Monday, February 23, 2009

No details.

Why is it that certain people feel they have the right to run their lives by themselves? That they have the right and ability to decide Halacha for themselves? You can't even argue with them. They just find some rishon who they like to hold by. No matter that they only use his kulos, or that he recommended against whatever it was. No matter that Torah doesn't work like that. You can't just decide what you want and then mold the system to fit your preferences. And yet some people think they can. This attitude annoys me. I understand that you think yourself to be the most smartest thing on two feet since Solomon. You know what? You're a pisher. You don't know anything. And a rabbi ten years older than you is ten years smarter too. And a rabbi who lived a thousand years ago is a thousand years smarter than you. The rabbis didn't do things because they were a bunch of manipulative conniving monsters. They did things because things had to be done. They do things today because things need to be done. So what is the issue? Even more annoying is when out of intense apathy I fail to contradict, and my shtikah is taken for hodaah. What's a guy to do it? Blog it with going into details? I just did that. It didn't make me feel any better.

Continuing on in this blog that we call life, I saw today something so cute, so precious, so luminescent and transcendent, that I have to write about it. The bathroom has two lights on the outside. One is green, and when the room is available for public usage this light shines brightly. There is also a red light, which indicates the presence of humanity in the rest room. Genius, eh?

50 comments:

le7 said...

Do I know this person? (I hope it ain't me).

Joe in Australia said...

There is the external level, where we can recognise the presence of another person by the light they transmit. And then there is a deeper level, when one enters into that person's abode, so to speak, and can recognise that their presence remains even though they have departed. And for that you do not need a light, but a fan.

Crawling Axe said...

And how do the lights work? Is the red light on when there is nobody in the bathroom, but the light is continuously on (e.g., for Shabbos)? Or is the red light activated my motion sensory when somebody steps into the bathroom? In that case, what about Shabbos?

Seems like a design flaw to me.

People think Torah exists for them, not they for Torah. And people don’t value tradition. And there is no more good music composed.

Cheerio said...

thanks to modern technology, going to the restroom has become a lot more complicated for us frummies.

Anonymous said...

joe in aussie is funny

The Real Shliach said...

le7: yes (it ain't).

Joe down under: thoughtfully provided by the management of the establishment.

CA: there is always light. Generally it is of a green nature, but when times are busy the red does get much use.

And this isn't a Jewish establishment. Might not be acceptable for shabbos, but then again, neither are sandwhich makers.

A: chassidus disgrees
B. True.
C. I beg to differ. The great lipa...

Cheerio: there are no frummies in this establishment on shabbos, so in fact your assertion is groundsless.

Anon: correct you are.

Crawling Axe said...

Chassidus disagrees with what?

I am no expert on Lipa, and I am sure the Yiddishkeit in his works is very profound, but I didn’t hear any music.

Cheerio, I disagree. Technology and certain tree-killing inventions made a necessary visit much-much easier. V’dal.

The Real Shliach said...

Does Torah exist for us or us for Torah?

Did you listen to the music? Me thinks you are stuck in full-of-it rut.

Correct. Rocks are not fun.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Now for all our greyse chachomim -- what does the mishna call the low tech equivalent of this setup and say where the mishna is and name at least one place where the gmara mentions it.

Crawling Axe said...

Both. But on the highest level, we exist for Torah. Lishmah.

Lipa? Somewhat. As I said, the contents may be great, ober...

The Real Shliach said...

Lav davka.

Ach, uncultured Russian.

The Real Shliach said...

And listen, even if Torah is made for us, that doesn't diminish my point. The point is that the wisdom of Hashem wants us to do certain things. I don't like it when people justify their not doing those certain things. You want to do it without justifying it? Fine by me. Know you're doing wrong, or not care, but to say that what you're doing is all right? And to come up with that by yourself? Something smells wrong.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Is your ta'anah that these people are heter hunting or that they pick a rishon to pasken like. There are also people who pick everybody's chumros for bragging rights or because they genuinely think it brings them closer to Hashem. Others pick a rishon and stick to him. All three of these are wrong on various levels, but which one were you addressing.

The Real Shliach said...

My taanah is with a specific person who manages to convince himself that everything he does is okay. A complete lack of kabbalos ol.

