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

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Platonic Relationships

Before I start my topic, I just want to say for the record, that I think Michelle is a very special girl, and I hope she finds her zivug in the near future and raises a Bayis Neeman B’Yisroel. However, there were some very vicious comments made by her and others on her blog that were totally uncalled for. As much as it pains me to do so, since I really enjoyed her blog, she raised many salient points and wrote exceptionally well, I need to remove her link and cease participating on her blog.

Personally, I don’t care if someone wants to call me a girl, boy, or cocker spaniel. But, many girls shared some very personal, intimate matters with me, and if there was some doubt in their mind as to what I am, it could cause them considerable agmas Nefesh. I worked very hard on my blog, and B”h helped out a lot of people , and I don’t appreciate some thoughtless, insensitive jerks trying to sabotage it.

I was always taught that embarrassing someone in public or hurting someone’s feelings is infinitely worse then saying Good Shabbos to a boy , or having relationships with the other gender, platonic or otherwise.

If the seminaries and Yeshivas that those commenters attended didn’t impart that message they failed abysmally. Before you attack, I am not saying that all bf/gf stuff is 100% proper. Obviously, we arent melochim. Im just saying that intentionally hurting someone is far worse.
As for Plutonic Relationships, obviously everyone has to know themselves, and what their real intentions are. If you don’t have basic Yiras Shomayim, all the gedarim and Mechitzas in the world won’t help. It also depends on whether people are mature enough to handle it. Another factor is that when they come from very-repressed backgrounds they cant.
I can honestly say that I have had many close male friends in College, that I was not attracted to at all, based on age, appearance, and culture, but nevertheless were good friends. After marriage, it is clearly a lot easier to maintain such friendships without any improper thoughts whatsoever.

With all due respect, to Lakewwod and places like it, the problem with ultra-Right Wing frum communities is men and women don’t see each other as people. With all the emphasis on gender-segregation by everything imaginable, (there are even separate hours in some supermarkets) , and neighbors not even saying good morning to each other , it just reduces women into sex-objects and degrades them. This was never the intention of the Gedolim of previous generations.

132 Comments:

Blogger notahottie said...

oh my g-d i can't believe you mentioned the separate hours in the supermarkets because someone just told me about it yesterday and i didn't believe her and i was gonna ask lakewood venter if it was true. anyway, i want you to know that i don't think michelle was insensitive to you, if anything, it seemed that she was just trying to be neutral (although i have to check up on that again, i'm gonna look back to see what happened). i don't know if you noticed, but i made a comment about the person who called you a boy, i really don't think you should even think about it, it was such a dumb remark. as far as the issue of platonic relationships, i want you to know that just because YOU didn't and still don't have feelings for those guy, does not mean that they didn't/don't feel differently about you. and don't fool yourself into thinking that marriage changes things-people want what they can't have and if any of them had feelings for you previously their feelings didn't necessarily change because you're married. it's good that you don't feel that way, but don't rule out their feelings. i know a couple of pretty sick stories. anyway, you have to do whatever you and your husband feel is right for both of you and forget about everyone else. what works for you is what you need to focus on. i know for myself, my boyfriends and i kind of just stopped having so much to do with each other after i was dating my husband for a while and it's not wierd, i talk to them if i see them, but there's no point in spending time with them, we all went our separate ways, to me it's part of life. i've read books and seen movies where even in the secular world it's not very acceptable for a guy to have close girlfriends or a girl to have close guy friends when they're married, so don't think that people are being so narrow minded when they think it's strange to have a relationship with someone of the opposite sex once you're married. again, whatever works for you is the answer, but don't forget that narrow mindedness is thinking only your way is right, so if you think that, your'e narrow minded as well. just like i'm so narrow minded that i can't imagine having separate hours for men and women in a supermarket!(do the women go shopping in lingerie or something, i mean what's up with that?!)

6/18/2006 6:40 PM  
Blogger tuesdaywishes said...

Once upon a time, before I was married. I had male friends. These were not "boyfriends", they were guys who were my friends. Some of them I was attracted to, some were attracted to me, some had been mutual attraction at first but then we realized that we were unsuited as life partners, but we liked each other. I had great times being with these guys and learned a lot from these relationships.

I still (married almost 17 years) keep up some of these friendships. I also am friends now with a few guys in my neighborhood. We meet at shul, at the playground, at the kids' school, and we talk, just like I talk to other women. Certainly, there are lines I don't think should be crossed (such as discussing intimate matters, or setting up a 'date' to meet with each other alone,) but as things are I can't see the harm. My husband could overhear every word of every conversation without me being embarrassed.

So that's my vote. Non-sexual friendships ARE possible, especially when both parties are happily married to other people. And I defintely think it's a little sick to assume that a guy will be unable to control his baser inclinations just because he saw me squeezing cantaloupes. (Maybe the guys just want a chance to shop without toddlers whining and tearing around!)

6/18/2006 10:43 PM  
Blogger Smile cuz Ur Jewish said...

I'm not a BY girl, so for me, talking to boys was never an issue of rebellion. I am not a part of the NCSY scene, but I have friends with guy friends, which occasionally means I hang out with guys. I'm only 17 so the marriage thing has not come into play at all yet, but I would not want to be friends with guys right now because the pressure is too much, and at this point I would rather wait until I start dating, or after seminary. When I read your post, I vaguely remembered Michelle's blog, and when I searched for it, I was shocked to discover it was a blog I occasionally visit, and have aways wholeheartedly enjoyed. When I read the comments on the platonic relationships post, I was shocked, dissapointed, upset, and furious. The fights and insults that go on in the Jewish blog world infuriate me. How a bais yakkov girl could allow such insults to remain on her blog is beyond me. It's not okay to talk to boys, but it's okay to commit the aveira of sinat chinum? I don't knwo if I agree with you that boys and girls, or men and women rather, can remain friends after marriage, but I do agree the boy comment was out of hand. I don't have many comments on my blog, but at this point, I think it's a good thing if people will insist on hurling insults at each other.

6/18/2006 11:47 PM  
Blogger JBL the first said...

I don't think you got the facts straight. Michelle isn't responsible for the comments that appear on her blog. She didn't write them or even endorse them. Maybe she should delete them, but she'll have to delete dozens because they all mention it, and that's not so practical.

Beside the point you shouldn't take this so personal. I don't think someone really meant it (in real life). I don't even think that anyone believes it. They just meant that some of your posts and comments are a bit..... Also why do you give a hoot as long as you are anonymous (for the people that do know you, I don't think they have any doubts).

I think this post is a bit... and it only endorses the not so nice comments. "When the dog barks you know the rock hit." I think it would be smart of you to delete this post ASAP for your benefit as well as for others (this can really be hurting someone out there)

Again I don't mean to criticize you, I understand those were very mean, nauseating, out of place comments. But there is no heter for you to attack somone who isn't even directly responsible for this.

6/19/2006 4:27 AM  
Blogger jemima3 said...

agree with above. just let it go - stupid and mean spirited comments are part and parcel of blogging .....to be ignored.

