Oct 22, 2017

Another Chabad booth gets closed down

Once again a Chabad tefillin-stand in a secular neighborhood has been dismantled and removed by local authorities.

It happened recently in Herzliya, and the mayor was "Jew-shamed" into condemning the removal and allowed them to put it back into action. Now it happened in Ramat Aviv Gimmel. City supervisors forced the closure of a tefillin-stand while the Chabadnik was putting tefillin on people. I don't know about the booth in Herzliya, but the one in Ramat Aviv has supposedly been active for upwards of 20 years and only now has been dismantled.

The argument offered is that it is incomprehensible that in the Jewish State, in the first Jewish city (i.e. Tel Aviv), they cannot operate something Jewish like helping people lay tefillin and hand out parsha sheets.
source: Actualic

I am obviously not against Chabad helping people put on tefillin, but I don't think the argument holds water. You can't just do anything you want anywhere you want just because you are doing something Jewish and are in the Jewish State. You want to put tefillin on people and don't want to pay the relevant fees for the necessary permits, do it without a booth. I see plenty of Chabadniks on the trains and walking around malls and wherever else without a booth and putting tefillin just fine on plenty of people. If you want a booth and want to put it in a place that doing so would require a permit, go get the permit. If it requires paying a fee, pay the fee or request an exemption from the fee based on being a non-profit or whatever. Or


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Proposed Law: no funding for anti-State yeshivot

With the Knesset back in action tomorrow after some long vacation periods, Yisrael Beyteynu has announced it will immediately be proposing a new law that would revoke any government funding of yeshivot whose rosh yeshiva calls for evasion from the army in any capacity.

According to MK Oded Forer, who submitted the proposal, anyone who wants to isolate itself form the State, should isolate itself from State funding as well.
source: Actualic, Kikar

The expectation seems to be that the Haredi parties in Knesset will oppose this law, despite it specifically targeting the Peleg-affiliated yeshivot, those responsible for the recent riots, protests, and violence, and being those within the broader Haredi community that call publicly for draft-refusal (including not even signing the papers for exemptions or deferments). The "mainstream" Haredi community along with its yeshivot and its rabbonim oppose the Peleg and have been fighting with them in many ways and arenas. Despite that, the mainstream haredi leadership will oppose this law as they will not allow any law designed to hurt yeshivot, even yeshivot of extremists they oppose. As well, they ask why does the law target only "torah institutions" and not "academic institutions" that call for army evasion and at times, not infrequently, incite against the IDF?

Once again we see the Haredi MKs giving lip service against the extremists but when push comes to shove they continue to give them protection and cover for them.




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Picture of the Day


this is a picture from the Peleg protests... I have absolutely no idea why there is a cyclist on top of the bus



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Israelis: What do you think of Israeli human rights organizations? (video)







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Israeli Frenemies - Oct. 20, 2017 (video)







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HAMAS WANTS ME DEAD (video)






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Synagogues of New York (video)









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Michoel Schnitzler - Tzohar (video)







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Oct 19, 2017

blocking traffic is a violent protest

The only thing in the news nowadays seems to be the protests of the Peleg Yerushalmi - the Jerusalem Faction - over the arrest of two young men who, following the groups opinion, refused to go to the draft board to register for their army exemption/deferral.

It isn't all that interesting, as this has been going on for a while now, though it is currently on an upswing, and they have nothing new to add to the discussion.

The only comment I have is that blocking traffic is, in my opinion, a violent crime. Protest all you want. The right to protest is a basic right in a democracy. Normally it works by making it a legal protest with police permits, but that isn't my issue. Blocking traffic is unacceptable. People have places to be, urgent matters to attend to, scheduled events and meetings and just wanting to get home or to the store or to work or wherever, and blocking traffic disrupts tens of thousands of people's lives when they did nothing to deserve that. Go hold your protest outside a government building, outside the draft board or in some other relevant location to make your point - don't hold innocent civilians hostage to your protests.

And being a violent protest, the police should have extra leeway in putting such a protest down..

As tens of people have been arrested, I do wonder how this works with their beliefs. They refuse to go to the army because it is not a place for a Torah jew to be and going to the army will supposedly hurt them spiritually. Is jail really a place for a Torah Jew to be? Does jail present no challenges to a Torah lifestyle? Why is that a good reason to avoid the army but not to avoid doing things that will get them arrested?




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Rechnitz speech makes waves

Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz is a very talented speaker. He is interesting, he has great delivery, and he keeps his speech peppered with interesting and humorous anecdotes and thoughts.

