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)


HALACHA-----shomer negiya

mt Posted - 05 July 2000 15:49

What exactly are the halachos of Shomer Negiah? From where exactly are the sources?

hopeful Posted - 07 July 2000 13:03

Moderator: Isn’t the term shomer negiya as valid as shomer shabbos? After all there are people who are not "shomer" both things.

Also in many circles it is a very big accomplishment to become "shomer negiya" and I think the battle that guys and girls fight in this "shmira" is tremendous and should not be belittled. Just as those who struggle to keep shabbos need recognition of their accomplishments.

MODERATOR Posted - 07 July 2000 13:18

The phrase "Shomer Shabbos" comes form the posuk, "shomor es yom hashabbos", which is why only Shabbos is referred to in this context. No other Mitzvah is referred to thus. So why is Negiyah different?

In other words, have you ever heard of a frum person saying "I am not Shomer Shabbos"? or "I am not Shomer Kashrus"? Even if he has a hard time fulfilling the laws? Would he describe it this way? He would not. So what does it mean when an otherwise frum person says "I am not Shomer Negiyah"?

I was not belittling in the slightest the struggle many have with this or any other Nisayon. Please read my posts again.

But struggling means that you know it is wrong, you wish you didn't do it, but your Yetzer Horah overcomes you, since you are only, after all, human.

That's fine. We all have to fight out yetzer Horah.

The problem is - and this is what I was belittling, because it is, as I said, "intolerable" - when people make not being "shomer negiyah" a Shitah, where they say "I am not Shomer Negiyah" as a statement of policy rather that human weakness. They are saying "I don't believe there is anything wrong with it". Or, "I don't care".

I have even heard guys say it with pride.

The struggle against the Yetzer Horah is the most admirable thing in the world, even if we often lose. And those who are struggling with this Yetzer Horah are heroes, even if they often lose. But those struggling are, as a matter of policy “Shomer Negiyah”. Those others, who do not believe it is wrong, or do not care, are not struggling against their Yetzer Horah – they are struggling against Hashem.

akiv44 Posted - 12 July 2000 14:52

Shomer negiyah is a rather recent invention of the rabbis. We see this because no classical Jewish books actually say "shomer negiyah"

And there is a concept. that technically negiyah is ok bli derech chibah

MODERATOR Posted - 12 July 2000 15:51

Yeah, except the phrase is only used in Modern Orthodox circles, and I don't know if the rabbis or the people made it up; it certainly wasn't ALL the rabbis, if anything, it was merely those within a certain community.

Re derech chibah: The Halachah (see Rambam above) prohibits negiyah even in a non-affectionate manner. Casual negiyah is also prohibited -- see the Steipler's Letters quoting the Chazon Ish for details -- even if it doesn't "mean anything". Even regarding a simple handshake between strangers, Rav Moshe writes that you should not rely on this as a heter.

There is a permit, however, for professionals such as doctors and others, even in a non-pikuach nefesh situation, where the contact is purely for professional reasons.

mt Posted - 14 July 2000 13:53

Att: Moderator

Thank You very much for clarifying the Halachos. It is very clear to me now & I can prove it to someone with a source.

akiv44 Posted - 14 July 2000 13:53

But aren't the rulings of the Steipler and the Chazon Ish (concerning bli derech chiba) just chumrot that we don't necessarily have to take upon ourselves?

And the Rambam has some rulings that we don't really follow. For example he said we can't get drunk. A lot of us get drunk on simchat torah.

MODERATOR Posted - 14 July 2000 14:02

No, Akiv, the rulings of the Steipler and the Chazon Ish here are not chumros at all. They are ironclad, basic, full-fledged binding Halachos, as they explain themselves.

The only way you have a right not to follow them is if you produce Poskim of similar stature that disagree, which you will have a difficult time producing, trust me.

akiv44 Posted - 17 July 2000 12:56

OK assuming I go by the Chazon Ish and Steipler Gaon (and that’s a big if:-) Their ruling is still impractical.

I do believe in the concept of shomer negiyah in a philosophical sense. I try not to touch girls even in bli derech chiba. But lets say you go to a coed camp it's impossible to walk down the hallway and NEVER once accidentally touch a girl. That’s what I call bli derech chiba. And I think god would understand....

MODERATOR Posted - 19 July 2000 20:04


Unintentionally brushing by a woman is not an aveirah. The prohibition is when you have intention to TOUCH, regardless of whether you intended the touch in a non-affectionate manner.

However, where you have no intention to touch at all, as in your case, or in a case where your contact is completely "professional", such as a doctor, there is no problem.

akiv44 Posted - 20 July 2000 15:32

Ok good that clarifies things

mevaseret Posted - 20 July 2000 15:32

Please explain the following:

Rav Danzig (Chachmat Adam) says in Hilchot Ishot 125:2 that "lo tikrevu" is referring to

1. hugging and kissing a woman that is forbidden unto him or

2.receiving enjoyment from the closeness of flesh and furthermore if one hugs and kisses for appetite(taavah) it is asur (forbidden).

It seems to imply that simple touching that is not affectionate is not forbidden.

Furthermore, throughout 125 he seems to say that the whole reason for "lo tikrevu" is not to come close to having sex, so why is it wrong to touch?

Another question is isn't women's tzniut learned from "kol kevodat bat melech pnima?" How does that come to be used to restrict women's behavior as much as it does?

- 20 July 2000 15:51

Lo Sikrevu - the Torah prohibition of touching - is referring only to affectionate touching, according to the Ramban (the Rambam argues, and holds that even non-affectionate touching is included in the possuk) but besides Lo sikravu, there is a Rabbinic prohibition of touching that includes even non-affectionate touching, even according to the Ramban.

Also, "getting pleasure" from physical contact does not mean that you have to touch for the purpose of getting pleasure. Any touch, no matter what the purpose, that can result in getting any pleasure whatsoever is prohibited. That is irregardless of the intent of the touch.

As far as the “purpose” of the lo sikravu, “coming close” does not mean the colloquial “close call”, but rather “the first step” of arayos. So you can translate the posuk as follows:

Do not do an act that is the first step people take when having sex. This does not mean the act is prohibited only when the subsequent steps follow. Even the first step alone is prohibited, without any other steps.

In other words, although it is true that not every touch leads to arayos, but every act of arayos begins with a touch. And the posuk is prohibiting the “beginning” of arayos, even without the end. Meaning, the touch. The only disagreement is whether it is the ACT itself that is prohibited – the touch – or the ACT plus a certain intent – an affectionate touch – that is prohibited here. But even the Ramban agrees that a non-affectionate touch is prohibited, albeit D'rabonon.

As far as Kol kevuda bas melech pnima, the answer is that kol kevuda is only one of many places that define Tznius. For each Halachah, there are different sources. Not all of them are from Kol kevuda.

artzanu Posted - 24 July 2000 21:37

I find myself once again defending Modern Orthodoxy. Although I do not consider myself modern orthodox. Nor yeshivish.

