Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Cover your toes in the house of God

Sephardilady wrote:

Lakewood Yid-I have no problem with a guy walking into shul in Flip Flops to pray to G-d.
Zero, zilch, efes, nada, cero.

About a year ago, members of the Northwestern University's champion women's lacrosse team visited the White House and and met President Bush. Some of them wore flip flops.

Below is a collection of comments from various websites:

"but many people, including relatives of the athletes, questioned the propriety of wearing flip-flop sandals to meet the president."

"Don’t even ask me about the flip-flops," said her mother. "It mortified me."

"This is the buttoned-down, dignified Bush White House, where the president has forbid jeans and required neckties in the Oval Office and women are instructed to be "appropriately dressed."

"But Wood worries the arrival of flip-flops at the White House is a sign that respect for even the nation’s most sacrosanct institutions is waning."

"Definitely a faux pas," says Suze Yalof Schwartz, executive fashion editor-at-large of Glamour magazine, telling The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm, "It is just inappropriate

"They're great for hanging out with your friends. But they're clearly unprofessional. And if you're going to the White House, cover up your toes."


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Internal Debate

One day this week, I davened in Satmar. Now, Satmar shul in Lakewood is quite different than Satmar shuls in Williamsburg or Monroe. The weekly mispallelim in Satmar Lakewood is probably 60% - 70% yeshivah guys. Basicly everyone wears a Jacket (95% black or dark navy) during Shachris and ocassionaly you have some non-jackets and dark colored shirts.

Anyways, in walks in a guy (apparently a bochur, no Talis, just Tefilin) wearing flip-flops.


Green shortsleeve Polo shirt, light beige knickers (pants cut at the knees), NO socks, and flip flops. He strolled in, put on his tefilin, about 3 minutes later, his cellphone was held to his ear for some 60 seconds. By the time I finished Shmoneh Esreh, I could no longer see him (he was gone).

Now lets put aside for a moment the inyan of Dan L'kaf Zechus. Do you tell such a guy something? I mean, like, how dare a person walk into a shul dressed like he's going straight to the beach? Mechitzuf, Ahrois!! Its not plausible that the guy was innocent. I would be surprised if any of my modern blogfriends would dare venture into a charedi shul, barefoot in flip flops.

But on the other hand, who knows if this guy is "on the fence" and if someone were to mussar him, perhaps he would stop coming to daven altogether? Perhaps he was sort of "testing" to see if he's accepted even like that?

Your opinions please.

(P.S. I would have loved to watch the Satmar Dayan's reaction, he goes nuts when he sees a guy with his shirt not tucked in)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Shverreh Rambam.

On another blog, I quoted a Rambam in הלכות ממרים פרק ג and some commenters not surprisingly found it to be a bit disturbing.

א מי שאינו מאמין בתורה שבעל פה, אינו זקן ממרא האמור בתורה, אלא הרי הוא בכלל המינים, ומיתתו ביד כל אדם. [ב] מאחר שנתפרסם שהוא כופר בתורה שבעל פה--מורידין ולא מעלין, כשאר המינים והאפיקורוסין והאומרין אין תורה מן השמיים והמוסרים והמשומדים: כל אלו אינן בכלל ישראל, ואינן צריכין לא עדים ולא התראה ולא דיינין; אלא כל ההורג אחד מהן, עשה מצוה גדולה והסיר מכשול.

Tough words here.Once a person is publicly known to be Kofer in Torah She'baal Peh, or those who say that Torah is not from Shamayim, such people are not a part of Klal Yisroel, and one who kills them has done a great Mitzvah and has removed a stumbling block. And we don't need witnesses or warning or judges to do this.

The Rambam in Halacha ג speaks about those who are a Tinok Shenishbah and being that they are innocent, he says:

לפיכך ראוי להחזירן בתשובה, ולמשוך אותם בדרכי שלום, עד שיחזרו לאיתן התורה; ולא ימהר אדם להורגן.

Note, the last few words. One should not be quick to kill them. As if if one did kill them, it might be OK.

The Rambam in הלכות עבודה זרה פרק י writes it again:

ב במה דברים אמורים, בגוי. אבל מוסרי ישראל, והמינים, והאפיקורוסין--מצוה לאבדן ביד, ולהורידן עד באר שחת: מפני שהן מצירין לישראל, ומסירין את העם מאחרי ה', כישוע הנוצרי ותלמידיו, וצדוק ובייתוס ותלמידיהם--"שם רשעים, ירקב" (משלי י,ז).

