Monday, May 31, 2021
Friday, May 28, 2021
Maharik (12:62) There are some rabbis who want to dominate their students more than is appropriate and they assert that whoever has been a student even as a child is forever subordinate to them and can never disagree with them on any issue. They claim that this is true even if the student has become their equal or even their superior in learning because they assert that even if the rabbi has clearly erred or behaves incorrectly, that disagreeing with the rabbi is the same as contradicting G-d or other such claims. The answer to this is that even if the student is forever subordinate to his teacher as the rabbis assert, nevertheless it is quite obvious that this is only in relationship to honoring him by standing up for him. However, concerning matters of Heaven, eg. Chillul Hashem, there is no requirement to honor his teacher. This can readily be seen in the many examples in the Gemara such as the events with Rabban Gamliel (Berachos 26b)
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Compare these bleachers in America to those of Karlin Stolin in Givat Ze'ev
Where are the cross beams? Is that what the wood and zip ties are supposed to accomplish? The main supports are much thinner. These are the bleachers that took the life of this sweet boy Meir Gloibermen z'l.
and this young father:
The KS bleachers are temporary. And unlike in America, where there is much more personal space between people, the KS bleachers get packed with people who are rocking up and down.
Here's what bleachers at an American football game generally look like during a game:
You don't need government involvement. You need an engineer who has been to normal countries and you need to listen to him.
There was an engineer, but he approved only the lower part of the structure. "“Everything was okay on Friday, when I made my inspection,” the engineer said. “I checked the bleachers and although I had one small objection, they were perfectly stable.” He added that, “For some reason, on Sunday they decided to add several rows above the existing structure, and they did that themselves. It seems like they didn’t have enough materials to do so, and what’s more, no one checked those extra rows that they added. No one authorized them.” https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/306524
So we heard from the KS spokesman that they had the permits. But it seems, they didn't have permits for the part that collapsed, the part they built themselves.
Safety standards in Israel are poor. I see it all the time, whether it be electric bikes racing down the sidewalks, people letting 4 year olds roam around by themselves, leaning wood planks against walls, nails sticking out of metal. We Jews are so good at memorial services, weeping, and writing sifrei Torah for the deceased. We are not so good at preventing injury.
Rav Avigdor Miller on Crossing at a Red Light
Should a person wait and not to cross at a red light when there is no traffic?
No, he shouldn’t wait. Only that he has to check to make absolutely sure that there is no traffic. It’s common sense.
However, I must tell you that the matter of crossing the street when there is traffic is not a simple matter. Because people all think that nothing could ever happen to them. People are careless with their lives because they think that nothing could happen to them. It only happens to other people. You know, that this is an instinct in human beings. Just as they lived until now, and just like they’re alive right now, so they think it’s going to continue. And then suddenly it happens.
You have to make it a policy of yours to learn from experience. So whenever we hear of an accident, we should never let that opportunity go by. We should know that it’s מן השמים that the news came to us, in order to warn us. Whatever happens to anybody should not be repeated by us. It says in the פסוק the following: ככלב שב אל קיאו – “just like a dog returns to what he vomited out,” כן כסיל שב באולתו – “so is a fool who repeats his foolishness” (Mishlei 26:11). It means this: A dog ate something in the street. He shouldn’t have eaten it but he did. And after he ate it, he saw that he couldn’t keep it down. So he gave it forth again. Now, that dog should have understood that it’s not for him. But because he’s a foolish dog, so he goes back and he eats it again. Now I don’t even believe such a dog exists. But humans like that do exist. If some misfortune happened because of your carelessness, it should have been a lesson, and you should never forget it. But even smarter than that, is a man who doesn’t wait that it should happen to him. If it happens to somebody else, that’s enough of a lesson for the wise person. He learns from others, from other people’s misfortunes. And that’s the great wisdom of experience – that you don’t wait for it to happen on your own hide, but you make sure to learn from other people’s misfortunes.
And that’s a very important principle. Whatever news you get, whatever you hear – and you’re hearing all the time – it should enter your ears. Somebody crossing the street was hit by a car. A child drowned in a pool. A grandchild was visiting his grandparents and he fell out of the window because there were no safety guards. When you hear these things, it should enter your heart like an arrow. And make it a principle, “I’m going to watch out for that thing.”
TAPE # 405
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
What should we think about when we hear about the girl who lost her life by being run over by a bus in Borough Park?
