Volume 56 Number 09
                    Produced: Mon Dec 24 10:41:15 EST 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Atomic clocks
         [Bernard Raab]
Frum First Network (6)
         [Joshua Goldmeier, Sarah Beck, Yehudah Prero, Meir Shinnar,
Avraham Friedenberg, Bernard Raab]


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 07:47:23 -0500
Subject: Re: Atomic clocks

>From: Akiva Miller
>...Of course, such a calculation would be useless without a
>correspondingly precise clock, and so several of the clocks in the room
>are the super-accurate "radio clocks" which display the seconds and are
>constantly kept accurate by satellite. (These clocks are often
>mistakenly called "atomic clocks". (For more info, see the Wikipedia
>articles at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_clock and

Since our "radio clock" receives its update signals several times each
day from the NIST atomic clock, we call it the "atomic clock" in our
shul for th extra gravitas this provides. Since we bought one of these
brilliant gadgets several years ago it has eliminated the constant
argument the gabbai would get from those anxious to go home and have
their dinner. How did we ever do without?

Bernie R.


From: Joshua Goldmeier <Josh@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 07:30:11 -0600
Subject: Frum First Network

Some ideas for those who cannot seem to reconcile spreading their

Here in Chicago, we have the same issues.  We have frum owned grocery
stores and a jewel that Hired many frum jews and caters to the
community.  Sim to the example of dry-cleaners.  How about sharing your
business.  Sometimes go to one and other times go to the other.  Frum
first doesn't mean to the exclusion of the others, it means to support
your own first.  We have a halacha of "anee'ai am'cha kodmin".  you give
tzedakah to YOUR poor before other cities poor first.  it doesn't mean
ignore the other poor people, it's talking about a responsibility and

To the entleman who asked about "how frum?".  Don't know, but it happens
all the time.  we have a couple groceries owned by frum people in just a
3 block strip and one business is chareidi and one is sephardi frum and
the chareidi customers only shop by the chareidi business.

It happens all the time, we are only putting a label on the concept now,
so now people are all upset.

I had a case where a gentleman did a small remodeling in a store and
didn't call me for some material to sell him.  On top of which, he is a
friend of mine.  His response was, "oh, it just just a gallon of paint,
no biggie".  I said, "ok, how about if I only want one slice of pizza,
should I go somewhere else, or do you want the small business too"?

People, it's an attitude, where even if you shop by goyim for whatever
your reason is, just have a reason.  remember that you will support the
yid one way or another, either s'chora or tzedakah.

Joshua Goldmeier
Sappanos paint Co. - Paintplus.com
Chicago, Il.

From: Sarah Beck <beckse@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2007 22:35:16 -0500
Subject: Frum First Network

Why are so many people attacking Mr. Shapiro? As Jews we have endless
opportunities to advertise Jewish businesses in media targeted to other
Jews--websites, papers, magazines, shul journals, ads in school
directories, _and_ business directories like I think Mr. Shapiro's is
meant to be. There is a Syrian magazine out of Brooklyn, Image,
http://www.imageusa.com, that is almost entirely ads--perhaps 80% of
200-odd pages are ads for, yes, Jewish-owned businesses. Here in
Washington Heights we have the Achdus (!) Book, which is a list of
(some) Jewish families' names and addresses, along with paid
advertisements from mostly Jewish businesses and a non-paid edited
directory of local businesses. Whatever the merits or problems of a
"frum first" or "Jewish first" approach, this is nothing new. More
troubling, IMHO, are the Jewish job listing services. But I don't see
any of this vitriol directed at the O.U. Job Bank or the like.

All the best,

From: <dapr@...> (Yehudah Prero)
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2007 22:03:07 -0500
Subject: Frum First Network

First - I'd like to echo Mr. Goldmeier's sentiments. I've known Chaim
Shapiro practically my whole life, and I know his intentions are good.

As far as the Nazi comparison goes: First, calling them Aryan doesn't
lessen the harshness of the objection: it's just as repugnant. Second,
the latest spin on the argument is "If it's okay for Orthodox Jews to
state that they will not buy from Reform Jews if an Orthodox alternative
is available, then should it not be okay for Aryans to state that they
will not buy from Jews if an Aryan alternative is available?" Well, last
time I checked, that's not a boycott - and a boycott was what occurred.

And, I think its fair to look at the motivation behind the choice as
well. Is the underlying motive in "frum first" to hurt the non-frum? I
think not. Was "Aryan-only" done to assist the Aryan community, or to
harm the Jew? I think we know the answer from history. So, please, stop
this line of argument.

Yehudah Prero

From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2007 22:27:05 -0500
Subject: Frum First Network

I am sure that the frum network started with the best intentions.
However, I think that it ignored some very basic economic facts and
social realities, poses a real danger, and requires a moral response
from the torah community.

1. The claim is made that the intent is to help frum people, rather than
to hurt non frum - that this is discrimination for, rather than
discrimination against.  The problem is that given limited resources, if
my choices are to spend x dollars, and I spend it at shop A versus shop
B - the distinction between for A rather than against B is lost, because
the end result is that A gets the money, not B.  The end result is the
same as a partial boycott of the non frum (partial because frum first
still allows buying from non frum if frum not available).  While the
motivation may not to be to boycott shop B, to the owner of shop B the
result is the same - he is being boycotted.

2. I have heard the claim that given the small size of the frum
community, the impact on the outside community is miniscule - while the
impact on the frum community is large.  However, the frum community
tends to congregate - and therefore the impact within the community on
shopkeepers who have interacted with the frum community is quite large,
even if its effect on the american economy is small.

