Sunday, April 20, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

In case you needed a reason to dislike the New York Times

I guess besides the fact that they are anti God and anti Jewish.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Impossibility of it All.

I'm going to complain a bit. And why shouldn't I? Not everything is prefect. There are many issues and challenges in the frum world, BH, we all have our stories. I want to focus on credit card debt. I believe this issue one many of us struggle with, rely upon and many times feel like we are being buried under it.
A young man and woman get married, at times with not much idea how to make a living and find themselves with a bit of wedding money and a few months to figure out a parnasa. Many times the lady will conceive a baby BH and take herself out of the workforce. Now the young man has a few years to figure out her how in the world he's going to cover not only food, rent and clothing which is no small feat in one of most expensive cities in the world to live in which is Crown Heights, BH, but also to start covering the never ending and always growing tuition. There have been plenty of articles about tuition lately so no reason to keep beating a dead horse and speak it again at this point.
There quickly comes a point when there is simply not enough cash to cover everything. Again, we are working with a single family income, usually not too much higher education and plenty of children, may they multiply further. How do you cover the deficit? Very easily, cover it with credit card debt. And why wouldn't you? Low interest rates, points to fly for free, it sounds like a great deal. It is in fact a great deal if you have the flow of money coming in every month to cover the balances. But in our case the couple took out debt to cover monthly expenses that they don't have any other way to cover otherwise. Fast forward a few years and the debt has climbed to ten, twenty or thirty grand. The monthly interest and minimum payments are a between $200 to $600 dollars and it has become impossible to keep up with maintaining the credit card debt. So the way to get out of it at this point I’ll leave for the comment section to discuss but there is no easy way out as far as I know of.
In my humble opinion I think that Jewish Schools should not accept credit cards as payment for tuition. If someone doesn’t have cash to pay for schooling that means there is not enough money to cover rent and food expenses at home and have to supplement tuition with credit card debt. Schooling is important but so is eating and having a home. This is a recipe for disaster.
There is much to say about all this but I would like to ask G-d Almighty, for who impossible doesn’t exist to bless the Jewish people with plenty of money to cover all the expenses and then some, as well as health and children. We should all see Moshiach come and take us out of golus this Elul so we can spend Rosh Hashana with Moshiach in Jerusalem.

Josh Greenstein
(Not the author’s real name)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

the case of the dl

He went to one tonight. A wine tasting. To make wine we crush grapes and the inwardness comes out. Similar when a person drinks wine his inwardness is revealed.
What’s my inwardness I’m frustrated with my situation.

What the way to fight it
with joy and happiness abound.

The case of the driver’s license, it’s a long story and I am not sure if it’s worth telling
to make very short in a few points. I went to the bank and they informed me that my dl in expired.
I decided to get a new license from NY State where I live.
I went once to the wrong office
next time the right office had a two hour wait in line.
I diced to come back the next day late in the afternoon
a few hours later I get a call that my friend is looking at my dl sitting in a store
I must have dropped it there last week and had no idea.
I could have stood in line for nothing. Without it they wouldn’t have given me a NY license so fast.
That evening I went to pick it up from the store. But wait I have the store owners silver cup sitting in my house all these years. I moved into his old place and found it in the apartment. I asked him once if he wants it back and he said yeah. So I took the cup put it in a bag and went to get my license. The guy at the register starts making a scene that it doesn’t look like me and what not. A customer sees me and says I was here when they found your license last Sunday. I said oh good was there anything else lost with it< he said no. that the last time I was there. He said what are the odds that I was here then and I see you here now again? That’s God's hand in the world. I said yeah you’re right or we must both like shopping here a lot, ha ha. He was quite amazed and so was I. so I guess I had to return to the owner his cup and his store had to return to me my license.
What does this story mean, I don’t know. But for some reason it sits well with me.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Glen Beck – “And The Press Will Continue to Lie”. Who’s behind the Boston Terrorist Bombings?

There is something wrong with the current American climate that won't acknowledge bombings as terrorism and evil. They want us to believe that when evil men bomb innocent people it’s the fault of the innocent for not having given enough love to the evils of the world. They would much rather harass good people at airports than go after groups which spew evil doctrines. Evil wins when good men do nothing. (DC)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday, December 10, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How to fight a Jewish War.

