Dec 17, 2017

Proposed Law: indicted prime minister to resign

MK Yoel Hasson (Hamachane Hatzioni) has proposed a law to counter the "Recommendations Law" being pushed by the coalition.  The Recommendations Law would somewhat protect an investigated Prime Minister by keeping the police from publicly recommending indictment. Hasson's proposal would force an indicted prime minister and other ministers to resign. The forced resignation would apply to any minister indicted for a crime whose prison sentence is 3 years or longer.

This law has been proposed before, in 2008, and at the time had been supported by a number of MKs who are today part of the ruling coalition and will ostensibly oppose it - including MKs from Shas and UTJ, MKs from Kulanu, MKs from the Likud and even Prime Minister Netanyahu himself had supported this law back in 2008.

Hasson says that allowing an indicted prime minister to continue in his position puts the country at risk as he deals with his personal matters and does not give the country enough of his attention. There might also be some conflict of interests involved, but worse is the possibility of a potential security problem for the country that might result in the pm dealing with his legal issues from his seat as prime minister.
source: Kol Hai News

obviously this proposal will not pass in today's government. Just as it was then, this is a classic opposition proposal..





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the discount that won't be given out

A shop is offering a discount the shopkeep knows nobody can take advantage of, but offering it gets him good press coverage.

The shop offering the discount is located in Gaza and is a shawarma joint. The discount being offered is an 80% discount to all North Korean patrons. Nobody can take advantage of it because there are no North Koreans in Gaza - not as tourists, not as residents and not as foreign aid workers.

Mr Ibrahim Raba has offered the discount anyway, despite knowing all this, in order to show appreciation for Kim Jong Un's rejection of Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
source: Times of Israel

with the price of shawarma in Gaza being 5-8nis, Mr Raba probably does not really want any North Koreans to come visiting... though when average Mr North Korean Joe is looking for a nice vacation spot, 1.5nis shawarma can be very appealing and tip the scales in choosing Gaza as his vacation spot!




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Dr. Mordechai Kedar on Al jazeera debating a Lebanese cleric about Jerusalem (video)



this was fun..



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Palestinians: Do you see Israelis as human beings? (video)






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Israeli Frenemies - Dec. 14, 2017 (video)







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Synagogues of New York (video)









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An Elvis Hanukkah - Jewish a cappella group Shir Soul featuring Elliot Dvorin of Key Tov Orchestra (video)








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Dec 15, 2017

Shalom Aleichem שלום עליכם David d’Or (video)



Young Leadership Program (Visual Arts) from Japan sing together with David d’Or the famous Jewish prayer “Shalom Aleichem”, Tel-Aviv Dec. 2017




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Hanukkah - New York Boys Choir “Chanukah” (video)







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Dec 14, 2017

A peek into a day at Telshe Yeshiva Chicago! (video)


my alma mater..



Rabbi Gluck was my rebbe in 12th grade. He was just honored at the Telshe Yeshiva Chicago annual dinner for his 50 years of teaching.. I probably did not appreciate him back in 12th grade..





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WATCH: What did British General Allenby have to do with the story of Chanukah? (video)



Author Lenny Ben-David discusses the topic of his book, American interests in the Holy Land 1840-1940, with WIN reporter Steve Leibowitz. He also tells a little-known story about British General Edmund Allenby and his connection to the story of Chanukah.





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Palestinians: Explain Palestinian resistance (video)








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Not Your Typical Chanukah Music Video (video)







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The Maccabeats - Candles on the Sill - Hanukkah (video)







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Dec 13, 2017

Public transportation on Shabbos

I don't really understand how this will work but Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz announced a reform of the public transportation system. Katz says that the shared taxi system (moniyot sheirut - where a taxi van fills up with ten passengers that share the ride from city to city. in the Gush Dan area there are also such shared taxis that drive along the local bus routes picking up and letting off passengers along the route at a price similar to that of the bus) will be added to the public transportation system and passengers will be able to use their "rav kav" cards in taxis as well, and it will work on Shabbos as well.

According to Katz this will make public transportation cheaper and will also prevent the shared taxi system form closing down, as has recently been threatened by a decrease in business. These shared taxis will be able to work on Shabbos, and their "weekend" business will grow, the there will be no use of the rav kav on Shabbos - passengers will have to pay cash. According to Katz, not allowing use of the rav kav on Shabbos will avoid breaking the status quo.
source: Kipa and Kikar

I guess technically it is not a breech in the status quo because of the lack of use of the rav kav, but it seems to me to only be cosmetic, as really it is the government allowing and encouraging more public transportation. If all they care about is how it looks cosmetically, than I guess this will not be a problem.