(Not to get off topic, but if the Rambam was alive when Jesus was, would the Rambam have personaly killed him?)

I looked up some older prints of Rambam. One didn't have any of these references to killing המינים והאפיקורוסין etc. and a different print had them in parentesies. In the new Shabsi Frankel Rambam, it has it as quoted above, and in the footnotes, there is a remark that older prints didn't have it due to the "censor".

This extreme Halacha is based on the Gemara דף כו מסכת עבודה זרה:

תני רבי אבהו קמיה דר' יוחנן העובדי כוכבים ורועי בהמה דקה לא מעלין ולא מורידין אבל המינין והמסורות היו מורידין ולא מעלין

Rashi in Sanhedrin 57:a explains

מורידין - מורידין אותם לבור להמיתם בידים
מעלין - מעלין אותם מן הבור להצילם מן המיתה.

Rashi there says: [ אבל האידנא דין זה אינו נוהג כי בטלו ד"נ [ ד"נ = 'דיני נפשות

The Chazon Ish in Y"D also writes that this was only Noge'ah when Klal Yisroel was in power etc.. "but today, we are here to be מתקן and being that such idealogy would have a reverse effect, these laws don't apply today.

But the Rambam is still very Shverr. As cazzie asked, why should we kill him right away? Perhaps he'll do Teshuvah?

Well, does Teshuvah help for המינים והאפיקורוסין? I have not yet fully researched this issue, but in the meantime, I have found the following.

Rambam in הלכות תשובה פרק ג writes:

כו במה דברים אמורים שכל אחד מאלו אין לו חלק לעולם הבא, בשמת בלא תשובה. אבל אם שב מרשעו, ומת והוא בעל תשובה--הרי זה מבני העולם הבא, שאין לך דבר שעומד בפני התשובה: אפילו כפר בעיקר כל ימיו, ובאחרונה שב--יש לו חלק לעולם הבא, שנאמר שלום שלום לרחוק ולקרוב, אמר ה'--ורפאתיו

כז כל הרשעים והפושעים והמשומדים וכיוצא בהן שחזרו בתשובה, בין בגלוי בין שחזרו במטמונייות--מקבלין אותן, שנאמר שובו בנים שובבים

אף על פי שעדיין שובב הוא, שהרי בסתר בלבד חוזר ולא בגלוי--מקבלין אותו בתשובה

Apparently, their Teshuva is accepted. However in הלכות עבודה זרה פרק ב, the Rambam writes:

.ט וכן המינים מישראל, אינן כישראל לדבר מן הדברים. ואין מקבלין אותן בתשובה, לעולם--שנאמר "כל באיה, לא ישובון; ולא ישיגו, אורחות חיים

והמינים, הם התרים אחר מחשבות ליבם בסכלות, בדברים שאמרנו, עד שנמצאו עוברים על גופי תורה להכעיס, בשאט בנפש ביד רמה; ואומרין, שאין בזה עוון. ואסור לספר עימהן ולהשיב .עליהן תשובה כלל, שנאמר אל תקרב אל פתח ביתה

Many commentaries discuss this difficult Rambam. Some go in the direction that Hashem is Mekabel their Teshuvah, just Bais Din is not Mekabel it.

This Rambam needs more clarification, and I'll add here when I have more on it.

(P.S. Ben Avuyah, for the time being, my hit-list will remain empty.)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Party Time!!

Yes my friends, time to pull out some schnapps from the freezer and drink L'chaim.

After 3-4 months of battling with Godol Hador, he finaly did it! He actually wrote a pro charedi / pro Gedolim post!!

Some highlights:

"I now realize I was somewhat wrong. All religions are based on Faith, and Orthodox Judaism especially so."

(I'm kvelling from nachas. Just a few weeks ago, we were arguing if Charedism is absolute sheker.)

"there’s nothing wrong with Faith ........ The Gedolim correctly intuited what the logical conclusion of accepting Science is, and they were right."

(The Gedolim are correct. Such sweet words....)

"Considering that I have a fair amount of Faith myself, I can no longer see the point in bashing other people's faith"

(He's finaly talking like a true Godol, no bashing others..)

Here's the best line of all:

"If anything, the Gedolim’s mehalech is more honest: Have faith and that’s that."

(I feel like I just won the lottery.....)

Heibst Zach, Heibst Zach, Lummer Tantzen ah Hora.......

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