Tuesday, April 15, 2008

YoU Are Sub-Par II...

...that's right kids, it's on like Donkey Kong.
Two Bais Yaakov girls go round the outside; round the outside, round the outside
Two Bais Yaakov girls go round the outside; round the outside, round the outside

Guess who's back
Back again
Rav B's back
Tell a friend
Guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back
guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back...

Almost exactly a year ago, an e-mail exchange went around certain parts of the horror and danger to judaism and all that works for the power of good in this world known as the blogosphere, between a young man and a certain Rav B in Eretz Yisroel. The Rabbi has since been identified as none other than Rav Asher Balanson of OJ (Ohr Yerushalayim) and Mikdash fame.

Unfortunately (who am I kidding, this stuff is awesome) Fortunately, it seems these sort of e-mail exchanges are going to become an annual event, as this recent give and take between a young lady and Rav Balanson clearly indicates.

A personal note: I only take issue with the first part of the dialogue; anything after "I once went out with a boy..." is not too much of a problem for me. After all, she kind of does have it coming. The truth is I am not sure what worries me more from this little electronic question and answer... the questioner’s superiority, arrogance, and self-righteousness, or the answerer’s superiority, arrogance and self-righteousness.

The funny (or sad, depending on your brand of vodka) part is that the worldview of Miss Q'er is a direct result of this type of "advice". The "answers" provided are the cause of some of the very issues they point out! ...and the beat goes on Da da dum Da dum Da da.

Keep in mind that these exchanges (and others like them) are included as part of a weekly public e-mail that is read far and wide.

(Just a word before your descent...What in the name of Daas Torah was Question #1!!!)

Question #2:
>Im sorry to trouble the Rav with a lengthy email, but I was wondering if the Rav could give me eitza...
A: I will try.

>Ive been dating for less than a year. Although Ive gone out with several boys, I havnt once yet been impressed or felt that any of the boys were at all shiach for me.
A: All that means is that they weren't your bashert.

>Ive been told by close friends and Rebbetzins that Im "too picky" and that I just keep finding faults in the boys Im dating and write them off too quickly. I personally dont think Im being picky. On one hand, I understand that its not healthy to have a detailed image in your head of exactly the boy you want to marry, but there are certain things I feel like I need in a boy that Im not yet ready to be mivater on those certain nekudos.
>I want a boy who is going to learn in kollel, who is extremely intense about his learning and yiddishkeit, but who is also a ben aliya -- who is constantly working on his middos and looking for ways to refine himself.
A: That's very nice. However, there aren't very many boys of that sort, and most, if not all, want a girl who comes from a pure Torah house: a house where the father is either a Rosh Yeshiva or who is still in Kollel.

>Ive found that with the majority of boys that Ive dated, they often focus just on learning and not on middos.
>For example, several boys Ive dated have spoken pure lashon harah on the date about different sects of klal yisrael. Often, boys bash YU. Im not AT ALL the YU hashkafah, but even if I dont agree with the hashkafa I would never speak lashon hara, and bash a sect of klal yisrael.

A: Who paskined for you that it is lashon harah to speak against YU? YU goes against the accepted Daas Torah of Gedolei Yisroel and there is no issur at all to speak against them! You simply aren't adequately familiar with the halachos of lashon harah!!

>To me its pure sinas chinam and bashing yiddin, no matter what their hashkafa, drives the shchina away.
A: TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY WRONG!! Rabbeinu Yona writes very clearly that anyone who isn't willing to HATE those who go against HaShem, is a bad person!! YOUR hashkafa here is way way off.

>I spoke to a Rav about this, and he told me that boys will be kanaish about their hashkafos, and will verbalize their disagreement with another hashkafa- but it can be worked on. He told me that when he was dating he did it too in order for the girl to know where he was holding, but then when he got married his wife made him realize that its lashon harah. But its so hard for me, while Im dating to just say "Oh, he's speaking lashon hara now, but together we can work on it" --
>I dont understand why a boy wouldnt have worked on not speaking lashon harah before he gets married!?
A: I don't understand why a girl wouldn't have worked on her hashkafa before she gets married!

>Additionally, many people have told me that Im not going to marry a Rav, that Im marrying potential, and that Im Yirtza Hashem he will gradually grow into his potential. Everyone tells me this, but what can I acutally do lmaaseh? How when Im on a date should I look over things that, to me, seem to be indicative of a lack of yiras shamayim, lack of working on their middos ....etc ?? How, when Im supposed to be looking for the person Im going to spend the rest of my life with, should I overlook things?
A: I don't think that the problem is overlooking things, but rather that you yourself don't have clear Torah hashkafa and therefore don't recognize it when you see it in a boy.

>I once went out with a boy who said something completely insensitive about my past. Even my best friends would never even think to make a comment like that to me, and this boy made a comment on the third date! I said no to going on another date, because I was not only offended but also really hurt. I spoke to a Rav some time later and he told me that I deffinately should not have said no, that boys will sometimes say silly things, and that I should go out with him again. A Rebbetzin that Im close with told me the same - but I dont understand why - I dont think I was being too "picky" or finding faults. He made a totally inappropriate comment, that embarrassed me, and I dont see why I should go out with him again?
A: Because EVERYONE makes mistakes from time to time. If you aren't willing to overlook mistakes, then your married life will be pure Gehenom! If you are so critical now, how will you be after marriage? Don't you think that working on midos includes forgiving mistakes?

>So, on one hand I dont think Im picky, but then on the other hand - is it weird that I've never been impressed with a boy, or that I never thought any of the boys Ive been set up with were at all shiach?
A: Weird? That I don't know. However, you are certainly highly critical and very judgemental, both of which are not good midos at all. Don't you realize that your critical approach to life is a VERY GOOD REASON for a boy to say no to YOU?

>Maybe Hashem gave me a lot of clarity, or maybe everyone's right, and Im just being too picky? I clearly need to work on not being judgmental and critical of the boys I date, but at the same time, I want to make sure I pick the right one!
A: Certainly. However, just like you admit that your midos here are not at all good, why can't you accept that in a boy as well?

>And, if I hope to iyH be moser nefesh to support my husband in kollel, then I want to make sure he's an emesdik eved Hashem!
A: Are you sure that you are one?

>I would really appreciate the Rav's eitza in this matter, and Im sorry that the letter is so long. Thank you very much.
A: I wish you hatzlacha.
Nooooooow this looks like a job for B
So everybody, just follow he
Cause we need a little, controversy
Cause it feels so empty, without Rav B
I said this looks like a job for B
So everybody, just follow he
Cause we need a little, controversy
Cause it feels so empty, without Rav B

And remember...YOU ARE SUB-PAR!