3.  The social reality is that most of us (and in the end, all of us,
even if not directly) are dependent on interactions with the outside
community - and the Jewish community is far, far more vulnerable to this
being done to us.  To justify this suggests a lack of of social
awareness of how it could come back to hurt the global Jewish community
(I am also not sure of the legal status of such a boycott)

4.  It also reflects an utter lack of historical awareness and context.
I think that the comparisons with the Nazis made by some, rather than
suggesting that the frum network were equivalent to the Nazis, were
meant to suggest this lack of historical awareness and context.  How can
we as a people do unto others what was done to us and boycott people
whose sole sin is that they are not frum? No, no one is killing anyone,
but is this what we learned from history - vaahavtem et hager ki gerim
heyitem beeretz mitzraim - we are supposed to learn from how we were

5.  Lastly, this trend reflects two growing, disturbing trends in much
of the Orthodox community

a) In its interactions with the non Jewish world, there is growing
rejection of the Meiri's point of view of viewing the nonJews of today
as fully human, moral human beings who deserve our recognition - this
trend was already decried by the Seride Esh..

b) there is also growing rejection of the non Orthodox as full members
of klal yisrael - and therefore not deserving of full rights and support
(eg, http://www.yutorah.org/showShiur.cfm/710777/
A_Torah_Perspective,_a_non_political_view_ - suggesting that being a non
Orthodox Jew means we can't use them as a shabbes goy)

Both of these positions demand, IMHO, strong rejection - both on moral
grounds in addition to the utilitarian grounds described above.

Therefore, as belonging to the "Frum First Network" is an active choice
that someone takes that asks that people boycott others, and as that
choice is, IMHO, profoundly immoral, it is my belief that there is an
obligation for moral bne torah to boycott members of the Frum First

Meir Shinnar

From: Avraham Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 13:03:05 +0200
Subject: Frum First Network

Joshua Goldmeier wrote:

> 4.  From a practical standpoint, If a frum yid is trying to earn a
> living, isn't it better to purchase some merchandise from him rather
> than end up giving him tzedaka?
> 5.  My yekke grandfather taught us from the minute we could spend a
> dime, unless there is a huge price difference (his # was more than 10%),
> you shop at a yid first.  I have tried to maintain this and have been
> teaching this to my children as well.  I have non-Jewish customers so
> that I may have to spread my $ with too, but I try to give Jews as much
> of my business as I can.  If I have to use a non-Jew, then that's life
> too, but I make the effort.
> Why is it us Jews are the only ones unwilling to support our own in
> business (as a whole, there are many fine individuals who do)?  We
> have an obligation to support each other, either in business or
> tzedakah, and I prefer to help a guy in business.

I've been reading the posts on this topic with great interest.  When I
lived in the U.S., I also tried to give Jews my business.  The problem
was that I lived in a fairly large Jewish community (in numbers of Jews
and frum Jews), but the businesses of many - not all - of the frum Jews
acted as if I owed it to them to bring my business.  The kosher grocery
store was always dirty, and many of the people who worked there were
slow and rude.  They sold packages of chicken with the skin and fat
tucked underneath, so it wasn't visible in the packaging.  Why should I
buy there if my money was not appreciated?  So I didn't - I did most of
my shopping at other grocery stores.

I would go to the frum dry cleaners, and I would almost always end up
leaving for the cleaners run by some very nice Asians.  Why?  I would go
on a Sunday and ask the frum place to get my shirts back on Wednesday,
and they would say, we're too busy, you can have them on Thursday.  If I
wanted the shirts before Shabbat, they would tell me after Shabbat.  The
place would invariably open 20 or 30 minutes late in the mornings, and
sometimes close in the middle of the day for no apparent reason.  I
didn't need the aggravation, so I just stopped going and supporting
them.  My money was better spent in the other place, where the owners
were friendly and made an effort to get my stuff back on time.

So yes, I liked to give my business to fellow Jews, but not at the
expense of my time and money.  I expected that they would not act like I
owed it to them, and they could treat me badly because I was frum.

Avraham Friedenberg
Ginot Shomron

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 09:19:55 -0500
Subject: Frum First Network

>From: Joshua Goldmeier
>4.  Fromn a practical standpoint, If a frum yid is trying to earn a
>living, isn't it better to purchase some merchandise from him rather
>than end up giving him tzedaka?

Sure it is. The problem arises, however, when you start publishing
directories or lists of "acceptable" establishments. Then it starts to
become exclusivist and objectionable.

Because we, i.e., the Orthodox, are a minority within a minority, we
tend to become very self-protective, understandably. We also reason that
in this wonderfully large and blessed country (the USA here) there can
be no harm in supporting one of "our own", even all of "our own". But
one of the important features of our large and blessed country is that
all of our many ethnic groups understand that in the end we are one
country. We worship separately, and this is a precious protected
liberty. We may even want to live in predominantly separate communities,
but here we start to face certain limitations, as by law we may not
restrict residential communities. No developer in this country would be
allowed to advertise; "For the religious community only" as is routinely
done in Israel.

And speaking of Israel, would you publish such a list in Israel? I think
you would not want to exacerbate the already fractured religious/secular
divide even further by introducing such an exclusivist and harmful
element into the economy.

As far as I know, there is no law in the US against patronizing anyone
on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. As
long as this remains an individual choice, kol hakavod, it's your money,
do with it as you see fit. It may even be admirable, as you suggest, to
support a poor struggling Jew in his business. But when you start
publishing lists based on any of these characteristics, you are first of
all asking for a law suit, but really more important, you are violating
a basic and fundamental ethos of this country. I know you are well
meaning, but don't do it.

  Bernie R.


End of Volume 56 Issue 9