Happy 70th Birthday, Israel!!
A land where there is more Torah learning today than ever in Jewish History. A new Jewish baby is born in Israel every four minutes. Biblical prophecies have come to life. Towns where our forefathers lived, such as Chevron, Beth El and Shilo, are replete with children, Shuls, mikvehs and thousands of fruit trees. A Jewish army has been established – the first in 2000 years to protect its citizens. 97% of boys receive a bris. Most fast on Yom Kippur. 90% have a Pesach seder. Perfect? Not by a long shot. We know the country is rife with religious differences and difficulties. But deserving of praise and gratitude to our Father who gave us this special gift? Definitely!
The following excerpts were written by Zachariah Schwartzberg zt’l. A survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and the concentration camps.
“I have never seen any conflict between the love of Judaism and the love of the State of Israel. I know too well what happens to defenseless Jews. The historical circumstances of the rise of a sovereign Jewish country, coming as it did in the immediate wake of the Holocaust – the culmination of endless persecutions, was as clear an indication as could be that there is a G-d in charge of the world, a G-d who directs our destiny and orchestrated the stunning miracle of Israel’s resurrection from the ash heap of history. To those like me who had seen firsthand the hatred of our enemies – the new reality of soldiers soundly defeating our enemies was a healing balm unlike any other to both heart and soul. I watched the awestruck expressions of the young soldiers at the kotel as they listened to the sounds of the shofar. I couldn’t help but recall the faces of the Jewish boys I’d known in Poland who could never EVER have imagined such a scene and never lived to see it. How different things would have been in the 30’s had there been an Israel. In July 1976, when Israel mounted the Entebbe rescue that shocked the world, I was besides myself with gratitude to Hashem”.
We must never forget the horrors of the past – always focus on our numerous blessings as we pave the way for our ultimate redemption, speedily in our days.
I wanted to update you on the situation in Germany, and draw your attention to this video. I had previously touched upon Germany in this article, entitled, “MUSLIM BAN: A JEWISH OUTLOOK” dated 2/13/2017. Discussing the settlement of Muslims in Europe, I wrote,
“Some markers I thought to be of interest…In Germany, in December, a terrorist drove a truck into a crowd of people at a Christmas Market. There were also several other planned terror attacks against Germany in that period. The unrivaled Mark Steyn, who has been prophesying and chronicling all this, writes: “The Christkindlmarkt is a German tradition dating back to the Middle Ages: Munich’s is over 700 years old. A society that can only hold three-quarters-of-a-millennium-old traditions behind an impenetrable security perimeter is a society that will soon lose those traditions.” There are some 5,000,000 Muslims in Germany.” (more…)
Israel’s Independence Day: Yom Ha’atzmaut
First a quote about Independence Day:
Death of Rabbi Akiva’s Students
The Shulchan Aruch, basing himself on the language of Tur, writes in Orach Chaim 493:
סעיף א נוהגים שלא לישא אשה בין פסח לעצרת עד ל”ג לעומר, מפני שבאותו זמן מתו תלמידי רבי עקיבא; אבל לארס ולקדש, שפיר דמי, ונשואין נמי, מי שקפץ וכנס אין עונשין אותו. הגה: מיהו מל”ג בעומר ואילך הכל שרי (אבודרהם ב”י ומנהגים).
It is customary not to marry a woman between Pesach and Shavuot until Lag BaOmer, because in that time, the students of Rabbi Akiva died. However, to do “erusin” and “kiddushin” (engagement and betrothal) is fine. And even for “nisuin” (marriage), if someone did so, we do not punish him. Rema: however, from Lag Ba’Omer onwards, all this is permitted (Abudraham, Beit Yosef & Minhagim).
There has been another reporting of a child being hit by a school bus in Monsey!! Enough is enough!!
School Buses in Monsey are NOTORIOUS for speeding, running red lights and completely disregarding stop signs.
Please be extra cautious around them (as a driver and as a passenger).
The writers at Thinking Yid are working to raise awareness of this growing issue. The sheer madness must stop! No one should see a massive school bus barreling towards their car at 50 MPH in 5 inches of snow!!
If you’ve observed (or have a recording) of a school bus in Monsey committing a traffic violation or driving unsafely, please forward it to Notarebba@gmail.com
Check Back Here For An Updated List:
To dress up, or not to dress up? That is the question.
