(Ed. I originally wrote this 3 years ago here and the writing is fairly terrible, worse than it is now, I think. But don’t blame me, blame my yeshiva.)
A few bochurim use some serious ingenuity and overcome crippling lethargy to do something they’ve only dreamed of doing. Warning: this story is so exciting it will definitely give you wanderlust.
On those dreadfully long summer shabbos afternoons when all you can do is wait for shalosh seudos and of course when that comes you throw up from looking at the two-day old tuna fish and egg salad with too much water and not enough mayonnaise, on those shabbos afternoons you’re up for anything. I was up for anything. I hardly remember what I did on most shabbosim; I probably laid in bed most of the time and read books, heck that’s what I did all week, no reason to think I did anything different on shabbos.
There was one shabbos that was different though. There was a lake about five miles away from my yeshiva with a nice park on it and some friends and I had talked about walking there on a shabbos afternoon a few times. I had been there by bike once and thought I could lead the way, so one fine, hot sunny beautiful shabbos afternoon we took off our shabbos clothes, put on shorts, t-shirts and baseball caps, slipped out of the dorm and off we were! [click to continue…]
Zvi Gluck’s organization, Amudim, put out a nice video urging parents to seek help when they find their kids have a drug problem.
The best part? It doesn’t pretend girls live behind a Photoshop filter.
The second best part? That it doesn’t blame kids, it aims to educate parents to not yell at their kids and alienate them. Maybe their next video will target school principals and teachers.
The third best part is the reassurance that if you do call Amudim before it’s too late your daughter will eventually wear that coveted kallah dress.
Tales Out of Bais Yaakov
It’s been awhile since a new blog has moved into the block of the Jewish blogosphere. These days would-be bloggers burn up all their energy and angst posting on Facebook, arguing in the Yiddishkeit? group, the OTD group, the God Save Us From Your Opinion group or any other group devoted to their particular sub-sub-genre of interest such as the I also hate the way women are treated in Orthodoxy group or the Off-the-Derech Torah Discussion Group group (oh yeah, that’s a thing). There’s even one for Orthodox Jews Against Discrimination and Racism and although at 1,438 members it has a pretty good showing from the frum velt it’s unlikely to change anything. Oh well.
By the time the average burned-out yeshiva bochur or seminary girl is done kvetching on Facebook they don’t have energy to organize their scattered thoughts, put them into writing, make their writing coherent (as ours always is here on Frum Satire), set up a blog, come up with a name for the blog, come up with a pseudonym, post on the blog, share it on Facebook while pretending that they just happened across this brand new blog that no one’s ever visited, and that eerie resemblance to their school stories, their usual complaints about Yiddishkeit, their voice? They have to repeat to all their friends over and over again that this is just a coincidence. Ain’t nobody got time for that. [click to continue…]
The exciting news has been spreading like wildfire over the past few days: over 100 rabbis signed a paper that says that information about child (sex?) abuse should be reported directly to the civil authorities instead of asking a rabbi first.
See here for images of the declaration.
The frum community is holding its collective breath to see whether these rabbis will be put in cherem by Agudah. If they’re not put in cherem, and if Agudah and the Moetzes Gedoilei Hatorah don’t issue a counter letter reminding the community that Da’as Torah is against protecting frum children from frum molesters then the frum community will finally be able to hold its head up, proud that it has finally reached the moral level of the secular world and only a few years behind the Catholic church!
With the frum world getting darker and darker relative to the outside world, it has become hard to keep the outside light from shining in. The frum world had to take radical action to stem the ever increasing numbers of children, and increasingly adults too, going OTD, even if it means creating a Da’as Torah war. Da’as Torah wars are confusing to the average baalabus, one Da’as Torah says to report molesters to the local rov while another Da’as Torah says to go to the police; there’s a grave danger that baalebatim might start investigating on their own what the Torah says, and baalebatim who learn Torah without Da’as Torah supervision can cause all kids of problems…
It’s also very confusing when, in an attempt to be a light unto the nations, the frum community has insisted that we worry more about molesters than children, that we report molesters to rabbis who can’t investigate and can’t do anything even if they could investigate and that we report non-Jewish molesters to the police but not Jewish ones. No one saw that as shining a light.
But now these 107 brave rabbonim have taken a stand, they will be a shining light – albeit a tail light running after example set for them by the secular world. The only ones following their light, hopefully, will be the rest of the rabbis who were left in darkness.
The gemarah says ayn chavish matir atzmo m’bais asurim, a prisoner cannot free themselves from prison.
I couldn’t help but be reminded of this gemarah while reading this article in The Forward where Rachel Wizenfeld, who has no say in the matter, defended the Orthodox ban on women rabbis.
The last time I was reminded of this gemarah was when a Belzer woman from London defended the ban on women’s driving in her community. I was, like, lady nobody asked you whether you agree with this ban, you’re the one being banned.
But this is not the main reason I agree with Rachel Wizenfeld. I mostly agree with her because it’s much better for me to keep women in their girls clubs so they have no idea how much fun we have at shul in the kiddush club. The main reason women are kept behind the mechitza instead of inside it or on the pulpit is so that they think their husbands are sitting and listening nicely to the rav’s speech, while in reality most of the shul is chilling in the kitchen.
Also, as long as women don’t become rabbis because they believe they’re supposed to be in the kitchen or bathing the kids; why would I complain?
I’m not complaining. Rachel and all her buddies are welcome to have their girls clubs. Heck, I’m joining their shul and introducing my wife to them.
Increasing the cut of the bris is an ancient segulah for refuah sheleima. Normally the sick person would do it themselves like Avraham Avinu, but since this particular individual has done much so much for the klal, the Skulene Rebbe wants to use this opportunity to add 100 names to his email list, because that will be a zechus for the choleh, so he’s asking the public to volunteer their shmaisers for shortening.
When I was in Telz yeshiva there was a story told about Rabbi Eizik Ausband. It was said that as a young man in Telshe, Lithuania, he had thrown a moiser into river and drowned him. One brash bochur asked him whether the story was true and he confirmed that it was. The moiser in question had supposedly reported tax evaders to the government and that earned him the death penalty from those righteous Jews.
Hear the rosh yeshiva tell the story here:
What does one do when someone in their community (whom they know to be absolutely innocent) is accused by a frum kid of being a molester?
If it were up to me? I’d say throw the kid into the river! You cannot tolerate a moiser in your community. Didn’t Agudas Yisroel Pasken that reporting child molesters to the goyishe authorities is mesirah? Nu! What else do you need? Throw him in the river! [click to continue…]