Tuesday, November 29, 2011

letter regarding unfillrered internet use from The zkan doreinu Rav Chaim Kanievsky

In a very strong and sharply worded letter regarding internet use without proper safeguards and filters, Rav chaim kanievsky shlita writes;
"In regarding the Kli  that is referred to as  internet which has caused many to stray from the path, and that the Chazon Ish zatzal ruled at the time on the issue of drafting and inducting women into the Israeli army that it falls under the category of " rather get killed than commit a transgression " and this kli mashchis (the internet) is much much worse( than the induction of women) and you can definately say that is also in the category of yehoreg val yaavor

 Harav Mattisyahu solomon Shlita explained  here at the aguda convention that we are talking about unfilltered internet. and the comparison to giyus banos is a strong one. Just as a lady can not put herself in a situation were she will be vulnerable even though the first step does not appear to be so bad. It also wont necessarily happen and there might  a remote situation that will lead to yehoreg val yaavor  still the Chazon Ish ruled that it is yehoreg vaal yaavor. So to by having unfilltered internet accsess  one is vulnerable to all the aveiros in the world which has been  proven and known to ruin hundreds and thousands of people chalila even inadvertently all it takes is the push of a wrong button.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

89th Agudah convention keynote session motzei shabbos standing up for Torah.

The Motzei Shabbos Keynote session at the Agudah convention touched upon 100 years since the founding of the movement in Katowitz. Chaired by the young and energetic  Askan R' Chaskell Bennett and executive director Reb Laibish becker.
 The Lakewood Rosh Yeshiva Rav Malkiel Kotler mentioned the Mantra of Agudas Yisroel fighting the Ism's through the generations. As the gedolim of previous generations as well as today have guided it in standing up for the Torah and its values.
 The Novominsker rebbe Shlita who serves as Nasi of Agudas Yisroel spoke about the component of the Agudah how we must let our Neshamos control our lives. The changing Nisyanos of our Generation.In Europe and  and early on in America the saying in Yiddish was "es is shver Tzu zein a yid".But today B'H we are blessed with everything we need thousands of chadorim and yeshivos ,Mosdos Hachesed , Kashrus etc.. There a new challenges that we face . That's where the Agudah is involved with the gedolei Torah sitting together with  Balei batim A partnership of  Yissochor and Zevulun. The lomdei Torah and Machzikei Torah coming together. He went on to thank various individuals for their tireless work on behalf of the Klal.
 A Video presentation was shown of the New Chayim Aruchim initiative. Dealing with end of life situations making sure people sign a medical directive. Following words of inspiration from the international guest speaker Rav aaron Schiff from Belgium. He mentioned how Agudah is the rosh yeshiva of daf yomi and has the zechus of spreading Torah to so many that are encouraged to learn. Reb Shlomo Gertzulin thanked many individuals for the support of the agudah and gave an update on the planning for the up coming siyum Hashas on august 2nd I"yh. 

 Chaskel Bennet than introduced his Rav Horav Shimshy Sherer Rav of Kehilas Zichron Mordechei in flatbush. In a passionate speech echoing his late father Rav Moshe Sherer Z'L.He mentioned the 2 new ism's that we face. First one being Post Charedism and the second one being Cynicism. Not Mentioning the Author by Name he read a recent op ed  in the Jerusalem post About post charediism. Coupled with the cynicism spread by comments on various websites and blogs or on the radio waves. Gedolei Hador and Rabbanim are not political candidates for pundits to bash and ridicule.  The Agudah is not just an Organization he said , its a way of life its a Mantra that daas torah will not be spinned or apologized for.The constant bashing by the left has unfortunately had an influence on us. We must re educate ourselves and the next generation what the Mantra of agudah is. We must go out and stand up for kavod Hatorah to fight those who ridicule and bash our gedolim. The Torah is being Charred by the enemies from within we must galvanize the next Dor How the Agudah stood up for us and continues to stand up it is vibrant today as it was during the times of rav chaim ozer rav aaron kotler ,It is the same Agudah  vibrant and  living quoting from Rav aaron kotler saying "es iz und er iz" standing up for the Torah. That is what we have to take home with us.
 Rav Chaim Dovid Zweibel Closed out the session with emphasizing the importance of Hamshacha the continuity of the next generation taking an active roll in getting involved he pointed out to the many young couples  who attended this years convention who are continuing in the ways of their parents.  This is the Hamshacha from Katowitz keepers of a sacred Trust. He concluded with the many challenges facing American Jewry the justice system and a new missionary center in the heart of Brooklyn why Agudah must continue to be vigilant and advocate for the Klal.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Internet danger discussed at Agudah convention Thursday Night

