Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Hyperbolic Poet

So there we were, at the poetry slam, and everyone was having a fun time pressuring everyone else to go up and perform. So I decided to write a poem on the spot, to express my deep, innermost feelings, which were evoked by the assemblage of the greatest poetic minds of the heights.

The Hyperbolic Poet

by e

Walking down the lane
Treading towards
His domicile, his abode
Inhaling the heady scent
Of the blood-red bloom
Its tender tendrils
Clinging
Grasping
Hanging
To the rough wooden grid
Climbing towards light and life

And now in English...

On his way home, he smelled a rose growing on a trellis.

255 comments:

  1. (so that posterity doesn't get confused, originally I said "weak tendrils," not "tender tendrils.")

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  2. We were all very impressed by your incisive commentary.

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  3. And to anyone else wondering:
    hy⋅per⋅bol⋅ic  /ˌhaɪpərˈbɒlɪk/
    Pronunciation [hahy-per-bol-ik]
    –adjective 1. having the nature of hyperbole; exaggerated.
    2. using hyperbole; exaggerating.
    3. Mathematics. a. of or pertaining to a hyperbola.
    b. derived from a hyperbola, as a hyperbolic function.

    A very nice poem.

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  4. very nice. I include myself in the greatest poetic minds of the heights.

    Next time, my friend.

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  5. there's always next time...

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  6. Sara: Yeah, I don't think anyone else got all that out of 'hyperbolic' (G-d, even a math connection).

    e: It's 'heady' as in 'head' since it seems pretty clear that it's a derivative of the word 'head'.

    By the way (even though it was written in Arabic!) for something written in such short notice it's very well worded. You're a true poet!

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  7. a. thanks for the linkage!
    b. personally, i thought it was quite genius.

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  8. I still don't understand why the slam is made to exclude others.

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  9. it tis not. make a mechitza and there will be one.

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  10. Separate seating can be done without a mechitza . . .

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  11. Did you see that store? theres hardly room to stand, let aone make separate seating. But tis a good idea, mthinks you should implement it next time.

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  12. Mottel is definitely commenting what was on my mind..

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  13. is that why u didnt come yossi?

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  14. The purpose of this thing should be to spearhead spiritual growth . . . to let people explore their Judaism - not bring it down!

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  15. Good point. Except I don't exactly think 'spiritual' when I hear poetry slam.

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  16. It's a medium - it can posses whatever one wants.

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  17. yes. But not the kind of things people read there.

    Okay, nemo's was quite fitting for that category. But it was loooooong.

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  18. Then it's a chesaron in the people. Nemo has morals and sticks to them - he knows whats right. It's one of the reasons I like him.
    This could have a lot of potential . . .

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  19. hey I read some good stuff, if i do say so myself.

    I say you should be on the planning committee. Then it'll be really good. Talk to cheerio about it. 2 brains are better than none.

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  20. altie - you hear poetry and DONT think spiritual? mottel is right. it is a powerful medium, and i hope that even as it is, it inspires people in their yiddishkeit. in fact, i'm sure that as it is, it does that, because that is what people have told me.
    BUT there is a lot of room for improvement. Mottel, if you want to come and lend a pair of strong arms to help shlep chairs so that we can arrange some separate system of seating, join the facebook group, and let me know.

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  21. cheerio- depends on the content. I really liked yours. But not all poetry is spiritual, or meant to be shared in a public setting.

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  22. really? interesting. i think of poetry as deeply spiritual. maybe not holy, but spiritual. it is a medium that enables the writer and audience to reach a level beyond the physical.
    even if a poem is written about an extremely physical subject, it approaches it from a more spiritual perspective - that of words.

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  23. and what about a very private poem, that reflects your deep inner thoughts? you think that should be shared with a public audience?

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  24. The purpose of this thing should be to spearhead spiritual growth . . . to let people explore their Judaism - not bring it down!

    Mottel, thou begest the question.

    And having a mechitza would exclude other people.

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  25. thats up to the author, altie. some people share extremely personal things with their public audience, some choose to keep them private. more publicity does not make it less spiritual.

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  26. -Altie & Cheerio: Poetry can be Spiritual - though spiritual can be far from G-dly. Poetry can also be a major waste of time - void of meaning, full of pomp, and utterly selfserving - the intellectual equivalent of the aveirah igeres hateshuvah was written for.
    -E: Who in crown heights won't go somewhere because of a mechitza? In truth, however, if we hold Judaism to be true, one has no choice! Should shluchim abolish shulchan aruch to gain members for their shul? We're accepting - but we must keep to our principles, esp. In our own Ir Habira!

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  27. Mottel- nice take on poetry. I'm not sure what to say, cuz in my opinion a poet writes whatever comes to mind, in whatever words he feels at the time. It can be very spiritual, i.e. godly, and it can be very empty and weak.

    But if a poem stems from good thoughts, or yearning for self change, it can bring about a poem of self reflection that may not seem spiritual, but in reality brings the writer and the person who hears it to a higher plain, and a desire to want to be better.

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  28. Mottel: I'll say clearly what others are thinking. One of the fun things about the poetry slams is the opportunity to mix with MOTOGS.

    You already mentioned several different arguments.

    You said that purpose of the slams is the spearhead growth, which is debatable.

    You also asserted that not having a mechitzah makes the event exclusive, which i think is also debatable.

    Ersht now you're bringing in shulchan aruch, which is the only possibly solid argument i think.

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  29. E-Once again, you made me laugh :)

    Mottel-Really? You worried about lack of mechitza? If you're gonna make such a big issue, you should probably start with blogging in general, and Basement Blogging in specific. It starts off as virtual socializing, but where do you draw the line? Online you can mix freely, but suddenly in a real room you become someone else?

