Orthodox attempting to address pre-marital sex

orthosex


I don’t have much to say about this unusual article regarding a recent forum held by certain leaders of the modern Ortho community in Israel. I do suggest you read it and the comments that follow. People can be fairly cruel.

For example, I find it shocking and sad that 30% of Orthodox women over 30 remain unmarried, when I presume that not only as a personal matter but also as one of faith, they would very much like to be married. Many of the comment writers, and presumably most Haredi rabbis, would rather these women (and the single men who haven’t found a partner) refrain from enjoying any form of sexual activity until marriage. Maybe it’s me, but sexuality does seem to be a natural and instinctive part of who we are as human beings. Suppressing it seems quite unnatural. Perhaps those who advocate the strictest interpretations of sexual engagement between people should take the natural next step, found some monasteries and call these unmarried individuals nuns?

Is something broken in the system here?


750 Comments

  1. Dave

    3/22/2005 at 2:09 pm

    The problem is that the Halacha has not been amended to catch up with recent social trends of the last 20 or 30 years. 100 years ago in the Middle East, and I guess in Eastern Europe, guys used to get married at 20 years old and younger, and women as young as 14. So at that point “saving yourself for your true love” wasn’t that hard. Even 35 years ago or so, even in North America, men marrying at 25 and women at 20 was quite normal. Again, not that difficult to control one’s natural urges for and in the hope of future wedded bliss. Now we’re at the stage where many men may not marry until 35 and women until 30, since they can’t usually provide for themselves or a family until then. And the pill has decoupled sex from pregnancy, and the society has become very tolerant of pre-marital sex, so that’s why everyone has a problem, even the Orthodox.
    I propose a radical solution- when it looks like a guy and a girl are behaving like they are contemplating having sex (it’s not that hard to tell, if their friends and family are observant), even if they’re 16 or so, encourage them to get make a formal public commitment to each other, with the clear understanding, explicitly stated that they shall use birth control and protection. Even have a formal service in the synagogue, but this would clearly be understood is not expected to be a lifelong commitment, but the guy and girl would be required to be faithful to each other, for the mutually agreed duration. This would teach a habit of loyalty. If at some point the partners decided to make a marriage commitment, then that would be fine too. One could consider this as a pre-marriage or quasi-marriage or betrothal. I know this is not an ideal solution, but what we have right now in most societies is total anarchy as far as relationships are concerned.

  2. Michael

    3/22/2005 at 2:20 pm

    Whoa, that’s actually a really good idea. If you had made me get up in front of a synagogue with my girlfriend when I was 16 and made me make a formal public commitment in front of my friends, family and everybody else, I would have been so embarrassed I probably wouldn’t have looked at, much less touch, a girl for the next five years.

  3. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 2:23 pm

    Look, for most non-Haredi Jews careers/status is the #1 rasion d’etre of why to wake up in the AM (I think this is very troubling, but c’est la vie). Add to this the high percentage of divorces, the stress of dual income families and children, blah, blah…and is it any wonder that Modern Ortho Jews aren’t getting married at 21?

    However, the rabbis are telling stinky lies. And they know it. It’s not that YU undergrads are playing with each other’s genitals between class, it’s that NCSY teens are doing this. So unless Modern Ortho Judaism finds a way to marry off their teens at 14, this problem/dilemma is here to stay (and the Haredim know this, and that’s why they lump Modern Ortho Judaism into the “Liberal Jewsh Stew”.)

  4. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 2:25 pm

    The rabbis are lying, the problem isn’t YU grads playing with each other’s genitals, it’s NCSY participants doing this. You can’t ask a 24 year old to keep it in his pants, when it’s been out since 15.

  5. Dina

    3/22/2005 at 2:27 pm

    I hope you’re joking Michael.

    But I do think that every girl should have the choice to go to the mikvah or not. I mean, really!

  6. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 2:32 pm

    Dave…you’re cute. But I’m assuming you haven’t worked with teens. The only way…THE ONLY WAY…to ensure celibacy/non-sexual contact is to do the Hassidic shuffle i.e. at 12 you seperate ‘em. Anything else will result in late night rendez-vous in the back of a 7-11.

    Just to set the record straight, I truly enjoyed my teen years (even with the ocassional beating from a Chomedy Greek). But if you’re on e of those (read: Orthodox rabbi) who’s concerned about this issue, turn to the experts, and by that I mean, Belz, Satmar, Munkatch, Skver, etc.

  7. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 2:35 pm

    “Whoa, that’s actually a really good idea.”

    For Christians maybe, not for us. We’re talking the laws of Onan here people…spilling seed. And for a 15 year old, this can occur via a slight breeze. So turn to Belz, Satmar, Skver, and Munkatch for the only tried and tested method for keeping teens out of each other’s pants (at least with the opposite sex…DOH).

  8. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 2:36 pm

    Jewlicious dudes, your comments section is friggin wonky

  9. Nicolas

    3/22/2005 at 2:37 pm

    yea, the article was pretty interesting and i agree it is an issue that should be discussed. In response to Jewlicious’ post i would say several things.
    Sexuality is definately natural and can be beautiful but i think that the standard religious response would be something like this (and of couse im not by any mean an authority) . . . that like mnay things that are natural or instinctive sex needs to be controlled in such a way that it is not just a response and is different from just anything any animal would do. One way we do this is by treating it as one of the holiest things that we can do with another person. So, to allow premarital sex would be to make it significantly more accesible. Its known that the things that we do often are trivialized and so the way we prevent this is by regulating it in a sort of way.
    As for why not going to the “next step” and call these people nuns we should think, “b/c we dont want them to not have sex or to not be able to partake in such a holy act but rather we want them to partake in it in a way that will ultimately be worth the wait and/or sanctify it.” Something like that.

    As for Dave’s idea, i hardly think that it would ever work out. I mean come on, do you actually think that anyone would be willing to do that let alone that halakhic authority would ok it.

    But yo, definately an interesting topic. what do other think?

  10. Dave

    3/22/2005 at 2:41 pm

    They used to have an informal version of what I was suggesting, in the days of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. It was called concubinage, which admittedly is a very politically incorrect term.

  11. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 2:42 pm

    “As for Dave’s idea, i hardly think that it would ever work out. ”

    Oh it would…it would. It would serve as an aphrodiasaic to encourage teens to get all deviant and shit. Ever tell a typical 15 year old not to do something (with no really, REALLY good reason)? It’s like dangling a bag of crack vials in front of an addict and saying: “Please don’t”.

  12. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 2:49 pm

    Wait, how are we like animals again? If somebody wants to have some form of sex (I’m not even sure it’s intercourse we’re talking about here) and doesn’t wait until they’re 32 years old with no strong prospects of marriage, they’re like animals?

    edit: Shtreimel, apologies about the delayed posts but this topic contains a lot of the words in the spam filter. Try not to say lesbian or pregnant sex too many times. :lol:

  13. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 2:53 pm

    “nd doesn’t wait until they’re 32 years old with no strong prospects of marriage, they’re like animals?”

    No, but they’re breaking the laws of Onan (punishable by death I believe). And this is what concerns the rabbis. Remember, for Modern Orthodox Jews to remain Orthodox, they must take this seriously. Hell, it’s those bloody NCSY conventions that contribute to much of this “speed spillin'”

  14. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 2:54 pm

    Heh heh, what I meant to type was “seed” not “speed”. But when you’re a teenage boy, speed does tend to be a problem. Ok, enough…enough.

  15. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 2:55 pm

    Would this be the right time to encourage people to attend the Jewlicious conference?

  16. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 2:57 pm

    Brilliant TM, brilliant.

    Funny, because every grade 8 Bialik/Hertz kid can’t wait for the garde 9 Israel trip. Especially if they had older siblings who went on that trip. They’ve heard the rumors.

  17. Esther

    3/22/2005 at 2:58 pm

    That is a radical solution, and I think it shows really creative, innovative thinking. But I’ve got mixed feelings on it.

    I think that Judaism does need to acknowledge that things now are not the same as what was. That’s (in a different way) what I understood the takkanah of Rabbenu Gershom was about, saying yes, there was polygamy in the past, but it’s not right for us today. I think that kind of thinking is lacking in general in Orthodox circles, even modern ones. (Don’t even get me started on tefilah.)

    Ultimately, while sex between consulting adults (not 16-year-olds in frum communities) is between two people (and one could argue, Omniscient Voyeur Guy), to create some sort of “Jew It Before You Do It” ritual to publicly commemorate or sanctify this kind of a personal, private act seems very untznius (immodest) to me. Why not just invite the shul to the deflowering? Sponsor a kiddush? Buy a plaque to commemorate the event?

    That said, I’m not against ceremonies and sanctifications that involve halakhah, mikvah, even tefilah. But I think that any such event should be between the two parties doing the, um, partying. If I wanted my community in my bedroom, I’d live in the synagogue social hall. (Although, I do wonder what the rent’s like there.)

    And I’m with Dina on the mikvah thing. That a single woman who’s sexually active should be receiving a “God Forbid” when she asks to visit the mikvah is appalling. And perhaps, if mikvah had been more of a part of Jewish education (say, as part of bat mitzvah preparations), it might be viewed with less contempt now by women who find it impossible to accept an impurity that restricts us from receiving any comforting touch from the significant others we have waited so long to find.

  18. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 3:03 pm

    Esther,

    You’d love the Conservative Movement. They believe very much in this:
    “I think that Judaism does need to acknowledge that things now are not the same as what was.”
    As David Schnarch (wonderful, incredible marital/family therapist) states about marital affairs:
    “It may be normal, but it doesn’t mean it’s healthy”

  19. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 3:03 pm

    Perhaps somebody needs to sponsor mikvahs that are open to unmarried women?

    By the way, the idea of this special ceremony at 16 is a great way to cost Jewish parents even more money to raise their children and would be a great boon to caterers, florists, cheesy bands, jewellers and bakers (“we make the best “Age of Consent” cakes in town! Show your beloved how much you love her…before you love her!”)

  20. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 3:10 pm

    TM,

    What great t-shirts these would be, here’s yours:
    “Show your beloved how much you love her…before you love her!”

    Mine:
    “The really, REALLY Sweet 16″

  21. Dina

    3/22/2005 at 3:15 pm

    Y’know, the mikvah thing’s so annoying! I don’t have a single friend who is or was always shomer/shomeret (and I’m Orthodox) and even if you’re not actually having sex–any form of anything needs a woman to have gone to the mikvah.

  22. Dina

    3/22/2005 at 3:16 pm

    And shtreimel, I love the tee-shirts idea!

  23. Esther

    3/22/2005 at 3:16 pm

    As a point of fact, I love all Jews and love Judaism. But I do not, in general, love movements. I’ve worked at the flagship institutions of two out of three major movements, and nothing seems to fit. I flirt with the term Conservadox, but that’s not really it either.

    And I acknowledge that many of the sexual choices that people make today aren’t necessarily emotionally or physically healthy ones. I’m not saying we necessarily need embrace all that has changed about society, just that we understand when people make other choices.

  24. Dave

    3/22/2005 at 3:17 pm

    Even though you all think my proposal if a joke, what do you have to propose, ha ha?! Having been celibate (for religious reasons) for extended periods of my adult life, I know what I am talking about.

  25. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 3:20 pm

    Dave, I actually think your idea has some merit. It’s just that it would become the post bar mitzvah bar mitzvah celebration (“Hey, did Josh hook up with Lara, nudge nudge wink wink”). I think 16 is too young, but realistic.

  26. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 3:30 pm

    “just that we understand when people make other choices.”

    WE need to understand why WE are making these choices. Why, for example, are so many Vancouver Jews (over the age of 35) still single? Is it because they’re happier that way (doubt it. whenever a shrink comes to the JCC to discuss intimacy, marriage, etc., the room is packed, packed, packed)? Confused? Not sure what they want? Regardless, I believe we should work on ourselves before we ask our tradition to bend towards our vices and desires.

  27. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 3:31 pm

    Are there many Vancouver Jews who are single at 35?

  28. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 3:36 pm

    TM,

    You wouldn’t believe it. Why, you looking?

  29. Esther

    3/22/2005 at 3:55 pm

    “Note to self: Visit Vancouver.”

    Seriously, I’m not sure the reason that men and women in their thirties and forties are single is because they’d rather be companionless. Sure, some of them are a little loosey goosey about commitment, or giving up their Warren Beatty bachelor lives for one woman. But others haven’t found the right person.

    And an interesting note. Dina and I are the only two women who’ve weighed in on this thread thus far. And in the JPost article, of the ten talkback comments, only one is a woman, and her name doesn’t sound all that Jewish to me. Where are the women?

  30. lynn

    3/22/2005 at 4:05 pm

    This woman is disturbed enough by the lack of sex ed in school (and the lack of sex ed received myself) that I really can’t think about this without being really angry.
    I won’t teach my kids that. I will teach my kids personal responsibility about sex and that involves secular sex ed and Jewish Ortho sex ed. To be 80’s cliche “knowledge is power.”

    The gossipy aspect of Mikvahs has always distrubed me. I’d love to see it ended.

  31. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 4:06 pm

    “But others haven’t found the right person.”

    If you take all the single people, and all the divorced people, how many people do we have left that have “found the right person”. Very, very few. In other words, or in the words of Schnarch: “Nobody is ready for marriage, marriage makes you ready for marriage”.

    A very Jewish concept, no? BTW, if I sound like I’m preaching it’s because I too worry about the very things that I’m critical of.

    BTW Esther, read some of your site, you’re a talented writer.

  32. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 4:09 pm

    BTW, please add “unhappily married…bored in their marriages…and convience marriages” to my list of divorced and single folks. If my math is correct, we should each know 3 people who can claim:
    “I found the right person”

  33. Grandmuffti

    3/22/2005 at 4:13 pm

    Muffti should hold his tongue…but, honestly, maybe the solution is to give up hosts of silly ancient rules that are really dubiously justified? Go out, get laid, enjoy your life and stop worrying so much about whether or not God gives a shit about it? As I remember my torah, even Judah got his whistle wet with prostitutes and things turned out pretty well for him and his descendants.

  34. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 4:23 pm

    Shtreimel, I ain’t lookin’ but I know a young woman who may be and it so happens that she may be heading out to live in your part of the world. It’s not displeasing news…

  35. Michael

    3/22/2005 at 4:23 pm

    And folks, that was Muffti with the angry secular angle, popularized by many luminaries from Ben-Gurion to Shulamit Aloni to every Israeli filmmaker who has ever lived. We now return you to your previously scheduled debate…

  36. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 4:24 pm

    Michael, I’m secular and you didn’t hear that from me…

  37. Michael

    3/22/2005 at 4:25 pm

    I didn’t say secular, I said angry secular. Aww, but I love the Muffti anyway, even if he is a heretic.

  38. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 4:32 pm

    “Go out, get laid, enjoy your life and stop worrying so much about whether or not God gives a shit about it”

    Heh heh, I see these people…every day, in my office. Oh, and they’re dong fine, thank you. Well, that is with their prescription of Effexor and/or Zoloft.

    Now I’m not saying that davening and celibacy will free you from depression and anxiety. But here’s something I know for sure, the secular formula for living i.e. career, shopping and casual encounters, ain’t doing too many any good (go check out the stock prices of any anti-depressant/anxiety pharmaceutical company). Trust me. If you can’t see this, you’ve spent too much time within the halls of your Philosophy dept.

  39. Grandmuffti

    3/22/2005 at 4:36 pm

    Michael, Muffti isn’t angry. Just constantly shocked. And he’s a fan of yours two, theological differences aside.

    It reminds Muffti of the solution Church members had when confronted with evidence from telescopes that the universe was in fact not not made of crystalline spheres that revolved around the earth in conformity with their favourite theistically driven metaphysics. Their solution? Claim that there was irreperable dust and flaws on the lens of the telescopes. (When that didn’t work, they imprisoned Gallileo and implied they would torture him. He quite reasonably took the unheroic route of recanting). The point of the analogy? In both cases, out of date structures made people say ridiculous things rather than acknowledge that the structure was, for lack of a better phrase, completely and totally fucked.

    Anyhow, Ben-Gurion strikes Muffti as pretty good company to keep. Was he angry? (Muffti isn’t sure htat BG would be quite as happy about the matter.)

  40. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 4:36 pm

    GM,
    I see the people you’re talking about, everyday, in my office. Oh, and they’re dong fine, thank you. Well, that is with their prescription for Effexor and/or Zoloft.

    Now I’m not saying that davening and celibacy will free you from depression and anxiety. But here’s something I know for sure, the secular formula for living i.e. career, shopping, and casual sex, ain’t doing too many any good (go check out the stock prices of any anti-depressant/anxiety pharmaceutical company). Trust me. If you can’t see this, you’ve spent too much time within the halls of your Philosophy dept.

  41. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 4:37 pm

    GM can type fuck, and I’m still having problems posting things that don’t even allude to sex. What’s up with that?

  42. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 4:40 pm

    GM,

    If you can bottle a secular prescription that takes care of the alienation, depression, anxiety and consequences thereof i.e. divorce, that secular man/woman is currently going through, you’d be a rich man. However I’m not holding my breath to make any money on your stock.

  43. Grandmuffti

    3/22/2005 at 4:41 pm

    Muffti not onlyfucking typed it, he put it in motherfucking bold. He has special powers. Perhaps if you prayed with a bit more kavanah the grand pubah y’all trust so much will help? Muffti hears he’s capable of miracles :) (sorry, TM, Muffti will stop with the cussin’)

  44. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 4:43 pm

    BTW GM,

    Though I vehemently disagree with most of your views on family, sex and religion, I very much enjoyed our chats at McGill. Moreover, didn’t you invite me up to your room and play some metal guitar on a small Marshall. I seem to recall that.

  45. Grandmuffti

    3/22/2005 at 4:50 pm

    Muffti indeed did. Chatting at McGill was tons of fun. And Slaves on Dope ruled.

    By the way, (Muffti hates to use this forum for these sorts of things) but speaking of, ahem, sex and stuff, are you ever in touch with L_? Always wondered where she went.

  46. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 4:54 pm

    Bumped into her last week on Commercial DR. in Vancouver. She’s doing well.

    Slaves on Dope…amazing how they got Sharone Ozbourne to sign ‘em. Jason (singer) told me he babysat Jack a few times. Alas, Slaves is no more and Jason is managing a Sunglasses Hut in DDO.

  47. josh

    3/22/2005 at 4:57 pm

    Great banter on institutionalizing sin. Woo-hoo!

    Excuse me, this guy founded an organization to fight haredization of the national religious community? Heaven forbid someone might change colours.

    Oh well,
    what most of you are suggesting here is that if the people can’t hold mitzvahs, try to create a compromise so that everyone can rationalize/justify the sin. Jeeez-louise… Do I deny that ortho Jews have premarital relations? No, but to actually condone it with mikvehs for single/unmarried girls? Sad.

    Be reform, they make their own rules, just stop claiming to still be orthodox. Othodox is not hypocritical, only the people who claim to be and aren’t.

  48. Grandmuffti

    3/22/2005 at 4:59 pm

    Nice! Well pass on a hello for Muffti (though, you know, maybe don’t use that name so she’ll know who it is saying hello). Glad that she is doing well. That’s a funny story about SOD and Sharon. Go figure.

  49. Grandmuffti

    3/22/2005 at 5:01 pm

    Actually, Josh, Muffti was advising not to be orthodox. He agrees that compromise means dissolution. So be it. Not all systems are designed to last and it had a good run.

  50. patty-cake

    3/22/2005 at 5:08 pm

    Sorry to break up your little trip down memory lane there, boys, but I have another female voice to add to the debate ;) Actually, it does involve McGill somewhat, since my views on things have changed quite a bit ever since I took a class there in the religious studies department. Yes, yes, I am talking about “sex ethics”. Sounds like a bird course, but actually it was the most interesting course I have ever taken. You know, chemistry is cool, but sex sells. And that’s the point here people! No matter how many times you tell a boy that each time he masturbates a puppy dies, he will keep on doing it! It’s just natural! The biggest problem I have with religion is that it is so unflexible. Times changes, communities change and social structures change. Unfortunately religion is based on centuries of tradition and can’t move with the times.

  51. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 5:10 pm

    “Not all systems are designed to last and it had a good run.”

    Not sure what you’re refering to. And while I agree with you that secular/cultural Judaism as well as Reform/Conservative are in trouble, I know very few Modern Ortho Jews who intermarry and the Hassidic movements are flourishing.

  52. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 5:11 pm

    Um, a puppy dies? :eek:

    Oh, everybody can read back a few comments because Shtreimel’s naughty ones have been let through.

  53. patty-cake

    3/22/2005 at 5:11 pm

    I think the problem is that you guys are basically arguing about two different things, as is true in most great debates. Either you discuss whether or not premarital sex is a bad thing or you discuss whether religious values should hold in today’s society.

  54. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 5:12 pm

    “Unfortunately religion is based on centuries of tradition and can’t move with the times.”

    zzzzzzzzzzzzz
    patty-cake is a new poster, yes? Please tell me she’s a new poster.

  55. Grandmuffti

    3/22/2005 at 5:12 pm

    Oh my god. A puppy dies everytime Muffti masturbates? My teens must have been a virtual massacre for the young canines of the world. He promises never to do it again…

  56. patty-cake

    3/22/2005 at 5:15 pm

    Hey! Shtreimel, I happen to have posted before and I’m sorry if you don’t appreciate what I have to say… Instead of dissing me, how about you prove me wrong or explain to me why my comment put you to sleep?

  57. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 5:16 pm

    Patty-Cake,

    The point is simple…Judaism has laws…New York has laws. One of our laws that are still followed by ORTHODOX Jews is the following:

    Spilling seed upon the ground, or in any other manner unrelated to procreation,is a sin.

    You may not agree with it. Hell, you may have more in common with GM. But in the end, if you care about Modern Orthodoxy, this breaking the laws of Onan is something that needs to be addressed.

  58. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 5:20 pm

    PC,

    If I can have a penny for every time a Jew tries to enlighten Orthodox Jews with this comment:
    “religion is based on centuries of tradition and can’t move with the times.”
    I wouldn’t feel so guilty that I’m not working and spending time on Jewlicious today. In other words, if can’t see how Judaism has evolved in 4000 years, you need to go read some Jewish history.

  59. Grandmuffti

    3/22/2005 at 5:20 pm

    Shtremiel! You’re being even ruder than Muffti! Stop takin’ his job!

    While we’re at it, now that we can see your dirty, filthy posts, you said:

    ow I’m not saying that davening and celibacy will free you from depression and anxiety. But here’s something I know for sure, the secular formula for living i.e. career, shopping and casual encounters, ain’t doing too many any good (go check out the stock prices of any anti-depressant/anxiety pharmaceutical company). Trust me. If you can’t see this, you’ve spent too much time within the halls of your Philosophy dept.

    OK, Muffti really thinks that this ‘too much ivory tower so you don’t know shit’ charge is a little overused. Nonetheless, Muffti is pretty sure you are attributing a rather false dillema to him. Just as there isn’t one orthodox tradition, there is no ‘secular’ formula for living. When Muffti said go out and get laid, etc., he had no intention of also saying be a big crybaby, find the most shallow pursuits possible, swallow pharmaceuticals like they are going out of style and overwork yourself into an anxiety ridden, tired out shell of a person. Fortunately, secularism isn’t devoted to a dogma that can’t compromise and change. Muffti then thinks that those of us who agree with Josh but have no interest in being orthodox should be looking into what values make people happy, productive and feeling fulfilled in a secular world.

  60. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 5:21 pm

    Shtreimel, 1. how do married Orthodox Jews address the spilling of seed?

    2. Are the rumors true that some observant men, unable to be with their wives during a portion of the month, receive satisfaction elsewhere? If so, how do they do it?

  61. Grandmuffti

    3/22/2005 at 5:24 pm

    Muffti really feels for Onan. The guy does one early withdrawl and gets a sin named after him for life. Anyhow, Shtremiel, Muffti never understands what’s going on in Jewlicious these days: TM posts something about certain woes for religion. Josh claims that we must tighten up and less compromising and keep our standards. Muffti says that clearly something is messed up. And then you come back and say that Orthodox judaism is going great.

    Is there something about this dialectic that doesn’t quite seem right?

  62. Esther

    3/22/2005 at 5:24 pm

    I’m trying to picture the Modern Orthodox synagogues on the Upper West Side holding classes dedicated to learning about the laws of Onan. I would in fact say that (generalization alert!!) the main difference between people my age who affiliate Orthodox and those who affilliate Modern Orthodox is that the former group is shomer negiah, and the latter isn’t.

    I’m just sayin’.

    Plus, I haven’t seen any dead puppies around NYC lately, but I’m wondering if Muffti is responsible for other kinds of roadkill, like squirrels and raccoons.

  63. patty-cake

    3/22/2005 at 5:25 pm

    Ok, point taken, my jewish history is not quite up to date. But enlighten me: what kind of structures are in place to ensure that jewish religion keeps up with the world today? Do you believe that orthodoxy means obeying rules that are outdated, or do you believe that eventually the rules will be updated and that in the meatime you should obey the rules as a sign of faith?

  64. ck

    3/22/2005 at 5:25 pm

    Muffti: Please no names next time. I edited your comment. I don’t think L_ would appreciate it.

    Muffti wrote:

    Muffti should hold his tongue…but, honestly, maybe the solution is to give up hosts of silly ancient rules that are really dubiously justified? Go out, get laid, enjoy your life and stop worrying so much about whether or not God gives a shit about it?

    I know! Really, the religious have much to learn from secular society. All I see there is boundless happiness and joy. I mean seriously, is there anything more satisfying than night after night of anonymous sex with a nameless stream of willing bodies? What can be more challenging and fulfilling than struggling to remember her name the next morning while trying to figure out how to get the hell out as fast as possible? I mean you really get to appreciate intimacy that way. Its no wonder our society is overflowing with functional and happy single and married people. Secular men respect secular women and vice versa. Really, those anachronistic rules have nothing to teach us. Lets hear it for 10 year old girls in thongs! 55% divorce rate? Hell, lets go for 85%! Woohoo!

  65. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 5:30 pm

    I mean seriously, is there anything more satisfying than night after night of anonymous sex with a nameless stream of willing bodies?

    Um, maybe not. Then again, a few nights like this couldn’t hurt.

    But why are you claiming all secular relationships are like this? None of mine were. I knew their names.

  66. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 5:31 pm

    “Muffti is pretty sure you are attributing a rather false dillema to him”
    There are exceptions to every rule. But in general, our secular culture rests on shopping, status, entertainment and quick sex. And it’s creating havoc for the non-exceptions out there.

    I’m not saying religion cures anything…especially if you think it’s a crock. But for those who believe, the struggles…the successes…are ultimately meaningful.

  67. Grandmuffti

    3/22/2005 at 5:32 pm

    Sorry, ck. You’re right about the names.

    But seriously, does no one here realize just how uncharitable they are being? Muffti never said avoid intimacy at all costs. Muffti never said you should try to get the hell out as fast as possible in the morning for every sexual encounter you have.

    You people seriously need to be a bit more charitable. It’s like if Muffti said to someone ‘get a job’ and they said: ‘oh sure. Coz people who work are so happy. Shtremiel tells me they are all on anti-depressants and go to meetings about intimacy with any shrink that will talk to them. And then I’ll get overworked, underpaid and get carpell tunnel syndrom. And then I’ll not see my wife/girlfriend at all and lead an empty life as a drone or cog in a system until I get fired. Great advice, Muffti, you dick!’ One can see that the advice to get a job is not tantamount to advising someone to bring on everything they claim. Similarly, the advice to go get laid and enjoy yourself is not a command to go out and abandon all intimacy, love, hope and romance.

    Now pardon me, Muffti must escape from what’s-her-name beside him quietly before she wakes up and makes him cook her breakfast :)

  68. Grandmuffti

    3/22/2005 at 5:33 pm

    …and Amen to TM for seeing the same point Muffti is pushing.

  69. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 5:34 pm

    “Shtreimel, 1. how do married Orthodox Jews address the spilling of seed?”

    Whoooooooooo….I knew this would happen. I’m not a mouth piece for Orthodox Judaism. Hell, I struggle with the very issues that many of you struggle with. But having worked for the Conservative Movement, and applying to JTS, I can say with full confidence that their approach to changing Halacha has landed them in the mess they are currently in.

    All I’m saying is, look within before you start blaming tradition. In therapy, we call this projecting, and it keeps people stuck in their shit for years.

  70. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 5:37 pm

    “The guy does one early withdrawl and gets a sin named after him for life”

    There’s a wonderful book by a non-Jewish secular male author who warns of all the problems that masturbation and casual sex bring to men, and marriages. I remember reading parts of it going: “Ouch, that stings. And it stings because it’s true” Forget the title or author.

  71. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 5:46 pm

    “what kind of structures are in place to ensure that jewish religion keeps up with the world today?”

    Huh, Judaism isn’t a notebook or iPod. And thank God for that. If anything, Judaism isn’t trying to “keep u” to the world today. If anything, Judaism stands as a testament to how the world could/should be period.

    “Do you believe that orthodoxy means obeying rules that are outdated, or do you believe that eventually the rules will be updated and that in the meatime you should obey the rules as a sign of faith?”

    PC,

    I’m not the right person to address some of your questions. But if you ever get the chance, seek out someone like Norma Joseph (Orthodox Jewish prof at Concordia U in Montreal), she’s a wonderful, bright woman who deals with the “real world” and Jewish law everyday.

    However, to answer you question, no I don’t believe the laws are outdated. I believe that if I choose to ignore ‘em, it’s because I feel they are too much of a hassle to obey.

  72. shtreimel

    3/22/2005 at 5:49 pm

    “lets hear it for 10 year old girls in thongs! 55% divorce rate? Hell, lets go for 85%! Wooho”

    Wow, excellent post CK. But I’d add the incredible amount of self-mutilation we’ve been seeing by adolescent girls over the past few years. Shocking. Go secularism* Go!!!

    *And yes GM, I believe, from a clinical perspective, that secularism is one of elements that leads to much of these nasty behaviors/feelings. I said it, and now I feel better.

  73. Janice

    3/22/2005 at 5:56 pm

    I have to weigh in on this discussion and remind y’all that sex was created by “our creator” as a loving and holy act between a man, his wife, and God. When you take God out of it, you make it just a physical act.

    The whole idea behind of the laws of mikvah is that sex can be elevated above the physical. For horny 16 year olds, or any other single people (whether they live on the Upper West Side or affiliate themselves as modern orthodox or conservadox or whatever) to make some kind of formal announcement of their exclusive intention is like making an empty promise.

  74. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 6:09 pm

    Um, Janice, it’s more than a “physical act” for people who are secular as well. Although it’s nice not to have that big guy with the white beard and the trombone voice sitting in the room with us when we engage in puerile secular sex.

  75. Dave

    3/22/2005 at 6:27 pm

    CK and everyone else have good points, but no one else has proposed anything concrete. I laughed about Esther’s comment, about “Jew it before you do it”, but what’s the alternative- allow hypocrisy?? Why not say “look kids, we’re giving you this ceremony, so you damn well better buck up and take this seriously and be faithful to each other.. we and everyone else in the community are going to be watching you like hawks- this is the bottom line, no excuses”. I’m basically proposing a form of tough love. This is far better than the present state of anarchy/ hypocrisy. Even though I am an anarchic Jew (sounds like another weblog, ha ha!), I bet one could even get Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist on board for my proposal. Gee, a united Jewish front on something.. that’s a novel idea, ha ha ha ha ha !!!

  76. Lisa

    3/22/2005 at 7:09 pm

    Come on, I’m sure we’ve all seen When Harry Met Sally. The moral of the story: men and women cannot be platonic friends. Therefore the solution to this problem is simple: do not become friends with people of the opposite gender from yourself. The Torah says: lifnei iver, lo titein michshol. Why should you put a michshol in front of yourself? You can also learn this lesson from dieting: the rule is, if it’s not in the house, you won’t eat it. Therefore, when you go to the store, don’t buy junk food. Yes, it’s hard to be celibate, but are you trying to stay that way or are you purposely putting yourself in harm’s way, so to speak?

    The above was for grown-ups. If you’re worried about kids having sex, then it’s pretty obvious that their parents aren’t doing a very good job of making sure that they don’t go to inappropriate places with inappropriate people at inappropriate times. It’s up to parents to set down rules for their children and to then enforce them.

  77. laya

    3/22/2005 at 7:14 pm

    are you guys nuts? commitment ceremonies? call me naive, but isnt that just what most people call dating? i thought a degree of faithfulness was expected.

    plus, saying its more or less ok, just so 16 year olds dont have to feel like hypocrites is a bit silly takes the naughty factor out of it. It’s kinda cruel if you think about it, how are teenagers supposed to rebel when you tell them everything is ok?

