For an enlarged, easier to read index click here . To "google search" this site, scroll to the bottom of this page. (This site is best viewed with "Firefox")

(Tips: F11 key enables full screen viewing & Ctrl-F to search the index)



belle613 Posted - 29 January 2001 23:33
I’ve become frum thru ncsy, and ncsy has been an amazingly positive force in my life.

What I don’t understand is why so many ppl in this forum are ragging on it like its evil incarnate. just would like some clarification here.

MODERATOR Posted - 31 January 2001 17:34
huh? evil incarnate? where?

NCSY does a lot of good, but it has a big downside, too. It's what they call the "poroh adumah" effect -- makes bad good and good bad at the same time. The interaction between boys and girls that takes place there often has a negative effect on people's lives. That includes advisors as well. So depending on where you’re holding when you become associated with NCSY, it could have a very positive or a crushingly negative effect on you.

And the whole program is therefore subject to controversy, if it is permitted to have an organization that puts some people in danger in order to save others.

That's not evil incarnate....but it may well be something that many who are already frum but human would like to stay miles away from.

yehuda Posted - 26 March 2001 15:30
I'm frum, and do not generally associate with girls because I don't feel there's any use at my age (15), and it really distracts from my learning. I recently began to go to some NCSY events, and now feel more loose on the girl/boy issue. I think kiruv is very important, but is it good for a frum person to become less frum for kiruv? Also, once one gets involved, how can he/she break ties with the opposite sex?

MODERATOR Posted - 26 March 2001 15:42
Absolutely not. If you are becoming less frum and getting involved with girls because of NCSY then get out immediately. And that means now.

The way to break off ties is, in your case, abruptly. You got involved by accident, and you are just beginning to get involved. Just disappear, get caller ID, and avoid answering the phone when your female friends call as much as possible. If you do end up talking to them, tell them that you no longer talk to girls and you are not involved with NCSY anymore.

ptgard2281 Posted - 27 March 2001 19:25
Isn't that a little harsh? There must be another way of doing it. A friend of mine (who'd female) had a guy tell her the same thing -- she's still not over it because of the way he told her, and she still doesn't understand why he had to do it.

MODERATOR Posted - 27 March 2001 19:27
Boy-girl relationships are very strong. The longer you're into them the harder it is to get out. Like all addicting-habit forming behaviors, the earlier and the faster you get out, the more likely you are not to get back in.

Me Posted - 29 March 2001 17:26
I have a friend who goes to NCSY b/c she likes to be mekarev ppl and she is a member and anyway she tells me don't worry nothing bad is gonna happen I’m not gonna do anything wrong

and to tell you the truth she has helped many ppl of course she usually works with the girls and invites them for yom tov but whenever they have those shabbatons she goes and it gets me very nervous b/c of I know she won't avoid the guys and she even got close with one and she told me don't worry he's a good boy and he davens with so much kavana and she told me she's having her friend set her up on a shidduch with him and it gets me a bit worried...

what should I do every time I warn her and explain to her she doesn’t understand. I went thru a whole embarrassing thing asking a Rav a shaila about it for her w/o using her name so he thought I was asking for myself and it's going to far. and I don't know how to stop it!!!

MODERATOR Posted - 29 March 2001 17:39
You may be able to find in NCSY a sympathetic and understanding advisor that realizes that NCSY is doing harm to your friend and advise her to get out. If that’s not available beg her to speak to someone she respects about it. Guys mess with your head and its so hard to see yourself getting pulled in until its too late.

Me Posted - 02 April 2001 14:40
but I personally don't know anything about this ncsy where it is or who works with it all I know is that she goes to it!!! She doesn't believe that it could be pulling her lower b/c the truth is she has helped really many girls and even some are coming and spending pesach with her!!!! but she also is not realizing that she's being pulled down and that it's not good!!

SaraYael Posted - 03 April 2001 19:34
I used to not like NCSY for the reasons you are mentioning; boy-girl wasn't so much for me, I felt I wasn't in the right place. Over the summer and this year though- I did get more involved. And don't tell me it's because now I care less about halacha, or growing in Yiddishkeit- because I'm actually growing more and more thru NCSY. Yes, of course, NCSY could be bad for people- but it's their choice to do bad- and the majority are not like that.

If you look at NCSY through a selfish point of view- yeah- maybe you should be concentrating all your time in doing "what’s best for you", keeping your head n your seforim, or hanging out with your circle of friends who are exactly like you. But if you come to NCSY, knowing that you really can and will be helping hundreds of kids be more interested and come back to their Yiddishkeit- not only can you help them- but you will also help yourself. By working with baalei tshuva I've become so much stronger in my own beliefs, and even if it means being with boys, the positive effects are thousand times more.

Also on the issue of dumping your boy/girl friends since you decided not to talk to boys/girls anymore- and I really do respect that decision a lot and respect very much the people who make it- the other side has feelings to, and even though you consider it very important, realize also ve'ahavta l'reacha kamocha- you can keep halacha without hurting someone else- explain it nicely to the boy/girl.

MODERATOR Posted - 03 April 2001 19:52
The thing is though that if you want to be makarev people and work with Baalei Teshuva, you can do so without having to do with guys. There are plenty of Kiruv organizations besides NCSY. So if you can get the benefits without the problems, what's the point?

Also, you should know that being friends and, mingling with guys is prohibited according to Halachah (see the "Platonic Relationships" forum). How far, then, are you willing to violate Halachah to be Mekarev people? Are you willing to eat at McDonalds with non-religious people that you believe can become frum through your intervention? Are you willing to violate Negiyah in order to be Mekarev guys? How far exactly would you go, and how did you decide how much of your own Neshomah you are willing to corrupt for Kiruv?

Remember, too, that in NCSY besides having to do with the non-religious guys that you are being Mekarev, a greater issue is the fact that you will be mingling with other advisors, or Kiruv workers who are guys, becoming friends with them socially with no excuse that you are being Mekarev them. Such contact has been known to literally change the lives, for the worse, of course, of those involved.

The Mitzvah of V'ahavta L'rayachah Komochah does not require you to put yourself in spiritual danger for the sake of others. On the contrary - it is prohibited according to the majority of Poskim to put yourself in physical danger in order to save someone else's life; so too the Seforim tell us it would be prohibited to put yourself in spiritual danger (sofek sakanah) in order to save the spiritual life of another.

SaraYael Posted - 18 April 2001 2:14
for the moderator- In a way I sort of understand where you're coming from on your arguments- but in terms of the sofek sakana thing, that you shouldn’t risk your life for another persons spiritual life or whatever- what do you say to all those kids who have influenced so many others to become frum-

I personally know a bunch of my friends who are baalot teshuva that were really influenced not just by the advisors- but by the other kids their age. I don't think it's fair for you to say that all this is wrong.

MODERATOR Posted - 18 April 2001 2:21
The ends don't justify the means. What would you say if it wasn't socializing but real Negiyah that was going on between the advisors, and many previously innocent boys and girls went to this organization and ended up totally with full fledged boyfriends and girlfriends, complete with all the violations of Negiyah? Would you recommend going to an organization to be Mekarev people if that was the danger?

Or how about if people ended up eating treif because they went there? Or breaking Shabbos?

The prohibition of socializing with boys is equally part of the Torah as all of these. Yet nobody would ever justify a Kiruv organization where the advisors often end up violating Shabbos or eating in McDonalds. So why is this prohibition different?

