Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 075

Thursday, October 28 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 07:45:01 EDT
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
re: kidra chaysa

Several posters have commented on the difference between slow-cooking
beef bones, and faster-cooking chicken bones, and how this relates to
putting a chulent on the stove immediately before Shabbos begins.

This difference will also affect whether or not a chicken-bone chulent
may be returned to the blech after it has been taken off, since "fully
cooked" is one of the conditions for doing that.

For a discussion of "fully cooked" chicken bones as it relates to this
Chazara issue, those interested can look at Sh'mirat Shabbat K'hilchata
1:18:4, and Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 4:76:1. (Note that in the last
paragraph there, the Igros Moshe comments on what the Sh'mirat Shabbat

Akiva Miller

Get the Internet just the way you want it.
Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.

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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 13:46:26 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <csherer@netvision.net.il>
Re: EY vs. America

On 27 Oct 99, at 18:59, Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechh wrote:

> One of Mrs. Atwood's posts this morning reminded me of a phenomenon I wish
> to discuss, the incapacity of the average American to make aliya and find
> a societal groupng to his liking.

You shouldn't get me started on this :-) 

> To whit: When I graduated Chorev elementary school in 1975, my classmates
> and I, indicative of our varied backgrounds, scattered across the range of
> high schools from "Tichon Ironi Dati"'s to "Yeshivos Ketanos" and
> everyrthing in between (I myself going on to Netiv Meir).

Chorev today is a lot more monolithic than it was twenty years ago. 
Part of that may be that there is now a boys' high school (which I 
don't think existed in your days), but part of is the polarization that 
you discuss in the rest of your post. My older son (who left Chorev 
after 7th grade) told me that as recently as ten years ago, there 
were boys in the senior class who had beards. Not anymore.

Netiv Meir underwent a real change after R. Aryeh Bina z"l retired. 
It also has undergone a difficult upheaval over the past several 
years over an unfortunate situation which IMHO was handled quite 

> When I returned after two years in NY to Sha'alvim in 1978, Sha'alvim had
> (the Hesder compotent) a student body that also ranged the gamut from Kol
> Torah Yeshiva Ketana alumni to Yeshivot Bnei Akiva alumni and everything
> in between.

I think this was true of Shalavim and KBY but not of most of the 
other Hesder Yeshivas - even in 1978 (I was in HaKotel in 1978). I 
agree with you that it was the PAI influence that made those 
Yeshivas more hospitable to boys from Yeshiva Ktana 
backgrounds than the other Hesder Yeshivas were.

> To the best of my understanding, these phenomena no longer occur (it is
> not a coincedence, in retrospect, that these institutions were PAI
> affiliated).

Let's say that they rarely occur. But the environment in Shalavim 
and KBY was unusual even then. When I was in Gush in 1980, 
there was an American oleh who, after doing his army service, 
decided one day to up and leave and go learn in Chevron (the 
Yeshiva in Yerushalayim - not the city). During the few days that 
he remained in Gush to pack his things, he was subjected to much 
verbal abuse from his colleagues, who could not understand how 
he could be such a "traitor." I spoke with him about it (we were 
friends because we davened together in the vasikin minyan - I 
became gabbai when he left), and he told me that he had decided 
that he wanted to spend his time learning, and that the learning in 
a "black" yeshiva was, in his view, on a much more serious and 
high level, because the boys there planned to spend the rest of 
their lives in learning.

> (BTE, 1978 saw the last influx ofa large number of "Yishuvnikim" to
> Sha'alvim - I was in shiur with many of them. The Yeshiva Ketana types had
> stopped coming one or two years before. 1978 was also the year that Hesder
> went from 12 to 15 mos. I do not know if the two phenomena are related.

They're not. See below.

> B'kitzur, the polarization is horrendous. 

Yes, it is.

Whatever the chesronos in
> chinuch in the USA, and they are many (I think schools are no longer
> educational but sociological training grounds), that intense polarization
> which diminishes educational and sociological choice is no way at all
> similar here. Indeed, I have heard local Telzers (about as RW as you can
> imagine) say they could not make aliya because of the extremist education
> thaey would need submit their children to there.

