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.

Location: Lakewood, New Jersey, United States

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Is Chivalry Dead by Us

A Freilichen Purim To All My Readers

Sorry, that its been a while since I posted last, I didn't mean to disapoint my readers.

I heard on a Pes. Krohn tape a story about the Ponivesher Rov Zt”L. The Ponivesher Rov was seldom ever seen without his frock. Nevertheless , he was walking in Bnei Brak, one evening past a bus stop, where there was a young woman who seemed to be shivering from the cold. He immediately, handed her his frock to wear, until she arrived at her destination. I found this story remarkable, because it seems like the gallant gentleman and stories of chivalry are viewed as being somewhat goyish and alien to our culture.

It bothers me greatly, how Yeshivishkeit, quite often seems to supersede menslickeit and being a gentleman.

A number of years ago, I was a guest at a Chasidishe family for lunch one Shabbos,. The mother was in her ninth month, and had very swollen ankles, yet she was still running back and forth from the kitchen, while her husband and numerous sons were just sitting around the table, oblivious to her discomfort. It was not my place to mix in and tell someone twice my age how to run their home, but it bothered me greatly.

On another occasion, a very Chasidishe lady was struggling to shlep heavy packages into her apt, while her husband was just walking in front of her meditating on the Shem Hakodesh or maybe what he is going to eat for lunch. My father, immediately helped her. It was very interesting to observe, how on the one hand she was very appreciative, yet on the other, probably on account of her culture and upbringing had that facial expression, “nebach, a moderna mensh vus hust nisht inzerer hinik “ .

You find this in our circles as well. For example, in Bagel Nosh, how often do you see a lady struggling to open the door with one hand and push a double stroller in with the other, while all the men waiting on line or eating don’t think to hold the door for her. If a man does offer , it is sometimes considered odd or less then Tzniusdik , in some misguided sort of way.

How come for example, in the parking lot of the library, I have observed a pregnant mother struggling to fold up a stroller and put it in the trunk, and while a frum man will not have a problem checking out the view from the rear, he won’t offer to help lift up the stroller.

And it isn’t limited to fremda women on the street. A former neighbor of ours is the nicest, friendliest guy around. He would do anything for anybody, a real baal Chesed. Yet, on Shabbos he sits by the table in a bekeshe and Streiml all jolly, smiling and singing. Meanwhile, his wife perpetually has bags under her eyes and looks very fatigued and exhausted and it doesn’t even dawn on him that maybe she needs a hand running back and forth from the kitchen. Maybe, he is just clueless

So I really wonder if there is something in the Heimishe mindset that detracts from polish and savoire faire or just plain Yiddishe middos.

I hope that I will be able to instill this sensitivity and middos into my sons, as this really bothers me greatly.


Blogger LakewoodWorkingGuy said...

Am I the first to post?

You can't discount all those who run out of there way to help these women.

It is inexcusable not to help your wife in the house because that is required not chivalrous. But in the yeshivish upbringing that most of us had, it is an uncomfortable thing to interact with the other sex no mater the circumstance. People will try to use the argument of chasid shoteh, but that's just the way people are.

2/28/2006 9:43 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

I agree with you, LWG. I understand the logic totally, it just irks me.

And I am not discounting at all. My father is part of that group, probably because he grew up out of town in another time and place.

For that matter even very Heimish ppl from the last generation are much more civilized.

2/28/2006 9:51 AM  
Blogger AlanLaz said...

Agreed. 100%

For future reference though, unless you're referring to someone I've never heard of (and Google's never heard of), it's the Ponevicher Rav (as in the yeshiva, Ponevich)

2/28/2006 9:57 AM  
Blogger Pragmatician said...

Terrific example of the Chessed guy who does enervating for everyone but his own wife.
The idiom Chessed starts at home has long been forgotten
I agree that Frum boys should be taught that holding a door, helping a pregnant women or one with 5 small kids running around her, is no more un-Tznusdik than helping another man out.
I hate to have to point out though that women are partly responsible for the decline in general chivalry.
They have taken a "I can take care of myself" attitude, and this works both way.
If women want to be, to appear a tough and as capable as their male counterparts
(yes even among the frum ladies) then naturally there is a price to pay .

2/28/2006 10:37 AM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

Your sons? so JP was wrong about morning sickness, you had them already! ;}
Probably just clueless is the way i feel usually, I wouldn't notice until it's way to late (your table example)
although i do serve the whole meal myself sometimes...
I have a question for you, if i would help the lady at the library would she go green that a fremde is trying to help or would she be greatful (or both perhaps)

2/28/2006 10:39 AM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

"I hate to have to point out though that women are partly responsible for the decline in general chivalry."
exactly my point

2/28/2006 10:41 AM  
Blogger Parsha Potpourri said...

Thanks for the new post SG. Somewhat reminiscent of a similar post by Elisheva about menschlikeit in situations like these. As people wrote over there part of it could be the in-town/out-of-town dichotomy, as you mentioned about your father.

Just yesterday an older woman (60s) who I had just recently met asked me for a ride to work. I was a bit taken aback when she got into the back seat, especially as she ended up almost sitting in a toddler booster seat (nor did she reposition it when leaving)! When in Lakewood I will often offer rides to people I see walking, but of course no self-respecting female would ever take me up on it. So it's not just "insensitive guys" that are the issue, but it's awkward for all and not always clear where the appropriate lines of tznius lie.

Just wondering about the Ponovezher Rav and his frock - not to totally miss the point of your post about derech eretz and misplaced priorities, but from a halachic level isn't it an issur d'oraisa for a lady to wear a frock which is clearly beged ish? Unless you'll tell me she was so cold it was mamash pikuach nefesh, but the story is a bit difficult to believe for that reason. Derech eretz is critical, but at the same time it can't come on the cheshbon of real halachos either.

PS New post for Terumah is up - please check it out if you have time!

2/28/2006 10:46 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

about the beged ish issue, if you can clearly see she is shivering, then those are the first signs hypothermia is setting in, honestly it takes less than you think. that is clearly pekuach nefesh

and it's the same way in crown heights too. i saw alot of that behavior there.

2/28/2006 11:44 AM  
Blogger ImJustAsking said...

I partially agree with what you wrote. There are definately men who dont help around the house and dont lift a finger. There are also men who make sure they help their wives and have their children help out as well. While in Israel I used to eat by different families and found that most of the time the husbands and families were very helpful. I think your comments were a little to harsh, implying that MOST men are not helpful and that chivalry is gone. There are definately those who dont care and dont help. But there are many who do care and help out. Speaking for myself I help out in the house EVERY day, not just Shabbos. It happens to be that sometimes on Shabbos during the meals I sing and while I sing my wife clears the table. This is something she likes. I sing with my children and my wife loves to listen and join in, and she would rather that I sing with our children. Im sure there are going to be people who say why dont you clean and then sing. To answer that question I would say that the way our meal usually goes its pretty fast. We eat realatively quickly and then sing during courses. If we all got up to clean it breaks up the atmosphere and my wife doesnt mind the extra few plates every once in a while. It might be because she knows that every day I do help out. And alot of the time I do help on Shabbos as well. Its just that usually it happens that on Shabbos I help out less then usual. Again, I just want to point out that although it could seem that someone is not helping, perhaps there are reasons.

As far as helping people in the street. I always hold the door for people. Women with strollers, holding bags, children etc. I would say that 95% of the time I get a big thank you and the women are appreciative. Do I occasionally get women who dont make eye contact with me, or say thank you? Yes, but I know they still appreciate my help and I will continue to help.

Finally, someone asked how could the Rav have given his coat to a woman because they cant wear mens clothing. First of all I am sure the Rav was aware of the same Halach and still gave it to her. I might add that it could be she draped it over her shoulders and did not wear it the usual way. Or perhaps wearing it for a short period and because of weather conditions is not considered wearing it. Whatever the case is, I am sure the Rav knew all of these things when he offered his coat.

2/28/2006 11:48 AM  
Blogger Luzzy Reingold said...

Um...wouldn't it have been much easier to just cut and paste elisheva's post and say that you agree?

2/28/2006 12:35 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

luzzy... I thought you might like my stories, and my slant on it, whatever.

2/28/2006 1:27 PM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

I thought that LE7's post focused on the bad behaviour while this one focuses on the lack of good behaviour and no thats not the same thing

2/28/2006 1:42 PM  
Blogger Jewboy said...

alanlaz- Your spelling is also wrong-it's the Ponovezher Rav, as Parsha Potpourri said. SG, I think you have some good points here. A lot of people need to be reminded that derech eretz kadma liTorah.

2/28/2006 2:18 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

Couldn't wait to get home from work and see the post for real! And no, it is not the same as my post. A similar issue, okay, but there are so many points to make that are out there, and this was a nice viewpoint.

I would have to say I agree most with LkwdWorkgGuy. There are many who also are frum, yeshivish, whatever and still do a lot of this kind of thing. But SemGirl is still right that there are so many that still are lacking.

I also agree with LWG that it is not mostly the chossid shoteh thing or a frum hang-up. It is mostly that in our community this stuff just makes us so uncomfortable. On this point I think that upbringing can help a lot. My family is pretty ultra-whatever, and I can feel pretty constrained by a lot of the stuff my mother preaches, but at the same time, when it comes to this, it was something we all always knew had nothing to do with tznius. If someone needs a hand, we lend it, no matter the gender.

As an example, when I was in seminary in Israel I saw that it is so accepted there for men and boys to help women with their stroller up steps, on the bus, etc. And that is in Meah Shearim and Bnei Brak too. (Or maybe mostly in Meah Shearim and Bnei Brak!) So it is something that it seems can be changed with chinuch and awareness like what SemGirl is doing now. Look at these places, and remember, frum has nothing to do with helping someone in such a situation.

But until it becomes normal, I admit it is something that many are uncomfortable with even if they really would love to help, or from a girl's perspective, I would love to be helped sometimes, but the truth is I will usually just say no.

Thanx for the great post!


2/28/2006 2:21 PM  
Blogger LakewoodWorkingGuy said...

Next time I see a woman in lakewood that looks like she needs help, I will go over and help without first offering. Her facial expression is probably going to be precious. like what is this strange guy doing?

2/28/2006 2:24 PM  
Blogger specialx2 said...

Well Semgirl, very well-written thought. The only thing is, that today's days, are very different than years ago. When that tzadik hander his frock to a woman, he did it purely to help him, and it was a great deed indeed.
But leider, today in our dirty twisted world, the atmosphere is so full of giluy aroyis and znis, that any attempt to help a fremda woman or man, might be detected as flirtatious. Indeed, an unsuspecting man may just want to help a struggling woman, but these days... such actions may lead to other things, or even if not, may seem to OTHERS, as something...

2/28/2006 3:16 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

and that doesn't puttur you from doing what's right. if helping out someone seems flirtatious then i think we have greater problems than just this.

2/28/2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger specialx2 said...

Opinion is opinion. I'd rather struggle by myself when I know lots of pple are looking at me (meaning when I'm in public) than having pple thinking that I'm flirting around.
But you are right, the world needs lots of corrections... Sometimes I feel like I'm standing on the wrong side up.

2/28/2006 3:33 PM  
Blogger ms. shtark said...

great post, sg. this is something we definitely have to work on. everyone has said a lot of great points as well.
also, i am an out-of-towner and I think that is part of it. I guess because the community is smaller, the frum ppl stick to each other more. many times, my father has helped a frum lady carry her heavy bags and it was never looked at as an inappropriate act. They have even taken rides (usually for a short distance) and only in really bad weather. I think it is more just that we have to open our eyes more and be looking how we can always be helping the next person. Sometimes, it is just more that we are spaced and thinking about ourselves and not the person standing next to you - not purposely because you want to avoid them but a lot of times we are stuck in our little world - involving me, myself and I.
also, just curious semgirl but I noticed most of your stories are about chasidishe ppl. Either you have something against them or you really just know most families that are chasidish, I hope the latter.
I don't think that we can foot the blame only on chasidish ppl - it is all crownds, but i also think we have to realize that there are a lot of men (and women) who are very "chivalrous" and will run to help the next person. They do exist and we have to appreciate them. But yes, we have to work on this.

2/28/2006 5:04 PM  
Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

SG, deffinatly an important message

2/28/2006 5:08 PM  
Blogger geshmaker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/28/2006 5:10 PM  
Blogger geshmaker said...

a few points....
-SG: that's RABBI pesach krohn to you. we are after all talking about mentchlichkeit.
- i was wondering (now that bmgbochur is retired) who is going to be the first to comment that: "i" always help the women. and "my" family always stressed helping ANYBODY out even if they are chas v'shalom a lady. and "my father" helps serve on shabbos, and cleans up the table. etc, etc. people, this isn't a poll or a vote. it's someone stating her opinion on people IN GENERAL. nobody cares if you helped a lady put her groceries in her trunk last week, or if you gave up your seat to an old lady on the bus yesterday, or any other public act of common decency that you may have recently done.
-is it just me, or has SG toned down her act a little since early in her blogging career? not that i need to remind anyone about "yossi", but i do miss all the controversy and uproar over her more risque posts. and these last few posts have been boring and boringer.
-now for my take on the actual discussion at hand. i think what SG raises is a valid point that has been raised by many. to say that this is problem in the "yeshivish" and "chasidish" world is a gross over generalization, as you will see all types of people who are lacking in the basics of derech eretz and kovod habrios (notice it isn't kovod "anoshim")and on the flip side you will see all types of people who are helpful, kind, and nice to EVERYONE. so let's try to keep down on the yeshiva/chosid bashing.
BTW nice to see a new topic, lets try to keep em fresh from now on. :)

2/28/2006 5:15 PM  
Blogger ms. shtark said...

oy yoy yoy geshmaker, you just can't leave bmg guy alone!!! yeah, it is not a good thing to show off that you do things write and that you are a good person but if a person can't do it on a blog where they are relatively anonymous, where are they supposed to be able to show off a bit???

2/28/2006 5:53 PM  
Blogger geshmaker said...

speaking of anonymous- maybe i AM bmg-bochur, and all this is too through everyone off my trail. because you know big brother is watching. :)
seriously, since this is anonymous it just strenghens my theory, nobody gives a damn that you try to always hold the door open for a pregnant lady pushing a double-stroller with three kids holding on to the sides (that's 5 total) and a giant bag of groceries in one hand. and telling the whole world about it just sounds tacky. for whom exactly are you beating your drum?
(personaly, i like to march to my own drummer)

2/28/2006 7:08 PM  
Blogger ms. shtark said...

point taken. yes geshmaker, we know you like to march to your own drummer.

2/28/2006 8:20 PM  
Blogger KiddushClubGuy said...

My dear young lady. There is a way for women & men to be courteous, un-standoffish,mentchlich, and totally observant of torah & mitzvos. It's called Modern Orthodox HELLO are you living in a cave?

2/28/2006 9:58 PM  
Blogger geshmaker said...

ms. shtark:
i forgot to add, maybe YOU are really BMG-B, you never now, it's a strange, strange world.

3/01/2006 10:52 AM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

My dear KCG, There are plenty MO's that are total jerks, i'd venture to say the percentages are about the same as well
And by the way mixed dancing etc. is not what i call courteous and unstandoffish.

3/01/2006 11:14 AM  
Blogger cornyflake said...

On the general topic of tznius in our circles: (disclaimer - I am a man) I would often not mind helping, greeting, being polite, etc. to a woman, but am wary of being considered prust. So, it's not my prudishness that is getting in the way, it's my fear of the look I will get from the helpee.
Ironically, if the woman in question is frei/goyish, I feel much more comfortable acting normally, and at least offering a help or whatever.

3/01/2006 12:03 PM  
Blogger berel said...

I feel exactly, like CornyF and the rest who expressed a similar comment. I was raised in a very modern place, with maybe 2 or three Orthodox families in a town of 30000 ppl, of which maybe 1000 were Jewish. If I didn't speak to women, and courteously at all times, I would get whacked by my parents and be ostracized by my soceity.

Now, living in Monsey, its the other side of the looking glass, just saying Good Shabbos or offering to help carry a heavy pkg, especially with the very Yeshivish and Heimish ladies, firstly, they seem to go out of their way to make you feel weird, and sometimes, even other men observing will act hostile.

I guess the only answer, especially if you are very sensitive, is "when in Rome" ..

3/01/2006 12:46 PM  
Blogger Okee said...

Great post, semgirl!

Whenever someone has the oppurtunity to help someone in need and does not, they are truly missing out on a mitzva. It is a wasted golden opputunity. That being said, the lack of chivelry is prevalent in all areas, in all circles. But we get upset when we see it in our own circles. I think that's why semgirl might have seemed to be harping on chassidush people.

Just a quick story -when I was in Israel on a certain purim/erev shabbos, I traveled out of yerushalyim to deliver shaloach manos. When I was waiting for the bus, which I thought would come but wasn't, a car with three Israeli frum frum frum men/boys stopped and told me that they don't think the bus was coming. I replied, oh...really? And the driver said he was nervous for me, shabbos is coming. So he offered me a ride to yerushalyim, and the bochur in the front seat moved to the back, and I got in. (I had to, the bus was obviously not showing up) I made it a half hour before shabbos -they were like my secret malachim.

3/01/2006 1:59 PM  
Blogger FrumGirl said...

It is useless... I am just reading all the comments and... ugh! These things will not change.

As Parsha Potpourri had us read in last week's parsha... there is no torah if there is no derech eretz... I think helping a pregnant lady is derech eretz. Besides, she may be carrying moshiach! I can't stand disgusting husbands who walk in front of their wives shelpping packages.... Just today a very nice Sephardic boy barely religious held a heavy door open for me and I thought it was so nice of him. No, I didn't think he was flirting, I thought he had been raised right. Too bad most people can't see past the filth in their own mind to help a woman in need....

3/01/2006 4:52 PM  
Blogger Jewboy said...

In the vein of what some have already said, I'm not sure why we're at the point that holding the door for a woman or helping her carry heavy packages can be construed as flirtiness. In frum circles we tend to criticize the goyish world for being very sexually open. Yet in the non-Jewish world, holding the door for a woman and things like that are considered proper manners, and certainly not a way of "picking up chicks." The fact that frum people can consider politeness to be flirting further demonstrate how paranoid to the point of unreasonableness the frum world has become. It's sad.

3/01/2006 5:30 PM  
Blogger KiddushClubGuy said...

Limey, what I was attempting to say that, since it seems that there are many young people who have a degree of dissatifaction with the status quo of their communities does not mean that they must give up orthodoxy in order to be a mentch. The bes of both worlds are available for the taking.

3/01/2006 8:42 PM  
Blogger Ben Sorer Moreh said...


The yeshiva ("Lakewood Style") environment I gre up in actually emphasized hesed and derekh eretz a lot so I'm dismayed to hear what you write.

I see it too. The frum people who honk their horns incessantly to sommon people from their homes or to get people to cross the street faster. Or the young vaibel with the twin stroller, which she leaves unfolded in the hall and sees my walker-using mom struggling to get around it and neither moves it nor apologizes.

OTOH, there's a strong emphasis in society in giving people space and not offering help in fear that it'll be interpreted as a message that the person is not capable of doing stuff on their own (back when people did "everything" for pregnant women, they also fired them as soon as they showed.)

3/01/2006 9:34 PM  
Blogger AnonyOne said...

I agree that the chutzpah and lack of consideration is horrendous, and if you actually help someone, you're thought to be "from out of town." By a former out-of-towner.

Semgirl, can you add date-stamp to the time-stamp in your comment section? It would be easier to pick up the thread of conversation from the last visit, instead of having to read all 200 comments when you only missed 3 at the end. :) Thanks.

3/01/2006 9:53 PM  
Blogger Masmida said...

specailx2- Chaval. The goyisha velt is non-tzniusdik that we have to suspect all the yidden of being pretzudik, especially poor tired mothers with three kids and far too many bags.

What ever happened to dan l'caf zechut?
If our little protected enclaves can't pretend to freedom from the external cultural mileu, how could it be that any place is free of it.

Oy. Chaval.

Derech eretz kadma l'torah.

3/01/2006 11:15 PM  
Blogger turquoiseblue said...


While I agree that there is alot of truth to what you say - many of us (you, me and probably many commenters) are living proof that MANY of us ARE mentchen! Who don't use "yiddishkeit" (yeshivish, chassidish or otherwise) as an excuse!

Another perspective:

Often times women like to sacrifice themselves for the sake of having that "perfect shabbos table" husband at the head, sons and daughters at the side, - and while the husband/sons (might have been the type to) offer to help, she doesn't want that. I know quite a few such cases...

I happen to know many chassidish families - and more than not - the man in the house helps out in many ways. Wouldn't let wife shlep heavy packages by herself. Take care of the baby for the night so wife gets rest. Even cooks supper to give wife a break. So it's not a "chassidish" problem.

Helping OTHERS from the opposite sex - I would have to agree with you IS a "chassidish" or rather - ultra-frum issue.

Personally - if I think a very chassidish guy needs help - a door held open so he can push his baby/carriage through I do it. BUT - I understand if he wouldn't thank me for it. Not that he shouldn't but I would understand. (Not like some obnoxious ("moderne" as you put it) - after holding the door open - puts her hand on her hips insisting on a thank you... if you know what I mean.)

And my husband does the same when he sees the need...

And yes, sometimes the men/women have a horrified look on their face :)

And I have to say - while I've heard some very chauvinistic things said about some men in lkwd (before I moved here) my experience has been VERY POSITIVE. I had one specific incident where I was treated very respectfully and with consideration - where I really didn't expect it. I have to say though - that one of the three nice gentleman was an out-of-towner and might have inspired/influenced the others to be that way too... who knows.

I hope my children will grow up to be mentchlich to all - regardless of race, age, sex or stripe of religion...

Btw - LOVED the story about the Ponivesher Rov. Very poignant.

take care,

3/02/2006 12:41 AM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

We had some Bobov Chassidim (yeshiva guys from the US) come to our home for a shabbat a few weeks ago (we routinely have yeshiva/sem people for shabbatot).

I was so impressed by one of them who was constantly complimenting my wife on the food she made, and how he was always helping serve/clear the table.

B'H - yeshivakeit can include being a mentsch as well.

Though the 2 sem girls we had 2 weeks ago were the most ANTI-social people I have ever met. They just giggled among themselves the entire shabbat...we still can't figured out why they came for shabbat in the first place.

They stayed in their room all the time except for meals...was very odd.

3/02/2006 7:14 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

one point about people not wanting help, the lady in the appartment next to mine is one of those. my mother gave me very explicit orders to help (so that i should have an excuse she wouldn't be able to counter) so that she doesn't work herself to death. my mother has me polish the neighbors silver, and all kinds of other things, and still she never takes my mother up on her volenteering me to help look after the kids while she prepares for shabbos.

its kinda irritating actualy, and so was the time my mother asked me to help the rebetzin, cause that shabbos the rebbetzin turned out not to need help.

3/02/2006 7:28 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Is Chivalry Dead..?
Thats a question that plagues the general population.
This is not about chivalry..this is about helping someone in need.
Great comments...
I've also seen the full spectrum of spousal and inter-gender relationships...and ultimately..I think it's how you're raised...that will have the greatest influence on how one acts.

3/02/2006 10:47 AM  
Blogger cornyflake said...

