U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Judaism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-21-2013, 10:02 AM
 
864 posts, read 733,701 times
Reputation: 251

Advertisements

Fences are not stumbling blocks. They are additional precautions. Why the Rabbis of yore implemented such strong fences around Kashrus remains a mystery--at least to me, as I'm no great Torah scholar. Honestly, the entire Mitzvah of Kashrus is a one that defies logic and for which the Torah gives no reason. We just do it because G-d who created us in the first place commanded us to and we trust Him to know that non-kosher food is bad for our souls. The syogim (fences) are just as integral to Judaism as the Torah itself.

Quote:
If individuals want to put fences around themselves to keep from accidentally committing a sin, no problem at all.
It is a BIG BIG BIG problem to implement one's own fences. Unfortunately, many returnees to Judaism, in their enthusiasm to do everything more than right adopt stringencies that turn them into weirdos. Take the Taliban women in Israel, for example.

Yours is a difficult situation because you and your children are Jewish but your husband is not. That's why I suggest a Chabad Rabbi or any local orthodox Rabbi who deals with folks like you and who could guide you down the slowly but surely road.

You can even start with reciting the Shema with your children twice a day. That's easy enough without making demands on your lifestyle.

Hatzlacha Rabba.

Last edited by iwishiwerethin; 07-21-2013 at 10:25 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-21-2013, 11:05 AM
 
3,962 posts, read 3,342,692 times
Reputation: 1246
IWish makes a good point. One should never go from non observant to observant overnight. It never "sticks" when you try it this way. Pick a mitzva and knock it out of the ballpark. Then pick another after that and do the same. The path from non observant to frum will greatly vary, but in my family's case it took about 7 or 8 years, and in truth, you never really "arrive" and must always keep striving for more. For me, Shabbos and Taharas HaMishpaka came pretty quick and easy. Kashrus was really hard but eventually we locked that down. Davening in a daily minyan was next. Sometimes the yetzer hara still wins, but mostly I'm in shul 7 days a week for three minyans a day. I learn Daf HaYomi, so I'm learning Torah 7 days a week. And yet I feel like I still have so far to go. And you know what? That's ok. It's not about arriving at frumkite. The journey is what matters.

Performing mitzvos don't start out as all or nothing. Pick one and build from there. But the key is to recognize that we are not smarter than chazal (our Jewish forefathers). If they tell us a fence is needed, then we trust them and don't for a second think we know better. If that fence looks too tough, then just say the fence is good but I'M too limited to hold by that for now. If a mitzva does not appear to make sense, the problem is not with the mitzva but rather its with ourselves. Once a Jew masters this concept, they are officially a Ba'le T'Shuva, and Hashem will be proud of all you do in an attempt to get close to Him. If you continue to think you know better than chazal and you're going to do the ones that make sense and criticize the rest, you get no credit and you have exactly zero relationship with hashem.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2013, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,538 posts, read 4,691,187 times
Reputation: 2590
Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
IWish makes a good point. One should never go from non observant to observant overnight. It never "sticks" when you try it this way. Pick a mitzva and knock it out of the ballpark. Then pick another after that and do the same. The path from non observant to frum will greatly vary, but in my family's case it took about 7 or 8 years, and in truth, you never really "arrive" and must always keep striving for more. For me, Shabbos and Taharas HaMishpaka came pretty quick and easy. Kashrus was really hard but eventually we locked that down. Davening in a daily minyan was next. Sometimes the yetzer hara still wins, but mostly I'm in shul 7 days a week for three minyans a day. I learn Daf HaYomi, so I'm learning Torah 7 days a week. And yet I feel like I still have so far to go. And you know what? That's ok. It's not about arriving at frumkite. The journey is what matters.