You're right. We made aliya eight years ago, and I have been a 
heavy contributor to the tachlis ("practical questions and answers 
about aliya") list for the last 6.5 years. Every year there will be a 
handful of families on the list whom I would classify as "like us." 
Line straddlers. People who in the US fit right into the Charedi 
community but who never quite fit in here because of their 
educational background, because they're not anti-Zionist enough, 
because they read secular books and have radios and/or 
televisions in their homes, or simply because they work for a living. 
Some of them stay here, many go back. 

I'd like to share with you part of a letter that I wrote during a debate 
about conformism and pigeonholing (and critical thinking) on tachlis 
several months ago. I think Moshe Feldman may have posted it to 
this list without saying that I was the writer at the time - if he did 
and you have all seen it before, I apologize for the repetition. But I 
think it's a good example of the frustrations of an oleh who doesn't 
quite fit in:


"As to the critical thinking part, I know that at least [name omitted]
(and I guess [name omitted] now too) are going to disagree with 
me, but I find that there is a lot more of a herd mentality here than 
there is in the US. Either you're accepted or you're not, you fit in or 
you don't, but differences are not tolerated. Differences in thought, 
differences in dress, differences in outlook - all of them are not 
tolerated here. We have a friend who was told at her daughter's 
school acceptance interview that, "we don't want to take girls who 
will be leaders and ask questions." I look at that as a lack of 
critical thinking. 

"And if any of you thinks I don't mean you, look at the flyer (at least 
the Yerushalmim in the religious neighborhoods got) today for the 
annual session during the nine days on Shmirat HaLashon. Look at 
what the themes are. Respecting others. Tolerating Others. Adina 
went to a lecture last week that was part of a two day seminar on 
tolerating others. On loving your neighbors. The Rabbis have 
obviously recognized that we have a problem - when will everyone 
else? And how come these seminars seem to only be for women? 
Do men not need to know about tolerating others and guarding their 
tongues? There is so much sinat chinam in this country that it is 
no wonder that the Beit HaMikdash hasn't been rebuilt. And IMHO 
it starts in the schools and at home where kids are taught to 
pigeonhole people into categories based on how they dress and 
how they look instead of judging them on how they act and what is 
inside them. One of my children tells me that "first impressions are 
important," when I try to convince him/her that judging people 
based on externals is not a valid criterion. Do any of you regard 
that as "critical thinking."


"I don't think the non-Jews in the US are particularly tolerant. But I 
do think that at least among themselves, the religious Jews in the 
US are MUCH more tolerant of each other (and their different 
shades of white, black and gray) than are religious Jews here.

"Two weeks ago, I spent my one night in the States sleeping over 
by very close friends of ours. Their two sons are opposites. One is 
very studious, would gladly sit hunched over a Gemara 18 hours a 
day for as long as someone puts food on the table for him. The 
other is also a bright child (I could even say brilliant), but cannot sit 
still for long periods of time, and is not cut out for the gruelling 
Yeshiva atmosphere that the older brother thrives on.

"This woman has wanted to make aliya for years. At least one of 
her siblings lives here, and her husband made aliya as a child but 
went back (he still has one brother here that I know about). But she 
told me that as much as she always wanted to make aliya, she is 
glad now that she didn't. Because she sees now that the religious 
society in Israel is so intolerant, that she would have had to 
sacrifice one of her sons for the sake of the other. Does anyone 
else see something wrong with this picture? Does anyone else see 
something wrong with trying to fit square pegs into round holes 
because one has to "fit" into a certain group, or because one's 
children want to fit into a certain group? "

[Note for Avodah list members - many members of tachlis are not 

"(Note - This part is really directed at religious list members, 
because they are likely to be much more aware of the issues 
among religious Jews than are those who are not religious). I am 
NOT talking about absolute halachic standards here - I will assume 
for these purposes that there is an absolute halachic standard 
which we all accept and abide by. And I am not talking about 
religious parents who are upset about their kids becoming non-
religious or vice versa. I am talking about idiosyncracies like the 
type of head covering you wear (if any), the length of skirts, the 
color of your shirt and so on). [Note to Avodah people - this refers 
to outfits which are halachically fine but which would be banned in 
the Charedi world as being "rechovi" as someone noted yesterday, 
as well as to DL people excluding others because their style of 
dress is too reminiscent of the Charedi world]. These were things 
we never confronted in the States, and which none of our friends in 
the States that I know about has had to confront.