It is said by the Chofetz Chaim Zt"l that when one speaks loshon hara against a group of people one must ask forgiveness of every member of the group. The implication that all of modern Orthodoxy has changed our religion and now accepts being non shomer is quite false.

It is true that there are many individuals, maybe even a disproportionate number of youth who will define themselves as "not shomer" but there are also yeshivish youth who do the same. In each case some know they are wrong and are just not ready and some actually feel that is right - that may be more common in M.O. Youth but that does chas v’sholom a reason to say or believe that a whole community has changed the definitions of halacha!

These are individual people who for whatever reason either are unaware, believe falsely or are making excuses to excuse their behavior so they wont feel guilty. But this is not an act of the entire modern orthodox community. Find me 1 modern orthodox rabbi who says you don’t have to be shomer.

Do you think that Rav Norman Lamm would permit it? (and im not referring to handshakes which there clearly are other Gedolim who hold it is ok under certain conditions - an opinion you have not mentioned in another area) but where not talking about handshakes here anyways.

There is an article regarding the Modern Orthodox by a famous professor (I don’t remember who at the moment) But it basically divides the modern into two types those that just use it as a crutch and excuse and those that are very sincere but really believe in the ideology of integrating with the modern world, torah umada etc. that’s a very brief summary so don’t quote me on that but you get the gist.

Anyways I feel it is very wrong to speak lashon hara on the entire M.O. community clearly it teaches is the wrong lesson. and causes much frustration to kids being brought up in Modern (but sincere) families. and it leads to sinat chinam. so please read the chafetz chayim and learn the facts about what modern orthodoxy really is.

The same way you cant judge the yeshivish by the "bums" you cant do that with the less sincere modern youth.

It is sad that when modern youth look to become more frum hey turn to other circles instead of remaining in their fold and inspiring others in their community. many become yeshivish others like me became a Rav kook/settler type - at least that’s what’s in my heart.

MODERATOR Posted - 24 July 2000 22:05


Nowhere have I implied that “that all of modern Orthodoxy has changed our religion and now accepts being non shomer”. I agree that's not true. I purposely did not say that. What I did say was that

(a) There are communities that do believe that “shomer negiyah” (sic) is optional. Although you can always find individuals with messed up ideas, as communities, you will only find this among the Modern Orthodox, and

(b) Such communities, and others who have similarly twisted the Torah, are intolerable, and are guilty of a terrible sin of changing the Torah.

It does not imply that ALL modern orthodox believe this. All bears are animals, but not all animals are bears, know what I mean?

It does not matter that the rabbis would not agree with them – the rabbis’ culpability for allowing this to happen is another topic – I am referring to the bungalow colony that advertised as a “Modern orthodox” colony, and when they were called up and asked what that means – this really happened – they said “It means we have mixed swimming.”

They have changed the Torah.

I am referring to those orthodox high schools that some of my friends’ wives went to that used to sponsor PROMS with mixed dancing.

They have changed the Torah.

I am referring to those Orthodox women in the Five Towns and Far Rockaway (New York) who responded to a community-wide plea by their rabbis that women dress according to Halachah, with a PETITION stating that they dress with “dignity and modesty” (albeit not according to the Halachah) and that is enough, and the rabbis should worry more about Loshon Horah than their skirt lengths.

They have changed the Torah.

I am referring to an Orthodox school where I used to teach, where I was told by the principal that we “cannot” tell the girls that the Halachah is they cannot be friends with boys, not because it isn’t true, and not because they will be “turned off”, but because “that’s not how they are brought up”. (When I asked about can we teach them about Kashrus or Shabbos even if they are brought up differently, the answer was that boys are different since “this is how they define their Orthodoxy”).

They have changed the Torah.

I could go on. This only takes place among the Modern Orthodox, sorry, but it’s the truth. Although there are imperfections everywhere, you will never see a Chareidi defend himself by saying “It doesn’t matter if we speak Loshon Horah, as long as we speak with dignity and modesty”. Wrong is wrong, right is right.

Not all Modern Orthodox are in the above category, and I never said they were. I never even said the majority are. All I said is that this intolerable attitude originated there, and exists, as far as communities go, only there.

The fact that the rabbis do not permit it openly only makes their sin worse. It means they cannot excuse themselves by saying they follow a different Halachic opinion.

I do not want to discuss individuals in public, so please excuse me for not responding to the Dr. Lamm thing.

Re: handshakes. I never discussed it yet. Please see the next post.

Harmonypal Posted - 24 July 2000 22:44

I know ppl always ask this, but about shaking a stranger's hand. if a guy comes over to me and sticks out his hand, am I allowed to shake it?

And if I’m not allowed and I did because I had no choice? Is that ok? I mean what could happen?

MODERATOR Posted - 24 July 2000 22:48

The majority of Poskim hold you cannot. The Chazon Ish and Rav Moshe Feinstein are among these. It is a question of a serious Torah violation, and so the proper behavior would be not to shake.

What to do: What I do - and I get into this all the time - is to smile and politely say, "I'm sorry, I do not mean to offend, but I can't shake hands with women according to my religion.". I have never had a problem. It takes a bit of guts, I know, but it's worth it to avoid a possible issur d'oraysah.

mevaseret Posted - 25 July 2000 12:52

artzanu- why would you have to defend the modern orthodox movement? I do know of a few modern orthodox rabbis who say that shomer negiyah is a chumrah.

As for what you said about modern orthodox youth, to my knowledge, many attend modern orthodox schools where a minority are actually observant of shabbat and kashrut (out of their own free will), which then presents problems. Many are conscripted into "year in Israel programs," to straighten out.

The modern orthodox community is a great community. Look at the Chatam Sofer- he said "kol chadash assur," and later his son did not become "The Rabbi" of the community.

I know I will receive negative remarks for saying this, but as a matter of conscience I must. Of all the rabbis I have ever studied / heard about the only one I really admire is Rabbi Zechariah Frankel(of the conservative movement).

No, I do not happen to be conservative. I would consider myself a person who is committed to a life of Jewish identity(Klal Israel), Torah, Talmud and Israel.

Moderator- What about the possibility of embarrassing the person? What is it that you actually do (employment) where you find yourself telling women that it is against your religion to shake their hands?

And, how can you be an "ohr lagoim" when you present yourself in said manner (how many women walk away thinking-'that male chauvinist' or 'Judaism is such a sexist anti-women religion')? M

any orthodox rabbis shake women’s' hands without hesitation. It is a professional courtesy with absolutely no sexual implication(think about it, would you shake a guy's hand? if you are heterosexual and answer yes, how can the same action with a woman have a sexual connotation?)

artzanu Posted - 25 July 2000 12:52


I appreciate your clarification regarding some vs. all modern orthodox. I understand you never said it but when people see certain statements unless they very specifically see that you do not mean all people assume and associate things and just others, which also causes sinat chinam and lashon hara against many good Jews.

