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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bad Education

This post at DovBear, taken from a commenter, makes me want to scream. An excerpt:
Case in point. A parent I know with a son in a "black hat" mesivta told me that one day, the menahel comes into the office, where there's a big mess because, I believe, some of the hanhola had a breakfast meeting, and he bellows "I NEED A GOY TO COME AND CLEAN THIS MESS UP!"

The fact of the matter is that like most yeshivas, this one's maintenance staff was totally comprised of non-Jews --but he did not say "I needs a janitor," or "I need a custodian" or "I need a maintenance man" -- he said "I NEED A GOY".

The obvious implication of his wording being that even though frum Yidden made the big mess, their neshamas are too holy, refined and pure to clean it up, and besides that, it would be "bittul Torah" -- precious time that could be spent teaching or learning Torah, wasted doing such menial chores.

The other implication, of course, is that the so-called "goyim" (and God, how I, as a Jew, despise that noxious term and anyone ignorant enough to spit it out with such clear contempt!) are fit to do nothing else in this world but to follow the Yidden around with a broom, doing the dirty work that the Yidden are supposedly too good to do. I have no doubt that many of the people in the office probably had not much use for the so-called "goyim" either -- but this guy was so obvious and over-the-top in his bigotry that even they burst out and started laughing at the pompous, pretentious SOB. I don't know if he picked up that they were laughing AT him, not WITH him.
Hey, Rabbi Menahel, if you have racist attitudes, fine. Just leave them at home, please.

80 Comments:

Blogger DAG said...

That should be the worst racist attitudes I've heard from rebbeim in yeshivas

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Rabbi Menahel, if you have racist attitudes, fine. Just leave them at home, please.

Racist attitudes? Right, there aren't any white janitors.

11:38 AM  
Blogger joel rich said...

You might point out to him that "goy echad baaretz" refers to the Jewish people.
KT

11:45 AM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

Hey Mom, back to your old (a week or so, at least) tricks?

Did you wake up this morning and say "I think I'll start a 'black hat' bashing post today - yeah, that'll be great"?

Lucky for you, some other doobie beat you to it, so all you have to do is cut and paste a little and type one or two lines of your own. So easy.

I heard the Menahel in question was actually R' Moshe Shmuell Shapiro!

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you say "apocryphal story?"

12:10 PM  
Blogger DovBear said...

This post wasn't an example of "black-hat bashing." The blog, like my own, has black hat readers, who need to be reminded from, time to time, that ugliness exists in their own communities. How do you clear out the rot, if you won't acknowledge it exists? And, as I've said before, an anono blog is as good a way as any to point out the bad spots.

Instead of worrying about OM's agenda, why don't you be a man, for a change, and say (at least to yourself) that, "yes, rachmana ltzlon, these attitudes do exist in my community. They are wrong. And I hereby resolve not to take part."

Questioning OM's motives is the behavior of a letz and a coward. Bad mouthing her (and me) is the wimp's way out.

12:11 PM  
Blogger DovBear said...

"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle" -- George Orwell.

12:12 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

DB,

You've made one critical mistake DB, it is not my community per se (it is in the sense of Kol Yisroel Araivim...).

So let's get my motive and agenda straight.

I deplore the public airing of religious laundry. Be it bashing R' Moshe, R' Yosher Ber or the Satmar Rebbe ZT'L.

Are there better ways than anonymously blogging so that every Tom, Dick and Harriet can post their vitriolic, denigrating, hateful and arrogant opinions...I think so.

Is it nec. to judge R' Shteinman's flying habits in a public forum so that the above mentioned folks can rant? I don't think so.

Take a look at the comments to your posts.....

Oh, and by the way, I don't question OM's motives :) And quite frankly it's the result that matters.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>Are there better ways than anonymously blogging so that every Tom, Dick and Harriet can post their vitriolic, denigrating, hateful and arrogant opinions...I think so.

What are they?

A few months ago one prominent rabbi in Brooklyn found that calling Modern Orthodox rabbis misyavnim on Chanukah in his shul meant that the whole world would know about it. And he didn't like it one bit. Maybe next time he'll think a little before speaking. Tell me what is going to change the attitude of rabbeim who say "schvartzes" around our kids?