6/19/2006 5:16 AM  
Blogger notahottie said...

ok i'm potsting this comment on semgirl's and michelle's blog because there is something that i think everyone should know. i'm sick of the "who's a better jew" debate. i used that juvenile argument years ago on my principals, teachers and parents in high school and i look back and think about how much i've grown up since then. there is a big difference between treating a women as a "sex object" (semgirl's words), being polite and courteous to someone of the opposite gender, having a relationship with the opposite gender, and totally and completely crossing the line between being friends and being more. a person who "hurls insults at other people" and does not agree with the concept of "platonic" relationships is not BETTER or WORSE than a person who is "nice" and is involoved in "platonic" relationships. there is no correlation whatsoever between the two. you have to do EVERYTHING right, and don't think that because you do a lot of chesed but also have a lot of guy friends, you're the best person in the world, because you decided that as long as you're nice, you're better than someone who let's say gossips a lot but knows her gedarim when it comes to the opposite sex. you have to be a good person, and know your gedarim, and dress b'tznius, and refrain from talking loshon hora, and do chesed, and keep shabbos, and lots more, not necessarily in that order(i'm not interested in being attacked for the order i wrote them in, which i wouldn't put past some people). i happen to be not be so great at a lot of those things, but i have to try and so does everyone else. yes, a guy who knows your family and sees you in the street and doesn't even say hi, is not so nice. doesn't mean he's a terrible jew, not a ben torah, he's better off not keeping shabbos, etc. that kind of thinking is completely juvenile. now, when someone posts a post on her blog, there are going to be comments that come along with it. to call comments that you don't appreciate "sinat chinam" is not understanding the term, or the way blogs work altogether. i didn't see any hatred anywhere, just people stating their opinion. yes, some opinions were a little hard for some to swallow, while others were outright ridiculous, especially coming from people who don't even have the guts to make up a blog name and are simply anonymous, but they nonetheless did not show hatred, but simply another one's thoughts on the topic. and i didn't see how anyone was a better or worse jew than anyone else. again, you have to strive to have the whole package. when we die and stand in front of the kisay hakavod, "but i didn't flirt with my friends husbands" is not gonna work any more than "but i always greeted people with a smile". you shouldn't flirt with your friends spouses AND you HAVE to greet people with a smile. and you also have to do a whole lot more. when it comes to blogs, post a controversial blog and you're gonna get controversial comments, that's how it works. using harsh words to tell someone to take a post down doesn't make any sense either. you don't like a post, you don't like it, that's it. semgirl and michelle are both free to keep their posts as well as their comments up without being attacked by others. please think about this and do your best to be a good, honest, g-d fearing, wholesome jew.

6/19/2006 7:35 AM  
Blogger Jewboy said...

I don't really see why you're so mad at Michelle. I looked over her comments and didn't see anything hurtful towards you. Yes, some other commentors on her blog weren't so nice to you, but why take it out on Michelle?

6/19/2006 8:01 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

NAH...thank you, you elucidated matters much better than me. Dont know what you look like, but in writing style and command and eloquence of expression you are definitely a "hottie". so its all relative.

JBoy ... You missed the point, Michelle's line about Semgirl/Semboy was very out of line. Jboy, how would you feel if you were emailing or IMing someone for months and completely opened up to them, for the purpose of understanding someone you are dating, engaged, or married to or other sensitive issues.
And then someone tells you, it might be a bochur playing a joke on you. Either you have the doubt in your mind which causes you pain, or you go to the next level and call her up on phone. While this gives you confirmation, it can also be extremely humiliating after you have discussed so many intimate things.

JBL ...."I don't think you got the facts straight. Michelle isn't responsible for the comments that appear on her blog. She didn't write them or even endorse them. Maybe she should delete them, but she'll have to delete dozens because they all mention it, and that's not so practical. "

So how do you interpet this:

Those attacking Semgirl/boy, please keep that to her/his blog. I should be the only one allowed to viciously attack people around here

Bearing in mind the scenario layed out to in my response to Jboy..

6/19/2006 8:51 AM  
Blogger lotsofstuff1 said...

"it just reduces women into sex-objects and degrades them. This was never the intention of the Gedolim of previous generations."

The exact opposite is true. And exactly how do you know what the intention of gedolim of the previous generation was???? There was a city Kelm in Lithuania, where men and women walked on different sides of the street. There are so many more examples in seforim and common story books. Don't forget what the gemorroh says about someone who looks at the small finger of a woman for his pleasure. By the story of the mekollel (curser). What does Rashi there say? His mother just used to greet all men in the street!!!! Huh platonic relationships?????

Real life has proven (and keeps on proving every minute of the day) that the mingling of the opposite sexes that aren't directly related brings only bad to both. No one can say that they are immune because there are/were incidents involving the best to the worst.

P.S. So what exactly do you want to change??????

6/19/2006 9:29 AM  
Blogger Lakewood Venter said...

I agree with you on this one! No matter what I think of you (or any other bloggers for that matter) I wouldnt resort to embarrassing you in public. If I think you are full of crap, I can simply not read your blog, or take what you say with a grain of salt.

Be well. See you in the supermarket....Oh I won't because it is separate hours. Pathetic!

6/19/2006 10:37 AM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I hate to see politics. Could everyone just enjoy their own blogs?
It's a shame to have to lose pleasure in blogs because of politics.

6/19/2006 10:53 AM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

NOT A HOTTIE- WOW!!! i couldn't have said it better!!
although two points stand out and are worth repeating
"but don't forget that narrow mindedness is thinking only your way is right, so if you think that, your'e narrow minded as well."
"person who "hurls insults at other people" and does not agree with the concept of "platonic" relationships is not BETTER or WORSE than a person who is "nice" and is involoved in "platonic" relationships. there is no correlation whatsoever between the two. you have to do EVERYTHING right, and don't think that because you do a lot of chesed but also have a lot of guy friends, you're the best person in the world, because you decided that as long as you're nice, you're better than someone who let's say gossips a lot but knows her gedarim when it comes to the opposite "
As far as seperate hours, i dont know of any store that enforces it (i know the co-op had it but it was never enforced)
But i seem to remember that you met "yossi" there.....
I would also like to apologize for my comments on michelles blog (they were taken out of context?)

6/19/2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

for those trying to argue that the gedolim of previous generations did advocate this kind of seperation, take one look at any one of their shailos and teshuvos and it will like, totaly prove you wrong.

the law stops short of alot of things and making it worse alot of people blow halachos way out of perportion. the
"customs" as currently established do exactly what semgirl said they do, and i can testify to this as fact.

we're supposed to keep to the middle way in almost everything, noone ever said that we go to an extreem with seperating boys and girls.

and btw most of those stories you hear about? their either wrong or not representative of the general picture. (again just look at jewish sources and you'll see that plainly)

sem girl, nice statements, and i'm sorry for what happened, i know it hurts, but identifying the person doens't help, remember to avoid the temptation to throw mud around, although it looks like your doing a pretty good job.

6/19/2006 12:12 PM  
Blogger specialx2 said...

Wow Semgirl.
Although I do agree with a lot of what you wrote, and part of the comments (NAH for instance) there is one thing that I am confused about.
You wrote: Another factor is that when they come from very-repressed backgrounds they cant.
Yiden everywhere have the same Torah. I dont believe that it says in there that "these kind of yiden" are allowed to do this, but it's usser for "these kind of yidden". What's usser for one is wrong for all. There is no distinction that marks certain actions to be right for some but wrong for others.

6/19/2006 12:23 PM  
Blogger notahottie said...

thanks semgirl you put a smile on my face cuz the only kind of hot i was feeling today was the weather. i'm DRIPPING! can't stand the heat! if i really was hot i wouldn't sweat so much probably. i mean who do you know who's hot who gets sweat marks on her armpits?! also thanks for not caring that i put more of a post of my own than a normal comment on your blog! but then again, i never do anything normally and i always ramble on and on and on-this was just supposed to be a "thank you for putting a smile on my face" and look what it turned into! and also i want to address SPECIALx2- unfortunately, some jews practically make up their own torah, so they consider certain things right/wrong that aren't necessarily right/wrong. ok now can we all just be friends? i'm so opinionated and i don't mind arguing a little but i agree with sw/fm lets chill out a little bit (easy for me to say now that i let off tons of steam, huh!)

