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Re: Keeping Up With The Kushners
I'm so glad a DDF glitch let me like your post twice, ha. I think we judge ourselves favorably. When it's our aveiros, we are orthodox people who are trying. When it's someone else with specific aveiros, they are "conservatives" or reform or open orthodox etc. When it's us and loshon hora/v'havta lirayacha kamocha/being careful about treating converts as the torah reminds us myriad times, eh no big deal, we're orthodox. But if uncle saul drives to shul on shabbas, he's conservative.

I say we do away with all the other labels and look to halacha. There are halachic jews, and non jews. There is no 3rd status. Granted, there are special laws to treat kohanim, levi'im, converts, elders, rabbis, and maybe I as missing a few. Let's stop with ALL the other labels.

So you're orthodox and they're something less because your sins are outside the realms of shabbas and kosher and sitting in a church? Why are those realms the deciding factors for you in this label system of yours? Aren't all d'oraisas equal to each other, and same with all d'rabanans?
This is a really tough one. If someone doesn't cover their hair or wear pants does this make them non Orthodox? I don't think so. Certainly all of us make mistakes on a regular basis with lashon hora, and a myriad of other aveiros but we are either A) ignorant of some of the finer details of Halacha or B) we are human and mess up but essentially as long as one believes in following Halacha and aknowledges the authority of the gedolim and poskim one is orthodox. Actually all aveiros are not created equal as are discussed in the various halachos of mumar. There are certain situations such as one knowingly doing specific aveiros when there isn't even an incentive to do so or in a very open and brazen manor or in some cases aveiros having to do with Shabbos or avoda zora that would reflect on ones status as an Orthodox Jew. Not exactly analogous, but I think we would all understand that one who does not wear a kippa (though he might very well be orthodox) would be making a statement that is of more significance than one who sorts cutlery on Shabbos despite the latter being a dioraisa and the former possibly not even being dirabonon.The problems start when one (or ones rabbi) views Halacha as fungible and all the Halachic authorities as out of touch and irrelevant. At that point it would seem that one has crossed the line and would no longer be considered orthodox. We should certainly accept those who are culturally orthodox with love and patience and understanding, and hope that they will grow in their spiritual journey, just as we would like to grow beyond many of the things that we are deficient in as you pointed out, but it is unfair and unhealthy to erase all labels and thereby blur the lines for ourselves in what is considered normative Orthodox observance.

January 24, 2017, 06:10:39 PM
Re: NY Post Article On Satmar Couple's Open Marriage (Interesting Articles Split)
Ain adam choteh ela im kein nichnas bo ruach shtus...

I'd venture to say that most OTD cases happen because of unfulfilled Taivos.

Have to disagree with you there, unless you are referring to the proximate cause. There are many abuse situations, learning disability, kids not cut out for the specific school etc. they are squeezed into, mental health issues, just to name a few root causes. Taavos may be the eventual trigger, but someone brought up in a healthy environment who feels happy, fulfilled, and comfortable with himself in all other ways in unlikely to go OTD because he also has unfulfilled taavos IMHO. I'm sure there are instances of normal people succumbing to their taavos but that's not representative of most OTD.

March 15, 2017, 09:47:06 AM
Re: Esrog trees- Lakewood $12
Would love to hear.
Esrogei California Chazon Ish kivelevitch. I'm not an expert but keep them indoors near my patio door in the winter since citrus trees are not cold hardy, and on the deck in the summer and they are flourishing. Getting them to grow esrogim can be done but I understand it takes some work, but the plants look nice and when you rub the leaves they smell like esrog.....

September 26, 2017, 01:20:39 AM
Re: Esrog trees- Lakewood $12
Are they Chazon Ish or Kivelevitch?
My mistake. I assumed kivelevitch was a zan Chazon ish but I see it is a subset of Braverman.

