Lonely Man of Cake

April 23, 2007

Frumkeit Confidential

Filed under: Faith,Judaism,Orthodoxy — lonelymanofcake @ 4:45 pm

I’ve been observing a trend for a number of years, and I feel that the time has come for me to publish my observations.  The premise is very simple: the practice of withholding what I consider to be “shareable” information has become a trademark of haredi circles and is increasingly infiltrating Modern Orthodoxy as well.

A typical example: Chanah Leah is dating Moshe Zalman, and the relationship is headed towards marriage.  As a relative of Chanah Leah, I would not be privy to the existence of the relationship until just before the engagement.  Neither Chanah Leah nor her family would dare disclose this premarital fraternizing of the sexes.

Another example: Chanah Leah and Moshe Zalman marry.  A few weeks later, she’s expecting.  A few months later, she’s showing and wearing maternity clothing.  But word of the pregnancy is not disclosed officially until the seventh, or even eighth, month.

Final example: Chanah Leah applied, and was accepted to a prestigious graduate program.  She denied to her friends that she had been accepted to any program, and only later came out with the news.

Why must impending happiness be treated, in some circles, as impending doom?



  1. Well, I’m guessing the concern is “ayin hara”. For a while, I’ve thought about a possible connection between “ayin hara” and the “ayin ra’ah” mentioned in Avot 2:9. An “ayin tova” indicates someone who appreciates what he has – the “ayin ra’ah” would seem to be the opposite. So maybe the ayin hara isn’t some supernatural “evil eye”, but just the ethical objective of not feeling like you always need something else.

    Comment by Dave (Balashon) — April 25, 2007 @ 7:04 am | Reply

  2. How does upholding an ambiguous “ethical objective” justify the contravention of a very specific Biblical injunction against lying?

    Comment by lonelymanofcake — April 25, 2007 @ 9:06 am | Reply

  3. Well, we do say that מותר לשנות מפני השלום…

    Comment by Dave (Balashon) — April 25, 2007 @ 3:50 pm | Reply

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