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  30. c, it's understandable that one would allow online fraternization and not real life fraternization. if you gotta draw an arbitrary line somewhere, isn't this a reasonable place to draw it? (Ok, now i'm begging the question and doing exactly what i told mottel off for.)

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  31. Honestly, e, this is something I've considered really contemplating for a while. I was afraid of doing so, because of what the implications would be. But seriously, who are we kidding? Hiding behind a screen and keyboard does not change that fact that we are doing something that is questionable in our society.

    Not addressing the question has had some consequences for me personally; instead of drawing the line here and calling myself a hypocrite, I've compromised some things I used to believe in.

    But really; why is it OK for me to chat with you here about anything and everything, but when I see you in person I must look away and pretend I don't know you? So I have decided not to look away, not to pretend. Does that make me less frum, or just more honest?

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  32. -E: Shulchan Aruch has always been my point. It's exclusive because it keeps those that would like to do what's right away. There's something wrong with such an event if MANY of the people who attended and spoke at it have said that they were uncomfortable or disagreed with the ideals of mixing.

    I may not like it when people do this MOTOG crap - because it is not only halachically problematic, but can lead to very negative results in one's future relationships, become a stepping stone for yerida's in peoples personal avodah etc. If it's done outside of Crown Heights, if it's done with an elament of busha . . . I can live with different views and levels of observance. None of us are perfect and we all have our struggles.
    That being said, in Crown Heights it has a certain brazen element. It spits in the face of Judaism in general and the Rebbe b'frat.

    I'm being melamed zchus that the purpose of the event is to allow Jewish expression, exploration and Growith. If not then it should be shut down. I honestly hope that this isn't a mixer event. Some of the people that attended have enormous talent, and it would be a real shame that their skills not be expressed to the world due to the perverse machinations of others.

    I think that mixing online is problematic. It's not lechatchila. Almost all of the bloggers in our happy family started off nervous and uncomfortable with ta'aruves baser v'chalav.

    What's done is done - but as E said, if a line must be drawn, then physical mixing would be it! Online there's the hope of anonymity. If not in name, then at least in physical appearance - I wouldn't know most of you if I passed you on the street.
    Once we get together . . .

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  33. mottel - yes, the idea is to promote jewish growth, and creative expression.
    but here's my question for YOU: "There's something wrong with such an event if MANY of the people who attended and spoke at it have said that they were uncomfortable or disagreed with the ideals of mixing."
    who would these people be? and if they felt so, why didnt they speak to someone who could actually do something about it, like say, the organizer aka ME? because i have gotten mostly positive feedback from the people who come.
    and this is something i have to say to pretty much everyone who has critiqued the event for its tznius - would you really come even if it lived up to all your standards? no. so until you're willing to step up and HELP ME SET IT UP PROPERLY, shove off.
    and by set it up properly, i mean in a way that both people who would not like to mix overly with MOTOGS and people who need to feel that they are in a place UNLIKE their high school or yeshiva will feel comfortable.

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  34. -Cheerio: I am willing to help, please don't accuse me of criticizing for no reason. I haven't joined the facebook because my account has been on the fritz all day. Chill.
    People being uncomfortable:

    Dowy said...

    " yeh im with mottel in principal - im also a little worried my principals are going to the wind."

    Yossi said...

    Mottel is definitely commenting what was on my mind..

    There was another such comment, but I can't find it as I no longer remember which blog it was o.

    There were comments said to me in person to me by others there - but since they were made in confidence, I don't want to publicly disclose them - though said person told me he spoke to you about his opinion some time back.

    Cheerio, let me ask a broader question. What is the line? Where do we say vas toigt, un vas toigt nisht? Is it our job to provide an environment for every setting and opinion? The yeshivah and sem system doesn't work for everyone - agreed. That's why people using their talents for G-dly purposes in ways not found in the yeshivah - Poetry, music, imrpov what have you . . . is great.
    But is this meant to be a good thing or bad thing? I imagine you want to do good - I hope as much. But is it your job to pander to their needs? Where does the line stop?
    People don't need your help in mixing - BH people have been able to date with muma libbe as their loving shadchan since the beginning of time . . . So why condone something at best questionable in Judaism?

    If your kavana is the opposite . . . then we'll get into that if you say as much - though as of now I won't address it as I don't want to level needless accusations.

    This is rambling a bit so let's boil things down to a few basic questions:

    Are making mixed gender events in Crown Heights appropriate? The answer is based on shulchan aruch (or if one prefers in neo-chassidic terms: Would the rebbe be happy with it?)

    If they are, how do they shtim with basic Judaism? With being a chossid.

    Do we need to, and if so how can we, make this event one that will be (more) G-dly?

    All the best . . .

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  35. I know this conversation ended already, but I'd like to add that one of the reasons I didn't go last night was because of the mixage of motogs

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  36. It hasn't ended yet. Oooooooh, it's just getting started. (Don't worry yossi. Normal people just took a break for the night. They'll resume this in the morning.)

    Good good. Another vote for Mottel's side. Who's keeping score?

    I do agree with Mottel. But a) I don't get involved in arguments, and b) I was there last night. So what good will it do to agree with something when I went against that very something?

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  37. first of all, I meant to clearly say exactly what I said, and that's all. Not necessarily am i agreeing with everything mottel said (the main reason being that I only skimmed through it all (hey, it was long, okay?))

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  38. -Altie: It means a lot. It means you aren't opposed to the changes, you support them. What is more . . . it goes to the heart of my argument. If this was a Motog [sic] party in Park Slope I'd say I that I don't agree with the idea . . . but nu nu. I don't agree with many of the things out there. At least there's busha.

