Monday, May 30, 2005

The FTW Real Agenda: Modern Orthodoxy & Zionism

FTW doesn't want anybody to teach Torah to children of Modern Orthodox familes if by doing so they will become more frum than their parents.

FTW, I presume, has no objection to teaching Torah to children of families who aren't religious if they will become more religious than their families.

Zionism and Modern Orthodoxy is what bothers him. It's the fact that Frumteens, without forcing anybody to listen, without threatening to penalize anyone, just simply by presenting Torah for the public, has convinced many young adults that Modern Orthodoxy and Zionism is wrong. How sad for Mr FTW!

If he does not like it, let him try to start a site that convinces teenagers that Frumteens is wrong.

Oh -- I forgot! He did! (Sorry, I didnt notice)

Considering FTW dedicated an entire site to bashing Frumteens, it's questionable how he can write:



But the emphasis on Frumteens is on how other hashkafos are wrong. That's not
something to do with teens. It's a recipe for disasters with their families and
their teaches. Turning teens against their families and teachers is a very, very
bad way to do kiruv.


Frumteens has a few threads discussing other Hashkofos among literally hundreds of topics. Yet FTW dedicates a whole site to bashing Frumteens, and then says this?

FTW should take a lesson from some responses on Crosscurrents.com when people complained that Frumteens is convincing people that Modern Orthodoxy and Zionism is wrong (the italics and bold and colors are by me).



... But why doesn’t the Union or RCA or someone set up a site like frumteens or an inreach organization like NCSY to Modern Orthodox kids.... Does such a site exist for MO kids ? Anyone? ...
Comment by chaim klein — March 27,
2005 @ 1:32
pm


Chaim, nobody set up such a site because it’s easier to bash others
than to do something positive oneself.
Comment by rikki — March 31, 2005 @ 4:02
am


i have heard of some sort of attempt, based on so many nice ideas
that would never work, and completley collapsed around apikorsus and hate remarks which filled it

Comment by someone — March 31, 2005 @ 7:56
pm


If our teenagers are choosing to go to the RW for assistance that
means they have something to offer that we do not. If our children are going not to our rabbis and counselors for help but to the extremist right wing factions,
that means we have failed where they have succeeded. Rabbi Adlerstein is right.
if we could come up with a site as effective as frumteens, the whole issue
would be moot. Expressing outrage over someone else’s success only distracts from our own failure. Instead of bashing, we should try to find a way to do what frumteens has already done, ...Comment by Ploni — April 10, 2005 @ 12:13
pm

Frumnteens is the 21st century version of ArtScroll .... Our youth are going there for questions about hashkafa halachah and life... The challenge to Modern Orthodoxy at this juncture is, will we spend all day screaming “foul” and getting nowhere or will we stop being crybabies provide our youth with what they need, according to our own hashkofos? If we don’t, they will continue going to frumteens, and we will once again be left in the dust.
Comment by Larry —
April 11, 2005 @ 9:18
am

The answer is, you can't and you won't. A little light dispels a lot of darkness, and that is why Frumteens is so successful. If FTW thinks he can best the Moderators of Frumteens on the issues, let him set up a site and try. Apparently Modern Orthodoxy cannot do that, so instead they try to bash.

Yes, Mr FTW, Modern Orthodox teenagers will continue to access Frumteens as they have been doing and they will continue to learn what is right and what is wrong as they have been doing. Boruch Hashem.

Family Problems? Why FTW Hides His Quotes

Today, Mr FTW changed his style. He has a topic called "How Frumteens Causes Family Problems", a bold accusation for sure! And as usual he has an out of context misrepresented statement from Frumteens to try to "prove" his "point". But this time, Mr FTW did not give us a link to the place the quote is from! He just posted the words without giving us the ability to see for ourselves, the way he usually does.

How Frumteens Causes Family Problems
Here's a post on
Frumteens which gives a taste of the frightening problems that Frumteens can
cause:
I also disagree with the moderator in a lot of ways hashkafa-wise. But
as a read what he says, it makes more and more sense, and instead of thinking
"That's what those frumies think", I now think "That's how I should be
thinking". I still don't completely agree with a lot of what he says, mainly
because I come from a modern orthodox family, I am starting to see his way as
right and my family's way as wrong.

It's great to try to inspire teenagers to a
greater level of observance and to more noble hashkafos. But the emphasis on
Frumteens is on how other hashkafos are wrong. That's not something to do with
teens. It's a recipe for disasters with their families and their teaches.
Turning teens against their families and teachers is a very, very bad way to do
kiruv.



When I saw this, I smirked, thinking to myself "What is he hiding? Did he make this quote up out of thin air? It wouldn't be the first time he lied"

And then I did a search on Frumteens on the words "frumies", and saw immediately why Mr FTW would refuse to provide us with a link so we can see this for ourselves. It is because the entire thread discusses how these teenagers respect and love the Moderator's straightforwardness even if they disagree with him because they learn from it, without having anything stuffed down their throats.

