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Jerusalem - Breslov’s Rav Shalom Arush: Rabbis Should Not Meet With Women Who Seek Their Advice, It Leads To Sinning

Published on: July 20, 2015 03:19 PM
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Rav Shalom ArushRav Shalom Arush

Jerusalem - In light of recent sex scandals in the Orthodox Jewish community involving Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg of Tzfat and Rabbi Eliezer Berland, Breslov leader Rav Shalom Arush, head of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva in Israel, has announced Sunday that he will no longer meet in person with women seeking advice or blessings, even if their husbands are present. Rather, Ynet reports (http://bit.ly/1RKcSYh), Rabbi Arush told his fellow rabbis, they should respond to women in writing, with just a brief message.

In a five minute video, Rabbi Arush said, “How could a rabbi meet with women? He doesn’t get aroused? He doesn’t have desires? Is he so holy that sees a woman the same way he sees a man? The evil inclination of rabbis is even greater than that of regular people. You can’t make the Torah crooked or pervert it. A person cannot rely on himself that he won’t sin, and that’s why he has to put a guard around himself to prevent him from sinning, and put practices into place. And to the women who are turning to rabbis for support, they should know that a rabbi is a tzaddik, but he also has desires.”

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Rav Arush continued, “What? Does he [the rabbi] see these women like he sees geese? Is that what he sees that he doesn’t feel anything? That he doesn’t have desires? That he’s so holy, seeing a woman doesn’t affect him? Why does he have to look at her? Is he in shidduchim that he has to see her? What’s the purpose? There is no good reason for this type of behavior.”

He explained that the intention of these rabbis is not evil, but eventually morphs into the potential for sin. “Nobody starts off doing evil. It all starts with mitzvot, but the yetzer hara drives you to evil, telling you, ‘it’s a woman who needs you to be mikarev her, to help her,’ but really, eventually, it’s not l’shem shamayim, it’s in the worst way. Just as it is forbidden for a Rebbetzin to meet with men, so is it forbidden for a rav to meet with women. Even men like Rav Chaim Kanievsky and the Baba Sali who were glued to God in a very high level that we cannot understand, did not engage in this practice.”


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Read Comments (59)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 20, 2015 at 03:36 PM Anonymous Says:

And until now what was he thinking?

2

 Jul 20, 2015 at 04:05 PM Yossi Says:

We must remove all women from our heilige Torah and Yiddishkeit. There should never be any mention of women. Their name should be erased from the Torah and they should never appear outside their homes (unless it is to go shopping and/or to work to support their learning husbands). Only the "modern" and secular Jews, who have divorced themselves from the true Mesorah can believe that women have a place in Torah. Our holy Rebbes, Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim all have taught us that women don't belong.

3

 Jul 20, 2015 at 04:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Rather than hiding from his yetzer horah and telling women to stay at home and never darken his doorstep, Arush should act as a model for others in the tzibur who have similar problems and get professional help. Hiding from your demons by simply zeroing out 50 percent of yidden as if they don't exist is not the model of a leader and certainly not how the gadolim of the alte heim dealt with women. His mindless suggestion that women can communicate with him only through their husbands/boyfriends makes him look worse than the ISIS leaders and Wahabi Shiite mullahs in Saudi Arabia

4

 Jul 20, 2015 at 04:33 PM Anominous Says:

Sounds right. If a Rav gets involved in a prolonged case, where he sees the woman over and over again and gives her emotional support...and feels for her....and falls in love for her...and love can be instant and once confirmed by both...they will just say "let's terminate this before it gets worse." So better not to start at all.

5

 Jul 20, 2015 at 04:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Some holy rabbies let some women come with the husband and they were directed to stay behind the curtain in a way that he was unable to see her, but sh was able to hear the blessing that the rabbi said to the Husband.

6

 Jul 20, 2015 at 05:00 PM Anonymous Says:

This is why Avi Weiss is correct to give smicha to women so women have trained rebbetzins to go to

7

 Jul 20, 2015 at 05:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Yossi Says:

We must remove all women from our heilige Torah and Yiddishkeit. There should never be any mention of women. Their name should be erased from the Torah and they should never appear outside their homes (unless it is to go shopping and/or to work to support their learning husbands). Only the "modern" and secular Jews, who have divorced themselves from the true Mesorah can believe that women have a place in Torah. Our holy Rebbes, Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim all have taught us that women don't belong.

Your comment shows that you are a fool that does not have any understanding of true Torah values.

8

 Jul 20, 2015 at 05:02 PM sissel613 Says:

#2--so right--let's remove Chava, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, Leah, Miriam, Yocheved, Devorah Hanevia......I am so surprised at this particular Rav--he seemed different--guess not.

Instead of setting an example, he has abandoned us. I guess the only thing we're good for is cooking, cleaning, having kids and supporting those husbands who are sitting and learning. ;(

9

 Jul 20, 2015 at 05:09 PM Anonymous Says:

This has nothing to do with zeroing out women. Rather nature takes it course. As such men should see Rabbis and women should see very chasuv Rebitzens. Unless of course you feel they are second class to their counterparts.

10

 Jul 20, 2015 at 05:20 PM Anonymous Says:

This guy had absolutely nothing to do with yiddishkeit. He is a baal tshuva. They should cut the baloney about mystics and mekubalim.

11

 Jul 20, 2015 at 05:22 PM Fathousewife Says:

This is so incredibly sad.

12

 Jul 20, 2015 at 05:26 PM grandpajoe Says:

My mother OBM, and My mother-in-law OBM always came with me to the Skver Rebbe - for shailos or bracha - can a MAN go to a renown Rebitzen for a brucha -
I was given a bracha for finding a job from both the Skver Rebbe, and the Rebtizen of my shule (She was a widow who was running the shule with the help of her son and ballabatim) - It is a sad commentary that we have reached such an absurd viewpoint.

