web analytics
July 30, 2016 / 24 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘pressure’

One Judaism, Two Perspectives on Dressing Modesty

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

When it comes to modesty in dress there is a wide variety in the way various segments of Orthodox Jewry put it into practice. But the basics are the same for all. Without getting into the details of the basic Halacha, I will just say that modesty for women requires that she cover those parts of the body that are considered “her nakedness” (Erva). Those are the biblical parameters which apply in all places – at all times in public. The rabbinic parameters (Tznius) go beyond the biblical requirement and are relative to the culture where one resides.

So that in places like Iran, a Jewish woman may be required to follow the modesty customs of that culture which go far beyond what is biblically required. In places like America, the biblical and rabbinic parameters are the same. Modesty in western cultural terms do not meet even the biblical Erva standard.

Some of the more right wing segments of Orthodoxy insist on taking matters of Tznius to much greater lengths than Halacha requires – even those that live in westernized cultures like America and Israel. For example, even though an exposed lower leg below the knee is not considered Erva, Chasidic – and many other Charedi communities require that it be covered anyway. And consider it highly immodest if a woman’s leg below the knee is fully exposed.

Which brings me to two articles in the Forward. One by Judy Brown, a woman who is Charedi. The other by Simi Lampert who is Modern Orthodox. It is interesting to see the similarity of attitude expressed by both.

One might think that a Modern Orthodox woman would be put off by the attitude expressed by the Charedi woman. But in both cases they seem to be saying the same thing. Which is that they understand the purpose behind those modesty rules. And both expressed the desire to follow them.

Both women have the desire to look attractive by western cultural standards and have tried on immodest clothing in private just to see how they would look. Both thought they looked great, and both would never consider wearing such clothing in public. They both feel a level of comfort in following the modesty rules.

The difference between them is cultural and not Halachic. In the Charedi culture, the idea of not wearing stockings is considered a Tznius violation. So much so that when an error in perception was made about the Mrs. Brown not wearing stockings even though her legs were covered below the knee, all hell broke loose. Here is how she tells the story:

[T]he young man passing by the yard declared that he had seen me with bare legs. Like a careless whore…

It was Tuesday, mid-August, a (very hot) day… I filled up the baby pool for my children in the yard settled on a plastic chair with cherry ices and dunked my legs in the pool, right where the water spurted from the hose.

It was then that the Hasid passed. It was then that he saw me — beige pantyhose transparent, legs seemingly bare — and, looking quickly away, hurried to tell the rav. I had not seen him at all. I did not know of the bewildered chaos going on in his mind until later that night, when my husband came home and stared at me quizzically.

The rav had called, he said. Could it be true? That I had sat outside with no pantyhose at all?

Of course she was wearing stockings and it was just a misperception on the part of a passerby. The point here is how seriously this Chumra is taken in the world of Chasidim. As ‘modern’ as Mrs. Brown became in other areas, this area is sancrosanct to her.

This would never happen in Modern Orthodoxy. Of course modern Orthodox Jews do not have the infra structure or the desire to dictate how its members dress. As Mrs. Lambert points out:

If my rabbi approached my husband about what I was wearing in my own yard, I’d almost definitely move. The very next day.

While both communities follow the same Halachos of modesty there is no mechanism, or really any pressure in Modern Orthodoxy that would force a violator to adhere to Halacha. One will find that modesty laws are occasionally breached by those I would call MO-Lite. The kind of guilt described by Mrs. Brown does not exist in MO circles, at least not on the level she seemed to have about it.

Harry Maryles

Bar Ilan Breaks Rank, Quitting High Court Petition to Kill Ariel University

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Monday night, Bar Ilan University president Professor Moshe Kaveh informed lawyers representing the committee of heads of Israeli universities that he is withdrawing Bar Ilan University from the petition to the Supreme Court to annul Ariel University’s accreditation, Walla reported.

The Committee responded that it was sorry that Bar Ilan gave in to political pressure.

The petition was submitted after all the university directors, including Professor Kaveh, who met at the beginning of the month and agreed to pursue it. But, according to an inside source, Bar Ilan’s directors have been under pressure by right wing political figures as well as supporters of the university to retract their name from the petition.

The committee of heads of Israeli universities said it was “very sorry that political pressure caused Bar Ilan University to remove its name from the petition which had already been approved by the university’s president and rector. We are sure that the defense minister will wait for the Supreme Court decision on the matter and will not give in to coalition pressures.”

The universities are planning to continue to advance the petition.

“After it became clear that the university heads were required to sign on a separate power of attorney for each university to submit the petition, Bar Ilan’s president Professor Kaveh announced that he is opposed to it and will not sign the power of attorney for two reasons: Bar Ilan University helped to establish the institution in Ariel and provided it with academic sponsorship for many years; and Bar Ilan signed an academic cooperation agreement with the institution for joint guidance/training of Ph.D. candidates at Ariel university.

Jacob Edelist

How Peer Pressure Could Help Your Investments

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

While generally peer pressure is viewed as a negative trait, emulating successful people may help increase your own chances of success. Indeed, if you want to build your wealth, look at successful businesspeople and copy their secrets to success. Try following these golden rules in order to increase your net worth:

1. Have patience. Build your wealth carefully and patiently. As any successful businessman will tell you, wealth doesn’t grow overnight. Each decision was weighed carefully and thoughtfully, without making any rash or impulsive mistakes.

2. Create a financial plan. Successful businesspeople don’t just make random decisions. They have a specific business plan, and they employ others (money managers) to help them. You can do the same thing, albeit on a smaller scale.