Rarely do you see teenagers praising a rabbi for telling them what to do. FTW wants us to believe Frumteens is "frightening", when in reality it is beautiful to see teenagers willing to learn more about Torah on their own and then decide on their own what path they would like to take in life. I will show you what FTW apparently did not want you to see. During the entire forum, except for the few words by the Moderator, the entire thread is made by teenagers, and what appears to be one outsider adult ("CN"):


qwertyuiop
Posted - 18 June 2001 18:35
This forum attracts many different
kinds of teenage jews, from all different places and all different backrounds.
Some of what the moderator wrote has been very eye- opening. Yet a lot of the so
called more "modern" teens may get turned off by the strictness. Of course every
jew is obligated to follow halacha, but some stuff written in the forum is going
past halacha and more of set limitations people should set for themselves. When
a person wants to better themself they do it in a gradual process, and if
they're told that they must go all the way, that can put too much pressure on
them and cause them to be turned off. The limitations are supposed to be set
willingly on your own, not something you're forced to do. Is there any way to
"lighten up" a little?
e
Posted - 18 June 2001 22:45
i love this forum
even though i am not the "hashkafa" of the moderator. think about , tons of kids
open up etc even though moderator is strict. if you ask his opinion he will give
it to you acc to his hashkafa and how he sees the world. he's not forcing
anything on anyone to be like him. its the knowledge and emes and compassion
which counts, not the strictness.
MODERATOR
Posted - 26 June 2001 23:02
I dont try to be strict, but I have to answer the questions honestly.
SayWhat
Posted - 27 June 2001 23:23
So basically Qwert, you're saying
the mod should compromise Judaism because a kid might get turned off? How's he
supposed to learn then?We worry about kids getting turned off when we're
discussing chumros or forcing thigs put on a kid. We don't when it comes to
halacha. And if they don't know so they'll learn. I don't think the mod is too
strict in any way AT ALL and if you think he is then you should set yourself
straight,
cn
Posted - 02 July 2001 22:10
I originally thought like
qwerty, yet the more I read the more I realize that the moderator is a model of
effective kiruv: reaching out without compromising one's own values. He sticks
firmly to his viewpoint (what he percieves to be the ratzon hashem) which is
often totally at odds with the hashkofa of many other users. Yet, they obviously
respect him because he speaks sincerely and frankly instead of saying what is
"politically correct". In addition, I believe that every teacher and parent
should read through these boards for several reasons: 1) to see how todays
teenagers really feel about life. This is not specualation from some
"professional"; rather, it is real people talking. 2) to see the support and
chizuk given by board members to each other. Once in a while, it is good to
witness the basic goodness that exists in people and how they will go out of
their way to give encouragement to another human being and a fellow jew, 3) to
observe how the moderator handles difficult issues. With a rare combination of
knowledge in halacha, clear hashkafa, empathy, and plain common sense, he does a
marvelous job (in my opinion) dealing with issues facing todays teenagers.
Although I do have minor criticisms on his style, I have recommended, (and will
continue to) this site to many teenagers. and adults.
Chazak
MODERATOR
Posted - 02 July 2001 23:15
Cn,
Thanks for the
kind words.
Now tell me the criticisms.
GaryG
Posted - 03 July 2001
2:39
I am very, very far from the hashkafa of the mod. If you recall, I was
one of the main antagonists arguing against his position on Modern Orthodoxy.
But I would be very upset if he were to change his style or his opinions because
he's afraid someone will get turned off. I have learned a tremendous amount
about Ultra Orthodox Judaism from this forum, and I definitely have to admit
that I always thought that it was just a lot of chumras and narrow mindedness.
Now I see it is anything but. Moderator, please do not change your style, which
expresses what you really believe rather than what people are want to hear, and
that goes for what you say and the way you say it. "Trash" was the most honest
description I have ever heard about Yechi. Although I am not saying I agree, at
least you're not patronizing me like others do. You don't hide what you think is
the truth, you say it, and you always back it up with logical sources, and we
can tell that you really believe in what you are saying. I can also tell that
you care. I don't know how but you can just feel it. I am amazed at the changes
in people's lives that I see taking place on these boards because of your
knowledge and honesty. I never imagined that a website could do something like
that.
MODERATOR
Posted - 03 July 2001 19:12
Thanks for the chizuk,
Gary.
One comment: When speaking of "Ultra Orthodox Judaism" you must bear
in mind that there really is no such movement. Once, not long ago, "Ultra
Orthodox" Judaism was the only type of Judaism practiced. It never referred to
itself with any label, since the generic "Judaism" sufficed. Then,
Convseravtive, Reform, and Modern Orthodoxy decided to break off and become
movements in themselves so they gave themselves names. Ultra Orthodoxy never
declared itself a movement and never gave itself that name. It is plain generic
Judaism the way it was practiced for centuries.
michaelk
Posted - 28 June
2002 6:15
I also disagree with the moderator in a lot of ways hashkafa-wise.
But as a read what he says, it makes more and more sense, and instead of
thinking "That's what those frumies think", I now think "That's how I should be
thinking". I still don't completely agree with a lot of what he says, mainly
because I come from a modern orthodox family, I am starting to see his way as
right and my family's way as wrong.
--michaelk
Aperson
Posted - 28
June 2002 17:44
Yeah it's true-when Rabbis try to bend backwards in order to
make everyone happy, and chulila not to disagree with anyone- you lose respect
for them.
Live613
Posted - 05 July 2002 15:37
Right is right, and
emes is emes-People dont like it cuz it means obligation/responsibility.The
truth hurts.
green
Posted - 23 July 2002 18:27
the truth ends up
hurting alot less than all the things ppl make up to try to make things easier
to hear.

Friday, May 27, 2005

FTW: I had no idea what I was saying - but its not my fault!

FTW has decided that I am the Moderator of Frumteens.com. Even though I am flattered, I am sorry to say that I am not. However it is interesting for the public to pay attention to the warped logic and clear bias and slant of FTW:

Who else would be so motivated

So for a normal Jew to be motivated to write slanderous, libelous stories against Talmidei Chachamim as he does, is normal and fine, but to defend those Talmidei Chachamim, nobody would be motivated to do.

To do something bad - everyone would be motivated. But to do something good - he wants to know who would want to. This is the kind of world unsavory characters like Mr. FTW comes from.



and who else classifies everyone in the three categories of good Jews, Zionists,
and Lubavitchers?


