Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tarek and Charmaine speak out

Candidates are required to sign a massive non-disclosure agreement to compete on The Apprentice. They can't say much at all until we see them fired or hired. Once they're off the show, however, they can talk to the media about their experiences. Tarek Saab and Charmaine Hunt are the most recent fired candidates, so now they're talking.


Fomer Orthodox Apprentice candidate Daniel Brody formed a strong friendship with Tarek. On Tarek's website, he writes about Dan.
I liked Dan a lot. He was my first choice and was my roommate in the suite. He's a good businessman and great dad.

Tarek also responds to a fan who asked for his thoughts on Dan and Lee Bienstock missing a task during Rosh HaShanah.
I was in total support of their decision. If it had been Christmas or Easter, I would have done the same. The Apprentice is not the real world, and we are not doctors or firemen. Faith comes first. If you view this as a game, it is unfair, but if it's an interview process it shouldn't really matter. I think the only thing that suprised us was that Lee didn't take off the Succot holiday as well.

In his NBC exit interview, Tarek was asked about his relationship with Lee.
NBC: You seemed to have a very solid friendship with Lee. In fact, a lot of people like him, including, it seems, Mr Trump. It looks like Lee goes into the boardroom wearing Teflon. Stuff just bounces off him. Do you think that's going to carry him through to the end or is the politician side of Lee going to be his undoing?

Tarek:
This is a funny question, because Lee and I were not very good friends at all, actually. Early on, we had some major clashes that we really struggled to work through. Towards the end, we became more friendly and learned how to work together because Trump fired all of our allies. In the end, Lee hung me out to dry in the boardroom. I think Lee is a smart guy and has matured along the way, but politician or not, Trump seems to love him for whatever reason and that is singularly the most important thing in this game.

NBC asked Charmaine who we should be looking out for in the coming weeks. It appears as if a portion of her response was edited out by NBC. Here's what they printed.
Sean and Roxanne are also ones to watch - they both seem like very strong candidates, each with one win under their belt, and they haven't ruffled many feathers.
Usually an "also" is preceded by something. Here, the response starts with an "also". We suspect that Charmaine might have said something about the other candidates that NBC doesn't want us to know.


Switching topics....

Last night was the first time Mr. Trump did not watch an episode as it aired. Donald & Melania attended the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His daughter, Ivanka, was there too.

69 Comments:

At 5/03/2006 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a Chillul H-shem, Lee working on Yom Tov.

We should stop referring to him as Orthdox and refer to him as an embarrassment. How many employers watching this show will now assume that its OK for their Orthodox employees to work you Sukkos and Shemini Atzeret.

 
At 5/03/2006 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not a chilul HaShem because none of the viewers (outside of those reading this blog) know that he's Orthodox, nor do they know that it was yom tov. Without this website, how would anyone watching the show know that it was a Jewish holiday? And how would anyone know that he's Orthodox, just because he didnt work on RH and YK. In my office, all the Conservative and Reform Jews take off those days too. Orthodox Jews may be embarassed and disappointed with what Lee did. But it's invisible to most viewers of the show.

 
At 5/03/2006 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the same Anonymous who just posted at 8:59. I want to add one thing.

It WOULD HAVE BEEN a chilul HaShem if Lee had chosen NOT TO WORK on SA and ST. There would be a HUGE public outcry over Lee taking another holiday and not supporting the team. People already hate him for missing two tasks. It would reflect terribly on Judaism if he had missed more time for religious observance. Among us Orthodox Jews, we prefer that he remain strictly observant (not that we should judge him). But if you're concerned with chilul HaShem, there was none only BECAUSE he didn't miss the task.

 
At 5/03/2006 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tarek refers that lee did not take off Sukkot, so can Orthodox apprentice clarify whether Lee in fact did work on the first 2 days of the yom tov, and on the last 2 days (SA/ST).

 
At 5/03/2006 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

middle 2 anonymous people don't know what the concept of chillul hashem is.

One can not commit a chillul hashem by performing a chiyuv. It's a deffinition. If something's a chiyuv, one has to do it.

The only way you can can argue now, is that observing a chag is not a chiyuv in this situation.

One can not commit a chillul hashem for being a jew and doing what one is supposed to do as a jew, but for doing what one shouldn't be doing a jew.

 
At 5/03/2006 10:54 AM, Blogger showmefrommissouri said...

About three weeks ago when the Yom Kippur issue arose, I examined the calendar and pointed out the inevitability of a task falling on either the first days of Succos, Shmini Atzeret or Simchat Torah, or one of the nearby Shabosim.
As I wrote then, importance of every additional player to each team grows as the teams become smaller.

There is no way he would not have been fired had he not participated and Gold Rush lost. Moreover, missing 3 out of 15 tasks and becoming the apprentice would have been too much to ask. He did not have George Ross, Mr. Trump's lawyer, also taking off of work as a cover like he had on Rosh Hashonoh and Yom Kippur. To expect he could take off a third time and expect to go much further, if at all, is naive. This is a television show which depends on popularity. Since American business, and the show for that matter, believe in meritocracy, how could it be said that on merit Lee would deserve to become the apprentice over the other candidates.

Lee really had two painful choices at this point.

1. Cut a deal with his teammates that he would agree to be the one to be fired if Gold Rush lost, and since that was the case, he would be gone. Even if he did this, the entire question of his Orthodoxy would have been raised again before the American peopleon television, and I daresay, with much less understanding than the first two times.

2. In the alternative, make a Hobbesian choice, and privately try to commit as few melachos as possible. All we saw him do in the show was unpack hair care products, ride in a van, which we don't even know if he opened the door or had Tarek do so instead, and put flyers on windshield wipers. This is not to say whether everything he did was Halachically correct, but he certainly did not appear to try to solicit or generate sales and money actively like he did in the 7-11 pizza or the Battery Park-Statue of Liberty brochure tasks. If you looked at his energy level, body language and facial expressions throughout the tasks, this was a different, more sanguine Lee. Even in the planning meeting for the task, the discussion was solely between Charmaine and Tarek. He never seemed to contribute or chalenge verbally like he had in his past tasks. This is not to say he didn't try his best. I just don't think his heart and energy level were in it as much and he had a distant look about him. Maybe I am reading too much into how he looked on the show. I have little doubt he was torn in his compromise. Even in his boardroom remarks, he seemed more restrained, and less inclined to criticize a teammate than previously, and I don't think it merely was because he was acting like a "politician." If you believe me, look at the reruns of this episode on Wednesday or Sunday night on CNBC.

It is easy to be dogmatic and say what is or is not a
"kiddush hashem," or "chilul hashem." I also Hashem should make such a decision and we should not be so quick to condemn.

Lee is a guy who has spent his entire personal life in Flatbush and the five towns, insulated ina private world of observant Orthodox Judaism. At 22, this very well could be his first really up-close and personal close encounter with non-Jewish people. He knows his position and has been walking a fine line throughout this entire process. His only close friend on the show, Lenny, is gone. He is the youngest competitor by several years. Only Andy, in Apprentice 2 from Harvard, the debate champion, was a 22 year old who has made it this deep into the process.

When you think that if he makes it into the final two, his entire support system of family and friends will be in the audience in The Kodak Center in LA wearing yarmulkes, I am not going to sit here and read people lashing out at his so-called hypocrisy or "chilul Hashem" without thinking whether I would have just fallen on my sword and quit would I have been in his shoes.

As an Orthodox Jew, he probably has had each move of his scrutizined more carefully than since Senator Joseph Lieberman ran for vice-president.

So I think Lee, overall, is a positive inspiration to Orhtodox Jewish involvement in American commerce, even at his tender age, and his critics should think long and hard before judgmentally criticizing him in writing for not observing the holiday in the manner they would have. Life's choice are not so simple all of the time.

 
At 5/03/2006 11:17 AM, Anonymous you're not better said...

99.9% of the viewers don't know that Lee is orthodox and don't know that it was yom tov and don't know that he shouldn't have been working.

He may have violated halacha but that's between him and hashem.

What's worse than Lee working on yom tov is people coming on here and criticizing him. No Jew is perfect in every way. Everyone commits some sins. No one deserves to have their sins discussed in a public forum like this.

Anyone who posts something here about Lee creating a chilul hashem needs to look in a mirror and then you'll know who's comitting a chillul hashem.

 
At 5/03/2006 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd agree mostly w/ the top 2 posters (I'm 10:38 anonymous). My comment was only reflecting on the fact that some people assumed it would be a chillul hashem not to have proceeded. my comment is that understanding is a distortion of what a chillul hashem is.

 
At 5/03/2006 12:03 PM, Anonymous -nonymous said...

to the 1st anonymous commenter-

why did you type "H-shem" and not "HaShem"?

Please think through your answer before you post it so we don't have another chilul HaShem here.

 
At 5/03/2006 12:22 PM, Anonymous MK said...

This is the 8:59/9:05 Anonymous responding to the 10:38/11:49 Anonymous. [this is much easier when we use aliases so i'll be MK going forward]

I understand what you're saying and agree with you on the definition of chillul hashem.

Semantics aside, my point was that (in response to the 8:07 anonymous) nothing Lee did was an embarassment because nothing was apparent to the viewers. And no employers watching the show could possibly get the impression that Orthodox employees could work on yom tov.

It's just impossible for anyone to draw such a conclusion from watching the show.

Had he NOT worked on those days, that would have caused a major embarassment for the Jewish community. Because that would make us look like slackers who find excuses not to work. Most people would not have understood that we are available on 240 of the 250 working days in a year. And that we put in extra effort before and after we're out for the holidays. It would look like we miss work half the time because this show was filmed during our holiday season. That would have been terribly embarassing and difficult to overcome.

 
At 5/03/2006 12:50 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

I think that many of you are confusing a job with a game. Had Lee already been on Trump's staff and been confronted with a Yom Tov issue, he would have dealt with it in one way. In our case, Lee is participating in a game. Quite clearly, he should never have joined the game in the first place once it was clear that filming would have taken place in Tishrei. He could have requested a postponement until the next season, and, if that didn't work, bowed out.

I don't see how anyone can justify what he did on the basis on minimizing the chilul Yom Tov.

And the fact that Tarek said he was surprized that Lee did not take off Sukkot tells you that non-Jews were aware of the situation and that is a chillul haShem even if the audience at home watching the show did not know that Lee was working on Yom Tov.

 
At 5/03/2006 12:54 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

I also had wanted to say that Dan should be extremely grateful that he was fired and did not need to have his commitment to shemiras Yom Tov tested.

 
At 5/03/2006 1:04 PM, Anonymous mk said...

mike-

1) The producers surely knew about the holidays and the potential issues. They might have told Lee "no problem. don't worry about it." They accomodated him with kosher food so he might have expected accomodations with the holidays too.

2) You misunderstood my earlier posts. I was responding to the very first commenter who said that employers watching the show will now assume that orthodox employees can work on yom tov.

I say that is impossible. No one could draw that conclusion from watching the show.

3) In an interview after being fired I remember Dan saying that he was relieved he didn't need to explain the other holidays to his teammates. We must assume that Dan would not have worked on yom tov. We have no reason to assume otherwise. dan chaf b'zchut!

 
At 5/03/2006 1:21 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

MK, I certainly agree that one shoud be dan Dan b'chaf z'chut and I only said that he should be grateful he was not tested. I did not say that he would have failed the test.

I am still naively hoping that Lee did not work on Yom Tov and that Tarek, goy that he is, thought of Chol haMoed as the same as Yom Tov when he made his comment about being surprized that Lee did not take off Sukkot.

I look forward to a complete breakdown of everything once Lee is no longer bound by agreements not to talk about the show.

 
At 5/03/2006 1:33 PM, Anonymous billions said...

It's amazing how much importance we place on this 22-year-old, but the show is a billion dollar in-dus-try. It's huuuuuge.

I can't condone working on yom tov. Never, ever, unless it's to save a life. And that is huuuuuge.

BUT, personally I'm happy that the scenario played out as it did. Lee is one person. There are millions of us Jews. We have a huuuuge presence in this country and make a huuuuge impact on in-dus-try. If Lee had told his team - sorry, not working today - millions of Jews would take a hit for this one weasel trying to land a job with a billionaire. Billions of people in this world have never met a Jew, but they would instantly form an opinion of ALL of us, just based on what they see on tv from this one kid. That would be huuuugely unfair.

So... as wrong as it was (and it was huuuugely wrong), the millions of Jews are better off that it happened this way and that it was a non-issue on the show.

The alternative - although better for Lee in his relationship with God - would have been so bad for the rest of us. The negative impact would have been huuuuuge.

In summary, Lee "working" on yom tov... bad for Lee... good for us.

 
At 5/03/2006 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am gonna home it was chol hamoed ST and not yuntif and the other players didnt know the difference. If not, I am a little sad that Lee worked but he never claimed to be a Rabbi and I have been in tough situations at work because of holidays and I am sure his situation was tough too.

 
At 5/03/2006 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i meant to say "i am gonna assume" not "i am gonna home"

 
At 5/03/2006 3:48 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

I hate to harp on this but it bothers me when people say that Lee had to make a tough decision like those who face these kind of issues at work. Lee is not working for Trump, he is participating in a game which has a lovely prize for the winner. But he is doing all this out of a desire for kavod or wealth. His yetzer hara is either ga'ava or ta'ava or both and there is absolutely NO excuse for him to be mechalel Yom Tov. I cannot believe there is an Orthodox rabbi out there who would condone this so I am guessing that Lee did not run this by his rabbi, Rabbi Kenneth Hain.

Anyway, the above is premised on Lee's working on Yom Tov. I still don't know for sure that that is what happened and I am hoping that it turns out that he did not.

 
At 5/03/2006 4:45 PM, Anonymous Apprentice Viewer said...

I think that you all are jumping to conclusions to quickly. We still have no idea if Lee worked on Yom Tov or on Chol HaMoed. And, even though Tarek said he worked during Sukkos, I'm guessing that Tarek doesn't know the difference between Chol HaMo'ed and Yom Tov and may have only known that it was Sukkos because Lee ate in a Sukkah that was nearby the suite.

