More on the Megeirot Controversy

I believe that there is a reason some blogs attract hostile comments and others don’t. I’m lucky enough to have mostly escaped negative attention, but my postings on Megeirot were an exception. A certain amount of hostility was defensiveness about Megeirot, but my post may have been too credulous of the allegations. In addition, some commenters made possibly unwarranted assumptions about Megeirot and its followers.

A recent reader, Yehuda, was extremely upset by newspaper articles about Megeirot and the subsequent blog discussion. Josh Waxman published Yehuda’s story on his Parsha Blog, where he writes: I {=Josh} do not entirely agree with all the following, but I thought I would do “Yehuda” a favor and give his comment prominence. Bli neder, and if I get the time, I may dissect this next week to explain what parts I agree and disagree with, and why.

Here is an excerpt from Yehuda’s comments:

My Chardei wife has been involved in megeriot for 4 years. It has absolutely changed her life and mine. She couldn’t take care of our household of 8. I was washing dishes. I was doing alot of the cooking and I almost couldn’t take anymore the non stop arguments between me and my wife. It was gehinnom. when I saw my wife changing, little by little, each month it was amazing. She became a Yiddeshe mother. No more anger. Her strength came back, and she does EVERYTHING in the house. She is a real kiddush hashem and speaks very nicely to the children, and me her husband. ….what a cult!!!

You can find the rest on Josh’s blog (and check out the rest of the blog too!).

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Comments

  1. So happy for Yehuda that now his Yiddeshe mother wife does EVERYTHING in the house, and he doesn’t have to do the dishes or cooking anymore. How nice for him….

  2. So happy for Yehuda that now his Yiddeshe mother wife does EVERYTHING in the house, and he doesn’t have to do the dishes or cooking anymore. How nice for him….

  3. So happy for Yehuda that now his Yiddeshe mother wife does EVERYTHING in the house, and he doesn’t have to do the dishes or cooking anymore. How nice for him….

  4. This is a joke, right?
    I mean, I feel for the poor guy who “was washing dishes. I was doing alot [sic] of the cooking.” I mean, nebech… my heart breaks for this poor tortured soul.
    Don’t get me wrong, if she’s happy, and he’s happy, and the kids are happy, then who am I to complain… but so far, I’m not terribly convinced that this is someone whose opinion I should respect…
    ~sigh~

  5. This is a joke, right?
    I mean, I feel for the poor guy who “was washing dishes. I was doing alot [sic] of the cooking.” I mean, nebech… my heart breaks for this poor tortured soul.
    Don’t get me wrong, if she’s happy, and he’s happy, and the kids are happy, then who am I to complain… but so far, I’m not terribly convinced that this is someone whose opinion I should respect…
    ~sigh~

  6. he has an interesting perspective and experience. Perhaps the information you wrote about was more of an anomaly than the regular methods in megirot. Maybe most of it is ok but that one person was bad.

