A Reader Writes: When It Comes to Halacha, We Have a Right to Take Umbrage


thinkingDear Editor,

Much discussion has taken place here on Matzav.com about whether one has a right to take umbrage with someone else ignoring halacha and thereby influencing those around them.

It should be noted that certain things are not simply midas chassidus. Covering hair properly, covering elbows and the like are clear-cut halachos, as is talking in shul. People have a right to be offended when others do evil things in front of them, influencing their surroundings (especially vis-a-vis tznius) and others’ children.

I can understand wanting to live in a community of bnei Torah while not living up to the correct standard , but at least with things befarhesya, like Shabbos and tznius, one must conform to strict halacha or get the boot, plain and simple.

Does that mean that I should tell my neighbor that he’s in violation of halacha? Does it mean my wife should tell my neighbor that she doesn’t follow halachos of tznius as required by the Torah?

Absolutely not. That job belongs to their rov or moreh derech.

But in principle, when it comes down to it, one has every right, living in a frum community, to desire that the other frum Yidden follow Torah law.

People who violate halachos that are clearly written in Shulchan Aruch do not belong in a Torah community. If someone walked around unclothed, you’d aree that we should throw them out if they didn’t agree to dress, correct? Well, the Torah calls hair of a married lady ervah. There you have it. And no, there really is no distinction. It is just that many have been so influenced by the secular society that we think there is a difference.

No one has any problem with more liberal people living in a community – if they dress tzniusdik. We are not talking about chumros, just plain halacha! (And for the record, communities have a right to make takanos. If you don’t like it, or you feel it’s backard, then leave and join the fast track to noweher with the rest of those who walk around in total rebellion against Hashem and Torah, flouting how ‘modern’ and with-it they are).

And before you start bashing Lakewood, know that I am not talking about Lakewood. I actually leave a good two hours from that special city, which I admire and love. I have children living there and wouldn’t want them to live anywhere else. I live in a different community in the tri-state area, and everything I am writing is based on my experiences there. (Somehow, unfortunately, when these discussions take place, people love to kill Lakewood for no good reason. Most of these people have never even been to the Ihr Hatorah and know nothing about it. And even those who have been there just repeat the canards they have heard and read.)

Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein once gave a nice moshol from a certain rosh yeshiva. There once was a bird who fell out of its nest and broke its wing. A cow walked near it and relieved itself on the bird. Now, the bird, being naive and innocent, and ostensibly lacking the ability to smell, was very happy ; it was in a nice warm blanket. Along comes a farmer, and hearing the beard tweet, cleans it off, and sets the wing. He then nurses the bird back to health. When it’s old enough to be on it’s own, the bird ‘says’ (again, this is a moshol) that it’s very unhappy with the farmer. He was enjoying his ‘pile’ just fine until the nasty farmer cleaned it off of him and hurt his wing by setting it. Of course, the bird is foolish, as it’s terrible to be under excrement.

The rosh yeshiva compared this to us in America. America did its business on Klal Yisroel, filling them with tumah she’ain kemohu. One can lose kedushah in a second that would have taken 70 years back in europe.

The difference between Torah jews and other more “progressive” people who “get it” is that while Torah jews understand that there may be negative results when you shelter your children, and that it’s not always possible, and that yes, eventually they will get exposed, we understand that tumah = bad, that this hurts neshamos, and that we’re not willing to make cheshbonos about injecting tumah into a poor child. Much like a doctor will not put a dead virus as a vaccine into his patient without knowing he can handle it, there’s just too much at stake.

To assimilated minds, with ‘enlightened’ ideas, it is more important to practically preserve whatever feeble level of Yiddishkeit one expects his children (and himself) to have, than it is to guard against the disgusting culture in which we live.

Those who are entrenched in society are that bird. Their crawling in filth their entire life, and they mock the ones who are clean. Their so entrenched in tumah, movies, television, etc., that they think it’s not even hamrful, or that if it is harmful, it’s a small price to pay for being ‘engaged in society’ and not being ‘cavemen’, backward in our holy lives.

This is the indictment of those who lead this lifestyle – not the ridiculously low standards of observance, not the tolerance of apikorsus, but this.

I once heard from a kid who thought that shomer negiah (a phrase most yeshivos have never heard of; they simply know it as the issur deoraysoh of touching women) was not obligatory. And this is in a frum community. It is all a result of ignoring the words of the Shulchan Aruch.

The answer to this is more kedushah, not less. Whatever cheshbonons you may have, whatever sevaros, they just dont cut it. Tumah is something to avoid, plain and simple; be close-minded, be closed off, be a cavemen, but at least you’ll be a cavemen with an olam haba and a kedushah that will make those ‘integrated with society’ red in the face.