"And that friend was not the only one. I have heard from MANY 
other friends in the States (and at least one person who used to be 
on this list that returned to the States) that this is precisely the 
reason they will not come (or went back). 


"It's getting worse for us because our kids are getting older, and 
they want to make the choices to belong to one group or the other 
that Israeli society seems to demand, and not sit on the fence like 
their parents do. Apparently making that choice requires that one 
disparage all other groups. 

"Our older kids are attempting to hide from their friends that their 
parents/siblings are not like they are out of a fear of not being 
accepted. What does that say about the depths of the friendships 
they have? I have now heard from both of my older kids that "my 
friends will look at me differently if they know that my brother wears 
a hat/my father wears a hat/my father davens in THAT shul/my 
sister goes without socks/my sister wears red shirts/my father 
wears colored shirts." Or (about each other) "I don't hate him/her; I 
hate what s/he stands for." "I can't be seen with him/her in the 
streets - my friends would never look at me the same way again." 
"I can't invite my friends to the house when s/he is around." Note 
that to a certain extent this is NOT sibling rivalry. My kids claim to 
like each other. But they are both upset that their parents did not 
pigeonhole them into one of the local categories by either sending 
them to Beis Yaakov/Cheder or by moving out to a Yishuv 
somewhere and sending them to the local Mamad. They both 
seem to agree that we should have made a choice. And we're not 
convinced that the same choice would have been right for all of 

"To go back to an earlier theme, I don't [call] what my kids are 
doing critical thinking. I call it prejudice, bias, whatever else you 
want to call it. We - yes we who live here in Israel - judge 
Ethiopians and Sphardim by their skin color, Russians by their 
accents, and Anglos by the colors of their clothes. That's what 
most of our schools and homes teach. All of them are ridiculous 
standards - the only difference is that the Anglos have the power to 
change theirs (and therefore the pressure to do so) if they choose 
to. And in my experience, more people judge other Jews 
unfavorably and by externals here (percentage wise - not in 
absolute numbers) than in any other Jewish community in the 


Yes, it feels normal to be Jewish. But sometimes I feel like we 
need a few goyim to make us stick together so that we don't do or 
say all the insensitive things that we are thinking about others. So 
far, I have only found one place in Israel where everyone is 
welcomed with open arms and helped out by those around them. 
Unfortunately, it has names like Pediatric Oncology.


I would end this here, because it is already far too long, but I did 
promise that I would try to explain what has changed in Israeli 
society since RYGB was in Shalavim with bochrim from the Yishuv 
and the Yeshiva Ktanas in the late 70's. Several things have 

1. Until sometime in the 80's (at least) the dati leumi school 
system produced very few mechanchim. As a result, not only were 
the older mechanchim European trained, but even most of the 
younger mechanchim in most of the dati leumi schools had been 
trained in the Charedi system. (RYGB need look no further than his 
own Rosh Yeshiva at Shalavim for an example). The dati leumi 
world viewed this as a crisis, since many of its best and brightest 
were being siphoned off by the charedi world. As a result, there 
was a big push in the hesder yeshivas to try to convince boys to go 
into chinuch. 

Today, at least at the high school level and beyond, many or most 
of the mechanchim come from the dati leumi system and not from 
the Charedi system. Therefore, the DL world does not have the 
exposure to the C system that it might have had in the past. And of 
course the reverse is (and always was) true - there are virtually no 
DL mechanchim in the C system. IMHO this encourages the kids 
to see themselves as one or the other.

2. Until 1977, the C school system did not take government 
money. That all changed when the Aguda went into the coalition for 
the first time and started to take government money. If the chiloni 
population was willing to ignore the charedi non-participation in 
society up to that point, that attitude changed - and gradually 
became more hostile - as the charedi system started taking what 
was viewed as more and more government money and, in their 
view, giving "nothing" in return. The fact that Charedim have lousy 
PR, that many of them look and dress like the shtetl Jews that 
Israeli secular society looks down upon, and the political scandals 
caused by a dishonest few, did not help matters at all and only 
added fuel to the fire. Suddenly, the fact that Charedim don't (and 
really that should say SOME Charedim don't, but in the secular 
view of the world it's ALL Charedim don't) go to the army started to 

3. The older generation that founded the State started to die off, 
and the younger generation is that much more removed from 
fruhmkeit than their parents are. 