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just "black hats" thhat are using this language. I run in fairly modern circles, yet many women refer to their nannies as "my shiksa". Yup, it's pretty hard to find a Jewish girl to change your kids' diapers while you're saving the world on the tennis court.

12:39 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

Anon,

First of all I don't find the word "schartzes" to be offensive - unless of course yiddish as a language is.

But I realize that wasn't really your point. What was your point is that we should all love each other (blacks, whites, jews and Muslims) and we shouldn't be any different from one another. And, if someone wants to point out something that they see as a flaw in theology or character, they should keep it to themselves because bloggers are lurking!

So tell me, who is the irresponsible one?

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:38

Why'd you assume OM is referring to a non-white janitor? Being a "racist" means believing one's race, i.e., Judaisim in this case (which, admittedly, is not clearly a race, ethnicity or religion strictly, but a combination of all 3), is superior to another, i.e., non-Jews (or "Goyim"). Sounds like you're the one jumping to conclusions.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>Why'd you assume OM is referring to a non-white janitor?

I did no such thing.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Ricky Ricardo said...

I was talking about kiruv the other day with my wife and she asked me whether I really feel that being frum is so good that you would want others to be frum too. I responded that being frum is great its just some elements in frum society that I feel completely embarrassed/disappointed about. Racism is one of them. Yes, I am a black hatter, and yes, I use the word shvartze (although I am trying not to), but I believe its wrong how racist we are as a frum world and how its definetely not the marking of an AM KADOSH.

http://mazel123.blogspot.com/

1:12 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Oh, OrthoKrum. Get over yourself. You're busy accusing me for bashing black-hatters, when all you do here is bash me.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

First of all I don't find the word "schartzes" to be offensive - unless of course yiddish as a language is.

And being that you are a white person, you are of course an authority whether a word used to refer to a black person is offensive.

But really, OrthKrum, putting all of your issues with OM to a side, are you defending the Menahel in the story?

1:15 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

OM, that is not all I do. I lay off you when you lay off the religion. In fact when I started, I only accused of aiding and abetting via your commentors....that was optimistic of me.

Krum,
I am absolutely not defending him. What I am doing is rueing the forum that gets out of control. Two wrongs don't make a right. (does "tzitzis nut" ring a bell?)

Also, I honestly don't believe schvartze is the same thing as say Shiksa...wouldn't you agree?

1:24 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

OrthoKrum Can you explain what this means:

But I realize that wasn't really your point. What was your point is that we should all love each other (blacks, whites, jews and Muslims) and we shouldn't be any different from one another. And, if someone wants to point out something that they see as a flaw in theology or character, they should keep it to themselves because bloggers are lurking!

1:34 PM  
Blogger DovBear said...

Blogging serves a community purpose, and suggesting that all we do is vent and badmouth and belittle is a clever way of ensuring that important purpose is undermined.

We're not airing dirty laundry. We're publicizing bad behavior in the hopes that it ceases and desisits. That story about the misyavanim is a perfect example.

Riddle me this: if shvartza is a benign word, why is it the ONLY yiddish word most non-yiddish speakers use with any regularity? What's keeping them from using a non-offensive english word?

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, I honestly don't believe schvartze is the same thing as say Shiksa...wouldn't you agree?

You're kidding - right? Please explain the system by which you rate your epithets. I think we'd all find it fascinating.

1:43 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

I did not defend derogatory speech. I defended the ability to convey a point.

1:47 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

DB,
I'm not trying to undermine any worthy goal. I'm trying to keep it focused and prevent it from getting murky.

Take that perfect example...Do you know the context in which comparison was made? Do you know whether he called them Misyavnim or did he call a certain thing that they did a character trait like the Misyavnim? Let's see the whole Drasha. Nah, let's just go to town on the whole lot of them.

Anon,
Define Schvarte for me please. Then define Shvoogie.

Define Goyta and then define Shiksa.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,
Define Schvarte for me please. Then define Shvoogie.