Besides, there are plenty of Kiruv organizations that you can work for that do not carry the dangers that NCSY does. If you want to be Mekarev people, endangering your soul like that is not necessary.

SaraYael Posted - 18 April 2001 15:38
also- from what I learned- and I have a pretty frum Rebbi- that of course flirting and acting frivolously w/boys is bad- but there is no "Issur Deoraysa" or whatever for talking to boys- and if you hold there is then I respect your opinions because I don't know that much about halacha yet, but I don't think these message boards are the right place for me because to actually get myself to agree with a lot of your views would be letting myself be truly brainwashed- because I know that I could never agree- my main point is that NCSY can be problematic n certain circumstances- but I think as a whole it's amazingly good and productive for the continuity and spreading of true Yiddishkeit.

MODERATOR Posted - 18 April 2001 15:41
You "know you could never agree"? Even though you "don't know much about Halachah"?

You cant demand that the Halachah say what you want it to say. We have to follow what it does say. We don’t tell the Halachah what to do. It tells us.

Unless your rabbi has a way to disprove Rav Moshe's proofs, or at the very least an equal and opposite authority who disagrees with him (so far I nobody I know has found either), the Halachah will remain that it is in fact Assur Min HaTorah to have a friendly social relationship with boys.

yehuda Posted - 23 April 2001 17:20
Even if Rav Moshe does hold that being friends with girls is assur medioraita, are there no other shitot?

MODERATOR Posted - 23 April 2001 17:23
None currently on record. For someone to disagree they’d have to disprove Rav Moshe's sources, which isn’t going to be easy.

And this is for sure: Even if it isn’t an issur d'oraysa, it is certainly antithetical to proper Torah behavior, as anyone who learns anything about siyagim and gedorim can see, and as is clear form the Gemora and Shulchan Aruch.

belle613 Posted - 24 April 2001 17:19
Moderator, I totally disagree with a bunch of what you said about the advisors "not just socializing but being involved in full fledged Negiyah" in my region, the advisors are amazing and have influenced me to grow in so many ways, and are themselves PARAGONS of Tznius and proper conduct.

In fact, they are great role models for the kids that go there that need to be shown that you can be Tznius (both boys and girls) and conduct yourself properly around members of the opposite gender and still be cool. and when people don’t need ncsy, the advisors pick up on it and discuss seriously with them whether they should still be involved in ncsy, btw, its not like its entirely open-ended.

MODERATOR Posted - 24 April 2001 17:23
You’re not disagreeing with me Bella, you’re saying that the problems don’t happen in every single branch. Fine. But they do happen.

yehuda Posted - 25 April 2001 19:02
Moderator, you say that being friends with girls is Assur Mideoraita. Therefore, you are saying that being involved with NCSY (regardless of whether or not you are being mikarev), if you are friends with girls, is ASSUR.

If so, how can you also say it does a lot of good? If there is an organization that operates disobeying an issur medioraita openly, this is something that can do a lot of good? Please explain this contradiction. Perhaps it's not issur if someone's not frum yet (this does not seem to make sense)?

MODERATOR Posted - 25 April 2001 19:10
If I say a certain hospital is doing wrong by making abortions, does that mean they never cure anybody?

You can be Mekarev someone despite the fact that while doing so you’re becoming friends with the girl advisor next to you. If lets say we found out that advisors in a Kiruv organization were being served non-Kosher fish during Shabbatons. Does that mean they weren’t able to be Mekarev people? One thing has nothing to do with the other. So its wrong for the NCSY advisors to become friends with each other but they can still be Mekarev people.

Granted, its a tainted Kiruv and it may not be worth it if this is what they’re doing, but the people who are keeping Shabbos because of the organization do not disappear.

There is no rule that says that just because an organization does much good in one area, that they cannot be doing bad in another area at the same time.

Penina r Posted - 09 May 2001 14:33
Concerning NCSY

Yes it is true that ncsy is not for everyone. But for so many people it has done so much good. So many of my friends have become observant torah o mitzvos because of ncsy, the advisors the friends and the atmosphere has changed their entire life.

Now as for the guy girl issue, each person has judge them self according to their own individual level. If you feel that you are ready to not talk/ hang out with guys then ncsy is probably not the place for you to be.

But with Yiddishkeit its not an all or nothing proposition you get credit for what you do .... not everyone is on the level to say im not going to hang out with guys and give up my Shabbos atmosphere.

For some people ncsy is there only attachment to Yiddishkeit and even though its not for everyone I feel that if its not for you just please don’t bash ncsy... its not for everyone but there is not need to be mean, imagine if someone who is not observant see this page and people bashing their only link to Yiddishkeit.. can you imagine how that can turn someone off the derech.. every word has so much potential so please be careful with what you say....

MODERATOR Posted - 09 May 2001 14:45
Care means sticking to the truth when asking questions, not making everyone happy with the answers. One person's "constructive criticism" another's "bashing". If everything that has been said here is true - and it is - then it is not "bashing". And if an organization can only be successful if its members are not aware of the its dangers then the organization needs to change, not the people who point out the dangers.

yidfish Posted - 20 May 2001 15:34
Moderator, you apparently seem to be saying that NCSY does good, even when it does bad. This being the case, are you in favor of NCSY continuing their work?

If the answer is yes (which would seem to be the logical answer since many or most kids in NCSY have NCSY as their only real kesher to Yiddishkeit), what type of person would you recommend be staffing these events?

Obviously, staff is needed to ensure that things run smoothly, as well as to continue kesharim with the kids throughout the year by learning on the phone or other activities. Definitely, the staff people should only be people who can have a positive hashpaah on the kids; but yet, you've also said that it's dangerous (sakana for the neshama) for many people to be involved, even those who want to go into kiruv. Who would you pick to staff these things, then?

MODERATOR Posted - 20 May 2001 15:59
Whether NCSY should or should not be here does not depend as much on how much they accomplish but on how "kosher" their methods are. This is the rule when it comes to these things: Hashem knew, when He created the Halachah, that one day there will be an NCSY, and that it will be the only kesher many kids have to Yiddishkeit, and nevertheless he said do not mingle boys and girls together.

In other words, the ends do not justify the means. As Rav Yisroel Salanter said, "Our job is not to accomplish, nor to make things happen. Rather ,our job is to do."

We do not own the Torah so that we can say let's forget about this prohibition because by doing so it gives us greater returns. We don’t know what Hashem wants our actions to accomplish on this world, we just know what He wants our actions to be.

Look at it this way: Let's say NCSY wasn't merely involved in boys and girls being friends, but real, serious messing around. If you had a Kiruv organization that accomplished amazing feats, but it allowed, and even caused, boys and girls to actually mess around with each other - that includes maybe the advisors and maybe the kids. Would you say that it is OK for an organization to function like that?

Or what if they were doing worse than even that?

Or what if it wasn’t' Tznius that was being violated, but rather, let's say the advisors were eating in McDonalds while meeting kids there and successfully being Mekarev them.

Where's the limit to how much Aveiros you would allow because the good it does outweighs it? And what scale are you using?

Maybe even one Aveirah done by an advisor is not worth making 20 kids frum, since the kids were Tinokos Shenishbu to begin with, and therefore not responsible for their Aveiros, but the advisors were plain wanton sinners?