13

 Jul 20, 2015 at 05:48 PM Micka Says:

Reply to #4  
Anominous Says:

Sounds right. If a Rav gets involved in a prolonged case, where he sees the woman over and over again and gives her emotional support...and feels for her....and falls in love for her...and love can be instant and once confirmed by both...they will just say "let's terminate this before it gets worse." So better not to start at all.

"Falls in Love"??? There is no love involved here, Rav Arush is saying it as it is - desires.
Your definition of love is mistaken to mean, romance, desire, attraction etc. as the rest of the modern world.

14

 Jul 20, 2015 at 05:48 PM Mendel Says:

Describing a tzaddik as "A Rabbi is a tzaddik but he also has desires" is erroneous.
He has obviously not studied Tanya. There in the first chapter it clearly explains the level of a tzaddik as being one who has "killed the evil inclination". One who has normal desires but is truely observant of all the mitzvot, not even wasting a moment of his spare to learn Torah, is called a "Benoni" - a middle level. But NOT a tzaddik.
In addition to that, we have a rule in kashrut that when an item is expelling (influencing others) it cannot absorb (be influenced). That is the reason the Chabad emissaries have had the blessings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who met himself with women on many occasions.

15

 Jul 20, 2015 at 05:49 PM yellowzebra Says:

a rabbi finally comes and says we have to stop a problem in the klal and everyone is bashing him.

16

 Jul 20, 2015 at 05:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Yossi Says:

We must remove all women from our heilige Torah and Yiddishkeit. There should never be any mention of women. Their name should be erased from the Torah and they should never appear outside their homes (unless it is to go shopping and/or to work to support their learning husbands). Only the "modern" and secular Jews, who have divorced themselves from the true Mesorah can believe that women have a place in Torah. Our holy Rebbes, Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim all have taught us that women don't belong.

Woman have a place in the Torah. They have a lofty place, a holy mission a responsibility to the very existence and continuation of this nation and it's Torah. Oh, but it's not the place you would like them to have. Perhaps, if women would sit around the table and giggle at your jokes and silly boasts, or stand in front of the community and give a "Shabat Drasha" for all men to see...
Yeah I'm sure you'd like that.

17

 Jul 20, 2015 at 06:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

This guy had absolutely nothing to do with yiddishkeit. He is a baal tshuva. They should cut the baloney about mystics and mekubalim.

Shame on you during the 9 days to speak L'H on a Tzaddik who has brought Hashem into so many people's lives. May you be Zoche to Tsuevah and be Zoche to a new brain who reads the chazal that Baal Tshuvahs stand in a higher place then you

18

 Jul 20, 2015 at 06:06 PM Micka Says:

Reply to #8  
sissel613 Says:

#2--so right--let's remove Chava, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, Leah, Miriam, Yocheved, Devorah Hanevia......I am so surprised at this particular Rav--he seemed different--guess not.

Instead of setting an example, he has abandoned us. I guess the only thing we're good for is cooking, cleaning, having kids and supporting those husbands who are sitting and learning. ;(

Rav Arush has two beautiful and mesmerizing books, one just for men and the other just for woman (he strongly asks that the opposite sex gender shouldn't read the others books).
One strong theme throughout both his books (and especially the one for men) he strongly demonstrates and express a truly empowering view of a Torah True Woman.
Is it compatible with the modern message of "empowered women"? NO!
If you have any inkling of bending your personal opinion (not really "personal" per se as it was impressed on you by a secular minded environment) to the guiding of the Torah and the Chachumim, then I strongly recommend that you at the least read those books on marriage from Rav Arush.

19

 Jul 20, 2015 at 06:10 PM Micka Says:

Regarding the actual statement of Rav Arush; He makes a strong point, but each community will and should continue to act as they have received from the previous generations, unless they (the community OR Rav) feel that they need to change the status quo.

20

 Jul 20, 2015 at 06:22 PM Chaperone Says:

Any woman who goes to the doctor these days knows that the always a nurse, PA, or technician is in the room too. How hard is it for the rabbis to simply be machmir that they always have someone else in the room whenever they meet with a woman? In fact, it would be good for meeting with men too to avoid any accusations of bribery or other illicit dealings.

21

 Jul 20, 2015 at 06:22 PM ActualJew Says:

I am guessing 2 has some serious mommy issues or is a prankater. Either way, do us a favor and lock yourself in a cave. You are too holy for us.
That is sarcasm. Ask your rabbi about it.

22

 Jul 20, 2015 at 07:21 PM Doc Says:

He is absolutely right.
He has acknowledged the problem, that of human failings, and that he is not immune himself. He obviously works on himself very hard and is not afraid to reveal to others his weaknesses.
His books are similar- amazing and full of ways to improve your personal holiness. Rav Lazer Brody publishes an excellent translation of his works into English.

23

 Jul 20, 2015 at 07:40 PM Meekeamcha Says:

We all have bills to pay and when we can't afford to pay them we feel uncomfortable that's natural even for some holy people. You need to be on a high madrega to have menuchas hanefesh under financial stress. Why should other natural tendencies be different.

24

 Jul 20, 2015 at 07:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Where are couples supposed to go for marital counseling? No woman will sit behind a purdah screen for counseling. Oy where are our strong leaders?

25

 Jul 20, 2015 at 07:45 PM A Says:

Reply to #15  
yellowzebra Says:

a rabbi finally comes and says we have to stop a problem in the klal and everyone is bashing him.