    If you feel like a hypocrite then start living by your values, if it doesnt bother you, then they just aren’t your values to begin with.

  78. Dave

    3/22/2005 at 7:27 pm

    I do live by my values. Unfortunately, I think my proposal, which may be the only way to at least try to compel people to be faithful, has been totally shot down here. I give up.

  79. Yisrael

    3/22/2005 at 7:48 pm

    Has anyone here read the article in the Mar/Apr issue of Moment about the girl, Monica, who “breaks-in” to a hasidic yeshiva in Jerusalem and spends an evening hiding in this boy’s room? It is an interesting read given the topic here. I wonder if any of the guys here would have behaved so chastely in the same circumstances? I rather doubt it.

  80. T_M

    3/22/2005 at 8:39 pm

    I think the discussion has veered in interesting directions but hasn’t fully addressed the point of the original post.

    It’s clear that whether people like it or not, this getting together of unmarried Orthodox Jews is happening. Somebody felt that this is enough of a problem, because it is so widespread, that perhaps the community should offer some response.

    Some ideas were offered here and in the article. I guess the question is whether this should be a communal issue and how it is best addressed. After all, it’s all well and good to say that people should control themselves better, but not everybody is disciplined enough especially because it goes against our natural (god-given?) instincts.

    Dave’s idea has some holes in it. Talking about it a lot won’t have the desired effect, I think, because it’s forcing a negative on to something that should be positive and involves lying and the very unJewish Augustinian idea that sex and lust are bad. Locking up your kids is a quaint idea, but then you create shut in geeks who are afraid of the real world and don’t know how to socialize and interact with other people. One of the positive aspects of the Modern Orthodox movement is that it is more open to the idea of placing men and women on the same line instead of, uh, one behind the other.

    So realistically what can you do? Maybe Dave’s idea would work at age 18?

  81. Dave

    3/22/2005 at 10:29 pm

    Thanks, T_M.

    Of course I agree with the Jewish view that sex can be holy, but I don’t think a one night stand classifies as holy. My point is that since these kids/ adolescents seem to want to behave like adults, then I think we should tell them “you want to make love. fine, since you’re not a financially independent person, we, your parents and the Jewish community, are going to dictate that the only way you can do this is to do it by our rules ie. a commitment ceremony in the synagogue and you have to stick by it.. otherwise all bets are off ie. we can and will criticize you vigorously and pressure you to live up to your commitments otherwise you’ll have to just be celibate until you can afford to get married”.

    Call it a 21st Jewish version of the shotgun wedding. The main thing is to promote loyalty and commitment, which I think are holy attributes and as such are desired by the Eternal.

  82. ck

    3/22/2005 at 11:07 pm

    Um. Dave? With all due respect, its a lovely idea, as it were, and I fear that some Rabbi leading a reform or reconstructionist synagogue somewhere will actually take it seriously.

    You think 14 year old (or younger) kids diddeling with each other are doing so out of some kind of natural manifestation of the divine gift of natural instincts? Let me ask you this – if it is so natural and wonderful why stop sexually precocious 13 year olds from letting nature take its course with say a 35 year old man? Hell they can even have a lovely commitment ceremony where the girl promises not to get pregnant and theman promises to buy her ice cream every once in a while. And maybe a cute hello kitty back pack and one of those tweeny thongs.

    Do you really think what are basically children only begining to discover their sexuality really know what the hell they are doing? Sure, sex saturated media tells them sex is great and uncomplicated and fun – it doesn’t tell them about those boring statistics related to poverty and single parent families, pregnancy risks, venereal diseases as well as the more banal emotional issues related to what to do when he tells all his friends “what I did and they’re calling me a slut now” or how to deal when she won’t answer your calls or instant messages.

    I mean I know rampant sexuality is seen as a good thing by our society, and that this is a reaction to more puritanical times, but is society right? Are people really happier? What the Torah tells us is to treat sexuality with the defference and respect it deserves. Yeah so some Orthodox Jews make personal decisions that do not correspond with halachic strictures. So what? But to suggest that as a result of the effect of crass media and profit driven societal pressures we radically alter a 5000 year way of living? Sorry, I’m no fundamentalist, but that’s just dumb. You’re asking us to give a societal seal of approval to kids trying to deal with something most adults have a hard time dealing with. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  83. T_M

    3/23/2005 at 12:21 am

    Uh, ck, dude, uh, well…

    …it wasn’t Dave who brought this problem to an institutional ranking. It was “Ne’emanei Torah va’Avodah, a religious organization established in 1978 to fight haredization of the national religious community.” Their chairman, Moshe Tur-Paz, is the person who put together the forum to discuss the matter.

    This is a problem the Orthodox have, not the reconstructionists or the reform or the martians. This is an Orthodox issue.

    That was #1.

    #2, 5000 years it hasn’t been. Okay? Lots of spillin’ the seed in the Tanach.

    And #3, this is rabbinic Judaism and even it has evolved. For example, monogamy was not on the menu early on, was it?

    Also, #4, the problem exists. It doesn’t exist for Reform Jews because they don’t claim that it can and should be controlled in the same way that the Orthodox claim it can…and then don’t. Wasn’t it Shtreimel who pointed out on a different day that he does not know ONE Jewishly observant couple that didn’t fool around before marriage? Not one. Others chimed in with their own similar tales.

    #5, Dave wasn’t encouraging rampant sexuality, he was encouraging monogamous sexuality with a betrothed.

    Because, #6, the problem already exists and it has nothing to do with Dave. So lay off Dave, he seems to be a nice guy and had an interesting idea.

    I think, #7, that if your final paragraph says what I think it says, which is that it’s (a) stupid to institutionalize a rule that changes an older rule because the older rule is really really old, and that (b) it’s not reasonable to expect younger folks to deal effectively with the complexity of sexual relations,

    then I would respond that point (a) is interesting but doesn’t address the complexity of this issue since these relations are happening anyway, and (b) this organization, Ne’emanei Torah va’Avodah, has identified precisely the same problem you mentioned and are seeking a solution for it. If you don’t like Dave’s suggestion, fair enough, but it is not that far removed than somebody suggesting a mikveh for unmarried women.

    Please be polite to our guests or they might just feel like THEY CAN’T SPEAK UP and offer us interesting ideas. :D

  84. D

    3/23/2005 at 1:00 am

    Sexuality shouldn’t be supressed. G-d created human beings with an instinct to be sexually active at puberty and whether you like it or not, thats when he intended for people to marry, when they hit puberty. Today’s society dictates otherwise, that its wrong for people to marry at such a “young” age.

    A few years ago, people married their children off around bar/bat mitzvah time and thats the way it was intended. Given today’s societal circumstances, this is an impossibility. If people got married when their sexual instinct indended them to, there wouldn’t be a need for supression.

  85. Dina

    3/23/2005 at 1:12 am

    D: People used to marry when they were like, 2 years old, because there was no need to wait. Life was simpler in the sense that what class you were born into was probably where you stayed. Disciplining children or just giving them chinuch was on a whole different plane because people didn’t need skills like they do today. If you were, for example, born to serf parents, you were going to be a serf no matter how well you knew how to do math. If you were born to wealthy parents, you would have wealth whether you knew how to articulate a thought well or not. Society then and now is beyond comparing. Furthermore, people died in the 40’s (if they were lucky). So, they didn’t need to be mature to raise children + they died really young – free time (they spent most of their days working, I believe) = no real need for premarital sex.
    I remember looking through a halacha book in high school that mentioned that it was okay to have an intimate relationship with someone you were engaged to as long as there was no real intercourse. :) Of course, single women still (as in, since I wrote my suggestion earlier today) don’t go to the mikvah, so even if you’re not having real sex, there’s that issue of nidah.
    As for all those men spilling their seeds, that’s not gonna stop, I’m sure, so they might as well do it with nice Jewish girls. :)

  86. ck

    3/23/2005 at 1:14 am

    Dude. I was polite, in my own admittedly vitriolic manner. The fact that i took time off of my busy schedule to respond to his comments is a sign of respect. So I was a bit of a dick. I admit it. Sue me. Dave can defend himself and if I offended him, I apologize. So there.

    I don’t think the problem of the commodification of sexuality, its concommitant ubiquitousness and the detrimental effect it has on all of us is a problem unique to the Orthodox. The fact that it has permeated even their otherwise insular world is merely a testament to just how omnipresent and pernicious said sexuality is.

    I’m not advocating Judaism as a monolith. At the same time I am also not advocating making major changes to halachah based on Madison Ave’s assault on common decency. When 10 year old girls wear thongs and when 12 year olds feel peer pressure to have sex, when the ditzy carricatures on Sex and the City are held up as examples worthy of emulation, when men and women are alienated from each other and from themselves by impossible ideals, selfish values, and media designed lifestyles aimed at rampant consumerism at the expense of a greater good, well … we’ve all got problems.

    And I do not believe that the solution is the lowering of standards of acceptable religious behavior. Those standards may be difficult and inconvenient to follow, but they still stand there as an ideal – and a good one at that. The ideal is that sex is a holy thing, best experienced between two people SERIOUSLY committed to each other. You can’t live up to that ideal because you made a lifestyle decision that makes it hard? OK. That’s your business and far be it from me to tell you how to lead your life.

    But even a sexually active secular person, or someone who has decided to pursue a carreer and delay a family, can still benefit from the continued existence of the ideal. Let me put it another way. The political values espoused by Plato’s Republic are great! Think of the Philosopher King. This ideal suggests that the best leader would be one totally not interested in leadership to the point where he would have to be forced into that position. Great idea! Practically impossible to implement though, but its still a good thing to strive for. Your reach should always exceed your grasp.

    So some people feel bad that the established rules make them feel bad? Waaah! Waah! Waaah! Cry me a river. RING RING RING. The French are calling. They want their existential crises back. Halachah is not a personal attack against you. It’s a way of life. Do your best and move on.

    And TM? I know nothing about you. But I am guessing that you don’t have teenage daughters. If you did, really… how would you react if a dude came by and saids he’d like to have a Jewish commitment ceremony so that he and your girl can bump booties as it were, in a guilt, preganancy and disease free manner.

    “Son, I admire your moxy. Let’s go the pharmacy now and get you a case of condoms. If you are anything like I was at your age you’ll need it! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.”

    I don’t think so. I know if it was me …

    That wasn’t a personal attack, right? Really all I want to know is what you think. Finally, I commend the frum community and those involved for having the beitzim, as it were, to take on and deal with this issue.

  87. T_M

    3/23/2005 at 1:56 am

    Ck, now that was a darn fine comment. In fact, it’s comments like that which keep me coming back to Jewlicious. :lol:

    Okay, I really have nothing to add to that.

    I don’t have teenage daughters (how old do you think I am?!) but if some schmuck came up to me on my fictitious daughter’s 16th birthday asking for a Jewish commitment ceremony, I would immediately: 1. send this teenage daughter to a distant all girl boarding school surrounded by a security fence and man-killing guard dogs; 2. proceed to prevent the boy from having any female partner in the near future by doing something sickening like, I dunno, finding an out-of-town adult actor and paying him to call on the boy’s school principal, one teacher, and a number of classmates to inform them that, sadly, this man had been until recently the boy’s lover and had just – tragically – tested positive for HIV. The boy had not been receptive to phone calls, so as a matter of public health, the man was taking it upon himself to inform said public.

    But I wouldn’t be vindictive or over-protective or anything.

    DON’T YOU EVEN THINK OF “COMMITTING” TO MY LITTLE GIRL, YOU SICK ANIMAL!

    :lol:

  88. D

    3/23/2005 at 2:06 am

    TM what if that schmuck was 17 and was filthy rich? ;)

  89. T_M

    3/23/2005 at 2:15 am

    Well, let’s assume that he’s got great character, breeding, family, and potential for a good career – I’m not in the business of pimping off fictitious teenage daughters just because the dude has money.

    But in this event, I would allow the commitment ceremony to take place (heck, I’d spring for half the expenses and the cheesy band) and as soon as it’s over send the daughter away to the same boarding school I mention above, and get the male actor to do the HIV shtick to the boy anyway. You see, now the shmuck is committed, my daughter is unavailable for sex and nobody else would want him. When she’s old enough…win/win for everybody.

    I’m sure that she and he will have a fine future together if I can ever get over the fact that she might have to, you know, have sex with somebody one day.

  90. Alyssa

    3/23/2005 at 2:18 am

    Amazing the amount of comments accumulating when the topic is sex.

  91. Dina

    3/23/2005 at 2:47 am

    Hrmmm, Alyssa–it seems apparent that the human mind stops maturing after seventh grade.

  92. Grace

    3/23/2005 at 3:07 am

    I was taught that Onan’s sin was NOT masturbation, but rather the fact that he disobeyed a direct order to sleep with the woman. He was commanded to “be fruitful and multiply” and he decided to do things his way instead of G-d’s way. THAT was the sin.

    Therefore, seed spilling outside of marriage is kosher, but doing so after marriage is not. (BTW, I learned this in an Orthodox setting)

    My daughter isn’t even 2 yet, and I’m already trying to figure out how I am going to explain sexual relationships to her. I think it’s sort of like ice cream. Ice cream is yummy, and it’s great to have after dinner sometimes, but if you had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week, it wouldn’t be a special treat anymore. There is nothing wrong with eating ice cream, but everything has to happen in it’s proper time and order. Waiting until after marriage for sex is like waiting 3 hours for ice cream after eating meat.

    That said, if she starts wanting to be sexually active, then I will ask her when she is planning her wedding! If you are ready for sex, then you should be ready to get married and start having babies. If you’re not ready for those things, then you should wait. I don’t care if you are 15 or 35, it’s still true.

    I don’t think that there is anything hypocritical in asking people to adhere to high standards if they are claiming to be Orthodox. If the rules are too tough, you can always be Reform. It’s between you and G-d.

    My Conservadox girlfriends have it the worst. They are in their 30’s and 40’s, single, and can’t seem to find anyone. They are too frum for most Conservative guys, but too liberal with the rules for most Ortho guys. They are trying to skate the edges of halacha, and they want to find the guys who are taking on or avoiding the same mitzvot that they are, so they won’t have to change anything about their lifestyle.

    The whole thing is a mess. :(

  93. fuzz

    3/23/2005 at 10:14 am

    TM – ” 1. send this teenage daughter to a distant all girl boarding school surrounded by a security fence and man-killing guard dogs;”
    you know you just created a lesbian haven? :P

    while i don’t like the idea of 12 yr olds in thongs etc, has it been proven that this … promiscuity is the cause of delay in marriage? maybe it has something to do with modern ortho women wanting a career before getting married and having babies? or have i missed something really basic here? :?

  94. ariela

    3/23/2005 at 10:24 am

    i’m sorry… was no one a teenager? does anyone remember?

    what “solutions” does the orthodox world want that the secular world hasn’t been trying for hundreds of years?

  95. Esther

    3/23/2005 at 11:19 am

    T_M: “Locking up your kids is a quaint idea, but then you create shut in geeks who are afraid of the real world and don’t know how to socialize and interact with other people.”

    I can attest to the existence (and in some cases, precise street address and DSM diagnosis) of some people like this–even in the Orthodox movement. But it’s not (at least not always) because their parents “locked them up” like some sort of ostracized telekinetic teen. Some people are just socially stunted, and there’s nothing to be done about it.

    And Grace, I feel your friends’ pain. Send them my way and we’ll start a support group. (Oh wait, I already did. It’s called JDaters Anonymous…)

  96. shtreimel

    3/23/2005 at 12:58 pm

    “Conservadox girlfriends have it the worst. They are too frum for most Conservative guys, but too liberal with the rules for most Ortho guys.”

    Ha, that was MY situation. As a result…I’m currently dating an Orthodox Jewish woman. But about two years ago I had profiles on Jdate, Frumster and Lavalife (oy vey). The overwhelming amount of Reform – I could care less about Judaism women on Jdate weren’t appropriate for me. There were some wonderful women on Lavalife (some fine looking Asian women in Vancouver). But in the end, it was the Frumster types that best matched my interest in Judaism.

    But it’s tough. I find the two day Chag thing boring, a waste, and silly and especially so when Shabbat rolls in right after (Whenever I tried to do the whole enchilada, by Sunday I wanted to convert…to anything). Moreover, I don’t mind eating in Veggie restaurants (My lady refuses…ouch. So much for those long car trips across the States). Will we end up together? Who knows (But I’m moving to Toronto to figure some of this shit out).

    I appreciate Grace’s post…cuz I’m living it.

  97. Esther

    3/23/2005 at 1:16 pm

    Shtreimel, if Toronto doesn’t work out, you might want to try the Upper West Side, where aforementioned Conservadox women dwell in droves.

  98. T_M

    3/23/2005 at 1:38 pm

    It makes me sad to hear about so many unmarried and available women who are seeking partners.

    What’s going on? Is it because of observance? That would make it terrible, that the very set of beliefs which give meaning to their lives are also those values/practices that are precluding them from finding partners. I mean, when did our religion become about becoming ascetics to serve god or Judaism instead of living life with joy and faith in god?

  99. T_M

    3/23/2005 at 1:49 pm

    Fuzz,

    you know you just created a lesbian haven?

    As long as there’s no spillin’ of seed, a little experimentation won’t hurt anybody. :)

  100. fuzz

    3/23/2005 at 2:15 pm

    admittedly i know very little about the orthodox community, but i don’t think it’s a matter of observance or promiscuity. IMVHO i think it’s more to do w/ secular education and career building in secular society (though of course it’s probably not the only reason). i think it’s something that we see across society.
    although premarital sex probably means having more than 1 partner throughout our entire lifetimes, premarital sex can include monogamy and commitment – but it usually doesn’t involve procreation like marriage does. maybe it’s a baby-family thing we’re worried about. just my gut feeling.

  101. Grandmuffti

    3/23/2005 at 3:33 pm

    Dude. I was polite, in my own admittedly vitriolic manner. The fact that i took time off of my busy schedule to respond to his comments is a sign of respect. So I was a bit of a dick. I admit it. Sue me. Dave can defend himself and if I offended him, I apologize. So there.

    Ummmn…Muffti is a little confused. Was ck apologizing here? Or being even more of a dick? :)

  102. Dave

    3/23/2005 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks for your apologies, CK and Grandmuffti, apologies accepted.

  103. Ben-David

    3/23/2005 at 3:57 pm

    ck – post number 86 – and Grace – post number 92 – have nailed it. CK your post is a beautiful statement of Judaism’s much more holistic and mature take on things.

    To all those whose knee-jerk reaction was the same tradition-bashing drivel about how Judaism needs to be nosejobbed to match the “great progress” made in relations between the sexes (as if hooking up is great progress for men OR women)…. read these posts. Then weep for your own shallowness.

    After being married a while, a BT friend of mind said “I am very very sorry that so many other people will always be crowded into our bedroom.” This person – like others I have met – actually envies those who married as virgins.

    The Jewish notion of sex as part of a deeply committed relationship aligns body, emotion, and spirit. It cultivates true intimacy. It is a path that leads to much more self respect – especially for women – than the current meat market. You have to be very shallow – or very thick-skinned – to really think that Judaism should “revise” this system to allow casual sex.

    Ben-David

  104. Grandmuffti

    3/23/2005 at 4:30 pm

    This is probably the wrong time to ask this question, but exactly what is the cannonical source on the relations between sexual intercourse and deeply committed relationships? Our forefathers clearly had no problem having sex outside such relationships. (Unless they had deeply committed relationships with all their wives and concubines…)

  105. T_M

    3/23/2005 at 4:48 pm

    Why can’t you have committed relationships with wives and concubines?

  106. josh

    3/23/2005 at 5:00 pm

    Moving to Toronto???!!

    Talk about a cold shower after this long thread.

    Are you going to change you handle to something like ‘beenie’?

  107. Shtreimel

    3/23/2005 at 6:03 pm

    “Moving to Toronto???!!”

    Yeah, my lady lives there, as well as some good friends and my folks are in Montreal. Hey, I love Vancouver, and I may live here again, but it’s time to head back down the Trans Can.

  108. Ephraim

    3/23/2005 at 8:14 pm

    Trying to “address” this issue will simply never work.

    Regardless of what the halakha is or isn’t, people will do what they will do. In any case, spilling seed is punishable by karet, not death imposed by a human court. This is a private sin, and any and all solutions will be private. There is absolutely no reason to change the halakha at all. People will just have to deal with how they deal with it on their own. What is tsuvha for, if not for something like this?

    It’s kind of like the religious attitude I have seen in a lot of “traditional” Sephardim. They may not keep Shabbat down to every jot and tittle or go to shul regularly, but, by G-d, when they i>do go, they want it to be a real shul and not some modren imitation. Such has it always been, such will it always be.

    For reasons unknown to me, my son managed to wait unti he was married at 26, as did his wife, who was 24 at the time. The last time I checked they were both quite happy, thankyouverymuch.

  109. Ziva Lehava

    3/23/2005 at 8:20 pm

    I just thought I’d chime in as another female voice. Many of the comments have been interesting and informational about the way people view the topic. However, as a public high school teacher in a rural, tiny community where we just discovered students having sex in the bathrooms, I can certainly attest to this being a problem in every community, secular or religious—-no matter what religion. Hmmm….I’ve been lucky to have positive mikvah experiences, but I played autodidact and gave myself “mikvah 101″ classes through interviews, internet searches, videos and books before I stepped in one. I did this because most of the people I talked to beforehand had horrible experiences because of anxiety and concerns over their own personal relationship to it (mostly the “is this a holy act or was this created by men to further segregate women as inferior” debate). I feel like I could probably put together info on the subject due to my own research and my experience with secular teens and most students laissez faire attitude about sex. My poor sister, when in high school and early college and yet another of her friends gave in to sex, said “if I hear one more time how it is just ‘not a big deal’ I’m going to scream!” Most of her friends (some very nice girls) had never really been led to believe that sex was anything sacred. After all of these comments, I think my sis and I (now both married) should call our parents and thank them for doing something right in raising us! Once again, thanks to Jewlicious for providing interesting posts/blogs!

  110. Ziva Lehava

    3/23/2005 at 8:21 pm

    Excellent response, Ephraim!

  111. Ephraim

    3/23/2005 at 8:48 pm

    Oh, yeah, Onan: his sin wasn’t just “spilling seed”, he was legally bound by the laws of levirate marriage to impregnate Tamar, his late brother’s wife. Since he knew that the children wouldn’t be legally his, he went ahead and had sex with her but in a way that would prolong his pleasure (Tamar was a famous hottie) but would not fulfill his legal obligation to give his dead brother an heir. So G-d whacked him.

    Yehudah had a thrid son who should have followed both his brothers, but Yehuda was afraid that he would buy the farm as well, so he ilegally withheld him from her. In order to assert her rights, Tamar seduced Yehuda and got herself impregnated by him. He admitted his guilt in the end and publicly proclaimed that she was righteous while he was a sinner, since he had not done his duty by her to provide her with a husband to replace the others that had died (through no fault of hers).

    A damn fine story. Bizarre by modern standards, but damn fine just the same.

  112. Ephraim

    3/23/2005 at 9:30 pm

    Oh, yeah, one other thing regarding the inevitable homosexual hi-jinx that will ensue when the sexes are forcibly segregated: while I am by no means a posek or anything of the sort, it is my understanding that men caught in flagrante delicto having sex with another man are subject to the death penalty. Women, however, are subject only to lashes.

    Why?

    Because the Torah only specifies male homosexuality as being a capital crime. As I understand it, the rabbis (those killjoys) drashed out the prohibition against lesbianism. The other reason I have heard is that since women have no seed to spill, their orgasms do not involve the waste of potential life.

  113. T_M

    3/23/2005 at 11:55 pm

    That’s just a fancy way of repeating what I said in #99.

    Ziva, thanks for your post #109, sorry it took so long to clear the cue.

  114. Dina

    3/24/2005 at 2:58 am

    Grandmuffti–If sex between a man and woman bound by a ketubah is the holiest act one can do and having an adulterous affair one of the lowest (down there with murder, stealing, and disrespecting parents), I don’t think there is even a necessity for an actual law about “the relations between sexual intercourse and deeply committed relationships.” But that’s just my opinion.

  115. T_M

    3/24/2005 at 3:30 am

    How is having sex the holiest act? If the man is infertile, for example, and the union cannot produce children, is the sexuality still a holy act? Or are you implying that love between a married couple is holy?

  116. Dina

    3/24/2005 at 3:35 am

    Sex between a married couple is holy whether or not they are able to produce children because even after a woman goes through menopause and even when a couple isn’t able to have children just then, and have to use birth control, they are still supposed to have sex. (Although, I know there are some halachot about having to marry someone else if your wife’s unable to give you children for a number of years, or something like that.)
    I really have more to say on this, but it’d go really long and become just wordy at this time at night…

  117. josh

    3/24/2005 at 5:12 am

    Sorry,
    I’m still trying to handle someone moving to Toronto. Even when I first approached my parents about aliyah, they were relieved that if I was moving out of hte house, then it was Israel, not Toronto.

    Is she really holding you by the balls? figuratively of course.

  118. ck

    3/24/2005 at 6:44 am

    I’m with you on that Josh.

  119. Grandmuffti

    3/24/2005 at 8:10 am

    Shtremiel, Muffti is from Toronto. And while it’s not as bad as everyone here is making out, it’s pretty damned bad. Don’t go unless you really must.

    Ephraim: indeed the Tamar story is a classic (and its even more classic if you add in that Tamar was dressed as a prostitute and collected from Judah items that could uniquely identified him which she broke out right before they slaughtered her.) Muffti is curious, though, how does ejaculating on the ground prolong Onan’s pleasure? ‘specially on the ground?

    Dinah, (and, really most others), Muffti is curious about an argument he has seen here. Say that Muffti grants that sex can be holy. Say that he even grants that it is at its holiest between a man and his wife (presumably in a good marriage…poor homosexuals Muffti guess are barred from perfect sex. Muffti should say that the homosexuals he knew all seemed pretty happy with their sex lives, but whatever.)

    Even granting all that, this looks like a bad argument schema:

    An activity A is best done under circumstances C.
    Therefore, only do A under circumstances C.

    Clearly this is not a valid scheme: it may be best to eat pizza at 4 a.m. from Angela’s Pizza in Montreal when you are kinda drunk/buzzed (ahem) and hungry (remember those days ck?) Nonetheless, its not like eating pizza at other times is no good. In fact, Muffti’s (many) years as a student has taught him that pizza is nearly always good. It’s just not ideal unless it from Angela’s at 4 a.m….

    So why shouldn’t sex be the same way? Say it’s best when it allows transcendence over physicality to yield a sense of unity and identity with your beloved. Well, that sounds pretty good and all but would it follow that it should be avoided outside the bounds of marriage?

    If there is a creator, She gave us all sorts of abilities that are best utilized under certain circumstances. Very few of these abilities lead to sin and stuff when they aren’t practiced at all times in the circumstances that are ideal.

    So, Dina, yeah, Muffti would like to know why, even given that we have a specified ideal for sex, why is it bad to have sex that is sub ideal but still pretty good? Like pizza from Angela’s at 3 a.m.?

  120. Esther

    3/24/2005 at 10:21 am

    GM: “If there is a creator, She…”

    :)

  121. Dina

    3/24/2005 at 1:57 pm

    Grandmuffti, your logic is flawed. The purpose in eating pizza in either situation you mentioned remains the same: to eat pizza. If all sex is to you is physical pleasure, then I hear how having sex with your spouse or with anyone else is all the same. But that’s where it’s wrong. See, the reason sex becomes holy between two people who committed themselves to each other under a chupah is because now sex is something different: it’s the ultimate physical pleasure done for a spiritual reason–to create (and even if it’s done with no intention of creating a child, it creates a spiritual something when two people give that much pleasure to each other). So now, if a Jew’s role (this is all in my bias) is to use material things in a spiritual way, or to elevate something physical into something spiritual (like discussing divrei Torah over a delicious meal instead of just eating the food), then taking the highest physical pleasure you can have (or one of them, anyway) and experiencing that with your spouse makes it something spiritual, but when you just have sex with anyone in any way at any time, you are just having sex to have sex and there’s nothing but banality to that.

  122. Dina

    3/24/2005 at 1:59 pm

    Oh no–it isn’t up! Did my comment get lost or did I write sex too many times for it to pass through without a spam check?

  123. Ephraim

    3/24/2005 at 2:00 pm

    Muffti:

    I have heard two explanations:

    #1 Onan was obligated to impregnate Tamar so his dead brother would have an heir. Once she was pregnant, his obligation was fulfilled and he would no longer be able to have sex with her. Since she was hot and he wanted to continue to have as much sex with her as he could, he avoided impregnating her.

    #2 I have also heard that it was common practice in those days to have two wives: one for pleasure and the other for breeding. Tamar was very beautiful, and Onan didn’t want to have her beauty marred by pregnancy.

    Is this some kind of stealth Canadian blog? And what’s the problem with Toronto?

    As far as the pizza analogy goes, even the militantly secular Muffti ought to know that Judaism attempts to raise the spiritual level of the individual by defining the way things should be done so that they become ways to inculcate holiness.

    Think about it for a minute. What are the two most powerful human drives? The desire for sex and food. And what are the two things most bound and controlled by mitzvot? Exactly.

    The desire for sex and food are by themselves natural desires and are morally neutral. How they are expressed determines their holness/morality or lack thereof. So Judaism seeks to inclucate holiness by setting boundaries on the expression of our most basic desires.

    Or, as the secular would say, draining all the joy out of life.

    Of course, I know that the Muffti, he knows all this. But I assume that he will continue to eat cheese-and-sausage pizza at 3 am. Why? Because it’s goooooood.

    And if you still ask “Who sez this is holier than that and why should I care?” well, then, like, whatever, dude, you know?

  124. Dina

    3/24/2005 at 2:25 pm

    Oh Ephraim, you totally articulated my point so much better than I was able to! You rock.

  125. Rachel

    3/24/2005 at 4:57 pm

    The discourse is critical.

    If people think that this discourse is legitimizing premarital sex in the Orthodox world, they are wrong. Many young orthodox women and men are having premarital sex already. It reminds me of the question by Christians and Catholics about whether to put condom vending machines and have “safe sex” classes in public high schools. Teens are having intercourse regardless of the condoms and “safe sex” classes. Only that with these methods of precaution, the parents and school are helping to protect their children. The discourse does not necessarily mean legitimization. It could mean, though, the difference between life and death (STDs – G-d forbid, abortion etc.).

    The Orthodox world needs to recognize that many of us young adults are caught between two views. On one hand, we are being encouraged to make wise decisions about spouses. We have been witnesses to a generation of divorcees and unhappy marriages. In communities where divorce is looked upon with a degree of disdain, we have seen our parents remain together unhappily for the sake of the children, fear, complacency, or upholding their status in the community. Further, we are in a world today where it is acceptable for a person to take his/her time to self-develop and establish the maturity, clarity, humility and giving that is needed for a successful relationship. Indeed, we late 20-somethings are not outcasts for still being single.

    Coincidingly, we are supposed to be virgins until marriage. The problem is that many young religious people have hastily found themselves in marriage, driven by sexual drive, only shortly after to realize a grave mismatch.

    Sexual drive is a strong enough force to generate intercourse before marriage. It is also a strong enough force to cause hasty and unthoughtful decisions to get married.

    The Orthodox world has to realize that (we) young adults exist in this in-between place and to have a discourse about it. Should they be encouraged to abandon other Orthodox practices because of lack of discourse? Should they be having unsafe sex, and contract, G-d forbid, Sexually Transmitted Diseases or be having abortions?

    The discourse is critical.

  126. Dave

    3/24/2005 at 8:56 pm

    I agree very much with what Rachel has said, and that’s why I came up with my idea- the idea is to reward loyalty, fidelity and commitment. My idea is to try and enforce so that no one in the Jewish community has sex without commitment- whether it be a commitment ceremony, or a marriage. Sex within a committed relationship is beautiful, but if it’s out of control ie. not in some form of a formal committed relationship, it’s like a destructive river, and it can diminish one’s soul, if not worse.

  127. Ephraim

    3/24/2005 at 9:38 pm

    Never gonna work, Dave. Give it up. The Orthodox are not going to go all Reform just because of some teenage canoodling. That’s just lke saying they should make pig kosher just because a lot of Jews like a BLT every now and again.

    People need to talk to their kids and try to keep them away from bad influences, and, when they grow up and eave home, hope for the best.

    There is no institutional solution for this and people should stop trying to find one. IF there is an institutional solution it is not the insttution abandoning its principles, it is the institution trying its best to be repsonsive to the concerns of its members while remaining within the halakha.

    People who want solutions that involve abandoning the halakha already have plenty of places to go.