Frankly, I’m sick of the American, ‘let everyone do their own thing’ way of thinking. No one’s judging anyone. Actions, however, are to be judged. Nothing I said comes from a ‘Taliban’  mentalit. It is simply that there is tumah in the world. We do not want that tumah. We want to be as far from it as possible. Pretty simple.

This is not ‘yeshivish’ vs. not yeshivish, frum vs. modern. It’s simply Torah vs. tumah. It only becomes ‘controversial’ because there are those foolish enough to chuck mesorah as given over by our gedolim and instead believe they know better by thinking they understand better, sort of like the Conservatives who believe in interpreting things their own way. These people impart secular biases and values and interpret Torah to fit their own agenda as opposed to pure mesorah.

Loving someone doesnt mean approving of their sins or living among tumah.

I love jews; even those who sin. (Incidentally, bepashtus you’re allowed to hate a sinner, or at least you used to be – maybe not nowadays though. My rov says it’s better to just hate that part of the person – chatoim velo chotim), but it doesnt mean I’d want to be around them too much.

Spiritually, who’s really the caveman?

It’s not kanous ; it’s pashut Torah hashkafa. We dont want to live around aveiros.


New York


  1. “one must conform to strict halacha”

    EASY SAID THAN DONE!!! Is one specific rov the tzinius posak? are his halachos normative (or based on UK minhagim)? many differ with him!! Why must one conform to STRICT HALACHA and not just HALACHA?
    For instance:
    1. When it comes to head covering (the list would be 2x longer when it comes to socks/leg coverings)
    a. shaven head
    b. two coverings
    c. no wig
    d. wigs not blonde or red
    e. wigs only to chin length
    f. straight wigs not curly
    g. no human hair wigs allowed
    h. tichel that is not colorful
    i. turban not outside of house
    j. snood not ‘settler looking’
    k. one tefach of hair showing
    l. no contemporary-looking hats
    m. baseball hats front ways only
    n. no pony-tail wigs or falls with bands
    o. shaven side burns and back with snoods
    p. must hair be covered when swimming or
    exercising with women.
    I can go on with many more instances, so Mr. DOvid which is STRICT HALACHA for you, me, or a different eida. Which is custom, fact, fiction, or normative? Which is Bnei Brak or Bet El?
    “It’s pashut Torah Hashkafa”, Whose? Rav Shimshon Rafeal Hirsch or Reb Yisroel Salenter, Rav Yoel Teitelbaum or Reb Yakov Kaminetsky, Chazon Ish or Yerushalmi Minhagim? Brisk or Slabodka…..

  2. i agree with everything you say-however-we live in golus-this is not our land where we can dictate to those who compromise….this is not meah shaarim or bnai brak….it is golus (unfortunately), and therefore we are bound to find ourselves in situations we really don’t appreciate…we can not control what others do..yes,we are entitled to broach the subject in a proper way(as you stated)-but we can not expect a satisfactory outcome all the time-it just will not happen…..to achieve your goal you would have to create your own private community and then be able to set the rules-but until then you must realize this is part of our nisayon in golus

  3. A parent once complained to Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky that Iranian children were being mainstreamed into his child’s class and he was afraid of negative influences. Rav Yaakov’s response was that the children are also obligated to do Kiruv.

    No one would take issue with someone who flaunts their reduced level of observance just because they like flaunting it. They don’t belong.

    Do you know which people with short sleeves or uncovered hair are on “the way back”? Perhaps living in your community and being loved and accepted by people like you would hasten their journey to full commitment.

    Before you expel them from your neighborhood, have you tried talking to them or inviting them for a Shabbos? Yes, they may come to your table with uncovered hair. Your children are also obligated in Kiruv and you can teach your children how to do it.

  4. I agree with most of what you said. However, the problem is when people think chumros are actual halachos.
    Regarding tznius: a married woman can show up to a tefach of her hair. I’ve seen many Chareidi women who wear snoods that are pulled down over their ears! That’s fine for them, but I’ve heard them tell others to do the same, because a hair or two might show otherwise. That’s wrong.
    Regarding shomer negiah, I’ve never heard someone say it was ok to touch someone of the opposite gender. I’ve heard people say it’s a d’rabanan (which I think is true – the Torah only forbids relations with a married woman or a niddah. Casual touching was a gezeirah.)

    The biggest problem that I have with the chareidi mentality (and I know many others who have the same view) is their sense of “I’m better than you.” Many people think that someone who is sitting and learning is better than someone who is working. They also feel that someone who accepts many chumros on themselves is better than someone who doesn’t. For example, I was once told that eating chalav stam was bad for my soul, and was doing irreparable damage to me. Really? Why? R’ Moshe Feinstein said it’s ok. Is that not enough for you?
    Chareidim tend to look down on other groups. That’s where my real problem is.