We should think first of all that the first lesson is ושמרתם את נפשותיכם. Parents have to be very careful. It’s important to teach children to be very, very careful. That’s one thing. And children should learn not to venture in the street unless they go with other adults. Never cross the street yourself; when other people are crossing then you cross together with them. Wait for adults! And it’s good advice for grown people too. Don’t cross at busy intersections by yourself; wait for some more people to gather together and then the motorists will see them. At nighttime especially! People wear black hats and black suits; they can’t see you unless you carry a mirror. I carry a mirror sometimes when I cross the street at night, so that they should see the reflection. Don’t cross the streets in your dark suits unless you’re crossing with other people. That’s number one. Don’t think it’s a small lesson. That’s lesson number one.
Lesson number two: Hakodosh Boruch Hu has plans. We don’t know what the plans are but there’s no question that this girl is going to be taken to the Next World and Hakodosh Boruch Hu will reward her. Actually, He did it for a certain purpose. If the purpose was to teach other people to be careful, so she sacrificed her life to teach other people to be careful. So Hashem says, “Look, you didn’t want it but still you did it so I am going to reward you for being a sacrifice to help other people save their lives.” And they take her into Gan Eden and they make her very happy with her reward.
You want to know what else Hashem had in mind? Let Him know; you’ll find out maybe someday when you’ll get there. But what we should know now is that everything Hashem does is for a very important purpose. And even if it’s only for the purpose of teaching us the necessity of ונשמרתם את נפשותיכם, that we should all be more careful in crossing streets and that it shouldn’t happen again, it’s a worthwhile thing.
Rav Avigdor Miller, TAPE # 988
Monday, May 17, 2021
I always repeat what the old Lubavitcher Rebbe once said. They came to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, I think it was the previous one, Rav Yosef Yitzchak zichrono levrachah, and they told him, “Your talmidim are deceiving the world. They're putting up a front as if they are frum Jews. They're acting very frum but they're not really that frum!” So what did the Rebbeh say? He said they should keep on deceiving the world until they deceive themselves too. He said the gemara says if someone deceives the public in order to get charity, hamatzveh es betno, if he acts like he has a swollen belly, vehamekapeach es shoko, or he acts like his foot is chopped off, he bends his knee up, eino niftar min haolam ad sheyavo liyedei kach, the end will be that's how it will turn out. If you pretend, then what you pretend to be will happen. “That’s what’s going to be with my chassidim too – they’ll pretend and pretend and pretend, and they’ll become better and better just because of that; the frummer they act, the frummer they’ll become.”
Rav Avigdor Miller, Toras Avigdor, Emor, 5781
Sunday, May 16, 2021
"The Torah was given to the Jews because they are overly aggressive and the Torah serves to moderate their energy and subdue their heart." Rashi, Beitzah 25b
"Why was the Torah given to the Jews? Because they are aggressive and stubborn.....If the Torah had not been given to Israel no nation or tongue could withstand them." Talmud, Beitzah 25b
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
From a letter by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1977:
"The most essential point (to put it differently):
"The doctor's opinion is decisive -- according to Judaic law -- when he speaks as a doctor (based on medical factors or life-saving measures). If, however, he states his opinion as a state official or politician (based on political considerations), that according to his opinion, they (i.e. those political considerations) outweigh and eclipse the medical factors -- this is the opposite of the ruling of the Code of Jewish Law."
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Rav Avigdor Miller on Being Kind Hearted to Gentiles
Is it permitted to hate goyim?
Now that, you have to know, is a question that never comes up among Jews. Jews never talk about hating goyim. And I’ll explain that.
It’s true that there’s a mitzvah of ואהבת לרעך כמוך – you have to love your fellow Jew. It means that there’s no command to love somebody who is a non-Jew. To love non-Jews, there’s no mitzvah at all. But certainly nobody is told to hate anybody! Because hate is a boomerang. You just cannot hate and hate and hate without become a hateful person. Your nature changes. If a person is always muttering imprecations on goyim for nothing, then he becomes a low character.
Decent Jews are kind hearted and polite to everybody! אמרו עליו על רבן יוחנן בן זכאי שלא הקדימו אדם שלום מעולם – It was said about Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai that nobody ever said shalom to him in the street before he said shalom to them. He was the first one to greet a man. ואפילו נכרי בשוק – even gentiles in the street; when he encountered a gentile, he was the first one to greet him. That’s politeness. That’s how a Jew behaves.