"These Esrogim were attested to by Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin, the Brisker Rav, who upon seeing a certain Esrog tree remarked "This is my tree". From this tree the Braverman family established their stock in Petach Tikva. A sub-strain of Braverman is the KIVILEVITZ variety."

September 26, 2017, 09:22:34 AM
Esrog Trees $10 - Lakewood Only 3 left. Looks great in your sukkah! 4-6 foot plants. California Esrogim. Kivelevitch.
October 04, 2017, 11:30:46 AM
Re: Do you Daven? Wow what a thread. As others have mentioned, the only way you will have any influence on your husband is through positive reinforcement, and genuine respect. Find some things you can genuinely respect him for in any area, not necessarily religious. His respect for you and consequently your influence on him will grow immensely.

With all due respect there may be another aspect here. The fact that you are almost able to contemplate the idea of being “true to yourselves” and living a secular lifestyle leaves me to wonder about the extent of your feelings and level of connection to God and religion in general and how they are expressed in your home. Is it something that has a place in everyday conversation in your life?

It is a mans mitzvah to davening, but genuine davening can’t take place in a vacuum. If there is no religious vitality in the home, and the extent of the connection to the frum lifestyle is superficial and largely revolves around the cost of the frum lifestyle etc. then the external expression of that is going to be apathy and disinterest in davening etc.

If there is room for you to grow personally in this area it will go farther than anything you could possibly say to your husband to influence him. Learning a few minutes a day from a book that speaks to you, attending a meaningful shiur/ lecture on a somewhat regular basis etc. and giving expression to your connection to spirituality in everyday life will reap dividends.

 In the meantime, if you have a husband who cares about you, is a devoted father, and is there together with you to deal with life’s challenges, you have much to be grateful for.....

January 11, 2018, 11:40:35 AM
Re: RIP/BDE Master Thread
He accomplished unbelievable things despite devastating disability, a trait to be admired.

But that aside, what are the criteria for mention in this thread? A man, created in the image of G-d (that he did not believe in IINM,) left this world for the eternal one.  Do his life and accomplishments not warrant acknowledgment?  Does his family not deserve our compassion?

He went to great lengths to justify the denial of G-d’s existence, with unprovable theories about the universe before the Big Bang that themselves required faith...

March 14, 2018, 08:14:11 AM
Re: Pesach Programs and False Advertising
Waiter service?
Chol Hamoed activities included?
Day camp for kids?

I assume you’re  being sarcastic.

I guess we missed out on the waiter service, but we took turns serving. Cooking all the food took some time, but so would packing up/ traveling to a hotel etc., and  we doubled up most of the food before Yom Tov, so we barely had any cooking to do before the last days.

Season passes to six flags took care of some of chol Hamoed. Afikomen presents, family get togethers, and a a few smaller trips took care of the rest. Kids had a blast; around $185 total.

Day camp for kids? We loved having the kids around and had a blast as a family. Wouldn’t have given it up for anything....

April 08, 2018, 11:40:57 AM
Re: Pesach Programs and False Advertising
How did you manage only 2100? What did you eat?
Amount is approximate

Off the top of my head
14 lb hand matzah approx. $275
3 boxes hand matzah, 7 shemurah matza meal/ cake meal for kneidlach, marble cake that tasted like chometz etc. approx $75

Small whole side of salmon @ Shoprite $20

2 gefilta fish $9
3 French roasts from seasons $6.99 lb. approx $130
Chicken cutlets/ nuggets/ hot poppers, pan cooked wine sauce chicken for Seder etc. approx $70
10 potato kugels approx $35

5 potato starch $10

Liver, salami $15

2lb. Lox @ Costco $24

35 dozen eggs from Target :) (used gift cards purchased @ 15% off last December (Target deal plus discover 5%) approx $22?
used for egg noodles, matza Brie, hard boiled eggs, etc etc.

