The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, July 09, 2007

Not the Berditchev

The holy Rebbe from Berditchev, Reb Levi Yitzchak ben Sarah Sasha, ztk'l, also known by the name of his sefer, Kedushas Levi, was known as the defense attorney of the Jewish people. He was known to frequently argue with the Master of the Universe over His mistreatment of the Jewish people. He was also known to judge Jews in a favorable way even in the most outrageous situations.

I am not the Kedushas Levi. I tend to judge Jews harshly. This tendency was exacerbated by my three years as chairman of the board of a major Jewish school and six years as president of a growing shul.

I am not proud of this midah, I'm just reprting the truth. (MHW, on the other hand, is right up there with the Rebbe in her proclivity to ignore all evidence and judge people favorably no matter what).

The latest example occurred Friday. I am the backup to the backup mikvah guy at my shul. Since both the mikvah guy and his backup were away for Shabbos, it was my job to close the mikvah, run the filter and tidy it up prior to Shabbos (Although during the week it is solely a men's mikvah, on Friday nights the mikvah is used by women).

When I got there, I found about ten towels on the floor of the mikvah rather than in the laundry bin. Then I saw a few pieces of dental floss on the floor.

The Kedushas Levi would have walked out of the mikvah thinking, "How great are the Jews? Men go to the mikvah and are so excited about the coming of Shabbos that they forget all about their towels and leave them on the floor. And men are so interested in being completely clean before going into the mikvah that they even floss their teeth!. Gevaldig!".

I, on the other hand, thought: "What slobs. Can't these guys pick up their own towels and throw them in the laundry bin? Would they do this at home? And dental floss? Disgusting. What are people doing flossing in the mikvah in the first place? It isn't a bathroom, it's a mikvah. Yechh. And, if you're going to floss, can't you at least take care to throw it away? Really gross."

This attitude is only one of many reasons that I will never have the letters "ztk'l" following my name after 120 years.



  • At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Mr. Litvish said…

    You are right here.

    The halocho is that you are not mechuyav to be dan lekaf zechus a regular person if the evidence is strongly against them. If the person is a big tzaddik it's different, but that's not the case here.

    The Torah does not obligate or want a person to be a fool.

    The fact that you have been involved with the community and seen things others may not be aware of, means that you are more in the know than they are. Ignorance is bliss. They have the luxury of being dan lekaf zechus while you have to clean up the mess some bums left.

    Keep it up, you are thinking like a Litvak, great ! :)

  • At 5:30 PM, Blogger ClooJew said…


    I always had heard of the Kedushas Levi, but never, lulei demistafina, picked up an actual copy of the sefer "Kedushas Levi" until just a few hours ago.

    ...and then I see your post!

  • At 6:20 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…



  • At 6:37 PM, Blogger Fern said…


    I always had heard of the Kedushas Levi, but never, lulei demistafina, picked up an actual copy of the sefer "Kedushas Levi" until just a few hours ago.

    ...and then I see your post!

    There is definitely something weird going on, because just this morning I was listening to a CD about happiness and free will and Reb Levi Yitzchak was mentioned.

  • At 9:00 AM, Blogger ClooJew said…

    Okay, that's it. Lulei demistafina, I'm becoming Lubavitch!

  • At 3:38 PM, Blogger Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People said…

    Ok, one other thing: Men's mikvah? Ew! There is a reason women go into the mikvah one by one and never undress in front of anyone else. It's just not right. Men should not be doing it either, and frankly, it's kind of disgusting to see a bunch of naked men with all their merchandise hangin' out and having a good ol' shmooze and soak together.


    Last time I went to a mikvah was the day of my wedding, six years ago. And I had it all to myself, thank you.

  • At 10:08 PM, Blogger Eliyahu said…

    total nonsense judging yourself like that! next thing i know, you'll be telling us you don't like music anymore! i have it on good authority, from my astrologer, that not only is Mercury in retrograde, but that Reb Levi Yitzchak has been reincarnated as MoChassid!

  • At 12:20 PM, Anonymous dave said…

    Am kshe oref,
    Umm, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't all the showerrooms in the high schools and colleges open as well.


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