Jun 30, 2016

The real reason Netanyahu doesn't meet with Abbas

A senior aide of PA President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly said "If I see an Israeli I will slit his throat".

I think we now know why Netanyahu hasn't met with them to get peace talks back on tracfk. He is afraid of getting his throat slit!


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A Narrow Bridge - The story of the world's longest glass bridge (video)







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Rav Doniel Katz on our differences (video)

seems like an interesting guy..





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A Palestinian and an Israeli: Episodes 1 and 2 (video)



Ahmed Maswadah and Ro'i Aharon meet for the first time. A Palestinian and an Israeli; a Muslim and a Jew, to share their perceptions, narratives and thoughts on Israel, Palestine and the issues of the region. And to learn about each other.






looks like another great series by Full Frame Media...



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How to spot a real or fake rabbi (video)







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WeR1 Music Video - feat: Gad Elbaz, Refael Mirila, Alliel, Describe and Nissim (video)

We may not all look the same, live in the same place or engage in the same level of religious observance, but deep down inside, the Jewish nation shares a common bond that unites us, that transcends distance and breaks boundaries. WeR1 shatters the differences that divide us, focusing on the unshakeable connection shared by members of the Jewish nation all across the globe.

“So many choose to focus on what sets people apart, but the truth is that our commonalities are far greater than our differences,” observed director Daniel Finkelman.

WeR1 follows the story of two characters who could be every man or every woman. Located in Israel and New York each leads a vastly different life, yet feels an inexorable pull that drives them ever higher, an unidentified longing for something indefinable but exalted. Set against a backdrop of music performed by Israeli superstar Gad Elbaz, Australian singer songwriter DeScribe, American rapper Nissim, French singer Israel Alliel, and British performer Refael Mirila, WeR1 is journey to the highest heights, attainable only through unity.

Bringing together a significant talent pool that includes film production by Daniel Finkelman and Elan Cohen, and music and lyrics by Los Angeles platinum songwriter and producer DK Benjamin, WeR1 is an inspiring musical triumph that takes viewers on a journey from London to Lyon to Tel Aviv and New York. Filling the heart and warming the soul, WeR1, a project of Kesher Yehudi - an organization which bridges the gap between secular and religious Jews - is a reminder to us all that now, as always, we are truly one nation with one heart.






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Jun 29, 2016

Misrad Hapnim sponsoring trips to Har Habayit... for Arabs

The Ministry of the Interior is subsidizing transportation for Muslims from the Galilee area wanting to go to Al Aqsa on Temple Mount. The State-sponsored buses are free of charge for them.

Deri, the Minister of Interior, speaking at a Ramadan break-fast event, spoke about the need for peace between neighbors and living together in peace and with cooperation, and mutual respect.
source: Kikar

1. From a social perspective, and from a democratic society perspective, this is wonderful of the Misrad Hapnim to help them with their religious worship.

2. Are there similar programs for Jews wanting to visit the Kotel or Har Habayit? Are there similar programs for Christians wanting to visit the Church of the Holy Suplchre, or others?

3. I am sure Deri does not want to encourage Jews to visit Har Habayit, as he believes Jews should not be there, but shouldn't he also not encourage Arabs to visit? Arabs can be on Har Habayit, but they also go to areas that the Torah says non-kohanim cannot go. So the same problem Deri has with Jews being up there he should have with Arabs being up there. Being passive about it and not fighting for them to be banned form Har Habayit is one thing. Encouraging them to go by sponsoring free buses is another.






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Proposed Law: clerks involved in foreclosure cannot buy foreclosed property

It is surprising to me to discover that until now it has perfectly fine and legal for clerks appointed to dealing with foreclosures of properties to purchase those properties for themselves. it seems like a classic conflict of interest. They crack down on a property owner who is in arrears, and instead of being motivated to help get them through it and find solutions, they see a nice piece of property that they can buy for cheap so they crack down hard and foreclose on the property instead of helping the owner to find a way to make payments. I would bet that most clerks probably deal fairly in such situations, but the law allowing clerks to buy the property they are dealing with leaves a big opening for poor decision making.

Members of the Finance Committee of the Knesset is proposing a law that would make it illegal for clerks dealing in foreclosure to buy properties they deal with. They call the discovery of such behavior "the lowest moral behavior that our society has arrived at - if there are no morals, we'll have a law instead".
source: NRG

Even with a law, it will probably be easy to get around. Clerks will tell relatives about such properties, or clerks will share information of foreclosed properties with other clerks - i.e. clerk a will tell clerk b about a property he or she dealt with, and clerk b will tell clerk a about a property in return. Meaning, people will always find ways to get around the law, but such a law will at least solve most of the problem.