Jewish War Rabbi Manis Friedman In March of 2004, then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon justified recent attacks against Hamas by declaring that “the Jewish nation has a right to defend itself…” Honestly, it was painful to hear, not because the statement was a justification of violence, but rather because the leader of a democratic, multi-ethnic State of Israel presumed those military actions required any justification at all. Actually, Israel did not have the “right” to take those measures, it had the obligation. One of the most critical purposes of a government is to protect its citizens. If a government would, for whatever reason, lose the ability or the will to protect the governed, it would effectively forfeit the right to govern and any expectation of loyalty from own citizens. If the government can’t promise protection, it can’t expect allegiance. This is especially true of the Jewish State. Israel was founded with the express purpose of protecting the Jewish people after their near extinction in a brutal twentieth century. Whatever might be with politics, religion or economy, the real promise of Israel was that Jews would finally be safe – if that country’s own leadership falters on that promise, then what purpose does the State of Israel serve? Failure to protect the populace, whether in the Middle East or elsewhere, has led to one conflict after another. Yet, the problem is not an external problem, it’s an internal problem brought about by some mysterious moral paralysis that has plagued us for generations. It’s not the enemy we’re having a hard time with here. This moral paralysis does not just affect Israel, it’s rampant throughout the Western world. The West is having a problem fighting wars, and this is rooted in our value system. Our society places strong importance on the preciousness of life. We therefore have very strong reservations when it comes time to make war upon our enemies. Once those reservations inhibit the way we go to war, we’re no longer fighting – we’re playing games. After enduring centuries of war, the Great Powers of Europe came together to bring a certain measure of humanity to war through the Geneva Conventions. The Geneva Conventions have doubtless spared the world unimaginable brutality and suffering since their implementation. However, our enemies today don’t abide by those treaties. We are fighting forces that have no intention of abiding by the Geneva Conventions or any other treaty, and therefore it’s senseless for the West to unilaterally hold standards that the enemy that does not. That’s why the US had such a difficult time closing the Iraq War. The concept of the “moral war” is not a part of the Jewish value system. In fact, it’s far from a “moral” concept. Once you tell your enemy that you will not harm children, you have immediately dragged every child into the war zone. If you tell your enemy that you will not harm civilians, you can expect those civilians to become human shields. When you openly declare your restrictions, it’s only natural and logical that your enemy will use your restrictions against you. This is the reason that the Torah prohibits paying an exorbitant ransom for the freedom of captive Jews. Once you do that – even once – you have created and industry. Then no one is safe. Jewish values promote a much different approach to the “moral war.” The Jewish war is one that is fought as quickly and decisively as possible. What happens to children who have lived their entire lives in a war zone? Can they go back to having a “normal” life? Certainly not – they don’t even know the meaning of peace! Fear and hatred becomes a permanent part of their personality and worldview. In such a conflict, the war has destroyed not only combatants, but an entire generation. A Jewish war strives for the following: fight, win, and return home. And the troops can only come home when the conflict is decisively over. According to the Torah, anyone who doesn’t have the heart to go out to war must return home, lest he undermine the war effort. No soldier is forced to fight, but those who do must fight to win. So what provokes the many wars against Israel? We do. We provoke them by announcing that we will fight like civilized Westerners and not a people surrounded by mortal enemies. We show them our weakness and are rewarded with aggression. In order for the Jewish nation to discourage war, we must fight like Jews.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Super Storm Sandy - God wants us to repent from our evil ways and turn to good.

It is funny to me that as super-storm sandy maker her way through the northeast coast. Toppling trees and taking out power lines you don't see any news about the spiritual causes and meanings behind a storm of this magnitude. It is a very humbling experience to live in an age where we have nature under our control just to have a storm come in and show us who really runs the world. And I don't mean "nature", I mean the One who runs nature. So the real message to America really is to put in bluntly - repent of your evil ways. To say those words has become a crime or something. "Educated" people no longer believe that G-d brings calamities to the world because of people’s behavior. They point to science and say look we know how storm get started, how they strengthen and turn and die down, etc. It's like saying I know how a website gets built. You have to put some html code and you have to host it, etc. and walaa. You have a website. Yes, but look if there was no person behind the website who wanted to present information or sell a product then there would never be any reason for the html code and the graphics and the whole thing wouldn't exist in the first place. The same way G-d can bring a storm for of this magnitude to get people to repent from evil and to turn to good but the technical parts of how it happens can be studied and predicted somewhat as well etc. And of course G-d always has the option of making the storm better or worse as he chooses. As it says about the great flood of Noah at first the rains came down in a way of waters of mercy to give people a last chance to repent and when they didn't they turned into waters of severity and flooded the whole entire world. and looking at this weather map shows a shofar in the eastern part of the country.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pretty enjoyable video about economic collapse and its consequences. Very funny too.

Dmitry Orlov: Social Collapse Best Practices from The Long Now Foundation and The Long Now Foundation on

Pretty enjoyable video about economic collapse and its consequences. Very funny too. Is it really going to collapse or is Moshiach going to come before that or during to save us all?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From a Shabbos Geula Dream.

My good friend had a dream about the geula on Shabbos and who doesn't love a good dream about the geula. It went something like this;

He woke up and everything had changed. The people in the streets knew that the world was different but most of them did not understand or know what. The world was more spiritual. you could see the people who had done good shone brightly and those who had done bad were in a darker aura. When one said something holy he felt good and uplifted and when he said something negative he felt great pain. The yidden who kept Torah and Mitzos shone the brightest so naturally the people around perceived that and would gravitate to the yidden to ask them what is going on. Of course the Yidden had to explain that the Moshiach had come!!! The next morning he wasn't sure if he should go to work or not but then realized that he should go as making a living was still important.

This was the gist of the dream as I remember it.

