Thursday, September 24, 2009

1-800 GEDOLIM

I was getting a ride home from kapores with a devoted reader of this blog and we got to talking about this, that, and the other. He mentioned that the "gedolim" have begun advocating that people stop going to Tashlich on Rosh Hashanah itself because of all the mingling between the sexes that occurs. In fact, he said, some have suggested that it would be better to forego Tashlich altogether rather than possibly induce cross-genderal contamination.


I got to thinking (dangerous, I know), and came up with a new idea for PETA. I've heard that they are running a campaign in New York this year "Gelt, not guilt", but it seems to me that they're going about it all the wrong way. What kind of frum Jew is going to allow a bunch of liberals snot-faces to determine what kind of religious things, no matter how odd, he practices? However, if PETA were to infiltrate the religious community and convince the gedolim that kapores posed a tznius risk... After all, not only do many men and women come in contact with each other, but it sometimes happens that men hold females (chickens) and women hold males (chickens)! What a shandeh!

40 comments:

Altie said...

What is the world coming to?

Mottel said...

But that would go against PETA's other prime directive: to show off as much human flesh as possible in order to encourage their agenda.
Welcome back.

Altie said...

Do they really do that? Who runs peta anyway?

Crawling Axe said...

Hey, we already got Frum Satire for making fun of “Gedeilim” ®. You’re taking a business away from a fellow Jew!

Anonymous said...

altie: a bunch of jews run it.

e said...

People nowadays have such wrong ideas of what Judaism is about... this is why we have brands called machmirim milk.

Crawling Axe said...

What is Judaism aboot?

e said...

judaism is about following halacha and not adding on new chumros indiscriminately.

Crawling Axe said...

Aren’t chumros there to protect the following of halacha?

Also, saying that Judaism is about following halacha is neither here not there. It’s like saying that a car is all about engine working and wheels turning.

e said...

Too many chumros detract from halacha.

People start looking at Judaism as a machine, which can break in a million different ways, and they just gotta do their best not to touch it more than absolutely necessary, so that it won't break.

A couple months ago I read a great blog post about this. http://bit.ly/tneqo

Crawling Axe said...

But, even if you compare the presumably normal modern Judaism (free of excessive chumros) with Judaism after giving Torah, it also seems full of precautions. It seems there was no (halachic) concept of tznius (or a very limited one) for a long time.

Crawling Axe said...

(I am not pro–excessive chumros, mind you. Just thinking…)

Crawling Axe said...

Re: post: cute. :)

Anonymous said...

Judaism is about coming closer to Hashem, as much as a human being is able to do so. The vehicle for that is following halachah.

Chumros are indeed an important part of that, because they reflect a person's commitment to this relationship, just as much as a person who loves their spouse will naturally do extra little things for him/her.

The problem, though, is when chumros become an end in themselves. As just one example, e mentioned Machmirim brand milk. (And indeed, I think TRS (or some other Lubavitcher blogger, perhaps) wrote critically about the name.) The Baal Shem Tov and his disciples pointed out how vital it is, during Torah study, not to forget the Giver of that Torah; the same holds true for chumros - they must be used to augment, not to replace, a personal relationship with Hashem.

Crawling Axe said...

What’s machmirim brand milk?

Crawling Axe said...

So, where is the evidence that in this case (when people try to reduce intermingling between boys and girls) this is done not for strengthening relationship with Eibeshter¹ but as an end in itself?

________
¹ And (although that’s a separate topic) I personally disagree that that’s the point of Halacha. Who cares about your relationship?

le7 said...

(btw, this is TRS on my wife's account)

CA: Correct you are, but I don't think I violated hasagas gevul.

Anon: T'was not me who blogged about machmirim milk, though I do appreciate the sentiments. Actually, it's a brilliant capitalist ploy to pray on the weak-minded. The idiots are those who pay extra for the shtuff...

Mottel: Thanks. For more on PETA... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0exLa6saV9o

Altie: To somewhere or other.

Altie said...

Tis the end of the world as we know it.

e said...

Anon: Christians are all into having relationships with god, as if we're chums.

CA: Ostensibly that amolike rabbis have more authority than the heintike. So if the Talmudic-era rabbis made crazy far-fetched gezeiros, that was OK. Because their gezeiros have intrinsic value. The heintike rabbis' gezeiros are valuable only as far as they protect the essential core of Judaism which was formed--I mean revealed--during an earlier era.

Anon: mottel did a machmirim milk post.

TRS: very cute that you know have a wife from whose account you can comment, but you're going down a risky path. Remember the e-mottel mixups we used to have.

Anonymous said...

E: Granted that Talmudic sages had more authority and their decrees apply to all Jews equally, but that is primarily because of their ability to reach all Jews geographically. What is the source, apart from the belief that they were greater tzadikim than today's gedolim, that their decrees had more intrinsic value?

Crawling Axe said...

Well, their decisions were made through ruach ha’koidesh.

Crawling Axe said...

Also, any kind of historical arguments are very weak. Things were the way they were physically due to h"p — to allow for halachic changes corresponding to the spiritual changes happening at the time.

Anonymous said...

