. Z-Trek lightweight sport sandal . . Kosher Casual Dynamic .

Aug 4, 2015

Rabbanut kashrut alerts and curiosities

The Rabbanut has announced a couple of interesting issues:

1. a kashrut alert regarding a forged hechsher - actually unauthorized use of the Rabbanut hechsher.

Whiskey in general is a complicated issue regarding kashrus. For some reason, whiskey never really was under the authority and supervision of the kashrut agencies. People knew which ones were kosher and which whiskeys were not, and kashrut agencies would release alerts and warnings, but whiskeys, until recently never bore the symbols of kashrus agencies..

Johnny Walker whisky is made by a number of manufacturers. According to the Rabbanut, only one of those manufacturers is authorized by the OK regarding kashrut.

The OK contacted the Rabbanut about a line of Johnny Walker whiskey that is made by one of the companies not supervised by the OK (the Panko group), yet it states on the label it is under supervision of the OK.
source: Srugim and the Rabbanut email list

what is unclear, to me at least, is if this is actually kosher or not. Obviously the use of the OK name as supervision is misleading and illegal at best, and maybe with that deception they also acheived the authorization of the Rabbanut. So this line of Johnny Walker whiskeys is definitely not certified by the OK, but does that make it not kosher? Most whiskeys, even today with an increase in whiskey kashrut supervision, still do not bear kashrut certifications. Maybe all this Johnny Walker is still kosher even without the OK hechsher? I do not know, but I wonder.

2. Abroad, specifically in the United States, one can find many food items under kashrut certifications by major organizations despite them being flavored to taste like non-kosher foods, such as bacon flavoring (obviously using kosher ingredients to create the flavors), and shellfish flavoring, among other things. Halachically there is no problem with it, and the kashrut organizations abroad recognize that and certify such foods.

Yet, some people still have a problem with it, even if technically it is ok. Some consider it inappropriate to make your food taste like not kosher food.

Pringles now has more flavors imported to Israel, including some new flavors. The new flavors include Bacon flavor and Cheeseburger flavor chips. Both of these have kashrut certification by the Rabbanut.

While in the United States the kashrut organizations, and much of the kosher-eating public, are ok with that, here in Israel things are approached differently.

When the Rabbanut was questioned about these flavors of Pringles and the possible problem of "maris ayin", the Rabbanut stated that while the lines of Pringles chips are kosher, these specific flavors were never authorized by the Rabbanut. The Rabbanut also said that as soon as they were informed about this they contacted the importer and demanded their kashrut authorization on these flavors be removed.
source: Kipa

If the Rabbanut removes its hechsher from these flavors, does that make these chips not kosher? If you rely on the foreign certifying organization, you can still do so, though in Israel it is illegal to call such chips kosher.







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the beautiful Israeli replaces the friends

similar stories have happened a few times recently.. both at weddings and at funerals...

someone goes to a wedding and is surprised to see a very small crowd. He posts to Facebook saying come rejoice with a bride and groom, with very few guests. Great mitzva. Sure enough, hundreds or thousands of people show up and the party is amazing.

It really is the "beautiful Israeli", especially when in comparison with the "ugly Israeli" series of videos that were being publicized last year.

It just happened again this past week, and so many people are sharing it on Facebook to show the beauty of Israelis.

But I noticed something else.

If you look at the video, or the few pictures I've seen, you will see tables set for guests with empty seats and settings.

Where are all the people that were invited and did not bother showing up? Only 30 people came to celebrate their friends wedding, with what looks like it was meant to be a normal wedding with all the friends sharing in their happy day. Where was everybody that was invited?

Sometimes a wedding takes place between a bride and groom that don't have many friends. Maybe new immigrants who know few people in the country, or other similar situations. Then they make a small wedding. If someone "calls out the troops" to try to make the dancing more energetic and joyful, that is a beautiful thing. When someone gets married and expects all his and her friends to show up and they don't, it is still beautiful when "the troops" drop everything and come running to help make a wedding more joyous, but where are all the people that were invited in the first place? Why could they all not be bothered to participate?

Israelis can be beautiful and act as extended family, but that does not exempt friends from being friends.



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Picture of the Day



is it really already almost Sukkos?


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The epic guide to destroying Israel

According to the Daily Mail, Ayatollah Khameini of Iran has published a 461 page book that is essentially a guide to wiping out Israel.

461 pages? so many instructions to wiping out this little country? Can I get the Cliffs Notes edition? How many pages does it take to write "aim and shoot the nuke"? If they only skim the book and don't actually read it, will that mess up their plans as they definitely won't get all the details down pat? Are they going to translate it into English? what about Hebrew?  I wonder who I need to speak to to get a copy for a book review..




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Haredi man comes out of the closet because of murder of Shira Banki (video)

I'm not sure why he cuts his peyos as part of his coming out ceremony.. this is an unexpected reaction to the murder....

according to Kooker, this fellow is already not religious and has only continued to dress in his original hassidic dress is because of his desire to see his children (from one of his divorces), but he is really already secular (Kooker has a picture). Funnily enough, Kooker seems to consider the cutting off of his peyos to be worse than the coming out of the closet - it describes the cutting off of the peyos as crossing a red line, with a lot of description.






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PM Netanyahu meets Olympic athletes (video)







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MK Oren Chazzan with Avri Gilad (video)







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Avraham Fried - Jerusalem In My Heart (video)







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Avremi Lunger and Nusi Fuchs - Tatte Hasiveinu (video)






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Aug 3, 2015

Book Review: How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War

NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.

