Friday, May 16, 2008

More Cults?!

We've seen the Burka women in Ramat Beit Shemesh, we've heard about Eliyahu Chen, and now..."Megirot."

Kudos to MominIsrael for translating this story on Erev Shabbat and posting it. I never would have found the time. YNET and others have said this for a while (over 2 years ago), but I guess Makor Rishon got around to it now.

Next on the cult list: Agel and the Fly-Lady.

Shabbat Shalom.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Mikeage said...

Given the number of people involved in the respective practices, I guess that this means that the DL world, and especially those ex-Gush Katif types, are more screwed up than the Chareidim of RBS-B.

Who knew?


mother in israel said...

Thanks for the link. For the record, I didn't translate the whole thing. But a recent comment may lead me to do so.
What/Who is Agel?

Anonymous said...

oh fly-lady is nuts. i signed up once and was so deluged with a gazillion "inspirational" and "encouraging" and "reminder" emails that if i read them all, i'd have no time to actually be working on streamlining organizing my life, which is supposed to be their philosophy. sort of counter-intuitive?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Mike Miller: I'm going to have to think about your statement for a while.

MoI: What's Agel. Are you living in a ghetto?! (actually, you're very lucky if you haven't heard of Agel) I'll blog it all soon, as soon as I can find the video clip from the Simpson's where Homer is told, "Oh, no, it's not a pyramid company, our model is the trapezoid!"

Nikki: We'll see what other commenters have to say about Fly-lady... It sounded just like a non-Jewish megeirot.

Anonymous said...

I did fly lady briefly..first of all there isn't any "face to face" or group work, so I don't think it could be compared to Megirot.

There are suggestions about things to buy, but nothing is required.

While it is a bit quirky, I don't think there is a fair comparison.

Anonymous said...

no, according to your description of megirot, fly-lady is nothing like that. what fly-lady tries to accomplish, is to help women organize and de-stress their lives by getting housework and clutter and in general, their lives, under control by using a very methodical scheduling system. if you can follow it, i can see it working, but it does seem to have a cult following among women with whom it has succeeded. you just have to be disciplined and be able to keep up with all of the emails they send you. that's the part that drove me the most crazy. there's really no pseudo-psychobabble involved.

Anonymous said...

I wrote about this too today. Instead of fly-lady, I think that Sylvie sounds like a combination of Heloise and Tammy Faye Baker....

Leah Goodman said...

flylady is cultish, but she's not breaking up families. She's only claiming that she can help you clean up your house and organize your schedule.

It's not likely to ruin lives.

Anonymous said...


I am so very saddened to see people defaming a very wonderful lady who has devoted her life to helping women work on their middot and come closer to Hashem. It is not as quoted in other blogs a "Jewish approach to housekeeping."

Obviously, there are some women out there with problems who are getting some kind of satisfaction out of blacklisting Sylvie and the megirot system. One bad apple can spoil a whole lot of truly delicious apples.

I have been to Sylvie's classes, and I am sorry to say, people, that none of the things mentioned in that so-called "newspaper" written by that so-called "investigative journalist" rings true. It sounds to me like some people out there don't want to take responsibility for their lives and find it much easier to blame someone else when they aren't getting what they want out of life. Then along comes the"journalist" looking for something "juicy" to sell, and presto, - you have this very unfortunate situation going on. It is causing people to spread false tales.

Megirot gives women tools to get rid of feelings of anger (which I am beginning to feel after reading so many horrible comments on various blogs!!!), criticism, haughtiness, inadequacies, fears, worries etc. When you are filled up with these feelings, it is very hard to feel Hashem's presence in your life. When you are emptied out of the negativty, you make room for Hashem. Imagine feeling truly calm, even though your two-year old just spilled a jar of honey all over the new couch! I am not talking about being a spaced-out zombie - but rather you can calmly clean up the mess and seriously but lovingly talk with the two-year old about what she just did. Who wouldn't agree that this is better then allowing anger to take control?!?

Another point to make: Sylvie, and the madricha with whom I have studied for several years now, ALWAYS start with the premise that the Jewish woman is always special and beloved in Hashem's eyes. There is no talk of being inadequate or no good. (Some people seem to mistakenly believe that Sylvie tells people they are no good and that she will tell them with her prophetic insight, how to fix them?? What kind of shtuss is that??) Some women suffer from feelings of feeling sorry for themselves (feel miscane)and megirot offers the woman a way for her to shed those feelings and to love herself and to feel worthy. Other women might feel angry and critical around others ("My way is best!!"). She wants to control everyone and everything around her and gets angry when she can't. Imagine being free of that! It is all about love and acceptance of yourself and your fellow Jew.

Women who have studied and practiced the megirot system have found that not only do they grow closer in their relationship with Hashem, but that their children and husbands do, too. Everyone benefits. And by the way, having orderly drawers is only a side benefit of megirot. It is not the goal!

Sorry people, there is no "sexual impropriety" or "child abuse" or forcing anyone to do anything they don't want or any of those other negative claims made by that "jounalist."

