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

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Recently I noticed this post , which alerted me to Chana’s post .. I was a bit surprised as Im a pretty loyal reader and fan of her blog. Guess I must of missed it. I can totally relate to her experience. Chana, I really feel for you from the bottom of my heart. Even though I never met you in person I consider you to be a close friend, so I mean what Im about to say in the best possible way.

However, I would like to give my spin on it. This isn’t meant to be offensive or critical, its merely my thoughts.

My high school experiences, were somewhat similar to those described by Chana. The main difference being I didn’t go to a mild, ‘harry-ish’ Bais Yacob in Chicago. Nope, I attended a REAL hard-core girl’s HS in Lakewood, the “largest Torah citadel since Sura and Pumbadisa” (sic)… Which was way, way more repressive in every sense of the word, then the school Chana described. There were official and un-official rules, dress-codes, and policies, for just about every imaginable thing, and I broke them all.. They weren’t only mandated but in school but throughout the whole community as well.

But then a funny thing happened. I went to the city, partied a bit (maybe more then a bit, lol), had some fun, got my GED, went to a program in a Seminary in Israel , came home , spiritually as well as geographically, went to college, and eventually got married.. Then guess what…


In the nineties, the Cold War, dissipated. Suddenly the tregimes across the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe radically changed after nearly seventy years. This created unheard of freedoms of expression for vast numbers of citizens. It eventually led to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.

The good news is that a similar phenomena is occurring in Lakewood and thruout the frum-world.Not as a result of glasnost, persestroika, diplomacy or new political policy. But rather due to new innovative technologies. After intense gender-apartheid and tremendous disparity of learning opportunities, for the haves and have-nots of yeshiva-soceity (namely men and women), my entire life, things are finally changing drastically.

There is a really beautiful thing called Kol HaLoshon. You simply dial up their phone number, follow the menu, voilla, you have access to over 70,000 shiurim. There is a myriad of lectures in a half a dozen different languages from Maggidei Shiurim around the globe on halacha, hashkafa, mussar, daf-yomi, nach,mishnayos, gammarra, etc… all at your disposa. Another mind-blowing innovating are computer kiosks that are popping up in frum communities all over the world. In Lakewood there are currently several of them, one merely needs to insert an MP3 player or Ipod in the USB port and Shazzam 1000s of shiurim on every conceivable part of Torah are yours for the taking. I always feel like a kid in a candy shop. Alternatively, one can download the software from the Kol HaLoshon web-site..

As a result of this, it causes me considerable agmas nefesh to see that lately, a lot of Chana’s posts, seemingly appear to contain a lot of Kefira . She was always a hero and role-model of mine.

For example in this post ... which is written along the lines of a morbid Edgar Allen Poe melodramatic dirge, as opposed to an essay on Torah concepts she basically says the whole point of waiting and daverning for messiah, is working toward self-extinction which no rationale person wants..

Apparently, Chana never saw the Ram in 12:4 of H' Melochim where he discusses this matter.The Raavad, immediately fumes that it is utter folly and foolishness to delve into these matters as this is something no one knows clearly, and a protracted discussion about it doesnt lead to Yiras Shomayim.The Gammarra in Sanhedrin 99a along with the commentaries pretty much concludes that there will be a nitzhiis or eternity. So I am at a loss as to where Chana got this concept of self-annihilation. Sounds very Buddhist to me..

In her post "I dont want Moshiach", she writes "or is it the body that served best".. Once again, I beg to differ, but according to an excellent shiur on Mishli that I recently heard, there is a sefer called Sefer Gilgulim, that discusses this at length. The Gra and the Netivos Mispat, both hold that the last gilgul is the come that comes to Tehiyas Maisim. As this was the gilgul that finally accomplished its mission, thus no further gilgulim were required. And even, when this unfortunately isnt the case, this is still the one that returns, despite the fact it isnt necessarily the body who served best. The Maggid Mesharim as brought by the Bais Yoisef say that all the gilgulim return and that is how we poskin.

In this very same post, she is once again pondering over total destruction of this world. This is clearly not the approach taken by all the commentaries I saw in Helek or the Rabbeinu Bechaya, or most Chassidishe seforim.

Now I could understand this and take it all with the proverbial 'grain of salt', if Chana was just your average Bais Yacob girl, whose head was filled with dress sizes, cake recipes and boys (excuse me, shidduchim, lol) . But our Chana know Tanach, and claims she always won the argument and could always beat her teachers at their own game. Yet in a number of her posts she is literally declaring loud and clear to the world that she never saw a Tanya, a Nefesh HaChayim, a Maharal, a Chovos Levovos, or even an english copy of Mictav M'Eliyahu.

In Mishli (13.2), many meforshim explain that building requires absolute clarity. The most miniscule doubts destroys one's emuna, prevents chochma.

I believe Chana's pedagogue, R Yosha Ber Soloveitchik would be the first to agree with this. Not knowing the 13 articles of faith, solidly renders one inable to believe them. As Chaim Brisker was wont to say "a nebech apokorus is oiich an apokoris" ( a heretic as result of circumstances is still a heretic) .

Chana, it is absolutely awful the way you were treated in high school. However, in order to effect change, hopefully prevent other girls from going thru what you went thru, one needs credibility and siyata d'shomaya. Constantly, saying apikorsus isnt a way to get either...

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