  128. Dave

    3/24/2005 at 11:08 pm

    Ephraim, we’re not just talking about kids. We’re also talking about young adults. As I said in my first post, people are being asked to save themselves for marriage, but is that fair to expect when the economy forces them to get married at later and later ages. Believe me, I was a virgin until 34 years old (and not because I didn’t have blatant offers from women, because I did), so no Orthodox person can teach me anything about self-control.
    And what alternative do the real haredi types propose? Get married at 20. Sure, right.

  129. T_M

    3/25/2005 at 12:03 am

    Um, Ephraim, if going all Reform means spilling seed, they’re already doin’ it.

  130. Ephraim

    3/25/2005 at 1:47 pm

    Like I said, people will do what they will do. Just giving in and saying it is OK will not accomplish anything at all.

    Why does everybody seem to think that the job of Judaism is to make everybody feel all warm and fuzzy about themselves no matter what they do? Once a person is Bar or Bat Mitzvah, they are responsible for their actions. People will stumble and fail, pick themselves up and dust themselves off and get on with their lives.

    This sort of thing is where parents have to teach their children as best they can and hope for the best. A rabbi getting up and waving his hands around isn’t going to solve anything.

    The principle here is very, very simple: the halakha says one thing and people want to do the other. How is responding to this anyhting except an individual decision?

  131. Dave

    3/25/2005 at 1:56 pm

    O.k., I have got another idea. Why doesn’t the Jewish community promote marriages at 16, but insist that birth control be used until the married couple can provide food, shelter and clothing to their children.

  132. T_M

    3/25/2005 at 2:05 pm

    Spillin’ seed…

  133. Dave

    3/25/2005 at 2:30 pm

    I am disappointed that no one else on this thread has made any proposal to change the anarchic state of relationships today,
    except extreme separation of the sexes at age 12, which is a non-starter, or letting people get married AND have children at age 14, which is also a non-starter. I look forward to some new ideas.

  134. Grace

    3/25/2005 at 4:30 pm

    I think the question isn’t “Where are the new ideas?”, but rather “WHY do we need new ideas?” Why do you think that halacha is no longer relevant, when it has been there for us for the last 5000 years (give or take)? I mean, it’s the Torah, love it or leave it, but don’t mess with it!

    The (orthodox) system does not need to be changed in any way. We, as a people, just need to decide which side of the line we are going to stand on, and how we are going to react when our children do (or don’t) cross that line.

    Ephraim, I agree with you 100%.

    Chag Sameach everybody!

  135. Grandmuffti

    3/25/2005 at 5:34 pm

    Muffti will not eat cheese and SAUSAGE pizza at 3 a.m. because sausage is gross. (Pepperoni, however, is a whole different matter). Anyhow, thanks for the explanation. Muffti understood roughly the Jewish reasoning behind restricting times and people w/r/t sex. He was more curious why everyone was dishing sex in general, as though its being best between a man and a woman who are betrothed means that its not worth doing otherwise. As you say, even sex that isn’t ideal is still pretty gooooood.

  136. Ephraim

    3/25/2005 at 6:41 pm

    Yeah, but Muffti, why settle for 2nd best?

    Let me clue you in: the laws of niddah and the mikvah make kosher sex unbelievabley hot.

    I am a BT, so I have stood on both sides of the fence. I agree, it is pretty hard for sex to really be bad (at least for a man). However, sexual realtions following the laws of tacharat mishpacha to the best of one’s abilty beats non-kosher sex six ways to Sunday.

    You should try it.

  137. T_M

    3/25/2005 at 6:45 pm

    Ephraim, in order to try it, he’s going to have to make a married woman sin.

  138. Grandmuffti

    3/25/2005 at 7:14 pm

    Maybe some day, Ephraim. Maybe some day. Muffti just thinks it sounds REALLY implausible :) Maybe you could say something about what tacharat mishpacha add; and maybe you could enlighten Muffti as to why it is the specifically religious end of things that contributes.

    Shabbat Shalom all y’all.

  139. Ephraim

    3/25/2005 at 7:33 pm

    Absence makes the heart (and other parts of the anatomy) grow fonder, Muffti.

  140. Grandmuffti

    3/25/2005 at 7:57 pm

    Ah. Muffti thought that would be part of it. But one could achieve that by just, you know, waiting a while here and there. What’s the specifically religious angle to it?

    (Also, and this is meant with all due respect, doesn’t this depend a bit on virility; teenagers feel burn of waiting a few hours like older people feel the burn of a few days…or so muffti has been told!)

  141. Ephraim

    3/25/2005 at 8:16 pm

    Cuz the Torah sez, Muffti.

    That’s it, really. I know that may not mean much to you, but, hey, what can I say?

    The deal is to go crazy for the two weeks sex is kosher and rest up for the two weeks your wife is niddah.

    When the two weeks of waiting are up, go crazy again.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

  142. Grandmuffti

    3/26/2005 at 10:37 am

    heheh….gotcha. Fine analogy. Muffti didn’t realize that the needa period lasted for 2 weeks. You guys, in Muffti’s book, are men of infinite patience.

  143. Ephraim

    3/26/2005 at 10:51 pm

    Yeah, easy it ain’t. Nor am I going to claim that there are not occasional….uhhh…breakdowns. But this is really what mitzvot are all about: to discipline yourself through striving for kedushah. In this sense kedushah is not just a state, it is a process.

    There is an old Japanese story about martial arts training: if you have two carp in two separate ponds, and in one pond there is a rock but in the other pond there is not, the carp in the pond with the rock will become strong since he swims around and around the rock. The other carp will remain weak since he has nothing against which to train.

    The mitzvot are our rock.

    It’s hard being a Jew, Muffti.

  144. T_M

    3/27/2005 at 12:24 am

    Interesting.

    But why? Why must there be a rock?

  145. Dave

    3/27/2005 at 9:44 am

    I am still waiting for someone to come up with a proposal to solve the anarchic state of sexual relationships today, apart from celibacy. I have done and I am back to doing the celibacy thing, after my divorce. However I think there must be some other solution for people who cannot or do not want to be celibate. And I am not even talking about adolescents only.

  146. ck

    3/27/2005 at 11:22 am

    Yikes Dave. I see where you’re going with this. Getting remarried is an option, no? Certainly dating ought to be. Above and beyond all that, what you do is a personal decision I suppose. I won’t judge you either way.

  147. Dave

    3/27/2005 at 1:11 pm

    CK, my point is that everyone should judge everyone else, there is no harm, as long as everyone agrees on the rules. By the way, I am trying very hard to get remarried, but it’s very tough. Believe me, even to meet a woman for innocent dating is tough when you’re 46. I am not complaining, just stating facts.

  148. Esther

    3/27/2005 at 3:11 pm

    If you’re shomer negiah, that’s one thing. If you believe that extramarital sex is wrong according to the Torah, I don’t see what kind of choice you have but to abstain from sex unless you are in a committed (married) relationship.

    If you’re not shomer negiah, or if you think things are a little less clear than that, or if you have decided that the ban is unjust and/or unliveable in this day and age, then there’s a whole range of options.

    As to the anarchical aspect of sexual relationships these days, it’s not always anarchy and rampant orgies everywhere. There’s still a difference between sleeping with everyone and creating opportunities to enhance physical and emotional intimacy. Not being Dr. Ruth or Dr. Sue Johannsen or a rabbi, I’m not going to offer up a menu of sexual options or try to define what is and isn’t sex or what violates tzniut or niddah or onan or what have you, but there are other physical activities short of sex that can really help alleviate the tension. Or so I’ve heard.

  149. ck

    3/27/2005 at 3:15 pm

    You mean yoga of course, right?

  150. Dave

    3/27/2005 at 5:13 pm

    I am not shomer negiah, since I love holding hands with a woman and kissing her, provided of course the feeling is mutual. But I otherwise prefer to be celibate when not in a committed relationship. I have lapsed, from this, but only on two occasions. Of course for the Orthodox I am still considered to be a lecher, and according to everyone else I am irrelevant. But then I believe in God but I don’t believe the Torah is divine, so that makes me totally of the road ie. irrelevant, since the Jewish community has become so polarized nowadays. But I am sure there are other people in my situation, but I guess they’re not writing to Jewlicious. Anyone out there in my situation?? Lol !

  151. Dina

    3/27/2005 at 6:07 pm

    Um, well, Dave, I know plenty of people who aren’t shomer but don’t have sex, if that’s what you mean. (Which is why I STILL think women should be allowed to go to the mikvah regardless of whether they’re married or not…)

  152. T_M

    3/27/2005 at 6:14 pm

    Yikes, Dave, we need to find you somebody. Which part of the world are you in?

  153. laya

    3/27/2005 at 6:28 pm

    you dont really need a mikveh, in truth, any natural, moving body of water will do. Being Tahor is important to you? Even just for spiritual reasons having nothing at all to do with negiah? Awesome. No need to complain about the system, it runs like that for a reason, just do it on your own (just know about the minimum requirements and such). Be rebellious and tahor all in one.

  154. Dave

    3/27/2005 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks, I live in Canada.

  155. Esther

    3/27/2005 at 6:49 pm

    Dave, you may be in a very small segment of the population. I don’t know of anyone else who is willing to kiss and hold hands and nothing else, though that’s much easier for me to understand than complete abstention from physical contact.

    As far as I can tell (without having conducted an investigation on the sexual habits of the Orthodox), the major difference between those who call themselves “Orthodox” and those who call themselves “Modern Orthodox” (at least on the Upper West Side in their 30s and 40s) has to do with sex (whether or not they’re willing to have it before they’re married) and food (whether or not they’re willing to eat dairy and fish in non-kosher restaurants). There also may be a slight Shabbat difference, too, especially when it comes to watching Final Fours, NFL playoffs, Olympics opening ceremonies and/or World Series games.

  156. T_M

    3/27/2005 at 6:52 pm

    Uh oh, Canada?

    Ck? Does Jewlicious know anybody in Canada for Dave? Dave, Canada is a rather large country. Are you in the East, the West? Have you tried JMatch? Have you tried Jdate?

  157. Dave

    3/27/2005 at 7:43 pm

    Oh, boy, have I ever tried Jdate! I got married to a woman who I met on Jdate, and my divorce is coming through by the end of April, hopefully.

  158. T_M

    3/27/2005 at 8:39 pm

    Yikes!

    Then again, much as I would like to blame JDate, I have to figure it’s more the chemistry between the two of you. Still, I would understand your reluctance to try that route again. Sorry to hear it – although consider yourself lucky that the new law in Israel hasn’t passed yet and she can’t run off to the Holy Land to start new proceedings with their Rabbinate. ;)

  159. Dave

    3/27/2005 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks for your kind words. I already have received the “get”,
    (from an Orthodox Beit Din), and I have been advised that my civil divorce will be coming through in the next month.

  160. Esther

    3/27/2005 at 10:50 pm

    A hearty yasher koach to Jewlicious: you guys are now the #1 Google search result for “premarital sex Jewish.”

    Sex, Jews and Rock and Roll, indeed.

  161. Ephraim

    3/28/2005 at 8:57 pm

    Why a rock, T_M?

    When you want to get physically strong, you lift weights.

    When you want to get spiritually strong, you lift mitzvot.

    Dave, I wish you the best of luck.

  162. T_M

    3/28/2005 at 9:23 pm

    Rock?

    Am I missing something here?

  163. Jewish Mother

    3/29/2005 at 6:49 pm

    You KNOW after four dates if you want to marry someone or not. That is, if the dates were not formal, stiff and lah-di-dah. TALKING dates, not food, drink and silly restaurant glamor. These fun, flattering settings are for the birds. Since they make everyone nervous, what use are they? Or, conversely, since they give everyone a good time, again, what use are they? You would have enjoyed the evening no matter whom you were with, because the place is cool, so how can you tell if you like the person? Do’t go there! Also, there are too many women who do not want to wash anybody’s socks. Men, avoid them. There are too many men who are not looking past the shell of a woman. Women, avoid them. There are too many Jews of both sexes whose standard of beauty is non-Jewish. “She should be thin!” say the men. But we usually are not built that way. “He should be tall!” say the women. But we usually are not all that tall. Or, if tall, Jewish men are sometimes skinny. SO WHAT? We must love our race. Will you please look at the soul? Remember, every date costs something on the inside, brings you one step nearer to jaded, so spend your datinig allowance very carefully. You are better off home reading until you are so lonely you are READY. Love, Mom

  164. Jewish Mother

    3/29/2005 at 6:56 pm

    Why is it so hard to decide to marry? If you like someone enough for all this wriggling, weeping and hand-wringing, why not just plain MARRY the person?
    Is it like: “that suit is nice but what else do you have?”, always wondering what might be out there that is better? Stuff.
    Is it the expense of raising children?
    Is it waiting too long, until you are no longer idealistic, and have become impossible to impress? Because you can now see people’s flaws, but, of course, never your own?
    Raw fear?
    Some deep intrinsic dislike between the sexes?
    If the Haredi system is what works, I guess the Jews of the future will all be Haredi.
    There is too much ability to live unmarried. It used to be close to fatal to be unmarried – the men couldn’t cook, and the women couldn’t work, so unmarried people starved.
    Is it that without total mutual adoration, undying passion every minute, there will not be fidelity, or so people think?

  165. T_M

    3/29/2005 at 7:20 pm

    Jewish Mother, maybe you should have a talk with Nice Jewish Girl?

  166. Grace

    3/29/2005 at 7:25 pm

    Jewish Mother, you are a welcome voice on this board!

    Post more! :-)

  167. shtreimel

    3/29/2005 at 7:43 pm

    “You KNOW after four dates if you want to marry someone or not.”

    Yikes. Double yikes.

  168. T_M

    3/29/2005 at 7:59 pm

    How many dates does it take, Shtreimel?

  169. Dave

    3/29/2005 at 10:45 pm

    I am sorry Jewish Mother, Judaism is not a race. If so, I being Sephardic am not Jewish because no one in my family ever has lived in central or eastern Europe. In that case what about the Falashas or the Ben Israel of India. They’re Jewish, but they’re not white skinned.

  170. Michael

    3/29/2005 at 11:19 pm

    Wait, since when does Judaism being or not being a race have anything to do with Europe? Jews aren’t a race, but they’re definitely very closely ethnically related. I mean, Ashkenazic Jews are essentially indistinguishable from Sephardic Jews genetically, and have more in common with the modern Arab gene pool than with the European gene pool. Skin color is one the most variable phenotypic traits.

    Besides, when she said “race,” I think we all knew what she meant.

  171. Ephraim

    3/30/2005 at 1:52 am

    Think metaphor, T_M. In the story, the carp swims around and around the rock and so gets strong, while the carp in the pool withiout the rock just wanders aimlessly and so doesn’t develop his strength.

    You ought to at least know that one of the basic ideas of Judaism is that a person has two sides, a good side (the yetzer ha tov) and the bad side (the yetzer ha rah). Mitzvot (the rock) develop the good side, lack of mitzvot allow the bad side to flourish.

    The indiscriminate indulgence of desires and submission to the urge for instant gratification creates lazy, selfish people who have a greater tendency to indulge their desires even at the expense of other people. The mitzvot are there to shape and channel our desires in productive ways so that this doesn’t happen.

    That sounds simplistic, but that’s the main idea.

    Yeah, I know. Killjoys.

  172. T_M

    3/30/2005 at 2:23 am

    Ephraim, I know this goes against your belief in the system of faith you’ve chosen for yourself, but I want to be very clear that most of the people who surround me, meaning our friends and family members, are not lazy, selfish, self-centered or willing to indulge their desires at the expense of other people. Most of these people are secular and belong to the Conservative, Reform and even Humanistic Jewish movements. They are good and generous people who are kind and giving. They give of themselves to their families, friends and communities.

    Perhaps it’s a self-selecting group since I don’t wish to interact with people who don’t have integrity in their lives and behavior, so you could make the argument that I can only speak for a very small segment of the general population of secular Jews, but there are plenty of Jews who may keep traditions to a greater degree than my friends, but who may also be unethical individuals.

    The yetzer hatov can be found in all kinds of people, Ephraim, not just in followers of mitzvot. Of course, the opposite is true as well. As an example, Rabbi Dayan came out publicly today to let the public know that he now has the consent of 6 Kabbalist rabbis to put a pulsa denura curse on Sharon. I’m sure Dayan and these rabbis keep mitzvot all the time, but I can assure you that the yetzer ha’ra has overtaken them.

  173. Dave

    3/30/2005 at 6:57 am

    I think T_M brings up some good points. I personally believe that God judges on the basis of our actions, not only or not at all on our religious observances. Therefore even an atheist, if they are a good person, is blessed by God. I personally feel sorry for an atheist because they are the loser, since it is they who are rejecting God. Simply put, God does not need us, we need God.
    The mitzvot are there to help us become better human beings and
    as a means to an end. Sadly, to some people they have become an end in themselves. On the other hand, those who reject the mitzvot, it is their loss, because they are missing a self-strengthening system which is sometimes/ often necessary, since we are not perfect beings.

  174. Jewish Mother

    3/30/2005 at 11:46 am

    About race – I meant no harm. There are people who insist loudly they will only marry a fellow Jew, BUT, their ideas of what is physically acceptable eliminate many, many, many Jewish marriage candidates, leaving them unmarried. This is racial self-hatred – meaning group self-hatred. It is also just an excuse not to put shoulder to wheel. No knock on non-European Jews was intended!! However, I met a Sephardi man who said he only wanted a thin wife. He was handsome, thirty, employed and single. He will be single forever if he is not careful. It’s a great day when one discovers, from looking at Roman Vishniac’s photographs, that I’M NOT UGLY, I’M JUST JEWISH. MY APPEARANCE AND BODY TYPE ARE THE WAY THEY ARE BECAUSE THAT’S MY RACE, (meaning, ethnic group) AND IT’STHE TRUTH ABOUT ME, AND MY HISTORY. Chinese people don’t expect to look not Chinese, and neither should we expect not to look like who we are. Or: let’s be honest, and say, I want to marry a tall, thin person because I want to de-Jew myself. I want to move easily among gentiles, (where the money is,) who will accept me more easily because I have shown my lack of Jewish chauvinism by marrying one of them, or, someone who looks a lot like them. I will have shown I accept their beauty standard, which is on every lamppost. Marrying a Jewish-looking person will brand me a separatist. It will ghetto-ize me, and I won’t get far in my career. NORMAL AT LAST – yaaaay! If that’s how you think, deep down, you are caught on the horns of a permanent dilemma. You will never marry because: all Jews are too Jewish, no matter how thin and tall they are, and, marrying a non-Jew is unacceptable, so, you stay single forever.

  175. Jewish Mother

    3/30/2005 at 11:49 am

    Staying single is what some people want! They won’t admit it, possibly even to themselves. They put on sweet, pained, wistful expressions, and claim they are trying to find the right spouse … meanwhile, wasting a lot of people’s time and money, using the dating system as R and R from their demanding jobs. It’s just their entertainment budget. That’s why I said, four dates and no more – if you REALLY want to get married. Look, it’s a free country, and there’s no law against being single and having fun forever, but just don’t kid people, or yourself. And don’t complain. If you want the goodies, you have to pay the price.

  176. Jewish Mother

    3/30/2005 at 11:54 am

    Why do people assume endless dating leads to marriage, in a logical progression? Dating is dating, and marriage is marriage. They have nothing to do with each other. One does not lead to the other. They are simply different ways of life, different cultures, different mentalities. Would YOU marry the most suave, skillful dater in town? Great dresser, knows all the best places? Not very reassuring. Better marry the awkward one. He or she has fewer alternatives, and will be more likely to stay with you, when you burn the roast or get fat or lose your hair.

  177. T_M

    3/30/2005 at 12:21 pm

    Hey, ck, we could have a section called Mother’s Marriage Advice.

  178. Esther

    3/30/2005 at 12:38 pm

    You know after four dates…

    I don’t get it. What’s a fourth date? I thought dates only came in single units.

  179. Jewish Mother

    3/30/2005 at 1:24 pm

    Fourth Date Rule: I meant: you should only date a specific person a maximum of four times. On these four dates there should be a lot of hanging out, and talking, talking. After four long, talky dates, in quiet places so you can hear what they say, you will KNOW what you think of this person. Let’s say you think they are nice, but, you are entirely sure you will never, ever want to marry them. So: wish them courteously and sweetly well, but, never chat with, or hang out with, them again. Do them the kindness of leaving them alone!! BUT, IF, on date number four, the idea of NEVER, EVER seeing them again causes you terrible pain, guess what? That is your spouse! This is the path of getting to the chuppa, as opposed to dosing your loneliness with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. We set deadlines at work, don’t we? The point of a four-date system is to get some INTENSE FEELING into your life. Let’s not be comatose. Not, whate-e-e-ever.

  180. Shira

    3/31/2005 at 12:42 am

    Jewish Mother! I love you! Post more.

  181. T_M

    3/31/2005 at 12:48 am

    You know after four dates…

    I don’t get it. What’s a fourth date? I thought dates only came in single units.

    :lol:

  182. shtreimel

    3/31/2005 at 1:03 am

    GM’s gonna eat this post up.

    Look. All of my friends who are married…ALL OF THEM…dated for a year or more. They have kids, and they’re doing fine, thank you. This whole four date shtick, it sounds good for the Belz and Satmar folks, it don’t do nothing for me. No offense to Jewish Mother.

  183. Ephraim

    3/31/2005 at 2:39 am

    T_M, you’re jumping to conclusions. You asked “Why a rock?”. So I tried to explain what I meant. You took this to mean that I think people who aren’t observant are lazy and selfish.

    First, I never said anything like that. However, I think that a lot of seemingly non-observant people have been conditioned by their (or their parents’, or their grandparents’) Jewish upbringing so that they have internalized certain aspects of Jewishness. Fine and good. My point is that this comes originally from a religious and mitzvot-laden life which inculcates these things. Lose this and eventually all the rest will follow in a generation or two or three. Like it or not, mitzvot are the stove by which all Jews warm themselves. The further away you are, the colder you get.

  184. T_M

    3/31/2005 at 2:48 am

    I don’t disagree. There is no question that what comes naturally to you is more of a struggle for me.

    On the other hand, you can’t impose faith on anybody, they either have it or they don’t, and there are aspects of it which I and others would have terrible difficulty accepting. The recommendations for NJG to remain chaste for god are a good example.

  185. Jewish Mother

    3/31/2005 at 10:22 am

    Hey, Streimel. OK. You have friends who dated for a year or more, and then, founded wonderful families. But: does that also mean that you have unmarried friends for whom the date-for-a-year-or-more system is not working? There is too much total abundance: enough beauty, enough time, enough money (yes, money- if you can afford to go out, you have no serious money deprivations). People might benefit from artificial, self-imposed, strictures, to get some structure into their free-form existences. A four-date limit could do that. The idea is to get a method for knowing one’s true feelings and the ability to make a DECISION based on them. To listen for the inner voice that says, I will miss this person deeply if I never see him or her again. That is very different from the blah habit of dating and dating, more or less anybody who is amusing, makes no trouble, and gets you out of the house. That is not a life! Take control. What is your objection? That you might let the right person go, because you did not give them enough time? But: you will realize, later, suddenly, BOOM, you totally MISS this person you once dated four times a while ago, so, you call them… – guest what? That is your spouse! IF that is true, they will feel the same way! Now you are having a strong feeling for once! Passion! Your unconscious mind has worked the problem out. The four date limit helped it do this, by cutting down on clutter. It is so important to know how to be alone. We should not hang with people just to avoid being alone.

  186. Laya

    3/31/2005 at 10:37 am

    sorry Jewish mom, but i completly disagree. Missing some one after four dates is proof of nothing.

    Someone can remain charming and thoughtful for four dates, thats not too hard. It’s what they are like in the longer term that counts.

  187. ck

    3/31/2005 at 11:11 am

    Yeah four dates? I can fake it for four dates easy. Wouldn’t even break a sweat.

  188. Esther

    3/31/2005 at 11:29 am

    Then you’re better than most, CK. Most guys I’ve met (in NYC, at least) can’t fake charm for more than the first five minutes. Maybe I’m not being fair. OK…ten minutes.

  189. Grandmuffti

    3/31/2005 at 11:46 am

    This is why Muffti is so gen-u-ine. Not only can’t he stay charming, he can’t even start out that way. When a girl misses him after four dates, its the real deal.

  190. T_M

    3/31/2005 at 12:02 pm

    Watch Muffti end up with a frum girl…

  191. Jewish Mother

    3/31/2005 at 12:49 pm

    Charm? What about life goals, dignity, guts, brains, intelligence, honesty and manners? Put a lid on all this “fun”, and only “date” a person four times. All your money should be spent on your APPEARANCE and schooling, spend almost nothing on food and drink. Just take a walk and talk with someone, or have coffee. In the DAYTIME. In the first ten minutes of any acquaintance, you see the truth about someone. Sometimes you only two minutes. Acute, penetrating observation can be learned: notice the shoes, nails and teeth. What reading material are they carrying? Above all, how do they act toward other people, NOT you, especially store clerks and service personnel, who cannot hurt them in any way? The rose colored glasses fall in front of your eyes after ten minutes, and you start making excuses for them, because you want so much to like someone! Watch out for the rose colored glasses! There is no way to prevent them, so observe very hard before the ten minutes are up. Stay away from “nice” settings, even pretty parks. Don’t have fun!! Size people up! THEN, AFTERWARD, have your fun. Then it will be permanent fun. You are allowed one great restaurant Date as a final test, at the end, AFTER you feel good about someone. NOT at the beginning of an acquaintance. At the start, the more awkwardness the better, because then you will see the truth about them. You will see how they handle awkward situations. When you spend your life with someone, there are going to be a lot of awkward situations, so let’s get to that right away. Are they patient? Mature? Creative? Do they fall apart, or get furious? Keep a bit of distance: when someone is still nobody to you, you still have rights. You can ask, nicely, difficult questions. And, you don’t have to answer theirs. Indeed, the questions are just as interesting as the answers. Nobody is caring yet. Sizing people up has never been easy, but dating makes it close to impossible. Just meet people, but don’t date. Hang out, but only before sundown! Trust your unconscious. It may be smarter than you are giving it credit for. Distrust the night! Go to sleep. The day is when you will find what you want. At night it is all a game, a deadly game, that steals your life. It doesn’t matter if your friends think you are no fun. They are right. You are not here to be, or have, or give them, fun, but to be happy. Happy is not the same as fun. Just find your spouse, and your friends will fall where they may. Too bad for your friends. They are not family. Start a family. Love, Mom

  192. Michael

    3/31/2005 at 1:05 pm

    Um, can anyone else imagine Jewish Mother saying this with a knife to somebody’s throat? It’s awfully…imperative.

  193. shtreimel

    3/31/2005 at 2:04 pm

    “Someone can remain charming and thoughtful for four dates, thats not too hard. It’s what they are like in the longer term that counts.”

    Wise words from a friend:
    The first 4-6 MONTHS of a new relationship don’t count. They’re an illusion, empty. After 4-6 months you start to date the person that your dating.

    Wise words from a rabbi:
    If a woman wants to get married, she should never date a man more than a year. If she’s dating him more than a year, and he’s still not sure about marriage, dump him…move on. There’s a good chance he’ll never be ready.

  194. Jewish Mother

    3/31/2005 at 2:09 pm

    These are strongly held ideas, so my tone gets imperative, but I mean no harm. Married life does take a bit of strength, however. One has to fight like a tiger these days for a family life, and that is a good reason for this fierce tone. It won’t just come to you naturally the way it used to do in the old days. A lot of awful things are happening, and I am understandably upset. There is a real social crisis; perfectly normal, charming, adorable, cool people are not marrying, and it is terrible. There will be some grim demographics later on, too, when we Jews disappear for lack of children. So stop wasting time resenting my tone and marry somebody. I promise to be nice to her. I will give her china and pearls. Love, Mom

  195. shtreimel

    3/31/2005 at 2:26 pm

    Jewish Mother,

    We have (including myself) a generation of young people who observed insipid, boring marriages based on anything but growth/intimacy, disintegrate into divorce (at least half of ‘em), couple that with all the other socio-economic variables that make marriage look like a life sentence from hell, and it’s understandable why folks are dragging their feet. You can go on and on about the loss of Jewish children and the like, but there’s a louder voice you must counter, and it is this: “But if married life resembles what my friends parents, uncles, parents…had, than no thanks.”. If you can do that, you’ll be successful.

  196. Jewish Mother

    3/31/2005 at 3:00 pm

    Gee whiz. I see your point. Still, fifty percent divorce rate means half of them stayed married, and, they didn’t have to, because divorce was very available. I know a car crash is eternally more interesting than the county fair across the road. Peope just need to focus on the negative, for self preservation. But this glass is just as much half full as half empty. But I can see what you mean, about how these days people have to hold their marriages together manually, by brute charm and personal terrificness, now that all social structures and stigmas that used to help with this have been removed as “too restrictive”. It is a little like sleeping in the open field in the rain beause the walls of the house were torn down, because they were “too structured, too restrictive”. I am, however, counting on the eternal defiance of youth! “We can do better than you slobs did!” Please resurrect the old gender roles. Households have higher total income when there is one over-worked wage earner and one housekeeper. Division of labor works. In spite of all the nonsense, men have a RIGHT to be, er, men, and women have a right to be, well, women. You can’t understand them, just enjoy the way they change the light. They have complementary strengths. But there must be fidelity. Infidelity is the worst kind of misguided optimism. We need big words, like Virtue and Sin. A Jewish Marriage has the Torah at its core. That is what works. I wonder if those divorced uncles read the Torah. I know, I know, frum people are not angels with wings and halos and they divorce, too. But that is the boat with the fewest leaks. Love, Mom

  197. shtreimel

    3/31/2005 at 3:02 pm

    j

  198. T_M

    3/31/2005 at 3:17 pm

    Oooh, Jewish Mother, if you keep talking like that, you’re going to get some people here very excited about you very quickly.

  199. Jewish Mother

    3/31/2005 at 3:29 pm

    I realize I have said something that needs to be made clear! People can’t marry because they are not frum, and, the same exact people can’t be frum, because they are not married! Ouch! So: there is nothing to do but be a little married, and a little frum, and work toward Bal Teshuva, with the best person you can find who has the same goal. With patience and steady effort you will eventually be BOTH married AND frum and life will be much better, even good. Good Shabbos. Is she making chicken? I can smell it from here. The crock pot is bubbling with cholent. Can I come over? Love, Mom

  200. Jewish Mother

    3/31/2005 at 3:30 pm

    I really am a Jewish mother. OLD. My joints hurt.

  201. T_M

    3/31/2005 at 3:32 pm

    Ann Landers had nothing on you, Jewish Mother. Nor does Shmuley Boteach for that matter.

    Oh, and this is our first topic to reach 200 comments.

  202. shtreimel

    3/31/2005 at 3:53 pm

    I couldn’ve used some “Jewish Mother” when I was 15. Hell, it ain’t so bad at 36.

  203. Jewish Mother

    3/31/2005 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you for your kind words. They make my joints hurt less. If anybody wants to reprint anything I wrote without crediting me, go ahead. Make a book. Start a movement. I think I am talked out. At least for today. Love, Mom

  204. Ephraim

    3/31/2005 at 5:03 pm

    T_M, haven’t you been reading what I wrote? I never said it was easy for me at all.

    Keeping mitzvot is always a struggle, harder for some than others, perhaps, but still a struggle. The yetzer is powerful.

    But, tshuva is always there if you need it.

  205. Grandmuffti

    4/1/2005 at 12:02 pm

    Shtremiel, you’ve finall said something Muffti agrees with completely.

  206. ahmad

    4/4/2005 at 10:52 am

    i want to see chests

  207. T_M

    4/4/2005 at 10:59 am

    Ah, Ahmad, it’s good to finally have among us a true intellectual. Your magnificent contribution to this discussion has now been recorded for posterity.

  208. Aish Freak

    4/4/2005 at 2:31 pm

    Actually the problem is that society via Television and other media has infiltrated the Frum community to the extent that those are aware and know what’s going on, the more so. Women have been brainwashed into dressing in a provocative and way that will cause men to look and stare at them, ultimately she walks away but the man is left w/ that intense feeling of desire.
    Men are brainwashed to oggle these beautiful ladies.
    So both are confused regardless of if they have had sex or not. Anyone who is afraid to marry bec. of perceived boring marriages is a fool. Just talk alot on dates w/ her about this sort of thing, slowly of course. Anyone who would willingly miss out on having kids of their own is another fool.

    Why some of you want to be fools is beyond my understanding.

    Go to Aish HaTorah / Discover, they have seminars on this, they will fix your brains that have been disturbed by American media.