I’m not sure how you define a community I'd prefer not to use examples but take Teaneck for example ( you can cross out name if you wish) There are all different types there of modern from YU smicha guys and others on the right to those who say "I’m not shomer" I went out with a girl from Teaneck who is planning on making aliya, she’s very religious and idealistic and she never was nor would be "not shomer"(sic)

If I remember if there is one mezuza a place is not an Ir Hanidachas In all of these communities there are people who do these wrong things and people who don’t hence there is no Ir Hanidachas.

I will agree with you that there are probably a larger percentage in modern orthodox circles who will say they are not shomer, but I happens with yeshivish kids too.

But probably there are a larger amount in modern orthodox who claim to be good Jews and maybe don’t realize its wrong. Its still far from a majority.

In regards to mixed swimming my father and I know someone who always says the Young Israel should take to bet din those people who advertise as being "Young Israel" colonies and then say mixed swimming. I go to a Y.I. and 90% would never go mixed swimming. same thing with M.O. except there is no Modern Orthodox organization who can sue or take anyone to bet din, so what it boils down to is anyone can use the term as they wish. Unfortunately both terms have often come to mean mixed swimming and that is sad.
but the people who wrote them are often the non frum owners anyways advertising.

In effect there are many modern orthodox who wont go to a bungalow that calls itself M.O (if they have mixed swimming) and even more who do go but will not go mixed swimming never the less.

many will be made feel unwelcome in more yeshivish bungalows by at least some of the people while others will try to "mekarav them" from their moderness (and I’m talking about the good ones who don’t go mixed etc)

I cant discuss the PROM issue cause I don’t really know, the only case of this I ever heard of was a girl online that I helped make her frum, she went to a orthodox school for her last yr and the kids some of who are not religious organized a prom.

I did not hear a thing about the 5 towns incident and I assume those woman irrelevant of what they call themselves if they really dress not tznius and do not have a posek back them up then they do not represent modern orthodoxy.

I don’t know why that principal gave you that answer. But that is him. The usual reason is because it will turn them off, and/or because if a person is not ready to do something and s/he wont listen you shouldn’t tell them. also maybe there is a posek that they can be makil with that holds its ok. in any case his answer seems unintelligent. But you cant judge 1 principal or school. Look at a major Jewish college in Flatbush and elsewhere they all wear their big black hats yet the are among the biggest ganavim and hypocrites and I know this very personally.

You’re right the specific case of Loshon hora doesn’t go on with charedim that say loshon hara excusing themselves.

But I'm afraid to say the charedim are just as guilty of not knowing when they are wrong, and doing aveyrot when they think of doing a mitzva. There are many cases, the first case I will use I will make clear to say does not involve all charedim by any means, it is even disapproved by many. Im referring to rock throwing.

These people think they are doing a Mitzva - they are turning off Jews.

This is the most clear example but there are so many examples that are common in the Charedi community which people think they are not doing wrong and in most cases they thing they are doing a mitzva when they are guilty of an aveyra.

Since you bring me an example of a school which you were in, I can tell you a very recent case of a Chasidic school in Chicago that had a sexual abuser, they simply kicked him out and this man went on to be a rabbi in a Day School where proper action was finally taken. They probably didn’t want to say loshon hara (which of course I’m sure you would agree with me that that’s wrong) But I do not use this specific case against all Chasidim because that was just as bad as blaming all modern because of what happened in that’s school you taught in.

I think my first example speaks clear enough that there are with in all camps people who think they are doing right or doing no wrong and hence "changing the torah"

By the way there was a good article in the Jewish Observer about a man who apologized to these woman who stones were thrown at them, he apologized and said not all orthodox people are bad like that - that woman became a baalat teshuva.

Its 12:17 so I can't think of more examples now but there are many more. It is possible that some you will even agree with them as many rabbis do which just proves all he more so how backward a generation we are. (there are rabbis who agree with throwing stones Rav Kook has a whole thing (you can see the dvar torah written by Rav Lichtenstein it at go to archives the article is called something like torah approach toward secular Jews -by the way my )

The dvar torah does not get into what im saying about stone throwing. But it is possible you will tell me it is allowed since we are allowed to kill certain kinds of disbelievers. Basically according to Rav Kook, and to my understanding Rav Moshe and just about every psak today they are Tinkok Shenishba etc etc.

In any case even if rock throwing was technically aloud which it seems clear its not, It is turning off g-d knows how many people. But many in that community thing its right. And you will not find anyone in the modern community who thinks its right, so that’s just the same as the shomer negia problem.

As I said its far from the only thing that is done by (some but not all - hint words charedim who feel they are right and maybe even doing a mitzva but is wrong.

What about all the people who go to yeshivas all day just to get a shiduch?

And I have heard that many people in yeshivas sleep half the day.

What about the husbands who are out learning and never there for their Kids? This is no better than being a workaholic, yet it is often praised by the rabbis (who may not realize the full extent of the problem) but these people also think they are doing right after all what comes first learning! (they don’t realize what it is at the expense of)

You can ask Rav Chezi Goldberg more about this.

You can also ask Rav ***** granddaughter daughter of Rav ***** -please erase names (and I am not referring to the 2 of them that went off the derech and posed for playboy) I refer to the very frum woman who when my mom said what a great man Rav ****** was she screamed at her saying you never had to have him for a father because he was never there for his family.

I will bet you he thought he was not doing any wrong. Even doing right.

If you want more examples I can think more when I am more awake tomorrow.

Sorry for going off on a tangent a bit here...
I sill feel that the closest way to the truth is the Rav kook followers, more so then the modern and more so then the haredi,

Ss for Rav Dr. Norman Lam, Its good that you will not say anything, I know there are 2 sides and most people on one side don’t know the other side but in all honesty I do not know much about him at all so I would not want to be thrust into a position of defending him.

But forget him, there are many in this generation who badmouthed Rabbi Soloveitchik ZT"L, one of the Gedolei Hador, even if you didn’t accept him as such he was still a Gadol. And people used to say things bad, so much for respect for our torah scholars.

On the subject I read a (surprisingly) positive article in the Jewish observer, it was a hespid for a Rav, the story is that when that Rav was young he saw people making fun of Rav Kook, and then one day he saw Rav Kook walking with Rav Kook and giving him much Kavod and from that day on that boy who became a big Rav in agudas yisrael circles learned how wrong it was to make fun or put down a great Rav like that. even if he was one not agreed to in his community.

(By the way I have cousins in Lakewood who learned from Rav Soloveitchik, not to mention Rav Mordechai Gifter - and the cousin in Lakewood - who is a very respected man in Lakewood and has written much for ArtScroll I believe holds from the Rav Lichtenstein who wrote that article I mentioned above)

So I digress again I apologize, its a habit.

And by the way I don’t hate the yeshivish some I respect very much like the Rav in Jewish observer who recently wrote a smart thing that even if you don’t believe in standing at attention, even if it isn’t a halacha to do that on yom hazikaron and yom hashoa, why not do it? and not cause a chilel hashem. And now that I think of it that’s another example.

