Focusing on What is Important

I hate labels and the is especially true when it comes to Judaism and more specifically when it comes to Orthodox Judaism[1]. In his post today Harry Maryles touches on some of these issues. He received an email from an anonymous[2] “Charedi personality” bemoaning this kind of behavior. Here is what I think is the main takeaway quote:

In his view there is a near absence of Yir’as Shomayim and Ahavas Hashem that begins in our G-d free zones in yeshivas and girls’ schools, and continues throughout the lifespan where the ‘Frum’ are focused only on the chitzoniyus (translation – what can be seen from the outside -ab).

In many ways this is true. Look at the way yeshiva boys dress once they become Bar Mitzvah, they all wear a black hat, white shirt, and dark-colored pants[3]. It almost seems that there is no individuality allowed. I’m going to go “old man yells at clouds” for a moment and say that this wasn’t always the way things were. When I was in yeshiva for high school (and even post high school) we all wore colored shirts and were allowed to wear different colored slacks as well. Now when I see boys who attend my high school or post high school yeshiva they are all in the same “uniform”.

The focus on the outer trappings goes even further. I showed my daughter’s class list to someone and they noticed I have an apartment number on our address. It was suggested to me that I get rid of the address on the class list because it won’t look good when it comes time for her to start dating[4]. The reason was if we have an apartment number in the address it looks like we don’t have money!

The community writ large needs to get back to the basics Avodas Hashem (serving G-d); and we need to realize there are many ways to serve Hashem. Once we realize that we can then begin to respect the differences and create the harmony that is longed for.


  1. I also hate the phrase Orthodox Judaism but that is for another time.  ↩
  2. If someone did this in a non-anonymous fashion the discussion may be farther along and real change may have occurred  ↩
  3. Trousers for you British folks.  ↩
  4. This blog isn’t going to do her any favors either.  ↩

What’s next for Wave Accounting?

I have been using the Wave Accounting service for several years. Recently I have decided to stop using Mint and use Wave for my personal finances as well. The idea is that this will allow me to streamline things when I purchase something business related with my personal card and the opposite. However, this week Wave decided to throw a wrench into my plans and get rid of some of the personal accounting features. 

To be honest I didn’t use the personal budgeting or investing features but I am concerned about what comes next for the personal side of their service. I completely understand and agree with their reasoning. If only a small group were using these features and they are in the way it makes sense to remove them for something else. However this is exactly the problem; their post didn’t spell out at all what was going to replace these features on the personal side (if anything was going to be replacing these features).  

This is exactly what I am concerned about. I don’t know what features (if any) are going to be replacing the budgeting and investing. It would be perfectly fine if Wave was going to allow the personal side to view reports and charts (How much of my spending is going to restaurants?) but they just didn’t clearly state what was going to happen with the over all personal side of financing. They may be getting rid of the personal side all together. You can’t really tell from the post/email they wrote.

Make no mistake, I’m very happy with Wave for my very small business and I will continue to use it for sending out invoices and keeping my business finances in line. I just wish they were clearer about what was going to be happening on the personal side of things.