Define Goyta and then define Shiksa


Have you lost your mind? I'm flattered that you took me literally and disclosed your epithet rating system, and even more astonished that you actually have one. As if distinguising the minutae of racial slurs make some better than others. Do you prefer kike or jew-bastard? Perhaps knowing their etymology would help?

2:14 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Orthokrum, define nigger.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>Take that perfect example...Do you know the context in which comparison was made? Do you know whether he called them Misyavnim or did he call a certain thing that they did a character trait like the Misyavnim? Let's see the whole Drasha. Nah, let's just go to town on the whole lot of them.

I was there, I heard it, context and all. This is exactly what he did:

>go to town on the whole lot of them.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:14

Why did you leave out "hymie" as a choice?

What tickles me is that often "marit ayin" is invoked to prohibit or discourage some permissible act because it might look bad to others. Maybe that should apply to using terms that some people might find offensive, no matter how benign the speaker thinks they are. Ditto comments about "misyavnim."

After all, the term "Jew" can be interpreted as a slur coming out of the wrong mouth. Or maybe OK thinks it's okay to say "Well, these people (appropriate intonation) have some character traits that are like Jews."

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hymie - good one. You reminded me that OK sounds a lot Jesse Jackson. A good enough poseik to rely on as any other in this instance. . .
-Anon 2:14

2:35 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

Krum,

nig·ger ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ngr)
n. Offensive Slang

Used as a disparaging term for a Black person: “You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a nigger” (James Baldwin).
Used as a disparaging term for a member of any dark-skinned people.
Used as a disparaging term for a member of any socially, economically, or politically deprived group of people: “Gun owners are the new niggers... of society” (John Aquilino).

That wasn't a rating system and schvartze is not an epithet

"I was there, I heard it, context and all. This is exactly what he did:" - ????

3:12 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

OrthoKrum, do you really want me to track down a dicitonary definition of schvartze that indicates that the word is derogatory? Or do you want me to demonstrate how the word "nigger," like the word schvartze, also means black?

The point is that neither the origin of the term, nor your personal opinion (especially where the term relates to a group that you do not belong to), determines whether an epithet is derogatory. A term becomes an epithat through the meaning that becomes attached to it through years of usage.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orthokrum, you are not redeeming yourself.

3:43 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

And for the record, I would defend his misyavnim comment, because:

i. Misyavnim is not an epithet, it is a type of people. If you take exception to the fact that he labeled the MO’s, fine, but you cannot compare it to using the term nigger or shaigetz or Kike.

ii. He labeled them with regard to their stance on a particular issue and compared their attitudes to those of the misyavnim– unless you think he wouldn’t count them in a minyan

However, he is not a prominent rabbi.

3:48 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

Krum,

Yes and yes.

"A term becomes an epithat through the meaning that becomes attached to it through years of usage."

Which makes it completely subjective???

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Brother Bob said...

Orthomom.

If someone objects to the values being taught by the school, one could always enroll his children in another school.

Presumably, the commentor would prefer that his principals be less xenophobic, but not actually care that much.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

orthokrum go back to chaptzem or yeshiva world where you came from

4:07 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

4:07

I guess you have a short memory...scroll up and reread.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeshivaworld is a blog not a neighborhood. There's lots of your kind there. The kind that think every person who has criticism is a enemy. Go there.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Which makes it completely subjective???

Do you know what subjective means? I said "meaning that becomes attached to it through years of usage." Words obtain objective meaning based on how they are used and how people understand it. This is why the meaning of some words (schvartze and nigger) change over time. I know it's complicated, OrthKrum, but that is how life is sometimes.

4:24 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

"Yeshivaworld is a blog not a neighborhood"
What are you talking about???

I don't know what your problem is...
I have no problem with criticism. I have a problem when people are too quick to criticize or do so gratuitously.

I just told you my opinion about the misyavnim rabbi, yet defended his critics. I think I'm being quite fair.

I agree with Krum, who correctly asserts that a word is defined by its usage.

However, I feel that if you poll jews (and I don’t mean that pejoratively) just as many will say they don’t intend the term goy to be derogatory. Yet if you go to wikipedia it says that it is.

