To discuss issues relevant to the large and growing world of young Frum families and singles who are fully engaged in the Olam HaTorah and Olam HaZeh. You take your career, learning, family (or dating) and play seriously (not necessarily in that order.) You are nervous about the anti-intellectual trends that you see in your community while being proud of being part of the Torah renaissance in our generation.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mishpacha Magazine and Segulas

Just read an article in Mishpacha magazine about 'Segulas'. From the cover I thought that there would be a ballanced article, but instead it was all one sided: Quoting practitioners of all sorts of shtusim v'havalim and quackery labeled 'Kabala, segulas, etc.' What was really galling was a certain practitioner who applied Rambam's medicinal writings as well as segulas. Poor Rambam! The Rambam was the ultimate Rationalist and thought that all this stuff was nahrishkeit (and wrote so!) and his medicine was cutting edge... for his day. It was not based on Kabala or the Gemara. So the last thing tht he would want would be to follow his medicinal prescriptions as a 'chok' for all times and ignore the current thinking in modern medicine. So this fellow takes the Rambam's medicinal writings literaly and ignores his anti-segula/kamiah/superstition position. I would say that this is 'Tarti D'Sasri'.

Yidden! The Torah says "Tomim Tihiyeh Im Hashem". Don't follow quackery and shtusim in the name of 'kaballah'. The only segullah is limud HaTorah uMitzvos.

I will end with my favorite Amuka story which was related to me by one of the three guys in the story: Three fellows in their 30's who where still single where in Eretz Yisroel one summer. One suggested that they should all go to visit Amuka as a segullah. They all agreed, but the third backed out at the last moment as he had instead made plans to visit and spend time with his 'camper' from the previous summer at Camp Simcha who was Israeli. Guess which of the three became engaged that year? :) You guessed it! The one who performed an actual Mitzvah D'Oraysa of the highest caliber - "Ma Hu Mivaker Cholim, Af ata Mevaker Cholim".

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Frum Jews and Republicans

How did all Frum Jews become card-carrying shock troops for the Republican Party? If you criticize George Bush or the war in Iraq in shul, you won't hear the end of it! I understand that there is an affinity towards Republican 'traditional values' amongst frum folks, but what does that have to do with running a country, or mis-running a war. But that is another topic for another day. We should all remember that the Republican Party is a political party and like all parties that get too much power, they become less interested in ideals and more interested in consolidating their power. The best government is divided government - if there is a Democratic president like Clinton - it was great that there was a Republican congress to keep him honest (so to speak:) and now with a Republican president, we would all be better served with a Democratically controlled Congress.

What is the frum 'Poverty Level'?

How much family income do we need to generate to support a normal frum lifestyle? No luxuries, just pay tuitions, make Shabbos have company over, go on a simple vacation, pay medical bills, mortgage, etc. etc. Oh, and save to marry off your kids and support them through Kollel, medical school (or if you are lucky, both!:) What does it take?The number that I have heard bounded about, in our Northeast neighborhood is $150,000 a year for a family married for - say five years - with 2 or 3 kids. I have no clue what is needed with a family with high school aged kids.What is the number that you think is right?