Additional potatoes for mashed, scalloped etc. $15

Mushrooms for mushroom soup salads etc. $20

Flanken ends from NPGS for “cholent” and yabsuk (actually was real flanken just short pieces @3.99
lb. $25 chopped meat from seasons @$2.99 lb. for meatballs& potatoes, pan burgers, etc. $40

Chicken legs @2.39 lb. for chicken soup, cast iron seared chicken, amazing carmelzed onion chicken etc. $35

Marinara and cheese for matzah pizza $40

Ground Nuts, apples, cocoa,  etc for various cakes, brownies, nut bars, mousses, baked apples, apple kugel  Charoses etc. $45-55

Pastrami, corned beef, smoked turkey from costco $45

Small amount of bought cake, choc. Covered nuts, lady fingers etc. $35

Ice cream- par eve and milchigs $25

Raw corned beef from seasons 4.99 lb.? For sedarim and last days $45

Romaine and horseradish for salads and maror $65

Guests brought some decent wine for sedarim
and also some paper goods

Disposables and serving things for rest of the meals approx $100

Aluminum pans etc. $30

Someone sent over a bottle of cave :)

Assorted bottles of wine $175

Grape juice @$3 at stop and shop unlimited

Wings and hot sauce to grill for a couple of the meals approx. $25

Cauliflower and onions for roasting and for veg. Kugels $25

Soda, 5/$5 ShopRite, seltzer, milk, oj , bottled water from costco $45-$55

Assorted yogurts, cheeses, cream cheese , cheese snacks etc $50

Counter covers, tape, foil, etc. $35

Cottage cheese etc for matzah lasagna $10

French fries, etc. $15

Guests brought huge fruit platters that lasted us a couple desserts

Frozen strawberries for smoothies, pears in strawberry sauce etc. $20

Cleaning help was not included in the $2100- most was spring cleaning; maybe $175 was pesach.

chocolate bars, candy nosh etc.


Lots of fruit, vegetables assorted groceries etc. for the rest...

Amounts are approximate as best as I can recall...

April 08, 2018, 12:22:42 PM
Re: How hard is it financially to make it in Israel?
I can only talk from personal experience but this is what we encountered.  We made aliyah seven years ago with three teenagers (everyone said bad idea), no job (gave up a six figure job) and no place to live a month before moving (also a no no from all friends and family). Sold our modest house and all belongings and quit job so no turning back.  Made a committment to first year of ulpan and adult yeshiva.  Lived off of aliyah benefits and stuffing envelopes for a non profit ( for real, had whole family stuffing and working small jobs.  Also small savings.  Took a job as a kindergarten assistant maternity leave to get a foot in the door.  You do what you need to do, I was a 20 year teacher and university instructor in the states.  Within 3 years was principal.  Daughter went to university for four years, practically free and has two degrees.  Has more job offers than she has time for.  Not great salaries but jobs.  Son did elite army unit and yeshiva (yes it is possible) and completing  first college degree. 
 He Just got married to an Israeli  girl who doesn’t speak much English and they live in a very modest apartment and both work part time as she finishes her second academic degree and he finishes Yeshiva and first degree.  No, they do not get supported by parents, they make it on their own. We live in a modest apartment in Jerusalem with an ugly purple sofa that came with the apartment and no car.  Material wise we live very basically but fulfillment wise all of us couldn’t be happier. 
Is this for all Jews? I wish I could say yes, but know people have different priorities.  If you read this an say “he must be crazy” then that  is your answer.  Are there problems here, both financial and otherwise?  Of course.  Do all make the transition? No.  Who does it make the greatest impact on? The kids.  Kids here are on a whole different level as compared to kids in the states, which is an area for a different discussion.  And yes, our children are even more religious here.  They are living  and making Jewish history. Our  son’s commander’s course was packed with religious boys and our girls do national service. Feel  free to PM me if you have any questions that we can help with.

I would imagine that dati Leumi would find it easier to integrate than ultra orthodox.

April 23, 2018, 01:17:01 AM