6/19/2006 12:44 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

Gosh, no time to read all the comments now, so I will have to come back later.

For now, about the first thing, like I don't have to even say anything. The most pathetic people are those who make discussions personal instead of the issues. It just shows that they unable to discuss a simplke issue so they have to resort to personal attacks.

About the platinic issue. I have already commented of FrumGirl's blog and other places. I do not fully agree with Semgirl here. I think there is a middle here. Like not talking to a man or lady is not the way it used to be, as far as I can tell or ever heard or read.

But there is like a HUGE difference between a greeting, an exchange for a specific purpose, which can be totally okay, and a 'relationship'. And I DO think the gedolim have all always said like relationships between genders are wrong. This goes back to medrashim and gemaras. (Sorry, I don't have the specifics, but I surely have seen them). So the extreme of ignoring the oppsite gender (which I really don't think is done anyway too much in Lakewood) is wrong, but relationships? I just don't think so.

Shalom

6/19/2006 3:06 PM  
Blogger kasamba said...

It looks like I found your blog after alot of water went under the bridge.

I just want to say that you sound like are a yiras shamyim and you have wonderful midos.
I'm impressed.

6/19/2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

elisheva, depends on the contexts and it depends on the people.

some people it would be absolutely wrong for, and for some it would be absolutely right for and he'd be called a chossid shotah for not doing it.

and the contexts... i don't think anyone says it's ok to go out of your way to make friendships with the opposite sex dafka for that purpose, but at the same time being friendly and amiable with people whom you work with or study with, (and that necessitates friendship on some level), are perfectly ok.

now with people who are unmarried it's an entirely different issue both in terms of the possibility of marrying the person your becoming friends with and interms of rules and regulations that make things more stringant.

(it really goes both ways with unmarried folk. as long as things are loosely dependent on "hey maybe this person is my beshert, and if not maybe my friends beshert so i should get to know them!" i believe rebbetzin ester jungeries has alot on this subject and she's chassidic if i'm not mistaken... (hungarian chassidic, people who are well known for being over the top anal about this kind of thing))

6/19/2006 3:16 PM  
Blogger FrumGirl said...

well written, SG. I dont know what drama went on on Michelles blog but wasnt it closed down a while ago?

It is true about seperation turning us into objects and even dehumanizing us. I was at a yeshiva graduation yesterday and got an up and down from a very yeshivish looking beard wearing older black hatter that was nothing less than sexual harrassment. How dare they be so blatand about it! And I was dressed quite tsniusly.

Disgusting. I am *not* an object!

6/19/2006 5:25 PM  
Blogger Y.Y. said...

yes yes yes! no problem with being nice to the other sex but you say that you have tons of boy friends you still keep in touch with and so does your husband something very odd about that

6/19/2006 6:58 PM  
Blogger Y.Y. said...

sorry guys but semgirl is a girl i know for sure try swinging at someone else

6/19/2006 7:07 PM  
Blogger Girly50 said...

Check out Elisheva's latest comments. It seems that some idiot is theorizing about her too.

6/19/2006 7:10 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Semgirl-ultimately--it's up to you. If you choose to delete my blog from your blogroll, that's fine. I will still continue to read and enjoy your blog.

I think what happened on my blog was taken way out of proportion, and if you'd read carefully, you'll note that I did demand the attacking to stop, only I did so in a joking fashion.

If it'll make you happy, I can delete them. They don't do anything for my blog. They don't enhance my piece, or make me think, which is what comments are really meant to do.

It's up to you.

I wish you continued hatzlacha on your blog, and in life, and I will continue to say my piece on your blog, even if you choose not to do so on mine.

6/19/2006 7:12 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

This is quite the catty post, (notwithstanding the eyewash at the beginning about how wonderful Michelle really is).

But I think Michelle's reply shows class.

6/19/2006 7:15 PM  
Blogger notahottie said...

i never thought i'd say this but I AGREE WITH YESHIVA GUY!!! semgirl, please accept michelle's words of apology, you two are good people, you gotta make up...what's better, to talk to guys and fight with people or to not talk to guys and not fight...well for sure shalom is extremely important, so pleeeeease? thanks!

6/19/2006 8:04 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Michelle, Actually, if you notice I did in fact comment on your blog today, and follow all the comments there .

I accept your apology, and ask you mechila if I over-reacted. Once again I'll reiterate I didnt take anything personally. If you or anyone, on or off-line would call me bummy, or not-frum, or fat or stupid or ugly I wouldnt say anything. But I felt this had the potential to hurt many other ppl.

On a positive note, I think you got the most comments since I started following your blog. When I was a little girl, my aunt and my grandmother's favorite show was Murphy Brown. The then vice-president took a swipe at it and you can google and find out what happened.

6/19/2006 8:08 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

NAH...this is so weird I read YG's and Michelle's comment and typed my last comment in and whenI hit the submit button your comment appeared, and I sensed what you would say before I saw it.

YY...calm down I dont have tons of bfs, I just dont believe in ladies sitting in one room of my house and men sitting in the other. And when no one is watching the men are looking to hook up in chatrooms.

FG...sorry to hear that, but at least he was only looking at you. I was on the bus going to Monsey several times with the Mehitza and the curtain and someone pinched me.


Kasamba...thank you

Elisheva...I actually agree with you more then you think.. You just have to define relationship. I hope you didnt think I meant a frum lady going out with a bunch of guys for beers and bowling. But saying Rabbi so-and-so and acting like you are afraid someone is going to bite you to someone you had a close friendship with when you were single or to your husband's best friend is so not my scene.

6/19/2006 8:28 PM  
Blogger notahottie said...

yes! yes yes yes! i'm so happy! this entire incident should go down in history as two wonderful girls who could have completely destroyed one another but were both great enough to be able to say "i'm gonna talk to guys AND be a good person" haha. yay! i'm really proud of you two. i'm so excited i'm grinning. so great. thanks!

6/19/2006 10:12 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Yeshiva Guy-Thanks :-)

Semgirl-glad it's all cleared up. I get distrubed when people are upset at me. Now I can sleep tonight :-)
Thanks :)

6/19/2006 10:59 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"i never thought i'd say this but I AGREE WITH YESHIVA GUY!!!"

Ah, but you have said it before! On LV's blog. Of course, you were mad again a comment or two later, but that's okay.

6/19/2006 11:37 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

Michelle: You're most welcome.

6/19/2006 11:39 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"I was on the bus going to Monsey several times with the Mehitza and the curtain and someone pinched me."

You got pinched through the mechitza on *several* occasions? I'd have a hard time believing it happened even once, but okay, maybe. But several times? Puhleeze!

6/19/2006 11:42 PM  
Blogger Okee said...

Ummm. I don't know where to begin. I feel like I've been gone forever, but when I returned to the blogging world (after only a week hiatus), I find most blogs about platonic relationships...

Why is that, I wonder?

Nowadays, in our generation, the yetzer harah to connect to the opposite gender is fierce. Yes, I called it a yetzer harah, because although the desire itself, alone and inherent in (almost) all humans, is neutral, a gift -if you will- from Hashem. But when that gift drives us to contemplate assur behavior, however light or severe, it becomes a yetzer harah.

But really, when is it wrong, and when is it a ma'alah to converse/shmooze/smile/laugh/hang with the opposite gender? It all comes down to -what are the correct borders?

I don't know. But I do know this. Judaism forces us to be introspective, to know who we are, and what we are capable of. Yes, of course, the first step is to find yourself a rav. Ask him -yes, him!- what the exact halachos are. Understand what is assur, mutar, a chumrah, a sensitivity. Then understand yourself. And do your best. Hashem is the kind of teacher to give you an "effort award".