While studying the source of “dressing up on Purim” and along with some reasoning and deduction, I came to a conclusion as to how the custom came about. To begin, I will make this disclaimer: I do not want anyone to think I am 100% positive as to the accuracy of this theory, because no one can be completely sure how it started, since there aren’t any reliable sources focusing on this question. Please keep in mind, should one show where I have gone wrong, I am always ready and open to reasoning.
This new idea just presented to our community, while understanding the meaningfulness of trying a new system, in reality will do more harm than good. No one can deny there is a huge problem with singles, especially the older girls. Whose heart does not bleed for the parents of an older girl or boy doing everything and anything, going through embarrassments, agreeing to fork out their life saving, and not have to quietly watch their child keep suffering trying to find their shiddach. (more…)
As the point of this article has been made and in compliance with a large number of our readers, this article has been archived. The original version is available for reading upon request.
There are still some of the main points of the article detailed below.
The purpose of the original article was to shed light on the efforts of some groups in our community and to help express a large majority’s opinion of those efforts. Now that a new reasoning has come to light, there is a chance that it will be employed and utilized to help our community in the shidduch sphere. We are sorry for those who were offended by the article and we would just like to point out that the purpose was not to bash those seeking to aid the community but to just guide them in a direction that many members of the community deem more suitable for our society as a whole.
Thank you for reading.
A plan to help our singles in the community:
Gather together all of the best shadchanim and hire them as full-time employees. Regular, 9-5 employees. Pay them a salary, whatever makes sense, say, 65k to 80k per year. Give the shadchanim office space, phones, computers, give them all the tools they need to succeed in shidduchim. These shadchanim will be considered regular employees, they can even be assigned quotas and have goals set to determine a certain amount of dates per week they must “set up” etc. Let them work solid week after week to help marry off the singles in our community.
If these shadchanim make a successful shidduch and the parents want to pay them for the shadchanus, great! Let them pay! But it isn’t required, as they are already being paid by the caring wealthy people (and supported by the rabanim, of course) of our community! Paying these salaries should not prove too difficult for the outspoken wealthy families in our community. Hopefully. I am certain that others would be more than willing to donate money to such a lofty cause.
If more money is donated to this cause? Great! Hire more full-time shadchanim! The more the merrier!
A program like this not only ensures that there are top shadchanim working tirelessly to aid our community, but it also ensures that:
- They are fairly compensated for their time, work, and effort.
- Everyone in the community has access to top shadchanim.
- Shadchanim are no longer incentivized to set up rich families with other rich families over families of lower socioeconomic status.
- Families are no longer pressured into paying “high-end” shadchanim more than they can, for shidduchim they present to the family.
The Bottom Line:
Hire full-time shadchanim and pay them regular salaries. If others want to donate to the cause, let them, but it cannot be required of them.
“Earlier today, a religious IDF soldier was driving his car through that neighborhood [Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet] when he was assailed by stones. He lost control of his car, crashed into a post, and had to be hospitalized.”
Myth: There is a Megillas Maccabees for Chanukah, just like there is a Megillas Esther for Purim. (more…)
Myth: The war was won very quickly. This, it would seem, is hinted at by the very name. Chanukah. חנו כ”ה, which means that they rested on the fifteenth.
Myth: The Hellenic Seleucids only waged war on the soul of Judaism. They were only trying to convert us to their pagan, hedonistic, Greek ways, and were not interested in hurting us physically. Rabbi David Addato writes, “It’s amazing that the Syrian Greeks never tried to kill us physically, they never even considered exiling us from the Land of Israel…” Rabbi Joshua Bitton writes, “Their threat was not a physical one. It was an ideological aggression.” He writes further, “There was no physical threat to the Jewish people.” (Both of the aforementioned rabbis wrote articles in the paper “Veshinantam”, which is where the quotes are from.) (more…)
Myth: The Jews fought a war against the Yevanim, who are the Greeks.
Bonus Myth: The Yevanim were the mightiest empire in the world at the time. (more…)
Te Deum laudámus. Praise be to God. Donald Trump, in his capacity as president of the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Candidate Trump had of course promised to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but so had candidate Bush before him, and so had candidate Clinton before him. In 1995 congress passed a law to that affect. Hitherto, a waiver embodied within the law was routinely exercised, rendering the law a dead-letter. (more…)
Yesterday I unwittingly became entangled in a political demonstration. No worries, I am safe and sound. It wasn’t Fascist Nazis or Fascist anti-Nazis. It was run-of-the-mill leftist protesters holding signs, and even waving the American flag. Would they accost me if they knew I was to the right of Genghis Kahn? I don’t think so, but I didn’t test it.