    By going to a Discovery seminar, it is like going to the Kosel, for Shachris on Shabbos morning. Who could not be inspired to have courage, to be a better person?

    Go Go today and register for an enchanting seminar

  209. Grandmuffti

    4/4/2005 at 2:31 pm

    Don’t listen to him, Ahmad. Muffti says rock on and continue your quests to see, ummn, chests!

  210. T_M

    4/4/2005 at 2:37 pm

    Aish Freak, dude, seriously, didn’t they tell you the word is kotel and not kosel? On the other hand, we agree about your point regarding giving up marriage and kids because of the perception of what makes an interesting partner on the basis of how the media presents relationships.

    edit: is that a run on sentence or what? *takes a bow*

  211. Aish Freak

    4/4/2005 at 2:45 pm

    If all of these people who are single would join the Aish/Discovery way, there would immediatly be 25 % more marriages right there.

    Kosel is pronounced by those not living in Israel. It implies a lack of connectedness to Israel, which is a fact, not an emotion. Everyone living in Galus ‘enjoys’ this gilgul.

  212. T_M

    4/4/2005 at 2:52 pm

    I feel quite disconnected when I say shabbos or galus, so you are right about that. However, I would say that marriage prospects for single Jews would increase by another 25% if people used the t sound as it was meant to be used in Hebrew – it just makes people seem more attractive.

  213. Michael

    4/4/2005 at 3:00 pm

    Mah ha-bayah im Ivris Ashkenazis? Zeh loishn ha-koidish! Nashim ohevos anashim she’medabrim Ivris im shinshun. Emes!

  214. Aish Freak

    4/4/2005 at 3:08 pm

    Did you go yet to a Discover Seminar? This will be the most impactful step you can take to explore your personality and get your problems solved.

    There are many events that you can enjoy yourself and at the same time, learn a piece of Judaism.

    Please contact me for more info about Aish HaTorah / Discovery Judaism, I will help you to get back on track.

  215. T_M

    4/4/2005 at 3:13 pm

    See Michael, right there you lost a whole bunch of prospective mates.

    Aish Freak, I’m happily married but thanks for the kind offer. I’d encourage you to ask Michael to join your groups, but he needs to get over his speech impediment first.

  216. Michael

    4/4/2005 at 3:21 pm

    I speak Sephardic Hebrew. Hell, I even say the “ayin” sometimes (which I suppose comes from having a Temani Hebrew teacher). I am just having the funs with you, T_M!

    As far as Aish, I was planning to go there this summer for a few weeks since it’s free, but Aish Freak is kind of scaring me a little…

  217. lynn

    4/4/2005 at 3:25 pm

    I already knew I had to control my hebrew r’s being from Connecticut and Boston, but now I have to control my t’s too because I’m not in Israel? Hebrew is so much harder than I thought!

  218. Jewish Mother

    4/4/2005 at 3:46 pm

    Oy.

  219. T_M

    4/4/2005 at 3:52 pm

    Michael, check out the second Shoshana Damari song on the new Idan Reichel CD for GREAT Sephardic pronunciation.

    Lynn, keep your Ts and all will be well.

    Jewish Mother, we have other topics around here and your sagacity is welcome there as well.

  220. Jewish Mother

    4/4/2005 at 4:43 pm

    Thank you, T underscore M. Please recommend a topic because I am overwhelmed by the quantity. Aish Freak may be right, guys. Did it work for him yet? Is there a Mrs. AF? I bet he knew she was the one by their fourth date, right, AF? It was in the daytime, too, right? In a casual setting, right?

  221. Aish Freak

    4/4/2005 at 5:37 pm

    Of course. If you look at all the Jewish Outreach groups Aish HaTorah/Discovery has the most interesting programs. Into them you enter and you exit a different person. This helps to focus on your dating and finding the right person.

    What is the right person? There are 2 paths. One can be someone who is warm and emotional where you are cold and calculating. This is the attraction of the opposites. Each partner compliments the other. Through Discovery, you will learn WHAT to ask on dates, HOW to make stimulating conversation, and most importantly, the ANALYSIS skills that can help you to move forward, to take you fear and not let it stampede you away.

  222. Michael

    4/4/2005 at 7:27 pm

    Through Discovery, you will learn WHAT to ask on dates, HOW to make stimulating conversation, and most importantly, the ANALYSIS skills that can help you to move forward, to take you fear and not let it stampede you away.

    But most importantly, you will learn to love Big Brother.

  223. kelly

    4/4/2005 at 7:30 pm

    I am a Jewish woman recently divorced. Met a nice modern orthodox on Jdate and am in the begiining of a nice relationship. I am not to sure on the laws because it seems he has his own interpretations. No condom? No intercourse-for me. This spilling seed thing seems to be fine with him when it comes to oral sex-whats the deal? Is swallowing not considered spilling seed in the orthodox community. Please-please enlighten me.

  224. Michael

    4/4/2005 at 7:34 pm

    Wow, this thread has suddenly become interesting again.

    Kelly, oral sex is considered spilling seed just as much as wearing a condom. Pretty much, spilling your seed anywhere but its, ahem, “G-d-sanctioned-orifice” is a sin under Orthodox Judaism.

    But, you know, that doesn’t really stop a lot of people. Also, some halakhic authorities allow the use of the birth control pill or other methods of female birth control that do not destroy semen — as long as the couple is married and plans to have or has already had children.

  225. kelly

    4/4/2005 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you Michael-so what I am understanding is that I am in a relationship right now with a “convenient jew” , what’s good for him is good for Judiasm. Hmmm…very interesting concept. I can see why I’ve gone the more alternative route. I am not much for rules, but I am a stickler for honesty. And honestly I feel like I have been conveniently misinformed. Or maybe I just chose until this poing to keep my eyes closed. No harm, no foul.
    That is pretty funny . Guess its back on jdate for a relationship with someone a little more evolved.

  226. Aish Freak

    4/4/2005 at 10:00 pm

    Kelly, U ,must keep in mind that we are all humans. If you like this man, I believe that you should discuss this issue. I personally prefer to not judge in that way. Just as there are areas where we are all weak, some are closed minded, some do not offer assistance, etc… I would ask that you consider a very important concept in Orthodoxy, that is called Dahn LeKaf Zechut. It is a very karmic – like expression. On a simple level, it means, judge others favorably. On a more Karmic level, I believe that it refers to having a deep sense of respect and lack of disparaging thoughts and remarks about others. This will in the final analysis help create a better society for all.

    I would like to invite you to check out the Aish haTorah web site for all of the classes and work that they do. I have found this group very stimulating and very successful in truly conveying the concepts of Judaism. I believe you will get more out of it than from discussing the important points you raised on some web blog.
    I know from experience, I have been a successfull blackjack and casino games player for many years so I am familiar with the adrenaline rush of attaining instant success.
    Michael, you are too quick also to judge without a fair and balanced effort.
    Sincerely,
    Michael

  227. Esther

    4/4/2005 at 10:28 pm

    The problem with someone defining himself (or herself) as Modern Orthodox is that unless you proclaim that you are also shomer negiah, I think you can expect that people will draw their respective lines in different places. And for many people, there’s an emotional component to it as well, as to how much an individual is comfortable with before it becomes all complicated, in addition to the halakhic component.

    I could say something really out there now, but instead, I’ll phrase it this way in case my parents are reading this: I think that the spilling seed thing would not only apply to self-pleasuring (as we covered really well in previous comments) but also to spitting, swallowing and any other spermelimination method that we might not have covered, but that does not place those little guys within striking distance of the ovum. But what do I know?

    Kelly, sounds to me like you were done with him even before he revealed his, um, inconsistencies. And if you find said evolved gentlemen on JDate, I will wish you a hearty mazal tov.

  228. T_M

    4/4/2005 at 10:51 pm

    Is it just me or does Kelly’s guy sound fairly disrespectful both of women and his supposed faith?

  229. shtreimel

    4/4/2005 at 11:59 pm

    Hey Aish Freak,

    You’re freaking me out with your prostylizing dude. It’s bringing back BAD memories I had during my short stay at the very institution you’re promoting….drove me to Isralight actually.

  230. Michael

    4/5/2005 at 12:29 am

    Yeah, seriously…like I said, I was going to go to Aish this summer, but now I’m kind of thinking it might not be the best idea. I don’t really want to get exposed to brainwashing (of course, it seems almost every yeshiva tries to brainwash you into their particular brand of thinking, which is a whole other story), and this mamash sounds like brainwashing. “We are Aish Ha-Torah! You will have a black hat and a wife whether you like it or not!”

  231. Grandmuffti

    4/5/2005 at 1:15 am

    Yeah, Kelly, you should come hang out with Muffti. He’s lawless and a far cry from orthodox but at leasts he’s consistent on seed spilling issues…let those little guys end up where they will.

  232. Aish Freak

    4/5/2005 at 7:21 am

    But do you not agree that the wisdom of the Torah is worth uncovering? Is worth knowing. Knowledge really is power. Personal power.

  233. josh

    4/5/2005 at 8:40 am

    I really wasn’t going to post on this thread. Oh well…

    Michael,
    any new direction/institution you might choose will seem like brainwashing, but how the hell else do you want to learn a lot of stuff fast. I did tshuva by myself, and gradually, but frankly, I’ve have not come close to catching up to where a few other acquantices have reached in much shorter time at other places. Even after ten years, my old friends think I’ve been ‘brainwashed’ but screw them, I have a much happier and fuller life than before and see (and tell) them that as opposed to my brainwashing (by myself?), they’ve stayed in the same mindset of going nowhere.

  234. Jewish Mother

    4/5/2005 at 9:18 am

    If you are looking for G-d at the same period of your life in which you are looking for a spouse, there is a risk that you will apply the same standards to both. After all, there is an element of idealism and trust in both quests. Conversely, do people feel they are being judged by potential spouses as if every day were Yom Kippur? Only the perfectly virtuous are good enough to marry? It is amazing how the yetzer hara uses people’s virtues against them! Kelly, you are outside the laws too, so you can’t invoke laws. Cut the guy slack, marry him, then you will be inside the law, and then you can start talking laws. If you like him, I mean. It sounded like you liked him. But we should not stand around covered with spaghetti and say, ha ha, you have sauce on your nose. Let’s be nicer. You see how: the stricter you are, the safer you are? Hint: strictness is easier for the married. In fact, that is the best reason to get married. It simplifies people’s lives.

  235. Jewish Mother

    4/5/2005 at 9:23 am

    Some people say, “Your loving me is clear proof of your stupidity, because I am unworthy. Why would I want to love someone stupid? Go away. I am looking for someone smart enough to think ill of me. I won’t settle for less.”

  236. kelly

    4/5/2005 at 4:58 pm

    Well you all have interesting points of view. For me, I am very interested in having intercourse. He says no. Not with a condom. That was the jist of it . I wont go on the pill. Its not for me. Neither is pregnancy right now. I not only believe, but also know, that I have choice in this matter. As we all do. And for the record, I know that God doesn’t give a crap if I was sleeping with the Pope, and the Pope was a woman, and she was my cousin and she spilled her sperm because she had the equiptment to. You think God judges us? We judge us. God loves us, rules or no rules. And you know how I know that? You know.

  237. Jewish Mother

    4/5/2005 at 6:19 pm

    No, God is not The Big Meanie In The Sky, brandishing a rolling pin. If that is what you mean, I completely agree with you. Look: if you married the guy, and a doctor said pills were not good for you, it is entirely possible an Orthodox rabbi would give you a ruling that you could make an exception and use condoms. I am no rabbi and I cannot say anything for sure, but that comes to mind. But since this is chuppa-less couple there is nothing to do but wrangle endlessly: rabbinic guidance is not available to you. You are focusing on the mechanics, and not on, is this a couple or isn’t it? I think you will like being an Orthodox wife, when you get used to it. You will like the rights you get, and the calm and dignity that come from having a life with rules. The rules bind him just as much as they do you, so it is fair.

  238. shtreimel

    4/5/2005 at 6:38 pm

    “But do you not agree that the wisdom of the Torah is worth uncovering? Is worth knowing. Knowledge really is power. Personal power.”

    Insurance makes sense. But it’s amazing how many pushy insurance salesman/woman make me want to NOT buy insurance.

    Michael:
    I tried Aish..Ohr…Isralight. And depending on the teacher, they all had their pluses. Sample ‘em all. Some people like Aish’s shtick, I did not. Isralight was more my speed. With some patience, you’ll find which Yeshiva works best for you.

  239. shtreimel

    4/5/2005 at 6:39 pm

    “Some people say, “Your loving me is clear proof of your stupidity, because I am unworthy. Why would I want to love someone stupid? Go away. I am looking for someone smart enough to think ill of me. I won’t settle for less.”

    Woody Allen said that as well. Actually, it was a quote from Annie Hall. Regardless, there’s some wise words in that quote. It’s tough to see it in yourself though, it usually takes walking into the same wall a 100 times to appreciate why we self-sabatoge the way we do.

  240. kelly

    4/6/2005 at 6:37 am

    I can’t think of anything less appealing then to have to ask someone permission for how to live my life. When did God appoint another to give discretion over me? A Rabbi? That is a teacher. I am also a teacher. How do I teach? By empowering people to ask questions and with those questions the Universe in all its infinite wisdom will supply the answers, and then there is the choice. Which answer am I ready for? Which one makes me feel lighter. But if an answer is “stuck” without consideration for the time, space and dimension that the question is asked from, then what good would a teacher be to the seeker of information. What is taught is that the answer may always be the same, but the questioner is in a varied degree of learning. An Orthodox woman? Me? No thank you. I cant even wear a bra because its too restricting.

  241. Aish Freak

    4/6/2005 at 7:59 am

    Kelly,

    A major source of stress in life is the “fear of rejection” or fear of criticism. This fear of rejection manifests itself in an over-concern for the approval or disapproval of your boyfriend or other people. The fear of rejection is often learned in early childhood as the result of a parent giving the child what psychologists call “conditional love.”

    Many parents made the mistake of giving love and approval to their children only when their children did something that they wanted them to do. A child who has grown up with this kind of conditional love tends to seek for unconditional approval from others all his or her life. When the child becomes an adult, this need for approval from the parent is transferred to the significant other. The adult can then become preoccupied with the opinion of the boyfriend. This preoccupation can lead to an obsession to perform to some undetermined high standard.

    Here are two things you can do immediately to deal with the fear of rejection, criticism and disapproval.

    First, realize and accept that the opinions of others are not important enough for you to feel stressed, unhappy or over concerned about them. Even if they dislike you entirely, it has nothing to do with your own personal worth and value as a person.

    Second, refuse to be over concerned about what you think people are thinking about you. The fact is that most people are not thinking about you at all. Relax and get on with your life.

  242. Jewish Mother

    4/6/2005 at 9:23 am

    Kelly, you are describing the difference between a high-quality, talented rabbi and a not-so-good one. If you get a good one, and there are plenty, you will not feel put-upon, just instructed. G-d has INDEED appointed certain people to have discretion over you. This is not an arbitrary caste system. They are not “better” than you, but they know more than you do, in the same way a doctor knows more about your body than you do, even though it is your body. The rabbi is listened to, because: he has put in long years of study, and been considered both knowledgeable enough and personally good enough as a human being to receive formal rabbinic ordination. The people doing the ordaining have passed these tests themselves, going back in an uninterrupted direct line to our remote past. Your liking an Orthodox guy means something… you could have hung out with anybody, but you are seeing him. Maybe his controlled, disciplined bearing has impressed you. That has a female analogue that is not restrictive, just organized. I like your word “light”. It describes an Orthodox Sabbath perfectly!

  243. Aish Freak

    4/6/2005 at 10:06 am

    Kelly,

    Everything is in the Torah. I urge you to first study some Torah every day, then look at your problems in a new light.

  244. Michael

    4/6/2005 at 10:15 am

    Um, that’s very cute and pat and Dear Abby, Jewish Mother (and I say this as a practicing Orthodox Jew), but what it sounds like is Kelly’s Orthodox guy isn’t too controlled and disciplined. Also, having had many Orthodox Sabbaths, the word I would use is not “light,” it is “long.”

    You know, some people just might not like strictures. And telling them to get married to the first Orthodox guy they see probably won’t help anything.

    Just seeing an Orthodox guy doesn’t mean anything. I’m all for hashgacha pratis and all that, but just because some schmuck wears a kippah doesn’t mean he’s an emissary from G-d sent to change your life.

  245. Grandmuffti

    4/6/2005 at 10:22 am

    Oh man, Michael, Muffti really got things wrong. When he saw you in the kippah, he figured for sure you were an emissary about to change his life! :)

  246. Michael

    4/6/2005 at 10:39 am

    I was an emissary to change your life. Before you met me, you’d never spent Mardi Gras in New Orleans. But I’m also not a schmuck.

  247. T_M

    4/6/2005 at 10:52 am

    Oy, Jewish Mother, you disappoint me with the rabbi business. What about a 27 year old rabbi who has just received smicha (ordained)? Does he carry all this life experience, too? I’ll buy the argument that a rabbi who runs a congregation for years might see enough of humanity’s activities, not to mention births, deaths, marriages and divorces, to learn something. On the other hand, he may learn very little because he’s not so clever.

    Kelly is right to trust her own judgement over somebody else’s and to presume that just because a rabbi is a rabbi, he is not necessarily someone who should be able to dictate anything. Suggest something? Maybe.

    Kelly, I’d like to ask you, does the religion or religious observance of your next partner matter to you? Are you seeking marriage again, or are you trying to be alone for a while? I’m just curious and promise not to tell you what god wants from you (since I don’t talk to him. much).

  248. Jewish Mother

    4/6/2005 at 11:25 am

    I SAID some rabbis were a LOT better than others! A young one with holiness and talent is better than an old one without. They are people, not angels! You use your best brains and instincts when choosing a rabbi, just like when choosing a doctor. The rabbi you mention was horribly mistaken! What kind was he? I can only hope he was misquoted. There have been doctors who have been jerks and worse, but people don’t tar the whole profession.

  249. Jewish Mother

    4/6/2005 at 11:27 am

    Life is not a brownie recipe. If you carefully follow a brownie recipe, you are guaranteed to get brownies, every time. People want to be mechanistic. Then they pound the table and want their money back if a formula doesn’t work.

  250. T_M

    4/6/2005 at 11:33 am

    Um, Jewish Mother, do you have any good brownie recipes?

  251. Dave

    4/6/2005 at 11:40 am

    Kelly, I don’t know where anyone got the idea that one has to consult a rabbi. I am saying this because I am not Orthodox.
    If you feel the Torah is useful as a good to one’s behaviour then by all means read it by yourself. I think people should consult rabbis if they want, like a consulting a doctor- one should get a second and third opinion.

    I have had girlfriends and I have been married, now divorced.
    I personally think that a woman performing oral sex on a man is totally not tzniut, even within the context of a marriage. I think it is degrading to the woman.

  252. T_M

    4/6/2005 at 11:49 am

    :shock:

  253. Grandmuffti

    4/6/2005 at 11:54 am

    Oral sex is degrading to women? Why? (Is oral sex by a man to a woman degrading to men?)

    Besides, how can something that feels soooooo good be wrong? :)

  254. Dave

    4/6/2005 at 12:05 pm

    Oral sex is degrading to women because..just think of the male anatomy. Need I say anything more?
    It is also degrading to women because it puts the women in a subservient rule, which is especially unfair in a society where women have not achieved true equality.

    I do not think oral sex performed by a man on a woman
    is degrading to a man, because men dominate in society- there is no real equality unfortunately, and so their symbolic temporary loss of domination doesn’t have any adverse emotional effect on the man. Besides, to be quite frank, a lot of women get off on it- ha ha ha! Anything to help a relationship along.

  255. Jewish Mother

    4/6/2005 at 12:15 pm

    Such a fascination with hardware. What about the software? Is it a couple or isn’t it? Orthodox Judaism loves questioning types like Kelly. No wonder this guy likes her. He hasn’t abandoned orthodoxy, he just wants a dynamism she offers. Kelly, when people object to something in Orthodox Judaism, they usually are talking from ignorance, meaning, they think it requires, or says, something, that it does not require, or say. Guys, this is a FAITH. The science department is upstairs.

  256. Dave

    4/6/2005 at 12:24 pm

    Jewish Mother, I very much agree with you that Judaism is a faith.
    However nowadays the Jewish people have become more polarized with the Orthodox believing that the Torah and the Oral Law is all totally divine, and the other extreme with people who are basically atheist.

    Being someone like me who believes in G-d, but only that all the moral and ethical precepts in the Torah are divine, but the ritual laws are only man’s response to G-d, and not ordained by G-d.
    So I manage to disagree with everyone, ha ha!
    Anyone else out there on the WorldWideWeb agree with me?
    Let’s start a new movement in Judaism- how about calling it Moderate Jewish Anarchy?? Ha ha !

  257. Grandmuffti

    4/6/2005 at 12:55 pm

    Good point, Michael. Muffti thanks you again for performing your emissary duties in such a magnificent manner.

  258. Jewish Mother

    4/6/2005 at 12:57 pm

    Dave, no offense, but your views are very old. They have not met with wide or long term acceptance. To me Judaism is a system which, by means of daily ritual, knits the mundane with the golden clouds up above. It effects a ‘handshake’. You are positing a G-d who sits up high, dispensing goals and principles, but who doesn’t get involved with the daily details. CEO’s do that, but G-d is not a CEO. A Creator would logically care about all His creations, all the time. I think G-d knows how many bacteria are on my arm, and I think he cares. We have rituals for staying in touch with our family and friends, so why not G-d? We thank them for gifts, every time we get one, so why not him? Look at the Ten Commandments: the first one says, I am up here on my throne. Then, daily details! Walk this way. Not that way. And a ritual: the Sabbath. The whole rabbinically commanded ball of wax has its reasons and is valid, in my opinion. It has been filtered through immense numbers of generations, more than we can conceptualize. Before, Lincoln, before Shakespeare, before Charlemagne, before Nero, before Sophocles, people were doing these EXACT rituals. There are ancient mosaics showing menorahs, shofars, lulavs. Mikvahs have been excavated on Masada, in front of the Temple Mount.

  259. T_M

    4/6/2005 at 1:10 pm

    Jewish Mother, perhaps you should consider rabbinical school? You speak with a passion about your beliefs and present them quite effectively – poetically, even.

    Now what about that brownie recipe?

  260. Grandmuffti

    4/6/2005 at 1:30 pm

    Oral sex is degrading because of the shape of the male anatomy? Isn’t just about any male-female sex degrading given the equipment men have?

    As for Rabbis, they certainly do have good advice. In particular, you gotta love it when they, for example, say: “… a man may do whatever he pleases with his wife [at intercourse]: A parable; Meat which comes from the abattoir may be eaten salted, roasted, cooked or seethed; so with fish from the fishmonger.” (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Nedarim 20b). They go on to use ‘overturning a table’ as a metaphor for anal sex (and suggest that it is permissible).

  261. Dave

    4/6/2005 at 1:32 pm

    Jewish Mother, I am sorry but you misunderstood me.
    I very much believe in a Loving Creator who is One and Indivisible and a Unity beyond all human understanding, who is constantly renewing the universe at every single moment and does care about you and I and the smallest deer in the forest, and humans of all faiths and the largest galaxies on the edge of the solar system.

    Because I believe that G-d does care for every human being, I sincerely believe that G-d cares about our every action.

    Those mitzvot which relate to ritual, while I agree are very valid and constitute a system of making us better people, these mitzvot, even if we keep many or all of them do not make us even one iota better, theologically or morally speaking, than a decent human being of any other faith or even than an atheist who is a decent human being. The reason is because G-d is a just G-d and cares for all human beings equally, and rewards them according to their righteousness and punishes them according to their transgressions, not favouring people of any specific religion.

    That is why I believe that the mitzvot specifically concerning rituals are a system that was derived over time by sincere believers, and therefore they are holy, but I do not believe that they are commanded by G-d. All the ethical and moral mitzvot I do believe are definitelycommanded by G-d.

    You believe the way you do, because you’re Orthodox.
    I am not Orthodox.

  262. Dave

    4/6/2005 at 1:40 pm

    Fellatio is disgusting because at other times that same male organ is used for urination. Excuse me for being so blunt.

    Grandmuffti, quite frankly I think that both fellatio and anal sex are disgusting, and I don’t care which Rabbi approves of such
    behaviour, I think they are still disgusting practices.

  263. Michael

    4/6/2005 at 1:50 pm

    Hey, come on, at least urine is pretty sterile. And it’s not like oral sex on a woman is the most clean or pure or not-resulting-in-getting-somewhat-fragrant-stuff-all-over-your-face process either. It winds up pretty fair, I think.

  264. Aish Freak

    4/6/2005 at 1:51 pm

    A young Rabbi can be as compassionate as an older one. It is a matter of Tnius, how much Torah wisdom the young man has. He would have. Rabbi Noach Weinberg, who started Aish HaTorah, understood religious rebellion in the following historical manner. One Shabbos, he was sitting resting, and thought a bit about Communism. He spent the rest of the afternoon, instead of his typical Shabbos pursuits, learning Torah, thinking about how the world would be better under Communism for all. At the end of Shabbos, he realized what the path was that leads a person away from closeness to HaShem.

    A Jew has the opportunity for a special and close relationship w/ HaShem, if he is on the court, dressed and ready to play.

    As far as the sex discussion now, the Rambam has stated that the husband is allowed to love his wife ( I think he uses the word kiss), in every single place of her body. I am not sure if there are sources for the other way around.

  265. Jewish Mother

    4/6/2005 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you, TM for your extremely kind words. My joints hardly hurt at all now. You aren’t serious about wanting recipes. Mrs. TM probably cooks better than I do. Men should enjoy food and know nothing about it. Who could cook for a man who knows about food? ‘It’s great but it needs a leetle bit more oregano’ and blah blah blah. Ugh. Just smile, thank, and eat. Helping with the dishes is OK, in silence. Don’t comment on the number of pots used. Cooked food is a gift, and givers are very sensitive. If it wasn’t so fabulous today, with practice, it will get better, if praised. You can cook for her sometimes, but not often. And not when company comes.

  266. T_M

    4/6/2005 at 2:04 pm

    Hey, I cook pretty well, even when company comes. And you can’t have enough brownie recipes. Ever.

  267. Aish Freak

    4/6/2005 at 2:19 pm

    This topic has evolved from the role of lack thereof, of pre-marital sex in Orthodox Judaism, to a more balanced view of the need to have happy marriages, and what role sex plays, in addition, and in tandem, w/ other factors.
    This has become a very compelling post for me.
    This is because, as a married man, I am interested in having a harmonious home life as much as possible.
    Keep on, Keepin on!

  268. Jewish Mother

    4/6/2005 at 2:27 pm

    TM, you are being material. Software, not hardware! It’s not the green beans. It’s, who is lighting the candles? THEN, we get to the green beans. By that time, the green beans taste good because of the candles and the prayer. Is your method working?? If you want descendents, forget every recipe you ever knew. You have the world. You need the home, too? Let somebody else shine and be needed. Did you misplace the pedestal the last time you moved? How can somebody make you happy if you already are? Play your position.

  269. T_M

    4/6/2005 at 2:37 pm

    Hey, my wife lights the candles. The green beans have already been cooked.

  270. Aish Freak

    4/6/2005 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks to my wife’s style of cooking I am eating more healthfully. We have simple things. There are some Kosher restaraunts in NYC and elsewhere that are very haute haute. I find the whole experience very disheartening. I don’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy good food. But they way they copy the non kosher is sick, as is the way they spend so and so time on their food and they say, we just happen to be Kosher.
    I ate recently at Solo in NYC. Whatever happened to Second Ave. Jewish waiters, are they extinct? Must every waiter be a gay man, is this a job requirement?

  271. Jewish Mother

    4/6/2005 at 2:50 pm

    Fabulous. I am sure Mrs. TM cooks better than I do. You probably do, too. I just do simple stuff. Brownies are fattening. Stay with the green beans.

  272. Dave

    4/6/2005 at 3:21 pm

    While I can accept that the Rambam may have said kissing one’s wife anywhere on her body was fine, I sincerely hope that he did not mean to imply that anal sex was o.k.
    Since as you know he was also a doctor, I am sure that he would have said that anal sex, beside being painful for the woman, is also unhealthy for her, and medically unsound.

  273. Aish Freak

    4/6/2005 at 3:22 pm

    It would seem to be to each their own. But this he did say.

  274. Dave

    4/6/2005 at 3:26 pm

    Aish Freak, even though I am not Orthodox, I agree with your assessment of kosher haute cuisine. I think that kosher haute cuisine will become tasty will be when a French (formerly Christian) chef converts to
    Judaism. Have you tried any North African kosher cuisine? It’s great.

  275. Aish Freak

    4/6/2005 at 6:45 pm

    By Haute Haute, I mean the way they arrange the plate like and the type of puree’ing that they do. The wines and drinks as well. Then of course you are to pay $75-100 per person for the full service. In the past, you would go to the Second Ave. deli or something like that.

    I had a great meal not long ago in Israel a simple Yeminite rest. off of Allenby St. in Tel Aviv, near to the Hamashbir. This was some exceptional place tho I forget the name.

    Now about the anal sex I would be interested in seeing your sources in the Torah on this matter. I assume that you are referring to unprotected sex as to the list of dangers you mentioned.

    I agree that the Rambam did not imply this.

  276. Dave

    4/6/2005 at 7:10 pm

    I am not a scholar/ yeshiva bahoor/ bochur, so I cannot cite any passage in the Torah or the Talmud about anal sex. Even though I am not a doctor either, I have read a summary of a medical study in which they clear said that anal sex can rupture groups of cells/ tissues in the woman’s anus.

    Of course unprotected sex is dangerous and therefore wrong, and I am sure the Rambam would agree with me.

    Of course, in an ideal world where all adults are heterosexual and virgins until married and faithful to their spouses from the time of their marriage onward, there would be no need for protection. Sadly, this is not the case nowadays.

  277. T_M

    4/6/2005 at 7:34 pm

    *sigh*

    I was happier when the discussion revolved around green beans and premarital sex.

  278. Ephraim

    4/6/2005 at 8:12 pm

    Dave, sorry to hear that you find your penis so disgusting.

    Since it such a foul, unclean instrument of heartless male oppression of women, can you tell me why you think fellatio is a crime against nature but it is OK to put such a revolting thing into the most vulnerable part of a woman’s body?

    Since you obviously hate your penis, I suggest that you cut it off and give it to someone who can use it. You clearly have no use for it.

  279. Dave

    4/6/2005 at 8:19 pm

    Ephraim, I hope you’re joking, anyway I’ll take it as a joke.
    I am a normal guy who finds his penis disgusting, ha ha!
    It’s not supposed to be pretty- it’s just supposed to do its 2 jobs. That’s why they call it a tool, ha ha ha!
    Anyway, I think regular sex between a woman and a man is wonderful. I just don’t find fellatio or anal sex to be appealing at all. In fact them quite disgusting. That’s just my opinion, it’s probably not supported by a midrash or something like that, but I don’t care. And I’m not going to change my mind.

  280. Ephraim

    4/6/2005 at 8:29 pm

    Well, Dave, I’ll certainly agree with you on the anal sex part.

    But seriously, you don’t seem to have a particularly good relationship with your own personal Mr. Johnson, which I find sad.

    Your hands can get dirty too. The usual solution is to wash them.

    Do you also find women’s vagnas as revolting as you find your own penis? Just curious.

  281. Aish Freak

    4/6/2005 at 8:39 pm

    There are several discussions going on all at once. I find this thread very interesting and stimulating.

    I was surprised that Dave finds O/S disgusting. Perhaps that Dave has not done this so much. Perhaps it is something that you should explore. I have found in my limited experience that women love this being done to them. And I have found it a very enjoyable thing to have done to me. Perhaps you do not wish to be so vulnerable to someone.

  282. T_M

    4/6/2005 at 9:00 pm

    Is it a Mr. Johnson when you’re of the Jewish persuasion? How about a Mr. Shtreimel?

  283. Ephraim

    4/6/2005 at 9:08 pm

    No, T_M, Jewish Mr. Johnsons don’t have…..uhhhh….caps, so I don’t think calling them “shtreimels” is a good fit.

  284. shtreimel

    4/6/2005 at 10:37 pm

    “Since you obviously hate your penis, I suggest that you cut it off and give it to someone who can use it. You clearly have no use for it.”

    Finally, we’re back to Freud ;)

  285. Dave

    4/6/2005 at 10:51 pm

    Sure, I don’t mind performing oral sex on a woman. As long as she doesn’t have a thyroid imbalance and didn’t eat garlic for dinner, ha ha ha!
    And from my experience, women get off on it.
    Anything to help the relationship, ha ha ha!