In my first job in Israel, I became friends with a Holocaust survivor 
who came here as an orphan after the war, and was one of the few 
"soldiers" (he was 16 or 17 at the time) to survive the attack of 
Gush Etzion. He spent several months in a Jordanian prison, and 
is totally secular today. He also speaks Yiddish like a yeshiva 
bochur. He told me that in Israel, all public activities have Kosher 
food, because there is always someone there who keeps Kosher. 
That was 1991. Not true anymore. 

If the older generation would at least keep the pretense of Kashrus 
by not eating chazir, R"L, the younger generation figures "why 
bother." So in my first week of work in Tel Aviv, I found out that 
"bassar lavan" is not "white meat chicken" as I thought it was. 
(Note - this does not apply to Sphardim, who for the most part are 
a generation behind Ashkenazim in abandonning fruhmkeit, and 
whose enthrallment with Shas (the political party) may yet stem 
the tide).

All of this has thrown DL into an identity crisis. Are they DL or LD? 
Which comes first? How come when the Rabbonim come to 
inspect the mess hall, they won't eat in the army kitchen? Is it not 
Kosher enough for them? How come some DL's can combine army 
with learning in yeshiva, but the Charedim claim it can't be done? 
(And I specifically use the army as an example, because it is the 
army which has become the focal point of many of the disputes 
because of the State's founding fathers' perception of the army as 
the melting pot that will overcome the differences among us).

4. Changing economic reality. If Israel was once a poor country 
where most of us (except for the ones who were "more equal") lived 
at a barely subsistence level, that is no longer the case. Israel has 
disparities in income among social classes that are probably 
unrivalled anywhere outside the United States. The Charedim tend 
to be at the bottom of the income ladder. DL on the other hand is 
probably upper middle class or better. In nearly every country in the 
world where there are disparities of income, those with lots of 
income look down upon those who are poor, and those who are 
poor have some bitterness and envy towards those who are 

This trend started with the increased accessibility of luxury goods 
after the Lebanon War (1982), was accelerated by the economic 
stabilization which occurred in the late 1980's, and has accelerated 
even more with the economic boom that much of the country 
(especially its high tech sector) has enjoyed since 1991. The 
repeal of the travel tax in 1992 made overseas travel a common 
occurrence among those who could afford it. All of which increased 
the divisions even more. 

5. As others (RET) have mentioned on this list in the last two 
weeks, Hesder is no longer the crown jewel of the DL world as it 
was twenty years ago. Fewer boys are going to hesder. This can 
be attributed to a number of factors - it takes two years longer than 
straight army service, many DL's have cast their lot with trying to fit 
into chiloni society and don't want the separation that is 
sometimes characteristic of hesder in the army (hesder became 
less separate in the army after the 1982 war when the 
disproportionate number of hesder casualties resulting from all of 
the hesder boys being in the tanks led the army to give hesder a 
broader choice of fields), many others have become as cynical and 
disillusioned with the constant state of war that we seem to be in 
as the chilonim have, and just want to do the army and get it over 
with (or not do it, as is the case with some 40-50% of Israelis 
today). Some might even argue that item 1 on my list has led to 
the downfall of hesder's glory; I can't prove that so I won't argue it, 
but I will throw it out as a possibility. Bekitzur, much of the 
idealism that characterized DL as late as the mid to late '70's is 

All of this means that the boys (and girls) coming out of the army 
after non-hesder service look more and more like the chilonim and 
less and less like charedim. If the only difference between 
charedim and DL was once the mitzva of living in EY (as Adir Zik - 
a well-known DL broadcaster on Arutz Sheva - put it so aptly, "we 
have 612 mitzvos in common"), this is no longer true. Priorities 
tend to be different and emphases tend to be very different. If I can 
give one small indicative example, when the DL part of my 99% 
Charedi neighborhood chose to set up a youth group, they chose 
Bnei Akiva (a "separate" snif), not on ideological grounds, but 
because BA would be able to give them more money than the 
alternatives (Ezra and Ariel - the latter of which was never even 
considered). Many in DL look at the L part as a justification to 
compromise on the D part in the form of mixed activities, faster 
davening and in a myriad of other forms. And even *within* DL, 
those who do compromise look down upon those who don't. From 
another letter I posted to tachlis:


"Recently I heard a dati leumi girl, the child of Americans no less, 
who is a leader in one of the dati leumi youth groups refer to 
another of the *dati leumi* youth groups as "too dosis." (Lest you 
think that the infighting is only among the Charedim). The context 
of the comment was a discussion of whether the youth groups 
ought to be mixed (boys and girls together). The "too dosis" youth 
group is not mixed. For those who are not here yet and have not 
had the pleasure, the words "dos," "dosis," and "dosim, " are all 
derogatory terms for Charedim. In one of my children's schools, the 
worst thing you can call someone is a "dos/is." I don't mean to 
start a discussion of the pros and cons of a mixed youth group - 
only the consistent thread of intolerance to anyone who is not 
exactly like me."


6. The atmosphere surrounding the assasination of Yitzchak Rabin 
z"l and the events leading up to it. After the assasination, the only 
group that did serious soul searching (IMHO) was the DL's. Many 
of them concluded that the way to avoid becoming pariahs in 
society was to draw closer to the chilonim, and by definition to 
further themselves from the Charedim. There was an organization 
started shortly after the assasination called "tzav piyus" which put 
up outdoor billboards with pictures of a person in a kippa sruga 
(knitted yarmulka) next to pictures of chilonim and urged people to 
get along. There was not one billboard in which a person with a 
black kippa appeared. The mesage was clear. Here's what I wrote 
about tzav piyus in another message to tachlis:


"We pulled one of our children out of their (dati leumi but allegedly 
non-political) school last year because the child came home one 
day in tears and said that there had been a discussion in school 
about "tzav piyus." Tzav piyus, for those who are not here yet, was 
a campaign started in the aftermath of the Rabin assasination in an 
attempt to convince all of us that we have to be unified and stress 
what we have in common. Nice idea, huh? Well, yes, except on 
that day it seems that someone in the class said that "tzav piyus" 
doesn't apply to Charedim, and the my child came home upset that 
not only did most of the other children agree, but the teacher 
seemed to agree! I told the child that couldn't be and that the child 
should go back to the teacher and get the teacher to clarify what 
was said. After several days of convincing, I got my child to speak 
to the teacher (as you might imagine, it is difficult for a young child 
to even attempt to - in effect - reproach a classroom discussion to 
the teacher), and the teacher got up in front of the class and 
something to the effect of, "last week's discussion was meant to 
apply to all groups." Without even a mention of the Charedim who 
had been disparaged quite severely (according to my child) the 
week before!"


I should add that lately I have been seeing billboards with a charedi 
kid and a chiloni kid, but these are VERY recent (like the last 
month or two) and I have no idea who is behind them and what 
activities they are running other than the billboards.

7. Charedi society's increasing insularity as a result of the above. 
Quite simply, Charedi society has turned more and more inward 
and distrusts all those who are not exactly like it. Try getting your 
kid into a Beis Yaakov high school if you are an American or a baal 
tshuva. From yet another tachlis post:

> I know someone who had to get a major posek to 
> intervene to allow his daughters to go to one school despite the 
> fact that his son went to a school that wasn't quite the same 
> hashkafa - and the daughters were going to ELEMENTARY 
> The girls' school didn't want to take them.
> Chanoch lanaar al pi darco? Only when each child has the same 
> derech....

I apologize for the length of this post (I guess I will now find out if 
Avodah has a line limit :-); this is a topic I could go on about for 
days. But the bottom line is that RYGB is 100% correct - the 
situation in EY is bad and getting worse, and until we find a way to 
resolve it, we don't deserve to have Mashiach come. It may be 
heading towards this in the US as well, R"L, but you're nowhere 
near as far along as we are.

-- Carl

P.S. Because I know someone is going to raise it.... I am NOT 
trying to discourage anyone from making aliya. Aderaba, I hold it is 
a mitzva to be here and that Israel is where it is happening, and is 
the only place where it is happening for Jews. I wrote this message 
to try to explain the phenomena that RYGB has observed, and to 
tell anyone who is a potential oleh out there that they should come 
with their eyes open and with realistic expectations.

Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Telephone 972-2-625-7751
Fax 972-2-625-0461

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.
Thank you very much.

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 14:05:26 +0200 (IST)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

subject: extremism

RYGB writes

B'kitzur, the polarization is horrendous. Whatever the chesronos in
chinuch in the USA, and they are many (I think schools are no longer
educational but sociological training grounds), that intense polarization
which diminishes educational and sociological choice is no way at all
similar here. Indeed, I have heard local Telzers (about as RW as you can
imagine) say they could not make aliya because of the extremist education
they would need submit their children to there

HM writes

The Telsher Hashkafa would be considered LW in EY.
Why are there such extremes in EY, both in Kedusha
and, leHavdil, in Tumah? >>

These are questions of attitude.
As I pointed out several times Rav Schach in his published letters
and derashot attacks American charedim for not being "extremist"
enough (that is not his terminology) He complains that they are
too influenced by American society and not truly Jewish.

Thus, while most of us view EY as being too extremist others
view American Orthodoxy as being too soft.      

Eli Turkel

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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 08:11:01 EDT
From: TROMBAEDU@aol.com
Re: Ortho activists?

In a message dated 10/27/99 2:46:32 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
Michael.Frankel@dtra.mil writes:

<< since this did tickle my funny bone for reasons those few of you i actually
 know will appreciate i'll note that R. reisman's "young activist" might have
 been even less gruntled with orthos if he had had a any real clue, and
 "involvement" may lead one to different actions than he ,or perhaps even r.
 reisman, might expect.  >>

What do you mean by that?


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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 08:17:40 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: Nuclear Proliferation -- The Torah view

In a message dated 10/28/99 2:14:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
daniel@pluto.ame.arizona.edu writes:

 Finally, I think that, at least for issues of wide scope such as nuclear
 proliferation, there is an important hashkafik point that Micha pointed
 towards but didn't reach.  We believe that much of what happens to the
 nations is intertwined with, and in fact dependent on, the status of
 k'lal Yisrael.  This imples, to me, that the best way to assure that
 nuclear weapons are never used again is through Torah and mitzvos.
 Surely a world in which we uphold HaShem's Torah will not merit
 destruction, but rather will merit bracha.
 Daniel M. Israel >>
Perhaps I shouldn't have used nuclear proliferation as my example in raising 
this issue (even though I believe that our hishtadlut in any area can't be 
limited to saying we should just do mitzvot and hashem will take care of the 
rest). How about we use managed care (everyone's favorite whipping boy these 
days) What is the tora's view on resource allocation etc....  My point was 
that even if we don't spend a lot of time on these issues because of 
constraints mentioned by other posters, we run the danger of klal 
yisroel(RW,Lw et al. thinking that the tora doesn't speak to these issues.

Kol Tuv,
Joel Rich

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 08:18:46 EDT
From: TROMBAEDU@aol.com
Re: what else

In a message dated 10/27/99 3:05:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM writes:

<< But for all our advances in tzeni'ut in dress, I find that our standards
 of tzeni'ut have declined far more in other areas.  As the community as
 a whole has become more affluent economically, especially in the US,
 many of us have lost the sense of proportion and modesty that our
 grandparents had about material possessions.  This can be seen in
 individual families, in many frum neighborhoods, as well as in
 sub-groups within many yeshivos.  No doubt some will say that having a
 pool in your backyard is simply motivated by a desire to avoid mixed
 swimming; but I am not convinced.  One can see yeshiva bahurim parading
 around in Armani suits and $100 ties.  The exorbitantly priced
 human-hair sheitlach mock the laws of tzeni'ut AND the laws of kisui
 rosh.  The sportscars, fancy vacations, mansion-like homes -- all of
 these signify to me a lack of tzeni'ut that concerns more than hemlines.
  And, as I say, I find these problems to affect the entire spectrum of
 American Orthodoxy. >>

What is even more disturbing is the idea that certain of these practices are 
now considered de rigeur. At lunch on Shabbos a few months ago, I was 
informed that "of course you need to have a room for your live in, because 
you can't do without it." A live in! Oy vey, I am glad my grandmother never 
heard such talk! The assumptions Frumk Jews make, and this certainly crosses 
ideological lines, about the minimum necessary requirements for comfortable 
living have gone totally off the scale. And I most definitely agree that this 
constitutes a different but just as insidious violation of Tznius.


