, in your face, "never again", philosophy.


Do You Yahoo!?
Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 10:22:42 -0500
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Proper Jewish Fashion

RM Berger wrote:

>>I'm curious to know how we get away without wearing such things. Particularly 
on Shabbos, when there's no "hefsed merubah" argument.>>

The Rema paskens (sort of) like the Maharik that we are allowed to dress like 
goyim in most circumstances.  Regarding the midrash, the Ritva in his peirush on
the haggadah says it is referring to wearing tzitzis.

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 13:16:00 -0500
From: "Clark, Eli" <clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM>
La-Yehudim hayetah orah ve-simhah ve-sason vi-ykar

Sorry, nothing about RW/NYR/SC.  Here is my contribution for Purim 2000.
       V+Nishmarto Mikol Dovor Ro
s of Tz+niyus for Our Degenerate Age

         Why This Sefer Is Needed

V+nishmarto mikol dovor ro -- shelo yistakel ish b+ishoh no+oh afilu hi
penuyoh.  -Guard yourself from every evil thing- (D+vorim 23:10) that a
man should not look at an attractive woman, even if she is unmarried.
(Avodoh Zoroh 20a)

Keneses Yisroel is under siege, beset by pernicious influences of a
morally degenerate society.  These influences seek to infiltrate our
holy encampment through our eyes (immodest images), ears (foul music),
nose (seductive perfumes) and throat (Mexican food).  The Torah says,
-Ve-shomru B+nei Yisroel,- that we Jews are commanded to be vigilant,
watchful, on guard; and Chazal teach us, -Shomer chinom nisba al ha-kol-
- he who is watchful unnecessarily is rewarded with total satisfaction.
This teaches that tz+niyus, modesty, requires more than simple
vigilance; it requires vigilance that is chinom - unnecessary!  But how
do we know how to be unnecessarily vigilant?  Chazal go on: -Ve-ha-shoel
mesholem es ha-kol- - one who asks is rewarded for everything!

Just a few generations ago, our forebears lived in a pure, unblemished
state - where the street cleaner knew all of Shas b+al peh, where his
daughter covered her collarbone, where Calvin Klein was the name of the
shtetl idiot.  Torah wafted through the streets, enveloping the
inhabitants like the smog over Los Angeles.

No more.  Today, we have our carpeting and convection ovens, but we have
lost our k+dushoh.  Boruch H-shem, most Goyim no longer burn down our
homes, but they are raising our daughters+ hemlines and selling them
light-colored hosiery.

This book is a comprehensive guide to the dress and comportment of every
Bas Yisroel - young and old, married and single, beautiful and me+is
(conventional looking).  Readers will be grateful to know that extreme
care has been taken to eliminate from the text any inaccuracy, ambiguity
or leniency.  The book will make an ideal gift for the Bas Mitzvoh, the
Bais Yaakov and seminary student, the recent baalas t+shuvoh, indeed any
woman who believes that the Ribbono shel Olom cares what color tights
she wears.  Also, married men must learn these halochos and take care
that their wives and daughters observe them; but no peeking at the

          CHAPTER ONE
                              Tz+niyus - Not Just About Wearing
Gabardine Tights in 90-Degree Weather

Many women mistakenly think that tz+niyus is about covering your legs
and arms.  This is wrong.  Tz+niyus is also about covering your feet and
wrists.  More than that, tz+niyus is really a way of life, a set of
rules that governs everything you do - whether you are cooking meals,
sewing clothes, scouring pots or doing laundry.  Tz+niyus means avoiding
attention, wrapping yourself in anonymity.  One famous Gadol was married
to his wife for twelve years before he learned her name.  Even then, he
only found out by accidentally overhearing a conversation between his
next-door neighbors that was so loud, every syllable came right through
the wall against which the Gadol was pressing a tall glass.

Tz+niyus does not require passivity.  As we learn from the holy Imahos,
a Bas Yisroel can be strong and decisive, provided she channels her
energy in the proper direction.  For instance, my wife was once cleaning
a chicken for Shabbes when she looked up at the clock, realized it was
time for my shower, and rushed upstairs to turn the water on.