See, we can't make such calculations. We don't own the Torah. We just do what Hashem said.

And in the particular case of NCSY, the question is not even applicable, since they do have the option of changing their methods so that boy and girl advisors will be separate, like other Kiruv organizations. And even though its possible that they will not attract as many kids as they do now, but they will have the same extensive network through the OU, and they will be reaching a tremendous amount of kids anyway.

At that point, the question is should they allow boys and girls to mingle in order to attract even MORE kids?

And to that, the answer would have to be an obvious "no."

Even Rav Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg ZTL who permitted a Kiruv organization called Yeshurun in France that involved boys and girls both, demanded that they do not mingle - even the kids, surely the advisors - and that the advisors be total Yorei Shamayim. And even under those circumstances, many Rabbonim would not permit. And this was in France where this was the ONLY WAY to stop intermarriage and to reach the non-religious youth.

So the answer to your question of whether NCSY should continue or not is "(c) - None of the above". It should change, and make its methods safe and kosher, and then continue its wonderful work.

belle613 Posted - 20 May 2001 21:45
ncsy does not "allow" the kids or the advisors "mess around" at all-- kids get kicked off the shabbaton if caught, and such behavior is intolerable in advisors-- at least in my experience of ncsy

MODERATOR Posted - 20 May 2001 21:48
I know. The q was hypothetical. But as long as you mention it, the rule that disallows it is good, obviously, but it does happen sometimes anyway.

ptgard2281 Posted - 07 June 2001 17:13
Mod. I get a little upset when I see you putting down things like NCSY, put your finger on the fact that everyone has to do the right thing halachicly or they are no good, etc.

I tend to agree with the Lubavitch outlook that everyone does what they can and that if that's all they can do, so be it . . . it's between them and Hashem. Who are you to judge is NCSY is good or not?

I think that your attitude breaks up klal yisroel rather than bringing it together. Imagine how many Jews wouldn’t try to be Jewish without NCSY. Is it so bad that they might be some boy/girl mingling if these kids are learning to keep Shabbos, the torah, daven, etc.?

I am sure that there is no perfect Jew out there, and I don't see how you can possibly put NCSY down. You should look at what they do rather than at what they don't do or what you think they do wrong. I was never a part of NCSY, but I have friends who are very actively involved or are advisors, and I never hear anything bad -- in fact, the kids seem to gain so much more than they had before -- their first steps into Yiddishkeit. How you possibly belittle something so special?

MODERATOR Posted - 07 June 2001 18:11

The issue here is not who is "Halachicly no good". The issue is simple:

1) Is it right or wrong for you to join a Kiruv program knowing that there is a danger that if you join, you may end up doing Aveiros? In this case, it means ending up friends with guys.

2) It is proper to set up a Kiruv organization in a way that the environment will for sure lead to some advisors doing aveiros because of your program?

Obviously there is right and wrong in our religion. And Lubavitch believes that too. The issue that you are discussing is a different one. Namely, if someone does something that is wrong, what status does that give him?

To that question you mistakenly assume that someone holds "you become halachicly no good", whatever that means. The reality is that you cant judge someone's status so easily, because you don’t know the other person's situation, Yetzer Horah, etc.

But you can know what is wrong and right. You just cant know what it makes you if you do wrong.

You cant judge someone who listened to his Yetzer Horah and ate in McDonalds as being "halachicly no good", but you can definitely know that eating in McDonalds is wrong, regardless of whether the eater is now a Rasha or not.

The issue here is whether joining NCSY is proper or not, and if the entire program is proper or not to begin with. The issue you bring up is a different one entirely, that is, if someone does do something that is improper, what does that make them.

That issue was never discussed in this forum.

ptgard2281 Posted - 18 June 2001 18:35
"The issue here is whether joining NCSY is proper or not, and if the entire program is proper or not to begin with. The issue you bring up is a different one entirely, that is, if someone does do something that is improper, what does that make them."

Mod, you are saying the same thing as I am, only you are twisting it around. By saying that getting involved with NCSY is improper for whatever reasons, you are automatically belittling the religious status of the people who are joining it, saying that they have a yetzer hara controlling their wanting to be a part of such a kiruv group, etc.

You are, in fact, judging people -- if they are joining such a group, it is most likely because they want to become closer to Judaism, not guys or girls. They could just as well join the local "Y" if they had no interest in the Jewish aspect of NCSY and wanted to hang around the opposite sex.

My point is, though, that your thoughts lead right into what I had to say, and you are indirectly implying what I said by saying what you said. Maybe you don't realize what you have been implying, but ever since I started reading this forum, this is the impression that I have been getting from you. If that isn't what you mean, perhaps you should find another way to explain your feelings about NCSY.

yidfish Posted - 18 June 2001 20:54
Moderator, the purpose of NCSY is to be mekarev non-frum Jewish teens, and to give chizuk to those teens who come from frum families but who need chizuk.

NCSY does not encourage teens to fraternize; it simply recognizes that NCSYers are going to do so, so it tries to put the people in a good environment. Many of the kids that I know or have heard of would think nothing of going t to the mall Saturday (or even Friday) night and hanging out with the opposite sex.
By getting them to an NCSY shabbaton, the kids still might talk, but they would be in an environment where they can see others having fun in a more frum way.

Also - by having frum advisors come to the events, some non-frum kids might make a kesher with an advisor of their own gender. I know of a lot of kids who have decided to become frum b/c of NCSY. Also many kids, who grew up frum but went off the derech, have returned b/c of NCSY. (these kids might pose a problem for your theoretical situation of the kids being tinokos shenishbu and the advisors just doing averos. These kids probably don't count as tinokos shenishbu.)

Also - many kids that I know, both public and yeshiva day school kids, have decided to become "more frum" and stop talking to the other gender once they are out of high school. These kids, many of whom are going to Israel to separate schools, would never have even thought to stop fraternizing where it not for NCSY.

So even though you might say that NCSY gives an "OU" to fraternizing, it's only admitting that there's a problem and dealing with it. It's better for kids to hang out at a Shabbaton with kids and advisors of both genders than to hang out (or worse) at a mall, or a movie theater, on any day of the week (let alone Shabbos).

MODERATOR Posted - 20 June 2001 21:03

Judging someone is determining what they are. Determining if what they did is right or wrong has nothing to do with judging them - its judging an action.

If the Torah says don’t do this, that means if someone does it they are doing wrong. That’s not judging someone. If I say the fact that they did something wrong means they are evil, or no good, or whatever, that’s judging them.

I am saying that it is wrong to hold Kiruv groups where teenage boy and girl advisors interact. That’s not judging anyone. That's stating a value regarding right and wrong.


I understand that NCSY's methods help make kids frum, no question. And I also understand that they do not officially encourage or perhaps even want boys and girls to become friends, and do issurim. However, they set up a situation that inevitably causes that to happen sometimes. That is the problem.

Efraim Posted - 31 July 2001 19:44
I was reading through most of these posts regarding NCSY and a funny thought struck me.

Moderator, You encourage us to gain web access (by maintaining this site) although the dangers inherent (outside this site) are incredible but you justify it and the whole (at least as much as NCSY justifies their need for co-ed groups) by maintaining that a tremendous amount of potential good can be accomplished by taking advantage of the privacy inherent in this forum... How then can you say that although NCSY does a tremendous amount of good, since there is a potential (yes proven) for negative that we should stop the whole thing.

