SEMGIRL

Hi, I was just your typical 19 year old Seminary girl in South Jersey (if you don't know where I mean, you are probably on the wrong blog). We all have nisoynos, challenges, and experiences, both positive and negative. Here is where I have decided to share some of them.

Name:
Location: Lakewood, New Jersey, United States

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My Take on Dating during Seminary Year

Ok, I've been mean meaning to post for a long time and stuff kept coming up. I have really been meaning to gripe about the famous Tznius letter but that will have to wait a bit.

With all due respect to my newest blog-friend
Elisheva, I'd like to tell things from my perspective. Although, it is very true that many boys in Israel can mislead girls, either because they are just plain mean, or more often out of sheer desperation. However, it also happens with girls.

One day, I walked into a dorm room, without knocking first and was horrified by what I saw. Over the next few weeks, I witnessed some other very disturbing things. Coming from a very sheltered home in a very insulated community, I was totally shocked. It was then that I realized that it was imperative that I find a boyfriend, both to maintain my sanity, as well as, just to make my stay in Israel a lot more fun and enjoyable. (No, not that kind of fun, get your head out of the gutter, JI, CJ, and the rest of the boys who come here with vivid imaginations).

My favorite places to meet included the King George Plaza in Jerusalem, and Diezengoff in Tel Aviv. There you can always find the cutest American, English, and Australian bochurim. Lets see go on tiyulim (tours) to museums or Tiverya, Sfas and other shidduch-segula places with some nauseatingly, frummy girls or a hot club in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, or some exciting camping trip in Timna, or just ice-cream on the plaza with a nice sweet guy. Talk about your no-brainers. Fortunately, the drinking age there is not 21, like here and its very easy to bribe or flirt your way into most places. The lure of it all was, hey my parents (especially my father) isn't here lets party.

I must admit that I really regret letting some potentially good shidduchim get away, on account on my level of immaturity. Usually, the boys were much less interested in serious shidduch-dating then I was. But once or twice a bochur started to get a lil serious. I would really try as compassionately as I could, to tell him, that myself, my parents and family would probably not consider him an appropriate shidduch, but you make a great boyfriend. Looking back, I feel bad, but my hormones were clearing overpowering my mind and judgement.

B"h, I have grown up a lot since then. I still have occasional "boyfriends", but at least I am not aggressively pursuing such relationships. And after one or two "dates", if I see that they have zero potential for a Shidduch, I usually end it. Ok, ok, sometimes I still "hang-out" a bit. I am just a Lakewood girl in 2005, not Bas Kalba Sovua ( a famous lady from Talmudic Times).


When you are raised in a very rigid, intense gender-segregated community and your father never stops preaching to you, just holding a boy's hand can feel infinitely more thrilling then hours of the best love-making for your contemporary non-Jewish cosmo-girl. I am not totally rebelling against the system and I definitely want my children to have pretty much the same committment to Torah and Yiddishkeit. All I am saying is let me breathe.

I realize that some of you will Mussar me out for this. May I humbly suggest that you instead say Tehillim that I find my Beshert soon..

117 Comments:

Blogger Elisheva said...

Hey! Finally another great post! And I am honored to be a part of it.

SG - I totally never said anything about the fun, hanging out, stuff like that. You explained it all very well, why it happens, the background, etc.

I was just talking about when one side thinks it's a serious shiddush (marriage) date and the other is playing along. And I should clarify, that probably girls do it too. I just heard about it from guys who said they did it, and it does seem that girls take things more seriously sometimes. Maybe we are born dreamers.

About the fun, yea, with the strict background, it totally is begging to happen, and no one is really offering a solution (besides the cute guys in the ice-cream parlor!).

Shalom

8/16/2005 10:18 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

SG - It makes me wonder if parents do a better job educating their children or just protecting them. It seems that they spend so much time sheltering us that they never prepare us for the real things we will encounter. And then they are surprised when something finally slips past the defenses and we don't react how they wanted us to.

As far as the specific choices you make with boys, if you feel they are consistent with your "committment to Torah and Yiddishkeit," I support you. We all "breathe" in our own ways.

8/16/2005 10:19 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

Elisheva - one stinking minute...

8/16/2005 10:20 PM  
Blogger The Real Neo said...

Once again, I am agreeing with josh. I'm not even going to try and add on to it. Well said josh and SG amazing post, well worth the wait.

8/16/2005 10:25 PM  
Blogger Hoezentragerin said...

Semgirl,
How many guys have you actually gone out with who were satisfied with "just holding hands" and didn't try/ask for more?

8/16/2005 11:19 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

HT.. Not a one, LOL.. They are always trying to take unwanted advances. I merely meant, how just holding hands feels to me.

Like being stranded in the desert and seeing a small bottle of water.

8/16/2005 11:40 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

What was that Josh?

8/17/2005 12:30 AM  
Blogger Jew Speak said...

semgirl, what are you looking for in a guy? One of the Rabbi's brought up a good point... he said he never met anyone that got married with out dating. Like we can't help who we fall in love with we can only decide who we date. Dating is an extremely sensitive process for both parties. I feel bad for the guy you let go of because he wouldn't have passed the family test. Is it possible that you could fall for one of the guys you are dating for fun? Would you be happy if this happened?

8/17/2005 1:25 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

Eli-I thought I was going to be the first comment, but you beat me by one lousy minute...

8/17/2005 8:01 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

SG - I'm curious, when you say you want your "children to have pretty much the same" religious committment, does that mean you would want them raised in the same Lakewood/BY environment, or just that you want them to be raised frum, the same as you, but possibly more Modern?

8/17/2005 8:03 AM  
Blogger . said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/17/2005 8:43 AM  
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8/17/2005 9:01 AM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

Thanks Josh, I see. Cause that sounded weird. I guess I am knew to BlogSpeak. At least I owed her, cause she was the first comment on my latest post, lol.

8/17/2005 9:05 AM  
Blogger EN said...

Semgirl- I really like the seriousness of this post. I don't think you have anything to be ashamed of. It is normal to feel the need to breath. I would be more concerned if you didn't feel that. You shouldn't feel guilty that you want(ed) to have a boyfriend. It is part of the process of maturing. You might think that you should be on a higher level than you are, but you will get there eventually with G-d's help. I do't think any harm was done because you "experimented". Hatzlacha.

8/17/2005 9:41 AM  
Blogger fsgsf said...

Great post!! I wish you the very best. No mussar from me, ever! ;-)

Experience has shown me that the people that come to blogs such as yours and mine and give mussar, turn out to be the biggest perverts and sickos of them all!!

Peace!

NJ from NJ

8/17/2005 10:08 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

EN Thanks for the Hizuk, you are very wise for your age..

NJ Aint that the truth..