Who else would openly lie and make up a story about someone that is easily exposed? I did not do this at all. FTW asked why some people are against Frumteens and I responded because they are Zionists and Lubavitch - both groups who have shown the most vile hatred toward the Moderators, obviously because they exposed their Hashkofos as against the Torah. Of all those posting all over the internet about Frumteens, the only claims against it are against its exposing Lubavitch, and Zionists-Modern Orthodox. It is therefore also clear why the reason you will find the only people having problems with Frumteens are those (and a small amount of anonymous people claiming to be whatever they are).


It's either the FrumTeens Mod or a really, really dedicated talmid.


Or any good Jew.


This suspicion was further solidifed by the astonishing fluency that FTWW
displayed with all the Frumteens posts. If he isn't the Mod, he's an
extraordinary boki.


What a crock! Any avid reader of Frumteens knows what I have quoted (plus, there is a searh engine on Frumteens which FTW could easily have used, if he would have been interested in finding the truth). FTW admits that he was ignorant of the posts that refute his accusations. Instead of apologizing, he now tries to distract us from the fact that he was shown to completely have no idea what he is talking about


Even more telling was when he wrote that "if you take a look at those
unpublished posts you will find an equal proportion of those who agree,
disagree, and are neutral to the Hashkofos of the moderator." Now, it's
theoretically possible for anyone to access all posts, but this kind of analysis
could only really come from the Mod.


Theoretically possible!? FTW was the one who announced that anyone can access all the posts! All one has to do is take a small glance at the posts and you will see they are all random, on all topics and expressing all opinions. FTW wants to defend his irresponsible lies by saying that he could not have realized they are lies. In reality, anybody can see this for themselves by taking 5 minutes of their time.


But here was the clincher. When we wrote a few days ago the phrase
"FrumteensWatchWatch (a.k.a. Frumteens)," FTWW went wild! He instantly put up a
post denying it, and then added to his blog title, "Disclaimer: FrumteensWatch
is not associated in any way with Frumteens.com. Neither the Moderators of
Frumteens, nor any of its staff are responsible for any content of
FrumteensWatchWatch. The opinions expressed here are solely those of this
blogger only."

So if I do deny that I am the Mod, that proves I am the Mod, and if I dont deny that I am the Mod that would prove I am not the Mod? What has FTW been drinking?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

FTW History Lesson: Chazon Ish and Brisker Rav Were Satmar!

In disputes about Frumteens on other forums, many have protested Frumteens’ extreme Satmar ideology. Others have defended Frumteens by saying that everyone has a right to their own ideology and Frumteens happens to be extreme Satmar.


The proper response is that Frumteens ideologyy is mainstream Yeshivish (and sometimes chasidish) normative Judaism, which is antiZionist. Frumteens has repeated this many times, and as evidence has quoted the main Yeshivish Gedolim of the 20th century - the Grach, the Griz, the Chofetz Chaim, Reb Elchonon, the Chazon Ish, Rav Ahron Kotler, Rav Shach, and others. He has even translated verbatim the letters of Rav Shach on Zionism. He has also explained the difference between the approaches of Rav Ahron Kotler, the Satmar Rebbe and the Brisker Rav, stating that they are all "eilu v'eilu divrei eloikom chaim."

FTW is a victim (or perhaps a spreader) of the Zionist brainwashingg that "only satmar" is anti-Zionistt, and everybody else is "non-Zionistt", which has been refuted beyond any doubt by anybody willing to do the research (which FTW admits he does not do, see my next post). In reality, religious Zionists are a fringe breakoff of mainstream Judaism, as all those who do the reseach know.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Frumteens Moderators: Pulpit Rabbis, Kiruv Rabbis, and Others

I guess FrumteensWatch is running out of steam. I wonder how much longer his blog will last.

His problem yesterday was that the Moderator who Rabbi Adlerstein spoke to in his interview for Jewish Action was not a rabbi. The MetaInfo message for Frumteens says its run by rabbis.

Obviously this is because as is well known Frumteens has several Moderators. One says (I think it was in the lubavitch forum) he grew up in Canada, and FTW says one said hes from NY. The Mazal Tov section has Mazal Tovs to Moderator for his first child, and also for a grandchild - obviously not the same person. Then in the "tiflus" section the "head moderator" came and censored something another Moderator wrote.

Some may be rabbis some may not be. It also may be that "rabbi" in Rabbi Adlersteins article means Shul rabbi, and "rabbis" in the MetaInfo means people with Semicha.

Whatever the case, it's a stupid issue.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Today's Lies Exposed

FrumteensWatchWatch (a.k.a. Frumteens) considers me to be an “anti-Semitic” “rasha” (his words) for my strong criticism of Frumteens.


Not at all. FrumteensWatch (who is not Frumteens and not associated with Frumteens or its Moderator at all) considers FTW to be an anti-semitic Rasha for fabricating sladerous stories about others.


Of course, my opinions are shared by many fine people in the Orthodox community


Read: Zionists and Lubavitchers.

But your opinions are not the issue. Your lies are. Don't put words in my mouth the way you do to Frumteens.


(and even in the yeshivish community), including choshuve rabbonim and mechanchim


For instance? Outside of the Modern Orthodox-Zionist and Lubavitch world, please. And no anonymous trolls or wind-ups, please.

Even Rabbi Adlerstein, who wrote an article in Jewish Action praising the work that Frumteens seeks to accomplish with teen issues, has referred to its approach in hashkofic matters as “odious” and “repugnant.”


Rabbi Adlerstein is a religious Zionist, which explains his opinion. But he did not make up any stories. You did. Rabbi Adlerstein would not approve of your false accusdations and slanderous lies. Do not make believe he gives a Haskama to your lies.

The Frumteens moderator and his supporters must ask themselves, why is it that people who admire and respect Aish HaTorah, Ohr Someyach, Gateways, Partners in Torah, Torah U’Mesorah, etc., etc., have such negative opinions of Frumteens.