The Thursday Night session at the Agudah convention started with a special message by Rav Dovid Ordman followed by a brief  hazkara for veteran Aguda askan R' yisroel Lefkowitz Z'L.  The session was chaired by his son Rav Avrohom Lefkowitz. The  topic  discussed was The Internet and confronting unprecedented challenges of modern technology. Its dangers that have affected our community young and old alike  including the content on frum blogs that is harmfull to our community. Someone told him that those in Washington  are reading these blogs and they said you don't know what harm it is doing to us. It has changed the way we are being perceived. The First to speak was Harav Elye Brudny shlita The Mir Rosh Yeshiva. He mentioned that klal yisrael suffered many tragedies lately with the passing of many gedolim and tragedies which were unheard of have befallen us.  The Yetzer Hora is a Michshol and the technological advancement is a nisayon for us. Whenever there is a Growth in Torah as thousands of Youngeleit are learning today In Kolelim at unprecedented numbers. The Yetzer hora goes and puts something in the way to prevent us from learning. He mentioned the concept of a global village which we are connected to when going online with instant communication and the ability to be connected and part of the goyisher velt.he expounded he the traits of klal yisroel was bayshanim and with the Internet there is no busha anymore since it can be done in private.
Rav Avrohom Shorr The Rav of Kehilas ateres Yaakov the next to speak thundered away the point how the Internet not being filtered is ripping away neshamos. The yetzer hora does not discriminate from young to old boys or girls ,all ages are susceptible to it. He declared its a war that we must fight and it is not just the rabbonim who should be waging this battle but the entire tzibbur should get up and combat it.He mentioned about having filtered Internet at home all though the father needs it for parnasah but the young children will not know a difference between filtered or not they will have an image of totty sitting for hours by a computer yet they wont understand the safeguards and for that we have to be aware of. He called on the tzibbur to create a place that will have many computer stations available for those that would rather not have Internet at home and want to do shopping or other essentials that can only be done online. It will be available 24 hrs with filters etc.. and people can do their business or whatever they need without having to bring it into our homes. such an undertaking is not that expensive he said it would be in the $150,000 range and there are baal habatim who are ready to get involved and support it.The issues of smart phones and I phones also was explained as having buttons that are not necessary for business and with one push people can be exposed to the biggest shmutz. there were stories of people who were careful their whole life yet have fallen with the use of this available technology.
The mashgiach of Lakewood Harav mattisyahu Solomon concluded with a stirring drasha about yiras hashem how everything we do each action and thought will be publicized and shown to all. shlomo hamelech said sof davar hakol nishma. that thought alone should prevent us and hold us back from transgressing and thinking that in private no one will know or see. we must fight the battle with mesiras nefesh and be ready to drop some of the conveniences we've began to rely on. he spoke about a letter that rav Chaim kanievsky has issued regarding unfiltered Internet as equating it to the issue of giyus banos ,drafting girls into the Israeli army which at the time the Chazon Ish said was yehoreg val yaavor, here too even though initially it seems nothing is so bad yet the situation you are in can quickly put you in great danger that you can not be trusted just like by Giyus banos where at first you would say what is wrong if they join .yet the gedolim saw where it will lead to.
The delegates then went to different concurrent sessions on various topics such as kiruv, schidduchim etc..

click here for a video of the drasha. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Shabbos meal for 10 for only $49.20 ?