Would Reb Elyashiv who "asered" the web agree with this - a rhetorical question since I'm sure you have his o.k. - But would he agree with NCSY??

Another question. Rav Moshe ZTL was very aware of his Psak, how come he never gave a blanket issur for those who are already frum to attend NCSY? The answer is because for complex situations sometimes the concept of a blanket issur is not appropriate.

The Gmara has a shaila whether "Oimrim L'odom Chait B'shvil SheYizkeh Chavaircha"
Do we allow a person to commit an issur Drabonon to save another from an issur D'oraissa. Are you saying the same shaila would apply where one is considering putting himself in a matzov where he just might come to do an issur maybe you'll say here it's more of a vadai(certainty) but that’s not a P'sak just a svara. What's your source?

I agree that there's a real danger for one who is already frum to be involved in Kiruv in such a situation. But that doesn't mean that we stop the whole deal. How about Aish Hatorah's Tuesday night CHAVRUSA program in Manhattan (Man with Man, Women with Women but lots of intermingling) This would never get off the ground otherwise. Are you saying we should stop this (or change it so that it will be stopped in effect)? And if you do you know that many many would disagree.

MODERATOR Posted - 31 July 2001 20:01
The difference between this site and NCSY is that I sincerely doubt that anybody who refuses to have the Internet will change their mind and get it solely fir this site. So what we are doing here is taking people who already have internet access and improving their situation by giving them this site.

As opposed to NCSY where there are advisors etc. who would never have been talking to boys except for the fact that they are in NCSY. That makes their situation worse.

NCSY poses a danger for its volunteers, this site hopefully distracts its users from the dangers.

What Aish HaTorah is doing and what NCSY is doing are two different things. Aish HaTorah only causes the "mingling" of the non-religious Jews they are trying to me Mekarev. Presumably, those Jews were not against mingling with guys anyway. NCSY causes people who would otherwise NOT have been in this danger and puts them there.

Kids who are not religious, by coming to mixed groups, they are not going down. But for religious kids who otherwise WOULD be separate, it is a whole 'nother story. That's the problem.

There is so much Kiruv that can be done, enough to spend your whole life at, without putting yourself in danger of ruining your Neshomah with guys. So if the choice exists to do Kiruv through NCSY or a safe approach, what's the Sheailah?

Incidentally, the Gemora you mention comes out that we do NOT sin in order to prevent others from doing so (Shabbos 4a, see Tosfos for a few exceptions, none of which apply here).

yt613 Posted - 24 August 2001 15:10
As a former NCSY chapter advisor I would like to ad that looking at the situation of American Jews at our time when only about 7% (if not less) are orthodox affiliated I see how great is the impact of NCSY and how greater it should be, however I would certainly agree with the wise and experienced moderator about the problems that were discussed, I would just like to comment that the "moridin bakodesh" problem for frum kids should be supervised under the wise eyes of the respective married chapter advisor.

MODERATOR Posted - 24 August 2001 15:15
Supervision is not a realistic solution. It doesn’t work - experience shows that. When boys and girls mingle, they will become friends, exchange phone numbers and continue the connection, regardless of the level of supervision during official Kiruv sessions. Such supervision exists officially in many coed schools as well, and it doesn’t prevent problems there, either.

As far as the percentages, they are tragic. But we are not permitted, nor should we want to try to solve the problem in ways that Hashem has told us are wrong. That just makes us part of the problem, not the solution.

yt613 Posted - 04 September 2001 18:10
The question is, how are you going to get kiruv done in the world if people cant show up to begin with ?

By the way I agree with you 100% about the boy girl problem but what I meant by saying supervision was definitely not what you understood, I meant that even though its much better that they would have separate activities for boys & girls we can't tell frum kids don't come anymore because NCSY doesn't and sometimes cant provide them separate activities because in some areas there are not enough kids and for what you already have you would say a big "boruch hashem", so what I mean when I say supervision I mean trying to separate activities as much as possible for the frum kids and if there are cases that like you said will bring exchanging of phone numbers etc... it will sometimes be even proper to suggest what you suggest several kids - “it will be better for you not to show up”.

NCSY is built mostly for kiruv and like you mentioned this is not exactly the will of hashem but lets not kid ourselves, public school kids wont show up for separate activities.
Like you mentioned the numbers are tragic, we are loosing people for the lack of basic knowledge

So how are you going to get kiruv done in the world if people can’t show up to begin with ?

MODERATOR Posted - 04 September 2001 18:21
The only reason we do Kiruv is because it is the Ratzon Hashem - it makes Hashem happy.

So doing Kiruv in a way that makes Hashem unhappy defeats its whole purpose.

Like on Sukkos - there’s a Mitzvah to shake a Lulav, but if you steal a Lulav, it is not kosher.

So if the only Lulav you have available is a stolen one, can you ask: How will I shake a Lulav if I don’t steal it? Therefore I have to steal it!

No. In such a case, Hashem does not expect you to shake a Lulav, since the only way to do it is through a sin. Ones rachmanah patrei - It's beyond your control - you are an ones.

So too here, if the only way you can be Mekarev X amount of people is by doing things that violate the will of Hashem, then Hashem doesn’t expect you, or want you, to do it.

Now remember: the problem is not the non-religious kids themselves - they are "mixed" anyway, even without your program. The problem is the boys and girls who are doing the Kiruv and are put in spiritual danger from it.

So if you need (a) both male and female advisors who (b) will be able to form friendships with each other, then (c) you are not obligated nor expected to do such Kiruv.

yt613 Posted - 06 September 2001 20:23
As I mentioned before I agree with you 100% regarding the problem.
You have mentioned yourself that according to halacha there are issurim that everyone performs every single day that are much worse and still this one can damage more in the long term and that's why the NCSY is moridin bakodesh for the frum kids - and again, I agree!!!

I have a lot of experience with NCSY and I also know this topic halacha lemayse.

We raised here a major problem in the issue of "vehayo mchanecho kadosh" but NCSY exists (baruch hashem) and knows the problem - as someone who struggles with chinuch and discussed this issue with many Rabonim I want to hear your opinion regarding a - solution!!!

I'm not sure I'll have the opportunity to reply due to my lack of time problem but I must admit - that was fun.

moderator, I don't know you but as I can see the mission of lehagdil torah ulehaadira is very much a part of you and I wish you and the your colleagues hatzlocho raboh!

ptgard2281 Posted - 06 September 2001 20:23
Did you ever think, though, that males and females might be necessary, though?

Think about it -- put yourself on the side of the teens who have just decided to live a better life through becoming more religious. Fact is, you can't jump into the deep end from a life you've been living up until now -- it can be overwhelming and drive the teens away from wanting to be a part of the orthodox community.

Fact is, if there are some familiarities to ease them in, such as boys and girls together -- well, that makes the transition that much smoother. It's not like NCSY is saying "please make out with each other," rather, they are probably trying to make everyone feel comfortable.

And there are teens who do then go on to study in yeshivas, Israel and seminaries in America. And they do become more frum. I don't know how you can expect someone to just wake up and change one day.