I don't think that it is at all proper to speculate. Let Lee be fired (or hired) and then get his testimony.

 
At 5/03/2006 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*We still have no idea if Lee worked on Yom Tov or on Chol HaMoed.*

Do you think they stopped filming for 9 days in October?

I read that the pizza selling task was on chol hamoed and this task was on simchas torah. I think there was another task in between these. I saw lee selling sandwiches and going around in van distributing flyers.

What do you mean we have no idea if he worked? Do you watch the show?

After Lee is fired or hired, do you think will get an answer to this? He doesn't give Trump a straight answer on anything. I doubt NBC or TV Guide will ask him about yontif.

 
At 5/03/2006 5:31 PM, Blogger Wallyhorse said...

Well:

I believe Lee did in fact work on both ends of Succoth, as I believe the Hair Cuttery Task took place October 25-26.

You are all absolutely right if Lee had skipped two more tasks because of Succoth, as 98% of the general public has probably never heard of these holidays (I would not have either except for the fact I went to a school of mainly Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn from 1981-'84). Most people would not realize how important these holidays are, so Lee had to work them even if he didn't really want to, or do as little as possible.

The problem was, filming I believe ran until November 14, and although they could have stretched filming a week to accomodate Lee, they had to have that buffer in case an unexpected circumstance (severe weather worse than what NYC had, power failures, a subway fire in a major hub that disrupted service and caused traffic to be really bad, etc.) caused filming to have to be pushed back by up to a week.

Street filming under all circumstances I believe had to be finished by November 21 because after that and until early January, I believe you have to have special filming permits (beyond what may normally be required) to film during the holiday season due to street closures in Manhattan and also the extremely large number of tourists who are in New York at that time.

Walt

 
At 5/03/2006 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does it occur to any of you here, that you are indulging in loshon hora? None of you know anything for sure - and to publicly state your negative feelings is nothing more than speculative gossip - the worst kind of loshon hora.

Giving your analysis of the show is one thing. Raking Lee's character through the mud is just wrong.

 
At 5/03/2006 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you figure that this is lashon hara? Whatever Lee is doing, he is doing in the public eye. There is no more "befarhesia" than this. It is not lason hara to spread common knowledge.

 
At 5/03/2006 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:18 Anon: If people need to ask if he worked on yontif, then it's obviously not b'ferhesia. Discussing what we actually saw on the show is in the public domain. Discussing what we don't see or know about is lashon harah.

 
At 5/03/2006 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Stop this. Its ridiculous. What do you care one way or the other if Lee did work on Yun tif. Although I highly doubt he did. It takes alot to go infront of millions of views and fellow candidates, and take a "hit" for being religious, by opting out of two tasks. If he wasnt religious, or orthodox, he would NOT have done that. Religion and family are important to him, and I think he expressed that. Please stop talking about this, I would relaly appreciate it. Its hypocritical. Like the above said, its Loshon Hara. Dont analyze what you dont even know. We have no idea if Lee worked on Sukkot, and we dont have to have an idea.

 
At 5/03/2006 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on!!!! Totally agree with the 11:05 PM comment.

It's not like Lee ever said I'm going to show America what Orthodox Judaism is all about. His observance is between him and HaShem.

Let's get back to discussing his chances at making it to the finals.

 
At 5/04/2006 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the van during the hair cuttery episode Lee talks on the cellphone. My take-away from that is not skepticism about whether or not he worked on SA/ST, but rather that it was obviously not SA/ST. If Lee was doing melocha then it wasn't assur. Call it circular reasoning or whatever you'd like, but I know we can trust this guy.

 
At 5/04/2006 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this refusal to criticize someome for working on yom tov is rather sad. Many frum people - MO, charedi, whatever - make real sacrifices so that they are home for shabbos and yom tov. Being a contestant on a game show that Lee would otherwise lose if he took off on succos is not an excuse for violating a chag.

 
At 5/04/2006 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's no excuse for this lashon hara and public boosha.

 
At 5/04/2006 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not lashon hora to rebuke someone for publicly violating halacha. We all know the task was on simchas torah and that Lee ignored the chag in an effort to win a game show.

 
At 5/04/2006 11:01 AM, Anonymous anythingbutanonymous said...

Mr 9:03 Anonymous, here is a question for you to fly by your LOR. Chaim is seen by a million people driving a car on a Monday but no one knows that it is the first day of Rosh haShana. Yankel, discovers that that Monday was Yom Tov and tells a lot of people. He does not say, "Chaim drove his car on Rosh haShana." He says, "That Monday was Rosh haShana." He leaves making the obvious conclusion to the recipient of the information. Is that lashon hara?

 
At 5/04/2006 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is not lashon hora to rebuke someone for publicly violating halacha."

I dont think its ok to publicly rebuke and embarass someone for publicly violating halacha. I've never seen a rabbi get up in front of a shul and single out an individual for committing a sin.

How come none of you are picking on Allie for working on yuntif?

 
At 5/04/2006 11:43 AM, Anonymous anythingbutanonymous said...

That's an easy one. Allie never posed as an observant Jew.

 
At 5/04/2006 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so in your mind it's ok for allie to work but it bothers you if lee works? neither situation should bother you. it's none of your business. do you consider yourself to be orthodox? have you never sinned?

 
At 5/04/2006 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a clear halachic distinction between Allie working and Lee working.

 
At 5/04/2006 12:49 PM, Anonymous anythingbutanonymous said...

I wish you people would stop calling yourselves "anonymous" as it gets difficult figuring out who is saying what to whom.

Choose a pseudonym. It's not that difficult.

Anyway, I am responding to 12:02 Anonymous:

What kind of a world do you live in where you are not bothered by Jews sinning? Have you never heard of "Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh baZeh?" How can you tell a Jew that he or she should not be bothered whether or not another Jew sins in public or not?

 
At 5/04/2006 1:37 PM, Anonymous still anon said...

anythingbutanonymous- With "Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh baZeh", where's the distinction between a Lee and an Allie?

 
At 5/04/2006 2:06 PM, Anonymous anythingbutanonymous said...

still anon: Pashut. Lee is heavily advertised on the show as being Jewish, Allie is not. Of course, it bothers me that Allie is being mechalelet Yom Tov but not to the same extent since she might be a tinoket sheNishba and we can blame her lack of observance on her upbringing and lack of education which we certainly cannot do with Lee.

 
At 5/04/2006 2:21 PM, Anonymous still anon said...

anythingbut- Nothing on the show indicates that Lee is orthodox. Many (most?) Jews go to shul on the high holidays. Lenny went with Lee to kol nidre, but they chose not to include it on the show. Nothing has ever been shown about kosher food either. Most viewers dobnt think Lee is orthodox.

 
At 5/04/2006 3:02 PM, Anonymous anythingbutanonymous said...

That may all be true but there are many people who do know that Lee comes from an Orthodox home. People know it because of this blog and because of interviews in various newspapers and magazines that Dan gave after he was fired.

Remember when Sen. Joe Lieberman was interviewed by Imus in New York. He said that he accepted intermarriage. We were all shocked even though we understood that he had to be politically correct. But we thought he should have ducked the question or weasled out of it some other way. At that point many stopped referring to the Senator as Orthodox and started calling him Traditional. Maybe that's what we should be doing with Lee as well and the first step would be to change the name of this blog.

It annoys me that people coming to this blog for news because they think of Lee as being Orthodox and then getting angry when other readers criticize Lee for not behaving as an Orthodox Jew should. What's the point of naming a blog "Orthodox Apprentice" if we are not going to focus on the specific acts that indentify Lee as being Orthodox and getting upset if he compromises his Orthodoxy?

 
At 5/04/2006 4:22 PM, Anonymous Flatbush Yid said...

AnythingBut- Lee doesn't lose the title '[modern] orthodox' for making a mistake (if he made one). That would be like saying anyone who doesn't always pay (or charge) sales tax is not frum. It's too divisive.
There needs to be a semol dochek and a yemin mekarev {the left [weaker] hand pushes away while the right hand brings close}. You can't write people off in such a harsh way. Of course it's a hard concept for you too grasp being that you come from a place where holding/not holding of an eruv makes you 'untouchable', but that's your nisayon {struggle} in life - to learn to be misarev im habriyos {mixed in with the people}.

 
At 5/04/2006 4:52 PM, Anonymous anythingbutanonymous said...

Flatbush Yid: Now you really are annoying me. You presume to know who I am and where I live. FYI, I do not live anywhere in New York State so I don't know what your referring to the eruv has to do with me.

And as for writing off Lee, I only suggest that calling him Traditional rather than Orthodox will make matters less problematic in trying to explain why he is compromising halacha. It minimizes any potential chillul haShem.

But I wouldn't call working on Yom Tov a "mistake" for a frum yid. Eating something with a questionable hechsher is a mistake. Not having kavona in benching is a mistake. Not wishing your grandmother a happy birthday is a mistake. But working on Yom Tov.....that's an aveira.

 
At 5/04/2006 5:13 PM, Anonymous Flatbush Yid said...

What's the point of naming a blog "Orthodox Apprentice" if we are not going to focus on the specific acts that indentify Lee as being Orthodox and getting upset if he compromises his Orthodoxy?
The solution is not to label him a traditionalist. He is clearly L/W modern Orthodox. And I am not sure why you feel that any of us here in the J-blogosphere are holy enough that we are in a position to analyze and judge Lee as if this was mussar seder in Kelm.

 
At 5/04/2006 6:15 PM, Anonymous anythingbutanonymous said...

Give me a break. The guy eats without a yarmulke, possibly even without a sukkah but I don't make a point of that since that goes with being "LW MO", but working on Yom Tov....!!!! That's out of bounds even for LW MO. We don't need to consult Mesilas Yeshorim or the Mishna Berura to know that that is a definite no no. Even you probably know that one.

 
At 5/04/2006 6:18 PM, Anonymous pleasestop said...

I cannot believe that this is still being discussed. As a Jew, Lee makes me very proud. I think he stands up for who he is, and it actually, inspires me. I think this conversation seriously has to stop NOW. When I look at previous posts, I cant even, or dont want to, believe that Jews are posting this, bashing another Jew. No one knows the situation. I would seriously appreciate for this discussion to cease. It seriously offends me.

 
At 5/04/2006 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it offends you, why are you reading it? I am sure that there are many things even more offensive in the world but you don't complain about it because you don't know of it. If you don't read these posts you won't know about them either and you won't be offended.

 
At 5/04/2006 6:32 PM, Anonymous Craig said...

Guys, please ignore Pleasestop and keep it up. I am finding this exchange fascinating. I feel like I am at a tennis match. Each side makes a point that I think is good until I hear the rebuttal.

 
At 5/04/2006 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the OA interview with Lee. BTW you need to book things through his publicist.

 
At 5/04/2006 7:41 PM, Anonymous Not an Am Haaretz said...

It is not lashon hora to rebuke someone for publicly violating halacha. We all know the task was on simchas torah and that Lee ignored the chag in an effort to win a game show.
It is wrong to give tochacha {rebuke} in public. It is not for anonymous commentors who don't know Lee to be slamming him. Also, if someone is known to be frum you have to assume that they did teshuva that night. Whatever Lee might have done is between him and God. And those who are gloating - I knew you couldn't be frum on a tv show or some other sh*t - should be ashamed.
Furthermore, you don't know anything about the alleged chillul yomtov and you certainly don't know what his intentions were.

 
At 5/04/2006 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care about whether he worked on yuntif or not. I do care how he plays the part of the scheme-y Jew on the show. That's more of a chilul hashem than anything else he could be doing.

 
At 5/05/2006 12:13 AM, Anonymous JustSomeRandomGuy said...

I have to admit I'm cracking up while reading this...

Its amazing how brainwashed some people get when it comes to religion (as opposed to being learned).

Lets break this down in realistic terms.

Yes, "work" is forbidden - but its actually "making a living" that is forbidden - after that its all opinion and customs. Lee wasn't earning money and making a living - he was participating in a game, and many people play games on shabbos and yom tov (you cant say this part is right or wrong - its ALL MINHAGIM)

Next, the all important "electricity" issue: Guess what... ITS A CUSTOM - Making use of electricity itself is not Malacha (of course the deivces themselves and what you do with them is another issue)- you only see Lee using a cellphone in walkie talkie mode (which is always on)..

So what else do you brainwashed people have? Lee is still Orthodox - he went to HAFTR and has as strong of a background in judaism you can get and still have a grasp on reality.

Orthodoxy nowadays has a HUGE range...

 
At 5/05/2006 10:43 AM, Anonymous Mike said...

Orthodoxy nowadays has a HUGE range...

Gee, Justsomerandomguy, I guess we should let everyone know that there is no longer a need to have Conservative Judaism since Orthodox Judaism is now broad enough to include them and their practices. Wow, you really are a uniter and not a divider!

 
At 5/05/2006 11:38 AM, Anonymous imperfect jew said...

Mike, some sects of Judaism forbid you from using the internet. Maybe they shouldn't consider you to be Orthodox.

Perhaps you've cheated on your taxes. Maybe you touched a woman before marriage. Have you ever talked lashon harah?

We should all be tolerant of people who observe differently than we do. None of us our perfect.

 
At 5/05/2006 12:56 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

I kinda feel that I have stepped into the Twilight Zone. Of course, I am not perfect but what I am is beside the point. I really wonder what the whole purpose of this blog is. The owner of the blog repeatedly introduces issues that affect our appreciation of an Orthodox candidate, e.g., making reference to a timetable for a task coinciding with Shabbos (Rutgers) or Yom Tov (Hair Cuttery). Why? If the fact or rumor that Lee participated in a task on Shabbos or Yom Tov (in violation of halacha not just minhag)is a taboo topic then why are we having this discussion on this blog?

To me the whole purpose of such a discussion is to note whether it is indeed, possible, for a frum Jew to participate fully in society. The fact that compromise of halachic standards seems inevitable for Lee shows us that frum Jews still need to avoid unnecessary challenges to their faith. This is a strong message that needs to be made and, if Lee is the instrument by which this message is being communicated, then kudos to him for that. It is unfortunate that he has volunteered to be the one who has to fail (in maintaining religious standards not in task performance for Trump) in order to teach the rest of us not to participate in the game in the first place. Something like Tzlofchad.

