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Lamrot Hakol (Despite Everything)

Musings and kvetchings and Torah thoughts from an unconventional Orthodox Jew.

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"I blog, therefore I am". Clearly not true, or I wouldn't exist except every now and then.

Friday, May 12, 2006

New Rule re Comments

When someone has to institute a rule like this, it's pretty sad.

Some people think it's valid to respond to blog entries by posting ad hominem comments about my sexual orientation. For those of you who don't know what an ad hominem argument is, it's when you ignore the substance of what a person says, and attack the person instead. An example might be where Reuven says, "Capitalism rocks." Then Shimon says, "Reuven is ugly. Don't listen to what he says about capitalism."

Stupid, yes? But common.

So my new rule here is simply that if you want to attack me on the basis of my being gay, this is is where the comments go. If they're rude enough, I may just delete them. But if you post them to a blog entry that has nothing whatsoever to do with my being gay, I'll just delete them.

And because I know that it's not clear to some people, my mentioning my partner is not about my being gay any more than someone else mentioning their husband or wife is about their being heterosexual. So don't be cute. My blog, my rules.


Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

Good rule, however I haven't seen you attacked for being gay. People take issue w/ your assertion that you are doing nothing wrong according to Torah and Orthodox tradition. This is a reasonable area of discussion bec. it touches on other issues as well.

Personally I am hoping to meet and blog w/ sympathetic and comfort minded people.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear that some people are hassling you. I saw the movie, "Trembling Before G-d" last year and that made me aware of the difficulties that gay and lesbians have with Judaism. So I wish you luck and hope that you can write what you wish without undue interference.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh, please. I wrote a blog entry called "Modern vs. Ultra: A False Dichotomy", and the first comment in it said:

It's amazing how you give special dispensation only in the area of homosexuality. What a hypocrite! - Jacko

Spare me. And needsabetterjob, you must have some reason why you keep posting comments here. You don't listen to a thing.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks, Amishav.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

I don't know, perhaps you could explain something. As a so called very orthodox woman, why would you deny your experience of creating life?

This is not the issue that some people can't have children.

You took the path, that you never would. I mean w/in the context of a religious person experience, of marrying a man, and accepting his seed, and then w/ the help of Ha-Shem, having created a new life form.

How can you deny this for yourself?

And still claim to be so religious?

I find the whole thing crazy and obsurd.

Then you attack those who disagree that you consider yourself so frum. You attack them by calling them trolls. Am I obligated to accept everything you espouse?

9:08 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You're not obligated to read my blog. And you're making an awful lot of assumptions.

1. You assume that I haven't had children.

2. You assume that I can have children.

You don't know either of those to be true, but you assume them in order to attack me. It's kind of pathetic, actually.

Somehow, "hevei dan et kol ha-adam l'chaf zechut" gets tossed out the window when gays and lesbians enter the picture. The reason is clear. It's because you aren't starting with a halakhic issue and drawing conclusions from there. Rather, you're starting with your own personal feelings, and using the halakha as a bludgeon with which to beat on anyone who you have a problem with.

It's amazing that you would actually want someone who isn't attracted to men at all to marry a man she could never love, and endure sex that feels completely unnatural to her. The most amazing part is that this sentiment comes from someone who doesn't even respect Hashem's Torah enough to abide by it.

So you can violate what the Torah actually says, and then give me grief because I'm not abiding by ideas that you, in your dubious wisdom, consider to be implied by the Torah.

You seriously need to get a life.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

No I put in a caveat bout having children in the first place.

And I said I was having trouble w/ keeping Shabbos, 100%, 100% of the time. There are some days where I go off and travel and in some cases sat in a coffeeshop. But didn't say that I was proud of this, that is the difference.

In you case, you wish us, meaning the Orthodox families to accept your life path as in keeping w/ Orthodox Jewish tradition.

Or however you put it.

Yes I know nothing about you, but it could be helpful if you would provide important details. It would. W/out getting into specifics. So I can deduce, that you were married to a man, and left to explore your feelings for women? Or did I get that wrong ?

I stated earlier that your 'Ole' could be just as you said. Just like my 'ole' is to have to keep most of the Shabbatot and Moadim, when I would rather go to the beach. But I have 3 beautiful 100% frum children to show for my 'ole', who I would say objectively are amongst the best and most productive our community has to offer.