There may be many reasons why they don’t accept the states holiday and do not believe they have to stand at attention, and it may be a much better way to remember them on tisha bav. But to not stand is still Very wrong, and it causes MAJOR chilel hashem in Israel. The Hilonim see that Haredim want them to listen to them yet they cant stand straight for 2 minutes - that really is chutzpa. And I know many charedim do stand, so I do not say all! some. including some rabbis who davka say NOT to.

I could get into some examples of what craziness happen with shiduchim and shopping carts, and money but in those cases it is unclear to me if they think they are right, in those cases at least it is money misguiding them no torah

I think I mentioned this before but im really tied so if I didn’t If you think I hate Charedim, this is furthest from the truth I love all Jews and I know There are many wonderful yeshivish/charedi people who set the proper example I have known a number of them in Israel and USA including the cousins I mentioned from Lakewood.

We are a very misguided generation - NOT only some of the modern communities. surely Moshiach is coming soon. Ani Maamin!

p.s. sorry this was so long I certainly hope this doesn’t get lost it took me a loong time to type.

MODERATOR Posted - 25 July 2000 14:53


If someone would offer you a ham sandwich, would you eat it so as not to embarrass him? If the Halachah prohibits shaking a woman’s hand, it’s no different.

As far as being a “light unto the nations”, what kind of “light” are you by doing something against the Halachah? We have to show the nations the correct things to do, and so you defeat your purpose by violating Halachah to make them respect you. There’s no “light” in that.

If they think I am a “chauvinist” for not shaking their hand, that is their problem. I cannot run my life, nor does the Torah want me to, according everyone else’s opinions. What if someone will think you’re lazy for not working on Shabbos? Or cruel to animals for eating meat on Yom Tov? Or racist for refusing to marry a gentile? I can explain things to them in a reasonable manner, but if, after that, they still persist, that’s their problem, not mine.

I agree there is no sexual connotation in a handshake, but I do not agree that that would change the Halachah. The majority of poskim still prohibit it, and therefore it should not be done.

MODERATOR Posted - 25 July 2000 15:39


A clear distinction needs to be made between

(a) Those who learn and neglect their children, those who refuse to speak loshon horah against a danger to society, are, at worst, making a Halachic error (I am not saying they are; frankly, there is legitimate grounds for much of what you describe as wrong, but it is irrelevant to the discussion. I am talking “l’shitaseich”). In all these cases, whether the people are right or wrong, they believe the Torah wants them to do what they are doing. If you could demonstrate to these people that they are wrong al pi Torah, they would change their policy. As it is, they believe they are following the Torah.


(b) People who for ZERO Halachic reason just decide that they can dispense with a Halachah as if it were optional. Example: Those bungalow colonies you mentioned. These people are NOT making a Halachic error. They are simply saying “I do not keep this Halachah”. This is the same when people say “I am not Shomer negiyah”. A “community” does not have to be a geographic location (“Modern Orthodox” and “Young Israel” are not geographic terms), but rather any group of people who as a policy go against the Halachah is what I am referring to. And the Rambam does call them Ir Hanidachas, despite their having mezuzos on their door (the Muezuzah halachah apparently only applies to the idol worshippers).

Any sin that is done as a policy rather than as (a) a mistake or (b) a simple violation is intensified in its severity a thousand fold. The Akeidas Yitzchok in Vayera writes of a city where there was a proliferation of adulterous relationships. Some rabbis offered as a solution to allow pilagshim (concubines), since they population is not yet “ready” to do everything right, let’s at least reduce their sin.

The Akeidas Yitzchk absolutely forbade such a course of action. He said it is better to let them commit adultery with other people’s wives than to officially allow pilagshim. Even though pilagshim itself is a much, much lesser crime, but once it becomes a matter of policy that “we have pilagshim” it becomes much much worse.

Here, a Halachic distinction needs to be made between an individual and the public. The Halachah is that if you see and individual ready to do an aveirah, you may proactively give him a lesser aveirah to do in order to prevent the greater aveirah. But that it only the case with individuals. With the public, you may not allow the public a lesser aveirah, because then it becomes official policy. We can never, as official policy, allow any avierah. We can make individual allowances, but once a community (any group) decides “we don’t follow this mitzvah”, that is intolerable.

So it’s true – not all YI’s would go mixed swimming, and not all MO would either. And, I am sure that many of the kids who are as a matter of policy “not shomer negiyah” mistakenly believe that it is a chumrah, mislead by those rabbis who themselves were probably mislead. But that is the evolution of how the Torah changes. First, it begins by allowing something for perhaps kiruv reasons, then, because it was allowed to the public and not individuals, it becomes the public “policy” (among SOME of the public at least). They see the rabbis allowing it, and it gets entrenched. Then, kids who cannot imagine that their community would just simply chuck an open Halachah, begin to believe that there must be no such Halachah. And incidentally, the Yeshiva guys – very very few of them – who also believe this picked it up from the MO, because they are all taught differently.

So the Torah has changed, for no reason.

The MO / YI community is guilty of this in different places on different levels, and sometimes not at all, I understand. But never mind suing bungalow colonies. What about a simple statement that YI does not condone mixed swimming? Or married women not covering their hair? Or boys and girls messing around? That would clarify a lot. What’s so difficult with that?

I would rather not discuss the reasons that Rav Kook and Rav Soloveichik were not accepted in other communities, but if you really want to discuss it, I probably will.

Not all Rabbonim consider non-religious Jews tinokos shenishbu. Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach ZTL, for instance, held that if someone knows

(a) he is Jewish, and

(b) he can be religious,

(c) without persecution from the government, he is not a tinok shenishbah.

There are other opinions as well. Furthermore, just because someone is a tinok shenishbah does not mean he loses the status of a non-religious Jew. All it means is that he is not punished for his sins. Many Halachos of apikores may still apply.

I don't see that you hate anybody. I just think that you are not aware of much Torah-knowledge that would answer your questions. Chilul Hashem, for instance, does not mean that I have to compromise my standards of religion by recognizing a day called “Yom Hashoah” if the Chazon Ish wrote that it was wrong to do so.

Our generation is very misguided, true, but misguided, or weak, is a lot better than purposely revolting against the Torah.

But none of this is a problem. All questions on Judaism have answers. If you have a question, just ask. That’s how we learn.

artzanu Posted - 26 July 2000 13:42

Ok, now I understand what you are saying about the difference between those who think they are doing halacha and are wrong and those who say we don’t care about halacha we decided we can do this anyways. (that’s it right?)

And I hear what you are saying about communities, or I think the word groups is more appropriate - so we have to define who these groups are. or we can understand that these groups are usually people who live in M.O. communities but they are not the majority of M.O. they are the ones who just want to call themselves orthodox and not really do things completely right - or maybe they are not yet on the level.

I do not feel I am wrong about those problems being serious problems. Many are not accepting that they are as bad as they are because we see through blinders, but I guess debating that will just make this all the more confusing. So I'll stop for now.