It is not the fact that he realizes there may be a problem that concerns the people here it is this Rabbi's solution that is causing the bashing.

26

 Jul 20, 2015 at 07:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Is this all a joke? I'm reading posting after posting that is saying that a man-a Rabbi- can't control his desires enough to talk to a woman? And these same men say that women shouldn't be given Semichah? If anything, these postings show that Rabbi Weiss is absolutely, completely correct in what he is doing for women, and really for men also. Maybe the Rabbis of the 1800's were able to talk to women without feeling the need to touch them and for that reason women Rabbi's didn't have to exist. But truly, if Rabbi's are having such a problem now then women Rabbis are the answer.
This is ridiculous.

27

 Jul 20, 2015 at 08:04 PM mutti Says:

rabbis and woman alone are a big mess. aside from whatever feelings the rabbi might be having for the woman, he starts to interfere in her personal matters and makes things worse. there is no reason a rabbi should be alone with a woman talking about her private matters.

28

 Jul 20, 2015 at 09:04 PM May he have a Refuah Shleima Says:

In the Gemara there is a Klal that "one can speak for himself".

Beloshon Hagemoro: "Neeman Hu Lifsol Es Atzmo".

If Arush testifies that he is incapable to control HIS Yetzer Hara, we can believe him, but he can't speak for everyone else.

If he has such a problem he obviously needs help.

Everyone understands that Berland was not a "Rasha" but a "mental case" in need of a "Refuahs Hanefesh" as we say in a Misheberach.

If a Arush, identifies with the same types of feelings like Berland, he needs the same help.

29

 Jul 20, 2015 at 09:09 PM Esther Says:

Reply to #26  
Anonymous Says:

Is this all a joke? I'm reading posting after posting that is saying that a man-a Rabbi- can't control his desires enough to talk to a woman? And these same men say that women shouldn't be given Semichah? If anything, these postings show that Rabbi Weiss is absolutely, completely correct in what he is doing for women, and really for men also. Maybe the Rabbis of the 1800's were able to talk to women without feeling the need to touch them and for that reason women Rabbi's didn't have to exist. But truly, if Rabbi's are having such a problem now then women Rabbis are the answer.
This is ridiculous.

Following halacha requires kabalos ol,not what may seem like rational thought.. It may seem perfectly justified to Rabbi Weiss for women to receive semicha but that doesn't make it corrrect,not at all.

30

 Jul 20, 2015 at 09:36 PM hashomer Says:

According to this article the Taliban have already won.

31

 Jul 20, 2015 at 09:42 PM Normal Says:

#2 is being sarcastic.

32

 Jul 20, 2015 at 10:16 PM bezh2626 Says:

To all: I'm not going to read all comments, without talking on anyone, since it's the 9 day, and we should promote more love,
I'll just say this, rav arush, is 100+ percent right, and he himself is a holy jew, and btw if u can read good he made this rule for himself and said that others shouldn't see women, because חז"ל say already אין אפטרופס לעריות...וחז"ל אומרים אין צדיק בארץ אשר לא יחטא.... וכל הגדול מחבירו יצרו גדול ממנו...so it's very real simple..... end of story....

33

 Jul 20, 2015 at 10:57 PM Micka Says:

Reply to #30  
hashomer Says:

According to this article the Taliban have already won.

And according to your comment maybe we should let them (Limited Release Only)...

34

 Jul 20, 2015 at 11:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Your comment shows that you are a fool that does not have any understanding of true Torah values.

It's obvious that #2 is poking fun at those who believe that this rabbi is correct.

If Rabbi Arush will not meet with a woman whose husband is present (!), then he has no business being a rabbi.

35

 Jul 20, 2015 at 11:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

Woman have a place in the Torah. They have a lofty place, a holy mission a responsibility to the very existence and continuation of this nation and it's Torah. Oh, but it's not the place you would like them to have. Perhaps, if women would sit around the table and giggle at your jokes and silly boasts, or stand in front of the community and give a "Shabat Drasha" for all men to see...
Yeah I'm sure you'd like that.

Why shouldn't a woman give a Shabbat Drasha in front of the community? What is wrong with devarim she'b'kedusha?

36

 Jul 20, 2015 at 11:29 PM Holier then thou Says:

Reply to #26  
Anonymous Says:

Is this all a joke? I'm reading posting after posting that is saying that a man-a Rabbi- can't control his desires enough to talk to a woman? And these same men say that women shouldn't be given Semichah? If anything, these postings show that Rabbi Weiss is absolutely, completely correct in what he is doing for women, and really for men also. Maybe the Rabbis of the 1800's were able to talk to women without feeling the need to touch them and for that reason women Rabbi's didn't have to exist. But truly, if Rabbi's are having such a problem now then women Rabbis are the answer.
This is ridiculous.

No not a joke.There is a famous "statistic" (as if they could do those on thoughts) that a male thinks about "sex" every 7 seconds. (Now this is definitely a gross slander of humanity as a whole). Now let's assume that some do every 7 minutes - that is still a lot! Now this is only by a person that has nothing of importance to do, because as Chazel tell us that Torah study or work prevent a person from sin. Modern men are no better then people in the 1970's, they just put up a better front and don't voice their nasty thoughts in fear of a harassment suit.The goal of a Jewish man is to suppress those thoughts about women. It is a very hard job, quite the essence of struggle of every man. Let me make it clear: It should be done, BUT it is hard. A Tzadik works his entire life to eradicate the evil inclination (BTW it's called inclination, because we are inclined to). Now finely, YOU don't understand whats the big deal? Anyone could do it! What kind of uncontrolled low-lifes are these Rabbis? Well I command you, you are a Tzadik Yesod Olam, who is pure of evil thought like Yosef HaTzadik! Or maybe you just have a "holier then thou" attitude that is mired in Weiss's secular sludge.