8/17/2005 10:58 AM  
Blogger Meyer said...

The Rabbis who grew up in the 60's and 70's have hijacked orthodoxy. They have succeeded in transforming the most exciting years of a young persons life into one of fear & dread

8/17/2005 1:01 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

That was a terrific ending. But everything that preceded it, lulei demistafina, left me perplexed.

I can't really comment (other than to say my mind is NOT in the gutter, thankyouverymuch!) because I can't seem to understand where you're coming from, let alone going to.

You don't seem the classic rebel, yet you talk about enjoying the hot clubs of Tel Aviv. I'm trying to juxtapose the innocence of handholding with some of the more hardcore elements you allude to.

One statement, however, did stand out--that your father "never stops preaching to you." Do you thing that made things worse?

8/17/2005 9:57 PM  
Blogger Cool BT said...

I am with cloojew on this one. It is almost as if you are leading two different lives. On the outside you front as a Beis Yaakov girl dating black hatters but in your private life you hook up with guys and blog about your experiences.

What is it about human nature that allows us to lead multiple lives? I do not claim to be entirely innocent of this but I have noticed it in quite a few people. The whole blogging concept is another facet of this which I plan on blogging about in the near future :)

cloojew, I liked the pic you ad up before the beard one... very sexy :)

8/17/2005 10:06 PM  
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This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/17/2005 10:27 PM  
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8/17/2005 10:59 PM  
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8/17/2005 11:00 PM  
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8/17/2005 11:19 PM  
Blogger respondingtojblogs said...

I would hate for my first post on your blog to be critical, but just to add on to what ClooJew said (but without his characteristic humility).

You say that you "still have occasional 'boyfriends', but at least I am not aggressively pursuing such relationships. And after one or two 'dates', if I see that they have zero potential for a Shidduch, I usually end it. Ok, ok, sometimes I still 'hang-out' a bit."

I assume that by "zero potential for a Shidduch" you mean that you parents would not approve. My questions is that do you think that the Shidduch dates your parents set you up on would approve of the Shidduch if they knew you "'hang-out' a bit?" It sounds like you are trying to have your cake and eat it to.

And what's up with all the comment spam?

8/18/2005 2:38 AM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

CJ and Cool BT, don't we all have urges deep down that are so unlike the lives we lead? I sure do and I don't think I am alone. like Cool BT poited out, look at the whole blog thing.

It's just that some people manage to actually LIVE both lives more than others. For other's one is way more hidden deep down. I think each person has her own amount of how much of the 'other' part get's let out.

8/18/2005 3:06 AM  
Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

SG,

The dissonance you feel is natural, human and part of the everyday existence of people of faith in the modern world. The Ribono Shel Olam created us the way we are, and we have to embrace that, appreciate that and find our path in life the best way we can, with all the pitfalls that befall us along the way. We all need companionship, care, attention, love and affection, and we are all looking for it in our own way. Whatever you do, don't lose sight of the goal which is to find all that with the right person at the right time, everything else is commentary. Good luck.

TRK

8/18/2005 3:25 AM  
Blogger hornymalejew said...

semgirl- i posted your interview on my site. i will have more updates later have a great day!

8/18/2005 7:28 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i think sem girl is absolutely right.

and on the other hand, there are boys who are happy with nothing more than holding hands but are denied even that. (and some who are simply content talking)

8/18/2005 2:52 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

Elisheva asks, "CJ and Cool BT, don't we all have urges deep down that are so unlike the lives we lead?"

Yes, absolutely. We all have, lulei demistafina, contradictory elements. No question.

My point, however, was that the dichotomy displayed by Semgirl seems a bit off--the "double-life" has too much range to it. If I was reading it in a novel, I would go back to the author with some notes (My apologies to Unforgiving Editor) about characterization. Something doesn't seem to fit.

Elisheva, YOU are an example, lulei demistafina, of a believable character (not that I'm treating you as fiction; just returning to my analogy above): the latent desires, the struggles, the questions, the failures, the successes. Your blog just seems to make more sense.

Sem, I'm not, G-d forbid, accusing you of not being real. I'm just having trouble following your story.

8/18/2005 3:11 PM  
Blogger Y.Y. said...

atleast semgirl admits that she wants her children to be raised the same way she was
hats of to you

8/18/2005 3:26 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

Would that be, lulei demistafina, a black hat?

8/18/2005 4:43 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

CJ A cute guy who is a big mensh in a black hat is fine.

As for your other point, I will be the first to admit that Elisheva does a much better job with her blog. I am not looking for a Pullitzer price, here.

8/18/2005 4:58 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

prize...

and it would be good for all us single people to find our besherts soon.

8/18/2005 5:36 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I agree that everyone has a little "Jekyll and Hyde" syndrome. But we decide which way we want to channel our passions, to good or evil.

I've picked up on the same things as CJ as far as SG's story. To be fair, I understand that obviously a blog doesn't give a very whole picture of somebody's complex personality. But whereas Elisheva calls her Tayvos "weaknesses" and Bleemy looks down on her religious upbringing, you (SG) unapologeticaly grab onto both (at least from what you've written). While recognizing that sexual desires are perfectly normal, Bleemy and Elisheva each acknowledge that acting on these urges is outside a Torah lifestyle (and each chooses her lifestyle based on which she feels is more important). You seem to say I can marry a Ben Torah and get drunk in bars, and don't seem to realize the inherent contradiction. I'm not judging your choices, I just am pointing out why the guys are suddenly saying you don't seem believable. We all want to be able to fit somebody on either side of the fence, or perhaps quixotically straddling the middle. But split between the two?

Don't let the difficulties of writing narrow posts get to you. You've written about great topics, and hopefully you feel you've gained from getting stuff off your mind, as well as some feedback. Keep it up!

8/18/2005 7:09 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Josh, either you got a very vivid imagination, or I wasn't clear enough in my blog narration. I NEVER EVER got drunk in a bar. I met very nice Yeshivish boys, we went to places in Tel Aviv, had one or two drinks, pretty often non-alcoholic, but the atmosphere and the conversation was a lot of fun.
I have never gone further with a boy then hugging and kissing. And all I can say, is yes it is wrong, but so is Loshon Hara, cheating in business, Sinas Hinom, etc.....

As for marrying a ben Torah, many girls have gone a lot farther then me and still got the Top Learner.
Josh, if you live in an idealistic small town community I envy you. But, REAL WORLD (Lakewood/BP/Monsey), its nots so black and white.

Eli, Bleemy, Briana, and any other girls from similar backgrounds I would to hear your take on this.

8/18/2005 8:11 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

SG - "Josh, either you got a very vivid imagination, or I wasn't clear enough in my blog narration."

