Dec 6, 2016

Headline of the Day

Yair Lapid Promises to Recognize Reform and Conservative Judaism 'My First Week in Government,' if Elected


  -- Haaretz

The problem with this is that even if current polls are accurate showing Lapid overtaking Netanyahu, I don't see how he would be able to cobble together a coalition.

While there was talk about whether or not the Haredi parties (Shas and UTJ) would join his government if he would theoretically win the most votes, a statement like this would put an end to that.


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Quote of the Day

The Haredim have a very talented minister - he is called Litzman. I said to him in the government Cabinet meeting 'you [the Haredi public] need to learn core curriculum studies alone, after all you want to be able to support yourselves. But it is happening all on its own, and young Haredi men and women go on their own to the Internet and take classes in mathematics and English. it is true that because of coalition agreements I cannot obligate you, but it is happening anyway..

  -- PM Benjamin Netanyahu, at a session meeting with students of military prep academies

I see 3 things that the Haredi leadership could possibly be upset about, at least due to the publication of this openly rather than just letting it happen quietly:
1. Netanyahu says the Haredi youth are using the Internet - something that has clearly been banned by the rabbonim in general and has been fought very strongly by the Haredi leadership.
2. Netanyahu revealing that the Haredi young men and women are taking core curriculum studies [via the Internet] - something the Haredi leadership (rabbonim and askanim) have opposed.
3. Netanyahu revealing that he really does want to obligate the Haredi public to study core curriculum topics but that he cannot because of coalition agreements. Until now it was excused by blaming the previous government's actions on Lapid and claiming Netanyahu's hands were tied due to coalition agreements insisted on by Lapid. According to Netanyahu's statement today, Netanyahu himself really wants to force the Haredim to study these topics but cannot do so right now, and is pleased it is happening anyway.

I have no idea if Netanyahu has actual data and knowledge to back up these claims or if he is just saying things that he thinks people want to hear...








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the Burger King SufganiKing

and for more kosher food news, Burger King (Israel) announced that they have created the "SufganiKing" - a combination of a sufganiya (jelly donut) and the Burger King Whopper hamburger.

The SufganiKing will be sold for 14.90nis, and will be available in all Burger King location from thebegining of Hanukkah until the end - that being December 25th this year until January 1st.

The SufganiKing will be the regular burger and stuff inside, laid in between a roll made up from a sufganiya. There will be a dollop of ketchup on the top instead of jelly.


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American beef now in Israel


Back in February it was announced that Israel has lifted its ban on USA beef, thus opening the market to imports from the United States.

The US Foreign Agriculture Services based out of Cairo, along with the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, informed the public this week very celebratorily on Twitter that the first shipment of "American Beef" has been sent to Israel, making it the first such shipment in 13 years.

They posted pictures online announcing the arrival of the first shipment  with the Ambassador enjoying some good American beef, and pointed out that it is all kosher.



So far they have yet to answer my queries as to where it will be sold, under what hechsher and if it will be reasonably priced. The closest I have gotten to an answer is the FAS responding to me saying the shipment just arrived so it is too soon to know where it will be sold.

That being said, according to an article on Agnet announcing the first export early in November, it says the beef is under the certification of the Israel Chief Rabbinate, bears the brand name King David and is being touted as the tastiest beef around... funnily enough by the end of the article they found a way to compare this new business venture to the Chicago Cubs....

I'll be keeping my eyes out for this new brand of beef in our supermarkets...




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Picture of the Day



"somebody" placed a golden statue of Bibi Netanyahu in Kikar Rabin this morning. Eventually the statue was knocked down by the public before it was removed.

This picture of the statue of Bibi being knocked down reminds me sadly of the statue of Saddam Hussein being knocked down in Iraq. The comparison stops there though, as the statue of Saddam being knocked down marked the end of his reign of terror over the people of Iraq. In Israel, the leftists behind this are going to have to realize Bibi isn't going anywhere soon (for better or worse) and this statue is the closest they will get to knocking him down for a long time to come...


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PM Netanyahu's Remarks at E.M.E.T Award Ceremony (video)

one thing about Netanyahu.. he is always interesting to listen to...





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Keerry and Netanyahu at the Saban forum (video)

first Kerry...


and then Netanyahu.. at about 27 minutes Netanyahu talks about the coalition and upcoming elections...




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PM Netanyahu's Remarks at E.M.E.T Award Ceremony (video)







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Voice for Israel Presents Rabbi Daniel Gordis Nov 15, 2016 (video)

when you listen to Rabbi Gordis enough (or any speaker for that matter), you start to hear him say much of the same thing again and again, as good as it is... some new stuff here, a lot of stuff was also in the discussion I posted the other day. There is some Q&A at the end of this that is all new...






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The Mystery of the Jews (video)







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Meet the Libyans...who are actually a band from Israel! (video)



Yaniv Raba is a young musician, who toured the world for artistic inspiration and found it eventually at home with his Lybian-born cantor father. Later, he fell in love with the oud instrument and decided to give a modern interpretation to ancient Jewish-Lybian liturgical poems.





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Dec 5, 2016

Picture of the Day


if you didn't understand the ad - one side is a haredi jew, the other side is a secular jew, but "we are both enjoy a good bottle of wine"...

cute ad. My only comment would be that the haredi guy would only enjoy the bottle if he was doing the pouring.. :-)

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Headline of the Day

Ivanka Trump Sparks #Kugelgate by Grabbing Jamie Geller’s Broccoli Recipe


  -- Forward

how can you not love the name "Kugelgate"?





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Interesting Psak: buying in stores with English signs

A question was recently asked of Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein in Bnei Braq about the growing number of stores in the area of Rabbi Akva St. that use signs written in English (instead of Hebrew).

The question posed was that it does not seem right, as most residents of Bnei Braq are not English-speaking immigrants. The petitioner suggested that stores catering to Israelis with signs printed in English are broadcasting superiority and making an implicit claim that the regular stores with Hebrew signs are inferior and selling inferior goods. So, the petitioner asked, is that feeling correct, and if so, should one refrain from buying in stores with signs printed in English? And furthermore, if one goes into a regular store with the sign in Hebrew and sees something there that is more expensive - should one pay the higher price in order to buy in a store that is respectable and respectful or is one justified in going to the other store with the English signs to save that money?

Rav Zilbershtein's response was that one should refrain from shopping in such stores that "change their language" and print their signs in English, even at the price of paying more. He said it is a mitzva to shop in the Hebrew-signed store.

Rav Zilbershtein also added that it is not enough to simply shop in the store with the Hebrew sign but one should also send a letter to the owner of the store with the English sign saying that you wanted to shop in his store but because he is embarrassed by Hebrew letters and chose to write his signs in foreign languages, you cannot buy from him.

Rav Zilbershtein bases his psak on the concept of the writings of chazal that say that the Jewish nation merited redemption from Egypt due to having not changed their language (among other thnigs), and the Mishna Brura writes about not changing the text of the siddur to be written in a foreign language for the same reason. Writing signs in English is to display superiority and broadcast the image of the store as being higher quality, while in reality it shows that the owner is inferior and wants to imitate the goyim. We have the writing of Hakadosh Baruch Hu.
source: Kikar

1. I would never have even though of this to be a question, let alone such a serious issue to raise the redemption card.

2. While the original question was based on the fact that Bnei Braq has few English-speaking people (a fact that might or might not be true), the answer does not make any mention of that (at least not the portion of the answer quoted in the article) but discusses the importance of using God' language and not using other languages. Would that also apply in places with many English-speaking people? Should signs on shops in, say, Bet Shemesh and Jerusalem also be in Hebrew and not English, with a mitzvah to buy from Hebrew-signed stores? Or is it ok because that is a common language spoken in the area?

3. what about in the USA, for example? Or Europe? Or anywhere else? Should all stores owned by Jews have their signs in Hebrew? Maybe it is ok there because they want to attract non-Jewish customers as well? Though that might be a difficult argument in places that are heavy Jewish enclaves..

4. what about yiddish? is that any different than English? Can stores post signs in Yiddish or is that also changing one's language or is Yiddish ok?






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Does Lapid have something up his sleeve?

MK Yair Lapid (Yesh ATud) has announced that he is going to bring a motion to disband the Knesset on Wednesday. This is seemingly predicated by the recent polls showing Yesh Atid and Likud in a dead heat were elections to take place today.

This still seems like a wasted effort. What's the point? The coalition seems pretty stable Nobody wants to go to new elections, and while politicians threaten, it is usually just posturing to strong-arm someone else into supporting an initiative of some sort. It seems Lapid's motion is just politicking as usual.

Or is it?

I wonder if he has a deal with someone in the coalition to vote in favor, at this critical juncture.

My first thought would be Bennet, as he is upset about Amona and has a lot of pressure topo leave the government over it, even though he has said he won't. He is also regularly in conflict with Netanyahu, both between themselves and between the parties.

My second thought would be Kahlon. Even though polls show Kahlon coming out of elections in a worse position, he has a lot of problems with the coalition going against important issues he believes in - the law protecting settlements, even if it excludes Amona, some of the financial distributions, his housing solutions haven't gotten off the ground... but maybe he has some deal with Lapid or another party to merge or some way he think s he can come out ahead..

It might just be bored politics. Lapid has nothing to do in opposition, and this is just one of those things opposition members do. Or he might have something up his sleeve... or maybe I am seeing things that are not there...


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L'Chayim: Trump & Israel (video)

I found this especially interesting not particularly because of the discussion about how Trump will be for Israel, which only actually takes up a small part of the discussion, because that is all speculation, but more because of the interesting debate and differing approaches as to how to view Obama's relationship with Israel, and the issues of Israel and the Palestinians and prospects for peace...



A panel discusses what a Donald Trump Administration might mean for U.S.-Israeli relations, and why there is no “Two State Soluiton.” With Steven Bayme (AJC), Thane Rosenbaum (NYU), Ken Bob (Ameinu) and Barbara Fix (journalist). With Mark S. Golub




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