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Re: Re: Lakewood NJ Master Thread
wrong wrong wrong. yes maybe the people who care about the flag, but i would say most wont eat in a store where the owner goes directly against the hashgacho he holds.
I'm sure the owner ignored the fine print in his contract that said '.... and if you hang the Israeli Flag outside your store on yom hatzmaut, your flag is no longer valid'.

then come the questions, if thats what he does, what else??

OMG - you're right - I mean if he hangs an Israeli flag - I'm sure his wife wears an Indian Hair Sheitel

May 10, 2019, 12:44:51 PM
Re: Found A Lost Passport What Do I Do? I'm just curious - while I imagine 99% of the people who use DDF are frum, this is still a public forum on the internet. In that case, wouldn't everyone's advice to not return it here constitute a hillul hashem?

In agreement with this one here.
Hence bringing it to the post office, that in itself is a kiddish hashem, is it not? The postal worker sees that you found a passport and you take your time to make sure the rightful owner gets it back.

This reminded me, on a smaller level of this story -

As far as the people who are talking about monetary value of a passport:
- It obviously has a monetary value to the owner, as several people have pointed out - the $120 or so to replace it
- It probably has some value on the black market
- For the sake of argument, does Machmas Chisaron Kis apply not just to the direct value of the item, but also to the potential greater loss of time and money that may be incurred if the passport is used to steal the holder's identity?

May 17, 2019, 09:29:24 AM
Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality I am a frum man - blessed with children. I clearly don't have a womb, so whatever I say should be taken with a grain of salt.

I've been thinking a lot about abortion and what's going in the news lately.
Me too
I'm a frum woman, mother of 2, and being pro-life seemed almost instinctual to me. But beyond my personal beliefs, debating the legality or illegality of abortion requires understanding the (euphemistically named) pro-choice position.

So the defense agains the common pro-abortion arguments are as follows:

1. "My body, my choice": This argument (which often gets intertwined with the viability argument) imagines that since the fetus is inside the mother's womb and cannot survive on its own, it's considered part of the mother. This would be the equivalent of assuming that a car parked inside a garage is part of the house. Or that a cake baking in the oven is part of the oven. The viability argument isn't too sure-footed either. A 3-month-old baby would also die if they were left alone. A toddler would also die if no one would feed them. Some adult husbands would die if they weren't fed ;) . The fact that someone requires care doesn't mean that they don't have the right to exist.
You analogy is false. That three month old baby can live if someone else were to feed it. If a 3-month old fetus was pulled out of the uterus - there is literally no way it can survive. (Yes we can fertilize embryos in a lab and implant them, but we can't move an already growing fetus to another womb).

2. "A fetus isn't a baby": Well, that's right, a fetus isn't a baby. Just the same way a baby isn't a child and a child isn't a teenager and a teenager isn't an adult. They're all at different developmental stages. But ultimately, they are all human. It's a human fetus. In fact, if you can handle it- take a look at these first trimester images and tell me that this isn't a human.
What it looks like is irrelevant. The bottom line is that it isn't a viable human being.
3. The rape/incest case: As horrible and as tragic as these cases are, getting an abortion doesn't take away the rape. Furthermore, the unborn child isn't guilty of the crimes of his father. How can we justify taking someone's innocent life for a crime he didn't commit?

What about the victim of the rape? This person was attacked and violated. She will probably have physical and psychological trauma for the rest of her life. As you have b"h been obligated twice in your life so far to say birchas hagomel because you survived childbirth, I imagine you understand that pregnancy brings both financial requirements and medical risks - we're going to victimize the victim of a crime even further?  We're going to make her risk her own life for a fetus that isn't even a 'ben kayama'?

For the offensive play, pro-lifers point out the brutality of abortion.
Many people don't even know that most surgical abortions involve at the very least the dismemberment of the fetus. While rare, late term saline abortions have the baby undergo chemical burns from the inside out. If you have the stomach for it, you can google other late term abortion horrors.
You can learn about the actual details of an abortion procedure here, it's not the same as having a cancerous, clump of tissue removed.