 
At 5/05/2006 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike, that's an interesting perspective. I like how you're now turning it around to see the positive in Lee's actions. Positive for klal yisroel, that is.

Kudos to Dan. As far we know, he remained true to halacha while on the show. We don't know how he would've handled succos though. He also seemed to be morally superior to other candidates. Too bad he got the early shaft.

 
At 5/05/2006 2:02 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

See my earlier comment 5/03 at 12:54

As you can see I agree with you regarding Dan.

 
At 5/05/2006 2:12 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

Funny thing, actually, that you feel that it is too bad that Dan got fired so early in the game. At that time I was mad at Dan because he dragged Lee into the Boardroom on erev Yom Kippur. Dan was going to have a bad Yom Kippur because of the timing of the Boardroom and here he goes and messes with the only other "Orthodox" (I am now using the term reservedly to refer to Lee)candidate NOT because he contributed to the loss but because he had a personal animus against him, thus causing him to also not be able to observe erev Yom Kippur properly.

I guess we really don't know what is going on in their heads which does detract from the honesty of the show.

Anyway, Shabbat Shalom to all.

 
At 5/06/2006 11:44 PM, Anonymous not so random said...

justsomerandomguy doesn't really know what's he's talking about.

making a living is not forbidden on the sabbath. Heck, many rabbis, cantors, baalei kriah.... make a living on shabbos.

"work" is what is prohibitted on shabbat, and "work" is a specficially defined set of categories. If its not within those categories, while it may be hard and take time, it's not "work" in regards to the sabbath.

So it doesn't matter if something is a game, it doesn't matter if something earns you money (well these things matter to some extent, but we're going bedrock halacha here). what matters is are these actions within the categories of "work" that are prohibitted on shabbat.

 
At 5/06/2006 11:57 PM, Anonymous leah said...

you know what? just wait patiently (if you can) until lee is available for comment and youll find out what really happened.

sheesh, your all talking about something that is really none of your buisness. like other people commented, what lee did or did not do is between him and haShem, and no one else

 
At 5/07/2006 2:23 AM, Anonymous JustSomeRandomGuy said...

I just love how so many just don't get "it"....

Before I continue, I'll just point out that I'm first generation American, all 4 of my Grandparents survived the Holocaust, and I spent all 15 years of my schooling before college in the NY area "Yeshiva" system (I use that term loosly... since I really cant justify calling schools like HAFTR and Ramaz "yeshivas"... I must thank private Jewish schools like these for killing my desire to learn Judaism for the sake of knowledge, of course I'll probably send my kids to one of them and let them make their own decisions like my parents let me, the fact that I had a few really piss poor excuses for men who managed to get smicha as people put in charge of some of my clases - not "teachers" - is a shame)...

Basically, I know a thing or 2 about what I'm talking about.

Do I hate my religion? Of course not. I cherish my heritage and culture. I love being a part of my shul, participating any way I can and being a major part of my community (but thats probably becuase i didn't grow up in the 5 Towns or places like it...).

But back to my point... People hate us.. its very simple... Fortunately, the Holocaust created a new society in the US where Anti-Semitism is frowned upon, so people are forced into tolerance. (I hate to think of it this way... but its the truth) - But they still hate us.

But that doesn't mean we should "change".. it means we need to understand whats going on around us... Jews need to stop thinking that they are better than everyone else.. We need to stop brainwashing our children (or whats more commonly called "Jewish Guilt"). I was lucky enough to have the ability to take most of what I was taught in my Judaic studies classes as a process to evaluate my life, not necesarily as a strict code of conduct, which at times makes absolutly no sense, and can be just plain wrong when presented as logical.

Lee was put in a very tough situation, and he did what he could without making a huge ass out of himself and Judaism as a whole. He most likely told the producers he was very uncomfortable with doing tasks on the holidays - but they didn't care (or they couldnt reschdule everything.. which is also possible and understandable, considering the amount of planning that goes into these types of shows). If Lee refuses to work - we all look like shit - the majority of Non-Jews will never understand our holiday system since its different then their own (beleive me I've tried explaining it - outside of those holidays with "connections" to theirs, like Pessach and Chanukah, they'll only get Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur - but even then its very limited) - so many of us are so used to it within our sheltered societies that we don't understand that others will never really get it.

At the same time - everythinig Lee did on yom tov could be fit into the many loopholes we've created over the years anyways. What do we see him do? Ride in a car? (he's not driving, or "using a door" as someone else pointed out... another example of the craziness that we've created) - Talk strategy? (go to any Young Israel, Beth Shalom, or shul like them during Shabbos Shacharis and people are talking business and life, and kids play pick sports games all the time - so singling out Lee is just wrong) - Use a cell phone (I could talk about how the "ban" on electricity itself is complete B.S. for hours - but I'll leave that for somewhere else.. For now I'll just simply mention that turning on and off an already plugged in electric device is no different than turning on a faucet).