Crawling Axe @12:24: you're right, in the case under discussion I don't know whether their motivation is lesheim shamayim or lesheim chumra. But perhaps one clue is that there less extreme ways of dealing with the problem of mingling, than to abolish a centuries-old minhag that, after all, is meant to be a vivid reminder of Hashem's all-seeing presence in our lives.

Crawling Axe @12:24 note 1, and e @2:26: Mitzvah milashon tzavsa ve-chibur, no? So yes, one aspect of performing mitzvos is to bring about a deeper connection with the Metzaveh. The difference between our view and, lehavdil, that of the Christians is precisely that they think that the way to relate to G-d is through "spiritual" things such as faith, whereas we put primacy on actual tangible deeds.

(By the way, for the record, I'm not anon from 3:47 - I agree with CA's followup comments to it.)

Anonymous said...

"Well, their decisions were made through ruach ha’koidesh."

> Perhaps. But G-d gave the power of halachic ruling to the chachamim irrespective of their possession of ruach hakodesh. We follow halachic decisions because they are our rabbis; not because they had ruach hakodesh. Purported ruach hakodesh does not lend halachic rulings of old any more intrinsic value. For proof, please read Bava Metzia 59a-59b.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I (the second anon, posted above) AM the same anon arguing with e. and maybe ca.

Altie said...

Then do yourself a favor, and get a name.

Anonymous said...

Anon @4:18: from the point of view of halachah that is perfectly true, and anyway, "Yiftach in his generation is comparable to Shmuel in his."

But there is sort of a meta-halachic issue here. To declare an object off-limits to the entire Jewish People (which also, as Chassidus explains, means that the sparks of kedushah embedded in it are no longer able to be raised up) may indeed require ruach hakodesh. Similarly, to abolish a Minhag Yisrael that was sanctioned by generations of posekim and mekubbalim is also something not to be undertaken lightly. (See Yevamos 102a, that we wouldn't follow even Eliyahu Hanavi if his decision goes against the accepted minhag.)

Anonymous said...

Who exactly is abolishing something for the entire Jewish people. No rabbis do that anymore...Litvish gedolim lead their communities, chassidic communities follow their rabbis, and sepharadic communities follow theirs.

If you are referring to this tashlich thing, aside from TRS, Google has not supplied any information regarding this story, so I'll believe it when I see it.

Oh, and Altie, anonymity is good. That way, you can say whatever you want, unlike you and your blog. Since being published on chabad.org, crownheights.info, etc., you can no longer show your "true self" and are relegated to the persona you yourself denounce on your blog. Can you say hypocrite?...But at least your persona is somewhat righteous.

Nemo said...

So, to steer this conversation back from the high and mighty questions of halachik theory, I'd like to add a point to TRS's post:

When I was a bochur, kaporos was a good time to be around. Lots of girls are out at that time to check out. If you got real lucky, you might even be asked to hold some chick's (no pun intended) chicken and wave it over her as she shrinkingly said the kaporos stuff with the constant fear of getting shat on. If you were working the chicken distribution area, you would also get real lucky -- girls who would never speak to you all year long would have to approach you to pick up their birds, and then you'd get to show them how to hold it and maybe chap a touch as you pass it into their hands (not that I would ever dream of such a thing).

So yeah, if there was one thing the gedolim ought to work on ...

Mottel said...

Neemo: Real classy :) The truth is that every year in LA the chassidish kannoim would protest kapores in the back yard of the Yeshivah due to the ta'aruves.
Good times.

Mottel said...

A selfish moment: What's up this week? Why no answers on the riddle?

The Real Shliach said...

We haven't had a good anon in a while, eh?

On another note, it's quite strange, gmail is signed into my account and blogger into le7's!

Mottel said...

It happens alot. Best tip - get your own computers.

Altie said...

"Oh, and Altie, anonymity is good. That way, you can say whatever you want, unlike you and your blog. Since being published on chabad.org, crownheights.info, etc., you can no longer show your "true self" and are relegated to the persona you yourself denounce on your blog. Can you say hypocrite?...But at least your persona is somewhat righteous."

I have no idea what you're talking about. I am not a hypocrite, and if you want to insult me, at least do it on my blog.

sarabonne said...

Chickens are so romantic, I understand why it's such an issue.

C said...

blah blah blah (comments)

funny (post)

funny (sarabonne)

I commented :)

Mazal tov, btw.

e said...

C: the comments discuss matters essential to Judaism! How can you be so dismissive?

Cheerio said...

re:post: eye roll (at the content, not the writing. that was funny).
re:halachic discussion: guys (and/or girls) keep it going. its been a while since we got into it like this. wish i could contribute.
re:taaruvos at kaparos: guys, really? you might be looking at the girls, but the girls are too busy screaming at the blood and chickens to look at you. so thats just kinda ick.

e said...

Cheerio, if you'd show up on time, then you could be part of the action while the topic is still hot...

re: girls looking at guys, Chanalia's post is a poignant counterexample.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

First of all, taaruves at tashlich is old news. I refuse to comment.

As far as the development of halacha goes, I dont have the kop at the moment. All spare brain cells are devoted to chickens and recursion.

Kapparos: I shlug on money because I hold like the mechaber on chickens (יש למנוע)

Machmirim milk: That's nothing. They now have machmirim chicken with bedikas hareiah.