Have they made up stories like you have? That is the issue. Please do not change it.

And the answer to your question is that they are Modern Orthodox or Zionists. Even though the Torah Umesorah Rabbonim basically share the Frumteens Hashkofos almost across the board, Frumteens answers questions on all areas of Judaism, including Zionism and Modern Orthodox issues. Those organizations do not address those issues in that organization, but to their talmidim they do. That is why Rav Elya Svei or Rav Ahron Schechter or Rav Malkiel Kotler (for example) who all share the views of Frumteens are members of Torah Umesorah, but because they do not express their sentiments about YU or Zionism or Lubavitch in TU, many MO do not have a problem with the organization. But they would have a problem with the Hashkofos taught by those Rabbonim to their students.

If you were to ask Rav Elya or Rav Ahron or Rav Malkiel the questions asked on Frumteens you would get the same answers.

Those who consider the hashkofos of Frumteens odious and repugnant would consider the views of the Brisker Rav, the Chazon Ish, Rav Shach, Rav Elya Svei, odious and repugnant as well.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Beyond Lies - Now it's just stupidity.

The latest from the anti-Semite at FTW:

Well, there goes the Ramban (see his Peirush on Vayikra Perek 12 Possuk 2).Ramban might also have been caught out on apikorsus for what he says on Breishis
9 possuk 12, but the Greeks happened to be correct on that one. Lucky break for
Ramban there!

I can't make sense out of this. The Ramban (Vayikra 12:2) says that the Gemora says one pshat, Unkeles says another. The Greek philosophers are in line with Unkeles. The Ramban brings both. So?

Then we have the typical Modern Orthodox anti-anti-zionist nonsense, that anybody who is anti-zionist is Satmar.

Of course, we must ask, what does "contrary to the torah" and "against the
torah" mean? According to who? Frumteens doesn't say. Based on his other posts,
the answer is probably either the Satmar Rav or the FrumTeens moderator.


This is getting pretty ridiculous. I think I've shown quite clearly that this guy is a liar, and now also an ignoramus. I'm taking a break. Please do me a favor, FTW - when you come up with something that either (a) makes sense or (b) is a lie, both of which I can answer, please email me. But this kind of childish nonsense is not for my time. My address is FrumteensWatchWatch@yahoo.com

Thank you.

Must One be a Baki in FrumTeens to Read It?

FTW made false accusations agaisnt Frumteens. They have been exposed as lies for two reasons:

1) Frumteens never said that which FTW said he said. The quotes were either outright lies or misrepresentations,
2) Frumteens said just the opposite of what was quoted.

Now he admits that his accusations that frumteens believes those things are false. He is not longer claiming that Frumteens has wrong Hashkofos. He doesn't even say the Hashkofos are not explained well. He now says that the problem is, if someone reads only one sentence or praragraph, they may get the wrong impression. He compares this to Frumteens claim that you do not need to read SLifkins entire book to have identified Apikorsus in them.

His comparison is ludicrous.

1) Slifkins books have no explanation or clarification in them anywhere that would negate the Kefirah.
2) discussion sites are designed for an interactive discussion - meaning, asking and answering. If someone has a question about something the Moderator writes they ask and it is answered. Slifkins books are not interactive. Books are expected to be stand-alone, final drafts and ready to read independently.
3) Frumteens makes it clear in many places that this is the case and that he will answer any such questions about what he writes.
4) Most of all, SLifkins books do indeed contain Kefirah. Frumteens, even without any clarifications, are not against the Torah at all. For instance, when he quoted the Mishna Brura that anything against Daas Torah is Apikorsus, that is factually correct. The reader - of the Mishna Brura or of Frumteens quoting it - is entitled to have legitimate questions about that, but we are not talking about Kefirah but rather the words of the Mishna Brura, and we are not talking about anything that even by itself is against the Torah. FTW misunderstood or misinterpreted what was said and attacked. Perhaps what was written was open to interpretation, but FTW decided to interpret it in the worst way possible. Even his interpretation, however, was clarified on the site to be wrong. Slifkins books have statements that are Kefirah without any misinterpretation by the reader. On Frumteens, you have to misinterpret something to need an explanation - which you will get simply by clicking a button and submitting a Q. Slifkins books are Kefirah if you interpret them according to the way they were meant.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Shame on You, Micha Berger!

This comes from a comment on FTW, from a man named Micha Berger. His profile says he is a rabbi, educated in Y.U. Ignorance and dishonesty from an anonymous ragblogger like Mr FrumteensWatch is expected - the Blogosphere is full of such liars. But one would think someone who claims to be a rabbi would be a little more honest or educated. Unfortunately it seems that is not the case.

This comment was posted in response to the ignorant slander of FTW, which he later "clarified" (read: retracted), because what FTW quoted from Frumteens was never said. In reality, Frumteens said just the opposite (see my previous string of posts). Rabbi Berger just took the slander and added his "Amen" to it.

the Rambam is very explicit about defining apiqoreis, meshumad and
kofer as different kinds of heresy.It's not just an issue of the writer being
imprecise. The lack of precision about what is heresy is the very core of his
ability to use the term artificially broadly.
10:14 AM


But Frumteens said explicitly that the Rambam's definitions apply to making someone a Kofer, which is specifically NOT what he means. (You can be medayek that in the Rambam too, because he says "who is a Kofer", "who is an Apikores", who is a meshumad. He does not say "what is kefirah, what is apikorsus, etc.)

Understanding what Kefirah is, is apparently not on the Smicha program of YU (or wherever this YU alumnus got Smicha from)

Arrogance On Top Of Ignorance (This takes the cake)

Here it is, for all to see, believe it or not:

Open Discussion?
FrumTeens gives the impression of being an open discussion group, like http://www.hashkafah.com/. However, many people report that when they submitted posts that were contrary to the moderator’s hashkafos and were not easily refutable, the moderator did not permit them to be posted. Thus, the moderator gives the impression of satisfactorily dealing with all questions that arise, but he is actually avoiding objections that undermine his position. If anyone has this experience, please forward your postings to this website.