Lessons of tz+niyus cannot be delayed until a daughter is older.
Children old enough to walk are old enough to understand the word
-pritzus.-  Scrupulous mothers change their infant daughters+ diapers
only in a darkened room and then only when the smell becomes unbearable.
 Fathers may not change diapers of boys or girls because it is hukos
ha-goy, a Gentile practice, for a man to do such things.
Shunning Goyisher practices is the hallmark of tz+niyus.  Unfortunately,
many of our wives and daughters read the Gentile fashion magazines which
glamorize un-Jewish things - immodest clothing, excessive makeup and
slender waists.  Seemingly innocuous practices can degenerate into the
worst abominations.  Suntans can lead to sun worship!  Crosswords can
lead to Ch-tianity!  Reading books can lead to critical thinking!

The laws of tz+niyus prohibit a woman from assuming a public or
leadership role.  We learn this from D+voroh haN+vioh, who served as a
judge and prophetess, who masterminded Am Yisroel+s war against Sisera,
who celebrated the nation+s military triumph in song . . . okay, so
maybe she+s not such a good example.

Even a woman+s thoughts must be tz+niyusdig.  Thinking should not be
done in a way that draws attention to oneself.  Pronounced scratching of
the head is forbidden.

          CHAPTER TWO
                                                          The Severity
of Violating the Laws of Tz+niyus

It is impossible to exaggerate the gravity of tz+niyus violations.  But
we shall try.  The Gemoro says, -Kol b+ishoh ervoh,- everything about a
woman is nakedness.  Thus, a woman should rightly conceal every
millimeter of her body.  But Chazal in their holy wisdom saw how
difficult this would be for many women, so they permitted a woman to
show her face, hands and feet.  Nevertheless, it is preferable not to
rely on this leniency.

A woman who dresses immodestly may be violating innumerable issurim.
The potential avayros include:

1.	Causing men to look (lifnay iver)
2.	Dressing like a shiksoh (hukkos ha-goyim)
3.	Testifying to one+ s own low moral character (lashon hora)
4.	Setting a bad example for one+s daughters (lo sechallel b+noscho
5.	Distracting men from learning (bittul Torah)
6.	Distracting men from looking where they+re going (bor bir+shus
7.	Degrading the reputation of B+nos Yisroel (chillul H-shem)
8.	Degrading the reputation of one+s parents (kibbud ov v+em)
9.	Inciting jealousy (lo sachmod)
10.	Inciting you-know-what (lo sinof)
11.	Challenging H-shem+s authority (Anochi H-shem E-lokecho)
12.	Worshipping fashion (Lo yihyeh)
13.	Causing sellers of tz+niyusdig clothing to lose money (hosogas
14.	Causing men to have to walk further to avoid seeing you (bittul
15.	Inviting attack by the Tz+niyus Patrol (V+nishmartem me+od

(This is only a partial list.  For a complete list, with m+koros, see my
Almost as Bad as Lashon Hora: The 263 Issurim Relating to Tz+niyus.)

                                               The Principal Duty of a
Married Woman: Covering Hair

In Halochoh, it is always important to understand which of our practices
are strict Halochoh (like sh+miras Shabbes), which are minhog (eating
kreplach), and which are merely aytzos tovos (marrying a woman named
Peshie).  But this does not apply to covering hair.  Basically, all
hair-covering rules should be treated as D+Oraysoh obligations.  The
s+forim are clear that looking for leniency in kisuy sa+aros leads to
complete abandonment of Torah standards (r-l), social breakdown, mass
hysteria, and shortages of Muenster cheese, lo alenu.

Hair-covering is not simply a mitzvoh.  It is a way of life.
Preferably, you should never permit your hair to be visible, not in
public or private, not by Yid or Goy, not even by your manicurist.  We
learn this absolute rule from the actions of Kimchis and the example of
Yul Brynner.  Every aspect of one+s life is affected by this inspiring
objective.  For example, one should live in a place where the climate
favors uninterrupted hair-covering.  This is one of the many halochic
reasons to live in Monsey rather than Eretz Yisroel.  (See also my
article in the May 1996 Jewish Observer, -The Age-Old Dilemma: Move to
Eretz Yisroel or Put in That Paysach Kitchen?-)

Unfortunately, the myth has arisen that some frum women in Europe, even
from chosheve families, did not cover their hair.  This is sheker of the
worst kind and a clear violation of lashon hora and motzi shem ra
(libel; for Litvaks, laybel).  Admittedly, recent biographies include
family photographs that seem to show a lapse in kisuy sa+aros and other
areas.  But these pictures have been misinterpreted.  In fact, the women
in those days were so tz+niyusdig that they did not want to be
photographed at all, so they had non-Jewish women (maids and the like)
pose in the family photograph in their stead.  So these pictures
actually prove that there was a higher level of tz+niyus in those days!

Boruch H-shem, it is much easier today to be strict in kisuy sa+aros.
For example the invention of the chin strap makes it easier to keep your
sheitel on while sleeping.  (And, for those who toss and turn a lot,
there is Krazy Glue.)  Today we have extra-long snoods that not only
cover every hair, but are great for cleaning up spills in the kitchen.

Nevertheless, we still find women seeking leniencies regarding hair
covering, such as the t+shuvoh of Rav Moshe Feinstein that, some claim,
permits a woman to leave less than a tefach of hair uncovered.  But a
careful reading of Rav Moshe+s teshuvoh reveals that he never gave such
a heter, he didn+t mean to give the heter, and he later retracted the
heter bifnei am v+edoh (in the presence of many reliable eccentrics).
In any case, the t+shuvoh was obviously directed at a particular woman
under specific circumstances, so the heter can only apply to another
woman who shares the original woman+s first name, birthday, weight and
shoe size.

More importantly, those who run after leniencies fail to understand that
kisuy sa+aros is the foundation on which the existence of Am Yisroel
depends.  This is proven from Dovid haMelech+s statement, -Ayleh
ba+rechev v+ayleh ba+susim- -- Goyim live like horses, with their hair
uncovered, but for us, -b+shem H-shem E-lokenu nazkir,- our existence as
Yidden depends on how often we say -boruch H-shem.-

Governing Kashrus of Garments

Kosher Dresses and Blouses.  When buying a dress or blouse, a Bas
Yisroel must pay attention to many factors.  Of course, the neckline
must be high and the sleeves long.  Many poskim also agree that a
garment is not acceptable if one paid full price.  Similarly, the
garment must not be tight, see-through or clingy; it is ossur for the
outline of a woman+s body to be visible because this violates the laws
of tz+niyus and makes it possible to determine if the woman is

Kosher Skirts.  A skirt is like a sukkoh.  If it conforms to Halochoh,
then it is a holy mitzvoh object.  But if the skirt falls short, then it
becomes possul - a sin to wear and a trap for others.  Yet, a mere
millimeter of fabric can separate a kosher skirt from a trayf one (just
as a millisecond can separate chillul Shabbes from an innocent game of
-poison the squirrel-).  So, as with a chicken, you must take a
questionable skirt to a posek.  Yet, many Rabbonim today lament how
infrequently they are asked to look at women trying on their new skirts.

Many women think a skirt is kosher if it covers the knees when bending
or sitting.  But this is a tragic mistake, because a skirt must be
suitable for all possible activities, including rock climbing, walking
in typhoon-strength winds and running to avoid molten lava.

Kosher Fabrics.  We have found that nearly all fabrics - whether natural
or synthetic -- are likely to cling or shrink; therefore, we recommend
that women wear garments made of more tz+niyusdig material, such as wood
or plastic.  (Of course, one should always be careful to choose a wood
that is not flashy or a plastic that is not transparent.)  While these
are not always as comfortable as wool or cotton, we must remember that
the mitzvoh is about tz+niyus, not comfort.  Did the Kohen Godol
complain that the Choshen was too bulky?  Did the Krechtzer Rebbe
complain that, when it rained, his streimel smelled like a diseased
ferret?  Indeed, given that a woman+s clothes are her armor against the
modern world+s depravities, it is fitting that her garments be
ill-fitting, a hard, protective shield that clanks when she walks.

Diet and Tz+niyus.  Another problem arises if a girl is growing.  The
dor ha+midbor were zocheh to have clothes that grew as they grew; so did
Alice in Wonderland and the Incredible Hulk.  But our dor is not so
worthy.  I myself have watched for years as my pants stayed the same
while my waistline grew.  For our young women, such growth is a
michshol, a trap.  Overnight, sleeves and hemlines can become too short,
necklines too low, and the whole outfit can become too tight, r-l.
Girls in such a situation should stop drinking milk and eating healthy
foods; after all the mitzvoh is to dress b+tz+niyus, not to be 5+10-.
Besides, no choson wants to feel like a midget (in keeping with the
Gemoro, which classifies short people as no better than a cheresh or a

Kosher Robes, Pajamas, Swimsuits, etc.  The obligation to dress
b+tz+niyus applies at all times and in all places.  A woman alone in the
bath or shower must be conscious that the Shechinoh is there and knows
if she is washing behind her ears.  Thus, a woman+s bath towel, bathrobe
and slippers must conform to halochic standards.  Showercaps should be
attractive but not showy.  When bathing, a woman must take care that her
window shades and curtains are drawn and that her medicine cabinet
conceals no hidden video cameras.