If my part, is just that I am there and didn't leave to pursue my desire to travel the world, 7 days a week, then I am not patting myself on the back, believe me.

As far as getting a life, you are also right, but this is not my blog, nor do I debate all over the internet, from Mail-Jewish to Hirhurim.

I am the first to admit, that I have a problem w/ keeping Shabbos.

I do try, I make small attempts.

I started to go again Friday nights, w/ Shabbos morning, those 2.

No Mincha.

Then I started showing for Maariv Sat. Nite. This I can handle.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

Anyway you never answered earlier points.

Where in our tradition do we find relationships and families such as yours?
We don't.

So you want to claim that youre family is not against Halacha?

It's trickery on your part. Bec. no where is it explicitly stated,do not have sex w/ woman (woman-woman) and live together and raise a child.

But we only have as a model, male - female families. So anything else is not acceptable.

The other question I have for you, is if we see no example of same-sex love in our tradition, are you saying that Hashem made a mistake in your case, in which you stated that u cannot love a man, or have sex, in your last post.

But you could have sex in order to have a child. you could physically.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You know, Needy (I have to call you something, and you refuse to use a name), you have a very strange way of looking at the world. And at Judaism.

Number one, I haven't given you any of my personal details. I don't feel the need to. And the fact that you think you're entitled to them makes me wonder why you think that's the case.

What I said was very simple. Judaism runs according to law. You can't say that something is unacceptable if there's no halakha that supports your claim. Period.

You stated:

But we only have as a model, male - female families. So anything else is not acceptable.

That's nonsense. That's not how Judaism works. Things are acceptable or not acceptable based on what the halakha says.

Left-handed people are not a "mistake", just because righties are the general rule. Hashem didn't make a mistake making some people gay. If you don't understand why He did so, take it up with Him.

For my part, if He wanted to bar me from being happy and having a family, I'm quite certain He could have said so. And would have. Or would have said the appropriate things so that Chazal would deduce that my family was something awful.

It didn't happen. And you don't get to second guess Hashem or Chazal.

My daughter, Baruch Hashem, is a beautiful Bat Yisrael, and we are raising her to keep Torah and mitzvot. Who are you to say anything one way or the other about our family?

11:47 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You know, I think I'm tired of anonymous comments. I've disabled that function.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

You still don't answer my question, or you answer it w/ another question.

I asked, where do we have in the entire Torah, both of them, a model for your lifestyle?

OTOH, we have specific guidlines regarding same sex interaction.

You were not barred from anything. but you have chosen your personal compulsion over following the Torah.

I did not say you had no right to do so.

But you cannot expect Torah observant Jews to applaud your decision, because w/in the Torah, your sexual preference is seen as a choice. I know this is not the popular view.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Needsabetterjob said...
You still don't answer my question, or you answer it w/ another question.

I asked, where do we have in the entire Torah, both of them, a model for your lifestyle?

I've answered this already. The question is a bad one, because there doesn't need to be a model. Furthermore, your term "lifestyle" is deliberately offensive.

OTOH, we have specific guidlines regarding same sex interaction.

We have even more specific guidelines regarding opposite-sex interaction. What does that prove?

You were not barred from anything. but you have chosen your personal compulsion over following the Torah.

Compulsion, mein tuchas. You are a nasty little troll, aren't you.

I did not say you had no right to do so.

But you cannot expect Torah observant Jews to applaud your decision, because w/in the Torah, your sexual preference is seen as a choice. I know this is not the popular view.

No one is asking for applause. What I'm demanding (not asking for) is that the halakha be followed with regards to what is permissible to assume about people. That the halakha be followed with regards to how frum Jews are to be treated.

Last year, we went to two frum day schools in our area trying to sign our daughter up for kindergarten. At the second one, they were at least honest. They said "no", and made it clear that it was "no". The first one, though, which is the more "modern" of the two... well, they didn't even have the guts to do that.

It was like we were black parents trying to enroll our daughter in a white school in the 40s or 50s:

"It's not that we don't want little Letitia at our school, of course. Why, we think she'd do just great! And you seem like perfectly fine people who would be a true asset to our little community. Our concern is purely for Letitia's sake. We're worried that she might feel a little out of place. You know, just because of the difference. We would never treat her differently, God forbid. But other parents might not be willing to have her come to their homes. We think it would be better for her if she could go to school with children she had more in common with."