37

 Jul 20, 2015 at 11:39 PM Micka Says:

To #35
Sadly a woman speaking to a group of men is a gross stretch of Halacha by the Modern Orthodox community.
It is counter to the idea of Tzenius, and "Bas Melech Penima". That a women should even WANT to speak before men is a sign of a modernized a secular view of a women. That women and her enablers have lost all semblance of what a Jewish women is all about.
We hope that we are stronger then that and the our walls of holiness that have stood strong for millennia will endure.

38

 Jul 21, 2015 at 12:15 AM lazerx Says:

It is forbidden for a man to seclude himself in a room with a woman other than his wife or his daughter. So many men have been burned by over looking this halacha and so many women have be taken advantage of by overlooking this halacha.

No matter how righteous the man, if he does not have another person present when speaking to a women, he transgresses what is known as Yichud, being alone with a unrelated women.

All people, and that includes non religious should be careful in this manner since there is much protection by having either an open door or a third party in the room.

39

 Jul 21, 2015 at 03:13 AM Fathousewife Says:

back in the day, people who had improper thoughts[ such as lusting after a woman to whom he is not married] were uncomfortable about it] I find it scary that this man comes right out and says this. This speaks volumes. Further, this leaves a woman with very little recourse to get help on various issues she may be dealing with such as perhaps the man in her life! Can a school have a male vaad hachinuch? I may be in lala land but im hoping that a normal emotionally healthy red blooded male is equipped with self control, allowing him to .....

40

 Jul 21, 2015 at 04:13 AM zelig Says:

Glad that he 'fessed up. Waiting t hear from all the other charlatans.
Will the real Torah true rabbis (are there any) please stand up?
To 14: Pity that the word Tzadik has been taken out of the context of the Tanya and missused umpteen times a day. There is also Harav hagaon hatzadik etc. Ad nauseum

41

 Jul 21, 2015 at 06:22 AM BarryLS1 Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

This guy had absolutely nothing to do with yiddishkeit. He is a baal tshuva. They should cut the baloney about mystics and mekubalim.

Sorry to tell you, but your comment has nothing to do with Yiddishkeit, unless your version of Yiddishkeit ignores the Torah. Go learn what the Torah says a Baalei Teshuvah and then see if you want to retract what you said.

I'm an FFB, but on certain levels i'm envious of the intensity that many Baalei Teshuvah's have. We should all try to emulate that.

43

 Jul 21, 2015 at 08:28 AM sissel613 Says:

Reply to #18  
Micka Says:

Rav Arush has two beautiful and mesmerizing books, one just for men and the other just for woman (he strongly asks that the opposite sex gender shouldn't read the others books).
One strong theme throughout both his books (and especially the one for men) he strongly demonstrates and express a truly empowering view of a Torah True Woman.
Is it compatible with the modern message of "empowered women"? NO!
If you have any inkling of bending your personal opinion (not really "personal" per se as it was impressed on you by a secular minded environment) to the guiding of the Torah and the Chachumim, then I strongly recommend that you at the least read those books on marriage from Rav Arush.

Secular minded environment?? I think not----I am the child of Holocaust survivors, A Bais Yaakov graduate and seminary of Bnai Brak--so I don't call myself secular in any way. I HAVE read Rav Arush sefer. My mind still tells me that we have been put on the back burner for far too long and being in a frum Chassidish/Yeshivish area, I am tired of the disrespect that we are being given. When the male community starts treating us as equals, then I will change my mind. Thankfully, I have a husband who does treat me as an equal. There are certain things that he must do as the man of the house, and there are certain things that I have to do as the woman of the house, AND THEN, there are those things that we do as equal where my opinion counts for just as much as his. Baruch Hashem, I have taught my kids the same way.

44

 Jul 21, 2015 at 11:37 AM Micka Says:

Reply to #43  
sissel613 Says:

Secular minded environment?? I think not----I am the child of Holocaust survivors, A Bais Yaakov graduate and seminary of Bnai Brak--so I don't call myself secular in any way. I HAVE read Rav Arush sefer. My mind still tells me that we have been put on the back burner for far too long and being in a frum Chassidish/Yeshivish area, I am tired of the disrespect that we are being given. When the male community starts treating us as equals, then I will change my mind. Thankfully, I have a husband who does treat me as an equal. There are certain things that he must do as the man of the house, and there are certain things that I have to do as the woman of the house, AND THEN, there are those things that we do as equal where my opinion counts for just as much as his. Baruch Hashem, I have taught my kids the same way.

And yet somewhere along the way the modern secular ideology of equal/unequal women has entered your mind. There was never a equal/unequal debate or by us. We clearly understood that the genders are different, with different goals and methods of acquiring them. Different doesn't mean worse or of smaller stature - it means just that; different. I understand that most humans see "different" as "inferior" (as Buber explains brilliantly), but that is not (shouldn't be) the case with a Torah True Jew. Chazal have clear guidelines of what the role of each gender is, when whose advise is more valuable, and what happens when you need to make an ultimate decision in any matter (Captain/First Mate idea from R' A. Miller). The equal/unequal debate is only by the Goyim that have just exited the Dark Ages (1970) and Eastern Hemisphere where women were notoriously mistreated.
I am sorry that you can't find pride and honor in the role that the Torah and Hashem prescribed to you. (I am also sorry if you feel disrespected. You shouldn't be, and a person that does is a boor. The women I know - immediate family - are all proud Benos Yisruel that have more pride in their Tafkid then many men).