Rechnitz spoke at the Simchas Beis Hashoeva in Mir Yeshiva on Sukkos. The speech was an hour long, surely making this a real blast of a party.

Rechnitz is a wonderful person. Truly. I knew him and his brother many many years ago, and they are truly fine people. And he puts his money where his mouth is and supports organizations and causes he believes in, and he is very generous.

The Mir does not just let anyone speak, no matter how important of a topic they want to talk about. Rechnitz has been granted podiums in the highest places in the Jewish community, because of his support and influence in the community. But at the end of the day, he is just a person with his opinion, an individual with his own take on things.

Rechnitz spoke at the yeshiva event and he targeted Open Orthodoxy and liberal Jews as "fake news" and as the greatest threat to Judaism. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. I don't know and I don't really care. What surprises me is that the Mir considers Open Orthodoxy a viable threat of sorts. There are probably more active students in the Mir right now, not even including the alumni,  than associated with Open Orthodoxy since it began. Yet the Mir gave its most precious moments to talk about the threat of Open orthodoxy. I really don't know what Rechnitz is so concerned about from Open Orthodoxy and why the Mir considers it an issue worth talking about - besides for just the desire to give Rechntz a platform to say whatever he wants and continue to receive his donations.

Online, in social media and in talkbacks to articles about this speech, many were very critical of Rechnitz. I would say to them, just ignore him. he is one person with his own opinion and he is entitled to say and think whatever he wants. You disagree? go give a speech or write an article expressing your opinion. You are just as entitled as he is to do so. It is just the opinion of an individual.

I would note that the biggest in-speech clapping he received was when he commented about continuing to donate money to the Torah world. Nobody cares what he has to say, as wonderful a person he might be (and is). They just want him to continue donating, so he gets the ability to express his personal opinion in public because of that.



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Rechnitz Mir speech 2017 (video)

comments coming soon..



In a passionate hour long speech delivered at the Mir yeshiva’s Simchas Beis Hashoeva in Jerusalem last week, Los Angeles philanthropist Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz took aim at the Open Orthodoxy movement while simultaneously calling for love and acceptance of all Jews as the only way to bring Moshiach.




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The Rabbi Goes West (video)








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Should the ultra-Orthodox serve in the IDF? A debate on i24 News (video)








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The Ultra Orthodox Jewish Version of 'Shark Tank' (video)







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Mr. Shabbos - Borei Nefashos - (Official Music Video)








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Oct 18, 2017

Palestinians: What questions do you want to ask Israelis? (video)








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Bennett: the deal between the PA and Hamas turns them into a terror government (video)







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A Conversation with a Yiddish Speaking Non Jew (video)

he speaks more yiddish than me...





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The man behind pretzel challah (video)







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"Best of all days", The Shabbat Project 2017, Avi Kraus featuring Nissim Black! (video)








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Oct 17, 2017

peace with PAs

Good news out of Israel today. Thus morning the Health Ministry announced that they have approved official recognition of Physician Assistant as a profession. They are finishing training the first group of 33 PAs who will operate working alongside doctors, performing the initial examinations of patients before the doctor sees them and will deal with recommending further care. The goal is to shorten the waiting time and relieve the bottlenecks in hospitals.
source: Ynet

This is big news. Many immigrants, and potential immigrants, have been hampered by the lack of recognition of their certifications as PAs and left them potentially without jobs when moving to Israel. That in addition to the benefits to the medical field itself if it can be successful in shortening waiting times.

Israel has yet to make peace with the PA, but they are making peace with the PAs...




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is Avi Gabbay really Labor material?


I am watching with interest what is happening in the Labor party with Avi Gabbay as the new chairman and his recent statements, and the opposition developing because of them.

Gabbay is saying things not quite in tune with the Labor party mainstream ideas.

When he ran for chairmanship of the party it was said that he was an outsider, not really a true or classic Labor person and had even been associated with the Right and Likud at earlier stages in his life, though being new to politics there did not seem to be anything clear on his actual positions or history regarding those positions.

It turns out now that at least on nationalist issues Avi Gabbay is pretty similar to a mainstream Likudnik, or even anybody on the Right such as a member of Habayit Hayehudi or Shas.

First he talks about not forming a government coalition with the Arab parties. Then he talks about not dismantling settlements. And now he is talking about how Abraham was promised all the land of Israel and we will need other creative solutions to come to peace besides for dismantling settlements.

People on the Left are livid, and I wait to see if they try to oust him from the chairmanship of Labor or if they give him a chance to come up with a plan that can challenge the Right in a realistic way. From that perspective, what they have been trying for the past 20 years or so has not worked and they have pretty much been kept out of power, possibly because of it. Maybe they need a new approach and maybe Avi Gabbay can bring it.