There is evidence that suggest that the fetus can feel pain from 16weeks and on:

On the scientific front things seem clear. A fetus is it's own human being, with it's own distinct set of DNA.
According to the CDC - which is probably the most accurate and unbiased source - 91% of all abortions happen before 13 weeks, and about 65% happen before 8 weeks. Generally speaking, the later term abortions are situations where the mother is at risk.

But things get murkier- what do we say to those babies being born into poverty, into immature and even neglectful families, those born with conditions that will make their life a struggle? What about those babies who are simply unwanted? Are they better off dead?

What if in the future we will have guaranteed pain-free abortions? What if scientists could find incontrovertible truth that babies are not conscious prior to birth? Would that change things?

Pro-life proponents would still argue "no". And that brings us to the heart of the matter: the sanctity of life. And this is the underlying answer to all of the pro-life arguments. This is why it doesn't matter what Life is, or when exactly it starts. Life is precious. Life is the most. precious. thing. Even the life of an unwanted, inconvenient baby. Even the life of a rapist's child. Even the life of a baby with Down Syndrome. Even the life of a baby who will grow up to live a poor, hard, obstacle-ridden, mostly miserable life.

At least that's how I see it.
While I can't be one to argue with your feelings. It's clear you value the life of the unborn more than the life and/or wellbeing of the mother!

 If g-d forbid a woman in pregnancy has a medical issue - and only she or the baby could survive - would you still feel that way? Would you be inclined to tell that woman to keep her pregnancy and die in order to preserve the life of the baby?

Can you imagine for a second, a 20-year-old girl, about to hit the shidduch circuit who gets raped by a non-jew on her way home from seminary? Are you advocating that she keep the baby of the criminal that impregnated her. I'm sure her shidduch prospects would be impressed that she preserved the sanctity of life by keeping this baby with the shaygitz father that impregnated her.  I am sure that will go over great when that baby becomes bar mitzvah and gets called to the torah without his true father's name. I'm sure he'll have no issue fitting in in the jewish world (because let's face it, giving up a frum baby for adoption to a non-jewish or non-frum family is probably just as bad as getting an abortion).

But this is no longer a cold-hard, logical, scientific truth. The sanctity of life is a uniquely religious idea. Because we are made in the image of G-d, that is why human life is precious. If we remove G-d from the picture- is life precious from an evolutionary standpoint? Is the 80-90 year lifespan of one (statistically prone to be) unremarkable human important among the millions of years, millions of species that precede and succeed it? Not much. Should this clump of molecules, this group of atoms matter more than this amoeba, that bacteria, this asteroid shooting, hurtling around in galaxy? And if this particular life will be difficult and often unhappy, then maybe it's even a kindness to kill it.

So for me, ultimately it's an issue of morality. And morality is inherently a religious constructs. Again, if nature is king and evolution dictates the progression of the world- why does social justice matter? In fact, in today's parlance, evolution is 'racist'! According to natural selection, it's only inevitable that 'the fittest' end up on top. That the smartest and strongest dominate and exploit the weaker isn't evil or unjust- it's only the way nature is designed!

and yet in the torah/mishna/gemara we see that:
- the punishment for damages that end a pregnancy isn't equivalent to murder.
- A child isn't considered a viable human being until 30 days out of the womb.

So now, does immoral = illegal?
Should it?

As a frum jew, from a Torah perspective, something is illegal precisely because it is immoral. But is that something we should pursue in a secular government? What about separation of church and state?
I remember frum Jews posting somewhat celebratory messages when gay marriage was legalized in 2015. The government shouldn't dictate the terms of morality, they wrote.

But where is the line drawn? And what kind of arguments can be made when God is removed from the picture?
The only reason something is illegal is because the society that we live in have deemed it as such.  I think most people in this world - regardless of religion - would think that Adultery is immoral. While adultery is grounds for divorce, and a reason to sink a political campaign, it isn't illegal.

There are those that suggest making permanent changes to your children's bodies is immoral as well, after all if we're arguing for the rights to save the unborn from their parents, why not fight for the rights of the unaware - there are movements now to not only ban ear piercings for young children, but bris mila as well. While you and I do not, some people think that circumcizing a baby is immoral as well, and it soon might in fact be legal.

Where do I draw the line? that's a good question, and a hard one - the laws that protect me as a member of a religion, should not only protect members of other religions, but also those not bound by religion.

