Thursday, December 29, 2005

Skeptics,Adversity and Ruach Hakodesh

I want to preface by saying I mean no ill will to any skeptics.

This is a hypothetical thought:
Ive been thinking, is a skeptic someone who never had some adverse event happen in their life? If they did, would they say, wait, maybe I've gone down the wrong path and should return?

How strong is the conviction to be skeptic?

Maybe what I'm asking is, are the skeptics, skeptic because they have had a run of good luck?

Also do fantasticly wild stories happen to skeptics?

Since we are on the topic of wild stories, lately I've heard a few stories of recent gdolim and ruach hakodesh, told to people I know, by people they know.

I also heard stories told to me by my own friends that are fantastic.

The question is, can someone Modern and Orthodox believe in ruach hakodesh and nissim, bzman hazeh or even about gdolim of the previous generation? To someone Modern and Orthodox, should these stories be looked at skeptically, and be thought of as perfectly explainable?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Best Kosher Pizza

Raging debate over at GH on the best Kosher Pizza

Let me settle the debate.

Best Kosher Pizza when fresh out of the oven:
Amnons of Boro Park. (Note: I dont endorse the frozen pizza, my kids will not eat it)
(make sure you dont get the reheated pies from the basement when pesach is over.)

Runner Up: Pizza Nosh of Nostrand.
2nd Runner Up when its cooked thoroughly: Mendolsohns
3rd Runner Up: Circa, Downtown

Best Frozen Pizza:

Pizza that taste like school lunch pizza:
Pizza Hut in Israel

Pizza Shop with best Falafel:
Amnons - great spot to cut the busier pizza line.

Can someone please tell me which pizza shop has good pizza even if it reheated (and has been sitting all afternoon)?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

In Flight Movies

Saw the following on the Yated Website "window to charedi world":

We are distraught and still lacking a solution for our Jewish brethren who must travel by plane. Today, during the flight, passengers are exposed to a stumbling block in the form of movies and this is within our control.
Therefore we hereby state our opinion that one must try one's best to arrange a seat without movies. And if flights to one's intended destination are available without movies it is forbidden to book on other flights [with movies]. We call on all chareidim ledvar Hashem not to be lenient in this matter, and every individual should firmly demand of his travel agent to arrange this matter in the most kosher manner possible.
May we gather strength in unity—ke'ish echod beleiv echod—to make our travels holy and fitting.
May those who heed us be well and receive blessings for good. Velamazhir velanizhor shlomim yitein kemei nohor. Ach tov vochessed yirdefum kol yemei chayeihem le'orech yomim.
Yosef Sholom Eliashiv
A.L. Shteinman
Shmuel Halevy Wosner
Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz
S.Y. Nissim Karelitz
Chaim Kanievsky
Shalom Cohen
* * *
Daas Torah
Kislev 5766
Daas Torah from Maran HaRav Eliashiv, shlita, and Maran HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner, shlita:
"Every one who boards a plane and sees that they intend to screen movies must express his opposition and displeasure."

Three Questions:
1. Can we make a diyuk, that movies are assur, but tv on Jet Blue is ok?
2. Is it Maaras Ayin if you order the headsets for the charedi music channel, but dont watch TV?
3. What about the problem of going on a plane with stewardess not dressed tzniusik? Should the charedim insist on male stewards?

The Orthodoxy Test - Husband & Wife

Saw R' Gil took the orthodoxy test. So did I: User Test: The Orthodoxy  Test.
Left Wing Modern Orthodox: 23%
Right Wing Modern Orthodox: 62%
Left Wing Yeshivish/Chareidi: 76%
Right Wing Yeshivish/Chareidi: 40%

This means you're: Left Wing Yeshivish


What does it mean?

So you're frum, but "with it." You know the lingo and walk the walk, but maybe you catch a movie on Motzei Shabbos. Never on Saturday Night though. Sometimes you wonder why all frum Jews can't be normal like you.

My wife took the test: User Test: The Orthodoxy  Test.