Maybe YI should make that statement, but maybe they are afraid it will turn others off, by the way a majority of YI are pretty yeshivish. I think I read more come nowadays from Chaim Berlin and similar than from YU, and add to that many YU semicha Ravs are not at all M.O. and are pretty yeshivish. My Rav is such I feel he is too strict, his Rebbi by the way was Rav Soloveitchik also maybe the YI main office feels it the job of individual rabbis to discuss such things.

You may be right, that of those M.O or YI kids who go mixed swimming do believe t is a chumra, But I think your blaming the M.O. rabbis is both wrong and inappropriate. There are very few if any that would say mixed swimming is allowed.

The main point is that we are talking about groups of people, who most may be part of or consider themselves M.O. or young Israel, but what comes out of this and people like you criticizing them is a view against the entire Modern Orthodoxy.
Just like what you said by kashrut people should be extra careful to condone the behavior, and any people who follow it but not a group that as a whole does not do this but rather has some members who do 0 give a name to those groups if u wish call them "The bad of the modern orthodoxers"

Again as the article I read modern orthodoxy can definitely be split into 2 types. the fact that the bad ones call themselves M.O does not mean any more than as aguda (JO) puts it with some of the woman at the wall who clam they are orthodox. I can tell you I have 2 sets of M.O. cousins and one is one way and the other is the other way.

So we have to be extra careful of the effect that what we will say, If the distinctions are not made clear people will think all M.O. are bad, which maybe you wouldn’t mind so much?

Rav Gifter is an example of someone you would hold by who was a talmid of the Rav. there are many others. (including my Lakewood cousins, who the father was a talmid of his and is known to be among the most righteous families even in Lakewood)

I mentioned that JO article about Rav Kook, I do not remember the name of the other rabbi but he was one of the Gedolim.

I think you must realize that while you may think the yeshivish way is the only way, there are other valid and acceptable communities and there are many Gedolim who do hold from Rav kook.

You don’t have to accept them but that does not make it wrong for me or any other community to accept them, Correct?

You never should have to compromise halachot for the sake of what others think, but when it comes to chumrot, or when it comes to other valid opinions then it seems ciday to hold the opinion that would not result in a kiddush hashem.

I never heard that this was the opinion of the Chazon Ish ZT"L but With all due respect, it does not seem right. And I do have daas torah on my side also. If you don’t agree with the need for a yom hazikaron or yom hashoa fine, but at least be respectful of it. and this is exactly what is says in the latest edition of the Jewish observer. (one of the 2 opinions presented) those who do not a recreating a huge chilel hashem.

There is no place in the torah for extremism.

I see the misguidedness as being just as bad if not worse than those who openly declare they do not need to follow such and such halachot - because with them it is quite clear they are wrong. But with much of what goes on in the Haredi/yeshivish world it is not, it is even looked upon as correct and positive by many! How terrible is this misguidedness when we think we are doing correct!? That is much worse - that really changes torah! people who do wrong and admit they are wrong do not change torah as much as those who are wrong and think they are right.

Think about it.

Also in terms of allowing things for one person but not for a group, well that makes sense. and I agree, but sometimes if things are already accepted people do not try to change them, I mean people even you hold from. A) Rav Moshe felt the lavish boys bar mitzvas were wrong but he did not tell people to stop with them because it was accepted and he knew people wouldn’t listen. Also Rav Yitzchok Hutner felt boys should not begin learning gemara in 5th grade but rather in 7th but he did not speak out because it would cause people wouldn’t accept that and parents would not like it that one would say my kid is already doing this and the other kid wasn’t yet.

I think I will need to limit the amount of time I spend at your website especially replying during the week maybe ill do half one day and half the next but this is crazy its way too late..

Mevaseret I will try to reply to you tomorrow iy"h

Well I am asking questions and while I do not always agree I do appreciate the time you put into answering my questions. I want you to know 2 things, first I can be kind of devils advocate, meaning If you were misrepresenting the yeshivish community I would be doing the same thing as now defending their positive attributes etc etc. I think debating with both sides brings me closer to the truth.

Second you should be aware, I think this is fairly common, a lot of people have been very turned off by this fighting and arguing within orthodoxy, after all if orthodox cant even get along with themselves then how can they be right, that is what other might think. when you attack an orthodox Rav or community (modern orthodox or whatever) be aware of what precedent you are setting,
A:) that its ok to talk about rabbis that way, and B:)I lost my thought I'm very tired, but anyways it is turning a lot of people off, it almost turned me off, It does not seem fitting for orthodox Jews to attack each other, we need more ahavat chinam.

I think I'll stop now, thanx again

MODERATOR Posted - 26 July 2000 14:23


Lisa (in another forum) asked about Modern Orthodoxy in general, and I will respond to her shortly. My response will answer your post. Some brief points in the meantime:

1) "Orthodox" is just a label. The word is Greek, not Loshon Hakodesh. We use it for identification purposes, but in reality, calling yourself Orthodox means nothing. What prevents the Conservatives one day from deciding that “now we are Orthodox”?

And if that happens, would you say that we can no longer criticize them because they are “Orthodox”? While it is true that the label “Conservative” may refer to those who do not keep the Torah, the term “Orthodox” does NOT necessarily have to refer to those who do. Therefore, just as you would understand critique of Conservatives when they are wrong, you should look at the critique of those who are wrong within “Orthodoxy” the same way. The solution of people being “turned off” by intra-Orthodox fighting is not to give a dispensation to anyone who calls himself Orthodox to violate the Torah, but rather to explain to those being “turned off” that the label “Orthodox” is in reality meaningless, that in truth, there is only

(a) keeping the Torah, and

(b) violating the Torah. And because someone is “Orthodox” does not change that.

2) Of course all "legitimate" opinions are fine. The question is, What is legitimate? The fact that a certain community does it - no matter who they are - does not qualify a behavior as legitimate. So please feel free to post all the legitimizations of the behaviors that I have said are wrong. But please. The fact that "Hey, the Modern Orthodox do that" is not good enough.

3) “Turning people off” is not an excuse in this case. That would only work to the extent that we would not demand levels of religious performance from those who cannot yet fulfill them.

However, we would nevertheless present such performance as praiseworthy and a goal to which to aspire. For instance, you may allow someone to drive to your home for a Shabbos meal, but certainly you would not allow him to think that the Torah allows driving on Shabbos. So, too, we (sometimes) cannot judge those who may go mixed swimming IF they honestly are not there, “yet”, BUT allowing them to think that it is OK is crossing the line.

Those communities who think “shomer negiyah” is not a necessity, those who think that married women covering their hair is not a necessity, etc. cannot be allowed to continue that way. Even if they are not “ready” yet to fulfill everything (which is itself very often a dishonest cop out) but for people to consider themselves religious, keep Shabbos, kosher, send their children to Yeshiva, learn Torah to think that what these actions are OK cannot be allowed. Those who allow it are guilty of a terrible sin.