    So too here. If you have a hergesh, it means you're headed in the right direction . . .

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  39. I think blogging is a good way to share your poems.

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  40. member of the opposite gender

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  41. you shouldn't know about such things...

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  42. member of the opposite [nusach acher: osser] gender.

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  43. the language of...abreviations?

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  44. Member Of The Opposite Gender (MOTOG).

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  45. Geezus, I was just looking for something to do besides watch TV on a rainy Saturday night.

    Cheerio - just wanted to bring to your attention that I did not criticize anybody's work, despite what I said I might do.

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  46. lol. 10 new comments, and it's only 9 am.

    Thanks Mottel. That means a lot coming from you.

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  47. I'm wondering why I haven't yet involved myself in this particular imbroglio.

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  48. :) Too busy over at your blog. Too busy being married.

    Don't get involved, it's not worth it.

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  49. On the other hand, I do have an actual opinion on the matter...

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  50. So nu, let's hear it.

    Oh, right, you were there.

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  51. 1. Most of the people who were there would not have been there if it was a separate seating event or was in any other way pushing a religious agenda. If, as Mottel posits, the goal is to bring these people to a "Jewish" event, then the goal is only reached by having mixed seating.

    2. Cheerio never said she was against having separate seating, she merely asked for help.

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  52. So in your opinion, the mixed seating is a prerequisite for these people to come?

    But if, as Mottel says, that is the goal, then by having mixed seating, you are allowing something which is not in sinc with the goal. That's like a shliach having a purim party with a Disney theme, cuz it'll make the kids happy, and more people will come.

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  53. A. This I am saying.

    B. I've seen shluchim make mixed events, because it was the only way to get people to come.

    C. There's nothing wrong with a shliach having a Purim party with a Disney theme.

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  54. a. okay.
    b. Don't forget, the people we are talking about that would come to the poetry slam is a frum crowd. I think the rules change then if it were a non religious crowd. And the people who are in charge are not shluchim. So it can't be the same.

    And one more thing- you are married. Would you have applauded such an event if you were still a yunger bocher in the shidduch scene?

    And C. That is debatable.

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  55. Why does every event have to be about religion? Why not make a poetry slam for recreation/fun/Saturday night social? That way you avoid these silly ethical dilemmas about bringing the Torah to the people or the people to the Torah - it's not about Torah!

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  56. Nemo- as religious Jews, or Jews in general, EVERYTHING is about Torah.

    And you are suggesting a stam random saturday night chill, social event, that is mixed. Ch'''v! You should go to hell for even suggesting it!!

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  57. Altie: B. Most of the people there were not frum. They might have come from frum homes, but they were not frum.

    I would have deplored a bochur who should be in yeshiva being there, but for many of the people who came, it's a wonderful thing.

    C. No it's not.

    Nemo: This was not in any way a religious event. Mottel is treating it like it was, so I'm responding based on that assumption, but I don't view it as such.

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  58. C. yes it is. How can you say you are a shliach of the REBBE, and then do something that goes against his mantra? In my opinion, keep it kosher, or don't do it.

    Perhaps Mottel is trying to turn this into something that it's not, but he has a point. It's not like it was shluchim creating this event for people who are no longer frum, in the hopes of bringing them back. This was an even made BY frum people, FOR frum people, and anyone else who wanted to come. In that case, they should have followed some sort of code of conduct, that goes according to Torah.

    (I am arguing for Mottel's argument, cuz I agree with his point. But I don't get involved in argument's, so don't quote me.)

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  59. TRS: it is not our job to make people feel comfortable with their decisions in life. We can not be mekariv a person if it means breaking halacha - if so then what are you being mkariv him to?
    There is a massive difference between a chabad house and crown heights. Not all shluchim do what's right, but even when they do things that work on shlichus, they do not work in a Lubavitcher setting.
    Should we make mixed dancing to bring people in? If people won't come to a crown heights event with out non-Jewish music, should we let them in?
    Let's be intellectually honest here. Chabad is Orthodox Judaism - we are as extreme in our frumkite as Satmar, Belz, Lakewood and NK! We act with a kav of chesed, we have a rebbe who tells us the value of every Jew . . . But Halacha rules none the less.
    People have a problem with a mechitza?
    m'mah nifshach? If they are frum, tell them to get real. If they are not, then it is not the place of every yukel in the crowd to do it. It should be a matter done by individuals devolped in their judaism, advised by rabbonim etc.

    Re:Disney Purim - I'd ask a rav. But even if it works on shlichus it has NO place amongst Lubavitchers.

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  60. I never said cheerio was against a mechitza - though she does seem to be ambivalent about one . . . I question the rational behind not doing it in the first place. I'm willing to help in theory . . .

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  61. I think the oymed lisreifah is going to write a tshuva on michitsos. While I obvious would not dream chas veshalom to tell hte gadol what to write, this time he will draw heavily on Rav Yoshe Ber Soloveichik, and he's going to look up the tzemach tzeddek this time. Heck, yechaveh da'as too so we can pasken for everyone.

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  62. Check the basement for a new contest coming soon.

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  63. If it's not for a torah purpose then mixing in sucha brazen way - and arranged by frum people - is wrong.
    Cut the bullshit people. Who the hell are you fooling? If you believe in torah, you know it can't go. If it's meant for people on the edge, then it isn't for you or for me. A person knowledgable in halacha can make the right calls. But a bar bei medrash ben yomo - or less - like you or me has no place getting envolved!
    If you don't believe, then have a little respect for those who do and don't pass off your zhlok on those that do.
    I ask you again: Is this within the confines of halacha for Lubavitchers?