Maybe a little of both. You obviously know yourself better than I do. And my comments only refer to the person I perceived from reading your posts, which may have been way off. Pulitzer Prize or not, it can be easy to misunderstand somebody from one quote. (I think Elisheva also thought Turquise Blue had done a lot more than she actually had based on a vague statement.) It's funny, I appreciate you being Tzanua when discussing certain details of your life. Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell when a blogger is being discreet and modest in her storytelling, as opposed to when she isn't actually alluding to anything deeper.

And for a shameless Grammar Police notice: "Punctuation and spelling can do wonders to eliminating miscommunication. Proofread, proofread, proofread. That is all for this spaz. Thank you."

I think your answer completely clarifies the mistaken impression that some of us guys had gotten. I fully apologize for getting carried away by my imagination.

8/18/2005 9:55 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

I don't see anything paradoxical in Semgirl's behavioral pattern. It's possible to do things which may be considered wrong even by yourself, and nonetheless choose to do those things. Especially when you have myriads of justifications. For starters, it's hard to resist something thats natural: your body demands it and denying yourself this dabbling with the opposite sex is tantamount to denying yourself.

Semgirl also notes that what the other girls where doing in the dorm room, that one time she entered without knocking, was the straw that broke the camel's back. I suspect shes reffering to the "fair amount of lesbian behavior" that she wrote about in one of her other posts. Understandably, she needed to maintain her sanity as well as preclude any possibility that she would herself follow in these girls' footsteps.

Theres also the feeling that the community she grew up in, as a whole, is unnecesseraly strict with regards to interaction with the opposite sex. The barrier thats set up between the genders is way overdone. Theres a feeling that "if you talk to boys you go to gehenom," if this is not said straight out by mechanchos. The community exaggerates the severity of this interaction, prohibiting the most mundane and innocuous modes of contact, that it makes you suspicious of the rest of the halachik issues involved.

For example, people here should be familiar with the shidduch crisis. Semgirl already noted the competitive nature of shidduchim in her last post. I once saw a flier up from "Dor Yesharim." The girls from Beis Yaakov and the boys from yeshiva had their blood drawn in separate places. Wouldn't this be a nice place for there to be some interaction between them? Instead of the wearying background checks they perform on potential shidduchim, why not let the guys and girls socialize?

Shalom

8/19/2005 12:03 AM  
Blogger Jew Speak said...

semboy, there is nothing wrong with socializing. It just matters with who and for what purpose. If you are socializing with someone who you could potentially marry then what is the problem?

The halachic restrictions may seem a bit strict but in our crazy world it is understandable.

There is a definitive line that can not be crossed and our halacha is merely trying to protect us.

8/19/2005 12:19 AM  
Blogger Jew Speak said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/19/2005 12:34 AM  
Blogger Jew Speak said...

Elisheva, excellent point. Everyone is holding at different points of free will.

Semgirl, I understand you are just speaking about where you are holding. It is easy to tell you to overcome a certain challenge but then again it is always easier to point out the negative in someone else. If these issues were not a real test for you, you wouldn't be sharing.

I find this similar to people who are really overweight. Some people may look at them and think, "why don't they control themselves!" The reality is that the overweight person is going through a struggle (or has a tiva) that is visible to the public. Most peoples "struggle" (or what their tiva is) isn't on display to the public. We battle internally and/or behind closed doors.

They say whenever you point the finger at someone there are three pointing back at yourself. Thanks Elisheva for pointing this out :)

8/19/2005 12:41 AM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

SemGirl, I am not sure what you want me to comment on. Of course the very frum world is comprised of normal people. Like I doubt every girls who made a good shidduch, never gave in to a taiva, and i doubt every guy who got 'the top girl', frummy and all goodness, never did stuff he shouldn't have.

We fall, and we pick oursleves up and go foreward. Alot depends on where we are heading. What are our goals? Of course there are limits to what you can do and still get a regular good shidduch (and even that has exeptions I am sure), but we are talking normal stuff.

As far as the other comments, please stop the false praise. SemGirl raises REAL issues, and is VERY honest in her blogs. I find I am still unable to totally open up and therefore am still looking for issues, but not necessarily discussing the ones I want to.

Maybe that's why SGs stuff is harder to swallow. Cause it's real. Life is often strange and puts us in strange predicaments and situations, and makes us make dificult choices. I am not saying I don't post real stuff. I do. But it's less personal. Perhaps I am afraid of getting too personal, because maybe then you will see I can have the same contradictions as SG, if not worse.

8/19/2005 12:51 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

semboy is actualy right. we no longer use these halachos as they are supposed to be used. their purpose is not to totaly block and stop interaction between the sexes. it is ment impede us just enough that we bare in mind that something could happen, and it will make us carefull.

we can see where the enforced total seperation is getting us. i just wish people would stop using such halachos as an "axe with which to cut" simple to justify things like blocking perfectly good shidduchim, (that they happen to dissagre with but the girl doesn't) or other such selfish motives.
not saying we should go all out, but they really should set the bar to an impossible standard.

8/19/2005 9:19 AM  
Blogger TheGirl said...

Semgirl- Hi. i totally get what u r saying in the sence that u say it was "imperative" to find a boyfriend. a lot of people dont realsie that in the frum community, love is as bad a word as sex. And that is probley the reason that most girls go out with guys thet r looking for love. most girls dont get enough hugs and kisses including words of enderment at home so look for it in other places. personally the reason that I and so many of my friends never went to sem in Isreal was because our parents were not stupid and know exactly what there kids were up 2 (funny how that never applied to the guys)

If u dont mind me saying it is very clear that in your life u r extremly lacking in physical affection in the kosher way and r oviously looking for it somewhere else. I too am like that and most of my friends too. it is nothing to be ashamed of. but what our parents and Rabonim must realsie is that this is a massive problem in the jewish commuinty especially among the chassidim and somthing needs to be done.

P.s i couldnt agree more with Hozentragin.

P.P.s I will soon be back to my blog, i look forward to your comments in the future.

8/19/2005 10:54 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Elisheva, thanks for your feedback. I hope, that like me,when you get more experieced in blogging you will feel comfortable to open up and share more. I find that to be immensely beneficial.

TheGirl: I am so happy to hear from you again. Your blog was one of my favorites and as I said in my first post, it was the inspiration for my blog. I cant wait for you to resume posting.

8/19/2005 11:53 AM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

Josh, lulei demistafina, perfectly and eloquently expressed what I have been trying to say. Thanks Josh!

The picture does become a lot clearer, however, as one reads through the comments. It would be nice to have that kind of clarity on the original posts. In any case, keep up the good work.

TheGirl raises a fascinating point--that one of the factors driving otherwise frum girls into the arms of boyfriends is a lack of affection at home. Does anyone (girls only please) else feel this is true? I think, lulei demistafina, that's a breakthrough comment.