And yeh, there are all sorts of bad character traits. This one happened to hit me last night, and it annoyed me intensely.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Gotcha. Phrikas ol is bad enough when it isn't cloaked in self-righteousness.

Nu, can anyone answer my question?

Rationally pious said...

‘right to run their lives by themselves?”

Lubavitch has been using this argument for the past 20 years; it is no coincidence that Rabbonim are scarce. If we can produce five Rabbonim in the future it will be a miracle.

“No matter that they only use his kulos”

Like the Charadim that use every possible chumra? If one can go to one extreme, we have an obligation to swing it and achieve some equilibrium, as per the Rambam’s advice.

“No matter that Torah doesn't work like that.”

Oh and you know exactly how Torah works? There are millions of variations in Yideshkeit, and everyone has a right to judge what is wrong or right for him.
You seem to lack fundamental knowledge in the history of Halcha and how Halacha works, just because you do not agree with other opinions, does not make it wrong. I would venture to say that our mode of living vis-à-vis Halacha is quite modern.

“They did things because things had to be done.”

Did you have a bet that you can use the most ambiguous language possible?

sarabonne said...

what a bathroom, a real beacon of hope...

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: I suppose not. What's the answer?

RP: are you possibly like this guy I got annoyed at?

Sara: correct you are.

Crawling Axe said...

I think I am too cultured to appreciate the music of Lipa and M. That’s the shygetz inside me — a man who thinks anything electric is not music.

I agree. I also was talking about different “for me” (vs. for Torah). They think Torah exists to make their life nicer, better, easier. If a little more eidel, more meaningful, more spiritual. Agch...

Crawling Axe said...

You seem to lack fundamental knowledge in the history of Halcha and how Halacha works, just because you do not agree with other opinions, does not make it wrong.

Are you saying Hillel did not think that Shammai is wrong?

The Real Shliach said...

Re: lipa: who is m? And yeah, I don't know if cultured is the right word here.

Torah: right. I agree that you can't live your life like that.

Crawling Axe said...

Matisyahu.

Pretentious? Obnoxious? A fundamentalist?

See, btw, this discussion.

Crawling Axe said...

Oops.

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=20823360&postID=1698788608407995847&isPopup=true

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh. I stopped listening to matiyshau about two years ago because I was trying to become more frum. Haven't fallen since.

You know, it's impossible to argue taste in things. Everyone is different in that respect. Some people like this, others that. And it's not something you can criticize. I happen to like lipa, you don't. Ok. Now to say that there's no good music...I'm not sure I'd say that at all.

Crawling Axe said...

I didn’t say I didn’t like him. I listen to his songs, I like them. They are comprehensible. They are enjoyable. Not something I can say regarding M. al pi my personal taste (although M. is obviously better than a local radio station).

But objectively speaking, after Classical music —

Remember what the Rebbe said regarding a shochet who learns Polish Chassidus?

(Whether it’s good for your soul is another thing. I am talking strictly objective, strictly music components.)

Or niggunim.

Compare Shammil to Polish March (played in JEM videos). When Rabbi Schochet’s nephew heard me sing Polish March, he remarked, “Not a Chabad niggun”.

The Real Shliach said...

Oh. All right. I'm sorry I misunderstood you.

No, I recall not.

Classical: worse for your soul than pop (or so the mashpiim say). I stopped listening, oh, about six years ago.

I don't know enough about music to be able to comment on classical versus any other style. Seems to me that if you like it, then fine. You gonna tell someone that rap isn't good? Why not?

Polish march?

Rationally pious said...

CA:
“Are you saying Hillel did not think that Shammai is wrong?”

Of course he did not think Shammai was wrong. He understood it from his perspective. Many teachers disagreed with their students and vice versa. There is no “right” and “wrong”.

TRS,

Should I care that I am like him?

Crawling Axe said...

Depth. Complexity. Richness. Moving parts. I don’t know enough about music to express myself. I like all kinds of music. But emes is emes. Rap is not music. Comparatively speaking.

Btw, I never got a clear answer from masphiim about klezmer.

From another blog:

Rabbi Hendel asked: What if the shochet learns Poilishe Chassidus (and he mentioned the names of s’farim that this shochet learned)? The Rebbe answered: These s’farim are good commentaries on the Torah, but studying them is not considered meditating on the greatness of G-d.