As can be seen in the video that I took, the crowd is protesting Trump’s proposed tax cuts. They were claiming that it hurt the poor and helped the rich. (more…)
The Biale Rebbe is a Chasidic leader who has gained in popularity in recent times. This is evidenced by the many people, some of whom are decidedly not Charedi, who turn to him for advice and guidance. He, like other Chasidic Rebbes who travel around, visit a city amidst great fanfare. Part of that is the posting of advertisements to announce and showcase the Rebbe. Enclosed is one of these advertisements. In case you have difficulty reading the picture, let me type the blurb:
Ambassador Danny Danon at the JRC
I had the honor to meet briefly Danny Danon at the Jewish Republican Coalition yesterday. Danon is Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, a post to which he applies his considerable energy and strength of will. Those qualities, and a good sense of humor, were on full display last night at the event. He gave a lengthy speech, thanking the audience for their support of the state of Israel, as well lambasting Obama for his abandonment of Israel, especially at the UN.
All that was excellent. But he also devoted considerable time informing us about the progress Israel is making at the UN. From the way he was telling it, Israel is transitioning from being a pariah-nation on the level of Apartheid South Africa to being a respected nation, gaining friends and admirers at every turn. (more…)
Headline from Israel National News: “Report: Trump’s team drafting peace plan”. Further: “According to the report, the plan is intended to go beyond previous frameworks offered by the American government in pursuit of what the president calls “the ultimate deal.”’
Also detailed in the story in the goal of implementing the two-state delusion, or as some people call it, the two-state solution.
No. Let’s not go down this path. There is no pot of gold at the end of it. There is no happy ending to this story. Mainly, because this is not a fairy tale. This is reality. A cold and brutal reality.
We are all familiar with the saying “closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.” The “oh my what just happened?” Why wasn’t I more vigilant?
Tonight in Lakewood, New Jersey an event was cancelled due to pressure from the powers that be. It was to be an evening of song and merriment with food and wine,starring two very popular singers from the frum Jewish world. It was decided by the hanhala that this event would possibly attract the wrong element, become rowdy and then possibly turn into an evening of mingling even though it was a kumzitz for men only.
Must your wife cover her hair, her elbows, and her knees to be in accordance with Jewish law? Is it a fact, as I have heard since I can remember, that a married lady must, according to all opinions, cover all that and more. Indeed, the reaction of many is—woe to the woman who doesn’t cover up to a great degree, for she will be considered in breach of halacha. She will be considered to be dressed immodestly, if not promiscuously.
The preliminary answer—and this a preliminary piece—is no. Your wife needn’t.
You see, it all comes down to the idea of Daas Yehudis (Jewish Practice). “What is Daas Yehudis?, and why have I not heard of it before?” you may ask. And even if you have heard of it, you may not know it’s full significance. If you want to read at length on the issue, read Rabbi Michael J Broyde on the subject. If you aren’t interested in reading a document with 101 footnotes, read on here. (more…)
This is in response to the article found here.
I hope to write a full response soon, but for now this will have to do.
After reading this article, all I could think to myself was, “Oy. When will this stop?”
It seems the cinematic drivel that is One of Us, has released the flood gates. It’s now an “in” thing to bash and debase the frum/yeshiva community for all the “oppressing” it commits and to “uncover the truth” of its primary goal (to raise their children as uneducated morons).
In lieu of my full response to the above article and this new, sickeningly inane, phenomenon. And to all those poor unfortunate souls who were so downtrodden by their religious Jewish communities, I say this:
OYY!! I feel so bad for you! Wahhhhhh Wahhhhh! Hope you feel better soon! Free hugs!!
Note: Been getting texts from many of you asking what set me off on such an angry tirade. At least, angrier than usual. Well it’s simple. This issue is something that started popping up everywhere. It’s becoming increasingly popular to blame everyone else (as opposed to one’s own self) for one’s shortcomings. This has to be nipped in the bud. Obviously this requires extensive conversation. Feel free to call during business hours. 2097838369 – A Thinking Yid.
Editor’s Note: The following is in response to this article by Eitan Gross.
Dear Eitan Gross,
I am writing to you in respect to your recent article on Modern Orthodoxy in the Times of Israel. I must congratulate you on a job well done. Your piece is very interesting. I hope you have not had so many responses that you won’t find time to read mine.
What is more, I probably don’t disagree with a single thing therein, pro tanto. I would just like to address what I consider the fundamentals of it all.