Pusillanimous. Vile. We sat at a table for two hours while the principal (I won't honor him with the title "rabbi") refused to even say "no". It was just one weasel word after another.

Several of her friends were going to be starting at that school in the fall. But not her. Why? Because of bigotry and hatred. Accepting a bright child into a school isn't "applauding" anything about the parents. They decided to punish a Jewish child by trying to deny her a Jewish education.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

when you say about what is permissable to assume about people, i don't understand.

You stated that you are a lesbian. It says so on your blog site.

Are you saying that offline, you do not state same?

You live w/ your partner, but do not indicate that you two are also lovers?

Please, it would help if you weren't so crytic, it is hard to follow the flow and logic of the events that you posted.

Shabbat Shalom,

11:45 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Jobbie, it's true; you don't understand. I really suggest that you go to a Jewish book store and pick up a copy of R' Zelig Pliskin's Guard Your Tongue. It's an excellent overview of the laws related to lashon hara, rechilut, etc. You'll find the answer in there, but it will be worth quite a bit more to you if you learn it yourself. If I tell you what the halakha is, you'll just argue with me about it.

Regarding the rest of your comment, see the paragraph which precedes this one. When you learn what you're allowed to assume about people, you'll understand how inappropriate your questions are.

Shabbat Shalom

12:08 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

I read some of his books. My feeling about Lashon Harah, is that, it is a noble idea and I try to follow it religiously.

If you don't want to discuss anymore that is cool, but I am left not understanding your points at all.

I am a bit dense at times. I am not the most successful fellow in the group, in terms of jobs and all that. So I ask you to explain again if you can.

Well, what I mostly was interested in, is that I noticed you attacking people who felt there is a conflict between being Orthodox Jew and gay.

The Orthodox, based their views on what is written in the Torah, and in millenium of practical practice.

All you are saying to counter this, is that those who make assumptions about you, assumptions that you do not detail, they are guilty of aveiros. THus, you are implying, that all of their other views, particularly about gay/ortho. are equally invalid.

BTW, we both said Shabbat Shalom, I believe it is my mistake, one should not say this, until late Friday.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You misunderstand the way the Torah works. It's not based on the Written Torah and a lot of commentary. That's the picture the Conservative movement likes to draw of it, but it's really not at all accurate.

I recommend that you take a look over at my Torah 101 blog and see if that helps explain things a little better.

With regards to this one subject, all I feel necessary to say on it is that if an Orthodox Jew actually learns the laws that are relevant, rather than relying on assumptions, he will not treat me obnoxiously. And that if I haven't given you details of my private life, it's because it would be inappropriate to do so. But my noting that I have a partner is no different than someone else noting that they have a husband or a wife. I would hope that no one would take such comments as license to speculate about their intimate life, and the same should be true in my case.

If you find what I blog of interest, that's great. But I haven't asked for your advice, Jobbie. And it's extremely inappropriate for you to be offering it. Particularly when you don't know the details of my life.

Finally, I'll say Shabbat Shalom to someone on Thursday, if I think it's the last time I'm going to seem them before Shabbat. Your statement that "one should not say this, until late Friday" is incorrect.

Shabbat Shalom.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

I don't agree completely. The Parsha sets the tone for the Shabbos and the week. Mostly what was discussed this past Shabbos was regarding the Shmitta and Yovel. Of course, we have the Rabbinic Oral law that provided(s), specific application of the Torah principals. But the starting point in Judaism is the Torah.

It is not that I was making suggestions that weren't requested. I simply noted that you are suffering in the community, for being outcast of shunned, or in the case of your daughter, denied, rejected for a Jewish education. As one who also suffers in this community, I have a deep empathy w/ a fellow traveller, that is all.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You're mistaken about the Torah. The starting point is, indeed, the Torah, but not the Written Torah.

And while I understand your claims about being moved by my "suffering", let me point out that "help" which offends the "helpee" is no help at all. The very idea that you'd suggest that I go to a movement which denies Torah miSinai tells me how much you personally care about that concept.

The world doesn't revolve around me, much as I might like it to. And I choose to stick with doing what's right, even if I'm mistreated by the community.