MODERATOR Posted - 06 September 2001 20:38

The solution is to learn to do Kiruv the proper way. Rabbi Avigdor Miller was Mekarev thousands of boys and girls through his books without any programs at all, and the internet is a tremendous vehicle for Kiruv without any intermingling between boys and girls (you're on one such platform now). There are ways. And if you are going to say that not everyone will be reached through these methods, our responsibility, and G-d's expectations of us, end there. There is no way to predict which methods of Kiruv will be ultimately more successful, especially since much of this works through siyata d'shmaya (who would have thought that in the 70's the non-religious would be banging down the doors of Baal teshuva institutions?).


What is "necessary" is that we fulfill the Will of Hashem, and that necessity is the most important. The "necessity" of having boys and girls mingle in order to me Mekarev people takes a back seat to the necessity of the advisors not doing Aveiros.

Tuviah Posted - 11 November 2001 0:37
Thought I'd add my 2 cents in about NCSY. Two years ago at camp we asked our shiur rebbe for his thoughts on NCSY.

He responded that NCSY is like the parah adumah: the parah adumah is quite paradoxical. While it has the power to purify the impure, it also makes that are already pure, impure. Same thing by NCSY: it can have amazing effects on being mekarev people. However, if one is already frum, it is very unlikely that they will gain anything from NCSY. Not only that, they will most likely suffer damage as a result.

ptgard2281 Posted - 14 November 2001 16:59
If NCSY is THAT bad, how come there isn't anyone making a "better" kiruv group then to outdo NCSY? Or how come people aren't admonishing them publicly? I only have seen complaints on this forum and when they had trouble with that rabbi -- that's it.

MODERATOR Posted - 14 November 2001 17:03
There have been many non-mixed Kiruv groups and schools formed. Plus, Kiruv doesn’t have to have to be affiliated with an organization to be done properly.

There is no Mitzvah to admonish people is they will not listen. NCSY and the OU knows that their methods are not accepted by many, but they don’t care. Where it does help, the admonishments are provided - in every Yeshiva nowadays (except the MO Yeshivos who wrongly do not mind mixing of boys and girls) NCSY is prohibited.

Doctor Posted - 29 November 2001 15:00
Moderator, with all do respect, NCSY's many regions may have problems, but "boy/girl relationships" is the least of them.

This stems from the fact that you seem to believe that there is an issur Deoraysa involved in such activities. This is of course untrue.

Rav Moshe wrote a teshuva whose existence is your sole basis for this issur. Rav Moshe wrote many teshuvos. I hardly believe that you follow every conclusion Rav Moshe reached - especially in light of the fact that some published igros contradict each other.

I'm not arguing that such relationships are preferred, rather that your myopic, hard-line approach is simply total ziuyf Hatorah. You are being untrue to Rav Moshe, yourself, the Torah, and ultimately Hakadosh Baruch Hu Himself.

Spreading ones own views in the name of the Torah has been an historically destructive activity within Yiddishkeit. I look forward to reading more balanced and thoughtful posts on this site.

MODERATOR Posted - 29 November 2001 15:13
Neither Rav Moshe nor any other Posek I know of has written anything that contradicts the particular Teshuva in question. And apparently you don’t know any dissenting opinions either.

Rav Moshe proves his case quite clearly by quoting from the Ran and Avos D'Reb Nosson.

Every Teshuva of Rav Moshe - or any Posek of that status - is considered Halachah unless opposed by equal and opposite Halachic authority.

Your heter for boys and girls to be friends because you anyway don’t follow all Psakim even if they are unopposed is not a Heter but a confession.

You have provided us with not a shred of reason NOT to believe Rav Moshe, yet you say what he wrote if "of course not true."

Um, that's not how Judaism works. Sorry.

Doctor Posted - 29 November 2001 17:38
We obviously disagree on the what it means to prove something in a Halachic forum. If Rav Moshe believes there is an Issur Deoraisa the burden of proof is on him to make that case. In that teshuva I don’t believe that he does. Since when do we use Avos D'rabi Nasan for Halacha LMaaseh?

Additionally, if I recall, Rav Moshe’s proofs from the few Rishonim he quotes in that teshuva are all extrapolations - i.e. no one says anything along the line of "asur lihiyos chaver im haisha". I don’t think Rav Moshe adequately demonstrates that such an idea is Toras Hashem. It may have been his opinion, good advice for making policy, etc. but not such a broad and ill defined issur deoraisa.

We also seem to disagree on the nature of recent teshuvos. I see no reason to believe that if an achron writes something than his opinion then becomes objective halachik truth. Pesukim do that, the Sanhedrin could do that. One of the tenets of torah true Judaism is that we believe that after the Gemora was closed we could no longer make drabanas or darshen out new deoraisas.

Even concepts like daas torah have to fit into this idea. You've written yourself (echoing the Rambam) that just because it says in in a book doesn’t mean its true. Furthermore, as a Rav who is obviously well read, you must have encountered teshuvos that you disagreed with or found erroneous on some level. To make a blanket statement that all Rav Moshe's teshuvos are Toras emes unless written against by another Rav flies in the face of this. Additionally, to say that all teshuvos are binding unless argued on assumes that some overseers board has read through every teshuvos ever written. This is highly unlikely.

So I don’t agree that "Every Teshuva of Rav Moshe - or any Posek of that status - is considered Halachah unless opposed by equal and opposite Halachic authority." Rather ever teshuva of Rav Moshe must be evaluated on its own merits, taking into account of course ones own level vis a vis Rav Moshe.

Just as a 10 yr old should not ignore the New England Journal of Medicine, so too a young Talmid would be fool hearted to blindly dismiss Rav Moshe out of hand. But the other side of the coin is true as well. A full fledged MD has both the ability and the right to, if he feels confident in his own knowledge, to discount a NEJOM article when it comes to his personal patient care. To say every teshuva is binding I feel is as dangerous as saying every NEJOM article represents irrefutable scientific evidence.

"Your heter for boys and girls to be friends because you anyway don’t follow all Psakim even if they are unopposed is not a Heter but a confession.' I didn’t mean to say I don’t follow all psakim, rather I meant to say no one follows all of Rav Moshe’s psakim, in light of the fact that a number of them are contradictory and of uncertain authorship. Sorry for the misunderstanding. (Also, I know you didn’t mean it this way, this comes off as an ad hominum attack against me. I will please G-d avoid using these and I hope you will as well. Also, I want to apologize if anything I said came off that way. I'm relatively new to writing these posts and still have much etiquette to refine.)

My point about the teshuva is that it doesn’t prove there is an broad Issur Deoraisa involving "platonic relationships." And in Halacha unless you prove your point it isn’t accepted. And that IS the way Halacha works. So I still believe that it would be untrue to say that boys talking to girls is an issur deoraisa.

Finally you may be misunderstanding my intentions here. I do not mean to condone the unrestricted intermingling of the genders. There are many non Halachicly worded sources that seem to provide direction on this subject (ain apitrupus laarayos, tzarich lihisrachek etc.) as well as many full fledged deoraisas (certain yichud, negiya with an erva acc to the Rambam) and any number of derabanans (other yichud, negiya acc to the Ramban) and many minhagim that present a certain view of this issue.

Rather I'm bothered by the problems of Ba'al tosif. if we teach the children that something is Assur MeDeoraisa and then they grow up and cant fin the pasuk, medresh halacha, mishna, bavli, yesushalmi etc. where this "DeOraisa" is brought down we not only lose our credibility as educators but we have also opened the doors for them to question why its really assur at all.