  286. shtreimel

    4/6/2005 at 11:45 pm

    Dave,

    If you ever find yourself on Jdate, you should use this:

    “I don’t mind performing oral sex on a woman.”

    as your opening statement.

  287. Dave

    4/7/2005 at 12:19 am

    No, I should say “I love performing oral sex on a woman”.
    Ha ha ha ha!

  288. Esther

    4/7/2005 at 2:14 am

    Oy. You people.

  289. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 6:29 am

    Oy Vey! First of all, I find it very interesting these judgments that people have about the human body. God blessed us with these bodies and to hate them, to be revolted by them is an interesting point of view. As for the anal sex and the cunnilingus and the fellatio,these are incredibly beautiful and erotic and sensual and sexual acts when they are done with someone you can share with. My personal experiences have been beautiful as they have been done with consideration and respect and love.
    As for a Rabbi being compared to a doctor. My interesting poing of view again is that no one knows me like I do. No doctor, no Rabbi and no person. What I have done and always teach my clients to do is to live in the question. And to gauge the answer for yourself. The law is that you know. You know everything. You just have to remember it. And if you can’t remember right then and there, then you ask “What are the infinite possibilities that I can recieve this information that I am looking for?”
    We are all a piece of this puzzle, but the puzzle is ultimately me. Ask and you shall recieve. For me the truth makes me feel lighter and a lie makes me feel heavier. I choose to live in the lightness of being. It just feels better. And fellatio, cunnilingus and anal sex feel light to me. As well as no BCP and using a condom for safe sex. Because really now-who knows where these Jewish Shmucks have been? (that would of course be my interesting point of view ;)

  290. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 6:30 am

    oh and Dave whats your number?

  291. Aish Freak

    4/7/2005 at 7:16 am

    Kelly, the only problem I have w. your view is that you are leaving out the Torah wisdom. We are talking as Jewish people here. What distinguishes you as a genuine Jewish person, if not having an ear to the holy Torah? BTW, I have a guy for you please email me.

  292. Dave

    4/7/2005 at 7:26 am

    Kelly, I think that fellatio and anal sex are inherently degrading acts. I think cunnilingus is fine. I know, just my opinion. But I am not going to change my mind.

  293. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 8:43 am

    Aish-what makes me Jewish is only that I am born Jewish. Was there another prerequisite that I am unaware of? Do I practice Judiasm-that’s the question! I am like, I’ve written before , a person that lives in the question. What other religion do you know of that explores the questions? For that reason alone -I am a practicing Jewess. But the rules? They are not real. They are an illusion to keep you bound. How can that make you infinite? Yes, I am born a Jew-But where else am I living as a Jew? For me time is not linear-everything is happening now, through all time ,space and dimensions. I am working as more then a Jew. Why limit yourself to this one thing. You thing God is judging you? I know , truly know that God does not judge me, nor you, nor anyone else. He loves you . That is the unconditional love that I seek. And truly to segregate myself as a Jew, separate myself as the “chosen” people, how could I possibly live as unconditional love if I did that? How could we all? This fighting that we do is about the rules. Not Gods rules, our rules.I can assure that God is not bound by rules when it comes to loving . Nor should we be bound by rules. If it makes you feel lighter-so be it. God is. And that is all that is. Everything else is our illusion

  294. Aish Freak

    4/7/2005 at 8:52 am

    Does he love the unlucky, the unfortunate, the people living in poverty. Does he love the families who cannot provide for their children?

  295. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 9:02 am

    oh and Dave-how are the judgments that you make about sex serving you? Are you sick all the time? Is your cash flow low? Are your personal relations ailing? Just curious? It as been my experience that when someone is so full of judgments they create huge blockages in themselves.Causing many types of physical and psychological maladies. When you make align and agree or resist and react to something-that is a judgment. That is taking energy and holding it into place. We are after all just atoms and the space between the atoms. These things that you make so real . “anal sex is degrading” whose point of view is that? Yours or someone elses? Have you been a reciever of anal sex in this lifetime? Or maybe raped repeatedly in your past? Where did this deep avesion come from? ANd is it in your best interest to hold onto it? I am not saying go out and have it-Im saying what would it be like to not have such a charge on it? I have found that in order to judge something, one must have either been there or done it themselves at one point. And since we are all infinite beings living in a body at this point, and many others at many other times, then chances are we have been there and done that and will continue to do things just for the ability to spice up the human experience. After all being here so many times is like playing monopoly on a rainy day with friends, when one goes to the bathroom and we just want the game to be over already we mess up the board just a little bit so we can get through it. Life is like that too. Sometimes getting down and dirty is just fun. And really boys-wouldn’t you like to have some fun?

  296. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 9:28 am

    Aish -are you kidding? Here is something that I read that totally resonated with me. If you are in bed and sleeping , and dreaming, are you aware that you are on the bed? Or are you all consumed with the dream? Think of God as the bed. He knows what you are dreaming, but it is only a dream, an illusion, because you are already with him safe. It was your decision to separate from him. Not his, and its your decision to awake from the dream.The big bang theory is the moment of separation, where we split into ego. This ego is always telling us God is evil, God will get us.Thats the ego. God is just rocking you in his arms baby. Just rocking you. You have a choice to wake up.

  297. Aish Freak

    4/7/2005 at 9:41 am

    Kelly, you are entitled to take which ever path you choose. All I am saying is that for the Jewish people, being connected to the Torah, has proven, over time, to be the most beneficial to us, and to all peoples.

  298. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 10:14 am

    And Aish-what I am saying is that I am a Jewish Person. Just because my point of view is different from yours, how does that make me any less Jewish? Am I not born of a Jewish mother and father? Did I no marry a Jewish man create to beautiful children that are Jewish as well? The difference as I see it, is that I know that I create my life, my perceptions and my reality. God in all his wisdom and unconditional love allows me the opportunity to search, to falter and to make mistakes, yet whenever I tap into the love and strength of God , it is always, always there. Whether I am broke, sick, homeless or in mourning. These choices are all mine. When you realize that-that you create your reality, that is a gift. I am Jewish and the creator of my reality. And all of my life comes with ease, joy and glory, the good the bad , the ugly and the gory. Perceptions is in the eye of the creator.

  299. Aish Freak

    4/7/2005 at 10:56 am

    Agreed. The issue is the Torah. Where is the Torah in your plan?

  300. Aish Freak

    4/7/2005 at 11:12 am

    Kelly, The Torah is not a book of rules. It is an opportunity to be close to your Creator. I cannot explain adequately, what Shabbos is. It is something that you have to experience. Are you perhaps fearful that you would so enjoy keeping this?

    After one has studied the Torah, they begin to see the wisdom in just about everything there. (There are some provisions called ‘Chok’ or ‘Chuklim’. There do not necessarily have an explanantion, as to why it is prohibited to mix various fibers, yet there are probably discussions as to the reasons by our Sages and/or in the Kabbalah),
    But just about everything that is in the Torah, both the Written and the Oral makes sense. For example, in todays world, the parents and children hardly have time to sit down to a meal, so we have on Shabbos, Friday by night, a traditionally orchestrated family time, Shabbos day, at the conclusion of Shabbos.
    Everyone would agree, especially in todays world that this makes perfect sense and is a positive thing. Other religious people, study and want to learn these precepts, so that they can apply them to their own problems.

  301. T_M

    4/7/2005 at 12:15 pm

    Wow, what a remarkable discussion. Great stuff, Kelly.

  302. shtreimel

    4/7/2005 at 1:36 pm

    Kelly is most impressive. She should be a guest poster.

  303. Aish Freak

    4/7/2005 at 1:42 pm

    She is at that but I still cannot see how one is Jewish w/out a Torah foundation, if only for the historical attachment.

  304. Grandmuffti

    4/7/2005 at 1:44 pm

    Kelly, Muffti is not playing monopoly with you on rainy days, ya cheatah! Muffti would have to take a pic of the board everytime he went to the bathroom :) And Muffti hopes he speaks for most boys when he says that he is certainly up for some fun!

  305. Dave

    4/7/2005 at 2:00 pm

    Kelly, I am very happy and healthy and my business is fine.
    I am currently celibate, since I am not in a relationship, but I am very happy and healthy, and I hope to get re-married soon.
    I am a very kind innocent heterosexual person, but I do have my own strong opinions. I totally disagree with you about anal sex. It is well known by medical science to rupture tissue in a woman’s anus, and I have no intention of doing that to my future girlfriend/ wife. I think that cunilingus is fine and I think that I anal sex, fellatio, and bondage are disgusting. I am not going to change my mind, so that is all there is to it.

  306. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 2:13 pm

    Dave-your choice, your life. What I am saying, and maybe you missed the point, is that when you align or agree with something, or resist or react to something you are making it real. We are all energy, free floating molecules. I can understand that how you create you reality is a personal issue. I for one as often as I can release the judgments that I have on a moment to moment basis.After all-what is the value of holding on to them? DO they create lightness or do they make you feel tight and heavy? When you have finished praying and you are totally connected with every fiber of your being to God, is their any judgment there? Or is it just plain simplistic love and gratitiude for being? How would that look if you could live your whole life in that state? How would it look to see every person place and thing as a reflection of you? Because that is what your reality is? A reflection of you. If you live in communion with all things (and that is without judgment, and with allowance of everyone and everything and their choices) then you are opening yourself up to recieving the greatness of you. Now how does it get any better then that? And as for the torahs teaching, I have not read it yet. But I am open to the possibilites of learning and discovering the wisdom that is there. But I can tell you this-if it says you can swallow-but you can’t use a condom for intercourse-then we are certainly not talking light :)

  307. Ephraim

    4/7/2005 at 2:13 pm

    T_M, do you actually think that Kelly’s totally stoned “everything is totally cooooool, mannn…why are you guilt-tripping on me, man? Stop being so uptight, man. You’re, like, totally bringing me down, man. There are no rules, there is no good and bad, everything is in your head, reality is all a dream that you create, stop making up all these bullshit laws that make you sick and prevent you from doing whatever you think is cool, I know that G-d loves me no mater what I do, mannnnnn…” narrischkeit is “good stuff”? Jesus, it’s like bad hippie drug-addled stream-of-consciousness babble from the 7’0s or something.

    Kelly is a Jew just like my Catholic-marrying, child-baptizing, Communist atheist cousin is a Jew. Being born a Jew is just an accident. What you do with that is the issue.

    Jews are Jews because of the Torah and the covenant with Hashem. It is the only thing that distinguishes us from the nations or gives us any identity whatsoever. As Kelly shows us, without Torah, we are just like everyone else.

    I mean, I’m glad she’s happy and I wish her the best of luck and all that, but just because a Jew holds a point of view, that doesn’t make it “Jewish”.

  308. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 2:24 pm

    Ephraim-thank you so much for the incredible laughter you just allowed me to release! What is so interesting to me is if you look at your words honey, they are all so reactionary and that is just what I wrote about. Thank you for allowing me to push your buttons. I am in gratitude for you and the way that you responded to my post. When I see that I can only be Jewish on your terms of being Jewish I know that I have again made the right choice to know God in the way that I know , and not be caught up in the mix of others perceptions of who God is and what God is. I just know. And I am walking around in the state of joy without any need for drug or alcohol . I am conscious and aware of everything that I do. And again-all of my life comes to me with ease, joy and glory. How does it get any better then that!

  309. Aish Freak

    4/7/2005 at 2:31 pm

    Kelly, does G-d want anything from you? For example, if you were to do something such as, just as an example, molest a minor, would G-d be happy Kavyochol, as it were, or angry, that is, do you have the concept of Shomayim, Heaven. Are you connected at all to Heaven.

    Molest here may be a bad example, but to hurt someone for no reason.

    People choose to do this. Is there ever an issue of You vs. G-d?

  310. T_M

    4/7/2005 at 2:36 pm

    I dunno Ephraim. First of all, Kelly seems to be able to speak for herself far better than I can speak for her. Second, I haven’t heard her reject the Torah, I’ve only heard her speak about being open to ideas in general without allowing rules of any kind to restrict your experience. Third, her comments about the energy of molecules etc. seem to be a form of praise to a creator who has enabled the world to be a positive place where the magic and joy of our being can be celebrated. She kinda reminds me of a Hasidic hippie that way. ;)

    Now, while it is true that Kelly has not gone into the area of Jewish practice at all, she also hasn’t seemed to reject it. In fact, her philosophy suggests that she would enjoy Jewish practice in a very positive way, albeit without adhering to the restrictions that guide you in your practice.

    So then we return to the question of those restrictions, whether they are ordained by god or by man and whether they should be followed as if given by god. As you know Ephraim, that’s where I part ways with you since I do not believe that the Torah was written by god, although I might agree that it was god-inspired (if I can get myself to finally and conclusively believe in god), and I believe that halachah is also concocted by man and may again be inspired by god, but I am sceptical about that (the whole notion of Torah sh’be’al peh – oral Torah tranmission – is a brilliant concept that prevents the questioning of the source of a rule in Jewish law).

    So to sum up, Kelly rocks!

  311. Ephraim

    4/7/2005 at 2:38 pm

    I’m glad I make you laugh, Kelly. You do pretty much the same for me.

    I’m quite serous. I am glad that you are happy. But then, I suppose it is pretty easy when you just stop wasting any energy on making moral judgments and decide that everything, no matter what it is, is just totally cool.

    That’s fine. But You should just stop pretending that your perticular view of life has anything whatsoever to do with Yiddishkeit or that it has any Jewish validity just because you happen to have had Jewish parents.

  312. Ephraim

    4/7/2005 at 2:42 pm

    T_M, how can you say that believing that there should be no rules to restrict your behavior is not rejectng the Torah? The essence of the Torah is mitzvot, rules that govern how people live their lives. A preson who says that such rules are bullshit is rejecting the Torah.

    Again, I do not begrudge Kelly her point of view, nor do I wish her any unhappiness. But her point of view is antithetical to the Torah, and we should just accept it and move on.

    I am sure that Kelly is totally down with that, man, because, like, whatever, right?

  313. shtreimel

    4/7/2005 at 2:48 pm

    “I do not believe that the Torah was written by god, although I might agree that it was god-inspired…and I believe that halachah is also concocted by man and may again be inspired by god, but I am sceptical about that (the whole notion of Torah sh’be’al peh – oral Torah tranmission – is a brilliant concept that prevents the questioning of the source of a rule in Jewish law”

    Damn TM,
    This is a good summary of all of my doubt. And no Aish/Ohr/Chassid has been able to shake me from these doubts yet.

    Curious…for those who have similar doubts, how do you jive prayer/halacha with the thought that all of this was concieved of by…men. Bright men perhaps, but just men…like you and me. What makes you believe that this should be treated any different from anything else that you read?

  314. T_M

    4/7/2005 at 2:57 pm

    Ephraim, you belittle the intelligence of a person who seems quite intelligent. Don’t feel so insecure, man, feel the love Kelly radiates.

  315. shtreimel

    4/7/2005 at 3:00 pm

    TM,

    I’m assuming CK and yourself have had talks about these issues i.e. doubt vs. faith and how the two help/hinder prayer, practice, etc. Anything you wanna share?

  316. T_M

    4/7/2005 at 3:00 pm

    It’s part of our history and culture Shtreimel. Also, why is praying and practicing as we do, if it honors these thousands of years of tradition, not a good way to reach the creator, if there is one? We move ourselves with prayer, not god.

  317. shtreimel

    4/7/2005 at 3:02 pm

    “T_M, how can you say that believing that there should be no rules to restrict your behavior is not rejectng the Torah?”

    I believed he summed up his position with this quote:

    “since I do not believe that the Torah was written by god”

  318. T_M

    4/7/2005 at 3:03 pm

    Ck and I rarely discuss these matters because he’s too busy telling me to please consider stopping with any posts that disparage anything Orthodox. :lol:

  319. shtreimel

    4/7/2005 at 3:09 pm

    “It’s part of our history and culture Shtreimel.”

    Like Woody Allen movies, right? And I watch ‘em when I wanna, not out of a sense of commandment or that my action of watching Woody Allen does anything to the cosmos, etc. If I handle mitzvot/prayer the same way…I’ll go to shul once every few months (when the mood strikes) and go back to eating non-kosher (because I like Whoppers).

    “Also, why is praying and practicing as we do, if it honors these thousands of years of tradition, not a good way to reach the creator, if there is one.”

    Well if there is, then it’s ultimately meaningful…with all the trappings of meaning that Orthodox Jews assign to it. But even if you believe God exists, yet the mitzvot/prayer were mostly created by man, then the impact…the power of the act itself is reduced greatly IMHO.

    “We move ourselves with prayer, not god.”

    I like that.

  320. Dave

    4/7/2005 at 3:46 pm

    Wow, I am really in a minority. I believe in G-d, and I am absolutely certain of G-d’s existence, and that all of G-d’s actions are always for the best and for our good- so I do not “argue” with G-d, or
    have “doubt”, but I do not believe that the mitzvot strictly relating to ritual are commanded by G-d. I do believe that they were instituted by G-d inspired men. Therefore they do have validity, but I am not terrified if I don’t observe them all the time.
    I feel that if someone claims to believe in G-d, I cannot understand how they can “argue” with G-d- it is total nonsense.
    But then again, I am in a minority.

  321. shtreimel

    4/7/2005 at 3:59 pm

    Actually Dave…my belief in God/Halcha oscliate b/w yourself and TM.

  322. Ephraim

    4/7/2005 at 4:08 pm

    I don’t feel particularly insecure, nor do I get the impression that Kelly is of sub-par intelligence. I simply think she is misguided and that she sould stop pretending to herself that her views about life are particularly Jewish in any way, that’s all.

    Anyway, why do people always assume that if someone disagrees with someone they automatically think that someone is stupid? There are plenty of perfectly intelligent people with whom I disagree.

    I will agree that prayer is certainly more for us than it is for Hashem. But that is not the same things as saying that “feeling” the prayer is more important than what, how, and to whom you are praying and that whatever prayer you make is good just because it makes you feel good.

    But, whatever. Our frames of reference are too different for this discussion to have much merit.

    Carry on.

  323. ck

    4/7/2005 at 4:27 pm

    TM wrote: Ck and I rarely discuss these matters because he’s too busy telling me to please consider stopping with any posts that disparage anything Orthodox.

    No you friggin goof. I never told you to self-censor your insipid posts. All I told you was to employ a more civil tone you stupid ass hat. We’re trying to be polite and considerate of the feelings of others, even if they are douche bags that we don’t agree with.

  324. Ephraim

    4/7/2005 at 4:39 pm

    That should be “douchebags with whom we don’t agree”, ck.

    And I’m pretty sure that in contemporary usage “asshat” and “douchebag” are both one word, not two, especially when employed as slurs.

    Jeez. Get it right, would ya?

  325. ck

    4/7/2005 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you for the clarifications. Asshat.

  326. T_M

    4/7/2005 at 4:49 pm

    See why I can’t discuss these issues with ck, Shtreimel? His yetzer ha’ra (picture the tiny bad devil speaking in his ear) always grabs a fierce hold somewhere around the moment I say, “halacha is created by men.”

  327. Grandmuffti

    4/7/2005 at 5:02 pm

    Well, Muffti guesses this conversation is enough of a free for all to ask this: What does ‘inspired by God’ mean aside from ‘dictated by God’? But if it means dictated by God, isn’t that just what we mean when we say ‘written by God’? Muffti keeps hearing this phrase being used and it just sounds like, well, bullshit.

  328. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 5:27 pm

    And Im still laughing! Oh my you all know how to have fun here. I love your sense of humors! I had a grandfather that was very religious and he “got me”. I had a grandmother on my mothers side who didn’t believe in God and she “got me”. The thing that they both had in common was unconditional love . This is why I believe in God as I do. ANd as for God loving a molester, my interesting point of view is that we all project outwardly that in ourselves that is the bad, the good and the ugly and we need that separate and out there in order to feel good about ourselves. But my inspiration comes from forgiveness. Forgiveness of me for separating from God in the first place, because everything is my perception and my illusion of reality. For really I am still with God always and I am so in gratitude again for all of you because whatever you bring up for me here only stregthens my devotion to God. And I dont know what the Torah teaches but I know I feel very good knowing what I know and again am open to learning more.

  329. T_M

    4/7/2005 at 5:52 pm

    Oh Muffti, now you’re gonna have to get me to pull out Conservative Judaism Manual #1.

    Look dude, I leave the entire idea of what god represents a little vague. Why? Because I don’t have a clue. Does he exist? Probably there is some sort of creator. Do I believe that the creator is god as described in our Hebrew bible? Well, probably not, although I sure would like to believe it.

    However, the idea is that if god didn’t write the Torah, somebody did. What I believe people mean, by the term “inspired by god,” is that this person’s spiritual connection to his faith is what drove him to channel god’s ideas and wishes on to parchment. I think true Conservative Jews believe that god did not expose himself as an author in the way Orthodox believe he did, but that the same god of the Bible is somehow responsible for ensuring that some men existed who put the Holy Book(s) together for the Jewish nation.

    What I take away from “inspired by god” is different in that I perceive that the authors’ spirituality and faith were their guides. If you look at Friedman’s Who Wrote the Bible, which you read recently, and add to his suppositions a sense of spirituality the author(s) may have brought to their writing of the Torah, you probably come closer to what I think I believe.

    And yes, I know there is a lot of hedging in that answer. It’s not because the answer is “bullshit” but rather because I don’t have a clear answer because there is no proof of any of this as far as I’m concerned. I know there is a Torah, I know there is a Jewish nation descended from the Israelite nation, I know we have an historical connection to the Land of Israel, and I know that our traditions across numerous countries in the diaspora have held many similarities over centuries upon centuries when our people have lived half a world away from each other. Because of that, I find it difficult to reject any religious view entirely, just as I find it challenging to reject a secular view entirely.

    This analysis, admittedly weak as it is, does provide for premarital sex, however. ;)

  330. T_M

    4/7/2005 at 5:58 pm

    Here is an interesting source for the topic:

    Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel writes “As a report about Revelation, the Bible itself is a midrash. To convey what the prophets experienced, the Bible could either use terms of descriptions or terms of indication. Any description of the act of revelation in empirical categories would have produced a caricature. That is why all the Bible does is to state that revelation happened; How it happened is something they could only convey in words that are evocative and suggestive.” ["God in Search of Man", Heschel, p.194]

    “It was not essential that God’s will be transmitted as sound; it was essential that it be made known to us. That sound or sight is to the transcendent event what a metaphor is to an abstract principle. The prophets bear witness to an event. The event is divine, but the formulation is done by the individual prophet. According to this conception, the idea is revealed; the expression is coined by the prophet.”

    Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser writes: “Man receives a divine communication when the divine spirit rests on him, but man must give form to that communication; He must express it in words, in images and in symbols which will make his message intelligible to other men. Out of this need to give form to the truth that is revealed to him, the prophet places the stamp of his own individuality upon that truth.”

    This viewpoint is common within Conservative Judaism, and can be found within all of the other denominations as well.

    The Talmudic sages held that Ru’ah ha-Kodesh (divine inspiration) is the spirit of prophecy, a divine inspiration giving man an insight into the will of God. “Traditionally the Pentateuch was given directly by God to Moses, but the other canonical writings were all produced under the inspiration of Ru’ah ha-Kodesh. Thus the determination of what should be included as canonical scripture turns on whether or not a given work was composed with the aid of the Holy Spirit.” ["Ru'ah Ha-Kodesh", Encyclopaedia Judaica]

  331. Grandmuffti

    4/7/2005 at 6:00 pm

    …well, as long as premarital sex and blow jobs are provided for, Muffti is happy enough.

    Sorry to attack you, TM. Muffti hears the phrase ‘inspired by God’ an awful lot and he genuinely doesn’t understand what it is supposed to mean. Muffti doesn’t really understand why,moreover, if you think that something is inspired by God and that means that the author channeled God when he wrote it, it isn’t just the same as though God wrote it himself. Muffti supposes the real question he is asking is, do we have the beitzim to say that the bible was written by man, the oral tradition (and halacha) is completely man made and thus represents a nice tradition but not God’s will, or do we just roll over and say that instead of sinai being the moment of all revelation, there will little moments scattered throughout. Muffti knows where he stands but he’s not very sure where anyone who doesn’t believe the torah and halacha are straight from God himself stand.

    Err, ok, Muffti guesses that was, like, another attack. It’s his birthday so go easy on him!

  332. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 6:14 pm

    so what i’m hearing is that your concern is where the information comes from more then knowing what you believe in. Because you are not sure on what level to believe. And yet you deny or are uncertain as to Gods will-which goes hand in hand as if you were in a double bind, with a truth atached to a lie. What are the infinite possibilities that we are all God? That stuff we channeled for the bible and the torah that we wrote in a different time and space is happening right here ,right now and we have already had this conversation and we have already remembered and this is just the remnants of the spool of film that keeps playing in an auditorium until the lights come on. But they already came on, because there is no time and space , and it is all the illusion and in that one moment when we split from God-we realized our mistake and with that one bite from the apple and God did forgive us, because we didn;t do anything wrong , but that bite was the knowledge , and the sepeant is our ego that rises up and tells us “be scared of God”. Remember this : God is. That is all. God is. Everything else is an illusion.

  333. Grandmuffti

    4/7/2005 at 6:16 pm

    TM, these quotes make it seem that halacha etc are manifestly not man made in the interesting sense that they are fallible, liable to change, affected by the context in which they were concieved etc. It just makes it seem like God sorta lets you know his will and then you paraphrase. But then it seems like you believe just what the orthodox believe, except you think that there is a middle man (the people who are ‘divinely inspired’).

  334. T_M

    4/7/2005 at 6:28 pm

    Muffti, I was quoting for your interest what some of the better known Conservative thinkers believe. If you reread what I wrote, my take is different and far less certain.

    When I read now what Heschel writes above, I have some difficulty believing that he’s right. The problem is that I can’t reject it completely either because I have no evidence in the other direction.

    I go to synagogue sometimes and I pray. Often it is just because I’m there and it’s a tradition I respect. Once in a blue moon, however, the words and prayers will somehow become much more meaningful to me and will give me a sense that they are true and I am speaking to god. This is very rare, but I think it highlights the problem of my uncertainty. Even at that time, however, I still do not believe that the Torah was written by god and the numerous laws that attend it within halacha are anything more than man-made laws.

    Oh, and happy birthday, and I don’t see this as an attack. It’s a good line of questioning for which nobody really has an answer unless they have a priori faith in a Hebrew God.

  335. Grandmuffti

    4/7/2005 at 6:37 pm

    Sorry for pinning that on you. Muffti thought the quotes were supposed to help explicate what you were saying before hand.

    Time to go and celebrate! Kelly, you are totally incomprehensible but Muffti really enjoys your posts.

  336. Ephraim

    4/7/2005 at 6:44 pm

    ck:

    You’re welcome, douchebag.

    As far as the halacha is concerned, the Torah itself says that when you want to know what the halacha is you should “go to the judge in those days” and have him tell you. It is the job of the sages to act as G-d’s partners and interpret the Torah for the times in which they live. The Torah itself gives people permission to do this.

    That is why we know that using an electric light on Shabbat is a form of melakha. The categories of melakha were determined by using the principles for interpretation of the Torah handed down by Moshe Rabbenu, and then the nature of an electric light was examnied according to these accepted categories, with the result that since using an electric light switch (which completes, or creates, an electric circuit where none before existed) is a form of creative labor it is thus forbidden on Shabbat. This may seem stupid, but that is how the halacha works. Individual halachot may be created by man, but they are founded upon principles handed down from Sinai and are thus inherent in the Torah from the beginning. It may seem picayune, but it has its own internal logic.

    Kelly, if everything is an illusion, does that mean you wont get killed if you are run over by a bus?

  337. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks! May I reccomend a book a little outside the scope of the Torah? It is called The Disappearance of The Universe, by Gary Renaud. A different point of view for sure. Also a good movie would be “What The Bleep DO We Know”. All again just interesting points of view. What I do for a living is to teach people that they know. What I read here, is that no on e seems to want to commit to their knowing. It’s not rocket science. You either know-or you don’t. For me I like intercourse. I like fellatio, I like cunnilingus and I like anal sex. I don’t like half truths to further the ’cause. I know. What do you know that your pretending not to know and denying that you know?

  338. T_M

    4/7/2005 at 7:27 pm

    Um Kelly, I like all types of sexual activity, too. What does that have to do with knowing whether god exists or not?

    As for people committed to what they know, Muffti is committed to god not existing while Ephraim is committed to god existing and the torah and halacha being the word of god. They both seem fairly confident in their beliefs. I enjoy eating meat, especially Brazilian style.

    I think it’s foolish to commit to these beliefs about god without proof – which is why I stick to the meat, knowing that I can see and taste it -but respect these two for their foolishness, just as I respect you for enjoying cunnilingus and anal sex.

  339. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 7:48 pm

    Ephraim-if a bus hit me and I died then would I really die or would I live? Am I really alive now or is this death and am I in my illusionary heaven? I can probably feel pain if I was hit by a bus because that is what my brain is programmed to feel, as your brain is a computer , right? And everything in your brain in implanted, like a computer chip…right? So the program I can play is bood and guts or the one where I jump out of the body and walk away. Because as I understand it, the mind is not the brain or the body. Thanks for letting me clarify that.

  340. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 7:49 pm

    Oh and TM the reference to the sexual activity actually dates back to the first post that I made. Which is how I got to this site. Just living in the question

  341. T_M

    4/7/2005 at 7:55 pm

    Kelly, your comments about your sexuality are great and I appreciate your openness. I’m just teasing.

  342. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 8:08 pm

    You jews and your sense of humor!

  343. Ephraim

    4/7/2005 at 8:16 pm

    So is it real pain or illusory (or, as you call it “illusionary”) pain? And if it is illusory pain but you can still actually feel it, is it not for all intents and purposes real since, illusory or not, we perceive it to be real? And if it is for all intents and purposes real, is not everything else we perceive as real real and not illusory?

    So, if you can decide to play whatever program in your brain computer you want, could you please jump off a cliff and, when you float gently to earth as opposed to slamming into the ground and making a big red flapjack, get back to me and tell mw what it was like?

    “Living in the question?”

    Good grief.

  344. Aish Freak

    4/7/2005 at 9:46 pm

    Kelly, It would just be interesting for me to see you sit and learn some Chumash, some Bible on a Thursday night ahead of our Holy Shabbos. I think it would blow your mind to do that.

  345. kelly

    4/7/2005 at 9:53 pm

    Now maybe I am ignorant , but what is CHumash? Is that pronounced like Hummus? with a “ch”. I live in Boca Raton, FLorida-where would I find this Chumas?
    And Ephraim-like I told my grandmother before she died, we will speak again and we will laugh at it all. And when she does come back and visits me periodically we do laugh. Because we are all just a little stupid and insane. And that is the beauty of life. When I say it is an illusion, you will one day and hopefully sooner then later understand as to what I am speaking of. I hope so, because for you to become conscious would be like a cell in my body. Because as a projection of me-I forgive myself for again, the separation from the source.

  346. Ephraim

    4/7/2005 at 10:22 pm

    A Chumash is a Jewish Bible, Kelly.

    And I am perfectly conscious, thank you, and have no particular desire to become a cell in your body.

    I am also aware of the definition of an illusion. It is something that is not real. Either your life is actually an illusion or it is not. I know it is fashionable to talk about how ife is just a dream, but I doubt very seriously that you really believe that your life has no reality. If you did, you would have no problem standing in front of an oncoming freight train, something which I know you are not about to do.

  347. kelly

    4/8/2005 at 5:57 am

    Ephraim-can I tell you that last night I accidently cut myself as I often do removing a pit from an advocado. When I did, my first inclination was to see it as an illusion and then I placed my other hand over it and ran a process called cellular memory that I had learned years ago. Within a few minutes the cut on the web between the thumb and the pointer finger had healed. I saw the cut and then I remembered that it was an illusion, and then I saw it as perfect. That is a choice. I also work with people everyday that I see as perfect. The illusion is that they dont see themselves perfect. This unconditional love, which I had been taught as a child by my family has been passed down to me, and then as a mother myself, passed down to my children. The illusion is that we are not already perfect in every way. Walking before a train is your way of disproving illusion. Mine is seeing the beauty in everything. It is just perception that I am talking about. Create a Great Day-Kellie

  348. Aish Freak

    4/8/2005 at 7:11 am

    Kelly, You can join many learning programs where you live or you can read the Bible by yourself. Maybe from the begining, Breshis, Genesis. It would be nice to see someone who is so totally open minded as you are not stop her open mindedness when it comes to the Torah.

  349. Michael

    4/8/2005 at 9:28 am

    Maybe the problem is not Kelly’s lack of openness to the Torah, but the fact that her staple food appears to be magic mushrooms.