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protest at the park

There were a lot of protests yesterday, in many parts of the country. Many of them were in protest of the arrest of 2 young yeshiva guys who had evaded the IDF draft registration. Those are old and boring news items by now. The more interesting and unusual protest was actually a small one in the area of Mea Shearim.

Actualic reports on a protest led by a small group of extremists (aka sikrikim). The city of Jerusalem, led by Mayor Nir Barkat and his deputies Yitzchak Pindros and Yossi Deutsch, both representing the Haredi community, inaugurated a new park on Strauss St, in the vicinity of Mea Shearim.

As an aside, interestingly, the name of the new park is "Gan Yoshke". However, the sikrikim were not protesting the name. I don't know who it is being named in honor of, but I will assume Yoshke does not refer to the person who first comes to my mind when hearing that name, and I will assume the sikrikim have no problem with that specific name.

Anyways, the sikrikim were protesting the new park because, according to them, the local community administrative body is destroying the Nation of Israel  via the children - and they warned parents that this park is the gateway to integration into the destructive army.

LOL

That's right. They claim the problem with the park is that it will lead to integration into the IDF. I am not even going to ask how the park is a gateway to the IDF.

I guess they found a way to make it interesting. Had they protested the park for any more expected reasons, such as a breach in tzniyus or whatever, the entire thing would probably have been boring and gone unnoticed. Now they might get some airwaves from it by making a ridiculous connection. It is still mostly unnoticed, probably dwarfed by the massive protests around the country blocking traffic at many intersections and also by the lack of interest into the idiocy of these people except as a weird sideshow, like the bearded lady at the circus...




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MK Meirav Michael in Australian QandA (video)

the entire session is interesting discussion, but this is posted here specifically for what Michaeli says regarding children, families and safety between about minute 13 and about minute 20 where she says that the core family is basically the least safe place for children to grow up and she presents what she claims to be better alternatives than the traditional family. This is insane and I never heard, outside of the Kibbutz, somewhat, of such a claim. The discussion is usually around whether or not alternatives can provide the same loving environment as the traditional core family or not - not that the core family is bad and we need to take kids out of that and put them in other situations.





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PM Netanyahu's Message to Iran's Foreign Minister: Delete Your Account (video)






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Israeli Food Technologies (video)



What if you could get water out of thin air? What if you could grow food in the middle of the desert? What if you could have a star-trek style capsule that makes you hot and healthy dinner in 2 minutes? These 3 Israeli companies are doing just that, as they find solutions to fight food and water scarcity around the world.





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Synagogues of New York (video)









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Kulam Sharim - Benny Friedman ft. the cast of Mitzvah Boulevard (video)







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Oct 16, 2017

LETTERS OF LOVE TO JERUSALEM: A BOOK REVIEW OF MY JERUSALEM: The Eternal City

A Guest post by Dr. Harold Goldmeier

LETTERS OF LOVE TO JERUSALEM: A BOOK REVIEW OF MY JERUSALEM: The Eternal City
Ilan Greenfield, Editor
Ziv Koren, Photography
Published by Gefen Publishing House and
Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations 2017/5778

Review by Dr. Harold Goldmeier, a public speaker, writer, and teaches international university students in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. His book Healthcare Insights: Better Care Better Business is available on Amazon. His Articles and Reviews appear on American Thinker, Arutz 7, Life in Israel, and in Jerusalem Post and more. He was a Research & Teaching Fellow at Harvard.


I love Chicago.  It's the city in which I lived from birth into retirement.  I can describe the skyline on Lake Michigan, with its majestic sunrise and sunset.  Every neighborhood is its own architectural marvel crowned with lush greenery.  But I will never describe Chicago or Boston or New York or Sedona as eloquently as Matthew Bronfman does in My Jerusalem: The Eternal City.  Bronfman's romance with Jerusalem is in "its breathtaking glory."  Bronfman is one of 48 contributors proffering letters of love to Jerusalem, enriching its glory with juxtaposed elegant and rich photographs.
On the dust jacketthe name Jerusalem is embossed in gold set against a night-lit orange photograph of the Tower of David (or Jerusalem Citadel).  This touch epitomizes its sobriquet, The City of Gold, Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, popular in Hebrew verse and melody, the words to which appear on the first page.  It is the place, writes Shimon Peres, where "every morning, at the moment when the sun rises ... it is as if heaven and earth have met."
At first glance, I looked forward to an emotion-filled experience through a magical photographer's eye.  Ziv Koren's works of art do not fail me.  But the book is so much more.  My Jerusalem is a compendium of personal love letters assembled by Ilan Greenfield's selection of Jewish and Christian leaders to a city built by a king of the Jews.  She is a city under siege for some 2,000 years, but endowed as the holiest of holy places on Earth for three monotheistic religions.
Most contributors know her only as a city rebuilt and designated the capital of modern Israel.  But Ilan Greenfield has assembled My Jerusalem contributors spanning generations.  President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu recall childhood memories of growing up in war-torn and divided Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967.  The P.M. describes the city divided by barbed-wire fences laden with land mines and a garbage dump "with snipers on the walls."  "[S]trangled, it was withered, it had no future" until its liberation in 1967.  Then there is a heartwarming picture of the president hiking his old pacified trails in the hills of Jerusalem.
Editor Greenfield complements the romantic without giving short shrift to the controversies Jerusalem inspires, as any beautiful maiden does among anxious suitors.  Greenfield declares in his Publisher's Note that she is mineMy Jerusalem, "the eternal capital of the Jewish people," not only an eternal city.  The book's dedication is "to the land and people of Israel with deep gratitude for a life of meaning and the privilege of being part of the wondrous Zionist enterprise."  
"Yerushalayim Shel Zahav," written by Naomi Shemer, is a wildly popular complement to Israel's national anthem.  Is it coincidence that the melody is based on a Basque lullaby, from a province of Spain, fighting for generations for independence?  Moreover, her sister province, Catalonia, is enduring armed, club-wielding, anti-freedom repressors concomitant to the release of My Jerusalem, which daily faces threats to her independence and Jewish heritage from international world bodies and foreign former oppressors of the Jews.
The introduction from Alan Dershowitz, a political raconteur, wastes little time reminding readers that Jerusalem is "one of the most divisive political hot spots in the world."  We all know that.  I might have placed a born and raised Jerusalemite like President Rivlin to introduce the book.  Rivlin gives authenticity: "The history of Jerusalem in the early years of the state is also my personal and family history."
It seems that Greenfield chooses his authors for the influence and power they wield.  So few of the authors reside in Israel, let alone Jerusalem, that several of the testimonials stir imaginations of a Disneyland experience – a place to visit, and I'll feel bad if it closes.    
Christians and Jews tell their stories, but no Arab Israeli Christians, Muslims or Haredi leaders are contributors – despite pictures, for instance, that capture their peoples' passion and love for Jerusalem.  Is there not one who loves Jerusalem intensely as Jews and Evangelicals?  Several notable photographs capture "others," like the Arab with his donkey in a mix of IDF men and women; an overhead shot of Muslim men prostrate on prayer rugs emitting such force that one can almost hear them; an Arab woman hanging laundry overlooking the rubble from neglect of municipal services; an incongruous photograph of two smiling Arab women in conversation with a Border Patrol officer complemented by a missive from Bret Stephens about the Second Intifada and Yasser Arafat; and another Arab mother children in tow sans any expression of joy, in contrast to the numerous photos of frolicking Jewish children and celebrations throughout the city.  There is a poignant photo of an honor guard on the page next to Yitzhak Rabin's statement of how Jerusalem is the depository of centuries of tears and pride.
I recommend My Jerusalem be given as a parting gift to every student who spends time studying in Israel, and to every tourist to remind him of a lover lost to another place.  It is a book of art for everyone who desires to live in Jerusalem and for those who want to understand what makes Jerusalem different.  To paraphrase Shai Agnon, Greenfield and Koren significantly add to the study of Jerusalem, and "you have done well."
Dr. Harold Goldmeier is a public speaker and writer and teaches international university students in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  His book Healthcare Insights: Better Care Better Business is available on Amazon.  His articles and reviews appear on American Thinker, Arutz 7, Life in Israel, and in the Jerusalem Post and more.  He was a research and teaching fellow at Harvard. 









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pashkevil to leave Israel

Another pashkevil of interest that went up during the holiday period was the following pashkevil calling for people to prepare to leave Israel for foreign lands because of the government of kofrim and the decrees they enact against the religious community (specifically the IDF draft). They announce the formation of a fund to help families relocate - they will pay for plane tickets to Europe and the USA and moving costs as well. No mention is made of whether or not they will fund the $150,000-$20,000 tuitions per kid, plus health insurance, after the move or if the families will be on their own after the initial move.

Anyways, I say good riddance. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. I wonder which communities they think will embrace them and welcome their extremism, but I hope they find such a community somewhere outside of Israel, and specifically outside of Bet Shemesh.