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  64. Altie: C. For shluchim yes, for you no, same as Matisyahu.

    We are all Shluchim of G-d, and the Rebbe.

    Who was invited to this event? Who is expected to come? Not your average Yossi in CH.

    Mottel: Nu, life is not black and white. Obviously there are standards, but there are also times when we must do things which we don't necessarily agree with.

    And have a little mesiras nefesh for the religion you profess to believe in and help make a mechitzah, if you think it's so important. Otherwise, you're just stam hakking.

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  65. C. not true. You can't bend the rules to fit the crowd. It doesn't work. And then what? Let's just invite everyone to our chabad house? Oh they are not Jewish, but we are teaching them torah, how nice...

    We may al be shluchim, but not everyone acts like one.

    And in yossi's defense, he wasn't there.

    And why were you there?

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  66. TRS: A person is a shliach only if he is m'kayim his shlichus! You sound like a reform rabbi. You and I don't have the right to call the shots on such a thing. Ask a rav.
    Cut the sophistry already people and get real.
    Ask Shaps if its youe shlichus to make mixers! I'll give you 50 bucks and kiss your toes if he approves of the likes of CM AW or ML making a mixed event.
    If this is shlichus make it real, if it isn't then how dare you use the Rebbe's holly institution to pass off your chatas naurim as g-dly.

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  67. Mottel- I agree with what you are saying, and I respect your opinion. But if you are accusing people of being wishy washy in their mode of conduct and their beliefs, then you are being too preachy and harsh.

    The one who stands up against the crowd- good for you.

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  68. altie- 'I don't get involved in arguments'
    funniest statement yet on these comments, and when TRS said "any yossi in CH" i'm not sure he was exactly referring to me, although I'm honored and flattered if he was

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  69. Yossi- I knew that. It was a joke (or attempt at one.)

    And why is what I said funny?

    Yes I get it. You find it funny that I would say that, even though I seem to be arguing. But I'm not. Really

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  70. I'm with Nemo. People just want to hang out and have fun and be scrupleless.

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  71. you're even arguing about whether you were arguing... it's just funny, that's all.

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  72. Altie: I'm standing up for the truth. If I come off as preachy . . . Then it's an onus I must bear.
    I don't know evrtyone here personally so I won't level any statements as to their character.
    That being said, knowing the education and character of some people here . .. It is not unfair to say they're not being intellectually honest (unless they're just ignorant dolts - but I won't be choshed the people here of that)

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  73. E- whatever happened to you and your meta scruple?

    Yossi- :) okay. If you think so.

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  74. altie: good point. I meant the disregard others' scruples (i.e. mottel, shulchan aruch, etc.) and keep only to your own scruples. I'm for having fun and not feeling guilty about it--not like some other people felt this sunday morning.

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  75. I don't think my two cents are worth even that, but I'm also of the opinion that to call this event something only for the purpose of Torah and Yiddishkeit is a stretch...
    of course, I was not there, and I was not even invited until I passed by unknowingly, and we should try to be melamed zchus for everyone.

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  76. -E: then don't call it shlichus, don't feign tzidkud. Admit it's wrong, have your fun, and have the respect for the legacy of the Rebbe to do it in a private forum or outside of Crown Heights.

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  77. Mottel- what's right is always good. I think some people argue just for the sake of arguing. (TRS. At times.)
    And maybe not everyone believes what they say.

    I agree with your point of view. But as cheerio pointed out, don't shout about it if you won't take action.

    Plus, say some nice stuff about it too. Don't only point out negative factors.

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  78. E- I'm all for having fun and not feeling guilty about it. But I have a conscience. Unlike some people.

    Mottel- would you walk up to an untznuisly clad young woman in Crown Heights and ask her to either dress properly, or leave? It's the same thing. These things happen. You can't ask that they be moved out of the heights.

    Plus, no where did anyone call this event shlichus. I don't even believe anyone tried to defend it with Torah. Okay maybe TRS. But as a consesus, I think everyone is saying that this tyupe of even SHOULDN'T have to be connected to Torah or shlichus.

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  79. Something good? Like Sex, Atom Bombs and all things powerful if it's used for good it can create life, worlds, pleasure and truth. If not . . . then like sick puppies it should be put down.
    I see potential and I see talent. I hope to see the light.

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  80. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Mottel- maybe YOU should take charge of such an event, if you wish to see it instituted properly. Otherwise, look the other way, and give it up.

    You didn't come. You didn't support it. You made your disapproval well known. What else?

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  81. I never called it shlichus, and neither did Nemo. We both said exactly what you wanted us to say: that we want to have fun.

    Re: admitting that it's wrong, i think we have different definitions of wrong.

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  82. Altie: If it isn't Torah based - then what do I need it for? I can hear better poetry in a non-orthodox setting. I hope that it is something Jewish, because I am interested in coming.
    If not, then I oppose it.
    It's not my place to tell some random kurwa on the street off. I feel I can come to those I know better and let them know vas passt un vas passt nit.
    But I get the feeling that those involved are playing games.. I'll help gladly if cheerio will say forthright that she's interested in doing it al pi shulchan aruch.

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  83. -E: the right and wrong here is that of shulchan aruch - as you mentioned yourself.

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  84. that's your definition of right and wrong.

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  85. E doesn't care for shulchan aruch. And he seems to equate Mottel with shulchan aruch too.

    Mottel- you'd make a good shliach.

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  86. E- if you don't have any scruples, then there IS no right or wrong to you.

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  87. if he can succeed in reforming the poetry slam AND making the attendees happy, then I'd say that he'd make a good shliach.