The Chofetz Chaim was like that. In Radin, there were very small sidewalks – there wasn’t enough room for two people to walk side by side and so whenever somebody was walking on the sidewalk, he walked off the sidewalk to let the person walk. He yielded the sidewalk.
Once he was walking and a Russian general was passing by and the Chofetz Chaim yielded the sidewalk. So the Russian general said, “Old man, why are you yielding to me? You’re yielding the sidewalk to me, a young person?”
So the Chofetz Chaim said, “I do it to everybody.”
So the general said, “You’re going to live long,” he said. “You’ll live long because of that.” That’s a blessing from a Russian general.
The truth is that Jews are always kind hearted to everybody; only that the mitzvah of loving a Jew is a specific mitzvah that’s only for fellow Jews. You don’t have that mitzvah for anybody else.
But to be kind and polite, that’s not even a question. It’s not an issur of lo sechanen. Lo sechanen means to do favors for nothing; that you don’t do. However, for your own benefit, favors for your own character you can do. And anything you do for gentiles that improves your character, it’s a good thing to do because you’re doing it for yourself.
TAPE # 630
Thursday, May 6, 2021
1. Keep the person unaware of what is going on and how she or he is being changed a step at a time. Potential new members are led, step by step, through a behavioral-change program without being aware of the final agenda or full content of the group.
2. Control the person’s social and/or physical environment; especially control the person’s time.
3. Systematically create a sense of powerlessness in the person.
4. Manipulate a system of rewards, punishments and experiences in such a way as to inhibit behavior that reflects the person’s former social identity.
5. Manipulate a system of rewards, punishments, and experiences in order to promote learning the group’s ideology or belief system and group-approved behaviors. Good behavior, demonstrating an understanding and acceptance of the group’s beliefs, and compliance are rewarded, while questioning, expressing doubts or criticizing are met with disapproval, redress and possible rejection. If one expresses a question, they are made to feel that there is something inherently wrong with them to be questioning.
6. Put forth a closed system of logic and an authoritarian structure that permits no feedback and refuses to be modified except by leadership approval or executive order. The group has a top-down, pyramid structure. The leaders must have verbal ways of never losing.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
“The person who doesn’t know how to ask a question is not far from being a wicked person, even though he has not reached the level of causing others to sin by ridiculing their religion. By the fact that he doesn’t have questions at all concerning the commandments, it appears that he has no relationship at all with them.”
Maharal, Divrei Hagidin,, Eyen Dalet in Daas Torah, p. 190
Monday, May 3, 2021
רבי חנינא סגן הכהנים אומר: הוי מתפלל בשלומה של מלכות שאלמלא מוֹרָאָהּ, איש את רעהו חיים בלעו. אבות ג ב
“[A person] should daven for the welfare of his government,
because without it, men would swallow each other alive.” (Avos 3:2)
R’ Nosson Wachtfogel Zatzal said that people can become so involved with themselves
that they don’t even see the people around them. Rather, they use others to obtain cavod
or other selfish desires. The name ''Bilam '' contains the same letters as the word: בּו ל עַ to
swallow. Bilam had no regard for others, using them only for his own purposes. He swallowed
them, so to speak.
Saturday, May 1, 2021
Questioner: The Torah gives reshus for a doctor to perform medical work [based on the verse, “He will surely heal” – so I had once an argument with a learned man and he said that as far as the chachamim, the Gedolei hador - he told me like this, this was his argument – he said, “I would go along with them, I would accept their opinion in religious matters. But when it comes let’s say to sickness, I’d draw the line there. The Torah gave the doctors the reshut to heal.” So it’s the same with politics, don’t you think?
Rav Miller: … Hashem said you have to listen in everything to the Gedolim. Only, they’re the ones to tell you to get healed - they tell you to go to a doctor. So there’s no question about drawing a line. If the Gadol tells you not to go to a doctor, then you don’t go. He won’t tell you that because Torah says that you should go. But there’s no such thing as drawing lines, because what a Gadol tells you, that’s our lives. Now, a real Gadol is very careful what he does and what he doesn’t tell you. Understand that. And that’s why on many things they don’t say because they have not yet found it necessary to formulate a policy. But don’t think that there are areas where a Gadol has a right to say and areas where he doesn’t have a right to say. A Gadol, a great man has a right to say on everything. Now this has to be hammered into our heads over and over again, for years and years until we get it into our heads. If we want to succeed in our lives, not only as Jews, if we want to succeed as human beings, we have to take guidance from people who are competent. And who is competent for the Jewish nation? The Gedolei Yisroel.”