4) Rav Gifter was a talmid of public school, too. He did go to YU, but he rejected it, in no uncertain terms. So much so that he once wrote a letter to Rav Yeruchem Gorelick ZTL, a Rebbi in YU, insisting that he leave the institution since his being there could be interpreted as an approval of the institution”. (Rav Gorelick’s answer was “I need to stay for parnasa reasons”). You may also want to listen to a famous lecture Rav Gifter gave regarding YU and in particular, Dr. Norman Lamm. He is not a fan of theirs.

5) You are making a mistake thinking that the issues here are “Yeshivish” vs. “Modern Orthodox”. The issue is simply what does the Torah say. I have never, nor would I have any interest in, saying “This is the only correct way because it is yeshivish” (Even "Yeshivish" people would laugh at such a silly statement).

So, too, it makes no sense to say, “You can’t say such-and such is wrong because that means only the yeshivish way is right”. This, artz, is exactly the problem that I am describing.

In certain circles violation of the Torah has become so institutionalized that the discussion about right and wrong becomes a personal affront to entire communities. That is the problem. When you say that allowing communities to chuck certain Halachos is wrong, you generate the response “You’re being offensive to our community.”

Forget for a moment the labels. Forget “Modern Orthodox”, “Orthodox”, and everything else. Just deal with the issues at hand, and then, after you decide what is right and wrong, choose a community that you would like to identify with, as opposed to first choosing your community and then having to defend it.

6) The difference between lavish weddings (Rav Moshe) or when to begin Gemora classes (Rav Hutner) and our issues here is that neither the lavish weddings nor early Gemora classes are prohibited according to Halachah. They are just stupid (the weddings) or not the best curriculum possible (Gemora). Where a prohibition is involved, our discussion applies.

7) The Chazon Ish's position on Yom HaShoah etc. can be found in his Igros. Why should I respect something that is wrong? According to you, do you respect the burning of the Israeli flag by the Neturei Karta? Would you stand up in respect if you see if happening in front of your eyes? No? Now you understand. Why should I respect something that I know is wrong?

I am not familiar with the Jewish Observer article you mention, but the Jewish Observer is not the Mishna Brurah.

Avrem Yitskhok Walters Posted - 07 August 2000 0:41


Moderator: I have found myself agreeing with 99% of everything you say, and it represents, I believe, the emes of Torah.

However, your disparaging remarks about Neturei Karta are both unfair and offensive. As a member of Neturei Karta, you did offend me. I apologies if I have taken this out of context, but I think you should respect my movement.

I am a Baal Teshuva, and have examined various forms of Torah Judaism, and although I am striving to deserve the title "Breslover Chosid", I was mekarev though Satmar and hold through the Satmar Rebbe z"l's shitas. If you examine the Gemoros in Kesubos (111a &c) you would not consider burning the HSB (Hebrew Speaking Palestinian) flag. THE ZIONIST STATE IS THE BIGGEST KILLER SINCE THE HOLOCAUST; INDEED IT CAUSED THE SHOAH AND KILLED 6 MILLION YIDDEN! I could justify it, but I don't need to; the Torah justifies it.

With respect,

Kol Tiv

According to you, do you respect the burning of the Israeli flag by the Neturei Karta?

MODERATOR Posted - 07 August 2000 14:17

A. Y. Walters,

First, if you are a member of the Neturei Karta, you are in for a lot of aggravation if you get offended by people disrespecting your position. You should not care. Neither should I care if what I believe to be the clear Torah truth offends you.

Of course, we should always try our best, even to go out of our way, to say things in the most friendly and non-offensive manner, but the truth itself should not remain unsaid even if it offends someone. In fact, the Satmar Rav ZTL writes that if someone’s position is liked by everyone, it is a sure sign he is doing something wrong. So don’t worry if someone doesn’t like what you believe.

I’m sure you agree with that.

However, in this case, you have been choshed b’kesheirm (falsely suspicious of an innocent person). I had no intention of disparaging you at all. All I meant to demonstrate was the inconsistency and hypocrisy in the position of he (or she) who demanded that I respect the behaviors of all Orthodox Jews even if I believe them to be wrong.

I demonstrated that by pointing out that THEY would not respect the act of burning the Israeli flag, even if performed by orthodox Jews following their own rabbis. And the emotional post by mevaseret here proves my point (“take action”? How? Throw stones? Call the police? Aren’t you worried about fighting with other Jews? We need peace, not sinas chinam! Et cetera et cetera).

I was talking, as we say, “l’shitaso” – according to HIS way of thinking. I did not say, nor did I mean to imply, that I agree with them. I said nothing to indicate that I myself would “take action” (sic) if I saw you do this. Merely, that the other poster would.

If my comment came across as anything different, I assure you it was purely unintentional. I didn’t mean it like that.

mevaseret Posted - 08 August 2000 13:28

Moderator- furthermore I am surprised at your approach "In fact, the Satmar Rav ZTL writes that if someone’s position is liked by everyone, it is a sure sign he is doing something wrong. So don’t worry if someone doesn’t like what you believe." I didn't know that you believed truth is based on man's opinion.

MODERATOR Posted - 08 August 2000 14:20


You misunderstood the statement. The truth is not, in and of itself, based on people's opinions, but rather, Chazal have assessed that the Yetzer Horah has been given sufficient power to consistently generate opposition to the truth. There is a difference between this and saying that the truth depends on the opinions of theirs.

smile! Posted - 28 August 2000 22:54

I am "shomer nigeah" and everything but I have a problem with Uncles. If I haven't seen my (non-religious) uncle in a couple of years and then my family and I see him...if I don't hug him he will be very offended. He’s family. I know this must sound stupid b/c I know you can’t touch him and "offending him" or "going against the torah" should never be compared but...

What should I do? how can I tell him that I can’t hug my own uncle so that he will understand?

I know when I hug him its wrong but I’m really just confused as in how to all of a sudden stop hugging him.

Any suggestions?

- 28 August 2000 23:56

I think you should call your uncle and discuss this with him before you meet him again.

Say something like "Uncle, you know I'm religious, right?"

Uncle: "Right."

You: "You know I like keep shabbos, eat kosher, pray..."

Uncle: "uhu."

You: "Well, uncle, I got a problem, and I hope you...won't...[at this point, lower the tone of your voice to almost inaudibility] ... get upset with . . . me ...."

Uncle (puzzled, almost worried): "What is it? What's the matter?"

You: "I, ah, am [lower your voice again] not allowed Or [go even lower] ... ... be touched by him."

Uncle: "Whew! That's it? No problem! tell the Moderator that his idea worked!"

Seriously, do something like that, where you don't accuse him of being bad, or non-religious, or you look holier-than-thou.

What you want to do is make it YOUR issue, not his, this has to do with YOU and the fact that you are religious, not the fact that he is not.

And if you build it up, he'll be thinking who knows what, so when you finally tell him what the issue really is, he'll be relieved.

It should work.