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Interesting Psak: eulogizing Rav Shteinman posthumously

In his will, Rav Shteinman left a series of instructions for behavior and conduct to be followed after his death. The instructions are interesting and show the focus and humility of Rav Shteinman and are worth reading through if you can. I have posted the text of it below, taken from other news sources.

Among the instructions is included a command to not eulogize him, not before the funeral, not after, and not in any way using any other word for the gathering. As well, not to write articles about him in the newspapers and magazines, and not now, not in a week or in months, etc.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky was asked whether this needs to be adhered to or not. He was asked this question by private people and by representatives of the newspapers and magazines.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky replied that Rav Shteinman had written his will with tremendous humility and his family must adhere to his instructions. However, the rest of "klal yisrael" is obligated to show him the honor and respect due to the generations leader and everyone is obligated in his honor. We must increase the honor of torah and having such events and articles will increase the honor and increase "kvod shamayim". Rav Shteinman now will be very pleased with every bit of praise said about him.
source: Kikar

the debate seems to be is it considered honoring him by fulfilling his wishes and refraining from eulogies and articles, for example, or is it honoring him by ignoring his instructions and talking about his greatness in eulogies and articles? Rav Kanievsky paskened that the family is obligated by his instructions but the rest of us are obligated to honor him and singing his praises is the greater honor.


Rav Shteinman's will:

ו' תשרי תש"מ והוספתי בסוף ביום כ"ד מרחשון תשמ"ג עיין מעבר לדף
כבר כמה פעמים התעוררתי וכתבתי צוואה ראשונה בשנת תשי"ד אחרי שנסתלקו בזמן קצר ג' גדולי ישראל זכרונם לברכה. וכעת נתעוררתי שוב מכמה טעמים ושיניתי ממה שכתבתי אז ויה"ר שאזכה לתקן בתשובה שלמה מה שעבר ולזכות לעובדו כרצונו יתברך.
א. אבקש מאד לא להספידני, לא בפני ולא שלא בפני ולא לעשות עצרת התעוררות או עצרת אבל, או כל מיני שמות שבודים והכוונה בהם להספיד.
ב. לא לכתוב שום מאמר עלי בעיתונים יומיים, שבועיים, חדשיים. ולא להדפיס תמונתי ולא כמו שרגילים לכתוב תולדותיו.
ג. לא להדפיס מודעות על הלוי', ולא להודיע על ידי רמקול או רדיו. מספיק שיהיו רק עשרה אנשים בהלווי'.
ד. להשתדל שלא להשהות בין מיתה לקבורה, רק לזרז שיהי' קבורה הכי סמוך למיתה.
ה. מקומי בבית החיים בין אנשים פשוטים.

ו. לא לכתוב על המצבה שום תוארים, רק פ"נ ר' אהרן יהודה לייב ב"ר נח צבי שטינמן.
ז. המצבה תהי' הכי זולה ופשוטה, לא לבזבז כסף עבור קניית מקום בבית הקברות שעולה ביוקר, אבל אם רוצים לתת צדקה שיתנו' בלי קניית מקום.
ח. בימים שהמנהג בהם ללכת אל הקבר, כגון בכלות השבעה ושלושים ויא"צ, מכל מקום לא יבזבזו יותר מדי זמן עבור זה ויותר כדאי שיתחלפו במשך המעת לעת ללמוד כסדר ובלי לדבר אז דברים בטלים.
אם על ידי החיפוש למצוא מקום להתפלל לפני העמוד יגרום הרבה ביטול תורה יותר כדאי ללמוד תורה לשם שמים בזמן זה.
ט. אבקש שכל מי שרוצה בטובתי ילמוד כל יום פרק אחד משניות עד גמר י"ב חודש, והבנות יאמרו כל יום עשרה פרקי תהילים, גם בשבת ויום טוב.
י. הכתבים בד"ת וכן באגדה אין להדפיס רק אלה שידעו שעברתי עליהם והם מוכנים לדפוס.
יא. אבקש לא להזכירני בשם צדיק או ירא שמים, כדי שלא אתבזה על ידי זה בעולם האמת.
יב. אבקש מאד מחילה מכל מי שפגעתי בכבודו וכן מי שאני חייב לו כסף ולא ידוע ושבמציאות לא יגבה, [היינו דלא יוכל לגבות על פי דין], נא למחול לי.
יג. כל יוצאי חלצי לא ילכו אחרי המיטה כמנהג ירושלים ת"ו.
אהרן יודא לייב שטינמן
****
יד. היות והרבה טועים בי, לכן מצידי אני מייעץ שלא לקבוע ילדים על שמי אבל איני אוסר את זה.