To all bloggers endlessly debating the issue...To all who sneer and mock the people who feel they need to be super stringent...I don't know you. I won't tell you what you're borders are, what you need to do to become spiritually successful. And you don't know me. Saying things like, "you're being unfriendly by not making conversation" or "you're sexist" or "you're being too, too"- anything, is pointless. Do not judge another until you're in their place.

6/20/2006 12:20 AM  
Blogger notahottie said...

oh yeah yg you're right...guess i meant i'd never say it again, but anyway, there you go again always having to get in the last word!

6/20/2006 6:27 AM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"there you go again always having to get in the last word!"

If only. There is no such thing as the last word in blogland.

6/20/2006 10:31 AM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

you got pinched on the bus?
MAKE A STINK!!! the guy deserves to be "outed"

6/20/2006 10:40 AM  
Blogger notahottie said...

i know if i was pinched on the bus i would've thrown the curtain aside and confronted the jerk. but that's just how i am-i can't let something like that go because i'll obsess over it for the rest of my life. and yes, it's possible that it happened more than once, some guys are really sickos and think they can do whatever they want, especially when someone looks different than them-they think that if you're not as frum looking as they are, you're a slut.

6/20/2006 2:56 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"I know if i was pinched on the bus i would've thrown the curtain aside and confronted the jerk."

Of course. That would be the most reasonable reaction. So why didn't SG do that? She's not exactly a shrinking violet you know. Her passive acceptance of the abuse (and several times to boot!) make me suspicious of the story.

6/20/2006 3:16 PM  
Blogger FrumGirl said...

Because its embarrassing, thats why! YG - you dont know what its like to be a girl!

6/20/2006 5:00 PM  
Blogger thekvetcher said...

http://www.cockamun.blogspot.com/

i'm back

6/20/2006 5:52 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"YG - you dont know what its like to be a girl!"

Can't argue with that.

6/20/2006 6:16 PM  
Blogger notahottie said...

just because she didn't confront the guy doesn't mean it didn't happen. i'm just that type, i would barely even think before screeching at the guy even though he'd probably just say that i'm some crazy modern girl who wishes he pinched my butt. i've heard of it happening before and girls don't say anything, but really, semgirl, next time you should speak up. who knows how many times this guy has done that and gotten away with it. hey, maybe it was yeshiva guy and now he's getting all defensive...

6/20/2006 6:40 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

Maybe it was, at that. Which bus did this happen on?

6/20/2006 6:54 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

Why are we making such a big deal about a pinch anyway? Maybe it was a platonic pinch. Those are fine, aren't they? I mean, you never pinched your sister?

6/20/2006 10:03 PM  
Blogger notahottie said...

wiseass

6/21/2006 6:26 AM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

My God, a one-word post from NAH. Will wonders never cease.

6/21/2006 9:56 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

yeshiva guy, you know you really sound disgusting dont you?

theres alot wrong with an unwelcome touch of anykind, and it isn't in the slightest bit funny.

i've actualy had to deal with some of those recently, although with much more benign intentions, it's really emberassing, and your voice stops up and you can't say anything to complain.

notahottie, wow you've got guts.

6/21/2006 11:37 AM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"yeshiva guy, you know you really sound disgusting dont you?"

No, I actually wasn't aware of that. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

"theres alot wrong with an unwelcome touch of anykind, and it isn't in the slightest bit funny."

No? Then I guess you wouldn't appreciate this:

http://www.maineiac.com/wife/pinch.html

6/21/2006 12:06 PM  
Blogger Hasid_Letz said...

Reading comprehension, please. Did SG say she didn't confront the jerk? Why are you putting words in someone's mouth?

6/21/2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

First off, Congrats to SG and Michelle. I love you both!

The comments are getting very funny here. YG I think you are hysterical. And I wonder if everyone missed the point with the 'platonic pinch' line.

SG, I was going to say the same thing you did. I think it boils down to how you define 'relationship'. My father has a friend who is a very chashuv person and has a yeshiva and he talks to me if he is in our house. Very respectfully, but he does. But, I would not ever think I have a 'relationship' with him. I guess i could say i do. So it depends how you term relationship.

But in the way i think of it, like something personal and serious between two people, I just don't think it is possible like no matter about frumkeit or what. It just isn't possible, unless you are not wired the way Hashem made us normally or dulled your wiring somehow.

Shalom

6/21/2006 6:26 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

Didn't even realize! That was comment 50!

(Will I ever grow up?)

6/21/2006 6:27 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

What do you mean, why am I putting words in someone's mouth? Did I claim that she *said* she didn't respond. I simply made an assumption as to what happened, but no claim as to what she said. You're the one who needs "reading comprehension," dummy.

6/21/2006 6:27 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"YG I think you are hysterical."

Thank you Elisheva.

Now there's a girl with good taste in men.

6/21/2006 6:30 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

T Wishes….welcome back havent heard from you in a while …I totally agree with you. However , its worth mentioning that you are old enough to have the judgement and you obviously live in a more out-of-townish normal community.

Lots …..Since you brought up Lita, the flip side is a story my husband told me about the Chofetz Chaim. Once the Lubliner Rov, came to the Chofetz chaim for Shabbos, and asked if the women could eat in another room. The Chofetz Chaim answered that he was welcome to eat in a separate room, but the family all eats together.

Limey…actually it was the Mall, but I’m happy you enjoy the blog so much you still remember Yossi.. I didn’t even remember him until you reminded me.

HNC…exactly..For example, I heard on a tape that Reb Ruderman would refused to officiate at a wedding where there was a Mechitza by the Chuppa..

Special..so happy to see you are back.. Once again, black and white issurim apply to everyone, customs only apply to those communities that have them. For example, Litvish women who don’t wear seamed stockings or hats on their Sheitl are not “wrong”, if their Poskim do not require that.

Okee…..Judgement does play a major role here like all other areas of halacha. Everyone needs to know where they are holding and what their real intentions are. ‘V Yiraisa M’Elokecha..

YG….actually, the second time I gave someone a swift kick in the ankle, hope I got the right guy. If that was you, Yeshivaguy, it was a platonic kick.. You know the kind your younger, Chutzpadik brother needs like every day..Elisheva, you know what I’m talking about..

6/21/2006 10:07 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"If that was you, Yeshivaguy, it was a platonic kick.. "

I remember it well. It was precisely the sort of kick Plato himself would have administered had he been pinched on the Monsey bus. The very Form of Kick.

6/21/2006 10:39 PM  
Blogger jewish philosopher said...

Unfortunately, men pretty much always view women as sex objects. If she's attractive.

6/22/2006 1:25 PM  
Blogger blackhatisfake123 said...

Good post. I am a yeshiva guy and while I am not as careful to stay away from girls as I should, I definately see where the yeshivos are coming from. The bottom line is that very often talking leads to sex. I know not in one step but within a few weeks of getting to know a girl it is not unlikely that you will be sleeping with her. For girls you are right it is supposed to be "special" and "the moment" but sadly for guys very often it is not like that. So I think Lakewood is correct in what they preach not to talk to girls nor have anything to do with them.

6/22/2006 5:30 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

talking only leads to misbehavior if you have no scruples, yiras shemayim, derech eretz, morals, or really any depth of character at all.

for the rest of us, our rabbis of old specified what leads to it: Being alone together, Touching each other.

our rabbis really meant to draw the absolute line there. (not that it's good for women and men to go to a bar together or similar issues, but this is obvious to anyone who still has the seichel g-d gave them.)

i'm somehow thinking of the rules about pas yisroel which where instituted lest a jewish boy go to a private home to buy bread, fall in love with the daughter who bakes it, and marry her... it's kinda hard to fall in love if you don't talk at all so obviously talking is permited otherwise they wouldn't have had to make that rule.)

oh and btw, boys only think that way because we let them and even tell them that's the way they should think. (or maybe i'm wrong, but i believe this very firmly)

6/22/2006 6:37 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"our rabbis really meant to draw the absolute line there. (not that it's good for women and men to go to a bar together or similar issues, but this is obvious to anyone who still has the seichel g-d gave them.)"