  5. Hello Dovid,

    It couldn’t be better said. I am a Lakewood resident and work in New York. Therefore I see alot of NY people and also what they represent.

    Thank you for your Hashkafa.

  6. Love the sinner-Hate the sin. How christian of you!! Very few will argue that pritzus is permissible. However, covering hair, which many kehilos were not makpid about and some of Americas greatest gedolim (including members of the moetzes) were not concerned about for many years should not be our priority for our neighbors wives (whom we shouldn’t be looking at anyways). What disturbs the more modern community is the evolving standards. What was acceptable when Rav Moshe was the the RaSHKaBaHaG, when we were led by the likes of Rav Yaakov and Rav Pam is no longer acceptable. You live with ordinary yidden who may not appreciate full-time learning but they certainly appreciate a yiddishe zemer. Don’t take your evolving standards and force them on other people. Because if you do you will be machshil countless people. It may then be mutar to hate you-but I will still love you, even if I hate aveiros.

  7. I don’t force mt standards on anyone. I just want the same in return. I’ve never argued that chassidish women shouldn’t wear their shpitzels or their bulletproof stockings. I’ve never said that kollel guys shouldn’t wear their hats and jackets all day, even when just going shopping.
    I’ve been told, however, that it’s better for me to dress in black and white. I’ve been told my wife should wear stockings at all time, and sleeves that come down to her wrists, and necklines up to her chin.
    Now, who’s trying to force beliefs on who?

  8. A friend of mine was the BIG BLACK MARKER who fixed and redid all the photos from the 19th & 20th Century to fit into the Jewish Publications of today.

    Add a little sleeve, fix the skirt, redo the neckline, add a hat….so that the REAL REBBETZIN will emerge. (also delete family members who are controversial from the photos).

  9. Orthowatch,

    The supposed charedi mentality is purely your projection. Most likely it is because you are doing something that may not be correct according to the halacha and you are embarrassed and therefore project that you are being looked down upon.

    But once we are on the topic, can you explain the apparent virulent hatred of the MO to the chareidim?

    Before you say it does not exist, please explain then the nasty anti chariedi timbre of k’mat all blogs written by writers who identify themselves as MO or students of the MO school of thought (trying to hide beneath a contrived label of centrism). And there is no other way to explain it other than virulent hate.

    Trust me, it has nothing to do with trying to better the jewish community at large. If such were the case, do you not think that they would give at least equal time to the issues in their community(ies)? Certainly in a venue as the internet which has broad and almost universal acceptance in the MO circle and limited reach in the chareidi community. The obvious point being is that the internet is used by those bloggers as a meeting place to get to gether and try to putdown the chareidi community with all sorts of untruths and exaggerations.

    Believe me, there are at least as many MO who complain when a chosid or a chareidi move in to theeir neighborhood as the reverse, but for much less altruistic reasons.

  10. #11: I can’t speak for others, but I have no hatred for chareidim. I don’t know of many MO people who do. If you read the blogs, you’ll see that they disagree with many of the things chareidim do. However, we never try to force our way onto them. We may complain about the kollel system, but that is because we get mail and people knocking on our doors for it. We’re told that it’s our responsibility, as working people, to support the kollels. Once we’re told that, we have a right to complain.
    In my community, there is a small kollel. I know plenty of guys who are in it. I get along great with them. For the most part, I get along fine with everyone in the kollel (except the Rosh Kollel, but that’s a long story).

  11. R’ Dovid-
    I hope that you don’t experience this same treatment and attitude when you come before the kisay hakavod on the yom hadin l’achar me’ah v’esrim. Midas HKB”H midah k’neged midah, so I would suggest that you consider the imperative of mah hu rachum af hu rachum. Otherwise, you might want to instruct your children to say kaddish for the entire 12 months after your petirah (after 120).

  12. I’m confused about this “my neighborhood” thing. You can only complain about the neighbors if you have a gated community or condo building with regulations written into the contract. E.g. “Must follow tznius restrictions as determined by Rav Ploni.” Otherwise, anyone is free to buy a house anywhere they like. You only own your own house, not all the houses on the street.

    I remember when “Why are *they* allowed to move into *our* neighborhood?” was used to keep Jews from buying houses in certain areas.

    Most of the complaints I’ve read here are about fairly trivial “violations.” If you really think the situation is serious, ask someone about mentioning the issue to the person involved. Maybe they really don’t know.

    And if it still really bothers you, go ask someone who lived through a pogrom in Europe. Find out what it really means to have neighbors that aren’t “your kind.”