We should be grateful for the higher morals standard in our circles. As others have commented, the goyim are not "chivalrous," they are simply more comfortable with extra-marital contact between men and women. That is one reason they have a higher divorce rate.
I'm not saying we should not be mentschlich. I'm saying we should be careful when we criticize the very values that keep our families intact.

3/02/2006 11:42 AM  
Blogger specialx2 said...

SemGirl - you are commenting everywhere, but on your own blog. Please comment something here. I wonder what you have to say to what everyone is writing...

3/02/2006 11:45 AM  
Blogger ChakiraMan said...

There are so many people with such a vast array of personalities. Some people will be more of the outgoing type and would be happy to help and some people who are just complete intraverts and would rather not go out at all, let alone feel comfortable getting up to help.

One thing you also have to remember, is that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" and often these people (kids and adults alike) are only acting in a way that they've learned from their parents. Yes, they need to grow up and learn - something that maybe the Yeshivos should teach the girls and boys (a discussion in and of itself).

I was told by a number of people, that it is becoming of a host to ask their guest for help and not to be uncomfortable asking. I personnaly feel uncomfortable doing that and cannot seem to come up with a gentle way of asking, though many people would know how to word it in a way that would be very proper.

3/02/2006 12:45 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

you know, the lack of these values does not protect jewish marraiges.

there have been some relevant trends.

A the number of teens, especialy boys that become frie has been increasing

B the number of diviorces in our circles has been increasing

C the ammount of infidelity has either been increasing or staying the same, but is much higher than was generaly thought

D the amount of derech eretz has gone down, particualarly between boys and girl. along with the amount of respect.

personaly i would argue based on what i have heard from some people who fried out that these D actualy causes to some degree A, B and C.

like masmida said a few posts back, no wonder there are so many problems in the frum world now. (paraphrased)

3/02/2006 1:31 PM  
Blogger ChakiraMan said...


I agree with you for the most part, though it may be a only a contributor to the problem. There's so much that is pulling us today from yidishkeit - the exposure to the outside is so strong.

Although - and not many people know the actual facts, in the early 1900's, the assmilation was what may have been at it's worst. We don't know much about it, due to the fact that that time period was swallowed up by Rav Hirsch (mid 1800's) and the WWII.

3/02/2006 1:48 PM  
Blogger Raziel said...

Chivalry as an act of endearment to a cause of completion by a soul aiming to aid is the unbidden structure of the spirit it contains.

In all forms of its definition and all the rooms of its revealment the guiding hand of its facet is indelibly transcibed.

One need only hold a book to know the essence it contains.

3/02/2006 1:48 PM  
Blogger Jewboy said...

Ummm...yeah, Raziel. That made a lot of sense.

3/02/2006 4:44 PM  
Blogger geshmaker said...

"Chivalry endearment cause completion soul aiming unbidden structure spirit contains.
forms definition rooms revealment guiding hand facet indelibly transcibed.
need only hold book know essence contains. "

3/02/2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger jewish philosopher said...

Being a ger plus working in a non-Jewish office, my values may be a little different than those of most Frum people. However my policy is to treat everyone equally. I am just as friendly and helpful to beautiful young girls as I am to ugly old woman and I treat Jews and goyim, men and women equally as well (as far as halochah allows of course).

Usually I have had good experiences. One girl who I was of some help to bought me a box of chocolate and her mother even called my wife to thank me. However some people are not so nice. I have had a few bad experiences. One Mom called my wife and told my wife that because I had invited her 21 year old divorced daughter to our home for Shabbos she was going to call the police. And I've had a couple of other really bad reactions.

I can easily understand people who want to be on the safe side and ignore any woman under age 50. That may be the smartest thing really.

3/02/2006 9:03 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

First point - "Is chivalry dead by us." Maybe, but Yeshivishe grammar is certainly doing well ;)

But on the topic - I don't think chivalry is more or less alive in frum circles than elsewhere. Of course, that's a shame, because it certainly should be. However, we shouldn't mix chivalry with common decency. Unfortunately, our society (not just the frum one, but all America) is constantly looking behind our backs, afraid of everyone. So it's no wonder that every girl is suspicious of a guy's motives. You can be nice, but if people receive your offer as creepy, have you really helped them? SG, you bring up a good question. People really need to go out of their way to change people's minds, and bring back the chessed!

3/02/2006 9:58 PM  
Blogger ms. shtark said...

raziel, this is not shakespeare. please explain.
josh, i agree with you.
semgirl, thanks once again for bringing this up. i would like to think that we are all now trying to make an effort and improve in this area.

3/03/2006 10:29 AM  
Blogger KiddushClubGuy said...

The fundemental side of all relegions
seems to be obsessed with SEX. In Kiryas Joel and Dubai, women aren't permitted to drive. Women are covered in Lakewood and Iran. In Monsey women aren't permitted to sing (or speak) in public. Ok..the obsession is not with women. The obsession is with attractive women. But you can't say that, so it's all women. Like in "Flippin Out" the singer exclaims. " I CAN'T LISTEN TO KOS ISHA BECAUSE SHE MIGHT BE PRETTY" Why the obsession with SEX?
Isn't that the way we all got here? u have a good voice?

3/03/2006 10:41 AM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

KCG- and then you hit on SG....

3/03/2006 12:15 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

KCG...Do you mean do I have what to talk about it, or is Limey right..

3/03/2006 1:48 PM  
Blogger KiddushClubGuy said...

Please! I am a zaidy

3/03/2006 2:23 PM  
Blogger FrumGirl said...

Raziel... as usual... luv your words!

3/03/2006 3:28 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Prag..your right, feminism is a dbl edged sword depends, on how you come across, if you are out-of-town bochur, and it comes natural they usually will just say thank you, but if you feel weird about it, they tend to feel even more awkward. I can always tell if it a guy is just being polite, because he was raised that way, as opposed to “yippy, I am going to talk to this girl”. I try not to be hostile like many frummy women do, but I am not stupid, either..

PP….you have a great blog…. I read it, but don’t really have anything scholarly to comment on it. I am a Lakewood girl, after all, lol.. As for the beged Ish, matter..With all due respect, PP I am sure the Ponevitcher Rov thought about that..

HNC…I’m sure that it is spreading to all frum communities..

Imjustasking….So do you want a medal or a monument ?


Elisheva…could it be that your parents as ultra as you claim they are, are still from the last generation ..Do you think your married siblings will stress the same values to their children..

“I would love to be helped sometimes, but the truth is I will usually just say no.”
Is that your personal feelings, or are just trying to fit in with everyone else. For example, if you were in LA, and no one knew you there, would you also react the same way and decline any offer to help.

LWG… Be careful…You also have to be cautious…I know you mean well…but you
have to use common sense and realize that this is Lakewood..

Special…in such situations.that’s why the posuk says V’yraisa m’Elokecha..only you and Hashem know what your true intentions are..

MS…I just used stories that came to mind..don’t worry I have plenty of Yeshivish stories. The Chasidim do not have a monopoly on this.

Gesh..I have matured a lot since I began my blog. If you really want to hear my “risqué HS and Sem stories”, email me..

KidClub..I already told you what I think on another blog..

Berel..are you over dramatizing just a bit..I don’t think it’s a conspiracy..The Monsey women are not staying up nites thinking how can we get Berel

Okee..nice story, but me thinketh thou protesteth too much..
FG…that is exactly the point I was making..And usually the boys (and girls, lol) that scream the loudest about not wanting ppl to get the wrong impression are just projecting..

JB…you hit the nail on the is very sad and pathetic, how paranoid some of these ppl are..I was in a Heimishe supermarket in Monsey the other nite, and couldn’t reach a bottle of soda on a top shelf, so I had to wait for five very Chas-looking underleit to walk by and ask a Hispanic guy to get it for me..

Ben…I suppose you have a point..

Anonyone…thanks for reminding me..I had meaning to for a while.