My conversations with rabbis who work with "youth-at-risk" is that all the problems can be traced to a lack of love in the home. I wonder: Even if a girl is loved at home, but she is not getting physical affection--hugs and kisses from mom and dad--is she more likely to seek it elsewhere?

Or, is it just horny hormones?

8/19/2005 1:26 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Cloojew, I was taken aback by what she said too. If anything, if you're born into a frum family you get to cuddle with your younger siblings, if you're not already an aunt, and in general enjoy more interaction with your distant family.

Thegirl, is your point that the higher birth rates in the frumme velt affect how much care and attention the parents shower on their kids? If thats so, it would come out that they would be doing a disservice to both themselves & their commitment to living in accordance with the halachik strictures, and their kids, whom they expect to be deferential to these same rules that govern boy-girl interaction.

Me being just a semboy and all, I can't really answer for the girls. As a semboy, however, I can tell you that while mommie's kisses are comforting at times, they don't impact my sexual drive. I still have to fend off lascivious thoughts while learning Maseches Gittin.

8/19/2005 2:29 PM  
Blogger Elster said...

Yes, CJ, I know you said girl's only but I'm responding anyway. So there.

I have two kids and my older one is a girl. She is four and a half. I think it should be every parent's mission to shower their children with affection; physical, emotional, all kinds. Men are often less emotional and touchy feely than women. I don't want to be remote from my daughter. Too many peope are remote from the lives of their kids. They work all day, they are tired. Their kids are often asleep whrn they come home. Well, I guess that's what weekends are for, ye remote emotionless ones.

I love my daughter. When she came out, I didn't have a "Damn, I was hopng the first would be a boy" moment. Not even for a second.

I was once coming out of a subway station and I saw the following billboard: If you want your daughter to grow up strong and proud, be a better father. I took these words to heart. I don't know for sure, but my own experience leads me to belive that women tend to be a litle more emotionally needy than guys. So I try and do everything in my power to be a good father.

As usual, I guess ihave no real point...

8/19/2005 2:34 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

I would have to agree wholeheartedly with Semboy. My father is very affectionate, to the point of "stop it, Tatti, you are embarrassing me". Sometimes, at a Simcha, he makes me feel like I am still 6.

But, I still go GAGover every cute boy I see..

8/19/2005 2:59 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

I have to agree with SG. My parents are VERY affectionate, mother AND father, in both physical and emotional ways. Still as i grew older i started pulsating at the sight of a handsome or cute boy. I think these are two seperate things.

And whoever has an axe to grind, sorry, but bigger families i think don't lack in the affection, what with younger siblings, nephews and nieces, and i don't think anyone gets less from the parents either. Parents that are distant are like that even if they have only a few kids. It's the parents not the amount.

Shalom

8/19/2005 3:23 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Elisheva, I certainly don't have an axe to grind. In fact, I agree with you that it's possible to shower your many kids with attention. I was asking it rhetorically to see what thegirl thought.

You hurt my feelings.

8/19/2005 3:35 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

And I thought I was the only guy floored by theGirl's seemingly obvious yet groundbreaking assertion. It was on my mind all day, and in fact, I had to make it into a post since it gave me so much food for thought.

Regardless of whether girls act out of a want of affection based on their family situation or not, the idea that a girl's choices are made on a wholly different plane does give me pause when I try and understand what's going on in a girl's mind. Now I'm even more curious than ever. Keep writing SemGirl- don't let us simple minded men slow you down!

8/19/2005 5:41 PM  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Thank you for visiting my blog.

All best wishes in Israel, and hope your trip is fun, productive and educational.

Finding a great guy would be awesome!

My son came back from Israel mid July and loved it.

8/20/2005 11:33 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

SemBoy (What is THAT?!): Sorry but like there are ALOT of people who make this case, usually all the secular press whenever something happens in a frum family, as if it doesn't happen hundreds of times by them. But if it happens to us, it's like definitely cause we have too many kids. So I guess I was on the defensive.

But like TheGirl didn't mention family size AT ALL so I didn't see how you got it form her. She just said maybe girls crave attention and love not sexual fun, but she gave no reason why that would be.

Either way, I definitely meant no insult, so sorry if you were.

8/21/2005 12:58 AM  
Blogger Yetzer Tov said...

I dated a girl in Israel. I really liked her and it was genuine. We were both Shomer Negiah (as long as it was possible) but I was 18 and not ready to marry. After making out a few times, I understood better that it simply stemmed from the fact that I was a typical horny Yeshiva bachur. Baruch Hashem we are now both happily married . . . to other people.

8/21/2005 1:42 AM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Ok. About the name, it's cute isn't it? Thegirl seemed to imply that by frum families theres a lack of affection and little me, all by myself, was left to figure what she meant by this. I posited that maybe thegirl is of the opinion that our (notice how I included myself) large families are a contributing factor to this dearth of affection she claims there is. That does distingusih our familial structure greatly from theres, doesn't it?

I personally believe that it's the parents who ultimately affect how much affection there is in a family, not how many kids they have. If the parents are loving, caring people, it doesn't matter how many kids they have; they will shower each one with the attention they deserve to the best of their abilities. Conversely, if the parents are not motivated to satisfying their kids emotional needs, the more kids, the more troubled this family will be.

The bottom line: it all depends on the parents attitudes and motivation. More kids can, however, make things worse for the disinterested, unaffectionate parents.

Btw, Elisheva, you forgot to end with "Shalom!"

8/21/2005 1:50 AM  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

SemGirl,

Sorry I misread your post about when you were in Israel!

Nevertheless, I still wish you well, and hope you find a nice boy one day.

My son is 22. When he went to Israel, I wanted to tell him to bring home a wife, but I restrained myself, but he did come back telling me that many women in Israel were beautiful. A good sign!

8/21/2005 11:23 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

why is it only ever admited that girls sometimes need more affection and attention and not boys? some boys do to. or are all boys viewed untill proven otherwise as dirty young men?

8/21/2005 11:55 AM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

On the contrary Elster, I think you have a terrific point. I think that dads need to shower their little girls with lots of physical affection. Girls want to grow up to marry men like their dads and also don't want to disappoint their dads. So I think how you handle your daughters goes a long way to her dedication to Torah observance.

To Semboy's point, I think that guys are totally different (which is why I only wanted to hear from the girls) because we don't need or want physical affection as much; we just want "release." Girls who break being shomer negia do it more for the hugging and kissing than the sex. And I wonder if they got more of that from kosher sources, parents and siblings, would being S.N. be easier. It seems that Semgirl and Elisheva have both answered emphatically in the negative. But I'm not convinced that's the final word.

Your comment about "I still have to fend off lascivious thoughts while learning Maseches Gittin" reminded me of the time I was looking through some teshuvos of the Noda Beyehudah and stumbled on some aishes ish shailos that were, LULEI DEMISTAFINA!, pornographic. There's no other way to put it. And I had to shut the sefer.

8/21/2005 1:35 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Lulei Demist.... if your head was really in learning, you would not of found it to be porn..

Besides, I don't that those Tshuvos are meant for bochurim..

8/21/2005 1:59 PM  
Blogger TheGirl said...

ok let me clarify. firstly I dont mention anything about family sizs because thats not what i mean. I have a friend that comes from a family of 4 and feels this way and a friend that comes from a family of 12, that feels this way. I dont know about lakewood b/c i have never been there but in S. Hill where i live to see a parent hugging a kid in public is an extremy rare thing. having said that, most of the kids that do go off from here, they come from familys were the parents are very distant emotionaly to the kids. having said that agian, a lot of kids resent there parents for what ever reason they may have, and even when the parent at the odd time does offer some physical affection they refuse. I for one have never had a parent tell me they love me. Yes and i admit that it made me do some of the things i did. Once again i had choices and they had there reasons and in no way am i trying to lay the blame at there door.

keeping that in mind, i too am a normal tenager, but what i have realise from conversations with freinds that i am nowhere near as sexually wanting as they r,. to put it very bluntly, i am not that Horny. why, i have no idea ( well none i want to admit to myself). we live in a world where girls know what they want and how they want it. as much as the rabbonim and our parents and teachers have tried to prevent it. the outside word has creept in big time.

8/21/2005 2:02 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Semgirl, I don't know what you mean. Why can't there be moments of disruption even if your head is in learning? I can personally attest that when learning in earnest, I was distracted by lust. In fact, the exact opposite can be said: it is because your learning is so effective that the yetzer tries to disrupt it. I know they say this about tefila.

Also, about certain things being off limits to yeshiva bochurim, I have to strongly disagree. First, because there are plenty graphic sugyos that are part of the yeshiva curriculum (ie. pesach pasuach matzatsi) and are actually one of the most seminal discussions in shas. You should know that eishis ish and the like are standard curricula and that cloojew was probably looking up something concerning what he was learning at the time.

Second, do you think we should censor parts of Torah? That would be impossible. These things are spread out everywhere: throw away shir hashirim, the Aggadic sections in the first perek of Sotah, and pretty much parts of every other Masechta. Personally, I found the Amnon/Tamar story the most bothersome in terms of exciting sexual lust.

I think boys' minds are markedly different than that of girls and that you approach the topic with more caution. I think as a Semboy, I'm in the position to make this judgment.

8/21/2005 2:36 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

I didn't mean to ruffle your feathers SBoy, and I know this will sound lame, but my father said that :

1) Bochurim should learning Gam'/ Rashi / Tos'... Tshuvos Seforim are for Robbonim who are poskening shailos.

2) If you are really engrossed in learning you are protected from impure thoughts.

I don't really understand, that and maybe I sound like a baby, by repeating my Tatti said so, but he did.

8/21/2005 3:36 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

semgirl: the problem is they are not learning that much gemorah rashi and tosfos. they have it all handed to them instead of turning blue in the face over it and the meforshim. because of this they are just not obsorbed in it enough. (does the phrase getting lost in the gemorah mean anything to any one? and i don't mean losing your place.)

8/21/2005 3:45 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

"Lulei Demist.... if your head was really in learning, you would not of found it to be porn. Besides, I don't that those Tshuvos are meant for bochurim.. "

Sem, it was describing very graphicly certain lewd, sexual activities that were going on, lulei demistafina, in a 19th century shtetl. So I say, yes, it is "pornographic" (that doesn't mean it's not Torah)

And you are correct. Yeshiva bochurim should not be reading those teshuvos. That's why I closed the book.

8/21/2005 4:23 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

"my father said that :

1) Bochurim should learning Gam'/ Rashi / Tos'... Tshuvos Seforim are for Robbonim who are poskening shailos.

2) If you are really engrossed in learning you are protected from impure thoughts."


Semgirl, I'm sure I don't reach your father's ankles in terms of learning and spirituatlity. But the fact is I'm sure many bochurim don't.

To point number one. While your father may be correct from a pedagogical (look it up!) point of view, the fact is that yeshiva bochurim DO look up teshuvos--and are asked by their rabbeim to do so--as early as high school.

To point number two, since you aren't a bochur, you're really not qualified to weigh in. Of the two yeshiva boys to comment here, both admit that such purity is not so easily attained.

8/21/2005 4:29 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

Big shout out to Josh for showing me how to insert italics!

BOY THIS IS FUN!

8/21/2005 4:31 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Far from ruffling my feathers, I'm glad to engage you in debate. I'm positive I saw somewhere in regards to tefila, that one who has lewd thoughts smack in the middle of his davening, should shrug them off and pray with ever more devotion. These lascivious thoughts harass him in an attempt to disrupt his effective tefila. It is because his tefila is effective that he's targeted by the yetzer.

I need to get my hands on a Karainna D'igressa (the Steipler's letters). I think I saw it there.

Anyway, if you want, ask him if he's familiar with the above.

Also, teshuvos are quoted right and left by roshei yeshivos and magiddei shiurim (at least mine), and provide you with another lense to view the rishonim. One of the strengths of teshuvas is the fact that they're bound by what they say as they are discussing and exploring the issue in a halachik context. One of my favorite shiurim was when the Rosh Yeshiva, who's also a dayan, rejected R' Chaim's approach as, if taken to it's logical conclusion, it was incosistent with the pesak of the mechaber (Shulchan Aruch).

8/21/2005 5:09 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I always thought I was some freak that could have impure thoughts no matter how spiritual an act I was involved in. But my Rebbanim and friends just told me I wasn't engaged in the learning/davening/etc on a truly deep level. Probably true. It's like the famous vort of somebody who doesn't see success in their learning after 5 years should find a parnasa. I forget which Rav answered, but he said that anyone who hasn't found success in his learning after five years hasn't really been learning. Maybe it's circular logic, but I always came down on the losing end.

Btw, am I the only one falling on the floor giggling just picturing SG sitting with her father discussing the Tayvos that come up in learning? Tatte sounds like a cool person. Do you speak with him about the rest of the stuff you discuss on the blog? If I run into him on the street, will he recognize my picture?

8/21/2005 5:43 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Nothing to fear, Josh. I didn't tell my father about my blog, I'm not suicidal, LOL.

I just told him, that on my last Shidduch date, it came up in conversation.

8/21/2005 6:05 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Being that your father associates lewd thoughts with laxity in Torah learning, was he taken aback when you told him this came up in your date? Careful, he might declare the shidduch off-limits.

8/21/2005 6:12 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

Semboy, I believe, lulei demistafina, you are referring to the gemara that says that one who is approached by a snake during davening should continue, but if it's a scorpion he should stop. Someone--not sure who--says the snake is sexual urges and the scorpion represents heretical thoughts. The Gra maybe?

8/21/2005 7:04 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Cloojew, I never heard this, but it's surely fascinating. Your mention of heretical thoughts are reaffirming my feeling that the Steipler talks about it. I think he was writing to a troubled bochur who had some of these thought and stressed that he was challenged because his tefila was so effective.

I'll try to get a copy one of these days.

8/21/2005 7:17 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

Come to think of it, I think you are right. It was the Steipler!

Point is, semgirl, this is a GEMARA we're talking about, not a manual for at-risk youth (although, one could argue, lulei demistafina, that the Gemara IS a manual for at-risk youth). The Gemara understood the baser nature of men--even while davening and learning.

8/21/2005 7:52 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

my father said that :
2) If you are really engrossed in learning you are protected from impure thoughts.


I know I got rocked last time for making a whole fuss over an offhanded statement in a comment, but that never stops me from making broad assumptions.

SG, I feel like your statement revealved so much more than you intended. You speak of the love and affection you receive from your father, but yet, for some inexplicable reason you find yourself turning elsewhere for attention.

Your father's comment seems to show that despite his internal spirituality, he doesn't relate well to the average man. If my father gave me that answer, I would feel like a total sick pervert, hopeless and dejected because I still have a Yetzer Hora when I'm learning. And I too would probably end up hanging out with the opposite sex for release. It's unfortunate, because I think most people grow best by having their weaknesses affirmed, and then gaining strength from seeing that they are fighting the same struggle as others. I think that is one of the major accomplishments of our little blogville.

I'm not sure if it's more sad that it is so hard for Tatte to relate to SG, or that SG has to lie to Tatte to ask him questions.

8/21/2005 9:16 PM  
Blogger rachel said...

I heard it this way:
About the snake and scorpions that approach someone during davening.
The snake bites and releases a hot venom, while the scorpion releases coldness. Although they are both distruptions in Tefillah, the snake represents fervor and heated thoughts which can be used as positive energy during davening. On the other hand if a person is having cold "scorpion" thoughts he must stop remove those thoughts from his mind and only then can he finish davening. Because the coldness would take away from his special fervor and intentions of davening.

8/21/2005 9:41 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Josh, Josh, Josh... you always make me laugh.. All I can say is welcome to Lakewood. Actually, many of my friends would not even have the guts to ask their father such a question..

8/21/2005 10:49 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

Wow. I am away from home, and only check in on occasion, and I'm like missing so much so fast.

First of all Josh, that last comment was like SG said, sadly all too true. You definitely seem to have a point. Lots of parents just don't get it.

About the issue, since all the boys jumped in when CJ asked the girls to respond, I will jump in here too, lol! No, the truth is I asked a guy, a major kollel guy, whom I respect alot, who is very open-minded, but like I can ask him whatever I want. (He is like one in a million I think, and pity he is married, lol. And I didn't exactly tell him why I wanted to know, just that a friend brought it up...) I was lucky to bump into him here in Boro Park, and had a long talk (shidduchim, what else?!) and I asked him this.

So like he says first of all the Steipler Rav says it in a sefer to like some therapist in Monsey who asked him stuff and it was a guy who saw a tzeilim (OMG! Thanks Josh! CJ is right, this is cool.) whenever he bowed korim. And the Steipler told him the more he tries to have kavana, the more the yetzer hara will make him see it.

But he claims learning is diferent, like you don't find so many seforim talking about concentration problems like by davening. He says the I just won't "get it" cause I was never "miyageah" (right, sweating over loads of tests...), but the strong effort clears the mind, and also Torah itself is a strong antidote to yetzer hara. And I shocked him by telling him I knew it says Torah tavlin, lol!

But he says that that just makes that you don't just space out by learning like by davening. But he says that of course certain provocative topics can be very distracting for bachurim. He claims guys won't admit it, but of course it'll make every guy think sometimes. (He had the grace to blush when he told me this. I really didn't think this was the case.)

And he said that while all guys do learn certain gemaras like this, (besides chassidim he said skip all these stuff, even certain pesukim in Torah!) but alot of stuff is definitely NOT learned. He said not psak stuff, that IS learned, just certain other topics aren't gone into. (I think he also meant nidda stuff, but he didn't tell me, cause he doesn't want to corrupt me, lol, wish I was so inoccent.)

So I think he agreed with CJ, that you do have to stop at certain points, but it is normal that guys will start thinking even from stuff they saw in learning. (This is so weird, how guys work, and trying to figure them out...) Also he said that like sure the Vilna Gaon and others finished shas and like everything way before they were married and must have learned everything, but he said at that point of gadlus, you learn to be very mature about everything and not let it get you in another way.

Honestly, this is still weird to me. Like I kinda never pictured guys getting horny from learning, and like in middle of shiur! But this is what he said, and I respect his opinion alot. Obviously none of you ppl know him, but you can just take it as another opinion.

Gosh, I hope I didn't go overtime. Shalom.

8/22/2005 2:35 AM  
Blogger Meyer said...

If you haven't read The Romance Reader by Pearl Abraham yet, now is the time. Because she was what your are. find it on Amazon

8/22/2005 10:36 AM  
Blogger David Isser said...

Hey Sem girl,

I am an 18 year old modern orthodox jew who has seen plenty of "gashmiyus" in his life, yet I can vicariously see what you have gone through. My father grew up in Bnei Brak "Ir Hakoidesh" and I don't think that he will ever return to see his roots at their seed. He has told me many horrifying stories about shidduchs and other "stuff" that sort of mold into the modification you described so nicely in your blogs. First of all, before I begin with my ranting, you are a superb writer that knows how to make sentences flow so you should feel very accomplished that you have that feat under your belt....so forget the beshert for at least this second and walk around a little with your head high...Secondly, I have a friend who is very religious and learns in Kollel, but whenever he gets back to the real world, he treats women like dirt. It always bugs me that a guy can learn G-ds Torah and somehow conclude that women are worthless...When I was in 10th grade, I was so disgusted with this sort of treatment that I actually renounced my Judaism for a few months...After a while, I realized that I couldn't just drop a religion because someone else didn't do something I approved of...In a way, I was seding G-d the same message...I know I'm rambling but here is my conclusion: I think you are a bright smart girl that has tons of potential to become a great person and role model to the orthodox world. It's time this system of women being born into families just to raise kids and cook ended...it's a system designed to see women failing and men sucking on the teets of other ppl and not holding themselves upright. It's time someone did something about it...

8/22/2005 10:55 AM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Elisheva, I can't believe he was surprised you knew what Torah tavlin was. I just don't get it. Please don't be upset at me for the following criticism I'm about to make.

Seriously, girls are expected to support their husbands through kollel and it appears that they don't know the basic underlying reasons for it. They hardly know what Torah is. Why are we so afraid of exposing them to some of the beauty of Torah? Women are just as intelligent as men and should be treated thusly.

My raison detre is uncovering the depths of Torah, and in that I toil all day. That is my joy. I can't share this with my wife? This has always bothered me.

I share david isser's sentiment and have also taken note of this mysogyny where a women's worth is determined by her cooking.

8/22/2005 11:30 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

The sefer you're all talking about by the Steipler, zt"l, is called "Eitzos V'Hadrachos" and is a series of letters he wrote to a psychologist in Monsey on guilt, depression, etc who published the letters in book form.

8/22/2005 12:18 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

don't knock the system for some human being curouption of it. and btw, you reason d'etre is for mitzvos, (not speach or learning but doing is the chief thing) learning is NOT an acceptable alternative unless you're learning is on a profound level where you are literaly head and shoulders above the rest. and you will be told if this is the case for you. learning is one mitzvah. but all torah that is not mixed with a trade will come to nothing (avos) even rashi, and all of the other gedolim had a job of some kind. and this is considered the ideal. NOT learning all day

(that's not to say some bochurim are not being told that learning is the end instead of what is ment to keep the world alive, but if it was them girls, not boys would be doing the learning.)

8/22/2005 3:29 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

Semboy, there is a huge range, lulei demistafina, between women learning Gemara b'Iyun and staying in the kitchen. The "Torah tavlin" reference, I agree, should not have surprised him, because I think that's a fairly popular drush that's used quite a bit in divrei Torah.

8/22/2005 5:15 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

Michael,
Shkoyach for the maareh makom. I'm running out to buy the sefer!

8/22/2005 5:15 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

I had a nice response to halfnutcase, but all four paragraphs vanished into thin air, no thanks to blogger. It's too painful to rewrite it from memory cause I tend to want to follow my former sentence structure and it just doesn't sound as good as the first time. I rest my case for now.

8/22/2005 5:55 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Semboy, thats a shame. It used to happen to me all the time and was very frustrating. Now whenever I have something long to write, I always do it in Word and save, then cut&paste over to blog or email..

8/22/2005 8:10 PM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/22/2005 8:52 PM  
Blogger The real me said...

While SG does speak about some interesting things. After its happened and passed, most people don't look at it as such a horrible thing, when the same behavior continues past the 16-19 yo mark that's when its already on a collision course with getting married and leading a frum life.

BH I had a few good friends who would go with me to the bars and just drink and shmuz, and we didn't really need anything else.

8/23/2005 12:16 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

SG and SB (what a cute shidduch!-lol), you can both save yourself the trouble in the future by downloading Blogger's new product that allows you to publish posts (not comments, though) directly from Microsoft Word.

You can find it here: http://buzz.blogger.com/bloggerforword.html

8/23/2005 1:05 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

It's time for all you guys to switch to Mac..
These dissapearing acts only seem to happen on Windows.

Cheers,
D

8/23/2005 11:19 AM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

Guess I didn't make myself clear.

I thought the "lol" after my comment about his surprise showed like it was a joke. Like I don't think he really didn't think I'd know such a basic thing, but he was more like, oh wow, you knew that yourself.

And I spoke to him again on the phone (he is trying to red me a shidduch), and he I guess supposed some guy needed help with machshovos and stuff. He was still like weird this should come to me (like he said he has spoken to lots of younger guys in his years, but he didn't think they'd tell a girl. But he didn't pry into how I got into this, just cause I told him it came up, he assumed a guy somehow told a girl he had trouble with thoughts from learning.), either way, he told me that if I communicate with this 'guy' again, I should tell him the name of the sefer, and that it is a great help for any bachur going through such trouble, cause it has lots of chizik, and shows lots of stuff is normal.

I see Michael already gave the name. It was that sefer. So I am just adding that he says it is a great sefer for bachurim. (I hope to buy it too, and check it out, lol!)

Also I agree with CJ that there is a BIG difference between just cooking and like going full time inot learning. I actually think hashem had it right and full-time learning is for guys, and like cooking is something we can do and enjoy. Doesn't mean we can't also know loads of stuff. And guys can cook too and pitch in, lol!

Shalom

8/23/2005 3:58 PM  
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8/23/2005 4:29 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i always learned that the torah has no fixed measure so a guy should never say he did something wrong because he had no mitzvah to be doing at the moment... or something like that. also don't we read in perkei avos that all torah with out an occupation will in the end cease? i was always taught that learning and most other mitzvos that apply spacificaly to guys are nothing but chizzuk because we're literaly inferior in every single way to a woman, (if you would like me to list them please do) and that they're basicaly to keep us out of trouble.

8/23/2005 5:15 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

Oh, I forgot to comment about David Isser's problem with his guy who treats women like dirt. How does he say he is a very religious guy? Obviously he isn't. Religious is way more than how you look, dress, or spend your day.

And not to plug my own blog, but I do have a post about this. Lots of people treat ladies like dirt, sadly, some who act very frum, and some who act very modern. To try to imply it is only by kollel or similiar people is ridiculous.

8/23/2005 6:20 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

Wow! The link worked. Thanks Josh! I copied the instructions exactly.

8/23/2005 6:21 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Eli, you are always welcome to plug your blog, whenever you want..

8/23/2005 6:24 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

notsaying all kollel people do, just that someone has no business staying in kollel unless the community comes to him and asks him to continue for so somany years. personaly i think being in kollel for a little while (as long as the wife is happy to keep her husband there) isn't a good thing, it's a wonderfull thing. but it's her desicion whether or not he stays... that's just my 2 cents on it.

8/23/2005 6:58 PM  
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8/23/2005 7:40 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

"I actually think hashem had it right"--Elisheva

I'm sure He is sooooooo thrilled for your support!

8/24/2005 11:20 AM  
Blogger SemBoy said...

Elisheva, my point is that in some circles, women are discouraged from having a sophisticated understanding of their mesorah. I don't mean that this is said explicitly, but it's the implicit mood in the social sphere they live in. It saddens me.

8/24/2005 12:31 PM  
Blogger JewishBiFemme said...

cool blog semgirl I wish you good luck in finding your bashert

8/25/2005 11:45 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

I wish I had more time to give my two cents.

On a tangential note, I saw this great thing on Jewbavitcher's Blog. If you go into your blog's control panel under Settings, under Comments you can now select an option "Show word verification for comments?" Selecting Yes means that commenters must verify the text before commenting. This keeps automatic spam-commenters from littering your blog. I was noticing a lot of that here, so I thought it might be a useful tip.