    For Heaven’s sake, it’s Elul. We should be working on ourselves, not fixating on other people. R’ Salanter said that when he started studying musar he could only see how terrible the world was. Then he began to realize that he had some work to do too. After a while he began to stop criticizing the world because he was too busy working on himself.

    Let’s focus on achdus and dan l’chaf zchus. Isn’t that what we always want other people to do for us? Let’s try a bit of our own prescription.

  13. The Torah does not call the hair of a married woman ervah. Sorry. Rav Sheshes in the Gemara does state (Brachos 24a),”Se’ar be’ishah ervah”. It doesn’t say married woman, just woman. Apparently, ALL women, married or not. The pasuk quoted as an asmachta is from Shir Hashirim and not from the Chamisha Chumshei Torah. Hashkafos can be discussed , but incorrect quotes and information are very counterproductive, and just detract from the argument.
    In other words, if you want to quote chazal, please get it right.

  14. And there’s a lot of other stuff that is as toxic, if not much more – conspicuous consumption and greed and jealousy, poor shemiras halashon, etc. But this is inner, not outer and obvious.

  15. This artciel is IMHO a mistake we make ofyten.
    yes Kedusha is important and the goal!!!

    BUt how to do that. Help make a kiddush hashem and raise up those who need to be paised up ARE WE KIDDING\
    how much is spent on kiruv and we are merachek the kerovim!!@#$%^&*

  16. Dovid, right on! The ignorance is amazing. 1)Negia is a Doraisa #2) Yes there are shitos that hold a Tephach or hair is muter but there are those that assur and those that do assur don’t do so only as a chumra. Whoever wrote that list of Gedolim should know that none of them would have ideally permitted a Tephach exposure. 3)”However, covering hair, which many kehilos were not makpid about and some of Americas greatest gedolim (including members of the moetzes) were not concerned about for many years” Yeah Kehillos not makpid about because the women were KAL and didn’t care about an issur deoraisah. There is no custom not to be makpid. As to the Gedolim not making it a priority…well they were dealing with Shmiros Shabbos and TAHARAS HAMISHPOCHA issues (On the aside you may want to find out in the MO communities if Taharas Hamishpacha is really adhered to by all….or maybe better not to find out)4)”Do you know which people with short sleeves or uncovered hair are on “the way back”? Perhaps living in your community and being loved and accepted by people like you would hasten their journey to full commitment.” Maybe it will maybe it won’t but it really questionable if I should expose my family to this. You may never know the damage of their influence. One don’t move to such communities for kiruv opportunities. To top it all off the people moving into Lakewood and towns of this sort are not naive and ignorant of the norms. They are of the mindset of “don’t tell me what to do”. So that whole speech about influencing commitment is practically absurd.
    5) Sorry, yes the guy who spends his time learning IS BETTER than those that don’t. Don’t denigrate him. ENVY him (I was not zocheh either) Yeah I know that Rabbis try to assuage your feelings about being Bal Habattim but the facts are different…Go ask those same Rabbis

  17. “Truth Be Spoken” has spoken the truth. On MO sites, right-wing comments, no matter how civil and respectful, are either rejected or censored, or shouted down by virulently hateful left-wing commenters who blatantly accuse the “ultras” of hate, disrespect, revisionism, and all they’re guilty of. I and other frum bloggers have stopped visiting those sites altogether. They don’t care for truth anyway; let them have fun reinventing Haskalah and Conservatism under various names and telling each other how awful chareidim are.

  18. 21: You’re right, the ignorance is amazing. Why do people think that taharas hamishpacha isn’t followed in MO communities? Where I live, they’re building a new mikvah, because the existing one just isn’t big enough anymore!

    And no, the guy sitting and learning isn’t better than the guy who goes to work. Yissachar and Zevulan are considered equal partners. Being told that kollel guys are better is just the brainwashing that people spout to try and get you to follow their agenda. As I posted once before, a rebbe I once had told me I was a shaigetz for planning on going to college.


  20. 1. It is a davar galuy v’yaduah that for years a wife of a posek who was member of the moetzes did not cover her hair. Besides, if the gedolim were maikilm, then they believed it was not asur.
    2. Learning full time on someone else’s dime runs contrary to 2,000 years of mesorah and halacha. Ask any rabbi.

  21. Did you take your anger medicine this morning? When you grow up, see the real world and live in it, you will go back, read your post and realize how foolish you sound. In the mean time, since ou value learning, why don’t you look into V’ahavta lereacha kamocha and see how that jives with your “better” attitude.

