by Rabbi Yerachmiel Kalonymous Eiswasser
The so-called Ice Bucket Challenge or Nisayon D’li Kerach in halachic terms has brought the machle (illness) ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) to the attention of Jew and gentile alike.
This time-honored minhag, referred to as ND”K from now on, was instituted in Chodesh Av 5774. However, our holy forefathers, zatsa”l, already knew the benefits of ice long before the Internet era.
Rav Saadiah Gaon would roll himself in the snow a thousand years ago in order to atone for his sins and do teshuvah. All the more so we, who are steeped in the sins of the 21st century and are entering the awe-inspiring month of Elul, should expose ourselves to the ND”K in order to cleanse ourselves from our impurity and impress our friends on Sefer Haponim (Facebook). As it says: “and I will pour upon you pure waters and you will be cleansed” (Ezekiel 36:25).
Below, I have outlined some shaayles that reached my desk with regards to ND”K. It is only a general guideline for study purposes. For practical guidance, especially if your 24 hours expire after 10 PM, please phone up your Local Orthodox Rabbi in the middle of the night, or send him a WhatsApp message (if you have a TAG filter in place, of course). [click to continue…]
Standing in the library at the local community college, a frum friend of mine was struck by the conversation she overheard behind her.
“Do you think Stacy’s hot?” One girl asked another.
“I think so,” replied the second.
“I think she’s ugly,” said the first, “would you sleep with her?”
“Yeah, I would sleep with her,” answered the second, “she’s smoking hot”.
“But that would mean that you’re gay,” said the first, “are you gay?”
“I’m not gay,” replied her friend, “I’m just saying I think she’s hot”
My friend does not look forward to spending the next two years in this environment, “I don’t want to hang out with such lowlifes,” she told me. [click to continue…]
The internet is abuzz with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – everyone’s got an opinion on it, everyone knows they can find a way to show off their skills while having cold water dumped on their heads, everyone’s passing on the challenge to someone more choshuv than themselves in a bid to raise their social chashivus. And that’s all good, that’s how social philanthropy works.
In this vein NJ governor Chris Christie challenged Mark Zuckerberg, who in turn challenged Bill Gates.
Bill Gates showed us that he should have been a guillotine designer, while the OTD Godol, Rachmuna Litzlon showed us that he’s on Facebook even while having water poured over his head.
As you can see from my Facebook profile picture I am perpetually glued to my gemarah so I don’t have time for these social challenges, but I’m reminded of the time I had a cup of freezing cold water poured over my sleeping head. [click to continue…]
Yeshiva Bais Mikra in Monsey is in the news again, and again it is for good reasons.
Almost two years ago a former student, Bomo Silver, who unfortunately for the Beis Mikrah leadership hasn’t yet gone OTD, wrote an open letter detailing the physical and mental abuse he suffered by the staff of Bais Mikroh. As should be expected from any self-respecting frum educational institution, some of their rebbeim joined in the comments section to continue the attacks against their student they had had to abandon after he graduated 8th grade. Unfortunately those rebbeim quickly discovered that their power to abuse people diminishes greatly after those people have stopped being frightened and helpless children in their classroom and they gave up.
But physical abuse wasn’t enough for Bais Mikroh, they wanted to join the big leagues like Satmar with their Nechemya Weberman, or New Square with their Taubenfeld brothers, so they had their principal, Rabbi Gavriel Bodenheimer arrested by the Rockland County’s special unit that investigates sex crimes against children.
It seems that instead of putting Rabbi Bodenheimer with the company he deserves, the anti-semitic press instead mentioned two non-Jewish teachers who were arrested for minor offenses such as drunken driving or exposing himself while driving in the Catskills. Every kollel yungerman exposes his collarbone while driving in the Catskills during bain hazmanim, that’s hardly a crime. Our menahalim reach for much greater heights and thus the only two sex-offending educators in Rockland County the press could compare him to were actually two fellow yidden. Boruch Hashem!
Find out more about Rabbi Gavriel Bodenheimer and Bais Mikroh at 4torah.com
Rabboisai, I’m sorry I’m late. My dear wife Devoiry responded to my last email to her promptly, as usual, but in between fending off my overzealous chavrusah, dealing with my baalebos chavrusah at night seder who insists on learning “for real”, as he puts it, and responding to angry eBay customers I simply haven’t had the time to post it. Rest assured we are all still alive and well, we’re in Lake George now and our shalom bayis isn’t much worse than usual. I just stole away some time to run to the library after shachris to post this.
You’re welcome for the laundry, you have no idea how crazy it was; I heard one of the older neighbors grumbling about me to someone else “ah chutzpah, she doesn’t even have a bungalow here and she’s doing laundry for her husband who sits in kollel all day”. I feel bad for her; she doesn’t appreciate what your learning does for all of us. She doesn’t even send her daughters to seminary; she sends them straight to college after high school. Can you imagine?? [click to continue…]
I don’t usually comment on politics, but what the hell is this guy doing? Give Israel weapons and condemn them? Make a stand. Do something. Or really, just don’t get involved at all. What a joke a of a president.
Ok, now hear me out on this and tell me why I’m totally wrong on my take here:
You know when you’re a kid and you get into a fight with a kid you hate, and a bigger kid catches you? Well, it’s the same thing here. There are sometimes the big kid takes the other kid’s side. You hate both of them forever. There are others who take your side. You like the big kid but the other kid hates you forever. Then there’s that really cool kid who always yell at you both and makes you feel stupid for fighting in front of everyone but he doesn’t even know your names after the 10th time he yelled at you because he doesn’t actually care to get involved. You’re just fighting in the gym when he’s having fun with his friends. This guy may be cool, but he never solves anything, and you both hate them. That guy is Obama. [click to continue…]
Yochanan Gordon wrote a a piece on the 5 Towns Jewish Times website as well as on his Times of Israel blog headlined “When Genocide is Permissible” where he put forth arguments for the genocide of Palestinian Arabs. The Times of Israel kicked him off for it and apologized to its readers while the 5 Towns Jewish Times posted an inane apology by the genocidal fool.
Reuven Bell, loyal reader, and big fan, of Yochanan Gordon’s suggests that the apology should have read something like this: [click to continue…]