The fact that only a small percentage of posts get put up regardless of their content (and that is made clear on frumteens) does not deter this rasha from continuing with his slander.

Nor does that fact that if you take a look at those unpublished posts you will find an equal proportion of those who agree, disagree, and are neutral to the Hashkofos of the moderator.

Nor does the fact that the Moderator has posted the opinions of the main Zionist defenders, quoted their words, linked to their sites, referred his audience to their books, and responded to them. Now these high school and college kids decide that they have additional claims above and beyond the Zionist Poskim that neither the Zionists nor the Moderator of Frumteens have ever thought of, and the fact that he only publishes some of them, not all, shows that he cant answer them. Are they for real? Do they expect frumteens to clutter his board with everybody's nonsense? Do they think that the Moderators have nothing better to do than argue with them all day? Frumteens was made by the Mods is to teach Torah, NOT to be a place for everybody to air their views.

Nor does the fact that nowhere on any other site have people posted plausible refutation to the Moderators' stances. Looking at the FTW sidebar he refers to Hirhurim as a critique of Frumteens. Scouring Hirhurim for something about Frumteens I found only rhetoric anger and nonsense. Nothing of substance at all, and moreover, what small amount of real critique is there has already been refuted by Frumteens completely.

And the biggest proof to this is that FTW can come up with nothing of substance with which to critique Frumteens.

What Version of Frumteens Does FTW Have? (not the one on the internet)

The slander at FrumteensWatch continues unabated. Today's lie:



FrumTeens ... takes the astonishing position that whenever somebody learns
peshat wrong in the Chumash, it is kefirah! (check it out here) ...


The fact that Frumteens says exactly the opposite does not deter this anti-religious rasha.





Yisroel2
Posted - 11 March 2005 12:54
You Wrote:1) Apikorsus is
anything that is contrary to the Torah's opinion, regardless of whether it
contradicts one of the 13 Ikarim or not.If I say a wrong Pshat in a Gemora or a
Posuk it becomes unintentional Apikorsus? If so, everyone better stop saying any
Chiddushim immediately!

MODERATOR
Posted - 11 March 2005 13:13
No, it doesnt. Dont worry
about your chidusim - theyre fine (even if theyre wrong).
But your question
is good: When does a chidush (that does not violate the ikarim) become
Apikorsus?
Any pshat you say that you honestly and objectively, without any
outside influences or negiyos, derived lishmah from the torah, is, at worst a
mistake.
But an idea that you had preconceived, or that you decided based not
on torah but on science or psychology or some other outside influence, or your
own negiyus, or whatever, if that idea is contrary to the torah, and you try to
fit in your outside-the-torah pshat into the torah, you are in essence twisting
the Torahs words, NOT deriving things from them; you are trying to make the
torah agree with you, NOT you agreeing to the Torah. And so if your pshat is
correct, youre OK. But if its against the torah, youre not a toeah but a megaleh
panim batorah shelo kehalachah. And that is apikorsus.
This answer is in
Rashi. What I wrote was a quote from the Sefer Hachinuch on lo sasuru acharei
levavchem. its quoted by poskim, including the mishna brurah.
Rashi, on the
Gemora in Brachos that the sefer hachinuch is referring to states that apikorsus
in the posuk of losasuru is giluy panim batorah shelo kehalachah - someone who,
loosely translated, creates chidushim that are agaisnt the Torah. Now not every
chidush thats wrong is giluy panim shelo kehalachha. If someone has a
pre-established idea that he created not from the torah but outside of it, in
his own ideology, and then decides to fit the torah into someone that it does
not really say, thats giluy panim batorah. And thats the apikorsus that the
chinuch is referring to.
That, you can do beshogeg or bemazid. You can
purposely fake a pshat knowing its fake, or you can give in to your yetzer horah
to believe something, and then try to fit that belief into the Torah. Thats
meenus beshogeg. Since the pshat did not come from the Torah but from outside
sources, the torah in essence was twisted to fit into some idea thats
actually contrary to torah. If you know your pshat is fake, youre a mazid; if
you think its true, youre a shogeg. But since in both cases the torah was
twisted to fit into some outside idea, the only difference is if you are
knowingly twisting the torah or unknowingly. Thats not the same as looking into
the torah and honestly deriving something mistakenly.

The second case is your chidushim. You may be making mistakes, but youre
not twisting the Ketzos to fit the Corpus Jurus. If youd do that, and you would
twist the torah to say something it doesnt, that would be giluy panim
batorah.

The chazon ish, when he says this about the chidush he saw in the
sefer, prefaces his remarks by saying "this is the type of idea that the yetzer
horah loves, and it is similar to the yetzer horah of avodah zorah. Even though
the author was a G-d fearing Jew, he worshipped apikorsus unwittingly."

He is saying that this pshat came from a negiyus, derived by non-torah
means and then fit into the torah. Thats what makes it apikorsus. The mechaber
honestly thought that he had a good pshat. Thats why he was a shogeg.


FTW continues:

Thus, the Moderator is of the opinion that since Modern Orthodox and Religious
Zionist rabbis have learned the wrong peshat in various aspects of Torah, their
beliefs are kefirah.


Nobody ever said that. Frumteens said that those Modern Orthodox that institutionalized aveiros such as mixed swimming and bitul Torah on the claim that "everybody does aveiros anyway so we are no different" are guilty of Kefirah beliefs, because they are knowingly disagreeing with the Torah. This was demonstrated on previous posts. Zionism being Kefirah is not the Moderator's position but that of the Brisker Rav, Chazon Ish, Rav ELchonon Wasserman and others. They do not need defense.