  22. OK, ten minutes after I got in the car I realized what was bothering me. I might just take umbrage at the title!

    According to Wiktionary, the definition is to take offense, become angry and resentful. Other definitions I googled were to become upset and angry, to be displeased or offended.

    You can also go to umbrage.org to express your “resentment, offense, and annoyance.” IOW to get in touch with your inner Andy Rooney (my he’ara, not the website).

    The tone of the article is one of pain, which is honest, and largely gently expressed. The title though gives me pause. On one hand, I understand how in a reshus harabbim people who should know better can be machshil others. OTOH, 13, 14 and similar comments are where I’m at.

    And more kedusha may well start with not going on the internet except for business.

  23. OK!! First thank you Dovid for your true words it was really refreshing, THANK YOU.!!!
    Now, WOW!! to me it’s really amazing to see, what started out as a yungerman from Lakewood not even complaining rather just mentioning something he had on his mind about a neighbor of him, and the person listening explaining him the situation of his neighbor thru a firs-hand knowledge,(amazing right?)now ends up as a deep philophical discution about Halacha and life. I think that some of coments above are irrelevant to this story. i.e. #9 talking about forcing one’s ideology on another, well I understand you may feel this way (maybe it’s even true) but who exactly tried to force anything in this story? The same goes for #4 and the respond to him from#21, please read the explenation in the first story.

  24. #16 I don’t see where he mentiones Chamisha Chumshei Torah, he said, I believe, Torah, isn’t gemara called torah? ok torah Baal Peh but still torah.

  25. #5 I believe #11 showed you your place when it comes to halacha.
    I thought that in your school of thought – even though in general, mishnayos is not such a big deal, since nowadays we are a new jew, and time has changed all that stuff however – one Masechet is still very popular and that is Masecheth Avos, so why don’t you open up in Avos “Eizehu chochom hamakir es mekoumo”? I think you’re better off leaving halacha to these Lakewooder “BANK-KVETCHERS”.
    And by the way if you’ll look up in Igros Moshe
    you’ll see that even tough he says, that he can’t prohibit Cholov Stam still in yeshivous it shouldn’t be served and anyone that has easy access to Cholov Yisroel “HE IS NOT MATIR TO USE CHOLOV STAM”

  26. The idea that Europe was full of Kedusha is belied by the fact that most of the Jews of Europe were probably not Shomer Shabbos before the war, and an even lesser percentage was shomer mitzvos in a manner acceptable to this post.

    The Jews of Germany were as intermarried as the Jews of the U.S. and the majority of the Jews in such cities as Warsaw were not shomer shabbos. The educational system was poor or non-existent and, except for an elite few, most of the even shomer shabbos persons were relatively ignorant.

    The ignorance transported from Europe is largely responsible for the state of Jewry in the U.S. today.

  27. #31: Wrong! R’ Moshe said that cholov stam is muttar. There is a letter from R’ Moshe also, where a yeshiva that had been serving only cholov Yisrael asked about stopping, and he told them not to.

  28. #33 wrong too!! Tye igros state that yore shmayim drink only cholov yisrael!!

    But aside the igros zl, most poskim understand the concept of cholov yisrael vs cholov akum as per SA YD not as the chiddish of chalav stam which is a big chiidish! Futher IIRC rabbi soloveichick zl argued before r moshe’s zl chiddish of cholov stam that all milk in the usa is defined as cy since there is govt inspections. The lomdus being different the result being the same – but the concept of cholov stam was also a chiddish to rabbi yoshe ber soloveichick zl.

  29. #32 That is so untrue except in the large cities. The shtetlech of Poland, Galicia, Hungary were not affected as you state!! Those that could not stand the confinement left to the cities! But to ignore the chassidishe dominance in Jewish life in warsaw as well as Cracow is doing an injustice to them as well as to their progeny that filled the postwar litvishe batei medrashim and on shabbos the steiblich of america and israel. yes germany was awful as i heard first hand from polish immigrants to germany (after wwi) but the country of the greatest jewish pop pre wwi was czarist russia and then the austro hungarian empire which was split after wwi to poland, russia, the baltic states and hungary

  30. Dovid,
    I disagree with many things you write. However, you do seem to be quite sincere. In your mind you only quote that which is explicit in the halacha. So why are you embarressed to write your full name? Maybe you do know that you’re just being provacative?

  31. No name, it is incorrect and misleading to write “the Torah says” when it is a discussion that the poskim argue about till today. The Torah doesn’t say it.
    As to the question itself, the fact that unmarried women do not have their hair uncovered is proof that a woman’s hair is not in the same category of ervah as other body parts.

  32. 34: R’ Moshe didn’t say a yorei shamayim should only drink cholov yisrael. He said it’s a chumrah, and “ba’al nefesh yachmir”. His son, R’ Dovid, is known to eat and drink cholov stam.