(I'll avoid Kashrut, since it doesn't apply right now....)

Long story short (... "too late") Lee has done a great job so far. He has held strong to his beliefs and values, and hasn't let anything compromise them. Me personally? I do the same exact thing. You want to say I'm not orthodox? Then well thats the problem with our religion today - creating more and more divisions within our own people thru the most ridiculous circumstances - its become a farse within itself. Am I uncomfortable in a conservative shul with mixed seating and participation? Yes, but thats a product of my upbringing. This comes from a society way back where women were devalued, and we all should recognize this. There really is no reason why women cant be Rabbis and participate in services together with men, but because of my brainwashing, I'm uncomfortable with it - it is a shame. How is it different than how Middle Eastern Islamic women are treated within their right-wing society? We're no better. I'm happy that I'm a part of a shul that allows bat mitzvah girls to have their services on a Sunday if they choose to. Change cant happen overnight, but steps in the right direction are slowly being made in some places.

Nobody, except those who come here, even know Lee was active on Simchas Torah. If you want to say that you'd never do so, since it conflicted with your beliefs - then thats your right - just know what the consequences are.

I probably have stronger values than 95% of you, and at the same time I get reality. I know where I stand in this world, and I don't need some brainwashed "frumie" telling me I'm wrong, because none of us are right or wrong. Our religion, i should say our culture, has developed over a few thousand years, and very few cultures can match that. At the same time, we're crazy. We keep so many customs that were created in a time when they made sense, but now we just look ricidulous (for example, try explaining to a goy why we dont wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur and tell me they dont look at you like you're a moron).

I've got plenty more to say, but I'll stop venting now... as I'm sure that if there's anyone left reading this, there ready to go nuts on me... go ahead... I'll try and check back in to comment...

 
At 5/07/2006 12:20 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

Well, justsomerandomguy, you deserve for people to go nuts over your ridiculous comments. I'll blame your ignorance on those lousy teachers you had in school.

But, I only want to make one crucial point. You say that "Lee was put in a very tough situation..." and then you on to justify whatever it is that he did. That's just it: Lee was NOT put in a tough situation, Lee CHOSE to be in that situation. And that, my friend, makes all the difference in the world.

 
At 5/07/2006 9:26 PM, Anonymous JustSomeRandomGuy said...

lol... you think I'm ignorant...


Its funny... because i've spent the last few weeks on various message boards trying to explain to those average americans just why Lee had to sit out for Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur...

I'm so surprised how much more "hate" there is right here as soon as it was hinted that Lee participated on Simchas Torah...

This is exactly the upraor that went on in normal message boards just a few weeks ago... now the sides have been reversed...

Just think about what your saying... I'm ashamed sometimes...

 
At 5/08/2006 10:23 AM, Anonymous anythingbutanonymous said...

What country do you live in?! Do you actually speak and read English?! There has not been any "hate" expressed Lee on this blog that I have seen. There has been criticism and there has been disappointment but there has not been hate.

And why don't you address the point Mike made? Lee chose to be in this situation, he was not forced to make compromises with his religion.

 
At 5/08/2006 11:39 AM, Anonymous I said...

Leah, we've all seen how Lee ducks the questions in the boardroom. When he's gone from the show, do you think he'll answer the questions we want to ask him?

 
At 5/08/2006 1:33 PM, Anonymous you said...

maybe the owner of this blog could start a thread where we could suggest questions to ask lee. i could think of a few.

 
At 5/08/2006 8:36 PM, Anonymous leah said...

to change the topic...

notice how in the taxi charmaine and tarek were silet. has this ever happened before? they really dont like each other so its to be expected but still... i mean when pepi and stacy were fired they both gave their exit interviews

 
At 5/09/2006 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

last season 4 people were fired together and shared a cab. i remember it being a silent ride.

 
At 5/09/2006 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can everyone stop trashing this poor guy??? He's carried himself with dignity throughout, and many non-Jews are already in a huff about the whole RH YK holidays. If even Jews start bashing Lee for perhaps not taking off some of Sukkot (and excuse me, but we do NOT know the whole situation because it's an edited reality tv show) then who will stand up for him?
To all the gossip mongers who are posting negative things about your fellow Jew: why don't you stop criticizing other people's observance and stop sinning by wasting your time watching tv every Monday night and surfing this website? Study some Torah. It's easy for you to sit on one side of a screen and slander someone, but do you even know how hard it must have been for Lee to take off any of his holidays right in front of all America? Have some respect for this upright human being!

 
At 5/10/2006 8:23 PM, Anonymous leah said...

4 people?! wow

 

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