Masmida..are you talking from personal experience..

TB….its always great to hear from you.. “if you know what I mean “ actually I’m not really sure ..could you elaborate..

Jameel…cut them a break..maybe they were just shy or very immature..

David…breeding always shows or the lack of it…

Cornyfl…I smell a cop-out…

Raziel….Huh ????

JP…Call the police for a Shabbos invitation, maybe let your wife do the inviting next time, and avoid the wackos..

Josh…What if it their perception that its creepy, where do you draw the line between what you know is right..and what the loony-tunes are going to think..

KCG...and your point is ?

3/03/2006 3:43 PM  
Blogger Raziel said...

No explanation necessary if you've read Shakesphere now is there.

WTF? Where's the sommat? Sorry, not familiar with that acronym, please explain...

And its Raziel not raise hell.

3/03/2006 5:50 PM  
Blogger Raziel said...

The apple tree on the edge of the cliff by the sea, will always be the tree for me.

3/04/2006 7:35 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Gut Voch Raziel

some one had a nice Shalosh Seudos, what you be drinking girl

3/04/2006 8:00 PM  
Blogger Jewboy said...

Raziel- To quote "Coming to America"- Son, if you're going to work here, stay off the drugs.

3/04/2006 9:31 PM  
Blogger ms. shtark said...

raziel, just read clockwork orange and you'll be sober once again

3/04/2006 9:35 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Raziel is a girl?

3/04/2006 10:07 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

not sure is she

3/05/2006 12:18 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

for some reason..i think guy

3/05/2006 12:32 AM  
Blogger Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

YOU ares o right-women have to stand up fo rthemselves -BTW, my post reached 487 comments-what is your highest?

3/05/2006 4:35 AM  
Blogger Raziel said...

There is an alarming disparity in the modality of the application of the concept of chivalry itself.

When a mannerism can affect a course of intrusion viz a pre-emptive application, that action, notwithstanding its intention, is sometimes deemed otherwisely so.

I explain the above as such.

I walk along my way, oblivious to most, as is my way, as I am usually pre-occupied with other mental constraints of higher purpose when... I occasionally lift my eyes and notice what I do.

In the example I give now I notice a lady place a shopping bag upon the roof of her vehicle whilst looking for her keys, one may be able to tell at a glance that either the bag is resting on the door frame or notice a motion of an item within the bag that is listing to one side thereby altering the central point of gravity to cause it to topple.

In that instance when one dutifully races to aid if you are near enough to do so the look of alarm in the eyes is frightening!

If you are not capable of getting to the scene on time and you vocalise the warning it still takes a fraction to register and implement.

This does suggest a bi focal delay, offset, at the font of the bridge of the nose so to speak.

Most curious indeed.

Please don't ever misconstrue my intentions.

3/05/2006 7:37 PM  
Blogger ms. shtark said...

hoa hoa hoa, raziel

3/05/2006 7:52 PM  
Blogger AnonyOne said...

Thanks, Semgirl!

3/05/2006 8:29 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

First of all, Raizel-your last comment-get back to Earth-last I checked this wasn't your Phd paper for Harvard.

Second, Semgirl-I agree with your piece, but I think you are giving others too much credit. You think it's so much better by the Modern Orthodox?

I understand that Yeshivishness is coming in the way of Menschlechkeit- and I agree, but there are other sects where they have similar "chivalry" problems.

Also, keep in mind, that the REAL Chassidim-not the ones who just dress the part and look at porn in private, the REAL ones, who would never go near a TV or anything, would not hesitate to help another in need.

I have Chassidish relatives...ones who fake, and ones who are sincere--and the sincere ones have Middos that are better than the fakers, and than the Yeshivish...

3/06/2006 1:20 PM  
Blogger Okee said...

semgirl- not to be nitpicky,I'm just wondering- what was I "protesteth too much"? Can't recall protesting much of anything...

3/06/2006 3:38 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

chassidish and tv are not necessarily antithetical.

however i think your point is very valid, its a dont throw the baby out with the bathwater.

there are really rotten, stinky apples in every bunch and unfortunately they are the ones we see the most, but dont forget sometimes there are good apples too, (even most of the time) the bad apples are fakes and the good ones are scincere.

that said i think people should chose to be a good apple where they can and people should let them make that choice.

i think the bad apples usualy focus on the most shallow parts of a given basket, and try to emulate this to make up for what they don't have inside, hence obsession on things like tznius in when you aren't genuinely tznius (hence the chilvelry issue) it's called compensation. they try to make up in quantity what they lack in quality.

and somehow i think that people who need to do that should be delt in a diffrent way than those who will inherently become good apples, you have to stress those menshlach things for them, and make sure that they understand that these things also can have you named good.

3/06/2006 3:47 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Okee :

"I had to, the bus was obviously not showing up) I made it a half hour before shabbos -they were like my secret malachim."

Maybe that wasn't your intention, it just seemed to me like, I never ever take a ride with boys, because I am such a frum girl, but I had to, there was no other choice.

3/06/2006 4:35 PM  
Blogger Hernesto G said...

I do believe the chivalry is dead, but only here. I have been around chassids and I believe that for the most part it seems to me that chassids are oblivious to the outside society, and to everything that is around them for that matter. But I think it differs, from the original shtetl chassids somewhere in Ukraine, Poland, and rest of Eastern Europe, that spent their entire day laboring in the field or with animals or with building the house -- and they unlike the city chassids here were more intune with the world and its surroundings.

But this not only goes for chassids it goes for everyone, I remember growing up in Ukraine and seeing the signs on the buses and trains that said you must give up your seat to an elderly and pregnant, or people with children. I try practicing it as much as I can. :)...

great post, good point!

what do girls in seminary study? to become rabbis? but that is not so in chassidich world

3/06/2006 7:29 PM  
Blogger Raziel said...

Try being chivilrous when your head is alight with pain of a strain that you can't pull out yourself.

Some things are too big even for yourself to handle or I would.

Mores the pity.

I have a Phc not a Phd thank you very much. Not that its done me one blind bit of good.

3/07/2006 1:23 AM  
Blogger Parsha Potpourri said...

Raziel - I would love to meet you on Purim and ask the bartender for a dozen of whatever you've been drinking (smoking?)! I can only imagine what you're like under the influence... maybe it actually makes sense! :) Perhaps you'll honor us with a posting live from the Purim seudah...

Tetzaveh is up, working hard to b"n crank out a Purim issue before Shabbos.

3/07/2006 1:51 AM  
Blogger Tipesh said...

Men and women clearly have different roles in life. Men, by upbringing and social conditioning sing the Zemiros at the table while women serve the food. Changing the system we live in because the Goy has a better one is counter-productive. Women do not necessarily have a more difficult life than men. The energy learning takes up is no less than that cooking etc. takes up. I can proudly say that in ten years of marriage I have never lifted a finger in the kitchen and my wife has never said a Devar Torah at the Shabbos table or gone to shul to daven. We are extremley careful to keep the separation of roles distinct for our children.

BTW the Ponovezher Rav was not chivalrous, just mentschlich. He would have done the same for a man in trouble.

3/07/2006 1:13 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

learning takes up as much energy as house work? excuse me?

having done both extensively, i can tell you for a fact after a hard day of house work, you feel alot more tired than after a hard day of learning.

(and that's with out children to take care of!)

3/07/2006 2:52 PM  
Blogger Okee said...

Tipesh--no offense, but you're proud you never helped out your wife in the kitchen? Ever? She never ever needs a liitle help? ever? She's a paragon! And you're proud she never said any divrei torah at the shabbos table? Ever? And you want your kids to be aware of the distinct roles, that the realm of torah learning is only for men, and work is only for women? Hmm. Excuse the aura of disbelief this comment contains...

3/07/2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger Okee said...

Just wanted to add...I didn't mean to be so sarcastic-sounding, I was just surprised by tipesh's comment that someone would be proud that he was never given the mitzva of helping out his wife, and he's proud his wife was never given the opportunity to share her pearls of wisdom with her children.

3/07/2006 3:16 PM  
Blogger Jewboy said...

Okee- I wouldn't feel bad about your sarcasm. I would've come down even harder on him.

Tipesh- I hope that your comment was satirical and not serious, because if it was serious then you really fit your name.

3/07/2006 3:33 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...


3/07/2006 3:39 PM  
Blogger SmartyJew said...

I think this posting should be titled "Is grammar dead by us."

3/07/2006 6:48 PM  
Blogger Y.Y. said...

i have an important question for you on my blog

3/08/2006 7:42 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

I think that there are clear roles...
But there is a clear distinction...
The usual task of taking odd the my wifes job..while I sit and sing zemiros with my kids (
However if I ever saw that she needed my help..if she were overwhelmed..I'd of course run to help.
It's not a contradiction.
I have to tell always makes me nervous...when Yeshiva Bochorim guests..suddenly get up en masse to take the dishes into the kitchen..
To me thats just odd.

3/08/2006 10:46 AM  
Blogger Raziel said...

Parsha: I rarely drink nowadays and then only in moderation to my immediate needs. Myself in reality is not myself in my mind and my mind in virtuality is not my soul in myself.

To be yourself under constraint is a poor relation to what anyone could be.

It matters little to some that others are inclined, intrinsically, to inwardness of self by the actions of others past, present and future to be.

Some require a lot more healing time than others especially after a devastation of the psyche itself discovering itself.

Halfnutcase: Incorrect, the mental expenditure required for a level of learning past a lifetimes yearning is taxing beyond the point of any physicality you could ever devise.

Its taken humanity, a countless age to reach the heights of its achievements, innumerable frustrations, back planning, forward thinking, tests, trials and tribulations alike are what define our spirit of completion.

To pull all that together requires more e ff or t in concentration than the majority of us possess.

Or so it seems...

I can only speak for myself in a matter of manner of speaking of which I have done.

Raise heaven to the fore by working to gether two crystaleyes your dreams.

I've already given you my soul in interpretation of the spirit it contains.

You cannot take my spirit as that is my soul sold back from whence it came.

A picture of memory in motion drawn from the hand of its remembrance of its point.

Its not to boldly go but to finally know.

Concentration is the key to the sea of the wellspring of souls by the starlight of poles on a warm summers day from the word that I say:

Pronouncable only in...

3/08/2006 10:51 AM  
Blogger Single and Frum in the City said...

Semgirl-you seem to be generalizing. It's like saying all frum girls from Brooklyn are snobs. Are they? You can;t say.

3/08/2006 1:09 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Raziel...that was actually very entertaining...but I am still dizzy.

Looking..for I didn't claim everyone is like that. That is precisely, why I included so many real-life experiences in my post. it odd, because it is so seldom. Or do you prefer ill-mannered bochurim. Would you want your sons to be from the ones always offering to help.

Tipesh..I hope you were just being facetious.

Okee....I wouldn't necessarily take this guy so seriously.

3/08/2006 2:47 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

I'm not talking about a case in which the wife looks clearly distressed and in need of help...
I'm talking about the Bochurim who do it..because it's the thing to do..
I just thought it was odd...
I remember when I was a bochur...and also felt obliged..because everyone else was doing it..
I felt funny..I didnt feel like I should be in her kitchen...

3/08/2006 3:13 PM  
Blogger Jewboy said...

Razirl- Putting a bunch of big words together incoherently does not make you some kind of intellectual.

3/08/2006 4:33 PM  
Blogger Out of towner said...

SemGirl: An interesting post; please consider the following: I was raised, "out of town," to never pass another person and not offer help. When I lived in Lakewood for a couple of years I most certainly opened doors for women (or men, for that matter) pushing strollers. In fact my wife (also raised out of town) was surprised that she was rarely offered help with groceries (other than from me, that is) even when obviously quite pregnant. However, these days, in when visiting Lakewood I am always cautious in interacting with women out of concern that many Lakewood women would be offended or at least uncomfortable with an offer of help from a strange man. In my small town it would be unthinkable not to say "good shabbos" to a woman you pass in the street, in Lakewood it would be unthinkable to say "good shabbos" to any woman not your wife or mother. So consider that men may be less chivalrous than they would like to be because they preceive that women would be offended.

3/08/2006 5:07 PM  
Blogger Tipesh said...

okee Torah isn't wisdom. It is Torah given on Har Sinai to the Yidden. Just like we all understand that a Lulav is only a Lulav and nothing else, because the Torah gives clear rules about the way a Lulav is supposed to look like, so too Limud HaTorah is clearly codified by the way we learnt amongst Yidden since Day 1.Women are Pottur from learning Torah and they are not supposed to learn Torah (including Chumash see Shuchan Oruch. To change the system of looking at different roles in life because of today's ideas of gender similarity is not Torah and does not even produce 'wisdom'.
halfnutcase, you are obviously a woman. I would like to tell you that the learning I am referring to is not figuring out a Ramban al HaTorah. I am referring to understanding a Ramban in Milchamos in Bava Kama, as tiring as housework. When I was newlywed I tried to explain to my wife (just to test my theory) what Sochir Nishba VeNoitel means. I had to give up after a week of trying. You have never done the real thing and don't try and convince anyone you have.
semgirl When I first started writing my post I was being facetious but as I continued I found myself believing the Shita and then I realized that I had actually never helped at home so I included that.

3/08/2006 5:10 PM  
Blogger Okee said...

whoa...tipesh, the Torah isn't wisdom? It just is. And that's it? I think we're learning different Torahs. Oh, and women are, for sure, supposed to AT LEAST learn enough Torah so they know how to believe in Hashem and follow in His ways. Nowadays, the amount of Torah necessarry for a woman to have emunah and bitachon and be shomer mitzvos and not go into an insane asylum is also enough that she knows the Torah contains Divine wisdom. Seriously man, do you think the gedolim assur learning about true Yiddishkeit for half of the Yidden out there?

3/08/2006 5:47 PM  
Blogger Tipesh said...

Who mentioned the word Gedolim. I said Torah and Shulchan Aruch. I did not mean to say Torah is not wisdom. I meant that Torah is not the wisdom of which 'people' come up with pearls of. It is Mitzva with rules and when someone follows the rules and comes up with a chiddush it will be classified as such. If a woman comes up with a pearl of wisdom, it is not a chiddush because women are not supposed to be coming up with chiddushim and therefore she has no place announcing her ideas at the Shabbos table.

3/08/2006 5:52 PM  
Blogger Jewboy said...

Tipesh-Now you're really living up to your name.

3/08/2006 7:05 PM  
Blogger Hernesto G said...

Alright... let me throw this out... in San Francisco, there is Temple Emanu-el, the rabbi is a woman and a lesbian... discuss...

3/08/2006 8:47 PM  
Blogger Okee said...

Tipesh- I could continue and say that a woman who thinks about Torah and shares her own personal, special, G-d given wisdom with the world is not necessarrily making (gosh) chiddushim, but I don't think anything I'll say will make a dent. Throughout the Torah we see beautiful and public exhibitions of female Torah -both intellectual and actual. (i.e., Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, Leah, Devorah, Chana, Miriam, Yocheved, Tzipporah, Rachov, etc...)

But why listen to anything I have to say. I am, after all, a woman, better suited to kitchen duties than any sort of discussion.

btw, that was me being facetious...

3/09/2006 12:34 AM  
Blogger Okee said...

And I'm not even a feminist...

3/09/2006 12:35 AM  
Blogger Raziel said...

Jewboy said... Razirl- Putting a bunch of big words together incoherently does not make you some kind of intellectual.

Correct, to be one you, are required to translate your words into numeric, geometric, physical, scientific, artistic, philanthropic, philosophically inspred pinciples or actions, that ideally have an outstanding reference to the art of education and the spirit of ******** itself.

