- At DovBear, two posts (here and here) by different posters about Kupat HaIr's new initiative, in which for a donation of 350 shekel or more, you can cut the long line of people waiting to ask Rav Kanievsky a question. Kupat HaIr will ask it for you. Perhaps my thoughts in a post, later on. One excerpt, from the first post:
The new idea is that instead of waiting in line at the rav's house - everybody knows how long the line is to get into Rav Kanievsky's room to ask a question - you can now (if they implement the idea) make a donation of 350NIS (minimum) to Kupat Ha'Ir, and they will ask the question for you. An answer is gauranteed within 48 hours.
I don't know how they will be able to give over all the details and nuances necessary to ask the question properly so the rav understands the question and the petitioner, but I guess that is not important.
- Also at DovBear, DovBear is annoyed by one midrashic explanation -- Tzelophchad as wood collector -- winning out over the other, such that everyone is 100% certain. My take on that midrash here, and then here.
And also, Kimchit's extreme tznius.
- How to be Israeli has a cute post -- can you read Hebrish? A bunch of example; here is one:
- Shearim on Aruch Hashulchan vs. Shulchan Aruch:
Once I was invited at a litvishe Baalei Teshuva couple and they tried to keep every single little detail. Everything had to be perfect. The whole Shabbat had to be so unbelievable perfect that it was too much. No enjoyment due to perfection. Or in other words, they drove their guests nuts.This is indeed a trap to be wary of. Here is someone advocating a similar approach in a comment at BeyondBT:
From the same post at Shearim:
When the father of the family sings a zemer, it is correct Derech Eretz for all the sons, son-in-laws, grandsons and male guests to sing along with the Baal HaBayit (male head of the family). If they do not know the zemer by heart, then they should find a bencher to help them sing along.
If they do not want to sing along, then they should remain silent while the father is singing his zemer.
If it is not possible for them to remain silent while the father sings, then they should speak to each other in low voices or speak to each other away from the Shabbat Table to avoid ruining the zemer of the father.
Worst of all are those who sit at the Shabbat table and speak to each other loudly while the father is trying to sing a zemer. These people display inferior Derech Eretz and a lack of common sense and basic sensitivity to others.
Every Shabbat meal should be accompanied by words of Torah at the Shabbat table. Contrary to what many people believe, words of Torah at the Shabbat table do not have to be recited by heart or original or in Hebrew.
Once a new Baal Teshuva who had formerly studied in a Yeshiva in Jerusalem, went back to his parents in the States. As soon as he got home, he demanded from his family to keep Mitzvot. Furthermore, he told the local Rabbi what to do, as it says this and that in the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law). The Rabbi just looked up and said that in his community they don't follow the Shulchan Aruch but the Aruch HaShulchan. The Baal Teshuva became very quiet, as he didn't know what that is.Besides bringing Shulchan Aruch down to more present day practice, Aruch Hashulchan also explains and justifies a lot of present-day practice, and I think tries to do this. For example, folding one's tallis on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
There are some newly religious (guys and young girls) who study in a Yeshiva or seminary and after a few weeks or months they think that they know everything. I experienced this plenty of times that a newly Yeshiva guy / seminary girl came up to me and told me what and how to do something.
- In the Washington Examiner, the hidden cost of national health care: innovation.
The normal critique of socialized medicine is to point out that people have to wait a long time for these kinds of treatments in places like Britain. And that's certainly a valid critique. I'm sure my mom and daughter would still be waiting for their treatments, while my father and wife would probably be dead.
The key point, though, is that these treatments didn't just come out out of the blue. They were developed by drug companies and device makers who thought they had a good market for things that would make people feel better.
But under a national healthcare plan, the "market" will consist of whatever the bureaucrats are willing to buy. That means treatment for politically stylish diseases will get some money, but otherwise the main concern will be cost-control. More treatments, to bureaucrats, mean more costs.
- TorahNews, the newest website promoting an apocalyptic vision of the near future based on the words falsely attributed to autistics, posts the entirety of the book Secrets of the Soul.
- Rabbi Tropper on Gedolim and the EJF. In terms of Rav Elyashiv, but there is more in the post:
Though seeing how some manipulate gedolim, that he signed a letter of blessing, when we don't get to see the video of how this came about, does not impress me so much.
Rav Eliyashuv shlit”a gave us a warm bracha which was shown at the most recent Jerusalem conference. He signed a letter of blessing together with Rav A. L. Steinman shlit”a.
Rav Eliyashuv has sent people to discuss issues of geirus (Jewish conversion) with the EJF (not halachic questions).
Rav Feinstein, shlit”a just met with Rav Eliyashuv and separately with Rav Leib Tropper and was very happy to hear of EJF’s acheivements.
- Hirhurim on whether there is an obligation to give charity to the lazy. An excerpt:
Note that you only have to help him with it, i.e. if he will also participate. So too, writes the Keli Yakar, you only have to help someone by giving him charity if he will help himself also by working. Obviously, if he is physically unable to work then that is a different story.
- At SerandEz, a bunch of crazy advice for prosperity and success in shidduchim. A small sample:
Have at least 12 children, do not use birth control, and continue having children after 40. This is the formula for overcoming sterility and long-term bachelorhood in the Religious Zionism movement put forth by renowned Rabbi David Batzri. In a women's assembly in Jerusalem held Thursday in Jerusalem, the rabbi asserted that "a girl who wishes to marry must take upon herself already on the first date an obligation to have no less than 12 children." In addition, he encouraged women to put pressure on one another not to delay pregnancy after getting married and not to wait long in between births.There is a lot more, and perhaps I will post on it. Of course, this comes in part from kabbalistic ideas. And as for many of our own ideas, people look at them at nuts as well. I suppose that it is because we consider ourselves as practicing the same Judaism that he is that we feel that we have a say about the ideas he puts forth.
The rabbi claimed that using birth control damages household income. He said, "When you use control methods, you stop abundance. When you see a woman whose youngest child is three, this means that she has been using control methods for three years. Convince her not to do this."
- In the Jerusalem Post, Elior Chen to be extradited to Israel from Brazil.
Meanwhile, Yeranen Yaakov is doresh smuchin in Google reader.