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  88. good luck with that. Something tells me that separate seating will result in a smaller number of attendees. And the majority will most probably be of the female persuasion. Cuz it seems to me that the males are more concerned with having a mixed crowd then females.

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  89. E: again we're talking about making the event inclusive to those of us who want to do what Judaism says is right. I'm not speaking to you frankly. I may not agree with you, but you make no claims to say what you do is right in shulchan aruch. But when those involved in arranging anf speaking are by and large frum . . . Then if they are honest they'll make the event right according to Judiasm.

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  90. I feel complelled to speak...

    Mottel: Having been there, it seems to me that you're looking upon this event with the disapproval of an outsider. To make things short; one way of looking at it is that your main concern is more social than purely halachic, i.e. what you don't want is young Chabad guys and girls mingling without supervision, not mixed-SEATING per-se. Mixed-seating is not always prohibited. If it is among family or close friends than it's seems not to be frowned upon, as in a Shabbos table where you might have men and women who don't know each other seated in the same place.

    It seems to me that the element of Crown Heights society you're worried about, the "Shovavnikim" (unruly youth) have very little interest in using a place like this for their mingling purposes (they prefer Eastern Parkway and Y-Love concerts from what I understand).

    The kind of folks who do attend this kind of event a) already know each other and would be socially close otherwise and b) are from the secularized strata of Chabad/Crown Heights society, and would find that level of gender separation as queer as if you told your mother to have her meal in another room when you came to eat your Shabbos meal. In a shul is one thing, but for a close group of semi-secularized friends who come from a 'Chabad' society in which that's totally acceptable is another thing.

    Though this is obviously not the only aspect of this topic.

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  91. Shriki- it SHOULDN'T be acceptable. I believe that is the whole point.

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  92. and many of the ppl of the poetry slam are from mainstream chabad. There was even an Oholei Torah bochur there!

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  93. Altie: its the price to pay for doing it right.
    shriki: as altie said.

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  94. Altie: Yes, but you can't reform their intrinsic natures. Again, their background and opinions dictate that it's fine. I don't think imposing strict separation of the sexes at all their events will change that in them.

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  95. I really can't wait, because everyone's talking about "what shulchan aruch demands," when they really mean "the scruples my community demands." Seriously, we all learn hilchos shabbos and hilchos tefillah and whatnot, but who ever learned hilchos MOTOGs?

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  96. e: Yeah man, it's not the halachot regarding f--king "MOTOGS" that drives them, but like TRS also said, there are very subtle social factors at play as well. ..and 'chassidic' factors...

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  97. Hilchos tznius?

    Mottel- honestly, I'd come if it were separate seating, and I'd come if it were separate crowds, and E wasn't allowed in with all the girls.

    And shriki- if they or their backgrounds say that mixed events is fine, that's fine for them. That doesn't mean that the events and event coordinators should CATER to that.

    Imagine if the people in charge of simchas bais hashueva did away with the barriers between the men's and women's side, because the people don't care to have a mixed crowd. Or someone making a wedding decided to have mixed dancing, cuz the guests think it's 'fine.'

    The point is, if you are one that is MAKING the event, you need not do what everyone wants, just cuz the people think it's 'fine.'

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  98. Well in this case the coordinators and the crowd are of very much the same backgrounds and opinions. And what I meant to say was that even if it was separate you'd find e outside shmuzing with the chicks and everyone else making similar efforts to 'get around the barriers'.

    And again, the parallels you draw aren't quite sufficient since this wasn't a religious ceremony per-se, and the attendees are far more individualistic.

    But the truth is, in my personal opinion, ...look at the Churches; how much 'mingling' goes on there? Rather, everyone is used to the idea that there's mixed seating and instead of using it as a place to socialize they use it as a place for religious worship. Now, I'm not making that comparison to our houses of worship, I'm just saying that the less you notice it, the less harmful it is. Wait, I'm not sure that makes sense...?

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  99. All right people, here's the truth. I happen to agree with y'all that mixed events of this type are not the place for good Jewish boys and girls. My problem is that certain people are willing to criticize this event without without realizing their own hypocrisy. Why is it okay to chat with girls online and not in real life? All right, I too understand the fine line between them. But isn't it hypocritical then to say that this behavior is allowed while a mixed seating event in CH is not? After all, if you're willing to make a moral distinction once, why not two or three times?

    The answer of course is that the world is not black and white; you have to be willing to understand where people are coming from and where they're going to. Merely being self-righteous and criticizing (and hypocritical) without recognizing other factors is not going to solve the issue (if there indeed is one), and will in fact only exacerbate it.

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  100. TRS: nice to hear some unequivocal moral equivalence.

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  101. That's the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it, uh huh uh huh...

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  102. I'll leave that question to the judge.

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  103. TRS- pom poms and a mini skirt. Teenage sister?

    E- do you care? Torah or not, it doesn't seem to make a difference to you. And your meta scruple doesn't encompass Torah.

    Even Torah itself is not black and white. That is where Halacha comes in. And Rabbi's, and opinions. I don't think you should be allowed to have an opinion if you are uneducated in an area. You should follow what your Rabbi says.

    It's not clear cut. Matters of tznius are not. Unless of course it is. Like, yes, or no. Like Mottel.

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  104. It's not clear cut. Matters of tznius are not. Unless of course it is. Like, yes, or no. Like Mottel.

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  105. Certain people here are completely detached from reality.

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  106. Not only was a certain OT bochur there, but he even sounded like an OT bochur trying to farbreng. Cute, cute.

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  107. you know, there's a story I'm pretty sure with the guy that started oholei torah, I forget his name.
    he was at a chasuna and the mechitza was either never set up, or taken down.
    He stood with his pants down in the middle of the hall until somebody put up the mechitza!