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Smotrich: He who does not build in the settlements... (video)








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Israelis: Do you think Israeli Arabs are treated fairly? (video)







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Min Bennet personal interview with Lior Dayan (video)

very interesting to hear some of his personal background..






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Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar Ilan University - Oct. 15, 2017 (video)







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Rabbi Eli Scheller - "Chatof!" (Music Video)







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Oct 15, 2017

Kaan, Part III

Reportedly, PM Netanyahu and Minister Deri are once again trying to shut down the new broadcasting authority (Kaan). I did not understand the fight over this the first time around and I doubt I will understand it this time. The excuse is something about wasting public monies.

It seems to me that establishing the authority at the cost of tens of millions of shekels and then canceling it within a few short months, and then obviously creating a new broadcasting entity is a bigger waste of money and it would make sense to establish some protocol for spending and appoint a comptroller to oversee proper usage of funds.

I don't get it.




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Quote of the Day

We will not sit with them, unequivocally. I do not see anything that connects us to them or allows us to be in the same government with them

  -- Labor (Hamachane Hatzioni) Chairman Avi Gabbay about the possibility of forming a government in the future with the Arab party

Gabbay is under fire for rejecting the Arabs outright, but the truth is no government-forming party has ever invited the Arab parties to join a coalition, so Gabbay is only expressing what every government, Labor-led included, has always done...




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Haredi flight attendant on El Al

According to a post on Facebook (source: Haredim10) by her husband, Haredi model/actress/presenter Batya Schiff has now become a stewardess, flight attendant, with El Al.

It does not say she is the first Haredi flight attendant, female or not, and I have no idea if she is or is not. I don't find this newsworthy in any way and the announcement is probably just the work of her publicist/agent/public relations person just keeping her name in the news...

However, there is a way this could become slightly interesting.. that would be if she works a flight with the first, and for now only, Haredi pilot, female in this case. And especially if a couple more Haredi flight attendants join and turn it into a full Haredi flight crew. I wonder how that would look or change the nature of any given flight....




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notice to guests from abroad..

this is one of a couple interesting pashkevilim that were posted/pasted on the walls of Jerusalem over the holiday period...

while they definitely have a good point and valid concern about foreigners buying up property while not living there and causing prices to increase, making it difficult for locals to afford housing in Jerusalem, I am not quite sure what can be done about it. The local government increased taxes for "ghost" houses, and that seems to not have helped. The wealthy will continue to buy the real estate as much as they can and want to. Just this Shabbos someone in Jerusalem told me how they had lived in a specific rental apartment for 17 years, and the owner decided a few years ago to sell, but he was asking a very high price and no buyers were biting. Recently, a wealthy person bought it without even looking at it as he has bought a number of apartments around Jerusalem for his children and grandchildren and paying a little too much does not bother him. This will continue to happen, as will people buying apartments for investments and people buying apartments so they can have a home in Jerusalem for when they want to visit.






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Israelis: Should there be a Mizrahi Prime Minister? (video)








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Israeli Dep. FM answers President Trumps statement regarding the embassy move (video)








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Ambassador Friedman visit to Sderot "Yeshivat Sderot" (video)



Ambassador David Friedman traveled October 8 to Sderot, joining the Israeli and American families gathered at the Yeshivat Sderot for a Sukkot holiday celebration and praising the resilience of the city’s residents in the face of frequent missile attacks over the past years.





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Synagogues of New York (video)














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YTI - Yerushalayim ft. C Begun, Moshe Lang, Yehuda Litke (Official Music Video)








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Oct 9, 2017

Israelis: Would you give aid to America? (video)







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Synagogues of New York (video)










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Yigdal - יגדל Avi Beer [Official Music Video]







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Oct 8, 2017

I AM ISRAEL Clip - Cowboys of the Golan Heights (video)






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Building My Sukkah - Mayim Bialik (video)







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Yonina: Happy Vsamachta Bchagecha (video)







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Oct 4, 2017

Hope This Doesn't Happen On Sukkos (video)







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Sukot Medley with Micha Gamerman (Official Animation Video)







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Oct 3, 2017

IDF argue Haredim with Dati Leumi

The IDF is reportedly working overtime to find ways to get religious women to join the IDF and have made their interview process more thorough to determine a candidate's level of religious observance when applying for the exemption for religious women.

Reportedly, the recruiting officer even said to one such candidate who explained that she does not want to serve due to a prohibition on women serving int he army and a psak to that point issued by many rabbonim, something to the tune of many haredim are being drafted today and if the army was so bad, they would not do so - "and they are far more haredi than you".
source: Kipa

The candidate's response should have been something to the tune of explaining that the Haredim don't allow even a single woman to join the army, so if they want to point to the Haredim as examples, their number swill go way down among female recruits. And, if they want to compare the DL community to the Haredi community in general regarding the draft, the DL can take a similar approach to the Haredim as well, and the army won't be so happy about Haredim drafting if the DL community imitates the percentages of Haredim being drafted...





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donors for donors

Rav Haber from the amazing Matnat Chaim organization is being investigated for giving donor priority to donors. Matnat Chaim encourages and arranges live organ donations, specifically of kidneys. Due to the efforts of Matnat Chaim, the numbers of kidney donations, altruistic, have skyrocketed. The investigation seems o looking into whether Rav Haber gave priority to kidney donor recipients who made donations to his organization, which is illegal.

Without weighing in on any opinion if Rav Haber is good or bad and if he did something wrong or not, because I do not have any secret information that reveals this to me...

The Haredi sites are going out of their way to talk about how great Rav Haber is and they are showing tremendous support from past donor recipients who are acting as character witnesses and saying no money was involved.

Perhaps no money was ever involved. I certainly hope that is the case. I just never understood the futility of such efforts. Nobody ever said every potential recipient had to pay to receive a donation. The claim is that some recipients got pushed up the list by making donations. Those that did not pay to play, surely the vast majority, will not even know about that - so them saying publicly nothing untoward ever happened is pointless. If something happened, they just do not know about it, as would be expected.

The sad thing is that if he is found guilty it is likely Matnat Chaim will bear the brunt of the negative publicity and kidney donations will probably plummet back to near the levels they were when only the government was involved in looking for donations.


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Israeli Study Reveals Why Honeybees Are Dying - Sept. 25, 2017 (video)







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The King of Jordan has a palace in Israel?!?!? (video)








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Harvesting lulavs in Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi (video)







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Synagogues of New York (video)










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Gad, Benny & Binyamin Elbaz - Even (video)







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Oct 2, 2017

Interesting Psak: food distributed to the needy

Rav Chaim Kanievsky was asked two interesting questions about the distribution of food to the needy. (source: Behadrei)

In one question he was asked if a tzedaka organization is required to distribute fine meats and sweets as per requests submitted by potential recipients.

Rav Kanievsky responded to this by saying that as long as it is something considered "regular" food it can/should be included in the distribution even though it is beyond what is normally given. 

I guess this means they would not distribute steaks and spare ribs, but a brisket would be considered reasonable.

In the second question Rav Kanievsky was asked about someone who applied to receive food form the tzedaka organization and set a specific hechsher as his standard. Upon receiving the meat with his preferred hechsher he announced that he longer eats that hechsher and only eats meat from a different hechsher - does he have to return the meat to the organization or can he keep it and give it to someone else (eg family member or friend) who does eat that hechsher?

To this Rav Kanievsky responded that he already acquired the meat and it is his and he can do with it what he wants and give it to whomever he wants.

On this question I think the question should have been followed up with more questions. I would then have asked if the organization is required to give this fellow more meat, this time with the hechsher he now requires or because they already gave him what was agreed upon they should not feel any obligation to give him again? I would also have asked if they can look at this recipient askance because of what he did and view it perhaps as a scam of sorts as a way to get someone else the meat they wanted because they are not recipients - and this might effect future distributions to this person.

Another thought is that from Rav Kanievsky's response it seems it is not inappropriate to make hechsherim demands from an organization distributing foods. This fellow seems to have the full right, as no comments about it seems to have been made, to demand a specific hechsher and can even change his mind and demand a different hechsher when he so pleases...







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Cancer Journey (video)








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Palestinians: Can a restaurant open during Ramadan? (video)








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what different rabbis said about going into the army (video)






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JIMM WEBISODE 7 SEASON 1 SUKKOT (video)







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Yitzchak Reiss - Hineni - (Official Music Video)







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Oct 1, 2017

Yeshiva sells its aliya to learn gemara

Interesting bidding war took place at a yeshiva minyan in Bet Shemesh over Yom Kippur.

In the yeshiva of Chachmei Yerusahlayim, led by Rabbi Potash, the bidding for one of the aliyot went as high as $30,000 (true? exaggerated? does it cast doubts on the entire story?), with the bid being offered by an alumnus from the yeshiva.

One of the students offered a counter-bid with a different currency - he offered to learn 1400 pages of gemara for the honor of getting that aliya.

Unsure what to do with the two bids being offered in different currencies, the gabbai turned to Rav Potash for a decision. Rav Potash decided the victor was the student offering to learn 1400 pages of gemara, referring to the passuk of "your words of torah are more valuable than gold and silver"...
source: Kikar

1. beautiful story. The rosh yeshiva set a nice example for his students

2. from what I hear, bidding from now on will only take place in pages of gemara and the yeshiva has basically ended its fundraising forever.

3. It is not really new, as many yeahivas and some shuls have been selling aliyas and honors on Simchas Torah for pages learned for a long time already. The chiddush here would be this was on Yom Kippur, not Simchas Torah, and that it was pages learned competing against money.

4. when they come fundraising, will baalebatim say they prefer to give 8 pages of gemara rather than a check for $180 (a rough calculation of the ration from 1400 pages to $30k)?



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how segulas are born

Kikar has a story about how Rav Shach used to have boys from the yeshiva build his sukka with him and often the boys who helped build the sukka would get engaged and married during that same year.

Rav Asher Deitsch, one of the rosh yeshivas of Ponevezh today, seems to have adopted the segula. Every year some boys help him build hsi sukka. Last year, it seems, two brother helped him build the sukka and during the year they both got engaged!

Now, this year, more boys have joined in the building of the sukka, including some of the older bachurim who have not had mazel in finding their zivvug until now, and even some boys from the Mir Yeshiva went to help to take advantage of the segula...

And that is how segulas are born..




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Headline of the Day

Israel’s top tennis player quits mid-match for Yom Kippur


  -- Times of Israel

Thank you, Sandy Koufax. Errrr, Dudi Sela.

I must say, this is a far bigger kiddush hashem, and even just a bigger act of Jewishness, than that guy the other day who came to terms with his kid playing football on Yom Kippur...

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The Rabbanut is looking at the tipping point

There are some restaurants that have been at the forefront in the fight against the obligation to bear a kashrut certificate from the Rabbanut, or not kashrut certificate at all.... and then there are those that are just joining the fray, and might even be considered classic, old-time, places. There are those that bear no certificate, or maybe an "alternative" hechsher like Hashgacha Pratit, that does not [yet?] have mainstream recognition, and there are, now, restaurants that even bear the classic mehadrin  hechsherim that are choosing to forgo the Rabbanut hechsher.

Reportedly Halo Teiman in Jerusalem, and old-time place, has decided, in light of the recent fights and court decisions, that they can make do just fine with their hechsher from Harav Machfoud and no longer need to keep or renew their certification from the Rabbanut.

I suspect this is an indication the tipping point has been reached, or is close to being reached, and soon the entire thing will be behind us. Once the tipping point is reached, the Rabbanut monopoly is finished. Others will see Halo Teiman doing just fine and will move to save money on the redundant hechsher they have only because the law has required it, not because they actually need it.


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Israeli Frenemies - Sep. 29, 2017 (video)







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Vered: Owner of Tura wines, West Bank (video)







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AMBUSHED: U.N. Heads Turn in Stunned Disbelief as PLO Lies Exposed by Palestinian Hero (video)

love it!





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Synagogues of New York (video)













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Six13 - Sim Shalom (video)






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Sep 30, 2017

Desperate to Eat-oh - Despacito Yom Kippur Parody (video)







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Sep 29, 2017

Helping Disabled Children in Israel This Year

 *** sponsored post ****

Helping Disabled Children in Israel This Year
When you think about the world of charity, you oftentimes picture a hungry little child in your mind. Everyone remembers those commercials that said, “for only $2 a day you can feed a hungry child for one month.” After all, people who truly need money have a very hard time affording food. That’s the basics psychology behind it and this helps to expand charity giving across the world.
However, not all charities are primarily about food. And while donations worldwide still primarily go to food organizations, other charities are slowing catching up as more people realize the importance of these other charities. There are some nonprofits, like Sulam Israel, who for example help children with disabilities integrate into society.
This specific field isn’t exactly as attractive as a little girl holding out her hands in sadness. However, it is equally as important.
Many disabled children are not provided with the proper education and thus end up falling behind in life. Fitting into and contributing to society becomes all but impossible to these children. This is where Sulam comes in.
Sulam provides 77 classes for roughly 600 disabled students. There are 12 branches across Israel with over 630 staff members. Sulam evaluates each child, and then provides therapy, inclusion, advocacy, and support for them. By providing a range of activities for these children, Sulam has been able to see the successful integration rate go from single digits to over 30% for disabled children.
Unique treatment initiatives are used to help these children achieve their max functioning potential. This includes physical therapy, sensory integration, music therapy, performaing arts group sessions, and more than a dozen others.

