Fellow bloggers Atboth and the Bray of Fundie both want this link posted:
The short and brutal version of that post is: If what you do isn't right, it affects everything you do. The detraction is greater than the mere act itself.
The long form is here.
As was to be expected, there's an entire list of baffling locutions. I'm getting used to people not using the queens English on the internet.
Here's what I think those words mean:
Agra D'Pirka = A book; maybe the name means 'fragments from chapters'. I don't know. I think the title is in Aramaic.
Avodah = Service. Faithful behaviour.
Bais Yaakov = House of Jacob; a girls school.
Bren = Fire. A burning. What Ada and Van felt in a book by Nabokov. Here it is connected to Bais Yakov girls, and totally clean.
Debritziner Rov = The rabbi from Debrecen.
Dinover = Biala or Munkatch Rabbinic dynasty - the internet search gave confusing answers.
Havdala = What keeps people like me from ever even thinking of becoming Jews.
Hechsher Tzedek = A kosher marking of goodness - the meat is slaughtered accoring to Jewish law, the workers are treated according to high ethical standards, and this is reliable certified.
Kashrus = Kosherness of food. No pork, no shrimp, no lobster, and a whole bunch of rules about how meat can be slaughtered and other things.
Khalav stam = Plain milk.
Khazal = The wise ancients, the sages of the past, excluding Confucius, Mencius, Lao Tze, and Sun tze.
Middos = Personal habits and character traits.
Mitzvos = Commandments; how one is supposed to act, and things one is obliged to do.
Ohr HaChaim HaQadosh = Rabbi Chaim Ben-Attar of Morocco, 1696-1743.
Orthoprax = Of correct behavior, not necessarily of correct beliefs.
OTD = Off The Derech (no longer on a straight and narrow Jewish path).
Ponzi scheme = Per Wikipedia: A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned.
Qedusha = Sanctity
Rimanov = From Wikipedia: "Rimanov is a town of 3,585 inhabitants (02.06.2009) in Poland's Subcarpathian Voivodeship. It is a capital of a separate commune within the powiat of Krosno."
Rimanover = From Wikipedia: "Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Rimanov (1745–1815) was a Hasidic Rebbe and author. Born in Neustadt, he was introduced to Hasidut at the age of 11 when he met Dovber of Mezeritch. He was taught by Elimelech of Lizhensk and Shmelke of Nikolsburg, and was the teacher of Naftali of Ropshitz and Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov.
As one of the three principal disciples of Elimelech of Lizhensk, he was an important Hasidic leader in Poland. He is known for his asceticism and mystical support for Napoleon, whose wars he identified with the battles of Gog and Magog."
Shidduch = Marriage
Tolaim = Insect infestation.
Tumah = Impurity, pollution.
Yeshiva = Literally, a squat. Figuratively and usually, a Jewish school.
Yiras Shomayim = Fear of Heaven.
What posts like this really illustrate is a rich life within some very narrow confines.
Sometimes I wonder of how much practical application such specialized knowledge and vocabulary is - I will probably have no cause to quote 'der Rimanover', and my relatives would look askance if I even mentioned him ('who ... is that kwailo, and WHY do you know him?!?') - but on the other hand, I'm starting to figure out how the Orthodox subculture works.
Which is quite as interesting a subject as any.
Several people have commented on that post, some to greater point than others.
I particularly like the sharpness of Midianite Manna, who in response to one such wrote:
"Here in hippie-town, in my liberal Jewish shul, I occasionally forget that there are venomous attitudes out there being propped up by willful misinterpretations of halacha. Or maybe that's unfair. Maybe the people spouting this nonsense are simply unthinking sheep who really never questioned what their bigoted rabbis told them.
Thank you, Mr. Bigot, for renewing my commitment to fostering strong, healthy, intelligent, and compassionate leadership among Jewish girls. "
You go, woman person!
21 hours ago