Book Review: How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War, by Haggai Segal


Haggai Segal, the author of "How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War", is a member of the great Segal family of which he writes. He is the grandson of Yosef Segal, the initial focus of the book, and son of Shlomo Segal, and nephew of Yedidia Segal - the ultimate focus of the book. The Segal family is one of the families known as "the fighting families" from the time of the Saison - the time, largely pre-State,when the Hagana chased down and harassed, or worse, members of the Irgun and other underground movements.

This book, with its intriguing title, is a fascinating tale of the formation of the State of Israel and the early days of the State.

To be honest, I have had this book, and have been reading it, for a while. Some books are so good that you cannot put them down - you read it non-stop until you are finished within a couple of days. Other books are so good, and so full of information, that you take your time reading them. This book is the latter. How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War is fascinating book and tells a compelling story, but it is not a book I could read quickly. I read it in bits, absorbing the flavor, absorbing the history, absorbing the story, absorbing the emotion.

How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War is many things. It is the story of the early days of Haifa, specifically the Ahuza neighborhood, and how Yosef Segal, among others, founded the new neighborhood and survived there surrounded by sometimes hostile Arabs. It is the story of a visionary with religious beliefs and excitement, and optimism, about the State and its place in the redemption of the Nation of Israel, and how he educated a generation of children mixing his approach to religion and the State with secular education. It is the story of the Hagana and the Irgun, their fighting, both each other and against the British. It is the story of the formation of the State. It is the story of the abduction and murder of Yedidya Segal, the cover-up and the search for information. It is the story of David Ben Gurion, and many other Hagana and Israeli leaders, as well as that of Menachem Begin and other Irgun and Israeli leaders. It is the story of the Altalena. It is the story of a family shattered by the loss of its favorite son, while retaining optimism and refusing to allow revenge in their name and thereby preventing a civil war. It is the story of the search for information, even at some point a couple of generations old, when people are refusing to talk.

"Preventing a civil war" might sound like an exaggeration, but it probably is not. As you will see in the book, the times were so tense, the conflict so heated, the demand for revenge on each side for actions against it, and the enormity of the Yedidya Segal affair, and without the intervention and insistence of Grandma Segal, civil war is the direction it was really heading.

You should read How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War - to learn about the perspective offered on the early days of the State and its formation, to learn more about the Hagana and Irgun, and especially to learn about the compelling Segal family and their central role in the history of that time.



buy How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War on Amazon.com

buy How My Grandmother Prevented A Civil War on Gefen Publishing



NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.



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Picture of the Day



some Haredi young men went to the memorial rally for Shira Banki, killed by Yishai Shlissel at the Gay Pride Parade, and they distributed popsicles to other attendees.


maybe it is these types of Haredim, more modern (based on their appearance) and more connected, that can be the bridge between the general haredi community and the general Israeli society...




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Tefillin in garbage in Tel Aviv show value

Here is a great story that happened in Tel Aviv.

It seems that it happens often enough that someone in Tel Aviv might throw out in the garbage an envelope of money, or some valuable jewelry, by mistake of course. They call City Hall and I guess City Hall tries to help whenever possible locate the valuable items - whether in the garbage or at the main dump.

For what they say is the first time ever, someone accidentally threw his tefillin into the garbage. He called them for help to retrieve the lost tefillin.

The mistake happened when the fellow was going out to throw out his garbage on his way to davening. He had his tefillin in one hand, and the garbage in the other. Accidentally he threw his tefillin in the garbage can, and continued holding the garbage.

"הוא היה נסער מאוד". החיפושים אחר התפיליןIt does not seem like a big deal - just go through the garbage and look for the tefillin - they would be near the top of whatever is in there. The problem is that this was not ina normal garbage can, but in one of those massive cans that get buried in the ground with only the top exposed to the public. these cans are a few meters deep and are not accessible to the public. The garbage trucks that empty them use a sort of crane to lift them out of the ground and dump the contents into the truck, before replacing the can. This makes it difficult to retrieve a mistakenly disposed of item, like this fellow's tefillin.

When he called City Hall for assistance they immediately realized, even though they say they have never before experienced this, that the tefillin have tremendous value to the person and agreed to help right away. They sent the truck to lift the can out of the ground. After dumping the contents on the ground, they searched through the garbage for the tefillin, and sure enough found the tefillin. 
source: Mynet

Someone in Tel Aviv City Hall definitely has acquired a special zchus for himself with this assistance. 
.
And who knows - maybe someone there, or someone else reading the news story, was or will be  impressed with how dearly this person holds his tefillin and will consider wearing tefillin once, or more often, or doing other mitzvos as a result.








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potential budget cuts threaten government

The fights over the budget have begun in full force. While such fights happen every year (or two) when it is time to prepare and pass the budget, with the government holding only 61 votes, such fighting becomes more critical.

Bennet is threatening that if the education budget is cut he won't vote in favor of the budget. Deri is threatening if the budget doesn't include certain tax cuts he won't vote in favor. There is talk about a possible stand down regarding the budget for culture. And normally there is a fight over the defense budget, which I am sure will be coming in the near future, along with other ministries fightng over their budgets.

While this is expected and normal, in a normal year the government could survive easily even if a few people are upset about their budgets being slashed. With a government that only has a bare majority, each and every coalition member has to be happy and satisfied or could carry out his threat and bring down the government. And with each and every coalition MK wielding so much power to bring down the government over anything, even if it is a trivial matter, the PM and Finance Minister become that much more squeezable.

So, it looks like we are in for an interesting week, from a political perspective. As if the week was not already interesting enough..


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Jews and Muslims Stand Up Against Violence in Joint Prayer (video)







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Modest bathing suit company making waves (video)

nice!

and these Orthodox Jewish women and their company were also written up in the Wall Street Journal





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mk STav Shafir against Habayit shel Meshugaim (video)








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