Furthermore we run the risk of making Ikkarim tefalim and tefalim ikkarim. For example, by making electricity the paradigmatic issur shabbos - flicking a switch is almost always the example used when someone questions how shabbos is rest - we have inadvertently taken the spotlight of the Avos melachos and de facto misrepresented shabbos, and Yiddishkeit, in the public perception. I hope that was clear, unfortunately ein zman l'haarich ka'an (sic)

MODERATOR Posted - 29 November 2001 17:56
Fine, so you disagree with Rav Moshe.

To me, Rav Moshe makes perfect sense, not that he needs my approval.

Avos D'Rab Nosson is used often L'halacha. Why shouldn’t it?

We don’t disagree that when there is a qualified opposition to Rav Moshe that constitutes a legitimate Halachic dispute. What I refer to as an equal and opposite Halachic authority merely means "qualified."

There is no problem of Baal Tosif if you believe that it is included in the prohibition of Lo Sikravu.

Nobody is making new Gezeiros.

And there is no problems telling kids it is Assur because that’s what Rav Moshe told them, isn’t it? If a kid grows up to be a great enough Halachic authority to disagree with Rav Moshe, then he is surely learned enough to understand that his "educators" were merely doing the right thing - namely, espousing the Halachah as they see it.

Nobody is claiming that the Rambam writes "platonic relationships are Assur" (though even if he did, people would say it doesn’t apply to them). I stated clearly that the source is an Igros Moshe, but it is unopposed by anyone that I, or anyone on these boards, knows of. That, despite tireless efforts on the part of Modern Orthodox Rabbonim that I know of, to find some opposing opinion.

If you want to be the opposing authority and feel that you are qualified to do so, that's your business. But forgive me if I am not convinced.

danny Posted - 04 December 2001 19:14

Neither Rav Moshe nor any other Posek I know of has written anything that contradicts the particular Teshuva in question. And apparently you don’t know any dissenting opinions either.
Rav Moshe proves his case quite clearly by quoting from the Ran and Avos D'Reb Nosson.

In Pirkei Avos there is a halacha that one shouldn't speak too much with a women, and this refers to one's own wife. How much more so should he not speak to other women? Do people follow this law? I doubt it.

This law was created in order that men should not spend too much time with women, even with their own wives, in order that they should not be tempted by their yetzer harah but engage in holy endeavors.

So people take this law with a grain of salt, since it is obviously not meant as a hard and fast halacha, but rather as an eitza tova to become holy people. There is no reason to assume that the law in Avos D'Rabbi Nasan not to be friends with the opposite sex is meant as a hard and fast halacha any more than the law in Pirkei Avos. If it was a hard and fast halacha why is it not found in the Shulchan Aruch, especially if it is d'oraisa?
Why did klal Yisrael have to wait until R' Moshe came along to codify this halacha? The fact is that if one wants to he can find chumros galore in the area of tznius by looking into certain sefarim. Maybe sheitlach aren't enough since Satmar says so. Maybe a woman must wear seamed stockings. Maybe a man needs to look down to the ground in the presence of a woman. All this goes along with the fact that Orthodoxy (all Orthodoxy, not just Modern Orthodoxy) has been moving to the right over the last 40 years, especially in the area of tznius.

Prior to that, outside the Chassidic community, married women did not cover their hair, all affairs were mixed, and boys spoke to girls. Today's philosophy is that nothing is too tzniusdik.

MODERATOR Posted - 04 December 2001 20:27
Pirkei Avos never derived Al Tarbeh Sichah Im Ha'Isha from the prohibition of Lo Sikravu - the same prohibition as touching a woman - but it did with the prohibition of socializing.

But Al Tarbeh is not "taken with a grain of salt". The fact that people do not fulfill it means no more than the fact that people do not fulfill the laws of Loshon Horah, or many other Halachos. In all Seforim - including the Gemora - AL Tarbeh is taken quite seriously. In Eruvin 53b R. Yosi HaGlili was called an "idiot" (shoteh) because, when asking directions from R. Meir's wife, he said "What is the way we travel to Lud" instead of simply "Which way is Lud?". This was for violating Al Tarbeh.

The reason this is not adhered to as much as we would like - or as much as Chazal would like - is because simply we are weak. And we have integrated into society such that it is very difficult. But those communities where this directive is followed more strictly are certainly to be admired for it, for they are fulfilling the Torah.

Omission from the Shulchan Aruch does not imply non-existence. Never mind talking to girls: it says nowhere in Shulchan Aruch that you have to even have a Mechitzah in a Shul.

The prohibition of talking Loshon Horah is not mentioned in all of Shulchan Aruch, with the notable exception of Choshen Mishpat that says the report of the Shliach Bais Din does not violate Loshon Horah. That's it, nothing else.

You will also find very little in the Poskim about it, and until the Chofetz Chaim came along, there was nothing close to a real treatment of the topic.

But the fact that men and women are forbidden to mingle is in fact brought in Shulchan Aruch. Quote: "A man must stay very, very far away from women." (EH 21)

The Shulchan Aruch does not mince words. Use of the use of the word "very" is therefore rare. The phrase "very very much" is wildly unusual in the style of Rishonim, and in Shulchan Aruch it is used only in reference to staying away from women, and in reference to judges staying away from bribery.

And the reason there is very little literature about it is probably because it was never an issue - it was well known that boys and girls have no business being friends.

The young couple who wrote R. Moshe prefaced their question with the admission that what they are doing is not 'proper', and they merely want to know if they are violating a black and white Halachah.

The attitude that "I don’t care if its wrong, as long as its not a black and white Halachah" is not something that is found in the responsa literature in general. This demand - that something be Halachicly prohibited or it will be blatantly done regardless if it is wrong - is something that proliferated in America. Its not a real mystery that nobody demanded such an analysis before.

It is true that the world is becoming more religious - not "right wing", which indicates a political standpoint - the scale here is vertical not horizontal - we are getting higher - and that is because when we first came to America we got much lower. People worked on Shabbos, they ate not Kosher etc. It was so hard to be religious. Slowly, we are making our way back to where we once were. We still have further to go, but BH we are making progress.

tess Posted - 07 December 2001 18:07
I learned a Ramban (it might have been the Rambam I am not certain- e"H I will check the exact source and post it later) that said on yom tov we must make sure that teenagers are not socializing in their free time.

This example portrays without any doubt that mingling of the sexes is not a problem limited to today and it was not ignored or overlooked beforehand by Rishonim.

MODERATOR Posted - 07 December 2001 18:09
It wasn’t only teenagers. Men and women mingling was always a Yetzer Horah, and Klall Yisroel has always taken action to fight it, like any other Yetzer Horah.

grend123 Posted - 07 January 2002 18:08
Mod, I think you and everyone else posting about NCSY has missed a major point.

NCSY advisors, are pretty much never Bais Yaakov girls or guys from boro park... you keep on assuming that these advisors would never ever mix socially with boys and girls if not for NCSY, but in point of fact almost all of them are guys and girls who would be mixing anyways.

Regardless of whether mixing is ok or not (I know you say it's assur), the fact remains that its very rare for anyone who wouldn’t normally mix to start doing so through NCSY, because those people as a rule refuse to have anything to do with NCSY for other reasons (i.e., Zionism, etc. and because they feel the OU's food is kosher but its Hashkafos are treif, as you yourself have said in another post on these boards).