3. Invest carefully. Successful companies reinvest their profits in their own development. Keep building your business rather than taking out dividends and resting on your laurels.

4. Consistently monitor. Don’t just open a portfolio and walk away. Keep an eye on your levels of risk and asset allocation, consulting with your financial advisor on a regular basis. Markets and personal circumstances never remain static. So monitor the changes and make sure that your investments keep apace with your changing world.

If you would like some more great ideas on how to build your wealth, consider emulating successful businessmen. I heard a number of great ideas when I interviewed Verne Harnish who wrote a book called Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, which is endorsed by over 100 CEOs. Listen to that interview and please let me know what you think (doug@profile-financial.com).

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Dor Yeshorim’s take on a reader’s argument…
(See Chronicles July 20)

Dear Rachel,

We at Dor Yeshorim saw your response to the recent letter about our program and appreciate your thoughtful answer.

As you stated, we have upheld our rules for over 29 years, and as you discerned, the rules are based on experience and care. While some would accuse us of being self serving, we would only point out that serving the program to make sure it works as well for future generations as it works today would be described as “serving klal Yisroel.

Due to genetic screening and shidduchim being such sensitive issues, you can imagine how someone who doesn’t understand why we have a particular rule would tend to believe that there couldn’t be a good reason for it. Rather than go through all the reasons for the many rules the program must impose, we would like to ask that Torah observant Yidden at least give us the benefit of the doubt – even if they cannot “think favorably” – and assume that in light of our vast experience and knowledge of our program, we are doing the best we can, in their best interest and in the interest of klal Yisroel.

With regard to your reader’s specific concern, please know that it pains us not to be able to break the rules for him, but the program’s integrity and its confidentiality for all participants are at stake.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,
Rabbi Yosef Ekstein
Dor Yeshorim Inc.

Marijuana: A menace in our midst

Dear Rachel,

With sadness and distress, I wanted your opinion and advice about the terrible predicament – the rise in marijuana abuse within the frum community. I believe that this abuse has come about due to the mistaken notion that the use of marijuana is, firstly, not against halacha, and secondly, not harmful to one’s health. While to me it seems obvious that both of these notions are completely wrong, I feel that many find being a Torah Jew and drug addict not contradictory.

The use of marijuana is a violation of halacha. As Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l writes in Igros Moshe, Yoreh De’ah Vol. 3, Siman 35: “smoking marijuana is in violation of many of the basic laws of our Torah.” He explains that marijuana (1) causes physical harm to the person, (2) mentally affects the person by destroying the mind (one cannot properly perform any mitzvos, and doing them mindlessly is considered as if they were not done at all).

Rav Moshe also explains that a marijuana abuser has similar attributes to a Ben Sorer U’Moreh (the rebellious son), since they cannot control their addictions. He also sees marijuana abuse as a violation of the mitzvah of Kedoshim Ti’Hiyu (You shall be holy) and the mitzvah of Kibud Av v’Aim (respecting parents).

Marijuana is very harmful to one’s health as it damages the cells in the bronchial passages which protect the body against inhaled microorganisms and decreases the ability of the immune cells in the lungs. Regular smoking has been shown to weaken the smoker’s various natural immune mechanisms, affecting the body’s ability to defend itself against infection.

As someone who knows many Torah Jews who justify the abuse of marijuana, I was curious what we as individuals can do about this horrific plight. I realize that your column is a forum for important issues facing our community, and it has been a source of inspiration and help to many in need.

What do you think is the most effective way to combat this pervasive problem facing the young Orthodox Jewish community?

Concerned…

Dear Concerned,

You certainly have right and reason to be concerned. As you so persuasively point out, the habit of smoking pot is detrimental to one’s physical and mental wellness. Are our young smokers aware that the cannabis plant contains over 400 chemical compounds and that use of its dried flowers, leaves and stems (marijuana) is known to affect not only their brains but their lungs as well — that marijuana smoke is more than twice as carcinogenic than cigarette smoke?

Rachel

Saudi Will Shoot Down Israeli Planes to Iran

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

The US has passed a message on to Israel that Saudi Arabia informed them they will shoot down any Israeli planes that flies over their territory on the way to attacking Iran’s nuclear weapon development facilities.

Some Israeli officials believe the idea for the message was instigated by the US in order to place additional pressure on Israel to not attack.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Rabbi Elyashiv, 102, Passed Away

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv passed away early Wednesday evening. His funeral will be conducted Wednesday at 10 PM Israel time, as is the custom in Jerusalem. (Update: Police estimate over 300,000 people participated in the funeral procession).

Since the early afternoon, Israel time, Rabbi Elyashiv’s condition was unstable and his blood pressure erratic. According to a report, his breathing was shallow, and he was anesthetized and ventilated.

Family members were called to stay at his bedside.

The doctors told the family that only prayers could help the situation.

Rabbi Elyashiv was the leader of the Lithuanian-Haredi community in Israel and the diaspora , and many Ashkenazi Jews regarded him as the posek ha-dor, the contemporary leading authority on Jewish law.

Jewish Press Staff

Israel’s Gas Cost Drops, Tax Still 55%

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

The price of gas was lowered overnight Sunday by 2.15%, making the maximum price of self-serve 95-octane gasoline 16 agorot per liter less – NIS 7.27.

According to a report in Haaretz, the price cut was reduced by the decline in European oil prices being offset by the strength of the US dollar and 15-agorot increase per liter in excise taxes on gas.

The excise tax on gasoline was temporarily reduced in April due to public pressure, but was not renewed despite a drop in world oil prices. 55% of the maximum retail price of gasoline is tax.

Malkah Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israels-gas-cost-drops-tax-still-55/2012/07/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: