Apr 24, 2017

unity in Israel on Yom Hashoah

A lot is made about the unity of the day on Yom haShoah. Millions of people, over 6 million Jews, stand in unison and remember, think about, those who perished, just for being Jewish. We put aside our differences, for just a moment, and stand side by side to give honor to the victims of the Holocaust.

Hearing something about the unity today reminded me of a conversation I had once with a friend. This friend goes every year to Uman for Rosh Hashana, despite his not being a Breslaver hassid, and he encourages other people to go.

I asked him once, a bunch of years ago, why he goes, especially being that he is not a hassid of Rebbe Nachman. "What do you find so special about it?", I asked.

He responded that in Uman on Rosh Hashana you are with and you daven with tens of thousands of other people, and everyone is so different and nobody cares about the differences. Everyone is just friendly to each other and happy with each other. There is so much Jewish love in Uman. Hat, he said, is what makes it so special, and, he said, that is something you don't get anywhere else, especially in Eretz Yisrael.

I responded by saying that there is no mitzvah to hate and to fight with other people in Israel. If you go to Uman because everyone likes each other there, why not just act like that in Israel as well. As a matter of fact, most of the visitors to Uman travel to there from Israel, so it mostly the same people that are normally in Israel. Why do they have to all hate and fight with each other while in Israel but love each other in Uman? Just act nicely to each other in Israel as well!







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Picture of the Day

photo by Ariel Schalit, AP


we've all seen the pictures of the people in the streets standing for the memorial siren on Holocaust Day and on Memorial Day. We've seen the pictures of the bus stopped and people standing. We've seen the various normal pictures that all evoke some emotion and pride. I don't think I have ever seen a picture of the surfers stopped and standing for the siren on Yom HaShoah...

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Interesting Psak: Police driving to Meron on shabbos

Rav Rami Berachyahu, rav of the Israel Police, has, in light of the public discussion regarding the bonfires in Meron on Lag bOmer night which will be on a Motzei Shabbos, publicized the psak he issued to his police forces.

Rav Berachyahu wrote a tshuva about this and it has received the approbation of talmidei chachomim.

According to Rav Berachyahu, he says he has no choice but to instruct the police that they should travel on Shabbos, at 2pm, to arrive at "Kever Rashbi" in Meron and to secure the area. Pikuach Nefesh is involved, and even though the pikuach nefesh is only going to be later, on Motzei Shabbos, it requires such preparation.

Rav Berachyahu points out that it would always be better and preferable to postpone a mass event that is scheduled to take place so soon after Shabbos that requires security and advance preparation including on Shabbos. Something that involves a mitzva that must be done on Motzei Shabbos, or an event that the organizers refused to postpone it even though they should have, would permit the police to do what they need to do to secure it.

Should the police, perhaps, prepare in advance by going to Meron on Friday and staying there over Shabbos instead of traveling on Shabbos? No, Rav Berachyahu says, as that would disturb each police officer's own Shabbos meals with his family and cause him extra tircha.

In conclusion, Rav Berachyahu says the bonfires must be pushed off to later to avoid causing the chilul shabbos of the police, which would become muttar if the event is not pushed off. However, with the masses going up to Meron, the only real solution would be to push everything off until Sunday evening, because with the security situation as it is, the police will have to be out working security.
source: Kikar

I don't think anybody has a complaint against the police. Everything said by Rav Berachyahu sounds right. They have to provide the security and are not at fault for deciding when the event takes place. They are forced into the situation, and must do what they need to do. The people responsible for the event itself are the ones causing the security forces to work on Shabbos, and they are the ones the public is pressuring. I would add, the pressure seems to be starting to work, as various Hassidic groups have announced slight delays in their bonfire lightings in order to lessen or minimize any chilul shabbos.


I would add that the police do have the power to permit or not permit an event from taking place. They do it all the time, deciding certain protests, for example, cannot take place in certain places or at certain times. Security can shut down an event that it thinks might cause problems or be a security risk. Technically the police can refuse to give a permit to the Saturday night bonfire events and say they will only give the permit for later on Sunday. Perhaps "chilul shabbos" is not a valid excuse for the police to reject a permit?






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Apr 23, 2017

Interesting Psak: splitting the apartment

A couple getting engaged added a clause to the tennaim regarding the purchasing of an apartment for the couple. The clause stated that the groom's father would give his son 250,000nis towards the purchase of an apartment for the couple, and the bride's father would give 500,000nis towards the purchase, and if necessary the young couple would complete the necessary sum on their own by taking a mortgage on any balance.

The couple got married and the parents each fulfilled their commitment, and the couple were the proud owners of an apartment. The apartment actually cost them 850,000nis, and the couple had taken a mortgage on the balance of 100,000 beyond what the parents had given towards the purchase. The apartment was registered in the names of the young couple.

Two years later, the couple decides to get divorced. The beis din decided that the two sides should each split the value of the apartment equally, despite the fact that the investment into the apartment was not equal. The wife claimed she shoudl walk away with 2/3 of the value, as per her father's investment into the apartment.

Upon appeal to the Higher Court she claimed that she deserves 2/3 because her father put 2/3 of the money in, as per the parents investment, yet the original beis din decided to split it equally because of the extra 100,000 mortgage.

The majority of the rabbonim on the beis din hearing the appeal decided to reject her claim and uphold the original decision, saying that the money given by the parents originally was a gift. As soon as the apartment is registered in the couples own names, it is theirs alone and the percentages originally invested are no longer relevant.