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Quote of the Day

I would rather die than since the Israeli national anthem

  -- MK Jamal Zahalka (UAL)

ok... yaharog v'al yaavor...




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Picture of the Day



one of the acts in response to the removal of the signs... so far it looks like the women aren't playing along..


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Dennis Prager debates on the topic of Israel (video)







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Orthodox Jewish All Star, Neil Schloss, CFO of Mobility, Ford Motor Company (video)







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JIMM WEBISODE 13 SEASON 1 CHANUKAH (video)







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Discovering The Best Doughnut In Town (video)








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8th Day - Miracle Of Light (Official Music Video)







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Dec 12, 2017

Zos Chanukah Choir @ Breuers / KAJ (K'hal Adath Jeshurun) (video)








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Facebook Status of the Day

this Facebook post is about 3 years old, but in memory of Rav Shteinman who died this morning, it is worth posting now..




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Minister Bennett on Meet The Press (video)







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One on One with Alan Dershowitz - Dec. 7, 2017 (video)






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Hanukkah: Celebrating 8 Differences that Make the Jewish People Unique (video)








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Drop the Mic: Kunal Nayyar vs Mayim Bialik - FULL BATTLE | TBS (video)







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Y-Studs - Rise Up - Hanukkah (video)







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Dec 11, 2017

get your VCR now! major tax breaks!

Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon announced today a major tax cut on products such as electronics, cosmetics and toys.

Amazingly, the tax on VCRs is being cut down to a big fat zero! 0% tax on VCRs! Amazing! Forget digital and streaming, DVD and Blu-Ray and whatever else is out there... at 0% tax we should all go back to VCRs and record our memories on VHS tapes!

Does anybody still buy VCRs? Does anybody still sell them?

Anyways, on a more serious note, besides for VCRs, taxes are being slashed on televisions, screens, speakers, headsets, projectors, amplifiers, and more. You can now get that Hungarian chandelier for your bathroom  without paying tax! No customs on refrigerators, heaters, cookers, freezers, juicers and more!

Washing your hair will be cheaper as shampoos get slashed from the tax. Deodorant might now be cheap enough to become more popular. All sorts of clothes, as well as video games, gym equipment, swimming pools and games will all become cheaper!
source: TOI

Let's hope the tax break is passed along to the consumer...

Why couldn't they do this just a couple of weeks ago before Black Friday?






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Picture of the Day


Iryat Bet Shemesh today removed [6 of 8 of] the offending signs in the RBS B, Cheftziba, and Kirya Hachareidit neighborhoods, as per the court order.

I guess now that those signs are not up, women can walk through the neighborhoods dressed as immodestly as they want...

According to the Irya Facebook post on this, they removed the signs at a total cost of 50,000nis. Despite this, in at least one of the locations, the removed signs were immediately replaced with new signs. The police had the Iryah stop trying to remove them because of disturbances in the area. The mayor, Moshe Abutbol, turned to the courts showing that as many times in the past they have tried once again to remove the signs but do not have the power to enforce this complex issue on a daily basis nor to absorb the financial costs. He called upon the police and the courts, who do have the abilities, to enforce the law in Bet Shemesh on these issues.

I want to know how they get replacement signs printed so quickly, or where they store a seemingly endless supply, and how they hang them so fast..




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possible lawsuit against sexual assault victims

this is interesting. I have no idea of the legal issues involved and who has what rights. If thee are any lawyers out there that might offer some insight into this situation, I would appreciate your thoughts..

A couple of years ago Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg was convicted of sexual assault, fraud, rape and sodomy. A plea bargain left him convicted but dropped the rape and sodomy from the final indictment.

Three women who had filed complaints about rape and sodomy, which were ultimately left off the indictment, might now find themselves up a creek. The family of Sheinberg is suing, or considering suing, those three women fro damages. After all, they claimed he had raped and sodomized them, yet he was not convicted of that, making it perhaps a false charge. That false charge contributed, presumably somewhat, to the financial damage they have incurred because of the claims against him and the conviction.

At the time his accounts were locked as liens were filed against his home and any bank accounts he was a signatory on. The rest of the family now lives in a small rented home and basically survive with the financial support of extended family. They say they did nothing wrong yet they are the ones suffering because of those claims against him.
source INN

Again, I have no idea as to the legal issues and who can claim what from whom.

Being that he was indicted and convicted, I would consider it horrible to allow those making claims against him to be open to such suits just because a plea agreement left a few claims off the final charge sheet. It would open up to all criminals room to make a plea and agree to partial charges, when possible, and allow the family to sue for the charges not included. People would be afraid to file claims and would be forced to continuing to suffer in silence.