  









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Rabbanut cracking down on Eida food establishments

The Rabbanut was recently strengthened by the decision of the Supreme Court authorizing its continued monopoly over kashrut, and specifically regarding the right to declare food as kosher.

Until now this has empowered the Rabbanut to continue to fight against private hechsherim such as Hashgacha Pratit. Now the Rabbanut is working to answer the claims of selective enforcement - they have begun cracking down on the "badatzim" - various Haredi established hechsherim - as well.

The Rabbanut has sent supervisors to Ramat Bet Shemesh B to scope out restaurants that might bear hechshrim from the various badatzim without also bearing a Rabbanut hechsher. All such food establishments that were discovered were issued warnings, and next time will receive fines of between 1000nis and 2000nis.

The Rabbanut says it began with the Haredi stronghold of Ramat Bet Shemesh, but will soon be expanding its enforcement efforts to other areas as well.

Eida Hachareidis people say this is no surprise and they are telling all establishments under their supervision that they must also obtain Rabbanut authorization, as per the law.
sources: Srugim, Kikar, Behadrei

If the Rabbanut decides to make the switch and get out of the kashrut business, functioning only as a regulator, it will save business owners a lot of money, as they will no longer need to pay for two hechshers. I would think each hechsher would probably need to pay a licensing fee to the Rabbanut, and then the cost to the business owner might go up a bit to cover that addition licensing fee, but it will probably still be cheaper than paying for two hechshers,.



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attracting kollel yungerleit to study in a Haredi campus (video)





this video has caused a bit of a stir in the Haredi community, upsetting Haredi askanim. It is an ad, a cheesy ad if I might say so myself, for the Haredi campus for engineering in Ashdod, and the recruiters go to the kollel and find the sharpest guy, the "iluy" of the kollel and make him an offer he can't refuse to entice him to come study by them.

Askanim are upset that this ad crosses a line. It was acceptable, sort of, when people who left kollel went to study - but to actively target the best kollel guys and try to entice them to leave kollel is another story altogether.

The college affiliate explained about not meaning that but they later pulled the video. Being the Internet, pulling a video like that is not so simple. Others had already made copies of it and uploaded it, and the Facebook version was not taken down either...



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MK Glick asks Minister Shaked about appointing new judges and the Rabbanut rejecting Rabbi Lookstein's conversions (video)







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Akiva Neuman - American Ninja Warrior 2016 (video)







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Synagogues of Pennsylvania (video)













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Yehuda! Duet - Star Spangled Banner and Hatikvah (video)



Yehuda! sings the Star Spangled Banner with his son Daniel! (11) and Hatikvah with his son Jakey! (9) at the FMS school gala in Cleveland 2016. The event featured Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks as the guest speaker for the evening.





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Jun 28, 2016

Headline of the Day

Rabbi Heller: Crown Heights Eruv Is Reform Judaism


  -- CrownHeights.info

Now, I have no problem with a good, old fashioned, halachic argument. Some say the eruv is good, some say it is not good. Every eruv in the world has people in it that refuse to rely on it. Every halachic topic in the book has opinions arguing with each other. I also understand that Lubavitchers in Crown Heights never had an eruv before because the Rebbe was supposedly against it, and many in the community want that to be the status quo in the area.

What I do not get is how an eruv can be considered Reform Judaism. There is an entire masechta in Shas about the laws of eruvin. There is a section in shulchan aruch about it. Eruv is not Reform Judaism, and modern-day rabbonim putting up an eruv is not Reform Judaism. Nobody is forcing any specific person to rely on it.

Have a halachic debate. Call on your followers to continue in the fine Lubavitch tradition of not relying on an eruv n Crown Heights. Comparing an eruv to Reform Judaism is ridiculous.

I actually liked, in particular, the following line from the article:
I am talking for myself and my children. I want to be an “old-fashioned” Lubavitcher, in the ways of the Rebbeim and the Baal Shem Tov.
I wonder if he has ever attacked other things happening in Crown Heights with that same argument...


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shut Har Habayit for Ramadan

The security forces have closed Har Habayit for Jewish visitors for the remainder of Ramadan.

They have done this in previous years as well, and on its own would be understandable and even acceptable, if all else were equal and Jews were given sole access, or even just extra access, during the Jewish holidays.

The specific problem is that they did this at the same time the arabs on Har Habayit were starting a wave of violence. After this sign went up, and Jewish visitors could not even be blamed for instigating anything, the Arabs on Har Habayit went full loco attacking police and throwing rocks down to the Kotel area. It was not instigated by Jewish prayers or the breaking of any status quo, but simply by the violent Waqf. I would like to see them be punished instead of rewarded for their violence. Reverse the decision expressed on the sign above, and even ban the Arabs completely for the remainder of Ramadan (or for a short portion of the remainder)

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