FTW then shows his ignorance of basic Torah knowledge:


So he is forced into the bizarre position that somebody can believe and
practice kefirah all their life, and yet not be officially called a Kofer!
But obviously, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and talks like a
duck, then it is a duck. If somebody is held to be believing and practicing
kefirah all their life, it is foolish to maintain that they are not
kofrim.

The position that you can say Kefirah and not be a Kofer is found all over the Gemora Rishonim and Achronim. The Gemora says that Lo sasuru acharei levavchem means if you believe Kfirah you violate this Laav. FTW concedes that this means anything that is against Daas Torah. Yet we know that you're not a Kofer unless you violate the 13 Ikarim. So how can the Mishna Brura expand the definition of Kofer? And why does the Rambam's 13 Ikarim not include "everything that is not Daas Torah"? The answer is that if you disbelieve Daas Torah it is Kefirah, you are over on a lav but you are not a Kofer.

The Moderator also quoted the Chazon Ish saying that you can be a Yorei Shamayim and still believe Kefirah unwittingly. Beliveing Kefirah does not remove you from the category of Yorei Shamayim, and surely does not make you into a Kofer.

And recently Rav Yosef Sholom Elyashev has paskened on the books of Slifkin that they are Kefirah, while at the same time stating that this does not mean Slifkin is a Kofer. Rav Elyashev said, Slifkin could even be one of the Lamed Vav Tzadikim, yet his books are Kefirah.

This is also explained by the Moderator:


MODERATOR
Posted - 10 May 2005 8:48
I cant speak for anybody else, so youll have to ask Rabbi Feldman that question.
However, there is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding this one point: that calling ideas Kefirah does not mean that he who espouses them is a Kofer. I explained this at length... A lot of people still dont understand this.
Especially in the Modern Orthodox world I have found this idea to be widely unknown. I have seen and heard throughout my life, when certain ideas are branded Kefirah, people mistakenly taking that to mean that the believers of those ideas are being branded Kofrim.
If you read Rabbi Feldman's letter carefully you will find that nowhere does he quote Rav Elyashev as saying the books are not Kefirah. On the contrary - more than once he quotes Rav Elyashev as saying he had no intention of branding the author a Kofer, yet never did Rav Elyashev say he denies holding the books are Kefirah.
When Rav Elyashev said "I didnt say the author is a Kofer; I just meant that the books are assur to read", he is not saying in that statement that the books are or arent Kefirah. But he is saying that the author is not a Kofer...
He does not quote Rav Elyashev as saying it, and none of the quotes he lists nor the explicit message Rav Elyashev told him to publicize ever addressed the issue of whether the books are Kefirah. They did, however, address and clarify the issue as to whether he said the author is a Kofer. And he did not.
Indeed, Rav Elyashev issued a letter shortly thereafter stating that the understanding that he implied the books are not Kefirah was mistaken. He never intended to modify the position of the original letter that he signed, which stated the books are Kefirah, he wrote. He always did and still does hold by the letter that says the books are Kefirah. His only intention was to explain to those who thought that labeling the books Kefirah means the author is a Kofer, were mistaken. One has nothing to do with the other.
Rav Elyashev never changed his position nor modified it. He said that explicitly. Unfortunately, people refuse to acknowledge that in their lack of knowledge, about what Kefirah means, they totally misunderstood - and often misrepresented - what Rav Elyashev said.
In any case, it makes no difference what caused the misunderstanding. Rav Elyashev explicitly clarified his position in writing for all to see, that he always did, and still does, hold that Slifkins books are Kefirah.



Monday, May 16, 2005

Even More Lies From FrumteensWatch

Kefirah Clarification

It has been pointed out that the FrumTeens moderator
does not state that Religious Zionists and the Modern Orthodox are Kofrim,
merely that they formally follow hashkofos that are kefirah. But how can a
person espouse and practise kefirah all their lives and yet not be a kofer?
Regardless, those who somehow make this distinction should read titles of
"kofer" on this blog as shorthand for "espousers of kefirah." Someone who
believes in Republican policies and implements them in his life can be described
as a Republican even if he isn't a registered voter.


But the Moderator stated that somoene who espouses Kefirah is NOT a Kofer except under certain circumstances, and he has stated explicitly that Zionists and Modern Orthodox are NOT Kofrim.

Thus, FrumteensWatch is caught redhanded once again at yet another slanderous lie.

Exposing the Slander of FrumteensWatch ... Again!

FTW had claimed that the Moderator of Frumteens holds that Modern Orthodox Jews and Zionists are Kofrim, and worse than child molesters. In reality, the he said just the opposite. After having his lie publicly exposed, FTW had retracted. Yet he refuses to take down the posts that he admits are blatant, slanderous lies. He may be hoping that readers will not read every single post on his blog, and therefore see and believe the slanders and lies, without seeing the retraction. Typical tactic used to ruin the reputation of innocent people.

Here is a post on frumteens where the Moderator was asked explicitly about Zionists being Apikorsim The Moderator responded they are NOT, because Zionists believe in the Torah and have no intention of disagreeing with it.

The public is encouraged to observe this and consider well the motives of Mr FrumteensWatch.