45

 Jul 21, 2015 at 09:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #36  
Holier then thou Says:

No not a joke.There is a famous "statistic" (as if they could do those on thoughts) that a male thinks about "sex" every 7 seconds. (Now this is definitely a gross slander of humanity as a whole). Now let's assume that some do every 7 minutes - that is still a lot! Now this is only by a person that has nothing of importance to do, because as Chazel tell us that Torah study or work prevent a person from sin. Modern men are no better then people in the 1970's, they just put up a better front and don't voice their nasty thoughts in fear of a harassment suit.The goal of a Jewish man is to suppress those thoughts about women. It is a very hard job, quite the essence of struggle of every man. Let me make it clear: It should be done, BUT it is hard. A Tzadik works his entire life to eradicate the evil inclination (BTW it's called inclination, because we are inclined to). Now finely, YOU don't understand whats the big deal? Anyone could do it! What kind of uncontrolled low-lifes are these Rabbis? Well I command you, you are a Tzadik Yesod Olam, who is pure of evil thought like Yosef HaTzadik! Or maybe you just have a "holier then thou" attitude that is mired in Weiss's secular sludge.

I truly believe that when someone has to "use" religion to keep them from sinning they are not the way Hashem wants them to be. People can't do the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do? That's why so many religious people are being arrested. Because they don't have inside of them, how to be menches.

46

 Jul 22, 2015 at 01:53 PM Micka Says:

Reply to #45  
Anonymous Says:

I truly believe that when someone has to "use" religion to keep them from sinning they are not the way Hashem wants them to be. People can't do the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do? That's why so many religious people are being arrested. Because they don't have inside of them, how to be menches.

What in the world are you talking about? How do you define religion?
Menches? There is no "Mentch" without the Torah! The Torah (or what I think you refer to as "Religion") is the ONLY morality in this world. Paganism has no morality (except the 7 Mitzvos of Benai Noach). All morals in the world, and definitely the monotheistic ones, for example: one creator (or a few aspects of the same, such as trinity), charity, care for the elder, respect to women, even environmentalism, all were made aware by the light of the Torah in a dark world. There is no "mentch" except one that follows the morals of the Torah.
Now you'll ask me about Derech Eretz Kodma Le'Torah, right? Well to put it in a nut shell: Derech Eretz as prescribed by the will of Hashem, thru the Torah, is needed before one could access the Torah proper. Yes, it is a paradox, but one that could be worked out if one is to subjecate his mind, will, logic, and opinion to the Torah. Just to give an example how this is possible. A child is (hopefully) taught manners at home and school from an early age. Way before s/he begins to learn Torah, they are taught social skills. But what are those manners/skils based on? The Torah

47

 Jul 22, 2015 at 11:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #46  
Micka Says:

What in the world are you talking about? How do you define religion?
Menches? There is no "Mentch" without the Torah! The Torah (or what I think you refer to as "Religion") is the ONLY morality in this world. Paganism has no morality (except the 7 Mitzvos of Benai Noach). All morals in the world, and definitely the monotheistic ones, for example: one creator (or a few aspects of the same, such as trinity), charity, care for the elder, respect to women, even environmentalism, all were made aware by the light of the Torah in a dark world. There is no "mentch" except one that follows the morals of the Torah.
Now you'll ask me about Derech Eretz Kodma Le'Torah, right? Well to put it in a nut shell: Derech Eretz as prescribed by the will of Hashem, thru the Torah, is needed before one could access the Torah proper. Yes, it is a paradox, but one that could be worked out if one is to subjecate his mind, will, logic, and opinion to the Torah. Just to give an example how this is possible. A child is (hopefully) taught manners at home and school from an early age. Way before s/he begins to learn Torah, they are taught social skills. But what are those manners/skils based on? The Torah

I beg to differ.
There are many people who are mentches who are not even Jewish. There are many people who are moral who are not even Jewish.
And in terms of derech eretz, I have to say this. A modern Orthodox man that I know works in a very Yeshivish school teaching secular subjects. This man has been cursed at (literally), had things put on his chair to hurt him when he sat down, and has been given no respect by his high school students. He is a man of great integrity and the administration in the school knows this as well. There is no, and I mean no, derech eretz in this school toward the secular studies teachers. Is this the way it's supposed to be? Is this what you mean by morals?
Take a look at what is really going on in your community. It is eye opening to those of us who once believed that white shirts meant white souls.

48

 Jul 23, 2015 at 10:37 AM Micka Says:

Reply to #47  
Anonymous Says:

I beg to differ.
There are many people who are mentches who are not even Jewish. There are many people who are moral who are not even Jewish.
And in terms of derech eretz, I have to say this. A modern Orthodox man that I know works in a very Yeshivish school teaching secular subjects. This man has been cursed at (literally), had things put on his chair to hurt him when he sat down, and has been given no respect by his high school students. He is a man of great integrity and the administration in the school knows this as well. There is no, and I mean no, derech eretz in this school toward the secular studies teachers. Is this the way it's supposed to be? Is this what you mean by morals?
Take a look at what is really going on in your community. It is eye opening to those of us who once believed that white shirts meant white souls.

Good morning. As much as we disagree, it is a pleasure to have this conversation. Let's get to the "disagree" part.
To clarify, you "differ" on two points:
1) That there are many people who are not jewish who are still a "Mentch", i.e. a decent human being.
2) "My" own community has no respect or manners whatsoever, as symbolized by the story of your friend that teaches in a school.
These two are meant to dispel my notion that Judaism and the Torah are the source of all morals for the world. This is not up for debate, it is a matter of faith mixed with the sources of Chazal. You either choose to believe this facet of history, or you choose to ignore it.

...Continued in following post.