But I'm not an intellectual so what would I know...

However, I do know how to read my own writing though and its not written in stone but by the light of its own awareness in the shadow of its light.

Or something like that.

3/09/2006 8:43 AM  
Blogger In the clouds said...

Nice Blog ,Semgirl,been following it for a while.

Chivalry is not dead. Its definition has changed. Chivalry is VERY subjective.
I would agree though that some things are plain rude.
Bottom line - do unto others as you would want done to yourself. And forget about the etiquette. Just use common sense.

3/09/2006 9:38 AM  
Blogger In the clouds said...

Hernesto - a woman *and* a lesbian? Are you sure she wasn't just a lesbian?

3/09/2006 10:11 AM  
Blogger cornyflake said...

Attn Raziel:
The course of the discussion has turned to an analysis of Raziel's stabs at humor/literature/science-fiction/whateva (which probably fulfills his/her evident need for attention) so I will throw in my 2 cents. I fargin Raziel the attention, but my dear Raziel, allow me to respectfully critique you in this public and anonamous sphere, and hopefully I won't damage your ego any more than it already is.
First of all, you must have realized that you comments have irked a lot of people. Why do you think that is?
Often we assume that things we don't understand must be the works of genius. Sometimes this is actually true (e.g. E=mc2). But when it is not true, it is considered pompous to cloak a simple idea in confusing language.
People dont like it when someone talks down to them. If you have something to say, but you unnecessarily complicate and obfuscate it beyond recognition, people resent it. It feels like being talked down to. The unstated message is: "You probaly don't know what I'm talking about, but how could you. I'm thinking on a far higher level than you peasants anyway."
Look, to be blunt, my analysis is that you are starved for attention, and are trying to rouse people's ire in this rather creative way. There are worse things in the world, but it still is bad taste.
Raziel, I wish you the best to you in your recovery from your insecurity issues. I would love to hear what you have to say, when you can say it plainly. That is the point of communication.

3/09/2006 12:18 PM  
Blogger ms. shtark said...

well said, cornyflake

3/09/2006 1:09 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i cant help but giggle at tipesh's comment to me.

tipesh, i'm a boy, and have been learning gemorah scince i was 12, i understand what i've learned quite well, and have no problems following a gemorah discussion (although i suffer difficulty in the language, that is due to a lack of consistant available tutoring and i am afraid to attempt to learn out of an artscroll for fairly obvious reasons.)

a question for you tippesh, didn't you know that the gold standard for what women may learn is what they can make use of? and that it unquestionably includes shulchan aruch, midrash, chumash and nach, and the entire ein yakov? and that if they are capable of deriving usefull insights from it they are even permitted the rest of the talmud?

yes i enjoy house work and learning, and having done both extensively i still say that house work is alot harder. (and i've put 14 hour days in to learning before too.)

3/09/2006 2:20 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

oh and one afterthought to add, learning a ramban on the chumash, and delving in to the sweet secrets it contains, is just as hard as delving in to gemorah, if not much much harder, there was a reason after all why the study of perfect truth was limited for a long time to those who had completed the gemorah.

3/09/2006 2:24 PM  
Blogger Raziel said...

Cornflaked: The day you can speak true is the day I will rue.

Some of us don't have the pleasure of speaking at all.

Your wall went <--- thata way and if you hurry real fast you might even catch it.

Things are done a certain way or they are not done at all.

If one speaks down to peasants as you so eloquently put it then one must speak up to lords for both to understand.

For not everyone has had the full experience by which to relate.

And that's a fact even Jack can't argue with.

3/09/2006 11:32 PM  
Blogger cornyflake said...

I love you,
but I give up.

3/10/2006 11:01 AM  
Blogger Raziel said...

Cornyflake: Luv you 2 :)

Giving up is not as easy as you think but its definitely half the fun considering the alternatives.

At least I think thats what I mean...

Most illogical I agree.

But yet...

3/10/2006 11:33 AM  
Blogger Tipesh said...

Halfnutcase I was right about one thing. You have never done the real thing. If you admit that you still have problems with the language you obviously are not very far advancde. I am not blaming you but that does not give you an opinion. You are clearly not on the level you claim to be necessary for real learning of Ramban on chumash.
BTW the reason the Va'ad Arba Aratzos said you may not learn Kaballa until you know all of Torah is because you may come to Kefira, not because it is more difficult than anything else.

3/10/2006 12:10 PM  
Blogger Tipesh said...

Okee Which one of the women you mentioned made intellectual additions to Judaism?

3/10/2006 12:12 PM  
Blogger shlomohamelech said...

I will have to come to the rescue of my counterpart on the other end of the spectrum, Mr. "Tipesh" ;)

First, Semgirl, where is you "dan lekaf zechus"? I see you post is full with your own observations and then you complain. Honestly, so many times in certain situations people don't want to be assisted, as Josh said. Especially, when you were at this house where the wife was pregnant and the husband and children did not help. Many women don't want their husband or children to help them, even if they can use help, because they want to be viewed as a balabusta.

With regards to Tipesh, he is right with one thing, if women don't have to study Torah, why would you want them to. If a women on her own decides to study Torah, she is may do it, but why do it in an organized way? We have a hard time getting those who "have" to study, to get the to do it, why bring in those who don't "have" to be in the picture?

The Rambam clealy states against women learning Torah, and his intent is that they shouldn't learn the way men are studying that is by reasoning and from there making halacha. This doesn't make all men perfect for reasoning or all women imperfect for it. In general, women are more emotional, men are more logical. There are men that you wouldn't want to reason with and there are women who you would love to reason with, but in general, with regards to the Torah, this is true.

I always laugh at the reform and conservative movments that complaint that women cannot be olleh to the Torah or be a shatz. If you don't have to pay tax, why pay it? If Hashem says, I am perfectly happy with you if you don't daven why be upset about it? If you want to daven do it but don't convince every one that you have to.

The same Y.H who makes it hard for men to learn Torah, makes the women want to learn. Don't give me the crap that they should also know more about Hashem. Just studying Torah doesn't make you a good jew. You have to learn mussar and contemplate about Hashem etc., which women are allowed, to be good Jews.

Tipesh is also right with what he is saying that Torah is not the wisdom that we consider wisdom. What we consider wisdom is subject to Einstein's rule of relativity. Our definition of wisdom changes from day to day, week, month, year, generation, society, etc. The wisdom of the Torah is not subject to any relativity, that's why in the context of this conversation we cannot call it wisdom per se.

However, I must disagree that if a women comes up with a chidush and it is coherent with the Torah, she should speak up and let it be heard. There is nothing wrong with that. From my experience, at least 60% of women's chidushim are not coherent with the Torah. I will be honest that it's mostly with chassidishe women.

Tipesh, to say that Kabulah is not difficult affirms your name :(. It is a very complex study and you have to come up with so many theories that can put you it odds with Niglah. That's why the best idea is to know niglah and then study Nistar.

3/10/2006 1:25 PM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

Tipesh, your argument is 100 years old
When they started the Bais Yaakov everyone was saying what you're saying . The movement would never have taken off if people like you had their way. the reason s learn today is because eis laasos l'hashem..... Definitely better then the polish gymnasium.
About you saying the "Navios" had no intellectual addition to Judism sound a bit like kefirah to me.
I have a stupid question why would you come on a s blog to spout your nonsense? go to yeshivworld.blogspot where there are lots of people of your ilk.

3/10/2006 4:11 PM  
Blogger Raziel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/11/2006 6:47 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i just reviewed the women learning torah, at least in shulchan aruch harav (don't have others on immediate hand) and he rules very clearly that they are obligated to study torah for all the mitzvos they are commanded to do, all of the negative commandments, the entire tanach, as well as mussar and the like.

he also makes the observation that if a man knew all that a woman is commanded to know he could be considered a talmid chacham, and that he would have every single reason to be proud of his accomplishment. and this was writted over 100 years before the advent of bais yakov schools.

note: those with an affinity to kabbalah have alwayse considered it desireable that women be educated from their youth in torah, and rav sheur zalman, certainly was heavily involved in kabbala, just so you know (some people dismiss kabalistic oppinions outright)

3/11/2006 8:26 PM  
Blogger boneman said...