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  108. -mean: come again?
    -Nemo: who?
    -Yossi: sounds more like story that fits for one of the shem tovs . . .

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  109. you know, I might even go to the slam if I knew mottel would try it

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  110. I thought he meant that you would pull down your pants until improvements were made.

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  111. What kind of a name is 'mean bastard'? Like, hello world, that's me? Okay then.

    Yossi- that is a scary mental picture. And please don't try it.

    Mottel- help with the seating arrangements, or mechitza or whatever, and iy''h by the next slam we can have a poetry reading that would make Mottel proud. (you know who I was gonna say, but why drag names into this?)

    But mottel you gonna have to read then.

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  112. Wow, I can't believe I missed all this.

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  113. First of all, it's funny to see Chabad Bloggers: The Next Generation :)

    It's true that people need to be able to express themselves. Our community SHOULD be open to art, music, poetry, dance... all those things. It's important to be able to express yourself. As Jews, and especially as Chassidim, it's important to ensure that this self-expression is leading to good things. I don't think everything we do has to be supercharged with spirituality 24/7. Most of us wouldn't be able to handle that. That's why things like concerts and poetry readings can have just a purpose of relaxation, of simcha. You need to be able to recharge in order to do your best and do your part in making the world holier.

    The problem would arise when these leisurely activities lead you to less desirable things. If reading a book leads to watching a movie which leads to more movies, etc... then maybe the book wasn't a good idea. But, if reading a book takes your mind off things that are stressing you out and you're able to keep it from leading you down a different path, then by all means, read!

    The poetry slam, the debate club... they are GOOD ideas. People in this community need them. However, it is NOT possible for the outcome of either of these to be positive if basic tznius standards are not kept. We're chassidim and this is the Rebbe's schuna. Online friendships between guys and girls is not the way it should be, but obviously mixing in real life is worse. I agree that for the non-frum folk, it's good to get together in Crown Heights. Better here than in a bar somewhere. I think the issue is that there are people who might attend who would not have gone to a mixed event in such tight quarters before... and it's NOT something that more people should become accustomed to.

    Guys and girls stay separate for a reason! It goes along with taharas hamishpacha... I'm sure most of you have heard the "if you're close when you should be far, then you'll be far when you should be close." The teachers/mashpiim who say this aren't making it up! Mixing of the genders desensitizes us to the whole guy/girl thing and it WILL make dating harder and it WILL make marriage harder.

    Bottom line:
    For those who are already desensitized, :(
    For those who are hanging on the edge, or in the middle, or not sure what they want, don't supply them with that mixed event.

    Please don't put stumbling blocks in front of us.

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  114. As cheerio said all the way at the beginning, there is room for change. This change does not need the assitance of the taliban (Or its fan club) in fact it also doesn't the advice of those who cant see what a good thing this slam is. This event is there for people to express themselves in a place where noone feels like its their holy duty to let everyone know how evil they are. Unhelpful, unwarrented critcsim is not welcome. So either shut up and help or you tzadikkim can go somewhere else. I thought it was a great event! and the coordinators are holy people. And when i think about poetry i think about spirituality, God, and all kinds of things because poetry doesn't have limits to its subject matter. J

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  115. Chana, how old are you? Are you married? Have you ever hung out at mixed events? Did it make it harder for you to get married? Are you talking from experience?

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  116. Anon: everyone sees the potential in the slam, if not then we wouldn't be bothered to deal with it. That being said: none of my questions have been answered by those who arranged it.
    Holy, however, this is not. Kedusha means separation . . . Please don't mix pop spirituality with holiness.

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  117. Shriki: Nice post.

    Chana: As opposed to the old generation?

    Why must the desire be for there to be a positive outcome? Why can't there just be a poetry slam l'maan h'inyan poetry slam? I am aware that some people are of the belief that they're accomplishing great things by putting on cultural events (ask the organizers), but for others (like myself), attendance was based primarily on the desire to read or listen to poetry (or in my case, gratify the desires of other people).

    J: Well said.

    Mottel: "everyone sees the potential in the slam, if not then we wouldn't be bothered to deal with it."

    What potential? Who says there's a goal here? Anyway, us blogger peoples are well known for bothering to deal with things of very little or no potential.

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  118. What about the question you didnt answer, like what else do you have to add other than your soapbox opinion? and i believe the founders made it very clear their interest in changes to the event. so continually restating you opinion to prove your holiness is useless, and who are you to decide what is or is not holy? pop spiritualy? im not even going to respond to that foolishness but i will say that i dont believe that this event was ever made for people whos whole yiddishkeit apparently is telling people how unholy they are. J

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  119. A poetry slam is a place to read poetry and the like! that is the goal! J

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  120. Anon: To be frank - Scre You!
    I am not holier than thou and I have no soapbox. I make no claims of sanctity - only of basicdesire to do better in my life. What of you, however, who snivels behind a cloak of anonymity?
    I make no claims to what is holy and what is not. G-d does that already in Shulchan Aruch . . . Or are you so wholly ignorant that you think your boich s'varas have a place amongst basic Judaism?

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  121. for posterity's sake: the man who started OT's name was michoel teitelbam

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  122. Mottel: the anon is our good friend J.

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  123. Yeah notice the J. And I didn't just imagine your preachiness. Here's a question how ignorant and wicked do you think we are? Do you think you are the only one who has heard of this book? So which is it? You obiviously know better. Are we ignorant or wicked? I guess we should be so lucky to be enlightened. How about this, let's just talk about something else. Screw me, lol. J

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  124. All ye scrupulous ones, can you perhaps provide a Torah source for your opinions? It's really easy to convince yourself that you're right when you only take into account how you "feel" about the issues.