People should not be making false claims. The law should protect against that and should deter people from doing so. But people with real claims should not be deterred from making them. I hope they decide not to sue, and if they do sue it will be either thrown out of court.

The wife and children did nothing wrong, and they too are victims of Sheinberg and his assault. They are not victims of the women he raped. If he had any money left, they should sue him, not the victims.






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Interesting Psak: Cohen, not Kohen, marrying a convert

A Kohen is not allowed, from a halachic perspective, to marry a convert to Judaism. It turns out that not everyone named "Cohen" is a kohen, though it is pretty common that they are. David Cone, the former Cy Young pitcher, for example, is not even Jewish, let alone a kohen, though he spells the name differently.

Anyways, a fellow named Cohen went into the Rabbanut of Ashdod to register his upcoming marriage to a convert. The beis din obviously looked at the paperwork and the marriage license of his parents and said "no way" - a kohen is not allowed to marry a convert!

Mr Cohen responded that despite his name, he is not a kohen, his dead father had not been a kohen, and his grandfather had not been a kohen. That reminds me of a joke.

Mr Cohen claimed that he had been raised by his grandmother. When she and her son, his father, moved to Israel, she registered their names using her maiden name "Cohen", even though their family name was no longer Cohen but something else. So, grandma was from a line of kohanim, but dad was not.

Throwing a wrench into this was Mr Cohen's brother who admitted that for a period of time he had performed the priestly blessings and taken the first aliyah to the Torah as a kohen, but that was because at the time he had assumed he was a kohen based on the name. He says he stopped when he discovered otherwise. The beis din confirmed this with the gabbai of the brother's shul. Further throwing a wrench into the investigation was the discovery that the brother had tried to marry a divorcee, making the same claim about not really being a kohen despite the name, but the beis din in Tel Aviv did not allow him to.

The beis din in Ashdod got the family records from the Ministry of Interior. This only made it more difficult as the beis din discovered that various family members, including Mr Cohen and Mr Cohen's father, had changed their names a number of times over the years, both first and last names.

A thorough investigation had the beis din accessing old records in Tunisia. There they somehow discovered that the real grandfather of Mr Cohen was not a kohen, though he is not the grandfather listed as Mr Cohen in the grandmother's ketuba. Further investigation revealed some older records in Tunisia.

It seems to be very confusing but it turns out the grandma Cohen is really the father's grandmother, and Mr Cohen's great-grandmother. Great grandma Cohen had been married to a non-kohen and they had a daughter - the mother of Papa Cohen and grandmother of Mr Cohen. Her husband died and she remarried to a Mr Cohen, that was a kohen. When they moved to Israel, she took her grandson with them and registered him as their son, using her current name, Cohen.

At the end of the investigation and halachic debate over the matter, the beis din decided to pasken that Mr Cohen is allowed to marry the convert he wished to, while adding a prayer that God should save them from a mistake about this.
source: Kikar and Kipa

I am impressed that the beis din was able to piece it all together and figure out a complicated situation like that. Perhaps more impressive is that they went through the effort and did not just stop at any point in the middle and just prevent the marriage from happening.

Mazel tov!


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Book Review: My Jerusalem Book

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: My Jerusalem Book, by Barbara Shaw
 

My Jerusalem Book, by Barbara Shaw, is a bit of an unusual book. I am not even sure what category it would be found in in the book store. Is it a tour guide book? A book about Israel, and specifically Jerusalem?

My Jerusalem Book is a book describing the places, sights and experiences available around Jerusalem, but it is not really a tour guiding book at the same time that it is.

Shaw describes Jerusalem by guiding the reader through the city and informing the reader of the different sites to visit, unique and cultural eateries to enjoy, different experiences available throughout the city and the different cultures that mesh together to make Jerusalem what it is. However, My Jerusalem Book is not a replacement for a tour guide. Shaw does not go into great detail of the long and complicated history of the city, or of any specific site.

Shaw's love for Jerusalem oozes out of the pages of the book. One can tell by going through it that the author wants to share her perspective of Jerusalem, and what she loves about it, with others.

My Jerusalem Book offers the reader a look at the hot spots in the city, places the author recommends to visit, restaurants she recommends to eat, and things to do, and each with a list as if it is also a personal notebook or diary in which you can log your visit to Jerusalem. You can check off items from her lists of recommendations and there are places for you to write your own entries in of things you did or places you went to. Shaw describes each site and cultural experience, albeit very briefly - just the basic background.

If you want to just wander around Jerusalem on your own and take in the city, My Jerusalem Book is a good starting point.

You can buy My Jerusalem Book on Amazon.com

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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Israeli Frenemies - Dec. 07, 2017 (video)






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Israelis: Should Jerusalem become an International city? (video)







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Nikki Haley on the decision to move US embassy to Jerusalem (video)




and in the United Nations...




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UnderDos: Shul Board Meeting Episode 5: Menashe the Herring (video)

honestly, I didn't really understand this one or find it funny..






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Six13 presents: A Nice Jewish Boy Band Chanukah (video)







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Dec 10, 2017

Quote of the Day

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel just as Paris is the capital of France..

  -- PM Benjamin Netanyahu to President of France Emmanuel Macron





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Picture of the Day



it seems to have become an annual challenge to find a Jewish Santa and have him put on tefillin..


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from the Eida to the Likud

and we have 2 items in some interesting elections news...

Yehuda Meshi Zahav, the director of ZAKA, is planning to join politics, and from an unexpected position...Meshi Zahav is planning to run a spot in the Knesset on the Likud list. He says he cannot join a Haredi party because he is not part of the right Chassidut that could get him a spot, but even if he had been he wouldn't run on the Haredi list.
source: Srugim

from the Eida to the Likud... and lifelong transformation, and probably still in the process.

and Naftali Bennett has announced, once again, that when Netanyahu decides to leave politics he plans to compete for the position of Prime Minister. Bennett discounts the possibility of moving over to the Likud for this purpose. He seems to think Habayit Hayehudi can be expanded to include larger swaths of the population.

I guess a man can dream.

Anyways the Likud has a pretty crowded field. Gideon Saar is waiting in the wings, as is Nir Barkat. Yisrael Katz has spoken about his intentions as well. There probably isn't enough room for Bennett as well, so he has to turn Habayit Hayehudi into a party from which he can run for the position. It seems impossible to turn a small, sectoral, party into that launching pad, but maybe he can do it. It just seems like more of an unrealistic dream to me...




עוד התייחס בנט לשמועות כי הוא עשוי לרוץ לראשות הממשלה - דווקא כחלק ממפלגת הליכוד ולא מהבית היהודי. "מה שצריך בבית היהודי, כיום הפלטפורמה הזאת היא בעייתית כי היא מאוד צרה, היא נתפסת מאוד נישתית", אמר. "אבל אני מאמין בפלטפורמה הזאת, מה שצריך לעשות זה לפתוח את הבית היהודי לקהלים חדשים, לכל עם ישראל".
איש השמאל הקיצוני יריב אופנהיימר התייחס להצהרה, "בנט רוצה להביא את אג’נדת המתנחלים וההדתה הישר לכסא ראש הממשלה. מתנה לכל מועמד שמאל שירוץ מולו", כתב אופנהיימר.
חברת הכנסת שולי מועלם השיבה לו, "אנחנו טובים בלמות למען המדינה אבל לא להנהיג אותה?".
סגן שר הביטחון הרב אלי בן דהן, השיב "שוב יוצאת הגזענות נגד הציונות הדתית. כנראה שמישהו חושב שאנחנו לא ראויים להנהגה אלא רק למות למען המדינה, בנט יוכיח לו שהוא טועה"


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Facebook Status of the Day




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Book Review: Hello Refugees!

A Guest Post by Dr. Harold Goldmeier

Want to see refugee suffering in 30 seconds or less? Watch the news. Want to feel their pain and understand how one host nation justifies its action? Read Hello Refugees! (Gefen Publishing, 2017). By sticking assiduously to his successful formula best selling author Tuvia Tenenbom writes another masterpiece of non-fiction in an engrossing diary format.

Tenenbom is an affable, funny, interlocutor. He spotlights sores of the human condition and the humbuggery of official responses. He employs a playful amusing storytelling telling technique and playwright skills that leave the reader believing this is a personal diary more than a fact-filled telling of truths about the unfolding refugee crisis stewing in Germany. Tenenbom’s innate skepticism and intuition make him one of today’s most insightful modern social and political anthropologists.

Tenenbom tells the pain and suffering of men, women, and children, old and young, from Africa to Afghanistan who make their harrowing journeys to Germany. Some are criminals, sheisters and arrogant. Most are honest, simple people seeking refuge from violence back home. German racists and nationalists repeatedly lump migrants and refugees together to justify caging everyone, isolating them, guarding them by well-armed security forces and deporting them if only the exhausted German government had a place to ship them. Niggling at Tenenbom is the feeling Germans want to help refugees to show the rest of the world the Holocaust was an anomaly, a misstep, and glitch in time and culture. 