OK, I ain't a Jew, so I din't always understand the "question" but, that aside, I betcha a dollar ya won't like the answer, if you ever do come back to your blog to look.

You spoke of someone checking out someone else's tush (sounds polite enough) instead of helping her with her crib....
Why din't YOU help with the crib?
"Course, this was probably an example, wasn't it? But the silly thing is, the example is all too true in reality. There will be folks who need help, a beggar on the street, an old lady with a flat on the side of the road, and old man starving to death right there on the sidewalk in front of a grocery, and people will be in such the rush....flying through life as if they will lose all they have if they would but stop and help.
Guys, gals, old people, young people, mox nix.
Instead of sounding the alarm of what others are not doing (for example, do you realize that your last post was in feb?) (I'm sorry. It's my stupiod humor....sometimes I actually imagine that I am funny....)lessee....where was I ?
Oh yeah, instead of sounding the alarm as to what's not being done to help out there, just stop and help someone.

Well, there you have it. Just an old guy trying to help....
Hope I wasn't a bother.

3/11/2006 8:38 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...


Welcome to the blog..I appreciate the input . Was waiting for someone to ask that. At the time of the library story, I was much younger and not physically strong enuf to help her with the stroller.

But, you are right.. And, I do try to help as often as I can.

3/11/2006 10:38 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

You know, I'm fascinated by playing out hundred year old debates and critiquing poetry, but Tachlis, let's be honest, Semgirl, are you already engaged? You first mentioned dating this guy in December, three months ago ;) Not to hijack this thread, but are Mazel Tov's in order? Keep us posted! You should have lots of happiness with the right guy at the right time!

3/11/2006 11:03 PM  
Blogger Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

you wrote some very nasty things to my wife and now she is very angry-why did you do this?

3/12/2006 10:39 AM  
Blogger shtaiger said...

See the new post on my blog, finally!!!

3/12/2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger boneman said...

I'm glad for your help in the world.
My own awakenning came back in 1968 when I was writing poetry, angry at times, at the hypocrisy I saw everywhere.
I used a similar situation, though, it was just as I saw it, an old man struggling to get a door open for his aging wife and folks just jostling past the two of them as if they were nothing.
I showed my poems to my preacher and he looked at me and asked the one thing I had not expected.
"How did YOU help?"
And seeing that perspective has pretty much taken its toll on me since that day. I stop to help drivers stranded on the side of the road, open doors for elder women at church (and say "Good Morning, Girls!" with a great big smile on my face!), help get things from up high for short folks, pick up and carry stuff for weaker folks, and even stp and get turtles off the middle of the road and toss them back into the side grasses....(I live in the country, so this occurs more than you might imagine)

Now, I am not bragging. I am always asking for help, though. Where ever anybody is, help folks and animals around you. The more the merrier!
So, Thankyou, too, Semgirl.

3/12/2006 6:51 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Why is everything so quiet... Is that everyone's way of saying that you want a new post, already..

3/15/2006 2:16 AM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

duh, well like yes......
but your soooo busy we didn't wanna bother you.
SG- 2:16am on purim? you mustv'e had a blast!

3/15/2006 10:29 AM  
Blogger Tipesh said...

shlomohamelech I did not say Kabalah is as easy as Nigleh. I said that this was not the reason they Assered it. In addition, if you study the Charomim (see Shomer Emunim HaKadmon intro. to Vikuach 2) it applies to the relatively easy Hakdamos to Kaballah.

halfnutcase I quoted the Shulchan Aruch in Hilchos Talmud Torah that says clearly that women should not learn chumash or Gemorroh. My point was that they are exempt and frowned upon for learning Torah for its own sake and for intellectual purposes. Any other reason for learning must be evaluated according to the Halachic principles the Poskim use. When someone tries to demand respect for the Torah learning of women for its inherent value, they are ignoring these principles. If a woman wants to repeat a chidush she has about how to check vegetables or how to make Lukshen Kugel she may be entitled to say that because that is the Torah they are supposed to learn. However,I highly doubt this is the subject of discussion here.
In addition, you quote "those with an affinity to Kaballah". The first sign of someone trying to pull a fast one on you is when they quote nameless 'Gedolim' or 'Da'as Torah'. Truth does not need to hide behind annonymity. Affinity to Kaballah is not a status in Yiddishkeit and I have never heard of Talmidei Chachomim with or without 'affinities' to anything mention a belief that women should learn Torah from a young age.

3/15/2006 4:12 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

tipesh i can tell you the ramban (who is probably the earliest authority whe quotes this way) ruled like that, as did i think the ari zal, look i quoted to you from another source that it is ok, and even required for large portions of the torah, why not argue with that source? i told you he is a kabbalist, and his oppinion and pesak reflects that.

it's in shulchan aruch harav, hilchos talmud torah, 1:14. this was written by rav shneur zalman of liadi. and knowing how scrupulously he kept to the psak dinnim, i would wonder at your understanding of what what the bais yosef's pesak was, especialy given the widespread acceptance of the bais yakov schools, and if you've ever paid attention to what the curriculum for their girls is, it includes alot of chumash and nach, (please those girls here who actualy when to bais yakov schools correct me if i'm wrong, i only know from one set of them, the one a friend of mine went to.)

3/16/2006 8:39 AM  
Blogger X-LR8 said...
started this new blog.hope it works out.

3/18/2006 10:17 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...


Thanks for visiting ..When things quiet down.. I hope to check out your blog..

3/19/2006 12:58 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

DMJ - We all have our little perversions, but I must say you actually have a problem. Please get help.

SG - You're not going to drop off the blogosphere after your wedding, are you?

3/20/2006 10:53 PM  
Blogger Jewboy said...

Josh- I think she may have already.

3/22/2006 4:52 PM  
Blogger Single and Frum in the City said...

There are chivalrous guys out there. Somewhere.

3/23/2006 8:19 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

JB - May have already gotten married, or already have dropped off the blogosphere? My bet is on both.

The good news is that as soon as she's ready to come back and announce it, I'm sure she'll give us her perspective on engagements and marriage. Come back SG!

3/24/2006 6:07 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Josh ....wrong on both counts.. I am just crazy busy ...A lot is going on in my life right now.. With Pesach prep in addition, and other things.. I hope to write a large post in the next week or so..

Thanks for the encouragement..

3/25/2006 8:09 PM  
Blogger LubaGal said...

I know I'm a bit late to comment- but anyhow- true point. It is quite sad...

3/28/2006 10:37 PM  
Blogger Jewish Thinker said...

In defense of this guy who sits at the table - sometimes that is something that the wife rpefers - I know it sound s crazy .My wife wont let me help in the kitchen, particularly when we have guests over. She feels that I should stay at the table to help th eguessts feel welcome. When it is just the three of us (I have a little adorable boy) she wants me at the table with my son. The only time she lets me serve anything is when it is jsut the two of us (When my son has gone to sleep). As someone who, in my reading o fyour responses to comments, seems to always be admirably respective of everyone, even when they are offensive, you should make an effor to provide people with the benefit of the doubt, especially inthis case as you state that he is otherwise a really wonderful guy. (Also note that my wife finds be incompetant when it comes to laying things out nicely, and prepers to prepare the food herself as well)

3/30/2006 5:45 PM  
Blogger The Truth said...

I agree with "Jewish thinker" as my wife doesn't let me too. Anyhow how would the seudah look like if everyone would be running in and out serving. Too many cooks spoil the broth... Of course I help when I feel it's necessary. (without my wife's consent.)

5/03/2006 1:19 PM  

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