Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rabbi Daniel Frish and his book "Kedusha and Zniut"


Some time ago, I started writing about Rabbi Daniel Frish and his book "Kedusha and Zniut". Now I would like to pick up the topic once again and continue writing about Rabbi Frish's modesty ideas. I find some of them very extreme and was shocked while reading the book. However, this way, you may understand the ideology of Chassidut Toldot Aharon much better, as the Rabbi's book provides interesting insights into an unknown world.

Rabbi Daniel Frish used to be a Toldot Aharon Chassid before he split off together with the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe Shmuel Yaakov Kahn. Rabbi Frish was, what we would call, more than extreme and many Toldot Aharon Chassidim were wondering why he went to the more "open" group of Avraham Yitzchak. Rabbi Frish responded that before the previous Rebbe Avraham Yitzchak Kahn (the father of the two present TA and TAY Rebbes) passed away, he had promised him to take care of his older son Rebbe Shmuel Yaakov.

Many people are asking for the Toldot Aharon Takanot and some of them, actually the very first ones by Rebbe Aharon Roth, were published in one of the books of the Toldot Aharon. However, the entire Takanot book remains closed to the wider public. Furthermore people wonder how the strict Toldot Aharon Takanot for a marriage, modesty and intimate relations look like. A "secret" book young couples receive shortly before they get married.

This modesty book should also not be such a secret. I assume that it is the modesty book written by Rabbi Daniel Frish "Kedusha veZniut - Holiness and Modesty". Among others, Rabbi Frish wrote in his book about the male Mitzvah of "being fruitful and multiply",  about the fight against the Yetzer, the time of intimate relations between husband and wife, how a person should behave in bed, about women's modesty and clothing and about Shidduchim (blind dates).

The Rabbi's views sound very extreme to the outside world but consider that those rules were basically written for the Toldot Aharon and they, on the other hand, consider themselves as someone special and thus on a higher level.

The first chapter of Rabbi Daniel Frish's book "Kedusha ve'Zniut - Holiness and Modesty" mainly deals with the commandment to get married and have children. A male has to get married in order to fulfill the first Torah commandment "Be fruitful and multiply". Those who do not marry at a certain age and, instead, waste their semen (zera), cause the Shechinah (G - d's presence) to move further away from the Jews.

A man without a wife is not called MAN.
It says in the kabbalistic Zohar that a man not fulfilling the commandment "Be fruitful and multiply" causes the Shechinah to move away from the earth. Meaning, the further G - d's presence is moving away, the more our planet is vulnerable to catastrophes such as earthquakes, Tsunamis, wars, etc.

The Mitzvah for a man to "Be fruitful and multiply" does not only apply to Jews but also to Gentiles and even to animals. The Shechinah (G - d's presence) only spreads through Neshamot (souls) which were created in the upper spiritual worlds (Beriah). Those Neshamot are being send down in a human body into our physical world. When a man does not have children, he does bring down those Neshamot into our material world (Asiah). Rabbi Frish's commentary on this subject is quite threatening because he sees a man without children on a lower level than a kosher animal. It goes without saying that there are men in this world who are unable to have children (due to various medical reasons) and those people are exempt from the Mitzvah.

Through having children, man is like G - d because he creates a new human being. The world is not only for enjoying oneself and sleep, eat and drink. Following a materialistic lifestyle is selfish and humankind was created to listen and follow its creator.

When a man is getting married, he causes the Ge'ulah (redemption) to come closer, as it says in Talmud Yevamot 62b: "There won't be a (Meshiach) ben David until all created Neshamot will be / have been brought into this world".

Singles only have half of the body because they are not complete (with their soul mate).

This all sounds very frightening but, nevertheless, as humans, we run against all kinds of laws and commandments. In the Jewish religious world it is more than common that people get married at a young age. Haredim sometimes even earlier than national religious Jews.
I have nothing against a marriage but one has to find the right match. I am not just running around in order to catch someone and have children in order to fulfill the Mitzvah (although the Mitzvah applies to men only). The older you get, the higher your expectations of a future spouse. When you are young, well, what do you want ? Maybe someone studying Torah or men dream of an "Eshet Chayil - Righteous Woman".

It is not that easy to fulfill this Mitzvah; especially when you did not get married as a teenager. But even if, divorce is always possible.
I may have this Hollywood mentality with love and things but in my eyes, a marriage has to be a successful one and then you think of children. My parents were divorced and I know how it is growing up in a home falling apart. So, I think twice and even three times before I ever get married

Does the Mitzvah "Be fruitfull and multiply" above happiness and love ? Maybe the Toldot Aharon (and later Toldot Avraham Yitzchak) Rabbi Daniel Frish may have thought this way. In his circles, people, of course, do not give too much about love but more about a common goal. You get used to each other and build a family. You have children and they make your life.

Nevertheless, when I read all his opinions and even the definitions in the Talmud, my "selfishness" is coming out and telling me about LOVE. And, like Hollywood, I do believe in it.

"Be fruitful and multiply", this is the first Mitzvah G - d ever gave to humankind. To humankind and not only to Adam and Eve (Chava) in Gan Eden (Paradise). However, this Mitzvah applies to men only !

Rabbi Daniel Frish (former Toldot Aharon Chassid, later he became a member of the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak) explains his understanding of "Be fruitful and multiply" in his book "Kedusha veZniut - Holiness and Modesty" (a modesty code for Chassidut Toldot Aharon). According to his understanding, however, not only Jews received this commandment but also all the other nations (see "Kedusha veZniut", Chapter 1). Even the animal kingdom has to fulfill this "Mitzvah".

The Talmud Tractate Yevamot 62 teaches us what our Sages actually consider as fulfilling the Mitzvah "Be fruitful and multiply"; meaning, how many children should a man have in order to fulfill the Mitzvah in the best way ?

Talmud Yevamot also teaches us about the Machloket (discourse) between the House of Shammai and the House of Hillel. Two famous Rabbis who hardly ever agreed on each others opinions. I once read somewhere that in the times of Meshiach, we actually will go according to the stricter viewpoints of Shammai. Until then, we go according to the more moderate Hillel.

Shammai said that a man only fulfills the Mitzvah when he has two sons and two daughters. According to Hillel a man must have at least one daughter and one son.

Shammai based his opinion on Adam and Eve who had two sons and, as the Midrash and other sources tell us, three daughters. When Cain got killed, Seth (Shet) took over the role of the second son.

The question is whether this Mitzvah also applies to a convert to Judaism ?
Reish Lakish has his doubts (in Yevamot 62) because a male convert who has children from his non - Jewish past has a problem, as the children are not considered Jewish and thus he cannot fulfilled the Mitzvah.


  1. Try this link:


    to understand the status of women in Judaism and why they are not obligated to the mitzvah of procreation.

    Another good book to study is "The Jewish Woman" by Lisa Aiken.

  2. Everything you posted here from Rabbi Frish is universal, I believe in Judaism, and it's not only to the Chassidim.

  3. B"H

    So far, it may be universal but more content of his book will be following. Showing you the difference between the Rabbi and universal ideas. I admit that sometimes I was shocked by his ideas.

  4. In simplicity this sefer may not be for you.
    Its for those who wish to attain higher levels of purity and Kedusha.

  5. B"H

    No, it is not for me but I will continue quoting from the different chapters. Some people may not agree with the book but others may find it interesting and get the book in order to learn from it.