49

 Jul 23, 2015 at 10:43 AM Micka Says:

Reply to #47  
Anonymous Says:

I beg to differ.
There are many people who are mentches who are not even Jewish. There are many people who are moral who are not even Jewish.
And in terms of derech eretz, I have to say this. A modern Orthodox man that I know works in a very Yeshivish school teaching secular subjects. This man has been cursed at (literally), had things put on his chair to hurt him when he sat down, and has been given no respect by his high school students. He is a man of great integrity and the administration in the school knows this as well. There is no, and I mean no, derech eretz in this school toward the secular studies teachers. Is this the way it's supposed to be? Is this what you mean by morals?
Take a look at what is really going on in your community. It is eye opening to those of us who once believed that white shirts meant white souls.

...POST 2: Continued from previous post.

Regardless it does not change the simple fact: The Torah brought down morals into this world. The nations of the world, and the "Mentches who aren't even Jewish" would not have the notion nor concept of ethics and morality without our nation treading and paving the way for idealism's of any sort (Whether they conform with the Torah is a separate matter. Morality & ethics that are based in logic & the human mind will inadvertently or purposely be twisted to that persons preconceived notions, comfort and agendas - for example Sigmund Freud or Karl Marx - these people used the ethics from our tradition, twisted it to their personal opinions or desires, and spewed forth ethics and morality for the nations of the World).
So in response to your first point: Yes there are many decent people in the nations, but undisputedly, religion is the source of ethics and morality in the world.

...To be continued in a following post...

50

 Jul 23, 2015 at 11:03 AM Micka Says:

Reply to #47  
Anonymous Says:

I beg to differ.
There are many people who are mentches who are not even Jewish. There are many people who are moral who are not even Jewish.
And in terms of derech eretz, I have to say this. A modern Orthodox man that I know works in a very Yeshivish school teaching secular subjects. This man has been cursed at (literally), had things put on his chair to hurt him when he sat down, and has been given no respect by his high school students. He is a man of great integrity and the administration in the school knows this as well. There is no, and I mean no, derech eretz in this school toward the secular studies teachers. Is this the way it's supposed to be? Is this what you mean by morals?
Take a look at what is really going on in your community. It is eye opening to those of us who once believed that white shirts meant white souls.

...POST 3: Continued from the previous post...

Gandhi once observed: "Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their title by choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating their position on earth."
(We'll leave whether Gandhi's was an anti-semite on the side).
The nations of the world constantly demand our better behavior, they have different standards for us then for the rest of the world. Why?
(Besides saying they're anti-semites - it's getting boring calling everyone an anti-semite - even if they are).
Because we should be held responsible for our behavior, precisely because we are the "chosen nation" - chosen to represent the will of G-d, chosen to be responsible to behave in a manner exceeding the norms of humanity. Chosen to bring His name into the minds of all people.
Do we always rise to the occasion? As a nation we constantly march in that direction. As individuals, we struggle daily between our base, and evil inclinations and doing the right thing. Do we flounder? with out a doubt. Do we strive to do good? Always. That is what sets us apart from the nations. Our traditions, ethics, and way of life.
...To be continued in the following post...

51

 Jul 23, 2015 at 03:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
Micka Says:

To #35
Sadly a woman speaking to a group of men is a gross stretch of Halacha by the Modern Orthodox community.
It is counter to the idea of Tzenius, and "Bas Melech Penima". That a women should even WANT to speak before men is a sign of a modernized a secular view of a women. That women and her enablers have lost all semblance of what a Jewish women is all about.
We hope that we are stronger then that and the our walls of holiness that have stood strong for millennia will endure.

So it is not permissible for a woman to speak to a group of men. But it is permissible for her to have 6 children and be the main or only wage earner in her family, even if it means working with and speaking to men. There is no issue of tzenius there because she is making money so that her husband can just sit and learn all day while she works herself to the bone. Did I get that right?

And that is not a sign of a "modernized secular view of a woman?"

What a Jewish woman is all about is that she she should wake up at 6, work a full time job while talking to men, make all the money, take care of the children, her husband, her house, and then not be allowed to talk to men?

Do you not see how ridiculous this is?

52

 Jul 23, 2015 at 03:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #50  
Micka Says:

...POST 3: Continued from the previous post...

Gandhi once observed: "Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their title by choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating their position on earth."
(We'll leave whether Gandhi's was an anti-semite on the side).
The nations of the world constantly demand our better behavior, they have different standards for us then for the rest of the world. Why?
(Besides saying they're anti-semites - it's getting boring calling everyone an anti-semite - even if they are).
Because we should be held responsible for our behavior, precisely because we are the "chosen nation" - chosen to represent the will of G-d, chosen to be responsible to behave in a manner exceeding the norms of humanity. Chosen to bring His name into the minds of all people.
Do we always rise to the occasion? As a nation we constantly march in that direction. As individuals, we struggle daily between our base, and evil inclinations and doing the right thing. Do we flounder? with out a doubt. Do we strive to do good? Always. That is what sets us apart from the nations. Our traditions, ethics, and way of life.
...To be continued in the following post...

I thank you for your post and response. If indeed it is the Torah that is supposed to be the basis for the formation of "mentches", the people who are teaching it are doing a terrible job of it. I do not dispute that people can find stories and do character analyses about the people in it to discover ways that people are supposed to be.