4:28 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

My apologies Krum,

When I said "Which makes it completely subjective???" I was referring to the user subjecting the meaning to his own interpretation, like an african american calling his best friend a nigger.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

However, I feel that if you poll jews (and I don’t mean that pejoratively) just as many will say they don’t intend the term goy to be derogatory.

Huh? Why would you just poll jews? Why would...

Forget it.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Fox said...

I've never understood why the motive of the speaker is at issue when people use terms like "goy" and "schvartze". If the words are likely to be interpreted as offensive -- and I believe they are -- they shouldn't be used in casual conversation (I'm distinguishing casual English conversation from conversations and writing in Yiddish or in Hebrew, where the words may be used somewhat differently).

I don't allow my children or my employees to use either word. I don't really care whether my employees are secretly racist, etc., but I'm not going to alienate suppliers, customers, etc., who may not share their argument that the words are not necessarily derogatory.

I've never understood this argument anyway. Is it so necessary to be able to say "goy" and "schvartze" that people can't adjust their vocabularies even a little?

4:42 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

Let's not forget it. I'd poll them, because I want to know the intent of the speaker. How else would you define the words usage?

You can't define it, from the outset, by how it is understood irrespective of the speakers intention.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Let's not forget it. I'd poll them, because I want to know the intent of the speaker. How else would you define the words usage?

You can't define it, from the outset, by how it is understood irrespective of the speakers intention.


Huh? So it is subjective? Didn't you just agree with me that words obtain their meaning through how their are used over the years?

4:57 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

Yes, it is subjective, which is what I’ve been saying all along. The meaning of a statement is subject to its users intention. Therefore an African American may call another African American a nigger, whereas a Caucasian may not. The reason is because we know the formers intention while the Caucasian’s is unknown. The “Jewish poll” while not completely aligned with my African American example, would work the same way. If intent is what matters, I would want to know what the speakers intent was.

Now, since a words meaning is constantly evolving, especially a slang one, based on its usage, than who is to say what the meaning of a word is at any given time……the speaker. And in the case of “goy”, the Jew. And I believe that the Jew does not mean goy to be derogatory, (there are many other words at the Jews disposal).

5:18 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

OrthoKrum, that is utter nonsense. If it's subjective it would be ok for me to use the word nigger if my intent is good. that ridiculous. People choose their words based on how they think they will be peceived by their audience. That is the whole point of communication -- communicating your message to others. That is also why I don't talk hebrew to a pakistani cab driver.

Again. The key is to look at the accepted meaning of a term. It is that accepted meaning that the speaker most likely intended, otherwise he wouldn't use that term. And if he didn't intend

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't know what your problem is..."
haha. funny you say that....this from a guy who has a blog (www.overthroortho.blogspot.com) devoted ENTIRELY to om and krum. it's freaky.

5:32 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

"If it's subjective it would be ok for me to use the word nigger if my intent is good" - Many Caucasian people can pull that off, because the African American senses that there was no bad intent.

"People choose their words based on how they think they will be peceived by their audience. That is the whole point of communication -- communicating your message to others"

True. But you never used the term goy to your friend? (Or take shabbos goy as an example) You don't have mean intentions, so you use it. However in a situation where it might be misunderstood you would refrain from using it.

Do you agree with that?

5:40 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

I really think we are going in circles here. In your example, I know that my friend will understand my intent. With a different audience, I wouldn't be justified in that belief. Why is that relevant?

5:51 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Wow. That overthroortho site IS scary. Orthokrum, you seem to be more than a bit fixated. Weird.

5:52 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

Because the Menahel said it to his friend with no intent.

"Oh no, I left my oven light on and its shabbos, I need a goy." Is completely innocuous.

The fact that DB chose to write it in all caps as "I NEED A GOY TO COME AND CLEAN THIS MESS UP!" does not make it bad.

The fact that it was put on the internet for all to see and interpret the way they want to, does.

5:59 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

MOM,

It's not personal. I even left you a mice comment the other week, remember?