In other books, Tenenbom takes the most unsettling issues exposing them in a laugh-out-loud style. This is not that book. There is nothing funny about refugees, their living conditions, and the vainglorious and smarmy attitudes of officials responsible for the new lives of refugees. We are struck how ill-prepared are the Germans who live and die on their reputation for punctuality and organization to effectively manage livable accommodations let alone acculturate and assimilate refugees.

Tenenbom drives through Germany.  He worms his way into refugee camps, transit hotels, and other placement accommodations. He speaks Arabic, wrangles invites to eat their food, drink their thick, strong Arabic coffee, and gets them to share their stories. Germany offers the best welfare support in all of Europe and has the most beautiful blonds—men and women.  Speaking fluent German, he uses similar means to speak almost leisurely with Germans who fear and resent the “newcomers.”

Tenenbom gets everybody to talk about Israel and Jews. Some have good things to say. Others, host-migrant-refugee, are trapped in a tenacious web spun by the international Jews and mini-Nazi State of Israel (page 139).  

Doing for the refugees is the new German public image until Tenenbom enters “the freakiest place on the planet (page 55)!”   Refugee housing units are “boxes, made of lousy materials…housing up to ten people, and sheets serve as doors. If you want privacy, my dear, go back to where you came from.” The Germans are great for security. “Strangers and journalists are never to enter,” but Tenenbom wiggles around these formidable restrictions.
 Camps house people together who are educated and once middle-class alongside knife fighting, alcoholic tribesmen from violent and rural countries. Women and children are particularly vulnerable. Filthy public toilets subject refugees to health problems and skin diseases. The food is unfamiliar and often violates their religious precepts. It universally tastes horrible. The boredom, lack of work, skills training, education, or teaching them to speak German, doom refugees “to mental and spiritual death. Yes Germany might have saved their bodies, but it is killing their souls (page 105).”

 Nevertheless, there are “guests” who appreciate Germany. “Thawanni, a person with a million watts of warmth, is happy to introduce me to the residents of the place, and she seems to enjoy her new job as a hostess...Here, for example, is a couple from Iraq. ‘Just today,’ the man tells me,’ a missile fell next to my brother…in Mosul, where Daesh controls everything.’ His wife chips in: ‘I love Germany. Only Germany helps us. Angela Merkel is the best. Germans are the best. They take us in; they house us, they feed us, they give us money. May Allah bless Germany. No other country is as good as Germany. Not even one Arab country took us in!”
Hello Refugees! exemplifies Mark Twain’s assessment,  “The mere knowledge of a fact is pale; but when you come to realize a fact, it takes on color. It is all the difference of hearing of a man being stabbed to the heart, and seeing it done.” 
REVIEWER BIO: Dr. Harold Goldmeier is a public speaker, Managing Partner of an investment firm, a consultant to firms in commerce and industry, and a writer. He teaches Values & Ethics to international university students in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Goldmeier is a recipient of the Governor’s Award (Illinois) for family investment programs in the workplace from the Com. on the Status of Women. He was a Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard, a father and grandfather of very independent-minded children.

 buy Hello Refugees! from Amazon.com







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Minister Bennett on BBC about Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (video)







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President Trump and First lady Melania Trump host a Hanukkah Reception. White House. Dec 7, 2017 (video)

best part is at about 5 minutes in...





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Night Shift - Chaveirim of Brooklyn 2017 (video)

funny





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Synagogues of New York (video)












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Eliezer Kosoy - Keep your eye on the road (video)








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Dec 8, 2017

Jerusalem - the capital of Israel but not in Israel

very strange






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Dec 7, 2017

Interesting Psak: Travel to Israel

The announcement of US President Donald Trump has been expected to bring about a wave of violence from the Palestinians, perhaps even to the level of another intifada.

To that end, and taking into account that even the US State Department has issued a travel warning to the region because of expected violence, a number of people, including yeshiva students, avreichim and businessmen, have sent questions to Rav Chaim Kanievsky asking if they can travel now to Israel or if they should delay trips out of concern for a possible wave of violence.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky's response was that all is good. No worries. They can remain calm and travel to Israel without worrying about such things..
source: Kikar




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Headline of the Day

CZECH REPUBLIC ANNOUNCES IT RECOGNIZES WEST JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL'S CAPITAL


  -- JPost

yes, this gets HoTD over what Trump and the USA did last night. And that is because, while the USA leads the way, the Czech Republic announcement shows there will be a domino effect of other countries following suit and announcing that they too will now recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel...