I will leave you with a little story. Someone close to me had a situation many years ago where late into the wife's pregnancy (about 18 weeks) a medical condition that put her in serious danger was discovered. The couple consulted with several rabonim and after some discussion were given a heter to terminate the pregnancy. B"H this couple were blessed with healthy children after this (in addition to the ones they had prior).

I imagine that there are other such situations where this type of abortion is warranted, and I hope that you will agree with me. The problem is, under a lot of the new laws being introduced, these logical exemptions - at the very least Rape, Incest, or Medical Danger to the mother - are not exempt.

Which means that even in these cases, where there is a clear - Mother's life or Baby's life - situation, a doctor wouldn't be allowed to perform those abortions, at the very least, I find this reprehensible.

May 17, 2019, 02:07:17 PM
Re: Jokes Master Thread
A guy goes to the doctor and says “Doc, I want to live to be 100”. So the doctor pulls out his prescription pad and starts to write: Early to bed, early to rise. No smoking. No drinking. No women. No anger or excitement. No meat, only vegetables and legumes.

The guy says ”Doc, if I do all of this I’ll live to be 100?”
“Probably not,” answers the doctor,” but it will feel like it.”

Reminds me of this one:

- A reporter is tasked with finding older individuals in the park and asking the secret to their longevity. He sees three elderly gentlemen and decides to ask them their secrets. He asks the first man how old he is, and then man says he's 85. He asks his secret to longevity, and he tells him that he never smoked cigarettes a day in his life. He approaches the second man and asks him how old he is, the man says - I am 88. He asks him the secret to his longevity, and the man tells him that he's sworn off alcohol. Finally he approaches the third man. "So what's your secret?" the reporter asks him - "No smoking?" - " I've smoked a pack a day, everyday for years". "Well, probably no drinking then?" asks the reporter - "I drink like a fish", said the 3rd man. "Wow, so you smoke and drink and you don't look much older or much worse than these two guys here - how old are you?" "I'm 54" :)

May 20, 2019, 02:09:50 PM
Re: Starbucks Rewards changes/devaluation Tried hacking this a little myself.
I got a brewed coffee
Almond milk
Cinnamon Dolce syrup,
Two shots of espresso
For 50 stars.

I ordered via the app, and then when I came in I asked for a cup of ice. Poured the coffee over the ice and Voila!

May 26, 2019, 06:29:45 PM
Re: Gedolei Hador?
He writes about how humble Dan is.. man this guy is all into selfies and pics of his shoes and food *barf*

He's a marketer, that's what they do.

June 06, 2019, 11:01:31 AM
Re: Prime Day 2019
Mazal Tov! Boy or girl?


I wish controlling my kids was as easy as buying an Amazon remote :)

June 25, 2019, 02:31:21 PM
Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live
Because our assemblypeople are an outspoken anti-semite and a self-hating Jew and they try to hurt us at every corner.

The state formula needs to be changed to cater to the unique needs of Rockland County, but they won't lift a finger.

Thank God, the people who they represent and one of them were utterly humiliated in the primaries this week.

Also, a few of the villages have ridiculous debt to pay off because they had and lost RLUIPA suits that cost them millions and they need to pay it off, and we end up paying, because we live there. They fought it (except Chestnut Ridge that got sechel) because they're vile anti-semites.

The rhetoric among some of them wouldn't embarrass the Nazis of the 1930s.

Here you have a sitting Republican Rockland County legislator, one day ago on Facebook.

I remember having an argument with someone about an article that was published by the NY Times (of course) on Rosh Hashana (double of course) about 10 years ago. The article talked suggested that the school board had 'Overly Ultra-Orthodox Representation' and that the 'Hasidim stuff the ballot boxes'. The people I was arguing with suggested that the Chasidim unfairly divert the money from the school board to weaken the school districts. They also argued it wasn't fair for people who didn't send their children to public school to be involved in the school board.

I pointed out to them that at least 2/3 of the district's children (as pointed out by the article) went to yeshivas - are they not entitled to proper support services? Speech and Language, OT, etc? They started to see my point - but they were still uncomfortable about the 'chasidim' running the school board - I pointed out that a) they were the clear majority of voters and b) their representation on the school board wasn't out of line with their demographics (I think it was 5/7 seats).