I'm sure if I spent all day on-line I could find others to fixate on...you and Krum are just the lucky ones.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

OrthoKrum, this is hopeless. You completely missed the point of the post. This is not about the use of an epithet. The Menahel's conduct would have been just as bad had he said "I need a gentile to clean this up." The issue is the mentality expressed in his statement that cleaning up a mess is a job for a non-Jew.

6:07 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:10 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

That cannot be so. He said:

The fact of the matter is that like most yeshivas, this one's maintenance staff was totally comprised of non-Jews --but he did not say "I needs a janitor," or "I need a custodian" or "I need a maintenance man" -- he said "I NEED A GOY". (emphasis on the term)

If the maintenance staff was comprised of non-jews, and his point is as you said, than why is "janitor" better than "goy", if either way a non-jew will being doing the work.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

I think your interpretation of his intent is wrong, but it's really pointless to argue about his intent. The bottom line is that had the Menahel said gentile rather than goy, his comment would have been equally reprehensible. In fact, aside from the parenthetical in the third paragraph, the post would be equally valid had you simply switched each time it said goy with the term dentile.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Fourth paragraph I mean.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

And gentile.

6:23 PM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

The principal should have told those who left the mess that they should clean it up!

6:23 PM  
Blogger OrthoKrum said...

I thought we were having a civilized discussion here, but thanks for pointing out the typo.

You are right, that was part of his post, but the other part is as I said. And if you read through the comment thread, it was taken as a knock on his use of the word goy.

Anon 12:35 (the first person to go there)
Anon 12:39
Ricky Ricardo 1:12
and so on, including you up until a few comments ago.

6:28 PM  
Blogger eem said...

Even if we can't judge this particular principal's intent, the condescendent, snobbish attitude that people are talking about is WAY too widespread in the frum community. It's wrong and it also certainly does nothing to endear us to anyone. Like SL said-let the ones who made the mess clean it up! Shouldn't a people who are meant to be a "light unto the nations" at least show some responsibility?
On the shvartze point-Shvartz means black, that's all.When it's used in Yiddish conversation, it's the only way to describe someone who is black.The fact that the term became seen as derogatory is because most of the people who use it, both english and yiddish speakers, look down on black people (and on gentiles in general), and the "shvartzes" know that. The term isn't derogatory, the attitude usually is-and it's the attitude that comes with "shvartzes", not "blacks" or "african americans" (which I think is no longer considered very pc) is because for some reason, being racist caught on as being a sign of frumkeit.(It isn't,who knew?). But many people use the term with no bad intentions, they only use it because that's the term they're used to. Maybe it's tactless to use in front of most people because of the perceived connotations, but it definitely doesn't mean there are bad intentions. So-at least on that point- stop beating up on OK. He (she?) has a point.

7:20 PM  
Blogger storywatcher said...

You are to be commended for your proper outrage about this slight in particular and the general use of the word goy. Like shvartzer, the word itself may have benign literal origin but it has taken on a pejorative connotation and should be banned by all decent people.
I always thought it was particularly galling, though unfortunately very mainstream, to refer to people who helped Jews during the Holocaust as righteous gentiles. Yes, those who helped were the exception to the rule. But the clear implication is that it's rare to find a non-Jew who is righteous. Again, congratulations on opening this dialogue.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember some years ago when my son was in Yeshiva Darchei Torah Rabbi Bender sent a note asking all parents to refrain from using terms such as goyim and schvartzes.

8:32 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

I remember some years ago when my son was in Yeshiva Darchei Torah Rabbi Bender sent a note asking all parents to refrain from using terms such as goyim and schvartzes.


See? Some Menahels actually get it! There is no excuse for using terms that can be contrued as racist or discriminatory by others. Yasher Koach to Rabbi Bender and any other administrators and Roshei Yeshiva who see the damage that can be caused to our children by the careless use of throwaway epithets.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The simple reality is that your typical black hat yungerleit doesn't know how to take out the garbage or clean up after himself. A holy person shouldn't be touching garbage or doing menial work. He's doing Avoidas HaKodesh Boruch Hu.

9:27 PM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

The simple reality is that your typical black hat yungerleit doesn't know how to take out the garbage or clean up after himself.