From the way you've described yourself, if you're treated poorly by the community, it's probably because you don't care that much about Judaism. You can't blow off Shabbat and think that's a minor thing.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

I think its a mute differentiation. Take Chessed for example. Doing Chessed is a foundation of the religious community, and this includes all of the denominations. Does it matter if this inspiration is from Abaraham and Sarah, or from some other figure, or from the Sanzer Rebbe? Or if the inspiration is from the Mishna, or another Sefer, that is more detailed about Chessed, which would be a priority, etc...

in Every weekly Parsha, there are mitzvot. These are later discussed in the Gemara and in places like the Sefer Chinuch.

But they are first found in the Torah, and in many cases, are immutable, you do not need any commentary to directly follow them and be inspired by them.

I thank you for continuing to speak w/ me after the turbulent begginging, I understand that it may stop at any time, that is ok.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Number one, it's "moot", and not "mute". Mute means not being able to speak.

Second of all, you're coming off as somewhat racist. Or chauvinist, at the very least. Since when does one have to be a Jew to be a Baal Hesed?

With regards to the mitzvot, I refer you again over to Torah 101. The mitzvot were given by Hashem in the Oral Torah. The words of the Written Torah are not the source of the mitzvot.

Hesed is not the only foundation of Judaism. Far from it. Inappropriate Hesed is as bad as no Hesed at all.

Reducing Judaism to nothing more than Hesed is a tremendous misunderstanding. Hesed is only one facet of the Torah. Denying the Torah and doing Hesed... well, that's basically the mission statement of Christianity. See how well that turned out.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

Correct, but I was only using that as an example. Nor did I imply that only Jews do Chessed, altho I can tell you from experience that we have it more as a way of life, as frum people.

OK so what are the fundamentals of Judaism for you? Observances?
(Shabbos, Kosher, Holidays, Tznius, chokim), respect for parents, elders.all in the Torah.

Or something else, in addition?

12:54 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I don't do that. Nor should you. Neither of us gets to decide what is more important or less important in Judaism.

We don't pick and choose. We don't need to pick and choose.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

Yes but you were the one who said that "You misunderstand the way the Torah works. It's not based on the Written Torah and a lot of commentary. That's the picture the Conservative movement likes to draw of it, but it's really not at all accurate."

IOW, we try to do the best we can at all times. However, we are human, and sometimes our emotions or weaknesses get the better of us.

Actually, my feeling is that there are too many restriction in the religion, that people feel bad or guilty that they cannot do everything.

I don't take the position anymore. I do what I can, and that's it.

There are reasons for why I am not having full happiness w/ the religion. But I don't get all bent out of shape anymore, if I decide to buy non kosher wine here and there.

Especially w/ all the scandals we are seeing coming out now, w/these reilgious schools and the Rebbes.

Who the heck is anyone to judge me?

Personally, I think the whole Taharas Mishpacha restrictions are not good, should not apply anymore.

I am sure there are some who would agree w/ me, and others would point fingers and call me all kinds of names. So what? I am entitled to my opinion.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You obviously misunderstood what I said. Judaism is not based on the Written Torah and a lot of commentary. If you think that the Oral Torah is mere "commentary", then you've missed the boat entirely.

And as for judging you, I judge you. Two wrongs don't make a right, Jobbie. That's such a cliche that I'm utterly blown away to have to be pointing it out to you. If you buy treif wine, you're being a bad Jew. Period. Particularly when it's so easy to buy kosher wine.

Maileh, if you were talking about something that was a serious, life hobbling difficulty. But wine? That's the huge hurdle that's forcing you to blow off the Torah?

And those scandals... let me tell you a little story. I went to a day school in Chicago. My cousin, who is only 30 days older than me and who grew up in the same suburb, went to the same school. Our senior year, we got a new principal.

It was awful. Changing principals is like changing all the rules, and doing that our senior year was just horrendous. Granted, it had to be someone's senior year, but knowing that didn't make it any easier for us.

My cousin kept kosher. I didn't. I wasn't raised to keep kosher, and I never had any intention of doing so. My cousin did.

And this principal... well, here's the irony. The man in question is now on the far, far left when it comes to Orthodoxy. But at the time, he came roaring in and tried to make the school much frummer, really fast.

I remember my cousin telling me that he'd eaten treif. B'davka. His comment was, "If that's a Jewish leader, then the hell with Judaism."

Okay, but he was 17 years old. That kind of sentiment is childish, and it suits a 17 year old. It doesn't suit grownups.

