Something to Chew on: Purim

1. Answer this: Is there any day of the year when there is more chillul hashem than Purim?

2. Consider your answer to number 1 when making plans for (and doing things on) Purim.


What Would R. Moshe Feinstein Say About the Weberman Trial?

Once again, I’m going to be posting about the Weberman trial…so sue me. There were various reasons for the opposition to some of the proceedings. Some people felt that the trial wasn’t fair. I’ve dealt with some of those feelings before. For now, I want to talk about a different bone that people picked with the events that occurred few months ago.

One of the issues people had, I believe, was not with punishing Nechemya Weberman, but with his being dealt with by the criminal justice system. In other words, people felt that he should have been punished (or tried) by his own community. It was concerns of this type that had people throwing the term “moser” at his accusers.

I think the following excerpt from R. Shlomo Aviner’s blog sheds some interesting light on how R. Moshe Feinstein might   respond to people with that type of complaint.

An observant Jew once came to the yeshiva to speak to Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein and explained that his son was in prison for selling drugs, and he wanted Reb Moshe to write a letter to the judge asking to have mercy on his son.  Reb Moshe harshly said to him: “Your son causes people to be sick and hurts them.  Let him sit in prison!”  And the father tried over and over to convince Reb Moshe, but he in no way agreed to sign such a letter, and added that his actions were against the laws of the country, which are not forfeited.

Chumra of the Day

Reading glasses

There is a rather well-known “chumra” in certain circles. Men, while courting, take off their glasses so as not to look at their respective dates. (Whether this is a legitimate attempt at holiness or simply pseudo-holiness, I’m not sure. It probably depends on the individual)

The problem with engaging in such a practice is clear: The fellows look ridiculous and are doing something which, at the very least, is mechzi k’yuhara.

This evening, I came upon a solution. If the fellows would put on reading glasses with the wrong prescription, they would fulfill their objective of not seeing their date while not, frankly, looking like idiots. This could even be done practically; to wit, one could drive on the date with the appropriate prescription and switch after parking to the inappropriate one. I think that if the frames are similar, this could be done without anyone being wise to it.