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Amnon Levi: The financing problem of Haredi weddings (video)

this show caused quite a stir in the Haredi community, even before it aired. The promos featured the yeshiva boys talking about how much they demand to consider a shidduch, and everything went downhill from there...





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Knesset Members Say 'Jerusalem is My Capital' (video)







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JIMM WEBISODE 12 SEASON 1 STOP (video)



In Webisode 12 Lenny Solomon looks into the first of many different episodes on the Shabbat! Whether you call it Shabbos, the Sabbath or Shabbat it's all the same!!! The best!





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Soon By You Episode 5: The Wedding | Soon By You (video)

cute but the sponsors' in-show-placement advertising has gotten so tacky

David and Z crash a wedding with the intention of wooing Sarah, but don't get the reception they expect. Jacobs and Noa face the pressures of being single at a Jewish wedding firsthand. Meanwhile, Ben begins to process some unfamiliar feelings, and Sarah learns about a family member's relationship issues. “Soon By You” is a comedic web series about six young Orthodox Jews dating in NYC.






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Avraham Fried, Yonatan Razel, Ribo, Zilber (video)





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Dec 6, 2017

President Trump's historic speech on Jerusalem, and some of the reactions (video)















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Facebook Status of the Day




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Book Review: The Book of Separation

 Guest Post by Dr. Harold Goldmeier

Dissing Orthodoxy: Critical Review of The Book of Separation

There is a fast-growing oeuvre of books and movies by Jews opting out from their religiously observant lives. Two new works are from Netflix, One of Us, and The Book of Separation (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), a memoir from bestselling novelist Tova Mirvis. The Book is hardly a spiritual journey eloquently described to anguished parents, spouses, and readers by other writers. This is a Book of Selfishness.

The journey, as Mirvis calls it, is from Orthodox Judaism and her marriage but not to some existential higher spiritual level. The journey takes the author into the arms of another man, which in the end seems enough for her. He is antireligious and gives gravitas to the longing for freedom niggling at Mirvis for decades.

 The Book makes me angry. Weeks later I still feel like an emotional stewpot. That impact alone is a healthy measure of success for an author, but The Book of Separation is little more than a back-slapping exercise totally ignoring the human wreckage the author leaves behind.