  7. Dear Mike Miller,
    First of all did you read the entire post of Josh’s blog?
    In my case, I was helping my wife after birth. I think you would agree, that sometimes women need extra help until they get back on their feet. My wife didn’t get back on her feet and I kept up with the “dinner” dishes for 9 years.
    Then of course there are the women who after birth go through depression, and it is difficult for them to get out it.
    But, the “dishes and cooking” in my persoanl case, are NOT the point. It doesn’t matter what the weakness is. It makes no difference if you or your spouse are unable to communicate properly with the other, or…..with yourself. (unless of course you are already an Adam Shalem).
    I am giving testimony on 1st hand experience with my wife, who received all of her coaching from Sylvia herself. Not some other madricha. My 1st hand exeperience is giving testimony via my wife, that in 4 years she never once at the conclusion of the shiur was asked to give over “sacred money in order to merit blessing and be saved from harm etc..” In fact I am personally aware of most of the things being referred to in the “article” and since I know about them in detail, I know that they were taken out of context.
    My own daughter came to me last week, and said “you don’t know who this Syliva is, I read that article about her!!!! I said, oh, and how do you know that what was written is correct?…Then we began to talk about another topic concerning bus drivers. I was telling about a certain experience with a bus driver, and the same daughter commments, “which bus # was it, I KNOW ALL OF THE DRIVERS. (obviously she meant that she rides buses everyday, and she sees the driver on the same shift, and on the same # etc. I used her statement as an opportunity to make a point. “you know if a reporter wrote your words in the newspaper, just as you spoke them now, i.e. ” I know all of the bus drivers”! What message do you think the readers would get about you?? The reporter would write word for word the absolute “TRUTH”, a young girl from one of the most respected chareidi Seminaries just stated that “I know all of the bus drivers”!!! As we learn in Hilchos Lashon Horah, if something is taken out of context, if even ONE word is left out, that would have made the story appear positive,or just one little exageration or word is added that would change the entire story to become blasphemis, then the story would be false and those involved would be transgressors of Hilchos Lashon Horah.
    My question to you is: If there is 1st hand testimony that contradicts an article in a major way, why would you say,” but so far, I’m not terribly convinced that this is someone whose opinion I should respect…”
    Do you think it could be possible that my experience was the norm, and that the other testimony via the article was the experience of a few Yichidim?

  8. Dear Mike Miller,
    First of all did you read the entire post of Josh’s blog?
    In my case, I was helping my wife after birth. I think you would agree, that sometimes women need extra help until they get back on their feet. My wife didn’t get back on her feet and I kept up with the “dinner” dishes for 9 years.
    Then of course there are the women who after birth go through depression, and it is difficult for them to get out it.
    But, the “dishes and cooking” in my persoanl case, are NOT the point. It doesn’t matter what the weakness is. It makes no difference if you or your spouse are unable to communicate properly with the other, or…..with yourself. (unless of course you are already an Adam Shalem).
    I am giving testimony on 1st hand experience with my wife, who received all of her coaching from Sylvia herself. Not some other madricha. My 1st hand exeperience is giving testimony via my wife, that in 4 years she never once at the conclusion of the shiur was asked to give over “sacred money in order to merit blessing and be saved from harm etc..” In fact I am personally aware of most of the things being referred to in the “article” and since I know about them in detail, I know that they were taken out of context.
    My own daughter came to me last week, and said “you don’t know who this Syliva is, I read that article about her!!!! I said, oh, and how do you know that what was written is correct?…Then we began to talk about another topic concerning bus drivers. I was telling about a certain experience with a bus driver, and the same daughter commments, “which bus # was it, I KNOW ALL OF THE DRIVERS. (obviously she meant that she rides buses everyday, and she sees the driver on the same shift, and on the same # etc. I used her statement as an opportunity to make a point. “you know if a reporter wrote your words in the newspaper, just as you spoke them now, i.e. ” I know all of the bus drivers”! What message do you think the readers would get about you?? The reporter would write word for word the absolute “TRUTH”, a young girl from one of the most respected chareidi Seminaries just stated that “I know all of the bus drivers”!!! As we learn in Hilchos Lashon Horah, if something is taken out of context, if even ONE word is left out, that would have made the story appear positive,or just one little exageration or word is added that would change the entire story to become blasphemis, then the story would be false and those involved would be transgressors of Hilchos Lashon Horah.
    My question to you is: If there is 1st hand testimony that contradicts an article in a major way, why would you say,” but so far, I’m not terribly convinced that this is someone whose opinion I should respect…”
    Do you think it could be possible that my experience was the norm, and that the other testimony via the article was the experience of a few Yichidim?