  33. Cholov stam is tangential to this discussion, unless people are drinking a very clearly labeled cholov stam drink in public.

  34. 39. WHo told you thet R Dovid is known to eat and drink cholov stam? I find that highly unlikely considering what he has written and what his father has written abou a ba’al nefesh yachmir.

    And it is known that R Moshe was makpid for himself.

  35. #38 that is a daas yachid of the aruch hashulchan – butlook how he laments the fall of the generation in Lita that results in that opinion!!

  36. orthowatch.blogspot.com, Could you please tell me what tshuvah of the Igros you’re reffering to in all or any of your above comments?

  37. orthowatch.blogspot.com,
    I would like to make clear a point in regarding to your coments in #5, #9.
    But first let me just make clear, I don’t know you nor your whereabouts, but from your coments it looks like you belong yourself to the MO comunity and ‘you where raised in that comunity’, now based on that, and considering the fact that “it looks like” you don’t now to much about the real inside of the way of thinking in the chareidy comunity, let me help you in our believes.
    Let’s put it this way, there is two kinds of people in orthodox jews, ther is the ‘Ah !!!’ poeple and there is the ‘OiVey !!!’.
    There are poeple that whenever there is a mitsvah to do a regular day to day one or a new one a mitsvas asey and (let me stress out) a mitsvas “LO SASEH” they will go Ahh !! B”H Bless G-D I could do his mitsvos and be mekayem his will on this world. and then there are their counterparts that in the mentioned situations will go OyVey !! here comes yet another mitsvah, restriction, how could I seek a heter for this, isn’t there some rov, posek thru out these last 3000+ years that wrote a heter on this?
    Before I go on, you might be thinking, by the first one he means this community and by the later that one, so let me stress out I’m against generalization of poeple, what I do try to explain is, what I believe the “hashkofoh” behind the different communities to be.
    To explain my interpretation of the two kinds might take quite a bit of time, but here are a few points that make up the whole picture of the difference between the two.
    1). Rabeinu Shlomo Ben Yitzchok (Rash”i) says on the mitsvah of ahavas hashem “Eino doumeh ha-ouved me-ahavoh la-ho-ouved me-yiroh” and he explains that the first one (love) looks what else could he do whereas the later one (fear) looks only not to get punished.
    2).Mishneh in Avos “Ha-olam hazeh doumeh li-prozdor (corridor) be-fney ha-olam haboh” nobody looks to make him self too comfortable in a hallway or on an airplane on his way.
    3). Sfas-Emes explaines why in lashon-hakodesh the world is called “olam” because the root of the word is the same as “ne-elam” wich means like when something goes missing does’t mean that it’s not in the world any more did it vanish? no it did not, just you can’t see it right now. The same is with Hashem, he is here he is everywhere and in anything meaning not only in tangible things but also in powers, willings, etc. of people, evrything is from him and “evry single thing is with a TACHLIS”.

  38. > “…one must conform to strict halacha or get the boot, plain and simple” wrote Dovid.

    >> This is the most problematic statement in Reb Dovid’s essay. Even if you can determine what exactly is the “strict” halacha for the entire community (as is being much debated in this thread), just how would one accomplish “booting out” the alleged offenders?–the punishment prescribed by Reb Dovid.

    Commenters 2 and 14 correctly stated that the ability to restrict residence to only certain (desirable?) people is limited to private housing developments or condominiums with restrictive covenants. Otherwise, in our American democracy, any one can choose to live anywhere they wish. That the neighbors take “umbrage” at anothers’ lifestyle has no legal significance (unless that lifestyle includes illegal acts).

    And so, once this “undesirable” family moves into your chareidi neighborhood, then what? Have the tznius patrol harass the wife and daughters? Throw rocks at their windows and burn their garbage bins? Hiss when the father walks into shul and stick your foot out to trip him in the aisle? All of the options for “booting” them out are obnoxious — if not downright illegal — and would lead to a tremendous Chillul Hashem if reported in the media.

    No one can restrict a person’s “right to take umbrage” (i.e. to take offense). But NO ONE has the right to advance the notion–as is done in this article–that undesirables can be “booted out.” This idea is repugnant within both halacha and the secular law.

  39. zalman – the poski interpreted that gmora to be talking about a married lady. The gemora says openly(kesuvos 72a) that a married lady who does not cover her hair is in violation of a deorayosh prohibtion. There is a small miut of poskim who explain that gemora as an asmactha, meaning a chiyuv derabanon, but the vast majorty of poskim, including the rambam, shulchan aruch, terumas hadeshen, mishnah berurah(uses the exact lashon ‘medin torah’), and aruch hashulchan, all say that a lady must cover her and that it is a deoraysoh.

    Grada, there are a few poskim who say a single lady should cover her hair – we obviously do not pasken that way, but maybe those shitos intepret the gemora the way you did – oh well, doesn’t mean we drop the erva because of a kasha – ‘fun a kasha shtbart mir nisht’, the halacha is clear that a lady must cover her hair.

    Tefach beishah is a shita accepted in certain communities in america – my rov says that ladies often out of ignorance, put their tichels up way too high, only to bring them down when they greet him.

    I’m not even going to get started on the medrashim about the evils of walking around bare-haired.

    You are being megaleh torah shelo kedin which is a chiyuv misa. Do teshuvah now and stp spreading lies against the torah.

    The rov who’s hair was left uncovered was not on the moetzes; as a matter of fact, although he was a talmid chacham, he was extremely controversial; an odom gadol said about the above rov that he was responsible for the majority of tumah in america, and so it is not surprising that he in is secular influences would not force his wife to cover her hair, although he could not deny that this was the halacha. My rov says over a maysoh about him that he refused to teach in our yeshiva because the menahel at the time requested that this rov givce up the opera and make his wife cover her hair.

    When you have clear textual proof of a halacha it is not negated by the actions of rebetzins.

  40. Furthermore, in the sefer toras habayis from the chofetz chaim, he laments that so many walk around ith exposed arms, chests, shoulders, hair, etc.. and he uses hair in the same context as the rest of the above body parts. It is inconceivable that he would say something like that unless he was going leshitaso, in the MB that a lady is required deoraysoh to cover her hair.

    As orthowatch pointed out(and this is mostly true with a few exceptions), even MO rabbis will tell a lady that she must cover her hair. However, it is my view that since MO chucked daas torah, they feel on a community-wide level that certain things are up to them to decide, while they may not be the biggest talmdei chachamim at their own admission. When it comes to shabbos, they’d ask a rov in a second, but when it comes to issues of avodah zara such as zionism, evolution, etc.., the ‘modern’ minsdet which hates anything that discrimintaes intellectual opinions becomes enraged (how can you say it’s assur to believe such-and-such, you’re backard!) this is just not an honesty that we can accept. I know charedim have problems too, but i think a key diffference is that we dont try to make our problems into shitos on a community-wide level; a charedi person might steal something, just as likely as an MO, but he wont say ‘well, im charedi, it’s ok’.

    Another thing is simply the fact that certain things in yiddishkeit, i.e., apikorsus, women’s issues and ‘equality’,(even for things that are not assur, there is an air that husband and wife are equal or that a lady’s place is in the career field, etc..) how to look at non-jews, etc.., are modified or taken out of context to fit a modern american mindset. I do not think anyone honestly looking at the hashkafic differences between an MO person and a charedi can say differently. Why is it that we find MO saying the word ‘shkotzim’ is derogatory, when no one else cares about it? Why is it that we find bas mitzvos and ‘shalom bas’s, paid as much attention to in MO as a bar mitzvah? why do we find a sentiment that ‘why cant girls learn gemora? are they inferior?’ exclusively in MO circles? why is it that only MO teaches girls gemora on a community-wide basis, when it is totally against halacha(reb moshe wrote that it is a ‘very simple matter’ that it is assur, bringing an army of poskim – this is the ONLY time he uses such an expression)

    Can someone explain why one’s hashkafos need to circle around ‘integration within society’, where you will accept questionable stances in order to integrate with sciety, how is this a valid hashkafa when our mesorah is to do what G-d wants according to g-d(we daven to serve hashem how He wants to be served), and acording to an emes-dige learning of His torah with His poskim. Litvaks have an emphasis on limud hatorah – this is based on mesorah. Chassidim might have a different emphasis sometimes, and this too is based on mesorah, each for whomever it is right for. But can one compare these systems? In one, you have yidden who at down and said ‘this is the honest emes according to the torah’, and on the otherhand, you have MO saying ‘this is what fits in to our philosophy of integration’ – this does not sound like emes to me, im sorry.

  41. matsi: First of all, MO didn’t “chuck” daas Torah. We have R’ Schachter, R’ Willig, and many others.
    Second, once you equated Zionism with avodah zara, I pretty much lost any desire to debate with you, so after this post, that’s it.
    Many Gedolim were in favor of the establishment of Israel, and considered themselves Zionists. Yes, I know that many were opposed, but they didn’t consider it Avodah Zara.
    That’s all I have to say to you now, and I’m not really interested in debating further.

  42. To anonymous – when you say ‘many’ you are referring to a sole talmid chacham(I am talking about before it was established). No one else besides rav kook was in favor of it(rav yoshe ber was later with his zionism, and his zionism was different).