The precepts of progressive, liberal, Modern Orthodox Judaism by which she lives for 40 years, including 16 years of marriage, are in her word shackles. There are many precepts, and Mirvis informs readers about them to the point of tedium. For others they provide structure. For Mirvis they “feel like iron bars (page 80)” caging her in a faith-based community without the faith in God she needs to accept the lifestyle.
My three problems with The Book is the first, style. The story is told bouncing back and forth in time, and scenes are repeated. It’s confusing. For instance, her story opens with Mirvis appearing before a Rabbinical Court to accept her Jewish divorce. The scene is repeated in other parts adding little. It is not clear just when the emotional if not sexual intimacy blossoms with her boyfriend William. Is she still married, separated from her husband Aaron, or post-divorce? Is this what sparks the divorce? When does Aaron find out, and is it the cause of his fierce anger at her?
Aaron is a generous first love. In Aaron, “There was a soft-shelled innocence to him, a wide-eyed child so easily hurt (page 139).” Perhaps Aaron’s greatest sin over time is being too familiar. He is a loving husband and great father. Aaron is a New York lawyer detesting his job but hangs in for years while Mirvis completes her degree at Columbia University. Their life in upscale Newton, Mass. is little different from the privileged lifestyle in which Mirvis has always been accustomed except now she is a mother.
Aaron is conciliatory even when Mirvis initiates changes in her religious practices that affect the once eurythmic home. Anger between husband and wife mounts, but the author gives no clue why. A scene is thrust upon the reader. At a meeting with divorce lawyers, all hell breaks loose. Did he cheat on her? Was he abusive? Did she cheat on Aaron with another man? Is she is bound by a non-disclosure clause?
When she no longer wants to cover her hair, a requisite for married women, Aaron acquiesces. When the oldest son asks if he can go trick-or-treating, Aaron says, if the kids are with me on Halloween, “The decision is mine (page 81),” and they are not allowed to go. If they are with Mom, it’s her decision. A week before Aaron remarries he graciously emails Tova giving her a heads up. The reader is never sure how and when Aaron learns about her boyfriend, but at the settlement meeting, Aaron screams, “You have no right to your own version of this story (page 23).”
Aaron is not a professional writer, but he senses Tova will want to tell the world about her bravery and “heart-wrenching decision,” as one of a claque of reviewers describes the journey without barely an iota of criticism of The Book. Like the scorpion stinging the frog, Aaron knows he can expect no less. Aaron, the children, and grandparents suffer in silence.
She is callous to the reactions of her community members hurt by one of their own writing novels denigrating Orthodoxy. In The Book, Mirvis sarcastically imagines her female friends and neighbors thinking: “Don’t you want to be as we are… happy homes, our beautiful families; don’t you want our sense of purpose and most of all our faith that we cradled in God’s all-powerful hands (page 145)?” Elsewhere she dismisses them calling them gossips.
Second, The Book is not a compelling story. It offers no transformative message. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love impacted a generation of women. Here and There: Leaving Hasidism, Keeping My Family by Chaya Deitsch is written, “laced with love,” as is Off The Derech by Faranak Margolese.
My third problem is with Tova Mirvis. She plows ahead with the unending fortitude to become an outlier. She is not for this reader a sympathetic character. Lots of people choose to rebel, but for Mirvis the separation trumps the pain and suffering of a loving husband, grandparents, and children left behind.
The children continue to be Orthodox. That’s why Mirvis continues keeping a kosher home and celebrating Shabbat for when the children are in her care. But along the way, two boys want to switch from private Orthodox schools. In a fit, one yells at her, “I hate the Jewish stuff (page 249).” Perhaps he’s thinking if they were not religious his mother might not leave? “I miss the way it used to be,” he blurts when she nostalgically recalls summer trips with their father. But it’s all about Tova. Her response is, “The rush of guilt and sadness rolls across me, and I let it inside me, able to hold this pain (page 289)…” But mothers are not supposed to cause pain.
On her journey and through the separation (such antiseptic terms), Tova meets and later marries an avowed anti-religious, older, Jewish, doctor, father of three, going through his own divorce. She speaks of William like a giddy teenager. “William is tall, with green eyes and dark brown hair…He prides himself on his independence. He is a ‘free-range William,’ we joke. His strength is what has attracted me from the start (page 17).” “My heart leaps as it always does when I see William’s name” on her phone screen (page 31).” To paraphrase another author, William is a “transmission device for sunshine and optimism,” taking Mirvis on Shabbat non-kosher adventures. They hike, eat non-kosher pizza and cannoli, go zip lining, and travel on the Jewish holidays. William is absolutely committed to, “No religion for me….” His position is repeated throughout the story. “In being with him, I know that I’ve chosen the opposite of what came before.”
How unfair to William, because her Orthodox extended family and children will always be in her life. This is my life and, “If William wasn’t before, he is now all too aware of how often religion will be part of our lives (page 97).” Sounds like they are having a picnic on a railroad track. In a measure, this reader feels sorry for William. Her good-bye journey ends in a Jewish takeoff of the mythic Elysian Fields.
AUTHOR BIO  Dr. Harold Goldmeier is a public speaker, Managing Partner of an investment firm, a consultant to firms in commerce and industry, and a writer. He teaches Values & Ethics to international university students in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Goldmeier is a recipient of the Governor’s Award (Illinois) for family investment programs in the workplace from the Com. on the Status of Women. He was a Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard, a father and grandfather of very independent-minded children.
Special thanks to Dr. Mika Smith of Tel Aviv for her insights.
 buy The Book of Separation on Amazon.com 







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Defacing new bills in Mea Shearim

The extremists reaction to the women on bills is not really much of a story, but ther eis something interesting about it...

According to Yediot, in Mea Shearim it has been very common for the new bills graced with the images of Leah Goldberg and Rachel the Poetess to be defaced.

Defacing currency is illegal, but there does not seem to really be any way to stop it or hold anyone accountable for it.

The regular go to man for opinions out thee is Yoelish Krausz. Krausz explains that people have stopped withdrawing money via the ATM machine, as the ATM spits out the new bills. Instead, they go to the bank and specifically request the old bills. They prefer to not use the new bills, even though it is allowed.

Sounds to me like lines in the local banks have probably gotten a lot longer recently.

Krausz also explains with Chanukah upcoming and the common distribution of chanukah gelt to the kids.. those Admorim who do distribute money to their kids and grandkids will give out the old 20 shekel bills, though eventually this form of protest will expire  - eventually the banks won't give out the old bills and eventually people will just stop defacing the new ones.

The interesting part is that he says they are doing this as a reaction. The general community is fighting against them regarding "hadarat nashim" - the exclusion of women from the public sphere. This is their response, their fighting back. They are doing it intentionally, to be provocative on this matter.

Meaning, they do not really care all that much about it, but feel they have to fight back against what they are attacked for. So it makes them more extreme. I can appreciate that.






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