Even if "religion is the source of ethics and morality in the world", it is still true that one does not have to be Jewish to be ethical. Jewish and especially Orthodox people feel that they are better than others, when truly, one can find good people from all races and religions. One of the reasons that the students in that school treat their secular teachers in a way that is a true chillul Hashem, is because they've been indoctrinated with the idea that no-one is as good as a Yeshivish Orthodox Jew-even a modern Orthodox Jew "deserves" to be cursed at. If the Torah is supposed to be at the core of forming a decent human being, and these boys have been learning for hours and hours, what happened? Why do they use curse words? Why do they cause non-Jewish teachers to say: "I'd rather be on welfare than teach in this school?" cont. next

53

 Jul 23, 2015 at 03:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #50  
Micka Says:

...POST 3: Continued from the previous post...

Gandhi once observed: "Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their title by choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating their position on earth."
(We'll leave whether Gandhi's was an anti-semite on the side).
The nations of the world constantly demand our better behavior, they have different standards for us then for the rest of the world. Why?
(Besides saying they're anti-semites - it's getting boring calling everyone an anti-semite - even if they are).
Because we should be held responsible for our behavior, precisely because we are the "chosen nation" - chosen to represent the will of G-d, chosen to be responsible to behave in a manner exceeding the norms of humanity. Chosen to bring His name into the minds of all people.
Do we always rise to the occasion? As a nation we constantly march in that direction. As individuals, we struggle daily between our base, and evil inclinations and doing the right thing. Do we flounder? with out a doubt. Do we strive to do good? Always. That is what sets us apart from the nations. Our traditions, ethics, and way of life.
...To be continued in the following post...

It's an arrogance that comes from believing that they are the best because they have the Torah. What a misuse of a holy document!
As far as I am concerned, when I hear of the chumras that these people put on themselves I am completely unimpressed. Be a mentch inside. Don't rely on a holy book to know what is the right thing to do. Rely on yourself and you will be a better person for it.

54

 Jul 23, 2015 at 07:43 PM Micka Says:

Reply to #47  
Anonymous Says:

I beg to differ.
There are many people who are mentches who are not even Jewish. There are many people who are moral who are not even Jewish.
And in terms of derech eretz, I have to say this. A modern Orthodox man that I know works in a very Yeshivish school teaching secular subjects. This man has been cursed at (literally), had things put on his chair to hurt him when he sat down, and has been given no respect by his high school students. He is a man of great integrity and the administration in the school knows this as well. There is no, and I mean no, derech eretz in this school toward the secular studies teachers. Is this the way it's supposed to be? Is this what you mean by morals?
Take a look at what is really going on in your community. It is eye opening to those of us who once believed that white shirts meant white souls.

...Post 4: Continued from previous post...

In terms of the experiences of your friend. It is very sad. True some of our people don't stack up to their lofty goal, and more so by children. Lets be honest all of us did things when we were younger that we would be greatly embarrassed to even remember right now.
Yes I agree with you that one who sees our heritage as some kind of "Uber Mentch" status is deeply mistaken. Our heritage isn't a privilege in the traditional sense, it is a responsibility, an yoke that we must carry, and carry proud. But only after one understands the seriousness and duty that comes with it. Sadly children aren't mature enough to understand this concept, nay there are adults who live full lives without grasping the difference between entitlement and duty.
But we do teach manners, we teach Derech Eretz, and we try to be role models.
And that my friend is the crucial point: We WANT to be good!

55

 Jul 23, 2015 at 07:59 PM Micka Says:

Reply to #53  
Anonymous Says:

It's an arrogance that comes from believing that they are the best because they have the Torah. What a misuse of a holy document!
As far as I am concerned, when I hear of the chumras that these people put on themselves I am completely unimpressed. Be a mentch inside. Don't rely on a holy book to know what is the right thing to do. Rely on yourself and you will be a better person for it.

Thanx, wow civility in internet comments, who would have thought!
To the disagreeing part again!
You are very wrong to generalize and paint everyone in our community thus. It is precisely this why Chillul Hashem is such a terrible crime! A few people do something and they are generalized to represent the entire community. A few boys misbehave (because of their personal issues, or even feeling of superiority), and the class - community - denomination - religion, etc. get labeled as wrong doers. That is extremely unfair! No one would want that someone should stereotype their community or religion based on the actions of a few. (If you say that it is "everyone" or "a Majority" or give me an unsubstantiated statistic like percent - this civil conversation is over, this is a besmirching anti-Semitic "Der Shtrumer-esqu" tactic used by people with a deep hatred of our people - please don't do it).
...Sorry to be continued...

56

 Jul 23, 2015 at 08:15 PM Micka Says:

Reply to #53  
Anonymous Says:

It's an arrogance that comes from believing that they are the best because they have the Torah. What a misuse of a holy document!
As far as I am concerned, when I hear of the chumras that these people put on themselves I am completely unimpressed. Be a mentch inside. Don't rely on a holy book to know what is the right thing to do. Rely on yourself and you will be a better person for it.

...Reply to 52 - Continued from previous post...
No one deserves abuse, and especially a person that comes to share his knowledge with them. Yes, it is bad manners, thoughtless, and even evil - they have a lot to work on. But we strive to work on ourselves. Precisely this is the point! The Torah instructs us to work on ourselves, thus making it a challenge. Even a Rabbi has challenges - because the Torah says don't do it - the inclination says yes go ahead follow you urges and instincts! By definition we can't be void of fault, we will always have a task of working on ourselves - the community and individual. Without fault we would be redundant: unnecessary. The goal is to overcome the challenges, not to be devoid of them. And yes all people have different challenges based on their personal level. A new Ba'al Tshuva might wanna sneak a bite of seafood, while a Rav might not want to give so much time for his constituents - each has challenges on their level. I hope this concludes my argument. In short: The Torah is the source of being a Mentch - A Jew definitely needs it to be a REAL Mentch (not just a pop-Mentch). Don't stereotype the Community based on the actions of some. Oh..