    Reb Elchonon calls dati leumi avodah zara mixed with religion – look it up in ikvesa demishecha, before you say such things. Many gedolim called it avodah zara, including the chazon ish. Others, like the steipler, said it was a ‘deah coezeves’, but my point was not whether or not it is avodah zara, but rather that it is a totally accepted pre-requisite fro being MO, when there are shitos that it is avodah zara that are ignored. Ignored as well, are the shitos that hold it is wrong wiothout being avodah zara(this includes the chofetz chaim as quoted by rav shach, the steipler, brisker rov, rav ahron kotler as quoted in the journal hapardes, the rogatchover, all the lubavitcher rebbes(the last one just changed the stance to non-zionist for kiruv purposes) , rav hirsch(as quoted in choreb, denouncing zionism), rav chaim ozer grodzensky in a letter about the mizrachi rabbis, and of course, the satmar rov, who said that if you place the sin of the zionists on one scale, and all the other sins of jewish history on the other, the state of israel would outweigh them all – and several others were against is as well.

    I know you are taught that these things are not true by zionist yeshivos – this is sad, but you really should not put your head in the sand and refuse to debat on things that are possibly serious transgressions of avodah zara and apikorsus. Yes, there are rabbis who are zionists – but the biggest of the big were not, and were against it. Rav Kook is a different story – the gerrer rebbe explained his statements pretty well, but I suppose you’ere not open to hearing that right now -m the inculcation that zionism is some ikar of judaism that the zionist yeshivas pump kids full of is very deep indeed – there is no mitzvah to love eretz yisroel, yet they place it up there with loving torah and hashem! they would even die for their land./country/other nationalistic things which are alien to judaism.

    When I said chuck daas torah, I meant on a community level. There are talmidei chachamim, like rav shechter, and rav willig, that MO people will ask shailos to, but I meant that they live a lifestyle that is not in keeping with daas torah – rav willig and rav shechter, I do not think, allow televisions and movies, yert virtually all of MO have them; they also, I am sure, do not approve of mixed relationships, yet the MO world is filled with it; not to mention the acceptance of apikorsus that is also not found in rav shechter’s writings or shiurim(he has even written that women’s prayer groups are wrong because of feminism). In an MO shul near my house, not a left-wing shul, but an average shul with shome mispalelim that are ‘yeshivish’, a girl is a vegetarian for reasons of apikorsus, has a boyfriend with hair down to his chest, with a yarmulkah fitting in somewhere, and walks around with short-sleeve shirts; she is an active member of this shul, parading with her ervah exposed in shul functions and programs, with no one asking her to dress appropriately in shul.

    The difference as I see it in daas torah is that non-MO listen to gedolim on things besides shabbos and kashrus, and take their hashkafos, life lessons, mussar, and mahalach in every part of life, while MO tends to believe in people following their own understanding when it comes to things they deemed are not halachik(it is in fact, halachik, since one must have the right hashkafos lest he be oiver on lo sasuru – believing apikorsus – which the mishnah berurah qualifies as believing in anything against/opposite daas torah(exact words, look it up in biur halacvha on the shesh mitzvos temidos).

    The fact that hertzl gets a ‘zt’l’, while the satmar rov was questioned by a ziomnist rabbi if he can be called a tzadik indicts this philosophy. The satmar rov, whether you hold of his shita or not, based everything he said on torah and nothing else – his beautifuls efer on zionism is jam-packed with counter-arguments – logical ones – against the very mother’s milk of religious or secular zionism that people take for granted in some circles. I suggest learning his sefer before saying that ‘no one thought it was avodah zara’.

    I think giving your life up for something mkaes it an avodah zara, since the torah says you would not give up your life for kashrus, or tefillin, or gasp – the mitzvah of yishuv haaretz, but rather, only the 3 yehereg velo yaavors. The fact that zionists run around(even religious ones) saying they’d gladly die for their country(even eilat? that’s chutz learetz! would thye die defending southern lebanon..no, but that’s eretz yisorel!) tells me this is avodah zara.

  43. However, anonymous is right – I know people in YU who are very serious, and follow their rabbonim to the letter; they learn mussar, they lead torahdige lives without any goyishe imports, spending time with their rebbeim and being talmidim the way everyone else is. This is fine; I was talking about the community at large, in their own words(remember the letter from the women of a certain community blasting their rabbis for telling them to dress tznius?). The fact that a yeshiva has bible criticism in its library(even though they dont teach it), tolerates gay clubs, gives holiness to secular studies, glorifies ‘culture for its own sake’, this is sad and a complete violation of the torah.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here