MODERATOR Posted - 07 January 2002 18:10
Its not nearly as rare as you think.

sefardigurl28 Posted - 17 February 2002 18:48
this goes back to posts on the 1st page about other shitot besides Rav Moshe’s. how about Rav Soloveitchik zt”l? is he considered frum enough? because what I've learned that his opinion is (and from pretty reliable sources too) is that in a healthy environment like school or ncsy, platonic friendships are ok and that of course further than that is wrong but that friendships don’t by definition lead to relationships.

MODERATOR Posted - 17 February 2002 18:58
For whom did he say that? And did he really say that at all?

The Shulchan Aruch says we should stay far far away from women. Avos DReb Nosson, the Ran and others (quoted by Rav Moshe) say that it is assur.

A quote from anyone, undocumented. is not good enough to undo everything we have on record for 500 years especially since we have no idea under what circumstances the statement was made, to who, and what the parameters are.

And what does it mean anyway? How often have "platonic relationships" (even if there are such things) turned into something more without any effort on the part of the friends? And what happens when you wake up one day and realize that the relationship is not longer platonic? You don’t always see that coming, you know. So what are we saying here -- that platonic relationships that "don’t become anything more" are OK, but how do you know when it will become something more? You often don’t realize that, until after it happens.

And does this mean 100% platonic? 95% platonic? What about the clearly existent but subconscious smiling and flicking back of the hair that often takes place in a "platonic" conversation between a boy and girl, and goes unnoticed to either?

Studies show that attractive girls happen to have more "platonic" relationships, and are more "platonically desirable" as friends than attractive girls, all else being more or less equal.

And, the extra smiles and light flirting happen much more often in platonic religionist with very attractive girls.

So until we have some solid basis, never mind confirmation, for such a ruling, as well as clarification regarding when and to whom it was said, and if it was really said at all it doesn’t help us much.

grend123 Posted - 14 November 2002 15:31
Im not going to argue the point about Seniors (although I disagree with the Mod here) but there is truly nothing at all you can have against Juniors - its fully kosher and there are even some advisors who simply do not talk to the opposite gender - in juniors this is not that hard (if you want to do it).

iluvnyc Posted - 15 April 2004 7:07
I have been involved in NCSY for a long time. I am serving my third year on regional board. There are boys and girls in NCSY in all different types of schools. Through NCSY I have become more religious. I don’t know about other Bais Yaakovs but the Bais Yaakov near me does not let girls do anything coed. I see it as ok to have friends of the opposite gender. There are kids in NCSY from very frum schools such as Bruriah and Haftr and YULA.

MODERATOR Posted - 15 April 2004 7:41
Grend and iluv,

in juniors this is not that hard (if you want to do it)

This still makes avoiding it the right thing to do. Nisyonos are nisyonos, and we pray every day for Hashem not to give them to us. Something that is "not that hard if you want to avoid it" is not good enough. We are told "it is better to avoid 100 measures of the permitted to avoid trespassing on one measure of the prohibited." Especially when it comes to gender mixing, that statement "if you want to avoid it" applies to no human being 100%.

Part of you does not want to avoid it, no matter how advanced or sophisticated your hashkofo or values are. "Nafsho shel adam machmadasan." - the nature (or: life, spirit) of a person wants it. Worse yet, the nature of this particular Taavah is that today you sincerely, honestly, totally would never do anything bad, but tomorrow your mind changes. Happens all the time. Hormones are drugs. You can fight the trip, but you’re playing with fire. Plenty of good people have fallen in such circumstances.

If a person is on a diet, and his friend warned him that if he walks down street A he will encounter the aroma of delicious pastries being baked, with a gorgeous display of deserts in the store window, he would thank his friend for warning him about it.

The nimshal is self explanatory.

Nobody is questioning the fact that people become frum through NCSY. What is brought into question is the advisability of choosing to do Kiruv that comes with these nisyonos versus Kiruv that does not.

trixies Posted - 06 May 2004 7:51
I am a frum girl and I have never been involved in ncsy but I know girls who have and all the girls I know who went 2 ncsy and talk 2 boys would have talked 2 boys anyway. you mentioned on this forum that when girls and boys are together they start exchanging phone # etc. that may be true for younger teens, but I don’t think that that always holds true.

I participated in a function that was run by both girls and boys. the girls and boys were both from pretty frum schools and I didn’t see boys talking 2 girls w/ the exception of the kids from the coed school. I guess this is just one example, but I know of shidduchim that came about thru ncsy, so the girl/boy relationships aren’t all bad, in addition to the ppl who become frum from ncsy (I know of ppl like that too) my school is a very mixed type of school so I think that a girl who wants to talk to boys can find ways w/o ncsy (and I know lots of girls like that too)

MODERATOR Posted - 06 May 2004 7:54
The fact that problems don’t happen "all the time" isn’t an answer. People don’t "always" fail a nisayon, but the fact that they have opportunity to do so, and that it sometimes does so, makes it a nisayon - and we want to stay away from them.

Kiruv is a wonderful thing, but the point is that you do not NEED to put yourself in these nisyonos to do Kiruv. There are plenty of ways to do Kiruv safely, and the need for Kiruv is so great that you will be able to spend all the time you allocated for it in a safe environment without worrying about whether you should run to NCSY.

rOnBoNbOo Posted - 18 August 2004 11:47
NCSY started alonggggggggg time ago. it has been helpful for some and bad for others. my grandfather z"l was the regional director of the midwest/mesorah region alongggggg time ago. right before he made aliya I asked him about it, why is it coed? and on that note if ncsy is to be mikarev people we don’t just want them to be shomer shabbat and kosher but shomer nigeya right and all the other mitzvot and when it is coed the nigeya thing can be a lil problem.

Well he said that no1 would participate in ncsy if it was separate also from what I see (I used to be orthodox and am now not but am participate in ncsy which is helping and planning on going to seminary next year in Israel) its really not as bad as ppl make it seem.

I understand the para aduma thing how when a person becomes good a person goes bad etc. but I also see all the good and it outweighs the bad. the advisors are incredible. for those of you who don’t know much about ncsy there are 2 programs jr ncsy 5-8th grade and sr ncsy for 9-12 grade to be a sr ncsy advisor u need to have graduated high school gone to Israel for a year and b like in your second year of college.

The advisors are incredible people. even the gasp guy advisors. at the last shabbaton I was in a session and the leader was a guy advisor actually 2 and the topic was time and like there was a program so he had many things to say that were prepared but the thing that is most inspirational well really about the whole weekend is that its not just stories that are made up or about ppl that most of us never heard of but its about us.

I have a friend who keeps kosher and shabbat in her basement because her family doesn’t, but that doesn’t stop her, or I have another friend who had to beg her parents to let her go to a Jewish high school and although when she first transferred there she was not orthodox she is going this coming yr to darchai bina, ncsy helped her with that or my guy friend he didn’t go to a Jewish high school but he stayed frum and he wasn’t planning on going to yeshiva in Israel next yr but ncsy got him in.
I think that, that’s a good thing and why wouldn’t people want to participate in it. I don’t think it influences for that bad, a person doesn’t have to mingle with the opposite gender that is their decision. a person can go tho and grow because of all the torah learned and the inspirational stories.