57

 Jul 23, 2015 at 08:30 PM Micka Says:

Reply to #53  
Anonymous Says:

It's an arrogance that comes from believing that they are the best because they have the Torah. What a misuse of a holy document!
As far as I am concerned, when I hear of the chumras that these people put on themselves I am completely unimpressed. Be a mentch inside. Don't rely on a holy book to know what is the right thing to do. Rely on yourself and you will be a better person for it.

oh... One last thing.
"Be a mentch inside. Don't rely on a holy book to know what is the right thing to do. Rely on yourself and you will be a better person for it."
No! My whole point was that it is not possible. A Yid only has morals because the Torah told him to have. take away the existence of the Torah and he is left with... Nothing! No morals, no ethics, no table manners even! Our entire way of life is not based on what we THINK is right or wrong, but on what the Torah tells us is right or wrong. We subject our mind to follow the Will of the Creator. No Torah means no morals. It means "yes" to every base instinct or selfish decision we come up with. You'll tell me that the nations have no Torah and yet they have morals. Yes, but only because we shared with them the concept of morality & ethics, as is our mission. From there on they choose their morals based on logic or desire. But without the Revelation at Sinai there would be no morality. A Human would follow his base instincts of greed or survival as theorized by evolutionists. It is not the human mind that conceived ethics or morals - but the Divine Design (Torah) that impressed the conciseness of Humans with morality.

58

 Jul 23, 2015 at 09:16 PM Micka Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

So it is not permissible for a woman to speak to a group of men. But it is permissible for her to have 6 children and be the main or only wage earner in her family, even if it means working with and speaking to men. There is no issue of tzenius there because she is making money so that her husband can just sit and learn all day while she works herself to the bone. Did I get that right?

And that is not a sign of a "modernized secular view of a woman?"

What a Jewish woman is all about is that she she should wake up at 6, work a full time job while talking to men, make all the money, take care of the children, her husband, her house, and then not be allowed to talk to men?

Do you not see how ridiculous this is?

What a nasty stereotype you propagate.
Why do I have to deal with your type. Why so bitter? What kind of nightmare do you live in? Or do you want to feel like an "oppressed victim", to compensate for your broken dreams and aspirations.
You see it's all in the perspective.
You see oppressed women, who have no place in the Torah. I see courages warriors that the Amazonians would be envious of. A women that juggles all that; a mother to her children, a leader of the household, and supporter of the family! Glory to her! May her labor and deeds show fruits - in the most important way possible - her amazing and sweet children.
To the men. Whom you see as lazy parasites living off the life force of their wives, men who contribute nothing to the house nor society. Again what kind of Dantos Inferno do you live in? They do what they, as an adult couple (how could you trust them?! well when they were teenagers you would promote that we should "trust our teens" so back off) decided to do (they were brainwashed, wehe wehe).
I'll continue..
Are there some bums that lazy around while their wives work hard, yeah, and we all know what they are - bums and lazy slicks! But all of them?!

59

 Jul 23, 2015 at 09:29 PM Micka Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

So it is not permissible for a woman to speak to a group of men. But it is permissible for her to have 6 children and be the main or only wage earner in her family, even if it means working with and speaking to men. There is no issue of tzenius there because she is making money so that her husband can just sit and learn all day while she works herself to the bone. Did I get that right?

And that is not a sign of a "modernized secular view of a woman?"

What a Jewish woman is all about is that she she should wake up at 6, work a full time job while talking to men, make all the money, take care of the children, her husband, her house, and then not be allowed to talk to men?

Do you not see how ridiculous this is?

...Continue I do. #2
But all of them?!
To work office etiquette.
I work in a office with 4 secretaries, the professionalism we keep is astounding, from the ceo to a janitor! You wish that you have such gender professionalism anywhere (Hem, hem, One word: BillClinton).
The women are respectful and soft spoken. They don't shmooze with us or vice versa. We don't "talk away" we say what is necessary or communicate by email. We don't share a whatsapp group or talk about our "Great" accomplishments over the weekend. In short we are not "The Office" on NBC.
But I some times over hear them talk about their husbands amongst themselves. The admiration in their voice, the love the have for their man, that for 7 years studies Torah every day full time. Even with juggling a household (which the men help - based on their wives testimony) they are proud of their services to a higher calling.
You dare?! You dare to disparage these holy people, these simple women who have the strength to work, raise, manage, and love? How dare you! Hide your villainous and disparaging comments on a beautiful community.
Continued soon...

60

 Jul 23, 2015 at 09:36 PM Micka Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

So it is not permissible for a woman to speak to a group of men. But it is permissible for her to have 6 children and be the main or only wage earner in her family, even if it means working with and speaking to men. There is no issue of tzenius there because she is making money so that her husband can just sit and learn all day while she works herself to the bone. Did I get that right?

And that is not a sign of a "modernized secular view of a woman?"

What a Jewish woman is all about is that she she should wake up at 6, work a full time job while talking to men, make all the money, take care of the children, her husband, her house, and then not be allowed to talk to men?

Do you not see how ridiculous this is?

...Continued #3
Are there offices that women and men leave Jewish ethics and basic professionalism, in favor of a more secular "open working relation"? Sadly yes. They talk and call their secretaries by first name (which is an Issur Gamur, BTW). But when you chance upon such office, we don't admire them, but (silently) condemn such behavior. We done loud it and pride ourselves with it. By us it is considered a shande when a woman/man act immodestly by talking loudly with or in front of men, by you she's a Talmid Chuchem with equal rights...

Oh and in our office we have 4 women, and 7 men, so statistical ratio & probability shows that a majority of our men do work...

--- Drop Mike---

61

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