Friday, May 13, 2005

FTW Retracts Yet Continues To Spread Retracted Lie

We're making progress. FrunteensWatch was forced by this blog to admit its lie, i.e. that Frumteens called Modern Orthodox Jews Kofrim (what a stupid thing to say!). Yet after he admits that he lied ... there he goes again! He just repeats the lie in the same breath as if he never retracted. Here it is, black and white (5/13/05):

How To Make Kofrim In One Easy Step

The FrumTeens Moderator defines apikorsus as
follows
:Apikorsus is simply anything that is against Daas Torah.The
Moderator believes that he is presenting the position of the Mishnah Berurah.
It's true that, technically speaking, this is what the Mishnah Berurah says.
However the question is what does Daas Torah mean. According to FrumTeens,
everyone who has a different hashkafah than that which he considers correct from
a Torah standpoint is therefore going against the Torah and is practising
apikorsus. This is an extraordinarily sweeping usage of the Mishnah Berurah
which can be used to dismiss virtually anything as apikorsus



Although he admits that Frumteens' position is that according to the Mishna Brura, you can believe Kefirah but not be a Kofer yourself (unless you disagree with the 13 biggies), he still titled his post How To Make Kofrim In One Easy Step .

Didn't we just say that those who violate this laav are NOT kofrim?

This is a common tactic of Yellow Journalists and proagandists. They know that many readers will only read the title of the article and peripherally skim through the rest, so they draft the title to mean something beyond what the article proves. They hope the reader will retain the impression that the title gives. And if they really do read the article? "Oh well, fooling some of the readers is the best we can do."

FTW is thus again caught redhanded at another lie.



Thursday, May 12, 2005

What Frumteens Really Said

See it here


As far as whether if you believe apikorsus that automatically makes you an apikores, the answer is not always. Here are the rules:


Here are the rules:
1) Apikorsus (a.k.a. “meenus” a.k.a kefirah – the words are often used interchangibly) is anything that is contrary to the Torah's opinion, regardless of whether it contradicts one of the 13 Ikarim or not.*

2) Not everybody who says Apikorsus is himself an Apikores. As the Chazon Ish writes about a piece of apikorsus he saw in a certain sefer: "Even though the author was a Yorei Hashem, he worshipped Apikorsus unwittingly."

3) To be a full fledged Apikores yourself, which means we have no mitzvah to love you, - on the contrary, there is a Mitzvah to loathe you (“l’snoso”); we don’t return your lost items; your wine is yayin nesech; you lose your share in Olam Habah; you are, for all practical purposes, not part of klall yiaroel, and you have the status of a goy regarding all privileges (even though you are still obligated to fulfill all the Mitzvos) – for that, you have to disagree with one of the 13 Ikarim, regardless of whether you are doing so on purpose or out of ignorance. That is, even if you dont realize that you are disagreeing with them, you are still a full fledged Apikores, as Rav Chaim Brisker ZTL used to say: Nebach an apikores is oich an apikores "Someone who is an Apikores through no fault of his own is an Apikores nonetheless". If you knowingly disagree with anything the Torah says, meaning, you know the Torah says such-and-such, and then you say “The Torah is wrong,” you are in this category as well.

4) Even if you do not actually deny one of the 13 Principles, but merely are unsure about it, you are still a full fledged Apikores. You must be convinced of the absolute truth of these 13 Principles in order to get your share in Olam Habah and be considered part of Klall Yisroel, as per #3 above.

5) There is a disagreement between the Rambam and the Raavad regarding someone who, in the course of his Torah learning, makes an honest mistake, misunderstands something he sees in the Torah, and erroneously derives from the Torah a belief that is actually Apikorsus. The Rambam holds this person is an Apikores and the Raavad holds that he is not. **

5a) Even the Ravad, however, agrees that even though the person himself is not considered an Apikores, his mistaken belief is indeed considered Apikorsus.

6) Please see my post elsewhere on the site that explains why 4a above is not a contradiction to Rav Chaim’s rule of nebach a apikores is also an apikores.

7) Even Orthodox people who fulfill all of Torah and Mitzvos can be full-fledged Apikorsim. Said the Chazon Ish, “There are people whose homes are sufficiently kosher that you may eat the meat, the fish, and all of their food, but there’s only one food item you can’t eat: You can’t drink their wine, because their Hashkofos make it yayin nesech”. Even great Talmidei Chachamim can be Apikorsim. The Rambam states that even if a person has great wisdom and has great merits due to his Torah knowledge, he is still a full-fledged Apikores if he does not believe in the 13 Ikarim.

8) There is a belief held by many people that you have to know the whole Torah, or at least some great measure of it, in order to be an Apikores. This is a myth. There is no such thing. As long as you deny one of the Yesodei Hadas, one of the Fundemntals of our Religion, you are an Apikores. There is also a myth, believed by many, that there is “no such thing” as an Apikores nowadays. This, like the “kol hatorah kulah” myth, is a fairy tale. (Historically, they both cropped up as baseless rationalizations of religious Zionists who befriended and sometimes even raised to the stature of heros, athiest Zionist Apikorsim. Through these wishful ideas, they attempted to remove those atheist enemies of G-d and Torah from the category or Apikorsim)

8a) In order to preempt what I have heard on more than one occasion cited as “a source” for the above, the Chazom Ish does not say anywhere any such thing. On the contrary, on numerous occasions he declares people to be Apikorsim, including frum Jews , as per #7 above. What he did say is that the Halchacha of Moridin v’Lo Maalin – that you are allowed to kill an Apikores – does not apply nowadays, because we are not able to fulfill the prerequisite of properly giving them tochachah before hand, as well as the lack of open miracles nowadays.

9) Even though usually we have a rule that we try to be melamed zechus (judge favorably) on Jews, where an Apikores is concerned, the contrary is true. We are not melamed zechus at all. On the contrary, someone who refuses to curse the Apikorsim, is halachicly suspect to be an Apikores himself.


And here


There is a Halachah that says you must have the right Hashkofos. “Lo sosuru acharei levavchem”, You may not follow your heart, meaning, you may not believe “meenus” (Apikursos). Th Mishna Brura rules (his source is Sefer Hachinuch almost word for word, but without attribution) Apikursos includes any opinion that is contrary to Daas Torah.
Meaning, even if you follow all Halachos, if you have an opinion that conflicts with that of the Torah, you violate this laav.