And now is the time to teach them.

A holy person shouldn't be touching garbage or doing menial work. He's doing Avoidas HaKodesh Boruch Hu.


The kohanim in the Torah are not holy? Mothers who change diapers and scrub floors ("menial work") are not doing Avodah?

As far as I am concerned, cleaning up after oneself is an indication of good middot. Too bad so many are lacking in such!

10:14 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

The fact that the term became seen as derogatory is because most of the people who use it, both english and yiddish speakers, look down on black people (and on gentiles in general), and the "shvartzes" know that.

The word is derogatory per se if used in English conversation.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sephardilady, I think the guy who said that black hatters can't take out the garbage, etc. was joking. At least I hope he was.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why can't we just use the words...
"I am Jewish"
"My cleaning lady is not jewish"
"I have black neighbors"
I have Italian neighbors.
Although I have to say the usage of "shabbos goy" seems to be accepted even to the "shabbos goy" himself!! I have heard many times from different shabbos goys that they are the "shabbos goy" so go figure.
there are many words that can be used to call someone jewish. Jew/Jewish is fine for me, the others...are not so nice. Think about that the next time you refer to someone as a "goy/shiksa/shvartza/goyishe"
Please teach your children to treat your live-ins or your cleaning help with dignity. Be thankful that you have "that person" to clean your toilet, because YOU YOURSELF do NOT want to do it.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey everyone, i love this blog!!!

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SephardiLady said...
The simple reality is that your typical black hat yungerleit doesn't know how to take out the garbage or clean up after himself.

And now is the time to teach them.

A holy person shouldn't be touching garbage or doing menial work. He's doing Avoidas HaKodesh Boruch Hu.


The kohanim in the Torah are not holy? Mothers who change diapers and scrub floors ("menial work") are not doing Avodah?

"V'hisalamta-pe'amim sheata misalem...K'gon zaken veino l'fi kvodo" The quote is from memory, but the gist of it is that our torah allows that there are some things (even mitzvot-such as hashavas aveida) that are too menial for a talmid chochom to do.

1:27 PM  
Blogger eem said...

Yep, there are some things that the Torah says are too menial for a TC to do. I don't believe that cleaning up after yourself is one of them. (I also think that in the case ofpossibly making a chillul Hashem, the circumstances are quiet different.) And the demeaning attitude is still disgusting- Hashem says "Ain ani vehu dar" "I and he cannot live" in the same world-about an arrogant person. Here's another one- "Im lamadta torah harbeh, al tachzik tovah l'atzmecha-ki l'kach notzarta"- Pretty much, if you learn much torah, you still don't belong on that high horse. All the business about things being too menial for a talmid chacham to do have stopped being about respect for his torah and have turned into plain arrogance (most of the time).

2:43 PM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

but the gist of it is that our torah allows that there are some things (even mitzvot-such as hashavas aveida) that are too menial for a talmid chochom to do.

Even Rav Moshe zt"l, an undisputed tzadik, helped his wife sweep the floor. The Rabbis can and should clean up after themselves!!!

6:56 PM  
Anonymous onionsoupmix said...

Hey, what's that whole story about the kollel guy who complained to his rav that his wife wanted him to take out the trash and the rav conceded that he should most certainly not take out the trash, and then the rav proceeded to show up at the house to do it himself, anyone know that one ?

About derogatory terms. First of all,let's all acknowledge that if shvartze just means black, then zhid just means Jew.

Additionally, despite all the arguments that "people don't mean it negatively" I have yet to hear the term "goy" or "shvartze" in a positive way. As in : That shvartze goy who just won the Nobel prize in Mathematics is an absolute genius ! Do you ever hear that ?

3:10 AM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

It's not that cleaning up is associated with bittul Torah but with the menial position associatd with cleaning. I've heard Jewish women (and their daughters) refer to their cleaning women as "the goya". Of course, I don't have cleaning help and must demean myself with washing the floors, etc. for all our lip service about how sacred is houseowrk in maintaining the Jewish home, most women (as well as men) are happy to entrust the dirty work to others.

10:33 PM  
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1:38 PM  
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