Pre Shabbos Links and Stuff

A Simple Jew has a good post with some good comments on what to do when they order in “kosher” food at work. Here’s a comment from Akiva:

Here’s what I usually say….

“I’m sorry, I really appreciate you trying but I’m somewhat of a fanatic about these things. Because of that my religious position requires that I only eat the super-duper-extra-kosher stuff. Fortunately, that’s readily available in our area at xxxxx location or xxxxxx well know products. If you’re able to get those for us fanatics, that would be great. If not, hey, we really appreciate your efforts in considering kosher at all! Thanks!”

By self-labeling as someone really unusual, it puts the onus of the position on me and makes them perfectly comfortable in saying no. Yet it also opens the door to accomodation if they want. Sometimes I tone down the “super-duper” and use “extra kosher”, “extra stringent kosher”, “extreme kosher”, then I point to my big black kippah and beard and say, “hey, you’d never guess that I’d be fanatical, right?” That always gets a smile.

Jameel at Muqata posts the following about a new law making kiruv to minors illegal in Eretz Yisroel:

The winter session of the Knesset is now in session. MK Chaim Oron (Meretz) ascended the podium of Israel’s parliament and proposed a new law:

Any person who attempts to influence a minor, to become more religiously observant of Judaism,(להחזיר בתשובה) will be subject to arrest and imprisonment for 6 months.

A reader wrote a letter and MK Oron responded:


I welcome your letter to me.

Due to the many instances in which different religious groups in Israel try to cause minors to be “chozer biteshuva” [return to religion], either through activities, or the distribution of materials that contain threats within schools, I have proposed to outlaw all direct or indirect activities from organizations like those, that try to cause minors to return to religion.

My proposal applies to attempts to convince minors, who normally have less developed faith and opinions than those of an adult — and attempts to convince them to change from a secular person to a religious person; a transformation that should only occur based on self-reflection and without any pressure or external enticements.

I understand that you disagree with my viewpoint, and therefore, “[every] person in his own faith shall live”


Chaim (Jomas) Oron

Rabbi Yerachmiel Milstein has a free mp3 shiur at Aish, titled Bereishis: Who Banged the Big Bang?

In the beginning, G-d created…” These famous words lose some of their glitter when put alongside the many popular scientific theories that saturate our society. After all, what about the Big Bang, evolution, and the world being at least 8 billion years old? Rabbi Milstein looks between these divine lines and quotes ancient writings that show how the sages of old were light years ahead of current scientific discoveries – and that after all is said and done, the gap between science and Torah is really a lot closer than it appears.

If you prefer your Torah in black ink on white paper, then try this week’s Internet Parsha Sheet or try the archives for Bereishis Parsha Sheets from the past.

9 comments on “Pre Shabbos Links and Stuff

  1. Chaim: The point I think you missed is that sometimes the servers are Jewish, maybe even moderately religious themselves (this was missed because the answer is here without the source question).

    So when they bring up the Entemans and say, “why aren’t you eating it, not kosher enough for you, huh huh huh???”, you’re not going to defuse that confrontation with an explanation of chalav yisroel.

    Now if it’s a homogenous group of goyim who are trying to be accomodating and they say, “this, kosher, right?” and you say “yes, but I hold certain standards that require that instead”, they really don’t care one way or the other which, they have no investment in the answer, so next time they’ll get that instead.

    The question presented involved a mixed level of observance group being accomodated by goyim in an office situation, sometimes resulting in treif, sometimes in weaker (but certainly kosher) standards.

  2. I am often conflicted, ambivalent and confused but, in fact, Chaim G. is just a contraction of Chaim Grossferstant.

    I posted two different comments b/c A) The shorter th ecomment the more likely it will be read and B) They were directed towards two distinct posters.

  3. Humor, especially gently self-deprecating humor, can be very useful in defusing tensions. Like when someone brings “kosher” food that you can’t eat. However, I agree, calling yourself a “fanatic” allows the listener to think, “yeah, he really is.” You could even use the words “strict” or “very strict” with a big smile and lots of thanks for effort.The salesman who regularly visit my wife’s office know where to get food to bring, and to have it sealed. Most people want to be accomodating, as long as it isn’t too big a pain. We’re not fanatics, and it seems like lifnei eiver to joke that we are.

  4. or the distribution of materials that contain threats within schools,

    What in the world is he talking about? What “threats” ? This piece of poor sportsmanship masquerading as legislation is typical. When polls showed that R’ Meir Kahane HY”D might make a strong showing in an election the old-boys-network in Israel promptly labeled his party as racist and outlawed it. Now that the Kiruv movement is beginning to make inroads that may actually shakeup Israeli society (and after the debacle in Lebanon can any one doubt any longer that things really NEED to be shaken up?) they change the rules again in middle of the game! They will now try to outlaw educational endeavors to disseminate the oldest of the three major religions by labeling and libeling it as some new-fangled cult resorting to coercive brainwashing tactics. Truly repulsive but alas what we’ve come to expect from MKs.

  5. By self-labeling as someone really unusual, it puts the onus of the position on me

    “really unusual,” could mean Einstein or Willy Mays but it could also mean Al Capone or David Koresh. I don’t think any service is being done to Kiddush Shem Shomayim= bringing greater glory to G-d, by associating your adherence to his will as fanaticism to navigate awkward social situations. IMO Frum Jews be they FFB or BT need to be proud and unapologetic about their Torah observant behaviors and values. By not putting the onus on them (the non-kosher eaters) you are wasting a good, albeit subtle, opportunity to stimulate them to reevaluate their lifestyles and values.

Comments are closed.