 As America celebrates the national Holiday of Thanksgiving, and family's will join together in the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates the meal will cost $49.20 for a family of 10, up $5.73 from last year.That estimate includes a 16-pound turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, bread rolls and butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk -- but not wine or beer. Turkey itself is 22 percent more expensive, due in part to growing demand from China for American turkey parts. It's all a far cry from the original Thanksgiving in 1621 when Pilgrim settlers from England sat down with native Americans for a three-day feast in modern-day Massachusetts to thank God for bountiful harvests in the New World.
As frum Yidden with kosher food prices plus large mishpachos  $ 49.20 wouldn't cover the basic Shabbos  meal for even 3 people. This just brings out the point when looking at average expenses and challenges we face as Yidden, comparing our expenses with the national average just does not factor in.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tznius is for men too

With the recent tragedies that have befallen Klal Yisrael, people look to improve and be mechazek in their Shmiras hamitzvos and many other areas that could use some improvment. One issue which is a constant struggle and always brought up is Tznius. In the recent issue of the FJJ  many letters addressed this issue as a response to the tragedies that have befallen. One writer wrote that  tznius while usualy spoken about to women, it applies to men just as well.
 " Tragedies have been affecting our community, as well as other frum communities throughout the world. Is it possible that these are warnings from Hashem to improve our “dress code”, among other aveiros? I hardly notice tznius, it’s not something I pay attention to. But a recent quick shopping stop at a Marine Park grocery store was like a kick in the gut. I understand better what those speeches are about when I saw how the young women and the men dress! Knees a-plenty, skirts as tight as leotards, black fingernails, body contours for all to see, and the hair – fuggedaboutit! Men in pants so tight you could see their contours too, and hair slicked back with gel - Elvis style. Almost as bad was the conversation – loud, uncouth, Disrespectful. I left that store with a feeling that something is very wrong in our community. May Hashem console all those who have suffered tragedy. But we, as neighbors and friends, how many tears have we shed  along with the families? The blow is a collective one and there is a message here for all of us, you and me together. Are you the mother or grandmother of a teenaged son or daughter? Let’s protect ourselves against future tragedy, R”L. Let’s try to better ourselves in the zechus of these korbanos. Tznius is an obvious way to start."

A good point  ,the question is what is considered standard. Ask one of the Taliban women in yerushalayim they will say if your face is not covered your not tzniusdik. Each one looks down at someone who dresses less then their own standard. What it really comes down to is halacha guidelines which have many diffrent interpretations.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bechoros or Berachos, Daf Yomi can start now

The learners of   Daf Yomi  worldwide are beginning Maseches Bechoros today, Why not join in now ? is there a reason to wait for maseches Berachos? one can argue that by joining now you wont drop out  after the Siyum but will feel a part of it already and hopefully finish the next cycle. The next   Siyum Hashas  will take place, on August 1, 2012, Thirteeenth day of Av.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Oy vey iz Mir

The recent petirah of Harav Nosson Tzvi finkel Zatzal the Mir Rosh yeshiva has highlited the  great financial straits of which the yeshiva is in. With an enrollment of Bli Ayin hora over 6,000 Talmidim the Budget is in the Millions of dollars.The Leading Gedolim in EY have issued a call for all to come forward and help out the yeshiva in these trying times .Hopefully enough funds can be raised and help the yeshiva continue to function. What was a given untill now among the Israeli yeshivos is that the Government gave a sizeable amount of money toward each student which helped cover the budget. The recent cuts as well as a growing animosity toward the orthodox in Israel has gained support and many politicians started calling for an end to the handouts that many yeshivos were receiving .On the other hand the small amount of funding that they are receiving comes with a price of accountability as well as being beholden to  politicians on the left who are anti charedi who look to force their views on the yeshivos and gain popularity with the growing resentment of the current trends in israeli society towards the orthodox Jews.The question is,is  this still worth it or as a leading Gadol recently said its time to stop taking from the Govt.