Aug 9, 2020

the personal law proposals are coming out of the woodwork

The fighting in the government has gotten so bad, and it looks very much like we will soon be headed to new elections, that all the personal laws are coming out of the woodwork and gathering steam to be proposed to try to prevent all the disliked people from running.

MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) announced earlier today that he is bring to Knesset (on Wednesday) the law proposal to ban anyone indicted for crimes from running for Prime Minister. Normally such a proposal from the Opposition would be easily defeated, but with Gantz and Netanyahu fighting over the budget (with Netanyahu refusing to adhere to the agreement he signed and Gantz refusing to give in to Netanyahu's insistence), it is anybody's guess what will happen. Not only is this a proposal against Netanyahu, but it is also "against" Gantz. It will put Gantz in a very tough position when he has to decide whether to support it or not. Supporting and passing it means Netanyahu cant topple the government or else he wont be able to run for Prime Minister again, but it also would put Gantz in direct conflict with Netanyahu at a much higher level. 

With this law proposal, Lapid is both attacking Netanyahu and putting Gantz into a very tight corner.

The Likud is now countering with the possibility of proposing a law that would require anyone to potentially be appointed to the position of minister in a government to have passed full matriculation exams (ie bagrut), and anyone running for Prime Minister must hold at least a first degree from university. Obviously they don't want to exclude their Haredi partners form being able to be a part of a future government led by the Likud so they also added that such candidates must have the bagrut/degree or hold equivalent rabbinical education.

This is directly againbst Lapid who famously never finished his bagrut. If this passes, and it would also put Gantz into a tight spot deciding whether or not to support it, the only person, currently, it would seemingly disqualify is Yair Lapid (though I don't know about the Arab MKs, nor do I know how they will define equivalent rabbinical education and if every [non bagrut/degree holding] SHAS and UTJ MK/Minister would qualify or not).

Funnily enough, while proposing this idea, the Likud blasted Lapid for manipulating the will of the voter and taking away the right of the people to vote for whom they want - while they are trying to also ban someone from running even though some voters want to vote for Lapid.

Looks like we are inf or a lively summer...


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Quote of the Day


We have no rockets or explosives there, nor has there been in the past. We have nothing there: no missiles, no ammunition, no weapons, no ammonium nitrate, not even a rifle. any claims that Hezbollah runs Beirut Port are lies. I will not talk today about the Israeli enemy, only about the disaster that befell Lebanon... We know more about the port of Haifa than the port of Beirut. The port of Beirut is not our responsibility, whereas the port of Haifa is part of our defense strategy.

  -- Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah





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Headlines Podcast: 8/8/20 - Show 284 - Divide in Ger; a hashkafic and historical understanding (audio)









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The City of David Uncovered - Episode 2 (video)








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The Lenny Solomon Show Webisode 13 - We've Got A Strong Desire! (video)









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Lenny Solomon Live (video)










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Motty Steinmetz - Yihiu Lerazon (video)







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Aug 6, 2020

creativity going to waste

Some people can be very creative, and honestly some of the most creative people are in the leadership and askanus of the Haredi community.

The government, led by PM Netanyahu, decided to give out a stimulus grant to the Israeli public to give a jump-start to the economy. Give people some extra money and they'll spend it and get things rolling. The government gave 500nis per child (for the first 4 children in a family, and 300nis per child for each one after the fourth) and is now in the process of giving the 750nis per adult, with some disabled getting more, depending on qualifications.

According to Hamechadesh, the Igud Menahalei Yeshivot filed a petition with Knesset Finance Committee head MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) to consider avreichim as people in the category of financially disabled. 

While I am not sure what that category actually is and if it exists (I could not find anything about it on a google search) as a real legal qualification, Hamechadesh describes it financial disability as a category defined as anyone who has no income from work and/or income less than 60% of the average income. I am not sure what that means as what they wrote contradicts itself - no income or income at less than 60% of the average?

So the Igud Menahalei Yeshivot wrote to Gafni asking for consideration that the avreichim who have only received 600nis per month because there is no budget in place, essentially earning 3.5nis per hour for 40 hours per week and 160-180 hours per month.

They add that sooner or later the avreichim will be in financial crisis and they and their families will begin to go hungry.

the Igud then requests from Gafni to consider the avreichim financially disabled so that they can qualify for the larger stimulus grants, doubled to 1500nis. 

I have not seen any response to this report and am not aware of a decision on this matter. It is definitely not unreasonable. Perhaps anyone earning so little should be granted an upgraded stimulus grant. 

Now if only all this creativity could be used to help all of Israel get out of all its problems, rather than just for minor community issues...think where we might be...it seems like a waste to me to keep such creative minds working for such minor issues...they are too creative for such minor positions.



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Jerusalem to remove remaining spiritual hazard

Back in February the Ministry of Communications announced that it is getting rid of all remaining public pay phones as they have fallen into disuse and disrepair, and are now just an eyesore in the streets..

According to Kikar, Moshe Li-On, Mayor of Jerusalem, has decided to remove all 360 remaining public pay phones from the streets of Jerusalem.

According to Li-On, these have become an eyesore and an unnecessary obstacle in the streets and this is part of the plan of beautifying Jerusalem. He calls it the end of an era.

I do not know why it needs a special and separate decision by the mayor of Jerusalem if the Ministry of Communications has already made this decision, but so be it. If he feels good announcing it as his decision, good for him.

At the end of the article Kikar adds that these phones are not just unnecessary and ugly but also dangerous. Kikar says people call the phones looking to entrap curious and naive Haredi children who answer them in the streets and then get ensnared by these people (though it does not say what these callers do to these children). It calls the phones a spiritual hazard for the souls of the children.

While this may be true, let's not forget that the phones became unnecessary (and eventually perhaps a danger for kids) only because mobile phones became so popular and so entrenched in society. Removing the few remaining pay phones does not seem like such a great salvation compared to the fact that they were replaced with cellphones that most in that community consider to be a much greater spiritual hazard...







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the government and the people need to be more sensible to beat this

We blame the government a lot for not getting control over the Corona situation, after being so successful early on...but they are not completely at fault. Sure, they could be clearer, and sure they could set rules and reverse them and then reverse them again, every few days, sure the rules could be more logical.... but the people.

As I have said before, Corona does not care how self-righteous you are about your cause? Want to know why Corona is spreading like wildfire? Because there are thousands protesting every day in Jerusalem on Balfour Street, and many are not wearing masks or taking other precautions. People are making weddings and finding ways to have more guests than allowed without getting caught or without technically breaking the rules. There was a prominent wedding in Jerusalem last night wit thousands of attendees.

And let's not forget, a recent study showed that large weddings were the greatest cause of the virus spread since the re-opening at the end of June.

Corona just does not care about how self-righteous you are and about your cause. You think large weddings should be ok because the other people are allowed to protest? That's why Corona is spreading. You think you have the right to protest and nobody can tell you otherwise? that's why Corona is spreading.

The government just decided to cancel the closure it imposed recently for weekends. To me this makes sense. It made no sense to me to have a closure on the weekends, when fewer people are out and about (as most places of business and recreation are closed anyway) if all week long everyone can do pretty much whatever they want. So, by reversing the decision are they getting better and being more sensible about it or are they just letting us all know that they do not know what they are doing?

Recent statistics indicate that only 17% of the public understand the Corona guidelines. And I totally get that. I have  lost track of what the guidelines are. We recently came close to one of the children having to go into quarantine after an exposure from a friend. the doctor sent some graphic form the Ministry of Health explaining when quarantine is required, but it did not say the same thing as the Ministry of Health website. According to one my kid needed quarantine, and according to the other she didn't/ We called the Ministry of Health and after a lot of hemming and hawing, they decided she did not need to go into quarantine. It seems like even the MoH officials are not so clear on the rules.

With the government changing the rules all the time, people can't keep track of what are the updated rules. It is very difficult to find the correct information - I still haven't found a list of current guidelines on the Ministry of Health website and their telegram group has gotten almost useless to me as they put out so much information that it is impossible to find anything and to know what is current.

the government needs to do better, but the people need to stop doing things that so obviously are petri dishes for the virus.






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the goodwill gesture that gave no goodwill

The Lebanon situation has gone from simply a humanitarian disaster to something much more complicated.

Even ignoring the question of what really happened, the complexity is in the response. 

The City of Tel Aviv decided to send a goodwill gesture to the people of Lebanon in this time of distress. The Iryah building was lit up with lights displaying the flag of Lebanon - similar to other common gestures made from one city to another nowadays (Tel Aviv recently did this for Bnei Braq as well).

That alone was a debate. Some people were upset - even if medical assistance is a good idea, and not everybody agreed with that either, this is just pointless and unnecessary - after all, we are at war, and the people of Lebanon have done nothing to rid themselves of Hezbollah or of Syrian influence, and have remained largely anti_israel. Send them medicine and supplies as a humanitarian gesture, but this does nothing for anyone. Others say it is a simple gesture that costs nothing to anybody and there's no real reason why not, and it can be a morale booster.

The news is reporting that the people of Lebanon are rejecting this gesture and saying things like "they lit up in tel Aviv for Lebanon? We will light of Tel Aviv with our rockets". They are calling Israel hypocritical, after destroying their country over many years of war, a gesture like this is meaningless and fake.

Sure, there are always extremists who don't like goodwill gestures to the other person. There will always be someone opposed to anything. Maybe it is a few loud people, maybe it is the general sentiment, I don't know.

Maybe the gesture was not even really for Lebanon. Maybe it was just to make us look good in the eyes of many others, and/or to make ourselves feel good about it.

Who knew a few nice lights could upset so many people...




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Deli Man (video)







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Agent Emes 1 Pitch Meeting (video)








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Synagogues of Israel Part 44 Bnei Brak B (video)








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Yonina and Hatzalah: Tu Ba'av with Love (video)

Featuring יונינה Yonina as the event hosts & entertainment along with lifesaving couples





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