Polish March.

Of course everyone’s taste are different. Some people have good taste, and some people have bad taste. (OK, j/k. Yes, it’s stupid to argue about tastes. But I know an artist who thinks that everyone who likes Dali is stupid.)

Crawling Axe said...

RP: I disagree. I think he mamosh though Hillel to be wrong. And vice versa. Eilu v’eilu is from our perspective. (Btw, I don’t disagree — I am nothing to disagree. My rabbi does, based on our previous conversation.)

There is no right or wrong, but there is Halacha. I read somewhere about a person following Shammai for saying Shma was put to death.

You think these guys think that each is “right on some level”?

The Real Shliach said...

RP: There is no right and wrong? 70 faces to Torah? K.

You tell me, from the way I described him, if you should.

CA: ahh (to them all). I mean, taste is subjective. Is there good and bad when discussing something subjective?

Crawling Axe said...

On the one hand, no, on the other, a guy who dresses in yellow suit, blue shoes and green hat and comes like that to shull (considering he is not a clown) has some strange taste.

Everybody’s taste in socks is different. But some socks cost $5 a dozen, and some cost $30 a pair.

The Real Shliach said...

Who dresses like that?

True. But who says one is better than another?

Crawling Axe said...

More expensive clothes generally tend to be better. Anyway, why are we talking about music?

The Real Shliach said...

Possibly.

You brought it up.

Crawling Axe said...

So, you think my story about Shammai is true?

The Real Shliach said...

It's recorded in the Talmud, though I believe they only told him he was worthy of the death penalty.

Rationally pious said...

“I think he mamosh though Hillel to be wrong”

You have a right to think how you like, but I think it is telling that you believe they honestly thought one and the other to be completely wrong. Remember the Gemara where R’ Eliezer makes the walls of the Beis Medrash fall down, and they still disagreed?

The point is they understood it in a certain way and believed in their convictions. But they also knew that the other opinions had merit.

Ask TRS when he studies the Bedek Habayis and the Rashba in regard to the language they use, does that mean the Rashba thought the Bedek was evil? That he was a heretic?

“but there is Halacha”

It is not black and white. There are fundamental rules, but most of the controversy today is based on arguments in between Acronim, very fickle foundations, misconceptions, and ambiguous terms. Sometimes even Midrashim that do not exist: like the one where we should not change our clothing like the Jews in Egypt. The Medrish does not even exist and we extrapolate laws? How about Tznius? Do you know that half the laws of Tznius are based on very bad reasoning?

TRS,
That is my point: there are many faces to Torah, and many ways to interpret the laws.

Crawling Axe said...

They punished R’ Eliezer because he insisted on a spiritually higher opinion that did not belong in this world.

Anonymous said...

I think that this argument is being perpetuated by personal vendettas and not an actual attempt to share opinions (not even going to mention facts) about Halacha. from what i read TRS was only discussing people who shop for rabbinical opinions that suit they're needs or even worse, people who disregard it completely. Im not sure what the point RP is trying to make other than that he has a serious pernsonal problem with Halacha. if your going to make an solid argument (much less a productive one) do not make broad, un-supported statments like "Tznius? Do you know that half the laws of Tznius are based on very bad reasoning?" which half? what bad reasoning? Also if someone holds an opinion, even if they find merit in others, they obiviously will not only stick to them but argue for them. This discussion is a perfect example. future ones should have some sort of purpose other than heres how wrong you are because i have a bone with Jewish law. Just unproductive.

Why could we all just stick on the topic of green bathroom lights?

J

Crawling Axe said...

TRS — I uploaded a niggun specially for you. Re: our conversation about music.

What I was trying to say before that no doubt wine has more flavors than Smirnoff. It’s a richer and more refined drink. Now, you may say that you need mashkeh to say lechayim, not sit there figuring out in which valley and at what angle the vines were planted, but you can’t take words out of a song, as a Russian saying goes (you can’t disagree with the emes that wine is a richer drink, even though you may think it inappropriate for a chossid to sit there and enjoy it).

Now, somebody who thinks that Smirnoff is better than Grey Goose just doesn’t know what he is talking about. Not that Smirnoff won’t do.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

There is no right or wrong, but there is Halacha. I read somewhere about a person following Shammai for saying Shma was put to death.