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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 08:47:19 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
EY vs. America

>>The Telsher Hashkafa would be considered LW in EY. Why are there such extremes
in EY, both in Kedusha and, leHavdil, in Tumah?

FWIW, one of the old Litvisher rabbonim in Hartford was a Mirrer stuednet (came 
to teh USA via Shanghai)

He once remarked that the places of the biggest Torah (I think he meant Mir, 
Poland) also housed the biggest Apikorsim (IOW communist Jews.)

Also, NYC has been famous/infamous both as a makom Torah and Yiddishketi as well
as being Fun City.  IOW, some communities attract extremes form both sides.

Perhaps the nature of the struggle between "Ra" and "Tov" creates the need for a
balancing influence from the other side of the struggle...

Rich Wolpoe  

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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 08:48:53 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Anonymity of RW - Humor Alert

This whole RW being anonymous is really annoying!

I've been RW all my life, and I do not consider myself anonymous!

(By RW of course I refer to my initials - Rich Wolpoe <smile>)

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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 09:02:20 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Rashi -Bereshis 18:4 (addition)

Question:  Isn't Lot's Imposition to bring the Mal'ochim inside based upon his 
being in Sodom?  IOW due to his concern for "what will the nighbor's think?" he 
felt compelled to host them out-of-sight.  However, had Lot been in a different 
mileu, wouldn't he  have emulated Avrohom?

Rich Wolpoe

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Rashi -Bereshis 18:4  (addition) 
Author:  <avodah@aishdas.org> at tcpgate
Date:    10/28/1999 7:12 AM

"Hot off the press" directly from Rav Bonchek author of "What's Bothering 


 I'd like to add to what | wrote you. I said the Torah is
stressing that Abraham didn't impoose himself on them by forcing them to 
enter his house or come under his wooden lean-to. Support for this can be 
found later. Lot's hachnasas orchim is similar to - but different from- that 
of Abraham's. The Torah places many aspects of Lot's behavior in contrast to 
Abraham's. In this point as well we see the contrast - see ch. 19: 8. There 
Lot pleads to leave the men alone "for they have come under the shelter of 
my roof." This phrase is in contrast to Abraham's serving them under the 
tree. See how Lot had imposed upon them to come into his house and that's 
where all the trouble began. By imposing himself on them, instead of feeding 
them outside he inconvenienced them, and this lead to their troubles. Uncle 
Abe fed them under the tree so they could eat "and then go. "

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Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 09:24:51 -0400
From: Sholem Berger <bergez01@med.nyu.edu>
Triage and public-policy matters

The arguments that have been advanced against the O community involving itself in public
affairs (nuclear nonproliferation, the environment, etc.) are less than satisfying:

1. Non-Jews are taking care of it.

Look around: they aren't!  If (with regard to this matter) we see the world as Jew/non-Jew, and every other group X sees the world as X/Non-X, then we're left with a grand total of no one to concentrate on common issues.

2. (Re: nuclear weapons) God wouldn't let us blow ourselves up.

True, but when you get into the issue of what God does or doesn't "let us" do, things get tricky. If we apply this reasoning to other issues: What about Bhopal, or Chernobyl? Were those "allowed" to happen (Union Carbide as divine messenger), or can they be ascribed to problems which people can fix?

3.  Triage: there's not enough money or time.

Again, true, but in a limited way. Clearly not everyone in the Jewish community is going flat-out, 120% in the productive pursuit of solutions to uniquely Jewish problems. I imagine that there are some who find their avodas hashem more activated in contemplation of wider societal issues. Why not give them a little support? It wouldn't take much, just an acknowledgement by some powers that be that these things do matter and they do affect us. 

Perhaps in those communities which allow their young people to train for secular professions, the point can be made that there are those jobs which provide parnose and go some way towards alleviating societal concerns.  Medicine used to be seen this way, but there's also law, politics, the natural sciences, even (rakhmone litslon) academia...

Sholem Berger

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