Performing mitzvos don't start out as all or nothing. Pick one and build from there. But the key is to recognize that we are not smarter than chazal (our Jewish forefathers). If they tell us a fence is needed, then we trust them and don't for a second think we know better. If that fence looks too tough, then just say the fence is good but I'M too limited to hold by that for now. If a mitzva does not appear to make sense, the problem is not with the mitzva but rather its with ourselves. Once a Jew masters this concept, they are officially a Ba'le T'Shuva, and Hashem will be proud of all you do in an attempt to get close to Him. If you continue to think you know better than chazal and you're going to do the ones that make sense and criticize the rest, you get no credit and you have exactly zero relationship with hashem.
Thank you for your perspective. I do agree with you on both points..that this is a path AND that we shouldn't think we know better than thousands of years of wise leaders.

I think it is interesting, though, that I found this article tonight. My husband was actually looking for a translation into English of the Grace after Meals and this article was sitting open on his phone when I picked it up -- Point being that I wasn't looking for it to try to prove my point. :-) It is a Reform rabbi, but I think his perspective is really intriguing. He is actually talking about the separation of milk and meat (not just poultry like I have talked about).

http://reformjudaismmag.org/Articles/index.cfm?id=1245

"What is often considered the essential pillar of kashrut, the prohibition against eating or preparing dairy products and meat together, comes from the cryptic injunction, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” [Exodus 23:19, 34:26 and Deuteronomy 14:21]. Later generations of Jewish authorities interpreted this statement to mean that milk and meat must be separated. Long-standing tradition has reinforced this interpretation, but I would contend that the biblical injunction was never intended to apply to the mixing of milk and meat.

What led you to this conclusion?
The most telling proof that this law has nothing to do with the dietary prohibitions is the fact that the statement appears three times in the Torah, but not within the exhaustive list of dietary laws in Leviticus 11. In two instances, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” occurs at the conclusion of passages discussing festival sacrifices [Exodus 23 and 34]. In the third instance, which does indeed address dietary laws [Deuteronomy 14], it is appended to the concluding admonition, “You are a people consecrated to the Lord your God,” and is clearly disconnected from the dietary laws that precede it. This context suggests that the boiling of a kid in its mother’s milk was part of pagan sacrificial rituals and, as such, forbidden to Israel.

I agree with the twelfth-century biblical commentator Rashbam (Rabbi Samuel ben Meir), who believed the injunction was intended to teach tzaar baalei chayim, sensitivity to the pain of animals. As he wrote: “It is disgraceful and voracious and gluttonous to consume the mother’s milk together with its young….The Torah gave this commandment in order to teach you how to behave in a civilized manner.”

If a Jew chooses to keep milk and meat separate, recognizing the common practices of Jewish communities for two millennia, I can understand and honor that choice. But I cannot entertain the notion that Torah commands us to do so."


The rest of the article looks like it's worth reading, too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2013, 04:56 PM
 
864 posts, read 733,701 times
Reputation: 251
That reform "Rabbis" come up with theories to permit that which is forbidden is not new.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2013, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,538 posts, read 4,691,187 times
Reputation: 2590
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwishiwerethin View Post
That reform "Rabbis" come up with theories to permit that which is forbidden is not new.
I thought the article was very sensitive and thoughtful. Who in your opinion would be qualified to question the understanding of past generations. All people are human and capable of error. All laws not made by G-d are bound to outlive their usefulness. What makes that Rabbi any less of a Rabbi than an Orthodox Rabbi?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2013, 05:10 PM
 
864 posts, read 733,701 times
Reputation: 251
Quote:
Who in your opinion would be qualified to question the understanding of past generations.
Nobody. That's why nobody tampers with the ordinances of Talmudic sages, except those who seek to usurp the practice of Judaism among Jews.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-23-2013, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,538 posts, read 4,691,187 times
Reputation: 2590
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwishiwerethin View Post
Nobody. That's why nobody tampers with the ordinances of Talmudic sages, except those who seek to usurp the practice of Judaism among Jews.
The Talmudic sages were people. They were wise. They prayed and sought answers to the confusing texts and made the best decisions that they were able at the time.