    I’ve heard more coherence on the nature of the universe from people who had just eaten a pan of ketamine. Kelly’s gotta have something that’s on a whole other level.

    I’ll tell you, man, I’ve been stoned, but it’s never crossed my mind that I can magically heal cuts by imagining that they’ve gone away. Maybe Kelly can start a holistic medicine concern. “Just use a process called cell memory, imagine the cancer that has spread through your brain, and imagine the brain as whole. It’s all just an illusion, man. Hey, bro, you want a hit of this?”

    Peeaaaaaccceeee.

  350. kelly

    4/8/2005 at 10:27 am

    Thanks Aish I will .
    Michael-I do not do drugs. I actually became more aware of alternative methods of healing when I was very ill and could not tolerate drugs anymore as my body was unable to process them. I have seen my clients broken bones heal when they were told that they were not ever going to be able to use their arm again. I have had mothers call me crying to thank me for alerting the doctors to things they could not find and by doing so having the opportunity to save the babies life. I have given people tools to pull themselves out of serious depression and panic disorders and also have helped people create success with their businesses by helping them tap into the creativity of the universe. If that is too far out their for you , again you may want to step outside of the boundaries that you call your reality and discover that there is a huge amount of possibility to create life as you dream it. People do it every day. I perceive that as Moses parted the red sea, so can we all. Just as a mother can find the strength to lift a car off a child with only her hands, so can I heal a knife cut to my hand. I have done it-what are the infinite possibilites that you can recognize the greatness in you?

  351. Grandmuffti

    4/8/2005 at 10:52 am

    I think it’s foolish to commit to these beliefs about god without proof – which is why I stick to the meat, knowing that I can see and taste it -but respect these two for their foolishness, just as I respect you for enjoying cunnilingus and anal sex.

    Thanks for respecting Muffti’s foolishness, TM. That’s big of you!

    Out of curiousity, do you have proof that there aren’t invisible green goblins that live inside your stomach and play basketball with the bits of food you eat? Muffti suspects you don’t…but would that make it foolish for you to commit yourself to their not being such cretins? Muffti isn’t committed to God not existing as in nothing could sway him. He just thinks the weight of evidence is against it. Muffti takes it Ephraim reckons there is plenty of evidence for it. Muffti isn’t sure what’s so foolish about believing what you have most evidence for.

  352. Aish Freak

    4/8/2005 at 11:02 am

    Kelly has attained a higher state of conciousness no doubt. One wrongly assumes that this is happening due to Hallucinagenic drugs, but that there are many people who attain such heights w/ out drugs is a known fact. In such a case as Kelly, I prefer to listen and take in her aura. That you can consider her posts ridiculous is also a path. The issue for me is what are my benefits in ridiculing Kelly?

  353. ck

    4/8/2005 at 11:13 am

    Muffti wrote: Muffti isn’t committed to God not existing as in nothing could sway him.

    Either you’re really hung over (I hope so birthday boy!) or just being contrary or something you did last night (Jackhammer) shifted the world’s axis or I dunno what… Have fun in Syracuse! We’re gonna miss ya here in sunny So.Cal.

  354. kelly

    4/8/2005 at 11:18 am

    Well here is a tool-“What are your judgments of me?”
    And “What are your judgments about you regarding me?”
    Keep going through them, and the bottom line will most probably be that the judgments are not about me at all, but are about yourself. Because its all about ourselves. We create out universe and we can most certainly uncreate it as well. So where are you operating from? Judgment or allowance?

  355. T_M

    4/8/2005 at 11:21 am

    Muffti, your rejection of god’s existence seemed far stronger than what you imply in 351. Ephraim’s statements regarding his confidence in god’s work and existence suggest he has supreme confidence in god’s existence. I am commenting that you both commit so strongly to these beliefs.

    Now you are right to comment that claiming this when I may believe other things which I haven’t seen or can prove scientifically is in itself foolish, but dammit, it’s also fun.

    I lean heavily to your side of the aisle, but can’t express anywhere near the same confidence as you about a preponderance of evidence in either direction. But meat with couscous? That I can see, smell, touch, taste and eat. It’s safer territory than seeking answers to that for which there is no answer.

    Kelly, I’m trying to keep an open mind. I am. Really. In fact, I’m contemplating eating an avocado right now.

  356. kelly

    4/8/2005 at 11:31 am

    LOL-you know I was watching the cooking channel and they said slice the advocado in half and then stab the pit with a sharp knife and then turn it and it will slide right out. I just kept doing it while I was holding the half with the pit in my left hand. Two times I’ve done it and two times I’ve stabbed myself. And each time I ask myself “What’s right about this that I’m not getting?’ and “How can I be so stupid and insane?” I think the problem is when I ask “How can I be so stupid and insane?” is what keeps coming up for me. Because when you live in the question-there is ultimately an answer.

  357. T_M

    4/8/2005 at 11:37 am

    Kelly, your first mistake is in watching anything on the Cooking Channel that isn’t an Iron Chef program.

    Your second mistake may be in the knife you’re using which may be glancing off the pit instead of penetrating it. To rectify this problem, you may wish to go out and purchase a very expensive knife set.

    Your third problem is your confidence that you can heal your cut. This confidence is encouraging you to take risks you might not take otherwise.

    Shall we explore this notion of “living in the question” a little further? What do you mean?

  358. kelly

    4/8/2005 at 11:39 am

    Well -a question empowers

  359. T_M

    4/8/2005 at 11:56 am

    Okay…and?

  360. kelly

    4/8/2005 at 12:00 pm

    well what more do you want?

  361. Ephraim

    4/8/2005 at 12:54 pm

    Sorry, Kelly, I simply do not believe you.

    When you say the cut was healed, what do you mean? Do you mean that you gashed yourself deeply and were bleeding profusely and that you passed your good hand over your injured hand, and the cut was healed as though it had never happened?Completely disappeared, no blood, no scar? Or do you mean that you nicked yourself a little and after a few minutes it stopped bleeding, as cuts are wont to do on their own if they are not too serous to begin with?

    If you actually and truly have the power to slash yourself with a knife and then heal the cut as though it had never occurred simply by visualizing the fact that it never occurred, I fully expect to see you on the cover of every national news magazine sometime before Pesach.

    May I have your address so I can alert your local news and have them send a team over? I’ll be your agent for a straight 10% commission on all profits to be realized from the soon-to-be-established Kelly Magic Medicine worldwide clinic franchise.

  362. Mowgli

    4/8/2005 at 1:11 pm

    Chumash or Tanach are Hebrew words that refer to the Five Books of Moses or what people call “The Old Testament”. That is the Christian perspective on this text. For us it is the Torah. The King James bible is a terrific translation, if you don’t read Hebrew yet. There are other translations in English, too, lots of them, and many are done by Jewish Hebrew scholars. The King James is the most poetic. Some of the others may be more accurate from a Jewish perspective. There is no end to learning about all this. No end. I burst into tears once thinking I just would never figure it all out. But it’s ok. As to healing, the prayers cover it all, but we just don’t know all the prayers. Would some of you learned types out there fill us in on the prayers asking for and thanking for healing. There are a lot of them. There is a terrific prayer you say when you have had a narrow escape from danger. There is a prayer you say when you hear thunder and see lightening. Judaism has a ton of spiritual gasoline that nobody is telling poor Kelly about. I still think she is seeing an Orthodox guy for a reason. Many non religious Jewish women would not do that, but she is. She came here asking for information. She wanted to do a reality check on his views, to see if it was really like that. Seems to be working out. Shabbat shalom.

  363. T_M

    4/8/2005 at 2:01 pm

    Ephraim, why do you believe in a god you can’t see but can’t believe in Kelly’s self-healing powers? :P

  364. Aish Freak

    4/8/2005 at 2:12 pm

    Please check out my blog for another problem that doesn’t get enough coverage.

    eeshaish.blogs...

  365. kelly

    4/8/2005 at 2:32 pm

    Again so many interesting points of view. I didn’t realize that what I do for a living was of such value that is would merit the news! But that is not why I do it. I do what I do, because I can. And I donate 2 sessions a week to people that are “stuck” in the crap they call their life. This past week I donated time to a 15 year old boy from a Jewish abused cocaine addict mother and a father that abandoned him. He always heard buzzing in his head and could not study. He is 15 and is in the 7th grade. His Aunt who is taking care of him just called to tell me that he just got his first A on a test today and to thank me. I have invited him to join me this weekend when I give a course in the work that I do for free. Normally I charge $400.00 for the class. My other client is an orthodox man who is the father of a girl in my daughters class. He is out of work . He is still looking for another session. I called him yesterday to see how he was doing, and he had an opportunity for a job, but he had this point of view that he shouldn’t follow up on the lead. “What are you afraid of?” I asked. He was afraid of rejection. When you have a family to support you can not let your fears hold you down. They are again an illusion. So you don’t have to alert the media. What you should be asking is-how can I meet this girl and what are the infinite possibilites that she can help someone I know who is unable to help themselves because they forget somewhere that they were worthy of living an incredible life.

  366. Ephraim

    4/8/2005 at 2:37 pm

    The power of positive thiniking is fine, Kelly. I’m glad that you were able to help that fellow get over his fear of rejection.

    Please tell me more about how you healed your cut. Details, please.

  367. kelly

    4/8/2005 at 2:42 pm

    I put my hands over it and saw it as never cut. then I spoke with the cells and asked them to remember the original structure. And then anything I aligned and agreed with, or resisited and reacted to that held the judgment about what would happen in place, and all the expectations, projections and separations I cleared using a process that I can’t explain in less then a weekend.

  368. kelly

    4/8/2005 at 2:43 pm

    I put my hands over it and saw it as never cut. then I spoke with the cells and asked them to remember the original structure. And then anything I aligned and agreed with, or resisited and reacted to that held the judgment about what would happen in place, and all the expectations, projections and separations I cleared using a process that I can’t explain in less then a weekend. Class starts at 9:00 am.

  369. Ephraim

    4/8/2005 at 2:45 pm

    Oh, yeah, T_M: do you actually believe that Kelly has the power to sponatenously heal physical injuries without the aid of doctors or medicine, or are you just trying to be cute, as that silly emoticon would indicate?

    Kelly claims to be able to miraculously heal knife cuts just by visualizing them healing. If this is true, it is a medical breakthrough of unprecedented significance. Why is she not nationally known and written up in all of the scientific journals?

    If you want to go that way, I can say that Moshe Rabbenu split the sea and brought down the Torah from Sinai in the public view of an entire community of people who saw the sea split with their own eyes and heard the voice of Hasem with their own ears. The entire nation witnessed the Reveation.

    If she is the real deal, Kelly should be able to offer this kind of proof for her claimed ability to heal by “the laying on of hands”.

  370. lynn

    4/8/2005 at 2:46 pm

    sounds like laran healing. You may want to read up on Marion Bradley. You wouldn’t happen to be a red-head?

  371. Ephraim

    4/8/2005 at 2:47 pm

    Was the cut deep or shallow? Was trhere a lot of blood? Was there a scar? How long did this process take?

    Would you be willing to have this process scientifically documented by an independent organization? I am sure it can be arranged.

  372. kelly

    4/8/2005 at 3:00 pm

    If you googled medical intuitives and psychic healers and you heard testimonies and saw video clips and experiences it yourself , would you still would not comprehend this, because you have a mind like a steel trap? Would you lock yourself out of healing or recieving if your child was ill and the doctors offered no other alternative but death? My attorney, whose son was sick and the doctors didn’t know what to do, and was in ICU, said What do I have to lose? He had to lose his son, but he didn’t, because I came in and told him what was going on. I put my hands on his baby and the child who did not eat in three days, and did not have any bowel movement , after an hour of hands on healing threw up green bile and had gas. When I pulled my hands off his belly there was a purple ring around his belly button. The doctors who were thinking maybe meningitis and had already done a negative spinal tap, finally did an ultrasound of the belly. Where they found necrotic intestines. they bisected his intestines and the baby lived. Did they alert the media? No. Because no one would want to believe that . But the parents called and thanked me for saving the babies life. The point is-if you cannot think outside of the box, outside of what you know, and do not allow for infinite possibilities, then you are stuck. And we are all grand and glorious creators, how can you create from such a stuck and /or limited point of view?

  373. Michael

    4/8/2005 at 3:31 pm

    GOOD LAWD-A-MUSSY, IT’S A MIRACLE!

    Now, somebody with a scientific bent would ask, “If she hadn’t showed up with the hippie new age stuff, would it have happened anyway in the same amount of time?” But hey, as Muffti might say, what would I know about science, being religious?

  374. Ephraim

    4/8/2005 at 3:34 pm

    Kelly, I am perfectly willing to entertain the idea that such things are possible. However, I have seen video debubking bogus faith healing where somebody claimed to be able to remove cancerous organs with his hands without leavng any scars. It was all a sleight-of-hand fake.

    At the same time, I find it difficult to believe that if you are truly capable of such things that this information would remain hidden. If true it is a miracle of the first order, and if it could be proven it would be nothing short of earth-shaking.

    If you really did what you say you did, it should have been frontpage news all over the country. What is the benefit of keeping such things quiet? Simply becasuse some people would be skeptical?

    You still haven’t told me about your cut.

    Could you please provide me with an e-mail for your attorney so I can ask him about what happened? I am sure that he would like to share the news of his son’s miraculous recovery.

  375. T_M

    4/8/2005 at 3:35 pm

    Ephraim, are you okay? I ask that sincerely. You seem very uptight or angry right now. Chill out and enjoy the experience.

    As to what I believe? I believe Kelly can talk to her cells. I don’t believe they listen. But I’m keeping an open mind and having a nice day. Are you?

  376. Ephraim

    4/8/2005 at 4:02 pm

    T_M, I’m perfectly fine. Why should I “enjoy the experience” of listening to what my bullshit meter tells me is bullshit?

    Kelly claims to be able to miraculously heal people. If true, this is nothing sort of a real miracle, something that contradicts every single thing that we in our modern, scientific, “steel trap” world assume to be true about how things work.

    Kely’s claims are nothing short of fantastic. I would like to see some proof of them that’s all. Sorry if you think it is hostile to say “show me”. If I claimed to be able to walk on water, wouldn’t you ask me to show you?

    As far as my faith in Biblical miracles is concerned, I make no claims to have a particularly strong faith as you seem to think I do. I am a natural-born skeptic. What I do know, from my own personal experience, is that it is Torah and mitzvot that keep the Jews Jewish. And since I want to remian Jewish and since I want my children and grandchildren to be Jewish, I try my best to live according to Torah and mitzvot. Sometimes I am successful and smetmes I am not. That’s it.

  377. T_M

    4/8/2005 at 4:21 pm

    Ephraim, you really don’t seem to be having a nice day.

    As for the issue of your faith, I simply presumed that since you were a ba’al teshuva that you have very strong faith. Scepticism is healthy, though, so keep it up. (I was going to put a “silly emoticon here, but I don’t want any more negative comments, so I’ll refrain).

    (Actually, I’ve changed my mind). ;)

  378. Michael

    4/8/2005 at 4:31 pm

    Since when do baalei teshuvah have especially strong faith? I would say they were more susceptible to doubt than people who were raised frum, since they’ve been exposed to all kinds of things that might cause one to become non-religious.

  379. T_M

    4/8/2005 at 4:49 pm

    Seriously?

    I would think they have stronger faith because unlike the Orthodox-born individual, they have made a choice that they believe. When did the Orthodox individual have to make that decision? He was raised within a lifestyle and community and has a comfort zone that makes it much easier to remain in that milieu than for a newcomer.

  380. Michael

    4/8/2005 at 4:53 pm

    Seriously. Being a baal teshuvah is a struggle. It’s not easy to keep one’s faith, especially since most baalei teshuvah don’t completely cut off their former non-religious life either.

  381. T_M

    4/8/2005 at 5:24 pm

    I’m surprised by this, but it explains the bias I have heard about within strict Orthodox communities about having their children marry ba’alei teshuvah.

    The people I know who are ba’alei teshuvah have all become genuinely very devout…and then moved to the West Bank.

  382. shtreimel

    4/8/2005 at 6:09 pm

    “I would think they have stronger faith because unlike the Orthodox-born individual, they have made a choice that they believe”

    Ha, I wish this was so.

    BT’s make a choice in Sept, but in March they’re wondering if it was the right choice. In May they meet a really cool non-Jew who tells them about an amazing band that’s playing on Fri night, and would they like to go. The BT thinks:

    “Hell, I used to go out on Fri nights. Had a great time as well. Besides, these past few Shabbos’ have been boring.”

    “When did the Orthodox individual have to make that decision?”

    Rarely. But the day to day stuff is ingrained in ‘em. And by God that helps. Kinda like brushing your teeth. Sure you have moments in the morning where you’re too tired to do it, but you still do it.

    BT’s bring the passion
    FFB bring the discipline.
    Each can learn from each other.

  383. T_M

    4/8/2005 at 6:17 pm

    So what you’re saying, Shtreimel, is that y’all are susceptible.

    Hmmm….

    Oh Muffti, I think we have a little project on our hands…

    :lol:

    Shabbat shalom, people.

  384. shtreimel

    4/8/2005 at 6:20 pm

    “is that y’all are susceptible.”

    Every day, and in every way. And with the internet, “twice on Sundays”.

  385. shtreimel

    4/8/2005 at 6:23 pm

    BTW TM, this would also be true for folks like GM. When I was taking courses at Aish and Ohr, I couldn’t believe how many rational/philosophy types were eating the shit up. Incredible. What’s that saying about foxholes and God?

  386. Ephraim

    4/8/2005 at 6:23 pm

    I have always dislked the ba’alei tsuhvah I have met who were gong to raves on Shabat and mainlining Ecstacy one week, then all of a sudden get religion, and the next time you see them they have tzittzit and payes down to their knees and are busy being more Catholic than the Pope (or more Jewsh than the Rebbe, if you prefer). They are usually holier-than-thou extremists who are so ashamed of their past that they are all desperately struggling to make up for lost time, the easiest way to do this being to immediately fall off the Right cliff. These people are, while sincere, usually completely insufferable as well as completely misguided, often falling prey to the worst kind of extremism, both religious and political. How else to best prove your Jewish credentials?

    FFB people are usually quite reasonable and are much more comfortable in their Jewish skin than most ba’alei tsuhvah I have met. I think that it is for this reason that there may be suspicion of them in some Orthodox circles. Their scholarship is usualy quite limited and shallow, unlike someone who has spent all his life in a yeshiva. In addition, someone who climbs onto the the derech with such alacrity can just as easily fall off of it with equal alacrity. This kind of make-up-for-lost-time Yiddishkeit is unnatural and is liable to be rather fragile. Intense but shallow.

    But as you guys may have noticed, I am a cynic and a skeptic and I didn’t want to go that way. The main thing that attracted me to Orthodoxy is its intellectual rigor and its lack of apologetics. The Orthodox know they are out of the modern mainstream, and they apologize to no one about it, preferring to adhere to their ways even as they are ridiculed by those around them, Jews included. (I wear a kippah to work, and the only grief I get about it is from Jews whom it embarrasses. The gentiles are unfailingly polite and respectful. Go figure.) The non-Orthodox people I have met, on the other hand, while being perfectly nice in most cases, are far more interested in the approbation of the gentiles, and so seem to be somewhat embarrased about appearing to be too “Jewish”. This bothers me on general principle.

    I have my own problem with certain traits I see in Orthodox people, but that’s a different rant.

  387. shtreimel

    4/8/2005 at 6:50 pm

    “The main thing that attracted me to Orthodoxy is its intellectual rigor and its lack of apologetics. ”

    Which is why I like your posts Ephraim. And it’s frum types like yourself that make my Jewish struggle a proud one.

  388. Eeshaish

    4/9/2005 at 11:56 pm

    There are many levels and varieities of BT also. Many are happy to just sort of belong to a shule, attend some classes or some don’t even attend, not that I am judging. Some people prefer a lighter version of Judaism. Don’t forget there is a community that you suddenly belong to, you can volunteer and there is a need for volunteers. It used to rankle me that for example, a BT when making Kiddish, I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. I used to think, why the blazes would he not dedicate himself to learning Hebrew? Yet he keeps a Kosher home and attends Shule, sends kids to Yeshiva.

    There is nothing wrong in getting into Judaism at your own pace.
    There is no reason to jump into the deep end of the pool.

    All I ask is to take a sample.

  389. Mowgli

    4/11/2005 at 11:35 am

    Kelly, why aren’t people marrying? It’s nothing to do with money.

  390. Aish Freak

    4/11/2005 at 11:50 am

    It might. The norm is to get your advanced degree and start working. There is a perceived need for a 2 income family today, and not just any income but 2 high level incomes. People have become more beaugois than in the past. (even more). They don’t want just a nice house, they want to invest, to buy land whereever it is cheap and build shopping malls. This is reinforced by the American media. Then people around the world buy into this. They come to the USA and downgrade the American aspect of the country.

    For those who grew up in the 60’s or w/ 60’s ideals and mindset, the whole thing is very depressing.
    Some cultures strongly enforce for the girl to remain a virgin until marriage. In those cases the people get married at a young age.

  391. Mowgli

    4/11/2005 at 1:03 pm

    You are correct! But even when a prospect meets all the criteria, it still does not happen. The bar is raised and raised and raised, on purpose to keep it from happening. No matter how wonderful and rich, the person is never quite enough. I want a professional. I want a successful professional. I want a successful professional whose relatives are all successful professionals. I want someone at the forefront of the profession. I want gorgeous looks. I want infiinite patience. No psychological hangups. Serene, beautiful, and seriously rich. Young. Spiritual. Never has a bad day. Never failed at anything. Never put on five pounds. Never got confused. Never missed a promotion. Likes me the way I am. Does not want anything from me. Drives self very hard, BUT is totally relaxed about me and what I do and achieve. I hire, and work for, regular human beings all day, but my spouse …. only angels need apply. Kelly, what do you think? Kelly?

  392. TM

    4/11/2005 at 1:14 pm

    Damn, I was doing well on the list until you got to the “never put on five pounds” part.

    :)

  393. kelly

    4/11/2005 at 3:41 pm

    What I am looking for personally is someone who is happy with the way that they are. Someone who doesn’t criticize themselves.Someone who is able to see that when I puch his buttons , that it is his buttons, not mine that are being pushed and someone who asks himself, “OK, let me look at this. What am I trying to create with this that I failed to create?” And someone who pushed my buttons and is in allowance of me and what I go through and will sit back and not judge me. Mutual respect for where we are in our journey and of course-great sex.
    Now as for the money issue. I have been married to a very wealthy man and it was nice. We were poor when we married and we built up a life that was very nice. I didn’t marry him for money. But I have to say when he lost the money-he lost his mind and his self worth. I truly , truly know that I will always be taken care of in this world-because that is what Icreate. If by chance I fall in love with a man with no money , we will create the opportunity to live comfortably. Its the cards that I deal, not those that were dealt to him. Education, bigger homes, relatives with prestige-all bullshit that dont mean anything to me at all. Behind closed doors you want to be with a funny, sexual, happy and easy guy. The rest is icing.

  394. TM

    4/11/2005 at 4:02 pm

    Behind closed doors you want to be with a funny, sexual, happy and easy guy. The rest is icing.

    *clap clap clap*

    And vice versa.

  395. Grandmuffti

    4/11/2005 at 6:24 pm

    Maybe people aren’t getting married beacuse the incentives are gone. You don’t need to get married to get laid regularly. You don’t need to get married to live with someone indefinitely. You don’t need to get married to raise a child in a socially acceptable manner. You don’t need to get married to prove your love.

    So, like, what’s the point? And putting aside religious worries, what’s the big deal?

  396. Dave

    4/11/2005 at 6:32 pm

    Yes, we have to revive the stick and the carrot aspects, ha ha!

  397. TM

    4/11/2005 at 6:53 pm

    Wow, Muffti, you have stumbled across some profound insights. I’ll take your questions and ask my wife later. Hopefully, she won’t boot me out of the house permanently because then I’ll have to test your theories.

  398. Grandmuffti

    4/11/2005 at 6:58 pm

    You’re always welcome to stay with Muffti, TM. But he ain’t gonna be yo new wife, beeyatch!

  399. TM

    4/11/2005 at 7:18 pm

    No worries, I’ve seen your picture. :P

  400. Ricker Aish

    4/11/2005 at 7:37 pm

    Basically man needs to be tamed. By that I mean, I have seen single guys in their 30’s. Every few weeks a new woman. This is the single guys fantasy. In part it is due to the pornography industry.

    In the Torah community, a single Mon who openly had the child like that would have a hard time. There would be some sympathizers but simply as a whole, the community is attempting to keep their children in line, and to not strive for that, or for that matter gay marriages. I cannot see a gay couple for example, wearing kipot and having any kind of acceptance in a typical orthodox shule, very similar w/ such a Mom.

    This is part of the reason for the new or not so new alliance w/ the Christian Right, and the maniacs at Agudas Yisroel.
    I say maniacs bec. their position never make any sense to me. Every word that comes out of Avi Shafran’s pen is total dogmatic manure. No Manure is too nice a word.

    It is sad to me as a moderate Orthodox Jew that our community is so fascist like to the right on all issues, that even something like the environment is a no-no, like the aforementioned.
    Someone like our Kelly, who exudes such a positive vibe, that I only wish that I could meet her and have a long conversation on the beach w/ her, she would be shunned in almost all Orthodox communities.

    The Agudah has been successful in fueling their reach on the masses of Modern Orthodox, through some very successful dumb luck public relations shenanagans, helped in part, by the previous Democratic, Mr. Clinton’s vices. This got them started.

    Ultimately howver, imho, the most important thing we Jews should be doing is true chessed. Not just writing a check, altho that is important.

  401. Michael

    4/11/2005 at 10:22 pm

    A single Mon? Like a Rasta mon?

  402. Mowgli

    4/12/2005 at 8:49 am

    People who dispense with a marriage license still insist on a lease for their apartment. They get good contracts drawn up when they do paid work. They get good contracts when they buy and sell a house. A car. Lonely old age coming.

  403. Aish Freak

    4/12/2005 at 8:57 am

    Hey Michael I bet you even smoke weed. You’re too cool mon.

  404. Michael

    4/12/2005 at 9:09 am

    Um…what?

  405. Mowgli

    4/12/2005 at 10:00 am

    The one with the most Jewish grandchildren wins.

  406. TM

    4/12/2005 at 11:09 am

    Jewish grandchildren who identify as Jewish wins.

  407. Ephraim

    4/12/2005 at 1:31 pm

    Hey, Mufti, the Ephraim, he has heard that the Moabite women, they are very hot.

    To have a good time, call either Balaam or Balak at 1-800-GET LAID.

    Seriously, though, your post gets to the heart of the issue. The struggle has always been between the desire to just do whatever because it feels good and who cares about rules (Eisav) and Torah (Ya’akov).

    Take yer pick. But without Torah there will eventually be no Jews worthy of the name. If you’re cool with that, go to town.

  408. shtreimel

    4/12/2005 at 1:40 pm

    “So, like, what’s the point? And putting aside religious worries, what’s the big deal? ”

    Marriages are people growing machines. Or as Bowen (famous family system’s therapist) put it…differentiation.

    In other words, barring all else, it forces people to grow past their boundaries, mature and become responsible, creative adults.

    Some reading:
    The Sibling Society by Robert Bly (to find out “what’s the big deal” this is an excellent read about how adults want to remain teens, and teens don’t want to become adults)

    Passionate Marriage (an excellent arguement for marriage)

  409. TM

    4/12/2005 at 1:42 pm

    Didn’t Ya’akov break some rules to get his inheritance?

  410. Mowgli

    4/12/2005 at 1:44 pm

    May you hear your grandchildren baby-talk a Jewish prayer.

  411. Ephraim

    4/12/2005 at 1:55 pm

    You need to study a little more, T_M. Ya’akov’s mother was a prohetess and in any case it was forseen that Ya’akov would rule over Eisav.

    Them’s the breaks. Take it up with Hashem if it bothers you.

  412. TM

    4/12/2005 at 2:01 pm

    Oh my, I made a little comment and now I have to justify my knowledge of this story. Plain and simple, Ephraim, what happens in the Ya’acov story? I’m not looking for midrash or justification, I’m looking for the story itself.

  413. Grandmuffti

    4/12/2005 at 2:17 pm

    Ephraim, Muffti has offered to take it up with God many, many times. So far, the latter has deigned to respond. Muffti thinks he’s chicken.

    As for Ya’akov’s mother being a prophetess, doesn’t that strike you at all as analogous to the part in the Batman story where the Joker has him in a deathtrap but Batman remembers that luckily and completly implausibly he has just the perfect tool to escape? Muffti thinks artist and philosophers alike call this a deus ex machina. So, Muffti is with TM once again. As always, Muffti welcomes God over for a chat about it any time he likes.

    Thanks for the references Shtremiel. Muffti always forgets that asking educated people for an answer always results in Muffti having to do more reading rather than immediately finding stuff out! Doh! :)

  414. Mowgli

    4/12/2005 at 2:28 pm

    These people had their good days and bad. Their deus and their machina. But they were all married. It seems to have helped.

  415. Grandmuffti

    4/12/2005 at 2:31 pm

    It seems to have helped what?

  416. Ephraim

    4/12/2005 at 2:31 pm

    Yes, T_M, Ya’akov was conflicted and his mother talked him into it. It was also foretold that Ya’akov would rule over Eisav. It is true that there are a lot of extremely difficult things in the story. If you really are interested in trying to figure it out, your local rabbi might be able to help you out. Honestly, I do not trust my knowledge enough to tell you “what really happened”. There is always much more than meets the eye.

    However, I suppose that you could say that Ya’akov “cheated” Eisav out of his inheritance. As far as the Jewish people are concerned, I think it was pretty lucky that he did. I don’t look at Eisav as a complete rasha as some do. I feel a little sorry for him, actually. He was an impulsive man ruled by is emotions and his appetites, but I don’t think he was inherently evil. He got what he really wanted: a good physical inheritance in the Land from Itzhak. What he did not get was the spiritual inheritance. He did not deserve it.

    I’m not up on my Batman stuff, Muffti. Since you seem to think the Torah is a crock, I see no particular reason to discuss it with you.

    However, can you tell me why Hashem would want to talk to you? Do you think you can just say “Come on, I’m waiting” and have Hashem just pop up, apologizing for making you wait? Why don’t you study the Torah a little and try to figure out what Hashem is trying to say instead of standing there with your arms crossed and tapping your foot, just daring Hashem to get in touch with you? You might learn something.

  417. Ephraim

    4/12/2005 at 2:32 pm

    Dammit, screwed up the block quotes again.

  418. ck

    4/12/2005 at 2:35 pm

    Yaakov’s mother was Rivkah. She was a prophetess and knew that the succession had to go via her son Yaakov and not Eisav. Yitzchak the father was also a prophet but he suffered from both a physical and spiritual blindness – he was literally incapable of seeing bad in anyone and was unable to see that Eisav was bad to the core and unworthy. Yaakov’s trickery was thus considered to be predestined – not so much a trick per se but rather a necessary correction. That Eisav agreed to sell his birthright for a bowl of lentils demonstrates the disrespect and contempt he had for it and for his father. That in and of itself demonstrates that he was unworthy.

    Is this a tortured ex post facto justification for a weasel move? Dude. He sold his birthright for a bowl of beans. No one put a gun to his head, he wasn’t on the verge of death – he just didn’t give a crap. Some trickery!

  419. Grandmuffti

    4/12/2005 at 2:39 pm

    Apparently you can’t just tap your foot and wait. You where the one who suggested taking it up with Hashem. As for not talking to me about deus ex machinas, would you prefer if Muffti got one of his orthodox friends who is curious about the same topic to ask it for you? Or would you prefer to get over figuring out Muffti’s motivations and have an interesting conversation?

  420. Grandmuffti

    4/12/2005 at 2:45 pm

    Actually, ck, you are rather oversimplifying the story. The text:

    And Esau said to Jacob, “Pour into [me] some of this red, red [pottage], for I am faint”; he was therefore named Edom. 31. And Jacob said, “Sell me as of this day your birthright.” 32. Esau replied, “Behold, I am going to die; so why do I need this birthright?”

    The bold is added by Muffti. You may choose not to believe Esau at his word, but if being honest, he was going to die and it seems kind of reasonable, even on peekuach nefesh reasons, to trade a spiritual inheritance (that you can’t use when dead) for a birthright.

  421. Grandmuffti

    4/12/2005 at 2:48 pm

    …besides, ck, lentils! Lentils! Muffti has heard you more than once mutter ‘I’d sell my soul for some couscous right now…’

  422. Mowgli

    4/12/2005 at 2:50 pm

    Helped what? Why, helped them get through stuff. Their spouses provided balance. Another pair of eyes. And – they got born – as a side effect of their parents having spouses. It’s extremely important to get born, no matter what your level of observance.