You're contradicting yourself. First you say that yichud and negiah are the only things that are forbidden, then you say that going to a bar is a problem too. Why? B/c that's just plain seichel. Well, once "seichel" becomes the determining factor, it becomes entirely subjective. Other people might have a different, more stringent, view of what constitutes "seichel" in these matters.

Besides, Chazal did not draw the line at yichud and negiah. Histaklus is assur as well, as is shemias kol, as is anything that brings a person to think erotic thoughts.

6/22/2006 9:24 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

histaklus first of is not simply looking at them, or seeing them, it is an intent gaze and nothing else. furthermore the context of that halacha clearly tell you why the look is being performed for it to be prohibited. (and incase you know nothing about hebrew idioms it clearly hints that your looking at "her little finger" as if you where looking at a certain other part of her anatomy, aka, sexualy)

that's first.

shmias kol is not halachicaly an absolute. (it is halachicaly permissible to listen to holy words from their mouths like them singing zemiros or singing their prayers)

and btw very very few things inherently bring a person to think errotic thoughts.

while technicaly permited men and women going to a bar together is simply stupid.

the point here is that in many ways these issues are subjective but it can easily be taken to far, and if the result is to objectify women and reduce them to sex objects it's really not advisable.
(especialy when your grounds for objecting lie directly within the realm of self control for all but the worst people, your not being holy, your being a chassid shoteh in this case)

6/22/2006 9:57 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"histaklus first of is not simply looking at them, or seeing them, it is an intent gaze and nothing else."

Did I say otherwise? My point was that the issurim go beyond negiah and yichud, contrary to what you stated above.

"shmias kol is not halachicaly an absolute. (it is halachicaly permissible to listen to holy words from their mouths like them singing zemiros or singing their prayers)"

Again, irrelevant to my point, which was that the issurim go beyong negiah and yichud, contrary to your previous statement. (Although I would like to see a source for your contention regarding "holy words," if you can provide one. I think you made it up.)

"and btw very very few things inherently bring a person to think errotic thoughts."

Nonsense.

"especialy when your grounds for objecting lie directly within the realm of self control for all but the worst people,"

What are you talking about? The Gemara teaches some of these laws with respect to the Tannaim themselves, who are surely not "the worst people." See Avodah Zarah 20a-b.

(See there also for further instances of seemingly innocuous acts forbidden b/c they lead to erotic thought.)

And by the way, your contention that histaklus refers only to a deliberate gaze for sexual pleasure is not at all universally accepted. There are many who hold that even a casual glance is forbidden. There is much discussion among the poskim on this very point. If you're really interested, I can provide with sources for further iyun.

6/22/2006 11:20 PM  
Blogger ThinkingJew said...

HNC I admire you as a person, but you conveniently 'forgot' the things you were not interested in.

The mishna states "Al tarbeh sicha im haIsha."

The gemara further explains what "tarbeh" means. It says that a great Rabbi asked "Which is the way to Lod?" and he should have asked "Which to Lod?"

And this is not "the worst type of people, but a great Rabbi. So obviously the issurim are not just touching and being alone, but speaking too much, which is really anything more than necessary.

Now 'necessary' can depend on the situation. I am not advocating ignoring ladies or placing them in different rooms. At times it may be necessary to converse for hours.

But keep in mind, it still has to qualify as necessary, otherwise the mishna explicitely prohibits it. Let's not be silly or blind ourselves. It says "ein apotropus larayos". This is universal, by tzaddikim and reshaim. Chazal give us guidance. Let's not ignore it and call it right-wing frumkeit just because we'd rather do without these restrictions.

It is in the best interest of all of us to follow. We'll have a better life in the long run.

6/23/2006 12:16 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

you can't cite perkei avos as halacha because it isn't, or at least not in the sense that the rest of the perkei avos is halacha.

perkei avos is by definition going above and beyond the letter of the law.

and the difference between the laws your mentioning and yichud and negia is the others are much more personal restriction while yichud and negia are actual restrictions on how you can mingle.

and no i didn't make it up about the holy words thing, i heard it from very reliable and trustworthy sources.

6/23/2006 8:10 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

correction: not rest of perkei avos is halacha, should be rest of mishnah is halacha.

6/23/2006 8:11 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

oh and aditionaly many rabbis darshan that mishna perkei avos to be refering specificaly to errotic banter.

6/23/2006 8:13 AM  
Blogger ThinkingJew said...

Gosh, now I am losing the respect I had for you. There is such a thing as admitting when you are wrong.

1) Where did you get this that Pirkei Avos is any less halacha than the rest of Mishna? And don't tell me "I heard from big rabbis". No name, no credibility. The same mishna that tells us what type of Esrog to use, tells of how to conduct our lives. We cannot pick and choose.

2) In that gemara (Eruvin 53B) Bruria called Rabbi Yosi Haglili a "Shoteh" which is quite a strong term for someone so holy and for talk which was NOT IN THE LEAST erotic. If it is not mandated, why would she call him that?

3) Again, the gemara CLEARLY states that this does NOT apply only to erotic talk, but to all extra speech. If you have a different source, please let us know where. Just saying "others hold..." means nothing.

Again, people do take this to the extreme. Sometimes it can be ligitimately necessary to talk with the opposite sex for hours. But again, it still has to be necessary. Just talk is wrong.

Also Igros Moshe clearly paskens -and he writes that this is dry halacha and not chumros or anything of that sort - that it is forbidden for a boy to just talk and keep company with a girl for no reason other than being friends. Rabbi Feinstein was not exactly a right-wing fanatic.

6/23/2006 3:33 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

interesting that rav moshe says that. thanks for mentioning it, i'm really going to have to think about it.
(although it does leave me in rather an even worse possition than before.)

6/23/2006 4:00 PM  
Blogger ThinkingJew said...

I admire your forthrightness. I'm sure you'll work out the best position and in the long run, it is always for our good.

G-d knows what is best for us. Trust him.

6/23/2006 5:09 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"although it does leave me in rather an even worse possition than before."

Your position can't really get much worse, considering that you're making halachic pronouncements without ever having learned the sugya. Instead of saying over things you heard from who-knows-who, why don't you just sit down with a Gemara Avodah Zarah, and go through the sugya in 20a-b, with all the meforshim, and then you'll be ready to discuss the issue.

6/23/2006 7:02 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

yeshiva guy you missed the point entirely.

but then one would expect that from someone who thinks that after you talk to a girl for a few weeks your likely to sleep with her.

6/24/2006 10:35 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

actualy after thinking about it, maybe i just shouldn't even try it because well, as was put by someone in the last post here i'm just to plan emotional to take a gemorah properly and maybe i should sit with insperational fluff. Perhaps insperational fluff would motivate me like i need to be who i need to be, and i should totaly ignore the entire intelectual side of things, good night.

6/24/2006 10:56 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

"yeshiva guy you missed the point entirely."

Yeah, it just flew right by me.

"but then one would expect that from someone who thinks that after you talk to a girl for a few weeks your likely to sleep with her."

Whatever.

6/24/2006 11:22 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

YG... I was enjoying the shiur.. But 'whatever', Im sure that a Talmid Chochom of your calibre can come up with a better response.