So they regurgitated their argument of 'people without kids in the district...', I asked what if we replaced chasidim with 'Old People?' - what if the people on the school board were empty nesters who no longer needed the school district? Would they feel the same way? That made them think.

June 27, 2019, 10:08:22 AM
Re: The Pros And Cons Of Where You Live I'm surprised that I never chimed in on this thread before, so I'll bite. I live in White Plains, NY. The frum community is definitely a little more modern, but we have two orthodox shuls (Young Israel and Hebrew Institute) with about 350-400 families.

The pros
- It's a relatively affordable community still within a stone's throw of NYC.
- Taxes are relatively good (but not great) most 4Bd will run between 10-13K per year
- Metro North to midtown is about 35-40 minutes by train, and reliable
- Conveniences of a city - supermarkets open late (Every once in a while I'll find myself in stop and shop at 11pm on Thursday getting the one thing my wife needs to finish cooking for shabbos and I meet 5 other people doing the same thing), 24-hour pharmacies.
- Not far from anything - in less than an hour you can be in Riverdale (20m), Monsey (30-35), Queens (about 40), UWS (25-30), Teaneck (35-40)- and Five Towns or Brooklyn on a Sunday morning.

The cons:
- Lack of restaurants - there's Pizza and Chinese in New Rochelle
- Only one large kosher supermarket nearby, and it's expensive (but most people go to Costco in New Rochelle, which has kosher meat or buy meat/cheese in Monsey/Riverdale/Queens)
- Yeshiva Choices - there are a few, but they're all co-ed - works for some, not for others.

I'm sure that for many of you this might not be a good fit, but if you have any interest and want to know more, please feel free to DM me.

June 27, 2019, 10:36:32 AM
Re: Is It Ethical?
Disney World offers discounted annual passes for "Florida Residents" without defining what a FL resident is. Rather, they state that "You’ll need to provide proof of a Florida residential address in order to purchase a Florida Resident park ticket or annual pass", and then provide a list of acceptable documentation, including (i) Valid Florida driver’s license (must have a Florida address) and (ii) Mail from financial institutions, including checking, savings or investment account statements. See full list here:

Nowhere on the page (that I can see at least) does it state how many nights are required in FL in order to be considered a resident, or provide any other test for determining residency. So, as long as someone meets the qualifications on the page, would it be ethical to purchase a FL resident annual pass? For example:

1. Person A lives with this grandmother in FL all year round, but keeps his NY ID and didn't change his mailing address on his official documentation.
2. Person B lives in NY all year round, but has access to his grandmother's vacant apartment in FL all year round, and has his financial documentation forwarded there.
2. Person C lives in NY all year round, but keeps an apartment in FL for occasional weekend visits, and has his financial documentation forwarded there.
3. Person D lives in NY all year round, but has a PO Box in Florida and has his financial documentation forwarded there.

Which of these three people would be ethically entitled to a FL resident annual pass? Or is it always ethical as long as you can provide authentic documentation as requested?

I believe that this is ethical - as any one of those people would be able to satisfy the proof of residency requirements.

I imagine that Disney's lawyers put a fair amount of thought and effort into their policy before deciding on how one would prove 'residency' - understanding the pros and cons of each. For example, Florida does have an inordinate number of 'snowbirds' and those snowbirds may or may not have local driver's licenses, but most likely have a utility bill or bank statement. While they know some people who don't fit the classic definition of a Florida resident, they imagine that they constitute a small number of cases relative to the aforementioned snowbirds who's grandchildren they want to visit their park.

I believe that this is a similar in spirit to the NY and NJ policies for in-state college tuition at SUNY, CUNY and Rutgers. In order to enable illegal immigrants to get in-state tuition, both NY and NJ passed an alternative definition of residency - if you graduate from a high school in state, and have spent at least two years there, your diploma and transcripts prove residency. So if you live in Monsey but go to school in Teaneck you are eligible for In-state tuition at Rutgers, even though you are clearly not a New Jersey resident in any sense of the word.  They created this policy in this manner to help a certain subset of the population, knowing that another minority will take advantage of it.

July 01, 2019, 09:49:34 AM