Be back soon with more!

8/25/2005 7:33 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Thanks Josh.. I will try it out.

8/25/2005 8:48 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I know most people will probably have moved on to the new post. A few points were made about mysogeny and the general misstreatment of women in religious circles. I'm curious as to whether women are actually being treated as second class citizens, or if there is simply lack of derech eretz and respect between "religious" people and those around them, regardless of sex.

Elisheva - (I think he also meant nidda stuff, but he didn't tell me, cause he doesn't want to corrupt me, lol, wish I was so inoccent.)

Why would a girl have to be corrupt to know about Nidda stuff? A guy I understand. But if any girl is your age and "innocent" about Nidda stuff, then that must be a problem.

8/25/2005 10:16 PM  
Blogger Tova said...

Someone commented asking about editing the Torah/Gemara, not learning the whole thing...and all I could think of was, "Huh? What school did you go to?" We skipped pesukim and perakim all the time in Chumash and Navi. Turns out they're full of sex and other "inappropriate" ideas. I don't think I ever really learned about Tamar inside.

8/25/2005 10:50 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

SG - Josh, Josh, Josh... you always make me laugh.. All I can say is welcome to Lakewood.

Wow, for a second there I thought I was the naive one. All because I've never been to Lakewood. I'm upset, because Rav Yerucham Olshin, a Rosh Yeshiva in Lakewood is speaking next week in my community...and I'll be in New York.

Elisheva - This is so weird, how guys work, and trying to figure them out...)

Let me help you. Guys are always hormonaly challenged. It's hard wired into our systems to think about reproduction all day long. Not much to figure out. We may look like we're listening to you, but we're thinking of something else...

And the most important line of the evening: it has lots of chizik, and shows lots of stuff is normal.

That is a beautiful thought, and shows the wisdom of a true Gadol. The best medicine is not ignoring the problem or telling somebody they are abnormal. It's acknowledging that their problems are normal, that you also share them, and then sharing how you are able to overcome them. Now if only the average people we deal with every day could know how to handle our weaknesses so well.

Tova - It's funny, I don't remember much Tanach we learned, racy or otherwise. I guess as long as you are mature enough to deal with the subject on it's Torah level, rather than as a giggly love story, you should learn from it. Seeing these stories can help the average person see that even the Avos dealt with the same tests (like my previous statement). Of course, for the perverted ones amongst us...

8/25/2005 11:09 PM  
Blogger barbara from california said...

k

8/26/2005 10:51 AM  
Blogger Frum Singles said...

I definitely can relate. Im sitting in shule shabas and this guy (who always acts like my good friend) makes a mi shebairach for everyone around me, but "for some reason" skips over me.

Just because I'm single and don't wear a talis, does that mean I don't rate?

8/28/2005 7:21 PM  
Blogger callieischatty said...

Listen what you are doing is not wrong at all in my opinion unless you get carried away.

Don't feel like you can't experience some new things as an adult.

So long as you don't actually get over the top, and it sounds like you have a good grip, enjoy.

8/31/2005 12:53 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Thanks Callie I only wish that ppl in my community saw it that way

9/01/2005 11:21 PM  
Blogger asher said...

Get a grip. This is from a 19 year old in the 21st century?

My God...we are in big trouble if this is the future of judaism.

9/04/2005 7:54 PM  
Blogger MendyTwo said...

Having seen some of the recent postings here I feel there is something needed that I can add. This is not a mussar shmuss. It is just some spiritual "facts of life".

It is imperative that you understand that you - boy or girl - are not unique in what you are feeling nor in the nisyonos you go through. Everyone goes through them. It is how Hashem made the world. It is to allow us to be mishtataif in ma'aseh breishis, partners in the creation of man, by perfecting our neshomos.

We all go through aliyos and yeridos (spiritual ups and downs), not just on the topic being discussed here, but in all aspects of Yiddishkeit. Tzadikim have taught us that everyone throughout life continually go through aliyos and yeridos, including the biggest tzadikim (though their aliyos and yeridos are in different areas of avoidas Hashem).

They have taught us that the yeridos are necessary for the aliyos. Just as someone who is standing and wants to jump higher first must crouch before he can jump, so too we must go through yeridos in order to jump up higher in aliyoh. We just need to keep trying to jump higher (aliyoh) each time that we crouch (yeridah). It is a constant battle with the yetzer haroh in all aspects of avoidas Hashem - leraning, mitzvos, tznius, taivos et al. We have to remember where we want to be and that we can - everyone can - reach the level of Yiddishkeit that is what our individual neshomo aspires to.

To be successful, we must be honest about what we do. If we fall, if we fail a nisoyon, if we take shortcuts, we must not justify it to ourselves. We must not try to make it "OK" and somehow muttor. Recognize that failing to resist the yetzer horah, or perhaps even giving in more willingly, does not make it right. Yes, I did it, yes I enjoyed it, but yes, I know that was and is wrong. Only being honest and not trying to fool ourselves that what we did wasn't wrong is the only way we can keep a focus on what the Torah says is right and on what we would like to do. Even if we continue to fail, being honest about the emmes of the Torah and keeping that image of what is really the right way - the Torah way - in our minds will enable us to eventaully overcome our yetzer horahs in all aspects of our Yiddishkeit.

We must also disregard the baggage of the wrong things that we've done. No matter what happened last year in seminary/yeshivah, or last week at the pizza shop, or last night on a date, every day is a new day. Tzaddikim tell us the yetzer horah wants a person to dwell on whatever wrong things he/she has done and thereby lose hisorruss to become better. To give up and think that I can't be better, I can't be different - look at what I've done so many times. Or even if I did it one time. That means I'm no longer a "really" frum boy/girl.

Tzadikkim tell us to start every day anew in our attempts to overcome the yetzer horah and follow the Torah's mitzvos and derachim. Don't give any thought to whatever wrong thigs have happened. Yes, we need to do t'shuvah on wrong things but the ability to do that will eventually come in time as we become stronger in overcoming our daily nisyonos. Concentrate on today. Yesterday is over and tomorrow doesn't exist yet. We mustn't worry about how we will keep this up in the future. All that we have is today. All we have to concentrate on is being successful today, in putting our strengths into overcoming the yetzer horah today.

Recognize that I have repeatedly used the pronoun "we". I am not excluded from what I wrote. I, like each of you, go through all types of nisyonos.

Do not give up on your neshomos. We try, we daven and Hashem helps us to understand what we should do and how we should do it.

9/06/2005 10:02 AM  
Blogger Chnyock said...

great discussion here

1/07/2009 5:28 PM  

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