6/25/2006 1:21 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/25/2006 3:03 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

SG: I appreciate the compliment (even if undeserved), and I do have a better response, but I wasn't in the mood of dealing with silly, baseless mischaracterizations of my position, so I "whatevered." But if you're really interested, I'll post a more l'maaseh'dike answer.

6/25/2006 3:05 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

sorry yg, i thought you had made blackhatisfakes assertion...

sorry. still holds though.

and btw, we're not allowed to quote a rabbi for supporting a ruling if we don't share his hashkafa, so it really doesn't matter which rabbis say it's not allowed as long as their not your rabbis.

(like the poskim frequently say: one should not rebuke them because they have whom to rely on)

g-d is not limited by our paltry concepts of right or wrong or there can't be two contradictory right answers. in truth, they're all right! (these and these are the words of the living g-d!)

6/25/2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

hnc, I don't know what you're talking about, as usual. Maybe you're responding to someone else's comment again.

SG: I wrote a long, detailed comment responding to the earlier point, but when I pressed "publish," blogger lost my comment. I just don't have the energy right now to do it all again. Sorry.

6/26/2006 8:46 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

YG....I'll tell you what I tell everyone. That happened to me several times and I learned to always compose long comments in Word and cut and paste over, so its saved.

6/27/2006 7:23 AM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

Yes, or just to highlight the comment before pressing publish, right-click and copy, and then, if it's lost, you just right-click and paste. Each time I lose a comment, I resolve to do this in future, but these resolutions generally go the way of all good resolutions.

6/27/2006 12:52 PM  
Blogger ADMITNOTHING said...

check it out !

http://www.toughjews.blogspot.com/

6/28/2006 8:55 AM  
Blogger Cellar Door said...

Im really late, but youae one of those girls that dont understand that guys are dogs. Of course I dont mean that we are bad people, just that guys have it extra hard NOT to think about having a relatonship or looking at women improperly. Im sure many guys will jump on me now but its true. These gedarim are needed. As for platonic, in almost all cases one party has an attraction, so Sem even though u werent attracted thy were. That is not platonic. Its a two way street.

6/28/2006 10:44 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

you know the talmud states then the yeitzer of a woman (regarding things like this) is much more powerfull than the yeitzer of a man? Furthermore current scientific studies are starting to prove this point.

if they can do it, so can you.

(on the other hand with a bigger yeitzer hara their yeitzer tov is bigger to counterbalance it so...)

however your yeitzer does counter balance it so any acting like a dog is your own fault and not the fault of being a guy. (and worse yet the western culture in which we, R"L, have been immersed encourages this lack of accountability.) many boys may act that way but it's their own fault and sin.

6/28/2006 12:09 PM  
Blogger ThinkingJew said...

HNC, where do you pick uo these 'gemarar' from?

The gemara in Avoda Zora clearly states that men have it worse in this than women. The gemara says, "Look in the illicit sex (prostitution) market, who is chasing who? The men are chasing the women."

6/28/2006 3:32 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i've seen the other though i can't remember where from.

(and besides there are many contradictory statements in the talmud, it is hardly homogonous in it's oppinions)

6/28/2006 5:53 PM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

possibly the gemara that HNC refers is the one about if a woman had three cups of wine she runs out and cohabits with the first man she finds....

6/29/2006 11:27 AM  
Blogger Cellar Door said...

Men need wine to ease their desire. 'Nuff said

6/30/2006 9:42 AM  
Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

OK. I'm really late to comment on this, but I don't know much about SG. I do know she's a girl though, so all of you saying SG is a guy, I've spoken on the phone to her, and she was very much a girl. So guys...sorry to say, you were way off base.

7/03/2006 1:17 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i'll also say she's deffinitely a girl. (slightly boyish [gosh hope it doesn't offend you semgirl] but unquestionably a girl.)

7/03/2006 7:21 PM  
Blogger MoeJoe770 said...

Hey thought you guys might find this interesting
Cool Jewish Tshirts
Tell ya friends!

7/03/2006 9:07 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Eishes: Its great hearing from you again, where have you been hiding. How are things going by you.

HNC: Slightly boyish, thats funny considering you are one of my favorite "girlfriends" . I hope your wife will appreciate your feminine qualities.

Moe: Great tshirts, but in Lakewood, women arent allowed to wear shirts with writing on them, that call attention to themselves.

7/03/2006 10:23 PM  
Blogger The Truth said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/05/2006 5:04 AM  
Blogger The Truth said...

You're really exaggerating on this. You [almost] sound anti religious. Even Yediot Achronot (which isn't such a Charedi lover) approves of the separate seating buses. They have a whole article with a poll claiming 64% of Israelis approve separate seating and only 22% disapprove. Do you want to be from the 22% of....??????


check it out
http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/1,7340,L-3244805,00.html

7/05/2006 5:09 AM  
Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

The truth, I'm totally with you on this. More and more of the frum blogs are starting to sound as you put it (almost) anti religious.

7/05/2006 6:55 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

not respecting their idea that boys and girls shouldn't even be on the same sidewalks isn't the same as being antireligious.

religion is fine and good, but not when it's used as a spade to dig.

(try as you might you will NEVER EVER find a code or teshuva that endorses that kind of crazyness)

7/05/2006 9:56 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

brief correction:

you will never find one made before the shoah, and theres a reason for it

7/05/2006 9:57 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

With all due respect to Truth, and my dear friend Eshet, was Reb Moshe anti-religious, when he was virulently against Mehitzas by a Kiddush or Bar Mitzva. He said that if that would be necessary you would also need a Mehitza on every sidewalk.

What about Reb Ruderman who refused to be Mesader Kidushin by a Chupa that a Mehitza, which he felt was wrong because it wasnt like thatin Lita..

7/05/2006 11:49 PM  
Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

Sem girl, no one is forcing you to live in Lakewood. If you really can't stand the way of life there among other things, why not move? I don't see why you spend so much time griping on the bad things when obviously there are so many good things keeping you there. No one is holding a gun to your head to stay in a place you seem to hate so much.

7/06/2006 3:08 AM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

HNC, how bout the mishna berura at the end of Hilchos Yom Tov.......

7/06/2006 12:38 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

your being extremely vauge limey, where is said halacha?

or is it one about simchas bais hashoeva which really doesn't support the contention at all, because at simchas bais hashoeva the people where by in large quite drunk, and therefore there is reason to be concerned about it, while in general people walk around stone cold sober and don't have the same issues? (in addition to the degree of levity present at the simchah that is not normaly present)

(sorry i usualy more study shulchan aruch harav, not mishnah berurah)

7/06/2006 2:41 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

if it's the same as i'm finding here (funny that it should be the last one there) that (if i understant right) is that you shouldn't have the boys and girls at the same table on yom tov, it seems pretty clear it's because theres an assumption that they will be drunk, and it's totaly special to the regalim, hence why it's mentioned there (and not in a more obvious place, and it should be obvious why having drunk boys and girls around each other is a bad idea)

7/06/2006 2:48 PM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

101 yay
HNC, yah, whatever

7/06/2006 3:59 PM  
Blogger ThinkingJew said...

HNC, you have to stop this habit of making things up. Otherwise, you usually make sense.

The Mishna Berura and Sha'ar Tzion specifically say that this is not only on Yom Tov, but ALL THE TIME, even on a regular weekday.

And it is not only if you get drunk. What it says is that it can LEAD to levity such as getting drunk, but what is forbidden is the eating together, or walking around together, and even on a plain weekday.

Not every time people eat together is necessarily such a situation, but one should realize this halacha and ask his posek for guidlines, not make up what he wants.

If you seek guidance in this halacha, you are fine. If you just dismiss it, that's what they mean about just being anti-religious.