The Rabbis of today are no different. Maybe I'm wrong on this, but wasn't Moshe the only person to ever speak directly to G-d? How are the sages any different than the modern Jewish teachers, except that they have passed?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-23-2013, 08:14 AM
 
864 posts, read 733,701 times
Reputation: 251
Quote:
How are the sages any different than the modern Jewish teachers, except that they have passed? They prayed and sought answers to the confusing texts and made the best decisions that they were able at the time.
They didn't pray and seek answers to confusing texts. They got direct transmissions from their Rabbis who got it from Moshe Rabbeinu. When direct transmission became too challenging due to the Roman oppression, they wrote it down.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-23-2013, 12:53 PM
 
3,962 posts, read 3,342,692 times
Reputation: 1246
Chrstians pray for answers to difficult texts. Jews ask their rebbe who heard it from his rebbe and so on all the way back to Har Sinai (Mount Sinai). This is known as Das Torah - that the rabbis of modern times with an unbroken chain of Torah transmission back to Mount Sinai are speaking the word of G-d Himself when they rule on a Torah matter.

The Reform and Conservative rabbis of today have purposefully broken that unbroken chain of Torah transmission by placing modern opinions, not based on Torah, into their methods of religious observance. They openly ignore chazal in favor of their modern, Torah-less viewpoints.

The article you referenced above was indeed well written, thoughtful and potentially compelling. But it's secular thinking, which in and of its very self is anti-Torah, making it anti-Jewish.

I know many reform and conservative Jews, and they are mostly a wonderful lot of people. But their rabbi's are misleading them on religious observance and causing them not only to transgress Torah obligations on all Jews, but to even feel good about it and think the transgressions are the proper way.

There's nothing wrong with being Reform or Conservative, as long as you recognize the divine origin of the Torah and the obligation of the 613 mitzvos on all Jews, no matter their current level of observance. But when you intentionally mislead your congregation of Jews into transgressing the Torah, there will be a price to pay in the world to come.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-23-2013, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,538 posts, read 4,691,187 times
Reputation: 2590
Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
Chrstians pray for answers to difficult texts. Jews ask their rebbe who heard it from his rebbe and so on all the way back to Har Sinai (Mount Sinai). This is known as Das Torah - that the rabbis of modern times with an unbroken chain of Torah transmission back to Mount Sinai are speaking the word of G-d Himself when they rule on a Torah matter.

The Reform and Conservative rabbis of today have purposefully broken that unbroken chain of Torah transmission by placing modern opinions, not based on Torah, into their methods of religious observance. They openly ignore chazal in favor of their modern, Torah-less viewpoints.

The article you referenced above was indeed well written, thoughtful and potentially compelling. But it's secular thinking, which in and of its very self is anti-Torah, making it anti-Jewish.

I know many reform and conservative Jews, and they are mostly a wonderful lot of people. But their rabbi's are misleading them on religious observance and causing them not only to transgress Torah obligations on all Jews, but to even feel good about it and think the transgressions are the proper way.

There's nothing wrong with being Reform or Conservative, as long as you recognize the divine origin of the Torah and the obligation of the 613 mitzvos on all Jews, no matter their current level of observance. But when you intentionally mislead your congregation of Jews into transgressing the Torah, there will be a price to pay in the world to come.
This is interesting and I'll have to think about it. So, when there is a new problem in understanding Torah, where does that information come from? I mean, as technology advances there are obviously new decisions that have to be made. When electricity was first discovered, there was not already a standard passed down from Moses for how to deal with it on Shabbat. How to modern Rabbis find answers to these new problems as they relate to Torah? They don't pray? Is there no way of asking G-d to show us things? Does G-d not communicate with us directly?

It seems to me that the world isn't perfect and there isn't always a clear answer to all questions. Even for Rabbis.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Judaism
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top