How is your argumentation positioned? Is it in context or in isolation? I mean to ask: are your criticizing this and that aspect of Modern Orthodoxy, in and of itself, or in contradistinction to other forms of Orthodoxy that are out there. By way of metaphor, one can criticize poverty under capitalism on its own, or in relation to other systems. The latter is foolish; any other system, such as feudalism or communism, produces more poverty. But, there is of course some poverty in a capitalist system. One could criticize it in isolation. (more…)
How often do we utter the phrase “Can you do me a favor”? Some of us do so more than others, and on some days we do so more than on other days. When a person does us a favor we say “Thank you” and feel a sense of gratitude toward the person who is helping us out. This is the way we feel; whether the person helped us by lending us a pen or donating a kidney, the feeling of gratitude is present (with an obvious difference in the level of gratitude).
If we can feel gratitude for something as small and trivial as someone allowing us to use their pen, then why do we not feel gratitude and take for granted the life that we were given along with the other great gifts that come with it? When you walk down the street, when was the last time that you thought about how great it is to be alive, how colorful the world is, and all its different smells and tastes? I can tell you that I do not have a great answer for this myself and it’s a problem. We go through life thinking about how great our lives would be if we only had a better sense of humor or drove a nicer car, and focus on the things that we don’t have while ignoring the things we do have until we don’t have them anymore.
Instead of looking at our neighbor and wishing that we can have what he has, how about if we take the time to appreciate what we have, instead? What if we were to appreciate our parents being alive and living under the same roof, or the friends and family that you have, that you can walk and see, are pain free, and the list goes on. There are so many things to be thankful for, why look at the things that we perceive are lacking and preventing us from being happy? Instead, take time to thank the Almighty for the unique gifts he gave each of us to deal with our unique tests that we are given in this world.
Instead of only crying out when we need something (although HKBH wants us to turn to him in our time of need), let us take the time to appreciate being able to see, smell, and spend time with our family and friends, and when we speak to HKBH say “Thank you” for the presents he gave us.
This is unspeakable and BEYOND HORRIFIC!!!!!
I will not be able to stress this enough. These disgraceful animals are not representative of the Ultra-Orthodox and Chasidic Jewish communities.
If anyone knows this BRAVE חיילת, PLEASE let her know that the orthodox Jewish people of America and Israel stand behind her!!
We know our apologies do not wipe the spittle from her face but we hope she hears and believes us when we say: Thank you for your service. Thank you for standing your ground. Thank you for protecting our land!
We hope you can find a way to forgive our despicable “brethren”and their inexcusable actions.
I am at a loss for words.
A Thinking and Sorrowful Yid
We live in a Modern, Western, and Liberal society (especially those of us who live in America, though these ideas are pervasive throughout the entire world). A world in which Yes is a byword. Where we give an unlimited and unbounded Yes to human rights, LGBTQ rights, healthcare, Nazi free speech, black power, police power, the list goes on and on. A world where we acknowledge every problem and attempt to make all people feel comfortable in whatever situation they may be in. Be it social, economic or political. A world where everyone is a winner; even those who could not cross the finish line. (more…)
The following article is the first part of a seven-part series on shidduchim. The author can be contacted through the site. Use the follow button (on sidebar) to receive alerts when the next part is posted.
I am a 23-year-old woman. I attended 3 Bais Yaakov schools. I also made friends from other schools and towns in sleep-away camp, so I hear about what goes on outside of Brooklyn as well. Therefore, when I say that I believe that this is a problem across the Jewish world, remember that I interact with people who don’t come from Brooklyn. All names have been changed for obvious privacy reasons. (more…)
Some fascinating developments have recently occured. Moreover, the press, always eager to tar and feather Israel, Zionists, and Likud/Revisionist Zionists/Irgun at the drop of a hat, barely covered it. (more…)
It has been over three years. But one must never forget.
Should Jews Take Sides in the Charlottesville Chaos?
Since I was a very young boy, the number one thing that I have heard in regards to any political issue was always the question, “Is it good for the Jews?” The US has declared war against Iraq; fine, but “Is it good for the Jews?” Congress is trying to pass welfare reform; fine, but “is it good for the Jews?” So on and so forth. (more…)
Please stop it.
As an Orthodox Jew, I would like to make some things clear. No one, not one single person, would even notice the Eruv unless someone else pointed it out to them. Most of us (orthodox/observant Jews) don’t even know where the Eruv is situated exactly.