  423. TM

    4/12/2005 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you for spelling that out Ephraim, I actually read the story in a way similar to how you and ck read it, but other than seeking to show you that I know my Torah, my real point is that you brought up rules and “what feels good.”

    I think this is the heart of the issue, isn’t it? In another post we have Nice Jewish Girl who held herself back from touching a man until it is driving her to distraction and to severe unhappiness. It means that her god-given body is not fulfilling a number of its key functions just so her mind can feel comfortable with keeping rules.

    We all do this to some degree, it’s a function of socialization within any society. We do it because we are raised in a certain manner, and also because there are rules with consequences that may control those desires that can cause harm to others. In Judaism, we have rules that control how we relate to others, but also how we relate to god. The problem is that we have to rely upon the Torah, which in reality is smaller than the “Dummies” book series in terms of total number of books, to learn how to live life according to god. So then we have additional sources and zillions of interpretations, and tradition tells us many of these come from god as well, although it’s harder to believe this when one really thinks about it.

    Some people will believe these are the rules by which god wants us to live, while others will reject that notion. These kids who are having premarital relations are making a decision to break a “rule” on the basis of their desires and what their bodies are telling them to do. It’s hard to argue that god didn’t want them to have this ability, although it’s perfectly clear why they would want to hold back for the sake of a healthier society in which marriage and having children is a primary objective.

    But sometimes, you have to break the rules, or you do it because you think it’s the right thing to do right now. Ya’acov did it, at the urging of his mother, but we now expect people to be above that.

  424. Mowgli

    4/12/2005 at 3:10 pm

    I do not know the specific story with this Nice Jewish Girl, but why can’t she have the best? Why does she have to settle for a mere boyfriend (meaning, this year’s idiot)? Where is it written she can’t have a genuine HUSBAND, who can make a living and conversation, though not necessarily at the same time? Why should she sit around suffering? Who is neglecting our girls??? I thought this was the era of the strong woman! Nu? Today’s girls will take anything. If you lie down with passersby, you will get up covered with crumbs. It’s itchy and a mess. Assert yourself, girl. Don’t be such a limp schmatte. Draw some lines in the sand. Ball your little pink fingers into a fist. Like Mama Rivke. SHE knew how to get the job done. All you need is a wardrobe consultant and some resolve.

  425. Michael

    4/12/2005 at 3:14 pm

    When did all these Jewlicious posters turn into Jewish versions of Star Jones?

  426. Esther

    4/12/2005 at 3:31 pm

    Michael, I don’t get it. I’m emphatically not a lawyer, if that’s what you mean.

    Mowgli, of course women shouldn’t have to suffer the neglect of men, but more often than not, we do. But when assailed by a decade or more of rejection or failed relationships or jerks (or worse, corporate drones who make good money but lack humor and personality), even the strongest woman may slump to the floor, hold her head in her hands and ask, “is that all there is?” It is usually then that the woman meets someone great who “gets her” in a cosmic, soul-searing way, and who inevitably wants to keep it all platonic rather than take a chance. Cue the head-holding again, and follow it up with a heap o’ anger.

    No wonder we all take kickboxing classes.

  427. TM

    4/12/2005 at 3:41 pm

    I don’t get it either, Michael. What’s worse is that I had to google Star Jones.

  428. shtreimel

    4/12/2005 at 3:41 pm

    “No wonder we all take kickboxing classes.”

    I find that sexy.

    Good writers are sexy as well. But they tend to fall into the loco category along with artists and musicians and therapists. And yes, it takes one to know one.

    Still, we need more Esther’s to color up the women’s section of Jdate.

  429. Ephraim

    4/12/2005 at 3:45 pm

    What ck said. He’s got more patience than I do.

    So Eisav says he’s about to die, and you believe him? He eats some beans and then gets up and leaves. Hardly the actions of a man on death’s door. All Eisav really meant was “I’m starving to death! Give me some of that ‘red, red stuff’, Jake”. Eisav was a coarse brute who had no understanding of spiritual things. It is obvious from the story and the language with which it is written.

    And it aso says clearly “Thus Eisav despised his birthright”. Eisav complains that Ya’akov tricked him twice (once with the lentils and then once with the ‘stealing” of the blessing (although this is clearly Eisav justifying his actions: it is not trickery when someone says “sell me your birthright” and you say “sure”. I don’t think even Eisav was stupid enough to be “tricked” like that). The Torah, however, says clearly that Eisav despised his birthright.

    Who are you gonna believe, the Torah or the self-serving words of someone like Eisav?

    By “talk to Hashem”, Muffti, the Ephraim he means that the Muffti, he should study what Hahem has said, i.e., read the Torah. There is no more neviyut in the world, and Hashem is not going to just tap you on the shoulder when all you really have to do is study what He already said.

  430. Ephraim

    4/12/2005 at 3:48 pm

    Oh, yeah, thanks to whomever cleaned up my block quotes snafu. That was you, I guess, T_M?

  431. shtreimel

    4/12/2005 at 3:56 pm

    It’s clear to me that anybody that feels so strongly about anything is taking the very thing that they reject/hate/despise as serious. Serious enough to spend time on it. So IMHO it would appear that Muffti does study Torah. It might not be with a sterling silver pointer and bimah, but it’s Torah all the same.

  432. TM

    4/12/2005 at 4:03 pm

    I didn’t do it, they were cleaned up by the time I posted. I would guess it’s ck.

  433. Mowgli

    4/12/2005 at 4:16 pm

    Cosmic shmosmic. Accept men as they are and decide which one will make sense. A man is not an I-Pod. They are not there to entertain, but to keep order and make you proud of them, or at least not ashamed. A corporate drone is the best. They may need you to HELP them with the depth thing!! If you meet a cultured, well rounded man, run. He doesn’t need you. A wardrobe consultant and some resolve. Don’t have “relationships”. Decide on one, close the deal, and don’t worry about impressing your girl friends or your family. The best ones are not the pretty ones, you know. YOU be the beauty in the house.

  434. Grandmuffti

    4/13/2005 at 1:47 am

    Actually, Muffti earned extra money as a torah reader when he was a teenager.

    Out of curiousity, the Ephraim, is there any reasonable explanation of why neviyut died out?

  435. TM

    4/13/2005 at 1:59 am

    Cosmic shmosmic. Accept men as they are and decide which one will make sense. A man is not an I-Pod. They are not there to entertain, but to keep order and make you proud of them, or at least not ashamed. A corporate drone is the best. They may need you to HELP them with the depth thing!! If you meet a cultured, well rounded man, run. He doesn’t need you. A wardrobe consultant and some resolve. Don’t have “relationships”. Decide on one, close the deal, and don’t worry about impressing your girl friends or your family. The best ones are not the pretty ones, you know. YOU be the beauty in the house.

    :lol:

    Brilliant.

  436. TM

    4/13/2005 at 1:59 am

    Muffti, neviut died out because the nevi’im died. ;)

  437. Aish Freak

    4/13/2005 at 8:53 am

    The Conservative and Reform approach is that we are autonomous, that we make decisions on our own. The Orthodox feel more comfortable having other make decisions for them. The Orthodox make the leap that if we let everyone decide for themselves, there will be nothing left.

  438. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 11:40 am

    When you lose the ability to make choices-what is left? Like cows being led to slaughter, you slowly trudge down the winding path, tongues lagging sideways down the side of your slightly parted lips. No questions asked-just obeying the G-D that is your master here on earth.
    When you read your books-you read what man says was passed down by God. Is it not the interpretation of what G-D said ? And from that the interpretation of your teachers? Where are your choices? Where is the free will that was instilled in you? Where are your hearts? You must know that on some level G-D only wants for you to be happy. Exclusion of everything that is not Orthodox? That is G-Ds will? Interesting point of view you have there. When does the cow remember who he really is? When he is in India? Or when he forgives those that put him on the path to the slaughter?

  439. Mowgli

    4/13/2005 at 1:03 pm

    It’s not a passive thing. The rituals are considered a method of staying in touch with G-d, like a holy telephone. Judaism is a huge collective enterprise of enless questions, and the heritage of accumulated answers which have been worked out, with divine help, over a very long time. Would G-d part the red sea for us, and then, never concern himself with us again? If he is concerned with us, why not little bitty things like what we eat? Focusing on your lunch with prayer reinforces your awareness of the miracle of living and eating. Judaism keeps people from taking things for granted. It promotes endless pleasure because it makes you attentively notice things. It REQUIRES you to notice things like a beautiful fruit you are about to eat. The rigid requirement keeps you doing it. Like automatic savings at the bank.

  440. Grandmuffti

    4/13/2005 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks TM for enlightening Muffti on the deep truths about neviyut. Maybe this is why Muffti tends to reserve his questions for the orthodox… :)

  441. TM

    4/13/2005 at 1:42 pm

    I don’t blame you. I’m not even an authority on secular subjects.

  442. Ephraim

    4/13/2005 at 2:23 pm

    Muffti, I am not an expert on the subject, but as I understand it (pious, self-serving mishegoss warning) the deal was that in return for relieving people of the lust for avodah zara, as exemplified by Masasseh, Hashem also removed the capacity for prophecy. That’s how the story goes, anyway. So, in a sense, we’ve been neutered. We are no longer in danger of beng seduced by avodah zara, but we lost the ability ro receive prophecy at the same time.

    Also, since you once made a living as a ba’al koreh (something of which I am not capable, although my sons can do it), you are surely familiar with the sections in Devarim which discuss how to identify true and false prophets. Long story short, if a guy says “Hashem sent me” and then, say, walks on water to prove he’s a prophet, and then says “Hashem told me to tell you it was OK to work on Shabbat”, you kill him, since any “prophet” who contradicts what the Torah says, no matter how many miracles he can perform, is a liar. Indeed, the Torah says explicitly that Hashem will test Israel with such false prophets.

    You know, just to mess with us to see if we’re paying attention.

  443. Ephraim

    4/13/2005 at 2:34 pm

    Kelly, can you lay hands on your head and heal your brain like you did with your cut hand?

    You are so ignorant of Torah it makes me want to weep.

    And while you’re at it, put your hand over your mouth so that the cells of your lips will fuse together and seal your mouth shut.

  444. Grandmuffti

    4/13/2005 at 2:36 pm

    Muffti vaguely remembers those passages. It’s been a while since Muffti held the relevant post.

  445. Grandmuffti

    4/13/2005 at 2:38 pm

    Yikes, Ephraim, why so much vitriol?

  446. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 2:43 pm

    Ephraim-when I stop laughing I will think about it.
    What is so interesting is that the rules that you follow, the prayers that you pray, to keep you conscious of the moments of your day found in the Torah, I do without the Torah. And yet above it is said (not by G-d but by a post) that I am not worthy to be a Jew. Yet I am totally and completely conscious of every action and in total and complete gratitude for everything in my life, moment by moment. In fact that is exactly what I do for a living. I teach people to be conscious of the lives they are creating. And as for the cells in my body-are you not conscious of your body? How can you say you pray for your food-do you not pray that it will be filled with the nutrients to nourish your body? What do you think the pray does? When you put your attention on molecules-on atoms -you are creating that which you pray for. If you are praying without faith, then you create nothing. Which is it?

  447. TM

    4/13/2005 at 2:49 pm

    Kelly, thank you for your remarkably restrained response. Ephraim, dude, do you think we can smooth out the rough edge a little? Thanks.

  448. Ephraim

    4/13/2005 at 2:50 pm

    Well, I dislike ignoramuses (ignorami?) referring to frum people as dumb beasts being led to the slaughter.

    People like you and TM at least have some sort of Yiddishe neshama. We disagree, sometimes we get testy. But you’re engaged, and you care. There is at least some shared frame of reference. Hell, you even know how to lain, something which I cannot do.

    But Kelly is on another level entirely. She is entirely ignorant of anything Jewish, as far as I can tell, yet she thinks that people who try to observe the precepts of a religion of which she knows absolutely nothing have decided to check their brains at the door.

    So, if she’s going to call shomer mitzvot people stupid cows, I’m going to tell her to STFU.

  449. Ephraim

    4/13/2005 at 2:56 pm

    T_M, when I call you a stupid cow who so lacking in consciousness that you will not even be aware of it when you get schechted, you have my permission to get all medieval on me, OK?

  450. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 3:05 pm

    Ephraim- If you really read my post , instead of reacting as a volitile individual, you would be able to see that i am posing questions, not making Judgments. Everything has a question mark. Or do they not teach you question marks at the Yeshiva?
    What would I be doing on this forum if not for my quest for more knowledge. Is that the orthodox way-to seclude themselves from the outer world of Jews because they are what? What is your view of your self as a Jew? I know that I am greater than-and in knowing that-I know the G-d within me, and within all of us. I also know that you know not what you speak-because it is not with consciousness, it is with resistance and reaction and alignment and agreement and that does not create allowance on any level.

  451. Grandmuffti

    4/13/2005 at 3:11 pm

    Errr, TM, Muffti is starting to lose track: who are we supposed to tell to be nicer? Perhaps we should just step back and let the daggers fly as they will before we get hurt.

  452. TM

    4/13/2005 at 3:11 pm

    Ephraim, the thing about Jewlicious.com – for me, anyway – is that we haven’t put signs at the front door that certain Jews are more welcome than others.

    Kelly didn’t call you anything but she did provide a metaphor. You can take it as her calling you, specifically, a cow, or you can accept it as a metaphor and respond to show why she’s incorrect. I believe that would make your case more compelling than getting so defensive that you lash out at her.

  453. TM

    4/13/2005 at 3:15 pm

    Muffti, it’s really quite simple. If the poster is male or has a masculine sounding moniker, we berate them for attacking others. If the poster is female or has a feminine sounding moniker, we show concern, sympathy and do our best to protect their honor. :D

  454. Esther

    4/13/2005 at 3:18 pm

    Don’t make me come back there…

    Can’t we all just get along? I’m not saying that you need to change your opinions so we’re all one shiny happy people of Israel, or that contrarian opinions aren’t a welcome part of dialogue, but I find that generally, a good rule of thumb is “never say anything online that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.” Respek, people.

    Just a thought.

  455. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 3:29 pm

    Oh by the way-never been to Israel-no desire to go either. Why? I live in Florida, it’s hot enough here and we have our own terrorists. Does that make me a non-Jew too?

  456. Ephraim

    4/13/2005 at 3:33 pm

    Don’t patronize me Kelly:

    Like cows being led to slaughter, you slowly trudge down the winding path, tongues lagging sideways down the side of your slightly parted lips. No questions asked-just obeying the G-D that is your master here on earth.

    Yep, just living in the question, huh, Kelly?

    The least you could do is take responsibility for your opinions instead of hiding behind all of your New Age phsychobabble.

    And, T_M, I assume that your use of the Dreaded Emoticon actually means that you are trying to pass off as a joke that which you really believe? If I’m supposed to go easy on Kelly because she’s a girl, just say it, OK?

  457. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 3:47 pm

    Um-is that how you read the Torah? Take what you want and leave the rest? What would G-d say to that?
    I believe the preface of the quotation was “When you lose your ability to make choices, what is left?”
    And I believe that there may be a remedy for you also if you are interested. There is a PMS remedy that is homeopathic called sepia. My intuitive powers percieve your mood may be lightenend by it.

  458. Mowgli

    4/13/2005 at 3:50 pm

    Is this about being interested in Judaism but scared of becoming a robot? No worries. You get to keep your brain in Judaism. In fact Judaism is the only thought-system that says people who are not members are OK and go to paradise too. Meaning, the righteous gentiles who follow the seven Noahide commandments. Anybody with a Encyclopedia Judaica (easily obtainable) can look that up.

  459. Ephraim

    4/13/2005 at 4:02 pm

    Oh, please. The obvious conclusion to be drawn from your remarks is that you think observant Jews are automatons because they don’t “question” things the way you do, i.e., they don’t start from the assumption that everything in Judaism is a crock.

    Nobody loses the ablity to make choices because they are shomer mitzvot. That is in and of itself a choice, and living such a life invilves making choices all the time. But since you are toally ignorant of this, all you can do when someone says he accepts the authority of the Torah is to compare him to a stupid cow who has forfeited his free will and is being led to the abbatoir. It is truly disgusting.

    You seem to think that you are an enlightened sage, hooked into the Cosmic (or Comic) consciousness. Fine, don’t let me stop you. I don’t begrudge you your beliefs. All I am saying is that they are not in any way Jewish simply because you have two Jewish parents. And I refuse to be lectured on how stupid Judaism is by someone who doesn’t even know what a Chumash is.

  460. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 4:14 pm

    So you have decided what is Jewish and what is not?

  461. Michael

    4/13/2005 at 4:23 pm

    Well, the simple fact of the matter is that 4000 years of Jewish history has decided what is Jewish and what is not, and even if you’re not religious, it’s pretty hard to disagree that only one thing, the Torah, has enabled an entity called “the Jewish people” to still be hanging around.

    If all we had had was fuzzy cosmic “G-d loooovvvessss us all and it doesn’t matter what we do, man,” I somehow doubt it would have sustained us for that long.

    So yeah. Torah = Jewish. Hippies = not.

  462. TM

    4/13/2005 at 4:23 pm

    Ephraim, it was a joke, that’s why the emoticon. If you really must get into it, the unpleasantness of your hostility is detracting from the discussion and adding little to it. If you have points to make, make them. The attacks are diminishing any points you have to make. Really. If you feel that Kelly is lacking in Jewishness (whatever that means) or approaches things from the wrong perspective, you have many ways of voicing your opinion. The choice you’ve made is one full of hostility and unpleasantness. We’re coming up on Passover. Why don’t you think about the 4 sons and how we’re supposed to teach them and apply this beloved tradition to your actions.

  463. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 4:28 pm

    I have to say that the not even the orthodox man I am with has read the Torah in complete. I will let him know that he is no longer a Jew. Can he get his foreskin back?

  464. Ephraim

    4/13/2005 at 4:31 pm

    Well, then, T_M, please ask Kelly to apologize for referring to Orthodox people as stupid cows, as she most certainly did, no matter how she tries to deny it. Is that not unpleasant?

    Yes, Kelly, you are a Jew. But there is little or nothing Jewish about you. In particular, your ruminations on Judaism are entirely specious, since you clearly have no Jewish education whatsoever, and do not appear to be interested in getting any.

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: you are a Jew, but you are not “Jewish”. For example, many Jews eat pork. That does not make it a Jewish thing to do.

    You are an enlightened sage. You should be able to understand the distinction.

  465. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 4:35 pm

    I will return to the coversation later-I have to make the baked clams casino now.

  466. TM

    4/13/2005 at 4:36 pm

    *sigh*

  467. Mowgli

    4/13/2005 at 4:58 pm

    Judaism is not all or nothing. Kelly’s friend does not have to read the entire Torah to be loyal to it. He has defined himself as Torah-loyal and is, we assume, doing his best. Even this forum is no substitute for hanging around the Judaica section of the bookstore, reading and buying books about “what is Jewish”.

  468. Mowgli

    4/13/2005 at 5:56 pm

    It is important for a Jewish woman to light two candles on Friday night. Her friend can help her with the few words of prayer that go with this act: she will repeat them after him, one word at a time. Takes half a minute. This will make the world a better place, no matter how many clams are on the menu. Helping her through this prayer will bring her friend more divine love than all his Yeshiva study!!! She may not feel SHE needs this, but she could do it for HIM. Men need all the holiness they can get, and it would be kind. (If THIS man won’t do it, and in a nice way, too, ditch him immediately and find another one who will. You can light candles every Friday even if you are not seeing anybody at all, and if you live alone. ) Even lighting once will make the world better. Lighting every week will REALLY make the world better. The children will love it, too. Don’t be scared. Hush, the rest of you.

  469. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 6:18 pm

    I do the candles and have done then since the kids were little. Its nice. We usually have Pepperoni Pizza after

  470. Mowgli

    4/13/2005 at 6:27 pm

    That’s why your hand healed. If you don’t eat pork or clams your hand will not get cut in the first place. Are you going to marry this guy? Somebody ought to marry somebody around here. No man is an I-pod.

  471. TM

    4/13/2005 at 6:29 pm

    Kelly,

    :roll:

  472. Shtreimel

    4/13/2005 at 6:31 pm

    I-Pods are a waste of money. Iriver on the other hand provides built-in recording as well as FM radio.

    Brought to you by the Church of Latter Day Saints.

  473. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 6:55 pm

    tomorrow we are celebrating my divorce-maybe, just maybe I’ll get him to spill some seed in a condom. Then we’ll see about marriage. He wants a few kids-Im ready for grandkids. Believe me when I tell you that I am worth having as a wife. My ex is still freaking out that I left him, hopefully he wont kill me before I get married again. He is one crazy-and I mean crazy Jew. By the way, if anyone cares, the clams were great, we had crab and lobster ravioli with vodka sauce for the main dish.

  474. TM

    4/13/2005 at 6:57 pm

    Kelly, here’s a trick: see if you can cause the seed spillage by talking to the, uh, you know.

    Good luck.

  475. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 6:59 pm

    By the way Ephraim when ever your in Florida I know a great steak place-maybe we could go on a Friday night

  476. kelly

    4/13/2005 at 7:06 pm

    TM -believe me I know how to talk to the seed. To see me and to know me is to know that.

  477. My Urban Kvetch 2005

    4/13/2005 at 9:44 pm

    Friday Night Lights
    I’ve been posting fairly frequently on Jewlicious, a Jewish and Israel issues blog, where the discussions become vast and often heated. One recent post, which started as a report gleaned from the Jerusalem Post about the issue of pre-marital sex

  478. kelly

    4/14/2005 at 5:36 am

    This was so poignant and beautifully written.My boyfriend has been struggling with Shabbot for the same reasons. When he is at Shul or with friends he is fine. It is the hours on end at home with the thoughts and emptiness that create the confusion for him.
    One thing I ask myself to every thought, feeling and emotion that pour forth is the question “Who does this belong to?” Because we are like these giant radio antenaes and we have the ability to pick up others thoughts , feelings, and emotions. Especially when we are quite. And all I say is , “Isn’t that interesting-return to sender.” You will see that most thoughts are not yours. And the peace in you is what we all seek in meditation, right? The connection to G-d? Its available all the time. whether we are praying in hebrew, or just listening to the peace. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts. I was wondering why I was here on this blog. You were the reason.

  479. Aish Freak

    4/14/2005 at 7:23 am

    Kelly is a typical lost Jewish soul. She is open minded about everything in the world, until it comes to Judaism. She will refuse to study, refuse to experience our vibrant traditons.
    Yet she will consider herself open minded. I never understand how people can be so hypocritical.

  480. Mowgli

    4/14/2005 at 9:28 am

    Absolutely right, Shabbat alone is tough. So, get married. Then it is fun. Getting married is at the core of Judaism!!

  481. Aish Freak

    4/14/2005 at 10:24 am

    Then she finds it necessary to rub our faces in her filthy foods.
    So not only is she closed minded when it comes to Judaism, but she becomes a moronic child. This is what happens to the assimilated.

  482. Esther

    4/14/2005 at 10:36 am

    Aish Freak, you’re not helping anyone by declaring anyone a typical lost soul. There are no typical lost souls. We’re all lost for our own individual reasons. And being open-minded and logical is on a different level than feeling like the stuff that comes into your brain is emotionally true.

    And Mowgli, clearly you’re already married and have no idea what it’s like to be single in today’s world, let alone within the context of any kind of observant Judaism.

    Getting married is easy–I could have been married for three years now, but to someone I didn’t have a mutual connection with, and the thought of that makes me shudder. (And not in a good way.) Getting married isn’t the endgame. Finding your soulmate is. And that sometimes takes a while. A long while. Maybe forever. And maybe I’ll get tired of waiting someday. But not now. And that’s why I’m trying to tell you, respectfully, that I just don’t appreciate comments like “just get married already.” Because it’s not that simple.

  483. Mowgli

    4/14/2005 at 10:51 am

    OK. Very sorry to have been heavy-handed. But the thing to do is to see a lot of people a little bit. Please do not spend a serious amount of time with anyone who, if examined realistically in a strong light, would never, ever be husband material. That is self defeating and poor craftsmanship. There are very few men who really want a wife any more. If you want to be a wife, that narrows your choices. It is worth noting that the connection can mature after becoming married. It is not necessary to feel married already to become married. It is unknown terrain and one has to be brave to enter it. It can take a good year to figure out how to do this new thing. And one has to defend it from all the jealous passersby who want to warm themselves at your fire or put it out because they don’t have one.

  484. Aish Freak

    4/14/2005 at 11:08 am

    It is obvious by the way she has posted recently, that she is a fraud. She had me fooled for a while. I stand by what I wrote. She is open minded about everything but Judaism.
    She is a typical lost soul.

  485. Mowgli

    4/14/2005 at 11:28 am

    I was talking to Esther.

  486. Mowgli

    4/14/2005 at 2:58 pm

    With all the ads in our faces, every place, every minute of every day, people have become impossible to impress. Normal human beings, without theatrical makeup, and advanced lighting, do not LOOK like that! Even THOSE actors, in their private lives, do not look like that!!! The bronze filters that make them flawlessly tanned. The fan off-camera fluffing their moussed hair just right. The Photo-Shop distortions that lengthen everybody’s legs. But that is the new beauty standard we all internalilze, both genders. It is all so intense. Genuine, real, private lives can never be like the images. That stuff is like restaurant cooking. Home made is different. Lumpier. Not as many exotic touches. But real. People walk around in dreamland, waiting for the impossible, and looking down on each other.

  487. Mowgli

    4/14/2005 at 3:07 pm

    Back when there was a lot of darkness and mystery, people could feel something. But now, how can civilians compete with the professionals? How can personal experience compete with the limitless, if non-existent, heights imagination? It can’t. Ooh, are we reaping the wirlwind. But we are strong, and not a bunch of sourpusses, so I have hope. We want more than virtual lives. We want real lives. With genuine human beings. But children are expensive. And people gain five pounds. Now what? Divorce court? Because somebody is not a laugh a minute any more?

  488. Michael

    4/14/2005 at 3:13 pm

    Dude. We get it.

  489. TM

    4/14/2005 at 3:28 pm

    Shhh, Michael, how are we going to hit 500 if you stop the poet?

  490. Esther

    4/14/2005 at 3:47 pm

    TM, not that size matters, but I think we’ll get there anyway.

    In a way, Brad Pitt’s abs have blinded the nation to substance beyond surface. (It just never occurred to me to blame them before.) And even though I admit to pop culture playing a fair role in my life (dude, like I’m ever giving up South Park, no friggin’ way), I’ve never been drawn to the media’s portrayal of perfection. With all the men I’ve ever wanted in my life (and we’re barely talking a minyan here), it’s always been humor, intelligence and an irreverent but respectful spirit that drew me in.

    So not all of us are walking around expecting happy dreamland with men with Brad’s middos or Tom’s blindingly white smile. Relationships are difficult, I understand. But finding someone you can relate to is rare enough that it makes the obstacles worth hurdling. Or at least, I hope it will.

  491. TM

    4/14/2005 at 4:22 pm

    Please note that neither Tom nor Brad stay married…

  492. Aish Freak

    4/15/2005 at 7:53 am

    You are forgetting that sex sells. That is all the movies and media are about. The challenge is to get people’s attension off of sex.

  493. Mowgli

    4/15/2005 at 8:55 am

    1) Hide under the bed. 2) Draw your sword. Irreverence can cut both ways. It’s no fun when it is aimed at you. Reverence may be a chore when it is owed to someone else, but it is nice when it is incoming. Respect and reverence are linked things. If one wants respect, perhaps it is necessary to give house room to some reverence.

  494. kelly

    4/15/2005 at 5:57 pm

    Do you know that the thing most orthodox men talk to me about is this week that you have your period and you have no sex and then the week after to cleanse and the mitvah. Like this is the best thing about being orthodox. Do you know how many men who have been orthodox have hit on me-while they are waiting for their “orthodox” wives. This is a ritual? This reason for this is what? When this law was brought about, how many wives did the Jewish man have? He had sex all the time right? He just got time off to sample other goods. Is this a fantasy part of Judiasm? Just curious.

  495. Michael

    4/15/2005 at 6:07 pm

    Uh, no, actually if a man’s multiple wives were living under the same roof, their menstrual cycles would synchronize so there wouldn’t be any more sex for your evil horny Orthodox man. But nice try.

    Taharat mishpacha, family purity, when done right seems to be pretty fulfilling. I would say either you haven’t met many actual Orthodox men, or you’re just imagining that the ones you’ve met have been hitting on you.

    There are many reasons for it, but ultimately, like many of the mitzvot, it teaches a Jew discipline and demands a certain level of purity. And by all accounts, it’s an excellent way to keep a marriage sexually interesting, and it’s not just Orthodox Jews who agree with that.

    I, personally, wouldn’t knock it until I’d tried it.

    Incidentally, “mikvah.”

  496. kelly

    4/15/2005 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks- I knew I was spelling it wrong when I wrote it.

  497. Ricker Aish

    4/17/2005 at 12:21 am

    Hit on you? Surely you jest. How can you prove this to us? Do you have video that you can stream? More horse manure.

  498. LL

    4/19/2005 at 2:17 pm

    When a woman lights candles, she has a direct line to Heaven. Pray hard, right then, 1) for the ability to pray, and 2) for a family. The more you find it hard, the more it is worth to G-d! Why is nobody around?? Invite other single frum folks, some BTs and ANY genuine Jew who will act right. They should: arrive on time, carrying: MUCH wine, ice cream, Kedem grape juice, Entemanns cakes, BIG bags of fresh fruit, and many bags of pre-cut salad. You: put a bag of dried beans, a box of brown rice, handful of parsley, barley and a few chicken parts into the crock pot on Friday MORNING. Get a round robin going: – everyone’s house in turn, pulling in passersby all the time. Position yourself as GIVING to the lonely, and you will FORGET you ever used to be one of them. You will 1) have tons of fun, 2) stay observant, and …3) meet people…Preserve gender roles. Women light, men read from the siddurs. The more crowded it is, the more laughter! Put the candles on a metal tray, well stuck down into the holders, not near any curtains, or anybody’s beautiful, long hair. Hang a sheet for a mechitza if you do not have a folding screen. Start inviting people on TUESDAY at the latest. Nobody will feel awkward if this is every week without fail. It wasn’t put on for THEM. It’s just part of the usual program. AM Yisroel Chai, baby.

  499. TM

    4/19/2005 at 8:18 pm

    LL, aka Jewish Mother, have you considered publishing a book? I love that comment.

  500. Esther

    4/19/2005 at 9:00 pm

    I’m sorry to do this. But I had to. I don’t have much to say, but it was a moral imperative. I had to be the 500th comment. We certainly are a people with opinions…

    Very interesting discussing everything with you guys.

    Neshikot (or not) l’kulkhem!

    E

  501. TM

    4/19/2005 at 11:06 pm

    It’s about time we got to the halfway point of this discussion.

  502. LL

    4/20/2005 at 10:03 am

    T Y, TM. It is mysterious how the gender roles must be preserved. Saddening, but there it is. No mechitza, no men!!! Ladies, you will eat alone as a sisterhood if there is no mechitza. What fun is that? And, if the men cook a little, bring a dish, the women will be irritated and THEY will not come. Don’t let them! Hand made food made by a woman is the only social glue. It gets worse. The men should stay sitting while the women get up to clear the table. Sigh. Ladies, order them loudly to sit back down. If you want children. Fine point: the men should bring the wine and fresh fruit. The women should bring sorbet, cake and salad. Sigh, sigh. The women should not sing in front of the men, as everybody knows. Please don’t scream. Of course our women have brains, sense, opinions and compete literacy. But the gender roles are the railroad ties.

  503. Ricker Aish

    4/20/2005 at 11:25 am

    Sounds like a plan. They are doing this every week at Aish on the upper west side. After the Rabbi leaves, they have some hot dirty dancing going on there. Y’all should come.

  504. LL

    4/20/2005 at 1:23 pm

    Music on Shabbat?

  505. Ricker Aish

    4/21/2005 at 7:49 am

    Ya know, clapping singing, sweating, that sort a tang.

  506. LL

    4/21/2005 at 8:58 am

    You men. You always test the virtue of the women, and they always fail your test, and then you don’t marry them. But they are supposed to be warm. And they are supposed to follow your lead, so they are, and they do. The sweet naive things. Your method is not producing marriages, so why persist in it? No knock on Aish, which is great of course. Girls! Be warned! The girls who go home early will have the most grandchildren.

  507. Randomguy24281

    4/22/2005 at 7:12 am

    I skipped from post 50 to 500 so sorry if this has allready been said.