It is all wholesome goodness, based on the Torah. Ever read the sefer (book) Mesillat Yesharim? It is a wonderful book that talks about humility, honor,generosity, kindness, gratitude, trust, zrizut, patience, truth, gevurah, tranquility, ORDER, and zehirut. This is what the women in megirot are working on.

Sorry if it rubs some people the wrong way to hear that other women feel it is important to work on their middot - equally important as keeping kosher, shabbat, mikveh, etc.

If anything, I sincerely hope this posting stirs some people to stop spreading false tales about megirot and Sylvie. Maybe you people might be inspired to use your time more efficiently (exactly how many hours a day do you waste a day on the computer?????) and start working on your middot. You don't have to use the megirot system. Do whatever works for you. But if you really want to help the Jewish nation, it is through avodat Hashem. Not through screaming on blogs.tbaktxr

May Hashem bless you all with a wonderful day in the growth of your middot!

Anonymous said...

Great Loshon Horah. Great Motzei shem Rah!...Congratulations on spreading lies about people, their families, their children, all on the hearsey of others who hold grudges and have ulterier motives.
I am sorry to break up your motzei shem rah party. I have read Shmirot Haloshon about 14 times in detail, including in depth, and you are no different than any other group of Ballei loshon horah, or even worse, Motzei Shem Rah, which is considered by the Rambam to be equal to the severity of the 3 major sins of, avodah zorah, murder, and arios.
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.!!!
I saw her each day doing megirot. what did she do? she went through the shelves and drawers in the house "that she had made", and was able to find many many things that she didn't need. When you ask yourself a real question...why am i holding on to things I no longer use etc, you just may get to know yourself. The idea is to free ourselves from all of our negative thoughts, and limitations. And, each time she did this, she did it with a prayer. "Anah Hashem.....please help me with this middah or that middah." Everyday she was saying over and over again ..Ana Hasem, (what a cult). It doesn't surprise me that in our velt today, saying "anah Hashem is a cult".
Of course in the time of the Bal Shem Tov, the vilna goan and many others called him an epikores. In fact many Litveshe Rabbanim were very very against the Chassidic Admorim and put those in cherem who belonged to these "cults" as well.
So, when I saw one day an article in the hamodia-English, filled with Motzei Shem Rah, with the name of this Rav and that Rav, that a new cult has been discovered..called megirot, I was very very disappointed. Why? I knew that these Rabbanim did not know anything about megirot and certainly didn't go to a class, but they have their askanim who look around for problems and come back and report on things they see as problems. The rabbanim completely rely upon these askanim and that is it.
Now, I have been learning in known Yeshivot for many years, and am considered a respectful Chareidi family. I am sorry, but I have seen for years with "my own ears and eyes," (a prerequisite of shmirot Haloshon), and I know that saying "Anah Hashem", (something that I myself should be saying more often,) and clearing out drawers, is in NO WAY whatsoever a cult or avoda zorah. I was ver dis heartened to see how low in this
yehuda | 06.12.08 - 7:34 pm | #


CONTINUATION OF ABOVE.... I was ver dis heartened to see how low in this long golus we have sunk, to use such big names of Rabbanim and to say in their names "CULT", avodah zorah", and if they allowed their names to be used this way, then I am even more dis heartened.
I myself have spoken to Sylvia for many many hours on the phone, and I never heard once a word of Kefirah, or avodah zorah etc. ANd I did keep my ears open to be sure. She is a Yirei Shemayim, and as is her derech, she will never respond to any criticism since she knows it is all from Hashem and for her to grow.
I went to Harav Moshe Halbershtam, zt"l, with my wife, and he himself said, "What, clearing out your drawers is avodah zorah"?? He did not forbid my wife to do it, we in fact we asked why they came out with their P'sak, (i.e the aidah Hacharadit) against it. The answer... "WE don't want our Chareidishe women mixing with the mizrachi type" This was the answer from Harav Shternbuch who I know personally.(So, if this is the reason, then say so,,, but to call it and everyone involved in it cult members and ovdei avoda zorah?)
It should be known that the Chasidishe admorim did not assur it, Belz, and one very well know Tdadik type admore (I will not mention his name on the internet) Has 2 of his daughters still doing it, (with a Chareidi counselor).
The one who wrote the artcile above (Erlich), I can promise you she is not very "Erlich" at all. She with out any permssion went into someone's private home, (not a public building) with the direct intention to defame someone. I promise that the house owner would not have agreed, (g'neives daas). She is a friend of another mizrachi women who had a grudge against sylvia for not allowing her to continue with the shiurim.they planned this set up, and there you have it, lies about sex, money etc.
I can tell you, that my wife has spent hundreds of hours on the phone with Sylvia over the years, and she was never charged one shekel!!!!! I myself have spoken to her on the phone, and she never asked for money. The one's who pay are the one's who are able to. She does not care about money. I am saying because I know first hand.
Just like when someone comes to a dyan for a judgment, can the dyan hear the diyyun if he has personal gripe against the person? this Erlich is no better.
I know of another chareidishe women from Meah Shearim, (I met her personally), and she begged Rav Halbershtam to allow her to continue with this "CULT", and he did. (can you imagine a rav in the aida allowing a frum women to continue going to cult meetings.?
Isn't it disheartning that all of us poor nebech, chareidim with yeshiva and bais yaakov backgrounds, all of that Torah education...we can't know what a cult is..avodah zora, etc.
And all of those lies about sex, taking things out of context to do the final asassination.
If I had lived 250 years ago, I would have chosen to be in cherem and follow the Baal Shem tovs cult, and of cours
yehuda | 06.12.08 - 7:39 pm | #