Hashem gave us His Torah. It's a heavy responsibility. And there will be people who screw up. It's nothing new. Zimri ben Salu was the Nasi of the Tribe of Shimon, for crying out loud. Shimi ben Gera. Yeravam ben Nevat. Elisha ben Avuya. Our history is hardly a stranger to big rabbis who go bad, and the best we have these days couldn't have so much walked in the shadows of those men.

The scandals bother you? They bother me, too. But they'll only get you to blow off the Torah if you've already decided to blow it off. If your emotional age is over 20, you know better than to identify an idea with fallible practitioners of that idea.

Regarding Taharat HaMishpacha, now you're just making yourself ridiculous. Who are you to say what is and is not good? What should or should not apply any more?

Hashem gave us a Torat Emet, and He gave it for forever. If the God you believe in (assuming you believe at all) is so stupid that he didn't know how things would be in the year 2006, then you're not dealing with Judaism at all.

Hashem's knowledge is not bound by time, and the laws that He gave us and called "eternal statutes" are just that. Eternal.

Not that any of this should be surprising me. Someone who would recommend that a frum Jew go Conservative is clearly not Orthodox in any way, shape, or form, himself. But this last simply blows my mind.

Opinions, it's been said, are like a**holes. Everyone has one. But they mostly stink.

You're entitled to an informed opinon, Jobbie, and you fall short. You don't know how Judaism works, you have an extremely Pauline view of the law (the Christian Paul claimed that the law was responsible for him committing sins, because if there hadn't been a law, he wouldn't have been violating it).

You're a fake, Jobbie. I don't know who you really are, but if you really do live in a frum community, and if you really ever did have a frum education, it's a roaring indictment of our educational system.

I point fingers at you. I call you names. I judge you. If you had a solid Jewish education and the barest amount of honesty, you'd point fingers at yourself, call yourself names, and judge yourself. That you don't is simply tragic.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

I am not a fake. I have no idea why you seem to enjoy attacking me.

Yes I did and still think you would find more acceptance in the Conservative movement. I am not prejiudiced against them.

You may be right, I don't live anymore as a strong Jew as I once did. Simply the closest liquor store to me, has kosher wine, but I don't like the propreiter. I am sure you have experienced this in stores.

The next nearest one, doesn't have kosher.

I am not sure why you make such a big deal over this.

I am entitled to decide what I find logical in this world or not, including grapes, and the laws of T.H. which were put into play by women.

I do continue to learn on a weekly basis at least one shiur. It is on the parsha but it covers everything.

Personally, I don't go for the childish belief systems anymore that you seem to enjoy.

That is because, there are many emotional issue that come into play and effect a person.

This is besides the physical issues that make it hard to do all you used to do.

I am not sure why you cannot see this but instead attack.

My framework is very intact in terms of the children and striving to pay for their Yeshiva educations, and other related expenses, that force me to do the work of a teenager in my spare time. In some recent work I was going, my co-workers were 15 and 16.

Whether or not this ultimately causes my mood swings, I cannot say for sure but I suspect it has a large part.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

SO tell me how Judaism works then, Inspire me. I was a inspired a bit by this Matisyahu, but only to apoint. He has that initial religious rush going in all his songs, but nothing about the real world problems of course.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Jobbie, I'd be more accepted if I didn't identify as Jewish at all. Hell, the Conservatives wouldn't ordain me if I wanted to get ordained. Why? Because I'm a lesbian. Nor would they let me marry my partner.

Granted, that's good. They shouldn't do same-sex marriage, and they shouldn't be ordaining women (though they shouldn't be ordaining men, either). But don't make it sound like the Conservative movement is some sort of queer paradise. If I was willing to trade my principles for acceptance, going Conservative wouldn't even do the job.

It's not that I enjoy attacking you. It's that you've identified here as a frum Jew (with flaws), and that, in my opinion, is dishonest. Pointing out a dishonesty isn't an attack. It's pointing out a dishonesty.

If I'm mistaken and you aren't trying to pass yourself off as some sort of frum Jew, then I take that back. But if that's the case, I have to ask why you think your advice is going to be relevant to me at all.

You don't like the proprietor, so you rebel against your Creator? Oh. Gee, I can see that. Sort of.

No, actually, Jobbie, I really can't. Not unless Judaism means nothing to you to begin with. If it meant anything at all to you, you'd either deal with not liking the store owner, or do without wine.

I make a big deal out of it because you don't get to decide what's an important commandment and what's unimportant. It's bizarre that you'd think it's okay. Most particularly after you spent so much time here bashing me for something that isn't even violating halakha.