Brachos 1:2(maybe 3) Rabbi Tarphon was traveling and got off his camel to lie down and say shma k'shitas bais shammai and got mugged and all his possessions stolen. When he got home he complained to his colleagues "what happened to shluchei mitzvah aino nizakin?" (TRS can sing the lipa song) They told him "you take chumrahs kineged halacha you deserve they should have killed you."

To answer my trivia questio -- The "bais hakisei hakavod" is mentioned in mishnayos yuma somewhere or other. Quoted also in the sixth (perhaps 7th) perek of brachos and other places throughout shas and poskim.

The Real Shliach said...

J: I like the way you think.

CA: I appreciate the music.
Neah, still a matter of taste.

Crawling Axe said...

That’s a totally different meaning of the story!

Rationally pious said...

J-Anon,
“from what i read TRS was only discussing people”

It is funny how people do not even follow their own logic.

What I felt what TRS was saying is: that one cannot judge for themselves and they must accept a beaten path. Going around and accepting mostly kulos is wrong. Because to him it seems like you are just trying to get away from Halacha. It makes no difference that he is choosing within the Halacha framework. What is essential to TRS is that you cannot roll with the way you see life, you have to abide by OJ laws or Chabad’s laws irrespective that you do not believe in it.

“who shop for rabbinical opinions that suit their needs or even worse”

That is precisely what I disagree with. I do not find there to be a problem that within the Halacha framework one tries to fit it into his life and the world around him. being of independent thought and independent judge. If he can become an atheist one day, I rather he try and make Halacha work for him rather than trying to be “frum” because of sociological reasons, and then walking out one day and cutting off his nose to spite his face.

“do not make broad, un-supported statements”

http://parsha.blogspot.com/search/label/tznius

If you want we can duke it out, I have no problem showing you Halachas that are based on completely wrong reasons. For example fancy clothing which Oz veHadar Levusha bases on a Gemara that a lady cannot weave red string so as not to look immodest. He explanation is because red is flashy, when the reasons is because the color of red is blood and it might fall in between her legs. Talk about a misread. Even the ones that are based on Gemara for some reason he takes the stringent opinion 10 out of 10 times, why?

“which half? what bad reasoning?”

Learn Hilchos Tznius and we will have a discussion. Saying which half like there is a line down the middle is a straw man (which by the way you will NOT find in SA…talk about Chumras)

“bone with Jewish law”

Another straw man, saying your Chumras are “Jewish law” is not very objective. “Jewish law” is ambiguous at best. Like I said before there are many variations and many different customs.

Anonymous said...

There is hilchos tznius and there is Rabbi Falk. The man is a fanatic. And not in the good sense either.

Anonymous said...

RP-

again it seems that your entire argument is based on an inference. What you "believe" TRS was saying and what you "see" TRS as "essentially" being have nothing to do with I read. as far as you defending peoples right to choose Chumra, great, you can be theirs and mine knight in shining armor. what was being discuss which obviously flew over your head was people looking for ways around halacha by finding rabbis whose opinions would allow them to do things that weren't so great. if you don't agree with Tznius laws, fine don't follow them, but falling on the sword to get other people to believe that they are wrong is not only pointless but ethnocentric. just because you see no inherit value (or even fault with them) does not mean that you know why they are being follow by those individuals in the first place. your not the only person with Internet access or a free thinking mind i.e. people who follow them are neither stupid nor ignorant. so fine, show where halachas are wrong and faulty and I will gladly help you fight off whoever it is that is holding a gun to your head and making you follow them.

J

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I seem to have been deleted.

The Real Shliach said...

J: Did I mention before that you rock?

Modeh: You do?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Yeh. SOmeone mentioned Rabbi Falk's book in the context of "go learn tznius" as if he was not one of those people who pick all the chumrahs for brownie points so I posted something setting him straight on the matter. I thought you might have done it because I was rude.

Crawling Axe said...

What is a matter of taste? Mercedes vs. BMW is a matter of taste. Either of them vs. a Ford is not a matter of taste. Anyone who thinks Ford is a better car has no taste. Now, for ideological (or spiritual) reasons, one may avoid driving a German car — and therefore pick Ford. That’s fine. But don’t tell me Ford is objectively a car, when compared to a BMW.