In preparing for bed, a Bas Yisroel should undress unobtrusively under
her covers or, better still, in her closet.  Pajamas should not have a
suggestive appearance or crude slogans, but poskim permit modestly
placed cartoon characters.

Swimsuits pose many challenges.  Today+s bathing suits are designed to
accentuate the most superficial aspects of a woman, obscuring her inner
beauty and exposing her weakness for ice cream sundaes with chocolate
fudge sauce.  Lycra and other synthetic fabrics cling closely to one+s
curves and secants.  The presence of male lifeguards adds an additional
complication for the Bas Yisroel seeking the energizing effects of
swimming.  In order to avoid these problems, erlicher Yidden have
selflessly moved to Lawrence and bought homes with private swimming

                CHAPTER FIVE
                Local Standards

This brings us to an important aspect of the laws of tz+niyus.  Just as
different localities follow different shitos regarding tzays ha-kochovim
(nightfall) or paying taxes, different communities have different
standards for tz+niyus.  Some communities require a hat on top of a
shaytel, while others have banned shaytlach altogether.  Many
neighborhoods in Eretz Yisroel prohibit makeup, while most kehillos in
New York require a woman to wear a fur coat.

As a general rule, a woman must conform to the local standards, unless
she is accustomed to observing a more stringent practice.  In that case,
she must maintain her high level of observance, and she must never
publicly display arrogance (yuharoh) about her more exacting standards,
though privately she is entitled to mock her neighbors.  We learn this
from Rav Yishmael who, the Gemoro relates, routinely mocked his
colleagues for eating OU tuna fish.

                                                             The Eternal
War: Yidden vs. the Umos ha-Olom

Fashion is simply one front in our ongoing battle against the moral
corruption of the Goyisher velt.  The shiksoh proudly bares herself,
while we proudly bear our mesoroh.  They idolize idleness, while we
worship worship.  The brazenness of modern culture is so total, that we
don+t even notice its more shameless manifestations.  Have you ever
noticed that the Statue of Liberty is not wearing undergarments?  That
Donald Duck is naked from the waist down?

Even the English language has become a repository for degenerate
exhibitionism.  White meat of chicken is named for a part of the woman+s
anatomy.  Certain whales have names that cannot even be written here.

Media that were once refined have grown coarse.  Newspapers feature
photographs of undressed women.  Magazines boast tawdry covers with
lurid articles that aggrandize giluy arayos, shefichas domim and higher
education.  Radio broadcasts smutty talk and ear-splitting noise with
filthy lyrics.  (One recent song, for example, coarsely proclaims, -I
Wanna Hold Your Hand.-)  Another medium that has become corrupted is
soup can labels.  In our home we simply remove the labels from the cans
before we put them on the shelf.  This not only promotes k+dushoh in the
kitchen, but adds an element of mystery to the preparation of meals.

Thus, we follow in the footsteps of the Perushim and separate ourselves
from the depravities of society.  We close our ears to their so-called
music and shut our eyes to avoid seeing their television, movies and
traffic lights.  Adrift in a sea of moral corruption, we garb ourselves
in the life-vest of tz+niyus, as we sail on our raft of Torah down the
Mississippi River of life.  As a well-known Rov told me, -The sign of a
true Bas Yisroel is not her physical beauty, but her ability to make
really good kasha varnishkes.-

Copyright  2000 by Eli D. Clark
All Rights Reserved

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 13:39:22 -0500 (EST)
From: jjbaker@panix.com
Chazeres vs. Maror

 From: Sammy Ominsky <sambo@charm.net>
> "Carl M. Sherer" wrote:
> > FWIW my shver's minhag (which I have adopted) is to use the
> > "maror" (consisting of chunks of horseradish) for Korech, and to
> > use ground horseradish (chazeres) for maror.
> Interesting. We do exactly the opposite, as brought in the Ben Ish Hai,
> Yalkut Yosef and others.

Interesting, we do the same way as you do, based on my great-great-
grandparents from Warsaw.  There is a strong suspicion, on the part
of my late cousin who was into genealogy, that the family came from
Spain - Jacob Cohen, my g-g-gpa, was named for someone named Yenta,
and Yenta as a name is supposed to have come from Juanita.  So there
would be some coincidence between my Ashkenazic family custom and your
textually-supported Sephardic custom.

Go to top.


[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.                   ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                         ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/              ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org         ]

< Previous Next >