If I had lived 250 years ago, I would have chosen to be in cherem and follow the Baal Shem tovs cult, and of cours Rabbi Nachman's. I also would have followed the Ramchal's cult as well, (as they were all called in those days). Well, now I have a real wife, she cooks she cleans, she davens, she honors me and respects me, and she honors herself as well. This is another cult that I will stay in.
Let it be known, not ever shiur is for everyone, not every shul is for everyone, and not every neighborhood is for everyone....but the Emmes must be spoken!
I swear that all of the above I know personally, and not hearsay. All is true and factual.
yehuda | 06.12.08 - 7:33 pm | #

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Yehuda: Could it possibly be that one of the leaders of Megeirot could have taken it to a cult level? Or is that simply beyond the realm of possibility?

Anonymous said...

I am merely commenting on the pinpoint defamation done to the founder of megirot. She is 100% sane, she never told people to give her their money and belongings, and tell them they will be blessed, and all of the other lies. It is common to throw away things one has not used for 5 years or whatever, or to pass them on to someone in the class, if they have useage for it. NO diamond rings etc. Once someone had very expensive set of collector pens with gold on them, and they went into an in depth WHY they were holding on to them. But, in the end, it was a matter of selling them,(they would keep the money) not giving them to Sylvia.
She herself only takes 30 shekel for what ends up to be a 4 hour shiur. she NEVER asks for people to give her money, so that they will be "blessed" Outright slander.

I know that there was a grudge involved, and in fact, when the Aida Hachareidis first came out with their ban, her chareidi followers were very upset and despondent, and asked her "what we should do..."she said "you have to listen to your Rav", (another cult type reply???) so, alot of chareidishe women dropped out but where waiting for things to clear up, for their own Ravs to get to the bottom of it.)
It did turn out that she had some teachers of megirot who in fact were not saying things 100% in their teachings, and this is what really began the entire tumil.
So, she became very careful with whom she would allow to teach megirot, and there were some who she saw that it was not for them, so she told them that megirot method "was not for you", and she asked them not to continue. One of these women happens to be a good friend of "Erlich" the author of the article.......

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hi Anonymous:

I think the issue is very clear. Makor Rishon is a reputable newspaper and not a lashon hara rag as you say it is. Their job is to accurately report the news for the sake of society (the media is supposed to be society's watchdog).

If, as you claim, their entire article is bogus, slander, lies and lashon harah dedicated to besmriching the good name of Sylvie and Megeirot -- then I would assume Sylvie would sue them for slander and lashon hara.

Not suing them is the equivalent of "Shtika K'Hoda'a" -- silence is admission [of guilt].

If Sylvie refuses to sue the paper, and you are convinced beyond a doubt that Makor Rishon has wrongfully slandered Megeirot and Sylvie -- then you can sue them as well.

If lashon hara was indeed written, they should apologize and PAY Sylvie for the terrible wrongdoings against her -- that is the responsible thing to do.

If Makor Rishon did write the truth, then they did a huge service to the Jewish world.

Anonymous said...

As I mentioned previously, Sylvia herself teaches that "Hatikun Rock Etzli", She does not try to fix others but only herself. If she is attacked, then she will see what she needs to work on for her own growth.
Just like when the Aidah Hacharedi were the first ones, she did not respond to defend herself, and for those ladies who said "what should we do", she said you have to listen to your Rav.
I am sure it was much easier for that paper Makor, (I've been living here more than 20 years, and I never heard of this paper), that when the Chareidem began with the "cult" business, so it made it easy for them to jump on the train without having to do too much investigating.
It is such a pity that this is what we have become. Loshon Harah is one thing but...motzei shem Rah, outright slander is unbelievably severe. I hope that Hashem has mercy on the slanderers, because they will really need it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, I saw meforash in the sefer Shmirot Haloshon, that the Heleger Chofetz Chaim wrote, that if you see someone begin to scream out all kinds of lies etc, to someone, in front of others, and the victim does NOT respond, he said that you cannot assume in this case that "Shtikah K'hodah domi", i.e. it must mean it is true. HE writes that it could be that the person had taken upon themsleves to be mekazek, (derech chasidus), and also decided that by responding it wouldn't help matters,but that it would even make things worse, so they chose to remain quiet.

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