Posted - 29 August 2000 13:07

Hey that's exactly what my mother said to her favorite uncle when she realized she shouldn't touch him. But every time he comes to visit he still looks a little bit hurt about I dunno but he knows the halacha is that but still it's like his niece and her children. it just seems uncomfortable and awkward when even I see him.

I guess those are the nisyonos those awkward feeling s and we just have to get over it.

MODERATOR Posted - 29 August 2000 13:42

You are correct. And you are also doing your uncle a favor as well.

Chani Posted - 05 September 2000 11:39

I start a new job tomorrow and I know I will be asked to shake hands with men.

I’m a bit nervous but can handle not shaking since I’ve dealt with it before. I just need a line or two for an explanation should they not accept the simple line of "my religion prohibits it". thanx.

MODERATOR Posted - 05 September 2000 11:41

How about telling them that Judaism believes that part of the beauty of marriage is that the only man a woman has ever touched in her entire, entire life, even in a totally innocent way, is her husband.

1WhoCares Posted - 08 September 2000 14:26

What if shomer negiah is a nisayon I'm just not interested in passing?

I mean, I KNOW I won't end up doing anything "worse"... and I know you said it's halacha and not a chumra... I understand that.. but lots of things are... so this is one I just won't work on.

I NEED physical contact with people... I don't think I could live without it. I know, you're probably gonna say, just get it from girls... fine, but when I'm with my guy friends, I'm not gonna turn down a hug or anything, I just won't.

MODERATOR Posted - 08 September 2000 14:42

(Actually, I'm going to say that you shouldn't have guy friends.)

But here's a question: Would you like to find a way to be able to not touch guys and still go on living?

If you do not want to stop hugging guys right now, do you at least wish you wanted to stop?

There is a pshat in the Zemiros we sing during seudah shelishis, "ki zeh kamah nichsof nichsafti liros..", which means "I really want, I want, to se Your splendor".

Why does it say "I want" twice?

Because who can say they are really on the level to want to see Hashem's splendor? At best, we can merely wish we wanted to see it. In other words, we can want to want. Hence the double phrase.

So if you do not want, at least do you want to want?

1WhoCares Posted - 11 September 2000 14:01

Y'know what's weird, I am always telling myself that I don't need my guy friends... and that I could easily tell them "goodbye, have a nice life"... but I can't. I'm leaving the country in a day and saying "goodbye" to my guy friends was almost harder than leaving my girl friends... and the sickest thing was, I couldn't even get that "last hug"... because there were some Rabbis there.

So you ask me, do I WANT to be shomer negiah... not at all, I hate the idea.
Do I WANT to WANT it? Hardly

Maybe... I want to want to want it... but that's about it.

For someone who grew up without a father, ANY male affection is not only appreciated, it's cherished. I can't just say no.

MODERATOR Posted - 11 September 2000 15:19

Growing up without a father can surely leave its mark, but to crave male affection to that extent would likely take something more than just the absence of a father. It's none of my business, and I am not asking, but it is something that you will want to eventually come to grips with.

If currently the level you are on is perhaps 4 steps away from avoiding physical contact, and you want to reach level 3, then that's what you should work on. You cannot remove, by yourself, your desire for male affection, but you can work on understanding the price this male affection costs.

First, you need to focus on the fact that the need for male affection in this manner is not a natural phenomenon, but a synthetically created unnatural need, by whatever it is that happened to you when you were younger. The need for male affection in a woman, in and of itself, is of course normal, and is satisfied by your father, and later, your husband. But in your case, something happened that short-circuited this need, so that it currently functions in the wrong way.

Every time you feed it by giving in and messing with a guy, you further entrench in your soul the malfunctioning need that you want to be rid of.

Simply stated, you have this unhealthy need that you want to be rid of. It will be easier to be rid of it is it doesn't become a habit as well.

So you make yourself weaker every time you give in.

It's like a guy who walks with bad posture. It's much easier to walk bent over, but it will be much harder down the road when he wants to fix his walk, if he spent years walking hunched over.

What he needs to do is to walk straight and tall despite the pain and effort it may take, so that eventually it will become his natural posture.

So too, you need to eventually starve this unnatural need until it is no longer there. And even if today you cannot starve it to death (and you cannot), at least you can make sure you don't give it gourmet banquets.

So if today you're 4 steps away from fulfilling the Mitzvah of lo sikravu, work on what you can to go to 3 steps away. Keep in mind that this behavior is bad for you emotional makeup and for your Neshomah. It's only the "beast" that was synthetically created that needs this. Even if today you can't keep him at bay, you can do something to make sure he doesn't get even stronger.

Maidel123 Posted - 13 November 2000 16:05

I have much difficulty with the "issur" of touching uncles. My great-uncle was not brought up religious, and has many problems with the frum community.

Up until last year, he had no grandchildren, so his closest connection to the future was his sister's grandchildren-my family and my cousins. Well, my cousins got fanatically religious and decided that they weren't going to hug their uncle anymore. He thinks frum Jews are strange to begin with, and they have just added to his anti-Orthodoxy.

For a time I didn't touch men, but my parents told me that I had to hug and kiss my uncle, or I wouldn't be able to be in the house when he came to visit, because it was a terrible thing to do to someone. I think there are judgment calls to be made, and trying to "explain" to a family member the logic just won't work.

My cousins have been trying to explain to my uncle for years about why they can't touch him, and when they keep mentioning these sexual prohibitions he gets kind of nervous like why would a sixty year old man want to have any kind of sexual relationship with his sister's grandchildren? In any case, it's a major issue of sensitivity, and I guess each person makes his/her judgment call. But be careful of the consequences of your actions, they could be large indeed.

- 13 November 2000 16:44

There is no "heter" to hug your granduncle (or any other man) because he will be anti-Orthodox if you don't, any more than there would be to marry a non-Jewish guy because someone he will think Jews are racist if you don't. Or not to put on tefillin because someone will think Jews are cruel to animals if you do.

The prohibition of Negiyah is like any other in the Torah. Just because a non-religious person may not like it or understand it does not mean we violate it to make him happy.

ker Posted - 14 November 2000 15:49

What is the halacha with someone else touching you like hugging do you get the sin if you didn’t want it?

MODERATOR Posted - 14 November 2000 16:38

You can't let someone of the opposite sex hug you. If you could prevent it you must even if you do not want it in the first place.

Me Posted - 16 November 2000 15:36

What if you're not expecting it and s/o comes and hugs you, are you supposed to just knock them off of you???

I know it sounds weird but like I am very spacey s/t and if one of my uncles comes and hugs me like what am I supposed to do? I know I wrote the thing b4 but now I 'm talking about if I don't realize right away.

Also my Zaide's allowed to hug me right?? Is my brother's allowed to touch me??

MODERATOR Posted - 16 November 2000 19:26

When he hugs you act uncomfortable or at least non-participating and if he asks, tell him then, but if he doesn't, tell him later, that you don't mean to offend but your religion does not allow you to get hugged by men, including uncles.