  9. Regular commenter wishing to r says:

    To those who responded sarcastically to Yehuda – I am a lot like the way he describes his wife before she got involved with Megeirot, and I think that you do not understand what he is talking about. He was simply bringing examples of practical things that happened in his everyday life, but the real issue was (probably – I don’t know Yehuda but am speaking entirely from my perspective as someone similar to his wife) the lack of shalom bayis because of disappointment, lack of self-respect, lack of “seder” in the home, and so on. The dishes etc were just symptomatic of the general atmosphere in the home…

  10. Regular commenter wishing to r says:

    To those who responded sarcastically to Yehuda – I am a lot like the way he describes his wife before she got involved with Megeirot, and I think that you do not understand what he is talking about. He was simply bringing examples of practical things that happened in his everyday life, but the real issue was (probably – I don’t know Yehuda but am speaking entirely from my perspective as someone similar to his wife) the lack of shalom bayis because of disappointment, lack of self-respect, lack of “seder” in the home, and so on. The dishes etc were just symptomatic of the general atmosphere in the home…

  11. Regular commenter wishing to r says:

    To those who responded sarcastically to Yehuda – I am a lot like the way he describes his wife before she got involved with Megeirot, and I think that you do not understand what he is talking about. He was simply bringing examples of practical things that happened in his everyday life, but the real issue was (probably – I don’t know Yehuda but am speaking entirely from my perspective as someone similar to his wife) the lack of shalom bayis because of disappointment, lack of self-respect, lack of “seder” in the home, and so on. The dishes etc were just symptomatic of the general atmosphere in the home…

  12. Regular commenter wishing to r says:

    To those who responded sarcastically to Yehuda – I am a lot like the way he describes his wife before she got involved with Megeirot, and I think that you do not understand what he is talking about. He was simply bringing examples of practical things that happened in his everyday life, but the real issue was (probably – I don’t know Yehuda but am speaking entirely from my perspective as someone similar to his wife) the lack of shalom bayis because of disappointment, lack of self-respect, lack of “seder” in the home, and so on. The dishes etc were just symptomatic of the general atmosphere in the home…

  13. Apologies for my sarcasm, Yehuda. I’m glad things are better in your house (really, truly, not being sarcastic at all).

  14. Apologies for my sarcasm, Yehuda. I’m glad things are better in your house (really, truly, not being sarcastic at all).

  15. Apologies for my sarcasm, Yehuda. I’m glad things are better in your house (really, truly, not being sarcastic at all).

  16. Yehuda,
    I don’t doubt that megirot helped your wife (and by extension, your entire family), nor did I say I believed the articles alleging improprieties by Sylvia or others are true. However, I still believe that the examples you give are indicative of a very serious problem (or perhaps you just had a bad day), and I stand by that conclusion.
    That said, if your wife feels that Sylvia and Megirot helped her put her life back on the track she wants, then kol hakavod to her and Sylvia.
    To address your last point, when discussing proper / improper conduct, even a 90/10 ratio of good to bad is way too much, assuming it’s true.

  17. Mike,
    To address your last point,you said that “when discussing proper / improper conduct, even a 90/10 ratio of good to bad is way too much, assuming it’s true.”
    That’s just the point here. i.e “assuming it’s true”. Because a Torah observant Jew has a Chazakah that they are good and proper…until you break that chazakah.This is where all of the laws of Dan L”kaf Zcus come in. i.e. even if we hear something negative, are we allowed to believe it? But if we ourselves witnessed it with our own eyes/ears, then yes, (to spread it in public is then more complex and requires us to overcome some more halachic hurdles.
    But here, since the lower percentage, (which in reality according to the orig. article appears to be perhaps 2,3, or 4 people. They can in no way break a chazaka over hundreds, and maybe a couple of thousdand.
    Everyone is different, and it could have been their own personal perceptions, and a simple case of how someone’s personality did not jive with someone else’s. Just like in all interpersonal relationships. i.e that between husband and wife, student and teacher, neighbors etc. We don’t all see and perceive things the same as others. So, I cannot take the perception of few,who perhaps never ever should have been involved with this shita and it’s instructor, and say that their perception is objective fact. And in my case, especially when I never saw things even close,(not to mention the other hundreds (+) whom we never heard from.

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