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Author:  Shoshanah
E-mail:  not available
Date:  8/15/2003 10:25:00 AM
Subject:  Style
Message:  In a recent response you wrote

Did you think it through, or did you just have an impulse, typed it, and posted it? Efsher Levarer what? And then if you call the company, you're going to ask them if your particular candy bar was run in the first run right after something Treif?! Are you for real?!
Why are we always expected to have good reasons and explanations for everything, but on the other side it is OK not to make any sense?

Do you think that this is the proper way to speak to those less learned than you, who are simply asking questions because they want to learn. I have seen this flippant approach in many of youresponses. Why can't you reat the questioners with more respect?
Reply:  I can benefit somewhat by the fact that this is on the internet and everyone is somewhat anonymous. It isn't really an insult. What I try to do is respond to each question equal to the question itself. This web site is mainly for questions & basic answers; like yes, no, maybe, and sometimes a bit more. When a person studies a bit and knows something, and then says why is it OK to take a shower on Yom Tov, what about Sechita? then I respond in kind and give him his answer politely. There is a lot to learn on each topic and I do not have the time nor the energy to teach each person the entire thing from A-Z. And they should not be questioning, "why...," if they did not learn the entire topic inside thoroughly. The why is in the books, and they are available to all. When people post questions with specific details putting the burden on me to explain why a specific concept does not apply, but they obviously did not look into it at all, I will often respond strongly for a few reasons. One to show that person and others that Torah is not just some whim or emotion, but rather a complex process that cannot be learned on the fly. Second, that it is absolutely disrespectful to ask anyone, let alone a rabbi, to justify their decisions or opinions to you based on some words you might have heard in passing. Third, to try to teach all our visitors that this process learned in many Yeshivot of grabbing certain concepts like Maarit HaAyin, Efsher Levarer, Ain Mevatlin Issur LeChatchilah, and to just mix and match and play with them without the proper training is ridiculous and against the Torah. It's dangerous and it also can cause people to spend their life following a set of guidelines, but actually not follow the Torah the way God requires. Many people spend hours praying, but their pronounciation is modified, because they joined some subsect, and then one day, after a long and healthy life, they are called to their Creator. In the judgment, the judges review the man's files and the videotapes of his life, and they say, "you were a wonderful man in most areas, but you never prayed a day in your life. You never made a blessing on food. and so on." The man becomes upset. What are you talking about? I prayed for hours every day. I was the first one in the Synagogue and the last to leave. But the judges explain to him that when he would say Baruch Atah Adonay (Bless you Hashem), instead of saying Adonay like the Sephardim or Adonoy like the Ashkenazim or even Adoynoy, like many, he would say Adeenoy or maybe Booreech Atuh, or any other variation that changes the words completely, causing his prayers to be just gibberish. Now if it was not his fault, because he grew up that way or some similar good excuse, he will be forgiven, but he still missed out on a lifetime of prayers and blessings. The same goes for all the things we do based on that grapevine of rumours, concepts, and thoughts that are not based on proper Torah study by qualified Poskim. This seamingly innocent question is often part of a serious disease that plagues our religion, causing us to be here in exile. I can go on for hours, with a thousand scenarios and proofs. This guy may be a bit jolted when he reads his response, but it is not personal, it's on the net annonomously, and it is worth the jolt. He knew nothing about Efsher Levarer, he just figured he'll throw it in the mix and see what happens. How ridiculous would it sound if you came into a fancy restaurant and had the honor to meet the world-renowned chef, and then you notice he's using Oregano on a particular dish, and you say, "shouldn't you use Basil with that?" In that case it is just silly, in this case it is dangerous, it affects your spiritual life. It's worth the jolt.

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