That's what really offends me. It's bad enough when I get crapped on by frum Jews. It annoys me, because they should know better. But damn, at least they value the Torah. At least they're coming from a point of view of "The Torah is the ultimate value, and we think you're going against that value." They're wrong. I'm not. But at least they're starting from the right place, even if they wind up in the wrong one.

But you. You've been saying the most arrantly stupid stuff about it. Justifying that kind of behavior on the basis of claims you can't substantiate. You don't have the first idea how Judaism works, and you've been crapping on me. That's what irks me, Jobbie.

You are entitled to decide what you think is logical, but you are not entitled to act on that when it runs counter to the Torah. And Taharat HaMishpacha was not put in place by women. What kind of ignorant naarischkeit is that?

Maybe if you'd grow up, you'd find that you don't need to do the work of a teenager. I only hope that your children are getting a better Jewish education than you did.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...


I'm tired of you.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

I also have 2 examples, of Dan LeKaf Se-chut, that never happened. I think this occurs for the majority of cases.

I had a one day job for some kosher pizza store who was doing a Bat-Mitzvah. Everything went smoothly. I was asked to bring some of his equipment back to his store. I did so. A few days later, he called and asked me if I took some other equip of his, it is missing. I checked my car, and said no, i deposited everything back at your store. But since then, he will not hire me, he thinks I stole from him. He hired non Jews instead, people who don't have to pay tuitions. This man, owns 3 stores and does wholesale.

ANother time, as well, I was hired to schlepp things for a Doctor who was moving to a new office. also frum. A friend of his drove me to the old office. I worked my ass off. Then we drove to the new office. The friend, drove me, got lost in the city. so we got to the new office well after they started the reloading. He asked what the hell happened. as if I mis-directed.

He also won't hire me again.

You see my point. This Dan LKZ, stuff, it doesn't happen in the real world. IN the real world, people are petty, worried about being taken advantage of.

DO you have some understanding now of where I am coming from?

11:39 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yes, I think I do. All this stuff happens to you, none of it is your fault, poor you. Do I have that more or less right?

I can't speak to the examples you've given, because I have no idea whether you're representing them objectively. But I will point out that no one has an obligation to hire you for anything. While people do have an obligation to refrain from spreading rumors about people.

You seem to be unable to distinguish between the two.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Needsabetterjob said...

What i see here is that you get all worked up over the minutae of Ortho practice w/out objectively seeing how in practice, there is nothing substantively better about typical Ortho. practitioners or not.

We had a whole to do last week about this or that, that I do, or dont follow at this time.

I forgot why we started arguing anyway, lol.

Oh yeah, that I don't feel inspired to follow Ortho. practices 100% of the time as I once did.

And your main point is not to spread Lashon Harah. Damm I have been following that one actually.

I had information, very bad info, about 2 persons, that I kept to myself.

In once case, one person is accused of theft, big time.

in another case, it has to do w/ a friends marital woes.

My Dad said the second case is not LH. It has to do w/ actions against him that his wife does. He said talking about that is not LH.

My Dad has been learning Torah all his life, he has the same Chavusa once a week for over 50 years!

1:53 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

No. You claim that the people you mention (1) are doing something wrong, (2) are typical Orthodox Jews.

I don't admit either one. You don't even claim that they spread rumors about you. They merely chose not to hire you again. And I suspect that with your attitude, there might have been more to that decision than you're saying.

Furthermore, and you seem unable -- or unwilling -- to grasp this: if an Orthodox Jew behaves wrongly, that doesn't mean that Orthodox Judaism is flawed. You're engaging in a kind of magical thinking, where if Orthodox Judaism is actually what Hashem wants from us, then every Orthodox Jew will magically be a perfect person.

You only need to read the Torah to see how ludicrous that idea is. People are people. They make mistakes. Let's say the people you described were in the wrong, just for the sake of argument. So what? That's bad. But it doesn't say the first thing about Judaism itself.

As far as what you claim your father says, if you are quoting him correctly, which I suspect you are not, then he needs a major refresher course in Shmirat HaLashon. It is absolutely unacceptable to relate the marital woes of a certain couple to anyone else. It's none of anyone's business.

Or was he referring to your friend telling you about his marital woes? If so, it might not be as absurd a claim, but you'd still be wrong. If he claims his wife is doing something wrong within their relationship, he is forbidden to be telling you about it, and you are forbidden to believe him if he does tell you about it.