If you are interested in helping to give the gift of a future to a child in need, please consider donating to Sulam today.


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Dvir: Shana Tova (video)








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Sep 28, 2017

embrace your chicken

Kapparos is a weird enough ceremony that it always is good for providing weird experiences, and even some controversy.

Sarah Chandler of the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center has come up with a new procedure for kappparos. Instead of grabbing the chicken and whipping it through the air, as she says, one would say the kapparos and then embrace the chicken while confessing the sins. A hug solves all ills.

Just to be fair, I would protest the use of the terms grabbing the chicken and whipping it through the air. I rarely see people whip it through the air. Most people wave it gently and uncomfortably. Also the grabbing it is unusual. Most people pick up the chicken very hesitatingly and cautiously.

Back to the hugs, even though hugging the chicken is not the Standard Operating Procedure, I don't think hugging the chicken is really any weirder than waving it over one's head. Or any weirder than waving palm fronds, confessing sins over a body of water with fish (and throwing crumbs in or not), eating a fish head or any of the other symbolic customs we perform on our holidays...

Still weird. I am not hugging a chicken, though I am also not waving it over my head...


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The bark mitzva has become kapparos

They used to say that what the Reform do today, the Conservative will do in 15 years, and the Orthodox will do in 30.

While we often hear criticism of the Reform for their "bark mitzvas", with the same few videos on Youtube being pointed to as proof,  the trend of sharing our religious experiences with our pets has eventually found its way to Orthodox Judaism...

What are MKs Yiroel Eichler and Menachem Eliezer Mozes goign to do next time they talk about the Reform bark mitzvahs and this gets thrown back at them?




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Breaking News: Jew decides to not be Sandy Koufax

A father in Connecticut is lamenting the fact that his son decided to not be the second coming of Sandy Koufax and will participate in his college football game. On Yom Kippur.

The father, in a Tablet Magazine article, laments how connected to Judaism his son was and how despondent this decision makes him (the father, not the son), but then he comes to terms with it and even sees a good side in it - the integration of the Jews into American society.

As sad as it might be that this young man has decided to play ball on Yom Kippur instead of respect and commemorate the solemnity of the day (whether in a shul or at home or even in a beer garden), the father need not be blamed for this decision (as is invariably happening online).

It might not be great that the father "is fine with it", but parents really cannot be blamed for the life-decisions made by older children. The most religious and connected people have children that have left the path pf religion, and practically every parent has a child or children that have chosen a different path or set of values than what the parents tried to imbue in them.

Our kids are people with their own minds and experiences, and no matter what a parent wants or does not want a kid to do, the kids will end up making their own decisions and going their own way. The parents are rarely to blame for the kids decisions.



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kapparos with the Braekel

I wonder... if I do kapparos with a Braekel chicken, do I keep my sins or do they go onto the chicken? Does it depend which rabbi I follow and which hechsher I eat? What if I eat from both the hechsher of the people who oppose the Braekel and from the people who certify the Braekel as kosher?


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Picture of the Day

photo by Yaakov Lederman



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machzirei tshuva and missionaries

A brief scuffle ensued when some avreichim in Neve Yaakov neighborhood of Jerusalem discovered the identity of a person distributing missionary materials on car windshields across the neighborhood, including in the Haredi section.

When the police arrived to break up the argument and separate them, one of the officers responded to the avreichim by saying that the missionaries are no different than the Haredim who go out looking to be "machzir btshuva" secular people. Obviously the avreichim were very upset and offended by this.
source: Kikar

I have heard this before, and I have no idea how to respond to it. It sounds like it has some truth to it. Even though it is within the same religion while classic missionaries are trying to draw people from other religions to the religion they are representing, from the perspective of someone secular, how is a Chabadnik trying to put tefillin on people or someone at the Kotel snagging people for home cooked Shabbos meals, or baal tshuva yeshiva reps who target them or their kids in an attempt to turn them religious really any different?

I don't have a good handle on how to differentiate between them. And if there is no difference, why is missionizing not ok but having tefillin booths and people handing cds of machzirei btshuva rabbis ok - is it just because Orthodox Judaism is right?


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Why is the Jewish Calendar Different From All Other Calendars? - Elon Gold (video)








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Human VS Chicken (video)

it is nearly kapparos time...





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A message to Jason Greenblatt (video)







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Opinion | Take the Knee as an Act of Yom Kippur (video)

huh? when will he be taking a knee? he'll be on his knee the entire Yom Kippur? Maybe when he bows for Aleinu in Mussaf he'll consider that taking a knee...






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