Let's see the real thing soon and then we will have been like dreamers...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Halacha for three weeks (got this in my inbox)

שו"ת נזר יצחק
לעלוי נשמת א"מ ר' יצחק הכ"מ בן ר' אליעזר צבי זאב שליט"א
This e-mail is being sent out as a daily halacha l’zchus my father hk”m we would like for the halacha to be learnt לעילוי נשמתו . The daily inspiration is my own ideas to try to make a connection between the practical halacha and the abstract concept that the halacha is portraying of life. (If you have any questions, ideas, or would like someone to join the e-mail list pls e-mail me at

check out the blog we hope to soon have the entire previous daily Halacha’s uploaded. 

Question: Is one allowed to listen to chassidishe niggun in the 3 weeks.

L’Halacha: One is permitted to play chassidishe niggunim at least until Rosh Chodesh Av.

Answer: The Mishna [1]says, “When the month of Av comes in we are supposed to decrease in simcha.”  The Gemara[2] explains that any activity that brings one joy is forbidden such as construction and the like. 

The halacha[3] is that from Rosh Chodesh Av until after Tisha Bav it is forbidden to do activities that involve enjoyment.  The Ramah[4] adds that the Ashkenazic custom is that starting from the 17th of Tammuz one should refrain from these activities.  As such, music which gives one joy is forbidden[5]

We find in halacha[6] that live music (with musical instruments) such as by a wedding, concert etc. is forbidden.  Contemporary poskim[7] write that the same applies to music on tapes or radio because they provide the same feeling of excitement and would therefore be under the same prohibition being that nowadays most forms of entertainment are transmitted through electrical equipment such as computers.
The Mishna[8] writes that during levaya ceremonies they would play music to stir the emotions of the participants.  This seems to suggest that not all forms of music are forbidden when we are supposed to be in a reduced state of joy.

We also find that l’halacha[9] a teacher of music is allowed to continue during the 3 weeks since it is to arouse joy but rather his livelihood.

From this we see that there are 3 categories of music. 

1) Music that stirs a happy emotion which makes a person lively etc.
2) Ordinary music which is not necessarily for the sake of music such as practicing.
3) Music that evokes strong emotion and produces the opposite effect of joy.

The question is what is the din regarding listening to chassidishe niggunim on a tape with music accompaniment[10]?

It could be argued, that since such a form of music helps one’s Avodas Hashem and Yiras Hashem, it does not have the status of entertainment and joy. Rather, its focus is to stir very strong emotions and concentration like when one sings while learning and davening[11].  Since in the days of the 3 weeks, one is focused on Teshuva and Avodas Hashem, it would seem appropriate to arouse such stirring of emotions[12].

Furthermore, the possuk says that one has to serve Hashem with joy[13].  Likewise, many hold that music being played for a Mitzva during this period is permitted[14].  Therefore, since chassidishe niggunim stirs one service to Hashem even if it arouses feelings of joy, should be permitted.

Based on the distinction between the din of the 9 days and the minhag of the 3 weeks, there is further reasoning to permit such kind of music at least until Rosh Chodesh Av[15].

L’Halacha: One is permitted to play chassidishe niggunim at least until Rosh Chodesh Av.

Daily inspiration:

Music forms a bridge of our sub-conscious mind into consciousness. The power that lies within stimulates intellectual contemplation and emotional experience both joyful and somber. Uncontrolled it could produce undesirable and negative effects.   One difference between the sub-conscious and consciousness is that of the timeless and time.  As such the effects of music is also  relative to a moment in time.       

[1] תענית כ"ו
[2] שם י"ד: ומגילה ה:
[3] שו"ע סי' תקנ"א:א
[4] שם סעי' ב'
[5] מגן אברהם שם סק"י
[6] שם ועי' בשוע"ר סי' תצ"ג:א
[7] עי' שו"ת שלמת חיים ח"ד סי' כ"א ושו"ת צי"א חט"ו סי' ל"ג שו"ת אג"מ ח"ב סי' קלז וח"א סי' קסו ושו"ת יחו"ד ח"ו סי' ל"ד
[8] שבת קנ"א. עי' בשו"ע יו"ד סי' שד"מ
[9] פרמ"ג בא"א סק"י שם, שו"ת צי"א שם, מנח"י ח"א סי' קי"א, שו"ת אג"מ ח"ג סי' פ"ז ועי' בס' הליכות בת ישראל פכ"ד סעי ה
[10] ובלי לווית כלי זמר נר' דמותר לגמרי עי' שו"ת מנח"י שם ואג"מ שם ושו"ת צי"א שם
[11] עי' שו"ת יחו"ד ח"ו סי' ל"ב ושו"ת שבט הקהתי ח"א סי' קפ"ט
[12] עי' ס' עבודת ישראל פ' מסעי
[13] דברים כח,מז תהלים ק,ב עי' ס' התניא פ"א פכ"ו שוע"ר סי' תקכ"ט:י"ב
[14] עי' שו"ת משנ"ה ח"י סי' ק"ט וס' מעדים וזמנים ח"ח סי' של"ח
[15] עי' כה"ח ס"ק ל"ט ומ"א