Lastly, I don't care if your father is 500 years old and has been learning Torah non-stop for all that time. Something is true or not based on whether it is true or not. Not because someone you respect says it. And while you may have a requirement of kibud/mora av towards your father, I don't even know who you or your father are, so I certainly do not. And what you claim he is saying is patently false.

2:36 PM  
Blogger lakewoodyid said...

Lisa said: They decided to punish a Jewish child by trying to deny her a Jewish education.

You seem to be quite knowlegeable. Could you please explain why a Mamzer is forbidden to marry a Jew? What did the poor kid do wrong? Why does he get punished for his mother's wrongdoing?

9:24 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

First of all, aside from the mistaken analogy, you should realize that a mamzer isn't being punished for the mother's wrongdoing. Or the child of a married woman who was raped wouldn't be a mamzer. Even the Torah attaches no blame to a rape victim.

But back to your analogy. What, exactly do you think that my partner and I have done that is assur? And what's your justification for making such an accusation?

9:35 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Also, lakewoodyid, I would like to quote something I read recently:

When I see someone driving a car, I don't use my reasoning to conclude that someone drove a car. I saw it! But when I see a Jew driving on Shabbos, I don't "see'' Chilul Shabbos. He could have been driving to the hospital. But if I do use the "evidence" and then use my reasoning to conclude that he was Mechalel Shabbos (the guy is a known mechalel shabbos etc), could that conclusion be considered as Emes?

I know that this analogy isn't the best. But is my argument here correct? When you reach a conclusion via rationality and evidence, and you prove that your conclusion works, being that you never "saw it", just rather its a proven conclusion, does that classify it as Emes? Meaning, since your conclusion is based on evidence and reason, perhaps new evidence might be found.

I am as aware as anyone, and more than most, of the problems with the secular/gentile gay community. But I am not a part of that community. I am a Torah Jew. I should be treated as one. And my daughter... you drew a comparison to mamzerut. Yet even a mamzer would not be cut off from a Torah education the way certain people in my community tried to do to her.

Please think about this and try to recognize that your assumptions are not Emet.

10:04 AM  
Blogger lakewoodyid said...

>And my daughter... you drew a comparison to mamzerut

Lisa, your jumping too fast here. I NEVER intended to compare your daughter to a Mamzerut. I was addressing your question which I understood as follows:

why should a child be punished by an action done by the parent(s)?

The Halacha of Mamzer apparently indicates that such a concept exists. True indeed that it isn't because of the mother's wrongdoing. As the Rambam says:


אבל הבא על שאר העריות--בין באונס בין ברצון, בין בזדון בין בשגגה--הוולד ממזר

An אונס can't be considered that she did something wrong. Yet, an action happened and the child gets "punished". Why? Why should the poor innocent child not be allowed to marry into Klal Yisroel?

Lets tackle this question first. Once you have an answer to it, we shall then determine if we can apply the logic of the answer to your own situation.

8:41 PM  
Blogger lakewoodyid said...

>What, exactly do you think that my partner and I have done that is assur?

I don't know what you do in your personal life. But if you live like a typical lesbian, then here is what the Rambam writes about it (I just spent a half hour looking for it):


ח נשים המסוללות זו בזו--אסור, וממעשה מצריים הוא שהוזהרנו עליו: שנאמר "כמעשה ארץ מצריים . . . לא תעשו" (ויקרא יח,ג); ואמרו חכמים, מה היו עושים--איש נושא איש, ואישה נושאה אישה, ואישה נישאת לשני אנשים.

ט אף על פי שמעשה זה אסור, אין מלקין עליו--שאין לו לאו מיוחד, והרי אין שם ביאה כלל; לפיכך אין נאסרות לכהונה משום זנות, ולא תיאסר אישה על בעלה בזה--שאין כאן זנות. וראוי להכותן מכת מרדות, הואיל ועשו איסור. ויש לאיש להקפיד על אשתו בדבר זה, ולמנוע הנשים הידועות בכך מלהיכנס לה ומלצאת היא אליהן.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Lakewood Yid, I agree that there are halakhot in which innocent people can suffer. Mamzerut is a classic example. We believe that this life is not the end of the story, and that people who suffer in a way that appears to be unjust in this world will... have it made up to them, for lack of a better phrasing.

It sounds horrible, like a justification for accepting any injustice at all, and that really doesn't resonate with the Jewish neshama, but there it is.

But that's Hashem. We don't know everything, and we can't understand all of the ins and outs of His justice, so we can say that. We don't say that about acts and decisions of other human beings. Basar v'dam, we hold to a standard of justice.

And yes, even with basar v'dam, there are issues, such as the agunah problem, where individuals can suffer unjustly. But we do judge in such situations. We judge recalcitrant husbands extremely harshly, and we demand that they change their behavior.

And then, as we continue on the spectrum of human behavior from a gezeirat ha-katuv to a situation that is in human hands, but one that is halakhically delineated very tightly, to one that is merely a matter of rumor and innuendo.

When an injustice is done by people who simply have their minds in the gutter, no excuses need be made for them. It is wrong, plain and simple. Even excluding me and my partner is wrong. Excluding our daughter is that much wronger.

As far as your ikkar question: "Why should an innocent child who happens to be a mamzer not be allowed to marry into the kahal," my answer is that we don't judge Hashem. If the Shofet Kol HaAretz says that's the way it has to be, we assume that He knows what He's doing, even if it hurts.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

LY, I'm going to try and address your second comment, with the citation from the Rambam, even though it really belongs on the Orthodykes blog.

"Nashim ha-mesollelot zu b'zu" does not translate to "lesbian sex". That's like translating "basar neveilah u-treifa" as "meat".

I'm not sure what you mean by "typical lesbian". Do you mean taking my daughter to dance class? Do you mean lighting candles with her on Erev Shabbat? I'm trying to get a picture of what you think of when you say "typical lesbian".

Sure, if you pick up a translation of a sefer, it's going to render NM as "lesbianism" or "lesbian sex". But it's also going to render tum'ah as "impurity" or as "ritual uncleanliness". And I assume you know how inaccurate that translation is. But when we write English translations, we give very rough translations. We know that if someone wants to know what our sources actually say, they'll look at them in the original.

It's a shame that you had to take so long looking up the source. You could check this out and get lots and lots of sources. I'm well aware of what is forbidden, and I assure you that neither I nor my partner do things that are assur as a policy.

1:39 PM  
Blogger lakewoodyid said...


Your link is indeed very thorough. One thing is clear, that there is definitely certain aspects of a woman - woman relationship which are Assur according to Halacha.

On your blog-head, you write: "Just your average Orthodox Jewish, lesbian..."

Whats an "average Lesbian"?

Mirriam-Webster on Lesbian:


"of or relating to homosexuality between females"

Mirriam-Webster on homosexuality:


1 : the quality or state of being homosexual
2 : erotic activity with another of the same sex

Mirriam-Webster on homosexual:


1 : of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex
2 : of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex

So as long as you aren't sharing with the public exactly what your relationship with your partner is, and you are being public about the fact that you are a lesbian, then the assumption is that you are a Lesbian as per the general understood context of it, which is "a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex".

And in general without getting graphic here, the general public's idea of "a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex" is taken as a women who seeks to satisfy her sexual desires by doing sexual actions with a woman. Which would seem quite clear to be against Halacha.

Now that is a far cry from "taking my daughter to dance class" or "lighting candles with her on Erev Shabbat".

If your relationship isn't so, then its incumbent on you that if your gonna label yourself "Lesbian" and you are different than what the public's image of a Lesbian is, then you should explain yourself.

Or remove the word "lesbian" from your description in your blog-head.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

"What's an average lesbian" isn't the issue. "What's the average frum lesbian"... now that's more to the point.

I do not identify with the secular/gentile GLBT community. I will not be tarred with their behaviors.

I've explained myself. I've made it clear that I am a frum Jew, and that I am makpid on the mitzvot, kulot k'chumrot. You, on the other hand, are extremely meikil when it comes to shmirat halashon. And that's a shame.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Furthermore, people know I'm gay. If I were to remove the word "lesbian" from the description, it would simply invite the gossip mongers in the blogosphere to announce it. I don't doubt that you'd be among them.

3:39 PM  
Blogger APV said...

What about add homonym comments? That's when you ignore the substance of what a person says, and instead add a comment about something unrelated that happens to be spelled and/or pronounced the same way (i.e. responding to an entry about convictions with an anecdote about a friend who was recently convicted of a felony or an entry about Esther with a dissertation about fragrant organic compounds).

6:31 PM  

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