Halachic example: Responsa Divrei Chaim YD 105. The case was a rebbi in a cheder who expressed his opinion to his class that the commentary “Ohr Hachaim” on chumash was a great commentary, but it was not written with Ruach HaKodesh. This statement created a tremendous controversy, and they turned to the Divrei Chaim for a ruling.

After explaining that he cannot rule on a specific incident without hearing both sides of the story, he writes that theoretically, if someone says such a thing, since it is clear that Chazal disagree, he would be guilty of Apikursus.

So let’s say you’re a vegetarian. There is no Halachah that says you have to eat meat (at least not on the weekdays). But if the reason you don’t eat meat is because you believe shechitah is cruelty to animals and therefore wrong, you are guilty of Apikursos, since the Torah clearly disagrees.

Two people can do the same act – here, refraining from eating meat – but one is a spiritual criminal and the other innocent, because of the attitude with which the action was taken.
Or let’s say you are in favor of women’s torah education. The Chofetz Chaim was, too, for our times. But if you feel that women’s education is an advancement for women’s rights, essentially an improvement in the treatment of women over what we have been accustomed to in the past generations, when we did not teach Torah to women – and the Chofetz Chaim did not feel that way - you are guilty of Apikursus, since your belief collides with that of the Torah’s.
If someone accepts ideas that are not in accordance with the Torah, in other words, Hashkofos, they violate this issur

There are different levels of Apikursos. Worst-case scenario, someone can become a full-fledged Apikores, which Halachicly is considered worse than in idol worshipper. Such a person is treated Halachicly like a non-Jew, yet retains the halachic obligations of all Jews. A full-fledged Apikores is the absolute bottom on the spiritual food chain.

Caught Redhanded! Lies of FrumteensWatch Exposed

There aren't many posts on that site. It appears that the site's cowardly owner could not find many "problems" with frumteens. But that is due mostly to his lack of ability to make up stories, because the problems that he did "find" are the results of his lurid imagination, and are either:

(a) not "problems" with frumteens but with Judaism, and Mr. FrumteensWatch doesn't seem to like our religion. Mr FrumteensWatch does not tell us if he is Orthodox, Conservative or Reform. From the site, you cant tell.

(b) Outright lies. Putting words in they good Moderator's mouth and plain out making up stories. Readers of that sladerous ragblog are encouraged to look up the "quotes" that are posted from frumteens, and then examine the motives of Mr FrumteensWatch.

If you look closely, you will see that our liar made up a story, then built post after post on that same lie, building illusions out of nothing.

This is how the lies develop:

FrumTeens: The Modern Orthodox are Heretics

The Frumteens Moderator said no such thing. He said just the opposite.


The FrumTeens moderator has a very broad definition of heresy:
Kefirah, apikursus, meenus - the words are
interchangeable - is anything you believe that is against the Daas Torah
FTW makes believe this is the Moderator's statement. It is not. FTW forgot to mention that this is a quote from the Chofetz Chaim. Mod made this very clear in many places on the site, but FTW doesn't care.



He then determines that Modern Orthodoxy formally desires to "run away" from
holiness ... Modern Orthodoxy disagreed with the Torah's values, or, more
properly, twisted the Torah's values, to make batalah and running away from
holiness part of Orthodoxy as opposed to a violation of it.
Out of context and a complete misrepresentation. Mod was responding to a specific claim that certain violations of Halachah in certain circles that are considered "not wrong" (mixed swimming comes to mind, mingling of the sexes, and invovlement in bitul torah activities - the last was the specific point made by the questioner) are not worse than the same violations of Halachah in other circles who admit those things are wrong but do them anyway. The Moderator responded that if you say a violation of Halachah is OK you are guilty of Kefirah. Those Modern Orthodox circles who do this, are the ones under discussion, as stated explicitly by the Moderator.


... Something which would doubtless come as great surprise to the leaders of
Modern Orthodoxy.
It depends who. As a matter of fact, the Mod mentioned that Rav YBS was against the institutionalized averios under discussion, and the questioner ("Danny") responded that RYBS is too right wing to be considered a leader by those Modern Orthodox. The "ehrlicher" Modern Orthodox leaders agree with the Mod on this. On the other hand, Yitz Greenberg and the Edah people are "leaders" of their version of Modern orthodoxy, if you ask their followers. That is more the crowd that the Mod is talking about here.

The FrumTeens moderator's conclusion is that Modern Orthodox Jews are bona
fide apikorsim: To sin is to be imperfect. But to institutionalize
imperfection and make it into the first choice is kefirah, since you are
disagreeing with the Torah's values
.
Here is the big lie, that FTW builds on endlessly. The Moderator said just the opposite. All over the site he states that this type of Kefirah, which comes not from disagreeing with the 13 Principles, but form disagreeing with the Daas HaTorah, does not make the adherent a Kofer. It is just a violation of a Ls Sasei. (exact quotes in next post) Yet FTW distorts what he said and quotes him as saying just the opposite.

FTW is thus caught redhanded as a liar.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Introduction

FrumTeensWatch is a blog that takes on a very pathetic task: helping teens at risk by making sure they dont become frum teens. Its creator should be condemed and laughed at for this initiative. The Satan has a great need for such a website.

Yet there are some serious drawbacks with FrumTeensWatch. For example:

It is run by an anonymous person who is not supervised by any organization.

The blogger's views on many topics are extreme and extremely disturbing.

This website will serve as an unofficial evaluation and critique of some of these problems, with a view to:

Alerting people to these problems;

Encouraging FrumTeensWatch to address them;

Encouraging suitably qualified organizations to set up their own website and accomplish the same goals. Reader's submissions are welcome - please send them to

frumteenswatchwatch@yahoo.com.