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  125. thanks for the info, e. so was it teitlbaum in my story?

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  126. "All ye scrupulous ones, can you perhaps provide a Torah source for your opinions? It's really easy to convince yourself that you're right when you only take into account how you "feel" about the issues."

    Back in the day (e will remember these days) I used to look up sources and such for my assertions, but nowadays? I just don't have the time. Either way, I made no assertions about this particular topic, so I'm guilt-free, but I'd love to see someone else provide some... eh Mottel?

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  127. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  128. B'yehudah v'oed נ'kra? If you're looking for sources already, why not prove your greater chidush of a heter for ta'aruvos.

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  129. Shouldn't you be bettering yourself right now? why are you still bearing your heavy burden here? J

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  130. Yossi: don't know anything about that story.

    J: ad hominem attacks don't help anybody--even if they're 100% justified.

    trs: I was about to slam you for evading your duty to support your claims. But then I skimmed through the comments and noticed that you never directly addressed the issue of whether the slam should be segregated. So I suppose I can't demand that you support claims like "let's all be nice and respect others."

    (Shriki: notice how liberal the liberal sector of chabad is, v'dal)

    Mottel: You claim to speak for Torah. this ain't "yehudah v'od likrah." This is "krah likrah."

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  131. I stand corrected. J

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  132. A belated statement:

    e:
    facts: Taaruvos at a set event as such is not osur al pi shu"a.

    lo ra'isi eino ra'ayah, however, at many Chabad events around the world, of which even Mottel has attended and even hosted, there is "taaruvos" sans mechitzah.

    True, we are "catering" to an outside world that would be put off in many circumstances by a mechitza, (and true, that there are those shluchim who insist upon one, and will boycott those that lack, but they are in the extreme minority.) nevertheless, as much as we do this "catering" we do not go against halacha.

    Therefore, we may conclude that there is no pressing Halachic need for the mechitzah.

    On the seperate issue of propriety and chassidishkeit, that has been generally accepted in the realm of mentschlichkeit to be of supremely personal and private, and certainly not thrust upon others, especially in the forms of demands and denouncements.

    Therefore, in conclusion, whereas, mottel may be right insofar as it is chassidish or ehrilch to have a mechitzah, this is entirely a personal issue, which he should keep to himself or to those that he may feel that he could influence and or have impact he may suggest in a private forum and setting his views in an appropriate manner.
    But certainly not to impose his views on others.

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  133. Ahh, I love the friekiet of spitz chabad. I can only imagine how much more frie gezhe would be! (oh wait, I know, the owner of this blog...)

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  134. Yah E sold his klimavitcher carrot to.me for a few ricecakes and a graphing calculator!

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  135. In mottel's defense, regarding shpitz chabad's argument that he should back off and not impose on others-
    perhaps he is trying to help them?
    This is a great idea, the poetry and the arts, I don't need to explain that.
    But if the slams are mixed, that causes problems.
    While chassidishkeit and halacha should play a role for decisions made, the biggest concern this group should have is its effect on 1)Chanie frankel and her store, and 2)any future efforts to bring literature and art into frum yiddishkeit.
    Remember: the rabbanim in crown heights forced BaggeteToast to close at a certain hour at night (I remember they were trying to be open for 24 hours), because of the hangout it became (or might have become. I ate there only once, and I was never there at three in the morning, so I couldn't tell you if there were guys/girls there).
    That was a restaurant, where eating together under one roof was deemed a problem.
    Al achas kama v'kama if the rabbanim got wind of such an event as the slam, they could force chanie to close her store, and there wouldn't be a chance for poetry reading events, even if it were for only women, or only men.

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  136. Nemo: only 3/4 gezhe.

    Yossi: If Mottel (or anybody) is concerned about Mimulo's business, holding forth over here about tznius is not going to help. They should instead hold forth about the Taliban Rabanim.

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  137. Yossi: These guys can 'meet' anywhere they want, even a bar. Nobody can stop them from 'meeting' (unless the rabbis threaten their families or something!).

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  138. Back to mixing? from what i understand there is no intention to ever make an all boy or girl event so your just going to have to get over that. Seperate seating and such i think are being figured out. And maybe ch rabbanin could hire a group of young men to go around enforcing their ruling! we could just burn the building down and threaten their familes! oh even better if they just walked around with guns i bet that would fix the tznius problem too! thinking about, it would be cheaper just to hire an al-aqsa birgade. I can understand the rabbis voicing their disapproval about things, but this isnt afghanistan or iran. J

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  139. J, j, j,

    We aren't a reform temple either, where the guys and the girls sit together, and pray together, and do other stuff together, in harmony with god.

    So you tell me- does god fit anywhere in this equation, or are you trying to fit a square into a round hole?

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  140. Why bring G-d into the picture? Doesn't he have enough problems without being brought into the morass that is CH?

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  141. think about what you guys are saying.
    if rabbanim say there can't be a mixed poetry reading event, that won't stop us.
    we'll go somewhere else. they aren't the taliban. what will they do? burn our homes?


    why is it sooooo important to keep it a mixed event? if the purpose is to raise the awareness of the beauty and power of poetry, to people of crown heights, wouldn't you want the people's approval? if rabanim are against it, you'd really stick to keeping it mixed, and go 'underground'?

    this just proves what your true motives are. don't use cheerio's slam as a way to get there.
    she herself has said she would make it separate to keep it going. that's because she's in it for the sake of poetry

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  142. "this just proves what your true motives are."

    Motives? Who has any motives? I just enjoy arguing.