7/07/2006 3:06 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

as i said thinking jew and limey, i haven't seen it because i don't study much mishnah berurah. i replied from memory regarding something i'd heard from someone else (which i may have remembered not at all or incompletely)

now if you will please tell me where in the "end" of hilchos yom tov this is, i would very much like to look it up thank you very much. I did ask for you to tell me where it is.

(i've been looking for something to support these additudes for an extremely long time, as of up till now in the sources i have available i have not found it, so please hold your critcism untill you've actualy told me where to find it so i can look it up, because if i have to do it my self it will litteraly take me days and weeks. thank you)

7/07/2006 6:18 PM  
Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

you ight wanna check my blog sg.

7/09/2006 9:58 PM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

um, the last one??? chelek hey

7/10/2006 2:14 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

at this point i found it.

it's then the earliest support of some of this narishkeit. . .

(and i find it very segnificant rabbi shneur zalman didn't find the need to put such a clause in his text)

7/10/2006 3:20 PM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

yawn.... so semgirl you're gonna have to become Lubabitch.....

7/10/2006 5:27 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

[giggle]

that's so funny limey, it really is.

7/10/2006 9:59 PM  
Blogger Reasonably Nuts Frummy said...

OK, I refuse to read 108 comments to put in my two cents so I'll just stick it here. Take it or leave it.
It says in pirkei avos: Al Tarbeh Sichah im haisha. Rashi (I think it's rashi anyways) says Kal vachomer im isha acheres. We also know how shelomis bas dibrie went from blaber mouth to rape victim. While I do think the supermarket thing is a bit extreme for most of us; too much meaningless jabber is never a good thing with anyone and certainly not with the opposite sex. It just doesn't lead to good.
However, I do wish we would calm down a bit on the issue with our teanagers. Teach them why they have to be careful, watch them, but don't stick them into exodus for being hormonal.
As for adults, semgirl, last I checked you are a halachic Jew. If being neheneh mi etzbah ketanah is assur then don't you think being careful is in place? Could you really say that the Etzbah ketanah line is never crossed in these relationships?
I talk to single guys and my husbands friends all the time. I have to. Our children play with eachother, our yards connect, we need to make arrangements and be polite or whatever, but there are limitations. I try to call them by title and last name as much as possible to establish that distance and many of them do the same. I think this is important and commendable.
As far as michelle, I haven't even been able to locate the comments you speak of but I'm still ashamed at you. You seemed to open minded to cut someone off like that without just reason and I don't know the whole story so I guess I'll just stay out of it.

7/11/2006 12:37 PM  
Blogger wearywife said...

To Miss Holier-Than-Thou before me. Give me a break. I wonder if that "etzbah ketana" thing is being violated when you flirt with the plumber, carpenter, electrician, etc... to get a break in the price. I see it happen all the time.

When I used to work in the city, I always saw frum ladies being a lil too friendy with others in the office. Ideally, men should go to work and avoid as much contact with women as possible and frum women should stay home, but we all know it doesnt go that way..

7/11/2006 11:28 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

WearyWife raises an interesting point. Maybe, I'm naive, but I think shes exaggerating a bit.

Reasonbly...Thanks for the concern, but if you scroll up to the top ten comments, you'll see made peace a long time ago.

7/12/2006 8:08 AM  
Blogger workingema said...

Wow- you guys are fuunnyy!
and although you have 111 posts, I'd like to add another...
Platonic relationships...

well, I can say that I have had 'platonic' relationships of my own.. HOWEVER, I found out, through the grapevine and straight up- that ALL the guys I thought were just 'friends' ALL had a crush on me! So.. that's one down for 'platonic'.

Then, one guy, who had a crush on me, but was straight foward and said he knew we could just be friends (before I was married) b/c our way of life was different, I kept up with. But when he got married (TO HIS PLATONIC FRIEND OF... OH SO MANY YEARS) it just didn't go- even if I was friends with his wife as well. So, down with number two.

Thirdly, my husband absolutely does not like it when I talk to guys that I know and he doesn't. Yes, he tries to be accommadating (however it's spelled) and understanding, but in the end, he really does not like it.

So.... I don't think there's REALLY such a thing as 'platonic' relationships.

but I don't see anything wrong with being 'mentschlich' to the people you know. On that- I think it's only kavod habrios to at least say 'hi'- but you don't need anymore than that....

7/18/2006 6:35 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Workingema welcome aboard. 112 is just as appreciated as #1, sorry I couldnt respond sooner. In all fairness, I think you curve fitted your reactions to fit the brainwashing (excuse me, Bais Yacov education). I think its a chicken or egg kind of thing. We are told repeatedly from the earliest age that a male-female rel-ship ooutside of close family (hopefully), is a sexual one, so any friendship we make with a male becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or is it precisely because every male-female rel-ship inevitably goes in that direction that we need to be indoctrinated.

Im not sure which it is. But I am positive, that forcing girls to forgo basic needs for many years in many cases, and instilling an irrational paranoia of all men in them, regardless of age or marital status so that the slightest social interaction makes them get all weird, even if its just Good Shabbos, is not healthy or normal.

7/21/2006 12:01 AM  
Blogger workingema said...

"I think you curve fitted your reactions to fit the brainwashing (excuse me, Bais Yacov education)"
Uh.. I think you're wrong on that. I was one of those that totally did not listen to anything my school had to say. I went to a BY school, but had very un-BY friends, so my way of thinking is not necessarily on that wavelength.
To be honest, I came to the conclusion of "no such a thing as platonic rel-ship"on my own, after witnessing and experiencing what happened to me and my friends- male and female.

and I'm with you on the irrational paranoia, but not on withholding on basic needs. Some needs are meant to be held in check until further use... But girls (and guys) should not be taught to be 'frightened' of the opposite sex.

7/24/2006 1:44 AM  
Blogger Reasonably Nuts Frummy said...

sg - Sorry. I told you I didn't have time to read all the earlier comments.
In regard to your most recent comment: I agree that the holding off on most basic needs for so many years becomes a real problem. Girls start showing signs of lesbian behavior without even knowing it, or they fall in love with love itself and go crazy over the thought of it. I'm at a loss with a solution to this problem. I don't think allowing more interaction is the answer. My father says we should go back to marrying girls off when their twelve although I'm not so sure that wouldn't cause at least a hundred other problems. (Even if we mandated BC for the first ten years or so.)
Another solution is instilling in our girls a better understanding of what a real relationship between H&W is supposed to be, teaching them the beauty and telling them what they will gain from 'holding off' and showing a higher level of self control. I think we need to be more open with our students in BY schools and our daughters in our own home. If they had a better understanding of what life was all about and how much more rewarding their relationship could be if it is at a highler level of commitment, they wouldn't have as much trouble. I think the only reason I didn't have to do those things when I was growing up was because I could discuss anything, and I mean anything with my parents, brothers and sisters. We held eachother together and understood fully why we were doing the things we did and weren't doing the things we didn't. It sure helps.

7/24/2006 9:48 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

it's a problem for boys too.

heaven knows the estrogen depravation isn't doing them a bit of good.

7/25/2006 10:01 PM  
Blogger Reasonably Nuts Frummy said...

True. It has nothing to do with girl or boy. We were just talking from the girls point of view. In America we refer to it as teenagers. Too immature to have a safe and healthy relationship yet too hormonal to manage without one. That's why they need good parents, teachers and peers to help them get through these years safely and understand why they have to wait.

7/26/2006 10:39 AM  
Blogger trying hard said...