Then smile again and very quickly change the subject of conversation.

HZ Posted - 23 November 2000 1:23

Moderator, I read how you handle handshaking with women. I have a slightly different approach which may help with the problem of them thinking woman are less then men in religious (not just Judaism) eyes.

Woman: walks up to me puts out her hand and says I'm....

Me: "Name." Pleased to meet you. I'm sorry, but my religion prohibits men and woman who are not related to touch.

This way, they see it as a two way street. Don't forget that many of them think religions say woman are lesser than men.

MODERATOR Posted - 24 November 2000 15:21

Thanks. I can hear that.

Meanswell Posted - 15 December 2000 13:32

What’s the issur of married woman touching married men?? (in a non chiba way of course).

My mom gives her best friends husband (he himself is a VERY close family friend) an occasional slap on the back or something like that and I notice he doesn’t respond. he NEVER touches my mom. My mom knows most halachos and is not one to touch if its not allowed so I never thought to ask her about it.

Now, so late into my teenage years im afraid it will be chutzpadik to ask her, and contradictory, and if the answer is an obvious "of course" I will feel bad for being choshed her to her face. I wouldn’t ask, or believe that she is wrong, but I notice that he doesn’t respond, and sometimes even looks a little uncomfortable (why my mom doesn’t realize this I don’t know)

Thanks a lot

MODERATOR Posted - 15 December 2000 14:06

Please see the posts at the beginning of this forum, particularly my post of 6 July 2000 16:1.

Your mom should not do that. May I suggest mentioning it to your father and let him handle it however he sees fit rather than you mentioning it to her yourself. Let your father decide if he wants to mention the fact that the comment came from you.

Frum613 Posted - 22 January 2001 17:48

What's the issur when it comes to family? Is it assur to hug a sibling of the opposite gender who has reached bas/bar mitzvah?

MODERATOR Posted - 22 January 2001 19:19

No, it is not assur.

Me Posted - 29 January 2001 23:39

What about a sibling once he's married... would he be allowed to hug me? (even though most likely he wouldn't do it any way)

I read a little bit in Rabbi Falk’s book and I dunno something’s bothered me a little bit. Like he said Denim isn't tznius and to wear your shirt untucked isn't tznius... I mean if you're in an environment wear it is only accepted to wear things tucked in and no denim it's one thing to go and make a statement doing these two things like in school let's say.

But out of school if you're just going around town and like barely anyone keeps their shirt tucked in and like they all wear denim why would this be a problem you wouldn't be looked at specifically as a shlump and not tznius it's just the way you feel comfy in clothing!!!

MODERATOR Posted - 06 February 2001 16:40

There's no difference if he’s married or single, Me.

Is there a source for the denim thing in the book? I doubt it. The thing is, girls aren’t supposed to attract attention, and they’re not supposed to be so informal on the street. Kol Kevuda Bas Melech Penimah means that if women ARE on the street, they should look as if they are there only out of necessity. Like these women you see walking on Wall Street in the suits, you can tell they don't belong on the street, they belong behind a desk, and on the street they appear like they for sure are not going to stay there long.

And that’s the idea. Girls on the street are supposed to appear that they are not going to stay there and hang out. So Rabbi Falk is trying to provide that kinda look. The problem is a lot of these things are judgment calls - like the denim ( esp. since there are, as you say, so many diff. standards in diff. communities, and also diff types of denim (with pockets in the back, letters, more striking patterns etc.)) - that’s it really hard to quantify.

I would suggest that where such judgment calls are concerned, you use such books as general guidelines, and for specifics, like denim for instance, you consult your personal Torah authority.

MODERNYESHIVA Posted - 07 November 2002 5:15

Some people here really take the fun out of fundamentalism.

From a guy who finished Ma'ale Gilboa (I'd rather not discuss the Rosh’s views here because you people would brand him a "kofer"), but all I have to say is what I read here is fundamentalism. Judaism is not black and white like the others. Otherwise we are no different than any of the other religions. At some point reality should be taken into account. Things change.

Rambam Lashim Hilchot Ishut Pey Yud Gimel:

It states that it is incumbent on a man to prevent his wife from leaving the house more than once or twice a month. Reality changed, no one follows this one any more. We are in the 21'st century, things change.

The idea of no contact does not fit into a reality where men and women interact as equals.

MODERATOR Posted - 07 November 2002 5:38

“Judaism is not black and white like the others.”

That fact is not as black and white as you make it.

“Otherwise we are no different than any of the other religions.”

Yes we are, because we got our religion from G-d, they didn’t. The difference between us and them has to do not with any isms, but with reality. You really must take reality into account.

“At some point reality should be taken into account. Things change.”

Not the Torah. G-d doesn’t change, and the Torah, which is "one" with G-d doesn’t change either.

Your example from the Rambam is an error. Here we are talking about an issur d'oraisa - a Torah prohibition. That cannot change. The Rambam is talking about the proper dignity for queens, who were accustomed, obviously, not to be found walking around in the streets every day like the commoners.

You understood the Rambam precisely backwards. Kol kevuda bas melech pnimah, which is the source the Rambam brings, doe not mean women did not "interact as equals" with men, but rather that they were superior, where royal dignity is concerned.

In those days, nobody had any interest in going out in the dirty dusty streets except when they had to - there were no super malls, but rather dusty "shukim"; no cobblestone sidewalks but dirt paths; no cafes or pizza shops to hang out in, and marauding robbers and rapists on the way. Men are obliged to go to work; women are given the privilege of royalty of remaining in the - the Jewish home, where the shechinah abounds, and not having to dirty themselves - take that any way you like, for it means them all - by being in the shvakim v'rechovos.

Today the streets are dirtier in some ways and less dirty in others, and although there are definitely violations of kol kevuda bas melech pnimah today, the Rambam's quantification of the rule - a few times a month - was not taken form the Torah but rather from the social status of the streets in those days. If a source was social status, it changes as the status changes. But if the Torah quantifies the prohibition for us itself - as in the case of lo sikravu - that does not change.


Anonymous said...

I am a right-wing modern Orthodox Jew who is thirteen years old and shomer negia. Please don't diss modern orthodoxy.

Anonymous said...

I am a right-wing modern Orthodox Jew who is thirteen years old and shomer negia. Please don't diss modern orthodoxy.

Anonymous said...

hat you call 'dissing' is simpy telling the truth - the mod didn't say anything subjective here. "dissing" is when one says 'I dont like your sweater - yellow is ugly' - the differnece between mod/ orthodoxy and the rest of the world is not like the differnece between the yelow sweater and the non-yellow one. If you were, cv's, a christian, you would not expect the mod to not 'diss' out your religion if it is in fact wrong - if you can defend the positions of mod. orthodoxy(or rather, elements of it), then please do, but to claim that since you are of a certain 'denomination', this someho demands respect is absurd, and no different from saying 'i am a neo-nazi, please don't diss out neo-nazis'.