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  143. Yossi - I don't know how much of the Bagguete Toast narrative is true or not, but it's irrelevant. Rabbanim do not give a hechsher to the flower store and therefore hold no economic sway over it to force anything or tell it how to behave.

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  144. Now we have to tell flower stores how to 'behave'? This is redonculous.

    I agree with Yossi. And TRS.

    And J- I'm not bringing God into this. Shivisi Hashem lenegdi TAMID- He is always 'in this'.

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  145. Just giving credit where credit is due, that last anon was moi.

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  146. trs, i think you had given yourself away with the word morass, and nemo- there are definitely ppl in crown heights who would not shop in a certain store if rabannim said you shouldn't.
    trs- i meant purpose for going to the slam, not motive for arguing. you never need a motive for that.

    what I meant is that if a guy is going to this just to flirt with girls, then he shouldn't be getting in the way of improving the slam.
    here's a simple test: if you are a girl-would you go to the slam if it was an all-women slam? and for guys-would you still go to a slam if it was only for guys?

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  147. I would not go to an all-guy's event, but that's only because the only reason I attended in the first place was because my wife wanted me to.
    And no, I'm not acting like Adam blaming a sin on my wife, because if I really felt it was wrong to attend then I wouldn't attend at all.

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  148. Men only poetry slam? What a bunch of pansies.

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  149. precisely. if the taliban have their way, how will we men ever become cultured?

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  150. I think she meant that we'd all be a bunch of flaming homosexuals, which surely couldn't be the intention of the Beis Din, right? In fact, this could be the headline of your next post:

    Crown Heights Beis Din forced to choose between gays and flirting!

    (or something like that)

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  151. A) I would go to an all women's one.
    And B) what's wrong with gay guys?

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  152. Homosexuality:

    And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing [them] rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as [is] good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they said, Stand back. And they said [again], This one [fellow] came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, [even] Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that [were] at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring [them] out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.

    Genesis 19:1-13
    Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.

    Leviticus 18:22
    For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit [them] shall be cut off from among their people.

    Leviticus 18:29
    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

    Leviticus 20:13
    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    Romans 1:26-27
    Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    Romans 1:32
    Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11
    But we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

    1 Timothy 1:8-10

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  153. AURGH!!! a CHRISTIAN!! GOD SAVE US!!

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  154. At least the Christian brought scriptural proof... better than some Jews here...

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  155. It seems then a choice must be made; attend a mixed event or you're a pansy. Mwahahaha!

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  156. hey jesus boy, where'd you get that crazy translation of Leviticus 20:13?

    יב וְאִישׁ, אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁכַּב אֶת-כַּלָּתוֹ--מוֹת יוּמְתוּ, שְׁנֵיהֶם: תֶּבֶל עָשׂוּ, דְּמֵיהֶם בָּם. יג וְאִישׁ, אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁכַּב אֶת-זָכָר מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה--תּוֹעֵבָה עָשׂוּ, שְׁנֵיהֶם; מוֹת יוּמָתוּ, דְּמֵיהֶם בָּם.

    http://mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t0320.htm

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  157. http://www.bibletopics.com/topics.htm

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  158. and where did bibletopics.com get it? they're perverting the word of god!!!!

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  159. What would you have it say, oh righteous defender of the word?

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  160. Man, your blog became so popular even the Christians are secretly reading it!

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  161. Oh, and Christian Anonymous: Seriously man, your translations are way off by all accounts.

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  162. Altie you're a fucking dumbass who can't keep a consistent position. Here's a hint: don't reply to every fucking thing that someone said and think beofre writing.

    MRF

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  163. You sure like the word fucking.

    Here's a thought: go to hell. Oh and I thought about that before I said it.

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  164. I would totally go to an all-female poetry slam.

    I would love to go to an all-male gay poetry slam ;).

    There is nothing in halacha that states that there must be a mechitza for speaking/reading. Davening, yes. Dancing, yes. Poetry reading, no. Do you have a mechitza at your Shabbos table? In the grocery store? At a concert?

    I understand separate seating. I think keeping in the spirit of frumkeit and catering to frum Jews, there should be separate seating encouraged. But a mechitza? That is extreme.

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  165. c: sounds like a fine position.

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  166. Just want to let you know if it doesnt say J at the end it isnt me. And its still a mixed event if theres seperate seating because everyones there. Agenda? lol. And the christian guy can just go ahead and stop, i dont care what your point is. And if i was going to flirt with a girl i would be a big boy about it and not use an event as an excuse. That is not the purpose at all. J (Only one J)

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  167. ok, so guys will only share their original poems when women are present, it lets their guard down and shows them to be sensitive, but amongst only guys, it seems gay.
    fine.
    so why the arguments if it seems everyone agrees it could be separate seating?
    or is it more the principle, if it should be separate seating or not?

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  168. I think people merely resented the vicious attack upon their honor and integrity.

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  169. 1. there's a practical issue of how to set up the room.

    2. some people WANT it to be mixed.

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  170. I see. the slam is supposed to be once a month, right? I can't wait to see what happens next time around. I might even come!

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  171. e- are there any girls who want it to be mixed and aren't satisfied with separate seating? or is it only the guys?

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  172. yossi, come. it's quite the blogger convention (among other things).

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  173. maybe to girls are too aidel to voice their opinions.

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  174. Yossi- only if you read a poem.

    And E defending me? Sweet.

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  175. yossi: everyone's welcome. This was my third time coming, and my first time reading.

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  176. we could have a convention in 770, too. or mendy's (see, cheerio? you didn't cause me any permanent harm)

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  177. yossi- then the girls wouldnt be invited? no fair.

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  178. i'm too poor for mendy's and in 770, the bloggers of female persuasion couldn't come.

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Forth shall ye all hold.