Umm just wanted to put in a few points. Firstly whoever HNC is, you really dont know that much. Look in rambam issurei biya perek 21, and in even hoezer siman 21 " tzarich odom lhisrachaik meod meod min hanashim" - a man must distance himslef ALOT from women.

The reason the oilam never had a mechitza is because the world used to be moral. As an example until twenty years ago on english tv it was illegal to show a man and woman in bed together!!! even fully clothed! I am not stupid enough to say that we are worse now than then, however what was an embarrasment and something for the back streets is now acceptable practice - gay pride parades( pardon me while i throw up) women dressing in public like prostitutes.

Anyway glad to be here.

7/28/2006 6:49 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

agian i say, read the statement in the rambam again, look deeply in to what he says there, and read his examples of what he means by "distancing your self exceedingly" from women.

he tells you what he means, and it isn't what people say it is.

if he ment that your supposed to never go near them, then he would have said so. however he didn't.

(and believe me, i have researched alot of the sources on this issue)

7/28/2006 11:28 AM  
Blogger Dr Sooll said...

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7/29/2006 9:51 AM  
Blogger Dr Sooll said...

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7/29/2006 9:31 PM  
Blogger Dr Sooll said...

Quotes in general, and particularly from Torah, must remain in context. The stipulation that a man may not look even at a woman's little finger is qualified as applying specifically when looking would be associated with carnal pleasure.

The fact is, that members of both genders are permitted to be in public, and men are not required to wear blindfolds. If however a man is particularly sensitive to the sight of any part of a womans body, he is obligated to avoid any such exposure.

Reasonably Nuts Frummy:
There's no need to go as far as Rashi. The mishna itself states it immediately. "V'al tarbeh sicha im ha'isha. B'ishto omru, kal v'chomer b'ashes chavero."

But do keep in mind that "tarbeh sichah" is relative. Perhaps a reason for the ambiguity is that the exact location where the line must be drawn is variable for different individuals.

A halacha may not be dismissed because one feels they are above it, or that the reason does not apply to them. However when a halacha is stated ambiguously lechatchilah, the halacha it's self is leaving room for interpretation based on personal standing. This requires extreme caution and absolute honesty with one's self, combined with direction from a reliable Rav or Mashpiah.

Shulchan aruch states (Even Ha'ezer 21,1)"Tzarich Ha'adam l'hisrachek me'hanashim meod meod." Shulchan aruch continues to list things that are forbidden under the umbrella of this halacha and includes 'flirting.' It does not forbid merely talking to a woman, nor does it forbid being polite and greeting a neighbor.

Consider a scenario where one knows of a mixed Jewish social event where there will be a large number of young adults who may be receptive to inspirational divrei Torah, but as of yet there are none planned and the event is purely social. I do not think it would be out of place for an individual who is comfortable that they will not suffer any downfalls as a result of attending the event, to go and present divrei Torah.

Of course it is necessary that the individual be absolutely certain in their belief that they are strong enough, and have the approval of their Rav or Mashpiah. But if one is honestly certain, is it in the best interest of avodas Hashem to have all the Yidden at the event miss out on divrei Torah and eat from zivchei mesim (Pirkei Avos 3,3)? **

In the order of the world we currently live in, to spread the light of Torah and increase the volume of Torah and Mitzvos being observed, it is at times necessary that one interact with members of the opposite gender -obviously within the boundaries of halacha.

In a personal inter-gender relationship where there is no specific avodas Hashem-related intention, one has to ask themselves why they are entering into it, platonic or not. After all it does say in shulchan aruch that man must distance himself from woman very very much.


**Care must be taken that one is not providing an excuse for an unsanctioned event by presenting divrei Torah. There have been precarious scenarios where anti-religious organizations may have used the presence of divrei Torah to support their competition with frum organizations.

7/30/2006 5:06 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

I would tend to agree with Trying Hard, I mean just look how ladies ( and I use the term very liberally ), dress at Chasanas today, Recently, I was watching my parent’s video from the 80s and it was like night and day. However, by ramming more Tznius down young girl’s throats and making more and more Chumros, you are just going to have more rebellion, especially from the most repressed girls, once they get married and are on their own. Unfortunately, it also causes some girls to marry the wrong person, out of a desire to just be free of their parents and school.

HNC: “he tells you what he means, and it isn't what people say it is” Ok, so what does he mean and what do you base that on.

Dr S… Excellently well-written comment. I think you hit the nail on the head,
“It does not forbid merely talking to a woman, nor does it forbid being polite and greeting a neighbor.”

It is precisely this sort of extremism, don’t say Good morning, don’t say Good Shabbos, act weird around your neighbors of several years, that unfortunately caused and continues to cause myself and my friends, to become repulsed with the whole idea, and go to the other extreme and act in a possibly inappropriate way. Is it right, probably not. Its just reality.

7/30/2006 1:37 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i think the person who posted after me illucidated quite well.

7/30/2006 2:16 PM  
Blogger he is innocent said...

New post WHEN?

8/09/2006 5:14 PM  
Blogger rayzee said...

Its interesting, I one time had a disscution with someone, and we both realized that neither of us know the REAL halachos of tznius, like the ones from the mishna brura. not the chumras from the rabbanim. we looked it up, and we are still in the procces but we learnt many interesting things. for example, it say that a girl has to cover her 'ad kaf haregel' there were two mifarshim on what a kaf regel is and one said that it is the knee, ans one the ankle. but the miforesh on the knee was only a 'ashkinazi' posek. Maybe all sefardim have to cover till there ankle. Oh ans one biggy... it never said anywhere that you have to cover your toes!

8/10/2006 2:56 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

SG - You know I disagree with you sometimes, but I do agree with your statement that one of the effects of all the Gedarim is that men and women dehumanize each other into sex objects, to some extent. One the one hand, less forbidden activity takes place, but on the other hand, I think that a lot worse ideas are flying through many bochurim's heads as a result.

Rayzee - yeah, I think if people made decisions on their own, people would have a lot more respect for the Halacha, and those that chose it would wear things a lot more in tune with Tznius. In many communities, toes are allowed. You just have to think about what it means to be frum, and how you want to live. It's not an easy decision, but I think anyone who is honest with themself is better off than somebody who just follows the crowd.

8/14/2006 9:59 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Rayzee....its interesting to note that the Mishna Brura seems to be meikl till the knee and allows for socks and sneakers, which is fairly standard practice in many community. Thats also the basis for Reb Moshe's tshuva that sheer stockings are fine because they cover an area that technically doesnt absolutely need to be covered.

Josh..excellent insightful comments as always. I apologize for the duration in posting. I have several new articles, just need to find the time to type it up.

8/14/2006 11:31 PM  
Blogger Dr Sooll said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/15/2006 3:55 PM  
Blogger Dr Sooll said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/15/2006 3:57 PM  
Blogger Dr Sooll said...

"I think anyone who is honest with themself is better off than somebody who just follows the crowd." -Josh

This ideal is universal. It is better to observe any halacha out of personal interest rather that to follow the crowd. The halachos of Tznius in particular, are conducive to a lifestyle and perspective that are important for a G-d-fearing Jew, and there is much more to tznius that just the halachos. (See my first comment in this discussion

However when it comes to halacha, observance of the rules is paramount. It does not say in Shulchan Aruch that one should cover until their knees if they have an appreciation for it.

It is certainly ideal to observe standards of tznius out of appreciation for the broader issue behind the halachos, but when it comes to halacha it is crucial that one observe the halachos whether or not they personally appreciate what the halachos represent. Halachos are about action. The right motives and appreciation certainly enhance the mitzvah immensely, but they are still secondary.

8/15/2006 4:03 PM  
Blogger CHNYOCK said...

hmmmmm

rock my boat baby!

7/01/2008 12:13 AM  

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