Thursday, May 01, 2008


Dear DovBear

I need the help of your readership's educated commentariat to help me solve a question. It has been in my mind throughout my mega-deluxe Pesach-in-hotel experience.

This year my family chose the fanciest program in Europe. When we got there we discovered that of the 500 attendees, 95% were charedi. I was amazed because I did not think that such people went away for Pesach, and certainly not in such style? Perhaps I am a naive idiot - I previously thought I understood chareidim but the number of them signing up for such an opulent program amazed me. Their behaviour over the vacation showed that these were fine upstanding, good parenting, Yidden, but I still need an answer to the following:

I am happily MO and dont mind spending money on a fancy vacation because we are supposed to believe in combining the best of the kodesh with the best of the chol. Or something like that. But what is the charedi philosophy behind combining adopting every stringency in the hotel kitchen with lots of (temporary, for the holiday) leniencies outside of it. For one of many examples, the co-ed kids club culimnating in a co-ed show before a co-ed audience. FAOD, I dont mean they broke any halachos, at least not from an MO POV. But that is my point. If these things are muttar on holiday (and in MO schools they are commonly practiced so on one view they are) why are they not muttar at home?

BTW, in response to J Rosenblum's friend who went to a biting school of mussar to learn the biting but not the mussar, there was very little chillul hashem. The locals' dislike for their guests was divided, as it always is in European hotels, on national, not religious lines. One nation is rude and does not wash, one nation does not tip but is very polite and the Israelis are Israelis. Nuff said. Plus we scored bonus points by not having any Germans under 80. The main way in which we failed to fulfil the Mosaic prophecy of being a wise nation in the eyes of the world was by the huge ugly screens erected around the swimming pools and the covering of the windows into the indoor pool - not actions that R Rosenblum's friend would disapprove. And the locals didn't realise that the herd of finely dressed ladies had spent 1000s of dollars on wearing someone else's hair lest showing their own appear immodest.

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