Left Wing Modern Orthodox: 51%
Right Wing Modern Orthodox: 71%
Left Wing Yeshivish/Chareidi: 41%
Right Wing Yeshivish/Chareidi: 13%

This means you're: Modern Orthodox


What does it mean?

Congratulations. You're Modern Orthodox all right, but wait! Just when you were ready to live an idyllic happily-labeled life they announce Left Wing and Right Wing Modern Orthodoxy. What the heck is up with that? Maybe you need to rethink and refine some of your positions, and then take the test again so I can put you in a little box.

Interesting Results.
Im more religious than my wife. This is definetly not the norm!
I just heard a Rav say in shul how most women think their husbands arent frum enough.

Im the exception to the rule!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Transit Strike

Well the NYC transit strike is upon us.

What a pain.

How is the frum network working for you?

Share your commuting stories.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I remember when

To Anonymous.

My blog says I'm ffb from ep. (not rp or gp)

Not much of a guess that I might have Hungarian blood.

Once you have the Hungarian part its 50/50 that I have chassidishe blood.

I emphasize the blood because I myself am not chassidish, didn't grow up chassidish, nor my friends, nor my wife.

EP means that I grew up heimish.

I enjoy the chassidishe baal tfilah. But my havarah is decidely American.
I wish a chassidishe shtiebel would open near me.

I miss that the most since I moved to mo-ville.

I grew up davening nusach sfard, in boro park in the days when 14th avenue was the social scene on yom tov.

Before 13th Ave was turned into a 1 way.

I still remember going to the movie theater in boro park and the one on Ave j that sold tickets at the price of the year(79 for 1979)

I remember when,
  • the 66th came under attack. That was the point we realized that Boro Park was now Williamsburg.
  • the goyim outnumbered yidden on our block.
  • Young Israel and Beth El were 2 different thriving Shuls.
  • Menorah hall was a hall, not a chassidishe girls school.
  • the Bushtina rebbe would stand on the corner looking for a Minyan.
  • Beer Shmuel was a Yeshiva.
  • Lanes and Heymans were the only pharmacies.

Anyone else have memories?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

At a standstill

Over at GH there was a huge debate on the success of orthodoxy, the rigidness or lack thereof of Orthodoxy, and Kiruv (active or passive).

It hit me that those who want the dramatic changes in Orthodoxy are really looking for conservative judiasm with haredi rabbonim! (Yodeah gets kudo for this idea - alas, Yodeah is no longer with us. He got insulted by GH)


Whats really funny is that then you have this shoteh, DovBear who wants pinkt farkert. He wants judiasm led by conservative rabbis! (For now he is a shoteh, because he wont back down comparing the minchas eleizer with Bill clinton).

So where do we go from here?

Guess what, the system is obviously NOT broken. Dont fix it!

Its not broken, because obviously our gdolim see that the skeptics themselves will NEVER be happy. One side will always complain about the other.

Am Kshei Oreif - even the skeptics.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Who is a Charedi?

GH has a post about a new religion emerging in Judiasm.

The comments section had some give and take on Chareidim.

Can someone please define charedi, specifically in relation to American Jewry. Is there is such a thing as an American charedi?

The post and comments led me to the following question:

Are MO aveiros more loved by Hashem than aveiros of the heimishe, Chassidishe, litvishe, yeshivishe yingerliet. (see the comments section in GH for the background)

In other words, whose aveiros are worse?

At what sacrifice?

Ive noted before that this blogging stuff is exhausting.

How do the famously prolific ones like Dov, GH, R' Gil, the Mavens, and Ezzie do it?
Then you have the famously prolific commenters. Some of the above do both.

I think their job is even harder.

How do they track the changes in comments, through 20 different blogs a day, and still get something done?

My impression is that they are married, may have kids and probably have decent jobs.
Some even learn.

Something has to be sacrificed.

Please share with me what you neglect (wife, kids, torah, job, tv or hobby) or share with me what utilities are out there to save time in this process.

Can a man have his blog and read others too?