    From my understanding, Onan does not mean you refrain from intimacy, it means that while being intimacy you hold back, because you do not want the chance of creating life or some such thing.

    Its not about self gratification, its about building a relationship. Not falling into a relationship, or being shoved into it, but building it.

    Its hard to build a house with soggy wood.

  508. TM

    4/22/2005 at 11:41 am

    You speak of building relationships and avoiding self gratification, but then you skip from comment 50 to 500. Hmmmm….

  509. Jewish Mother

    4/26/2005 at 10:24 am

    You are being too strict. If you don’t let him have an opinion until he has read 450 posts how will he get into a good college? Let the kid breathe. He has to live his own life. Everybody can’t be a doctor.

  510. TM

    4/26/2005 at 11:46 am

    :lol:

  511. Jewish Mother

    4/27/2005 at 10:42 am

    Ricker Aish, institutions such as Aish are wonderful, but home cooking is the magic I am advocating, there is nothing to replace it, ever. HOME HOME HOME. Your little flat is a HOME, so invite people to it, preside, give, learn the joys of hospitality. Authority is fun. Exercise yours, under your own roof. Don’t be a latch-key kid, going to the neighbors’ to play. You are not an orphan. And a woman should be cooking that food. Don’t be pitiful. Be in charge. Women! Are you listening?

  512. shtreimel

    4/27/2005 at 12:00 pm

    “Don’t be pitiful. Be in charge. Women! Are you listening?”

    I don’t know. I find Jewish Mother is bang-on with some things, and then at other times, she sounds like a psychiatric patient from a Polish shtetyl.

  513. Jewish Mother

    4/27/2005 at 12:45 pm

    1) It’s pitiful and wimpy to ALWAYS shlep to somebody else’s place. Sometimes, fine. But ALWAYS? How dependent! How weak! Host your OWN Shabbat occasionally, no matter how small your flat is. You will LOVE it because 2) This puts you in charge in a very pleasurable way. Even if you live with 8 roommates in a broom closet, it is YOUR HOME. The smaller it is, the more people will be touched that you invited them. The home is also a tremendous theater of female power: home-made food from her hands has a MAGIC you just have to experience to believe. Aish and other wonderful organizations like it were not designed to substitute for homes, but to help people establish Jewish connection, and new Jewish homes. What am I saying that is so wierd?

  514. shtreimel

    4/27/2005 at 1:34 pm

    “What am I saying that is so wierd?”

    All of this “C’mon women, cook for yo man”. The whole thing wigs me out. I prefer the balanced approach. I like the vareity. I’m not suggesting that we’re the same…far from it. But to reduce it all to kugel is misguided.

    BTW…I have a penis and everything. So if this:

    “The home is also a tremendous theater of female power”

    gives me the willies, I’m wondering how the females are feeling?

  515. T_M

    4/27/2005 at 1:47 pm

    There is a kinda generational thing going on here Shtreimel. I think Jewish Mother comes from a period where the home was more likely to be a woman’s domain, while the husband went off and earned. You ever see cookbooks from that period? Man, if you actually follow the recipes, you can give every member of your family a coronary by the time they’re 40.

  516. shtreimel

    4/27/2005 at 1:55 pm

    “There is a kinda generational thing going on here Shtreimel.”

    I agree. And that’s why I think her words will fall on deaf ears. And that’s a shame, because much of what she is saying is well stated and important advice.

  517. Jewish Mother

    4/27/2005 at 2:18 pm

    It’s the NICE kind of power, the benevolent, giving, maternal kind, so there is no need for willies. I am informing everybody of the very great power of kugel, which your willies are strong proof of. There is no “reducing it all”. Men and women have not changed one bit, they are just brutally estranged from each other. There is no need to be terrified of being cooked for. As you point out, eloquently but indelicately, you have an inalienable rank. No worries. Well, the women have their rank too, of another kind. Gee wilikers. This the fruit of the eighties social breakdowns. But I stoutly maintain that kugel is eternal, and can be rebuilt, speedily and in your days. More cholent?

  518. shtreimel

    4/27/2005 at 2:27 pm

    Jewish Mother,

    “This the fruit of the eighties social breakdowns.”

    Interesting comment. Please explain.

  519. Jewish Mother

    4/27/2005 at 3:21 pm

    Divorce. That’s what I mean. It became extremely common. This disease is actually CATCHING, believe it or not. In a community of married friends, when one or two couples divorce, bingo, they almost all do. It was rare, became rampant, remains rampant. Even a woman who works hard full time should occasionally make a hand-made dinner and invite people for Shabbat. With a food processor and a crock pot, etc etc, this is not very hard. Especially if the guests know to bring stuff. Food from the hands of a woman is MAGIC no matter what she did all day, in a board room, or a science lab, or if she was home all day. The home will ALWAYS be structured like this, or there will be no homes. The man can do what he wants, much or little, but he remains a man and he will feel the magic no matter who he is. If homes could be structured any other way, you would all have homes !!!!! And you don’t. QED! Now, who said the food had to be fattening? My shredded cabbage salads with vinaigrette are famous, and so is my lentil soup. I always take the skin off the chicken. Stop dancing and start eating, if you want to survive! You may look worse, but you will feel better. Why be toned and miserable, like the people in the ads? Better to be a little plumper with a SMILE on your face, THAT kind of smile. Mmmm. My father and uncles were lectured about being fat until they died, full of strength, manhood and joy, at 92 and 96 respecctively. WITH KIDS.

  520. shtreimel

    4/27/2005 at 3:29 pm

    Ah, it’s hard to dislike, and dismiss, Jewish Mother. Though I’m not sure divorce is the issue nearly as much as the lackluster marriages.

  521. Jewish Mother

    4/27/2005 at 3:56 pm

    Torah helps. A Torah way of life keeps people special to each other because there are limits, roles and rules. Familiarity breeds contempt, that is the big problem. Mystery is the biggest attraction, and mystery has been abolished. So people are scared. They are scared they will be required to check their own mystery at the door, and they don’t want to be stripped naked so they opt out completely. When you meet people, please don’t exchange life stories too much, just a little. Train yourself to read minds, gestures, body language, facial expressions. It can be done, with a little effort and practice. You don’t need the person’s resume, and they have no right to yours. It is natural that you are not impressed! Since no one has ever cooked for you, what is there to impress you? I am all for books. But if books were enough, you would all be snuggled into armchairs having literary discussions with your spouses. Are you? No. What was our first experience of love? Having our diaper tenderly changed? No. It was being tenderly fed. That was the first contact with a fellow human being after our arrival on this earth, and it remains the most potent and significant. Therefore, I ask, when is dinner? What should I bring?

  522. T_M

    4/27/2005 at 4:10 pm

    Damn, I now remember I should be cooking more often.

  523. Jewish Mother

    4/27/2005 at 4:26 pm

    If men reject gender roles, and cook, then life is reduced to a chili bake-off where no holds are barred and women are not safe from rejection and scorn. A girl will be judged on her cuisine, not appreciated because she cooked in the first place, and gave of herself, her talent no matter how meager, her caring and her time. No, it’s who put more fresh spices in the guacamole. Maybe he did. Maybe he has more culinary talent than she does. He might, too. Poor girl. And he will die alone, the poor guy, clasping his cherished recipe notes. This is a man? TM, you speak at your ease. There is a Mrs. TM. The rest of us need some truths which will help us be happy too. So forget your frying pan and tell us what the Parsha is this week.

  524. shtreimel

    4/27/2005 at 4:44 pm

    Ok, Jewish Mother…you officially wigged me out. That last comment….yuch. And now let’s get down to business. I remember all the “Jewish Mothers” a la Aish types, telling us young ‘uns that if you do this, and that, respect gender roles…presto, no more social ills (or at least to the degree that the goyim and secular Jews experience them). And then I befriended some MO folks…super wonderful guys/gals. And I was accepted into their community. Attended their shuls, etc. Even hung out with some Belz folk. Know what? They often have the exact same problems that secular folks do, albeit with a twist. The women were often complaining because they had to stay home with their kids. And if there wasn’t an eruv, my friend’s wives looked like something out of a Joy Division video. And then you’re privy to the unhappy marriages, separations, and divorce…I was shocked, SHOCKED to find out that frum people divorced. I mean, they’re doing everything that Jewish Mother is suggesting.

    Anyway…time heals all wounds. My idealized portrait of Orthodoxy died and is slowly being reborn with a healthier attitude. Plus, I’m no longer surprised to hear that all of my secular Montreal friends – who are committing all the very sins Jewish Mother is warning us about – are doing very, very well.

    Alas, when it comes to relationship advice…there’s nothing better than Dr. David Schnarch.

    “A girl will be judged on her cuisine”

    TM…I believe you said: “There is a kinda generational thing going on here”. From here on in, this will be my mantra.

  525. Jewish Mother

    4/27/2005 at 5:10 pm

    The secular Montreal friends who are doing very well, are they married? Is that what you mean by doing very well? I hope so. As for the kvetching mothers, oy. But at least there was a future in place there, some children. Did ANY of the MO marriages work out? Did most? Was the bad stuff less common than among the secular people? Maybe I do not know anything after all.

  526. Michael

    4/27/2005 at 5:20 pm

    Wait. I’m a good cook. I like to cook. I like my cooking. Women like my cooking. How does this translate into me dying alone?

    Is anybody else starting to find this sort of “Jewish Dear Abby Only Holding a Pistol to Your Head” style of love advice a little creepy?

    Seriously, if a man is a good cook (better, let’s say, than his girlfriend/wife/whatever) should he give up eating good food at home for the rest of his life just to fit in Jewish Mother’s idea of proper gender roles?

    Also, I’m pretty sure, contrary to what Jewish Mother says, most people have had somebody cook for them. In fact, unless they hunt, kill and cook all their own food, everybody has had somebody cook for them.

    Are women not allowed to have a man cook for them in this world of goose-stepping gender separation? I mean, as far as I know, a lot of girls like it when men cook for them.

  527. Jewish Mother

    4/27/2005 at 6:05 pm

    Is it important to eat dinner with the same person five years from now, as tonight? If so, how can that be arranged? I was working on that, and putting everything else subordinate to that. To me, that is paramount. I advocate consistency, loyalty, continuity. I have seen jobs and friends come and go, but family remain through it all, the one constant. What is your take on that?

  528. T_M

    4/27/2005 at 6:16 pm

    I have to agree that being a decent cook has been mostly helpful in life.

  529. Michael

    4/27/2005 at 6:18 pm

    Well, being an Orthodox Jew, I’m all for getting married to a Nice Jewish Girl(tm) and having the prerequisite 8 thousand Jewish children. I think consistency, loyalty, continuity and family are all great things. But I don’t think cooking dinner for your girlfriend or your fiance or your wife will destroy your relationship either. I mean, honestly.

  530. Shtreimel

    4/27/2005 at 6:55 pm

    “Is anybody else starting to find this sort of “Jewish Dear Abby Only Holding a Pistol to Your Head” style of love advice a little creepy?”

    Very,

  531. T_M

    4/27/2005 at 7:01 pm

    Not creepy. Generational difference. I think JM means well and does make sense in that it’s true that two career families have their work cut out for them. It’s easier to have this old-fashioned set-up, in my opinion.

    I guess it depends upon your sense of gender roles.

  532. Shtreimel

    4/27/2005 at 7:03 pm

    “The secular Montreal friends who are doing very well, are they married?”

    Yup. Kids and everything. And the men cook. The women work. And yes, they seem to be doing very well.

    “Did ANY of the MO marriages work out?”

    Of course.

    “Was the bad stuff less common than among the secular people?”

    That’s my point. We keep trying to convince people that a Orthodox families/couples have cornered the market on satisfaction. At least in the MO world, this isn’t the case. Perhaps Aish is going to have to chagne their tune and convince/sell everybody to become a Belzer Chassid. Because my experience tells me that their are many frum people whereby husbands cook, kippahs aren’t worn, and synagogue isn’t attended. And their shtreimel wearing, white knicker sock sporting Chassidim who do very bad things. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. But that’s life.

  533. Shtreimel

    4/27/2005 at 7:07 pm

    “Not creepy.”

    TM…this is:

    “Maybe he has more culinary talent than she does. He might, too. Poor girl. And he will die alone, the poor guy, clasping his cherished recipe notes. ”

    creepy. Moreover, at least for me, it does the opposite of what JM is trying to promote.

  534. T_M

    4/27/2005 at 7:35 pm

    Ah but shtreimel, since she may be older than you, she may have seen things you haven’t. Yet.

    ;)

  535. Shtreimel

    4/27/2005 at 7:58 pm

    TM,
    True enough. But I’m willing to place my bets that a man doesn’t die alone because he’s a better cook than his woman. Wanna bet?

  536. T_M

    4/27/2005 at 9:35 pm

    No, no, I don’t want to take that bet. And my wife is a very fine cook, just so we get that straight.

  537. Jewish Mother

    4/28/2005 at 9:58 am

    I have no shrink training at all, and I am making this stuff up as I go along, post by post. These are my long-held feelings and ideas, but, I am thinking of new things because of what you are saying. This is a genuine un-scripted discussion. There is a ton of fear and dislike of the domesticated woman, her kitchen power, and her capacity to produce children (7,000?). A woman can do all that and work, too. Plenty do. The word “creepy” mystifies me. I hear it as a mixture of terror laced with disgust. I had no idea men would refuse to be taken care of with such ferocity. I thought the male attitude toward cooking was mild enjoyment. But men seem to cherish their stoves the way the Marines cherish their rifles. Can only be pried from their cold, dead fingers. What passion!!!!! There must be some dreadful responsibilities they utterly refuse to be saddled with. “His woman” is a phrase I find creepy! Can’t you say the noble English word “wife”? But I very much appreciate your discussion and I respect your ideas. :)

  538. Jewish Mother

    4/28/2005 at 11:38 am

    A woman feels about a man who cooks better than she does the way a man feels about a woman who makes more money than he does, and/or knows more about sports than he does. If you want a spouse, you have to be realistic about where these fault lines lie. They have been papered over, not eliminated. It’s not fair, either, because we women have taken to ourselves the right to compete as brutally as necessary at the office, then we go home, change out of our business clothes, change hats, slip into something comfortable, and wonder why the exact same men we trashed for a promotion or project does not want to marry us. I was trying to help with that.

  539. Filter

    4/29/2005 at 10:28 am

    The only problem w/ the frum picture is when one of the partners wants more sex than the other. What does one do if their partner likes sex once or twice a month? What recourse does one have? What if the woman refuses all discussion on the topic, refuses to go to counseling, refuses, refuses, refuses.

    What does said man do w/ his problem?

  540. T_M

    4/29/2005 at 10:32 am

    Filter, purchase a subscription to Suicide Girls? Or perhaps he learns how to cook?

  541. Filter

    4/29/2005 at 11:00 am

    OK I am an excellent cook. Did you see my post on Whole wheat farfels?

    It’s not the sex per se. Sex represent imo, passion, love. These could be represented by sleeping together, touching, talking, going on dates. We have none of that.

    We have the kids, that is the main part of our joint lives.

  542. Jewish Mother

    4/29/2005 at 12:41 pm

    Is Mama overwhelmed by children who need her non-stop? Try to be patient; rewards come later when they turn out well, because Mama invested time and energy in them. Your real self-interest is having nice children!!! The other kind cancel out any other benefits. The gratitude of a woman toward a man who is a good father is very strong stuff. It may not show when she is busy on the front lines, but you will see it when she comes up for air. You will be grateful to HER when you see the children developing well. They grow up in a blink, so enjoy. Plenty of time alone later with Missus when the kids step out of the cracked shell, give you a hug, thank you for everything and fly, fly fly, fly, fly.

  543. shtreimel

    4/29/2005 at 12:51 pm

    “A woman feels about a man who cooks better than she does the way a man feels about a woman who makes more money than he does, and/or knows more about sports than he does.”

    Jewish Mother,

    So all these woman going into Law, Medicine, etc., what are they to do? I mean, they’re having a hard enought time dating. Should they eliminate all the men making less than $90,000 a year? And if he bakes better cookies, should she give him the boot as well? Most of my female friends are professionals. They make equal to if not more than their husbands. Should I warn them about their impending divorce?

  544. Michael

    4/29/2005 at 12:56 pm

    Translation: you are no longer important. You are only a source of sperm. Now that you have fulfilled your biological imperative, you are obsolete. Please report for dismantlement at 0800 hours. Your real self interest is having nice children. Your real self interest is having nice children. Your real self interest is having nice children. Your real self interest is having nice children.

    Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I feel like there should be more to a marriage than cranking out “nice children.” And if somebody’s only point of contact with their spouse is children, then they don’t really have a marriage, they have a baby-making contract. And if their marriage is built on the fact that they’re raising children, then “when the kids step out of the cracked shell,” there’s not going to be anything left for the parents. Their raison d’etre is off making bad decisions in college, and they have to face up to the fact that they have nothing to actually build a relationship on.

    And that strikes me as terrifying.

  545. shtreimel

    4/29/2005 at 1:05 pm

    “I have no shrink training at all, and I am making this stuff up as I go along”

    Makes no difference, you KNOW good values. But if you were a shrink, a marital/relationship shrink, you’d know that the divorce rate sky-rocketed before women started making more money than men, and before men started cooking in the kitchen. Do these role reversals cause a bit of tension for a generation that grew up with different roles? Obviously. Any change from generation to generation causes unease. But in time, each generation adopts these changes (if they’re healthy, and I believe these are) and thrives.

    “There is a ton of fear and dislike of the domesticated woman, her kitchen power, and her capacity to produce children (7,000?).”

    Not fear, just the memory of moms not feeling loads of glee by defining their existence through her children, chulent and ensuring her husband feels speical. So yes, that gives me creeps. If she truly wants to do that, wonderful. I don’t believe that’s the majority…at least in the non-Haredi world (And I’d wager – judging on the levels of depression among women in those communities – that there’s a similar thing going on in Hareidi communities as well.

    “A woman can do all that and work, too.”

    Yes, and that’s impressive.

    Plenty do. The word “creepy” mystifies me.

    “I had no idea men would refuse to be taken care of with such ferocity.”

    Yes, it’s called enmeshment. Nothing makes me run for the door quicker than a woman who exists to “take care of me”. Yuch. I’m much more attracted to a woman with interesting hobbies, ideas, etc. As a friend once said, I’m looking for a partner, not a cook.

  546. Jewish Mother

    5/2/2005 at 9:38 am

    Michael is absolutely right that the couple has to have a life as a couple apart from raising children. This can take some wiggling to work in, but it has to be done. Grandparents! Baby-sit! Papas are ESSENTIAL in the child raising thing, and not at all useless! Raising kids together is the most exciting thing two people reasonably in love can ever do. Beats hang-gliding, skiing, horsebackriding, or anything else. Both parents brings something to this common task. And you see a new person develop. And the mind of a child, so free of nonsense, so vivid, so impressionable, so strong, is the prettiest thing in the world. I, we, had no teenage traumas at all! I, we, had put in the time at the early stages, and later, the right machinery was in place, and the engine turned over. I hope you all have this joy. As for the women in med and law school, I would take them aside, look them straight in the eye, and say, careful, sucker. Enjoy your brains and money, but be careful. Look around and take careful notes, and stand up for yourself. This may take some doing. You will be fighting Mr. Market, who is a tough competitor, and who wants to dollar-ize your day, your hours, your time. ARE YOU SURE IT WILL BE FINE WITH YOU TO DIE CHILDLESS. I would say to them. And I would say, so, what needs to be done to prevent that?

  547. Jewish Mother

    5/2/2005 at 1:49 pm

    Nobody DARES to mention: a woman older than 35 is a very different creature reproductively than one younger than 35. She looks great, but inside her it is very, very different. You hang around laughing and scratching and feeling “fearless, free and feline and female”, and figure you can do the family thing “later”. Then you find yourself in the waiting room of a fertility clinic, teary, while $40 grand can disappear, and it still might not work. Seriously. Having children is baseball, not golf. It is a young, or at least youngish, woman’s game. It is by no means impossible later, but you should have no illusions. This information is so explosive socially that even your ob/gyn doctor, if pressed, will stammer and hedge, and try not to give a definite answer, but it’s true. Men, this affects you, too. If, eventually, you decide it really is Papa time now, but your contemporaries can’t do much any more, and, the women who still can, see you as OLD, it can really hurt. Please be careful.

  548. Esther

    5/2/2005 at 1:59 pm

    Glad to know I have thirteen months to find my baby’s daddy or $40K, whichever comes first.

  549. Jewish Mother

    5/2/2005 at 2:06 pm

    You could find him tonight.

  550. Michael

    5/2/2005 at 2:31 pm

    Cue scene: Esther running at night through the streets of Manhattan, screaming, “I NEED A BABY DADDY!” Cut to: Jewish Mother cackling madly as lightning flashes dramatically.

    You know, the image of somebody screaming in the face of a motivated career woman fresh out of law school “ARE YOU SURE IT WILL BE FINE WITH YOU TO DIE CHILDLESS??!!!” is one of the funniest things I’ve thought of lately. At least, as far as hysteria is funny.

  551. jsirpicco

    5/2/2005 at 2:33 pm

    Jsirpicco LIKES jewish mother! Mama, you rock. So there, Shtreimele, and Esther and Grand Mufti (traitor) now it’s 3 against to. jsirpicco and jewish mother will whup your ass!

    Ummm, of course the purpose of marriage is just to have two incomes, play chess, talk about issues and vote democratic for the rest of your life while you sip bottled water and ‘work out’…kids? Feh!

  552. shtreimel

    5/2/2005 at 2:44 pm

    “…ARE YOU SURE IT WILL BE FINE WITH YOU TO DIE CHILDLESS”

    Jewish Mother, you’re moving the from the sane/rational Jewish Mother we all lacked, to the archetype Jewish Mother represented in Woody Allen’s short “Oedipus Wrecks”.

    Here’s my warning for anyone considering a move to become more religious:

    1) Loooooooooooooooooooong boring shabbat afternoons (even my frum friends stare at their watches going: “When will this end”.

    2) Befriending other frum friends and slowly losing contact with the outside world. Conversation turns to arguing some seemingly meaningless point of Halacha, something about donkeys, and how, or if, it applies to your Honda Civic.

    3) Loooooooooooooooooooong boring Yom Tov’s and Shabbat’s, one after the other.

    4) Having Ortho folks look at you like your a goose-stepping nazi if you ever doubt the divinity of the Oral Law and/or questing revelation on Sinai.

    5) Ah yes, your first Aish/Discovery/Chabad seminar. They say they don’t have any agenda. They say that you’re a Jew no matter what. That’s what they say. You’ve been warned.

    6) Trying to explain, in a job interview, why you can’t work on Friday’s during the late-Fall and early winter, and why you need another 10-12 days off throughout the year. BTW, if you get the job…remember those yummy 2 week vacations….you can kiss those goodbye.

    Need I continue?

  553. shtreimel

    5/2/2005 at 2:50 pm

    “So there, Shtreimele, and Esther and Grand Mufti (traitor) now it’s 3 against to. jsirpicco and jewish mother will whup your ass!”

    With Esther and GM on my team…I like the odds.

  554. T_M

    5/2/2005 at 3:03 pm

    JM, 35 is not 40 and 40 isn’t 44, the age at which a friend of ours had her baby through fertility treatments (on only her second try, which meant the procedure cost a fraction of $40k). The idea is that at 35, a woman begins a decline, but first of all, that is an average, and second, it does take a little while before the woman has problems. The vast majority of women over 35 do not require fertility treatments so it is very unfair to tarnish them in this way.

    I don’t mean that women should wait, because I agree that it is easier to rear children when you’re younger, but there’s a lot to be said for the wisdom a 35 year old might have that a 25 year old may not. Life is a good teacher that way. I say this because I believe you are doing a disservice to the unmarried women who are younger than 40 – 42 and still desire to have a family. Yes, that biological clock is ticking, but the odds are still in their favor.

  555. Jewish Mother

    5/2/2005 at 3:04 pm

    But I just want everybody to be happy! Of course all that free time is boooooring without children. Children will fill it for you. Much, much better than watching goldfish or television. As for Fridays and holidays, yes, that is tough. But, you have working Orthodox friends, so they have solved this problem somehow.

  556. T_M

    5/2/2005 at 3:06 pm

    Shtreimel, JM has a point. Perhaps you should produce offspring. ;)

  557. Esther

    5/2/2005 at 3:14 pm

    Michael, that scene you described? That’s what I do every night. I run up and down West End Avenue screaming that in two languages. Problem is? No quality control with that kind of mass marketing. And esp. when selecting a baby daddy, quality’s very important.

    Let’s be clear: I’m not against Jsirpicco or JM, either! I’m just saying that it’s not always within our control to have babies during the optimum time, and pressure from the observant community doesn’t help. A girl with a birthday coming up doesn’t need a reminder, trust me.

  558. jsirpicco

    5/2/2005 at 3:15 pm

    re: Shtreimel’s important warning to all users of Orthodox Judaism as in Warning: Orthodoxy Will Make You Basically Miserable!

    Gosh…so don’t do Hashem any favors, dude. Who wants long, shabbos afternoons when they can be watching bad tv, blogging stupid blogs and running errands all day long, yeah, baby! That’s WAY better than relaxing and taking time to smell the roses…

    What’s with all the issues, dude. I agree: Shtreimel: you need a wife who will make you laugh and enjoy life…

  559. Jewish Mother

    5/2/2005 at 3:38 pm

    Now boys, don’t fight. Shtreimel Has Somebody. This will go the right way but he should get on the stick naturally.

  560. Jewish Mother

    5/2/2005 at 3:52 pm

    TM, no tarnishing is intended. Everybody should try for what they want at any age. I am not writing people off and they should not write themselves off. But I don’t see any point in keeping wraps on what you yourself say, that a decline begins at 35. Of course that is an average. Medicine runs on averages. The specific person is another matter but the averages are real, too. I was addressing the women who are 27 and who should do some serious thinking. ABOUT PRESSURE: EXERT SOME YOURSELF. Pressure does not always have to be: Oy, they are pressuring me. It can be, Oy, am I ever pressuring THEM. Get your hair, your nails and your politics done, and kick some a.

  561. jsirpicco

    5/2/2005 at 7:19 pm

    Shtreimel has somebody? So why so grouchy?????

  562. shtreimel

    5/2/2005 at 7:52 pm

    “Shtreimel has somebody? So why so grouchy?????”

    I don’t care for warm, fuzzy syrup. I want honesty. And at times, Jewish Mother is:

    a) Not honest
    b) Unaware that polarity of her advice/tone runs counter to what I feel/observe as being PART OF the observant Jewish community. I just have the balls to say it (most of my observant friends just speak about such things with hushed whispers).

    “What’s with all the issues, dude. I agree: Shtreimel: you need a wife who will make you laugh and enjoy life…”

    Yeah, I’m sure the high divorce rate (and, as a result, people feeling very weary about getting married) is due to too much laughing and life enjoying. Too much of a good thing is painful. And personally, I’m just not up for all that laughing.

    Regarding my issues…
    I’m looking for honesty…that’s it. All of my points about Orthodoxy are real, true and were expressed by many of my Ortho friends during walks this past Shabbos. I expressed them to counter Jewish Mother’s pseduo-militant marriage/life advice. When we promote Orthodoxy as an anti-depressant we’re selling a lie. When we equate women with kitchens, men with footballs, etc., we’re selling a lie. One of the biggest, most successful sports in Vancouver is CO-ED ultimate frisbee. Last time I checked, the players weren’t sitting on the sidelines lamenting the fact that the girls weren’t in the kitchen, and that the boys weren’t being served a hot meal.

  563. shtreimel

    5/2/2005 at 7:57 pm

    “Of course all that free time is boooooring without children. Children will fill it for you. Much, much better than watching goldfish or television. As for Fridays and holidays, yes, that is tough. But, you have working Orthodox friends, so they have solved this problem somehow. ”

    #1 comment from two frum couples this past weekend:

    “God I miss those long boring shabbos’ when I was single”

    Comment made as their children were throwing their toys against a wall, and I left to go for a walk and read a book. There wasn’t one point during that lunch when I thought: “Man, I can’t wait till my shabbos’ are filled with diaper changing and child rearing. I’m not saying it’s not meaningful, I’m just stating that I truly appreciate my current status i.e. no children.

  564. Michael

    5/2/2005 at 8:43 pm

    You appreicate your current childless status? But…but…children are the entire reason for your existence! ARE YOU SURE IT WILL BE FINE WITH YOU TO DIE CHILDLESS?!

  565. shtreimel

    5/2/2005 at 9:01 pm

    Ha Michael….all of my guy friends, more or less, were dragged into the children making business. It’s not like they didn’t want children, and it’s not like they don’t adore their kids…but behind their wives backs they’ll say:

    “Dear God I miss those days when….”

    So lets just say that I’m currently enjoying my freedom to read, compose music, play ice hockey, design web pages, go for walks, bike, go to the gym, sip on iced coffees and waste my time on blogs while I still have the chance.

  566. Esther

    5/2/2005 at 9:53 pm

    Boy, this post is immortal. Muffti may not believe in God, but he’s gotta believe in the primacy of this post. Even though TM started it.

    “the children-making business”

    Any money in that?

    And as to “I miss those days when…” don’t we all have those moments? Sigh.

  567. Shtreimel

    5/2/2005 at 10:03 pm

    “Any money in that? ”

    None. Nothing. Zip.

    But the “making” part is fun. Or so I’m told ;)

  568. Greatest Grandest Grandmuffti

    5/2/2005 at 10:09 pm

    Muffti believes that this post preceded us all. And unlike God, there is actually some evidence for its existence!

  569. T_M

    5/2/2005 at 10:16 pm

    So Shtreimel, if I hear ya, since you don’t have the same biological clock ticking away, you are free to wait until you’re comfortable not waiting. But this also means your partner has to wait, and she does have some sort of built in deadline that precedes yours by a couple of decades. Are we to understand she’s replaceable?

    I’m not trying to be a trouble maker here, but that is the essence of what you’ve proposed.

    Muffti, if this Post preceded us all, and if we have evidence of its existence, what is my place in the universe?

  570. jsirpicco

    5/2/2005 at 10:18 pm

    You guys are whacked, you know that? Listen, Jsirpicco, BH, has 5 kids, and you know what? I DON”T miss my single days not one little bit, for all the noise and NO NAPS forever…

    As to Shtreimel…I feel sorry for you in a certain way (don’t go balistic, just listen)…sounds like you grew up on the inside, and yes, “seeing too much truth” can be fatal to your yiddishkeit….but you know what? There’s a truth beyond your complaints…and that’s where the true joy resides….you may call it warm fuzzy, but I calls it choosing the life you want to lead…

    Of course there’s no panacea…plenty of grouchy frummies and grouchy secularies….same for you and you and you GM Esther and Tm…

    Plus – shtreimel. how come you go balistic on jewish mom (and anyone else, that is) who dares offer an opinion that MAY ACTUALLY LEAD TO A WAY OUT OF YOUR MISERY?????

  571. T_M

    5/2/2005 at 10:20 pm

    I’m grouchy?!

    GRRRRRR!!! HOW DARE YOU?!

  572. shtreimel

    5/3/2005 at 1:13 am

    “Plus – shtreimel. how come you go balistic on jewish mom (and anyone else, that is) who dares offer an opinion that MAY ACTUALLY LEAD TO A WAY OUT OF YOUR MISERY?????”

    Jsirpicco,

    You’re hilarious. The fact that I don’t walk around like a Romper Room clown, extolling the virtues of Orthodoxy, means that I’m unhappy. Can you be any more parochial?

    I just finished recording music for a major NFB doc film. And had the time of my life. I’m in the process of opening up a audio/design facility with a good friend. Working on another doc film with another good friend. Designing a few web pages. Playing ice hockey with a wicked bunch of guys. Spending shabbat with some very close friends. And moving to be closer to my girlfriend and family. All is very good.

    BTW jsirpicco, save your sorrow for yourself. I’m doing quite well. But you may want to something about that annoying factor. You sound very much like Joe Schmo on Jewschool.

  573. shtreimel

    5/3/2005 at 1:19 am

    “But this also means your partner has to wait, and she does have some sort of built in deadline that precedes yours by a couple of decades. Are we to understand she’s replaceable?”

    TM,

    You make it sound like she’s a fragile flower and I’m a ravenous bear. She’s a bright girl. If her values/life plans are being held back by yours truly, she’s free to walk, no?

    My partner is also a 1st year resident. And I’m about to be a Torontonian without a job or home. And we’re still dating. Forget biological clocks, common sense dictates to take this “one step at at a time”.

  574. ck

    5/3/2005 at 1:29 am

    Aw c’mon shtreimel! Impregnate her! You can do it! How cute would it be to have a little mini shtreimel following Mom around on her rounds?