The minority opinion of Rav Igra saying that she keeps her fathers investment was rejected, and they split the apartment 50-50 despite the initial 33.3-66.6 breakdown.
source: Kikar




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Quote of the Day

The Haredim in Central Tel Aviv see everything. They see young women walking in, baruch hashem, immodest clothing according to Haredi concepts. They see the entire Jewish nation, but the Haredim in Tel Aviv specifically are very happy. Why? Because nobody bothers them.

  -- Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, speaking on Kol B'Rama radio station about the Supreme Court decision..

I am not sure what the "baruch hashem" in the middle of that is - is it baruch hashem the Haredim see these young women dressed that way or is it baruch hashem the women are dressed that way? I don't know. Either way it seems to me to be a weird statement.

I happen to agree that Tel Aviv is very good for religious people. In Te Aviv anyone can do anything, live hsi or her life in whatever way they choose, and nobody cares. Everybody does what is good for them, and nobody bothers them.

Huldai went on to talk about how the Supreme Court didn't allow them to open businesses, but basically confirmed a situation that already exists. As well, Huldai stressed that he follows the law and if the Haredi parties successfully change the law, he will follow whatever the law becomes. As well, Huldai stressed that massive illegal chilul shabbos happens around the country, but in Tel Aviv they follow the law and all businesses are closed and only a small number of stores are open in accordance with the law. Huldai said out of 20,000 businesses in the city, only 200 shops are open.




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Menashe | Official Trailer (video)








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Apr 20, 2017

Goy claims his chametz and doesn't get it

And here is what can throw the selling of chametz into a bad light and make people want to not rely on it, or maybe their rabbi needs to explain to them what it means to sell something, even chametz....

Supposedly on the first day of Pesach in Williamsburg, the goy who bought the chametz of the through one of the rabbis of tens of families in the area decided he wanted to collect.

It seems this was a "new" goy that bought the chametz this year as the regular goy was not available. This new goy did not really know the process and what is really happening, that this is a halachically mandated sham of a sale and while it is legal and he could go pick up his half loaf of bread, he isn't really expected to.

Anyways, the goy paid his deposit for his chametz and then on OPesach he decided he wanted to pick up his stuff. He looked at the list of people he had bought from and picked one, randomly I guess, out of the list. He went to the house and said he wants his chametz and asked how much is there - can he load it into his car or does he need to bring a trailer?

The family panicked. They tried to warn him off saying things like he might be punished from heaven for this, or this is an issue of holy rabbis and he shouldnt get involved, etc.

Mr. Goy understandably got upset that his chametz was being withheld from him and went to the rabbi for clarification. The rabbi convinced him to come back later, on Chol Hamoed. At that time the rabbi explained to him what the sale actually is and how it works, and the goy understood and left them alone.

The story concludes with a request by the family to not have their name published so people shouldnt talk about them and question if they actually sold their chametz or not.
source: Behadrei and Matzav

The funniest part of the story, for me, is the last part - how they wanted to keep their name out of it so nobody would question their kashrus. As if the public perception is more important than the actual potential kashrus problem.

Yes, the sale of chametz is a halachically mandated sham, as everyone involved knows nothing is being transferred, but the halacha explicitly allows it to happen. That being said, if a goy comes to claim his chametz, I am not sure why anybody would get nervous about that and refuse. Just give it to him and collect your money. They probably thought if the goy takes it it will mess everything up somehow..







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Meron will not be Tel Aviv

Masada Will Not Fall Again. The Fate of Netzarim is the Fate of Tel Aviv. Never Again.

Those are some of the great Israeli expressions, or idioms.

Add to the list, "Meron Will Not Be Tel Aviv!". It does not have quite the same ring to it, but it is pretty good.

Rav Mordechai Halpern, Director of the Meron Committee, announced today that Meron will not be Tel Aviv and they will not allow mass chilul shabbos in Meron or on the routes leading to Meron in preparation for Lag B'Omer has has happened in previous years.

Halpern said that this year they will keep the gates to Meron closed and locked until after Shabbos concludes and nobody, be it the security forces or hassidic groups, will be allowed to access the town's infrastructure and the site unless they guarantee complete loyalty to Shabbos in their preparation for the Lag b'Omer bonfires.
source: Kooker

So what does he expect? he'll open the gates after Shabbos and all chilul shabbos will have been avoided? the police and visitors will not have traveled and done their preparations on Shabbos and just waited outside for the gates to be opened?

The only way to avoid any chilul shabbos is to to delay the bonfires to either Sunday daytime or even to Sunday night/Monday.

That won't happen, and the haredi askanim and MKs are too busy screaming about secular chilul shabbos to deal with religious chilul shabbos





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6km for 6 million

The Iryah of Modiin along with the SprinTeam club has organized a memorial run on Yom Hashoah in memory of the 6 million Jews that perished in the Holocaust. The run will be a 6km run, 1km per million Jews. They specifically request participants wear white shirts, as I guess they consider that more appropriate and respectful.



I know different people commemorate things in different ways, and there is no shortage of memorial styles for just about anything including the Holocaust...Is this appropriate or not? While it feels inappropriate to me, I cannot seem to put my finger on what is wrong with it - anything can be done as a way to make people think about the Holocaust, or about any death or tragedy, and having a 6km run at 6am does not exclude participation in other, perhaps more traditional, memorial events.

What do you think?  Is this inappropriate?

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