MODERATOR Posted - 18 August 2004 12:00
Nobody questions that fact that NCSY is Mekarev people. And nobody questions the fact that there are kids who will only go there if it is coed. The issue is if you, as a frum Jew, have a choice whether to do Kiruv via NCSY in coed environment or to do it in a more Kosher environment, the answer is to choose the more kosher environment.

NCSYQUESTION Posted - 02 January 2005 19:45
Moderator-Can you please explain to me some points that are still not clear?

You didn't explain why chateh beshvil shetizkeh (according to Tosfos)doesn't apply regarding NCSY.

Aren't Tosfos' two requirements ((1) that it be a mitzvah rabbah and (2)that the bad situation must not have been the result of peshiah on the part of the person who needs the "zechus" )fulfilled here.

Making totally non frum kids religious is a mitzvah rabbah and it is not their "peshiah" that caused them to be nonfrum in the first place. But the truth is, that is only matir any devarim beteilim that a counselor talks to a kid of the opposite gender, because he is doing that in the interest of kiruv. But the intermingling of the counselors among themselves is not for the purposes of kiruv and totally unwarranted and unnecessary (as the Moderator pointed out).
Is this correct? Please explain?

So seemingly, the issue that confronts a potential advisor deciding whether to go is if it's mutar (or a chiyuv) to be machnis himself into a safek sakanah (ruchani) in order to be matzil his friend from a vadai sakanah (ruchani), as the Moderator pointed out in one of the posts.

But my question is: isn't the question of being machnis yourself into a safek sakana to help somebody else in a vadai sakanah only relevant if the sakanah that you end up being put in is forced on you by another force or something else- but not a sakanah that YOU put YOURSELF into at a later time. Because being an advisor at some NCSY shabatton doesn't end up in you being FORCED to speak to advisors of the opposite gender- the advisors do that out of their own volition. So isn't this completely unrelated to putting yourself into a safek sakanah and therefore this should be ASSUR with no questions asked?

Am I correct Mod? Do you have any mekoros in poskim that talk about this issue, because this seems completely unaddressed (to my knowledge).Thank You. Good Shabbos.

MODERATOR Posted - 02 January 2005 20:08
It was not addressed because it is not material to the discussion.

The principle of chatoh bishvil sheyizkeh is only relevant where you need the aveirah in order to be mezakeh someone else with a Mitzvah. But you don’t need a mixed Kiruv group to me Mekarev someone - you can always go and be Mekarev someone of the same gender in a non-mixed environment and be mezakeh someone with the same Mitzvah. There is no bigger mitzvah to be mekarev a girl more than a boy. And since the supply of same-gender Kiruv prospects is not going to be depleted, you don’t need the aveirah at all.

Second, the principle only works when upon doing the aveirah you are certain to be mezakeh someone with a Mitzvah. But you may or may not succeed in making your prospect frum at all. Kiruv is kind of like playing baseball --- you try for a home run all the time, but if you hit 3 out of ten you’re doing great. Neither the Gemora nor Tosfos says you can do an aveirah in the hope of maybe being mezakeh someone with a Mitzvah, and maybe not.

Third, even in a case where the Mitzvah is guaranteed, all it says s that you can violate a single aveirah a single time in order to be mezakeh someone with a Mitzvah. But it does not say that you can violate an aveirah over and over, accumulating many aveiros in order to be mezkeh someone else. The idea of Mitzvah Rabbah is clearly in order to tip the balance between the Zechus the other person gets and the Aveirah that you are doing. But multiple aveiros may accumulate to outweigh a Mitzvah Rabbah. And since you have to spend much time doing this aveirah in order to be mezakeh the other with the Mitzvah, you have no source that it is permitted.

For the record, there is a machlokes Rishonim whether one big aveirah is worse than several small ones or vice versa. The difference manifests in a choleh on shabbos who needs in order to be cured, lets say, 5 kezaysim of meat. You have 5 kizaysim of non-kosher meat available, and he can eat them, thereby incurring 5 aveiros, or you can shecht a cow on shabbos, getting one aveirah, but one that is greater than eating treif. There is a machlokes Rishonim which is better.

There is much discussion about the topic of many small aveiros vs., one big one - and that machlokes is central to all of them.

In any case, there is a big difference between someone doing an aveirah, thereby being mezakeh someone else, versus doing many aveiros in the hope of maybe being mezakeh someone, when you don’t even need to do the aveiros in order to provide the same zechus to someone else.

On another level, there is also the idea that even Pikuach Nefesh is not permitted when it is done on a constant, hefker basis. As the Chazon Ish said - chilul shabbos is permitted for pikuach nefesh, not bittul shabbos. Meaning, pikuach nefesh must remain the exception. Once chilul shabbos becomes the norm, and shmiras Shabbos the exception, even pikuach nefesh is not permitted. And so, institutionalizing the idea that anyone anywhere can always and does always perform this aveirah in order to be mekarev people is not the same as the case of Tosfos. You are not talking about chilul of tznius, you are talking about bitul of tznius.

If you are going to apply the rule of chatoh bishvil in Kiruv circumstances, you would also permit eating treif in order to be mekarev people, such as, lets say eating with them in trief restaurants if that’s the only way they will meet you, or if that will impress them and maybe thereby they will like you, or whatever. That is assur, and for the above reasons and more, chatoh bishvil does not apply.

holyjew Posted - 30 October 2006 16:00
I went to ncsy for a couple of years and was recently a regional president. I totally understand some of the issues brought up, but you must understand one thing. and that is that these teens who enjoy ncsy and what it has to offer as well as what they learn from it are mislead by experiencing certain things that they do not want to - such as the offer of drugs and what not (as others have mentioned. 1-its not a policy of ncsy to have these experiences and therefore ncsy tries its best to deny those people who bring trouble to the environment in which they create and 2, its a part of life. chances are that somewhere down the line (college maybe)these teens are going to be confronted with the same issues that they face at a shabbaton.

Nothing can be perfect and ultimately, its up to who your friends with. but if you experience something like the drug example, that doesn’t mean you should jump ship. ncsy does try to bring secular Jews and religious Jews under one roof and in doing so they find that a large percentage of the time it works for the good. of course its not going to work for everyone, but those people who feel insecure with being with secular Jews and rubbing off in the wrong way are weak and therefore need ncsy even more. they need this practice for the real world. if they are scared of others leading them in the wrong direction they should just confront an ncsy advisor or rabbi to aid them, because ultimately it will benefit them tremendously down the road. if people try they can succeed.

Of course no one organization is for everyone and therefore I can understand if one just doesn’t feel comfortable for some unknown reason. but truthfully, there’s no Jew that cant enjoy an ncsy shabbaton and gain from it if s/he has the right mindset.

MODERATOR Posted - 30 October 2006 16:37
Every day we pray to Hashem not to put us in Nisyonos. What you are describing is a Nisayon. Your opinion is that "with the right mindset" people should not mind. Yet you don’t really know that to be true - how could you? You know how people will react to Nisyonos? You have no idea who will pass the Nisayon and who will fail.

And we should not advise people to put themselves in Nisyonos. We should advise them to stay away from Nisyonos, and that means such environments as you describe. Kiruv is a wonderful thing, and there are so many ways to do it without the temptations that exist in mixed environments.

Advising someone to put themselves in such a position and assuring them that "with the right mindset" they need not worry is naive, and destructive.

No comments: