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Oct 22, 2014

The surprise of the Sanhedrin conference

Today there was a conference celebrating 10 years of the renewal of the Sanhedrin.

The program of the conference looks interesting.


An Arab posted a response on Facebook, and I am told it was an angry, inciteful, post, though Google Translate makes no sense so I dont actually have any idea what he wrote.



The biggest surprise, to me, of this situation is that the Sanhedrin still exists.

I used to follow the Sanhedrin closely. I have not heard anything from them in a very long time. I thought they just disappeared. That they are still active somehow is a surprise to me.
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Book Review: Reachings

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: Reachings, by Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Mosaica Press


Reachings, by Rabbi Yaacov Haber, published by his great publishing house Mosaica Press, was a bit of a surprise for me. I had expected it to be a book on the parsha and Jewish Holidays; a book of nice lessons, vortlach perhaps on the parsha, etc. Reachings is so much more than that.

Reachings bases its lessons on the parsha and in the Jewish holiday cycles but it is far more than just another book on the parsha. Reachings is a book of fundamental lessons about Judaism. They are practical and understandable lessons, and they are reachable and achievable by us, the "common folk". They are not pie in the sky ideas.

Reachings is made up of short essays. It begins with essays cycling through the Jewish holidays, with one or two essays on each holiday. After that it moves to the weekly portion of Torah reading with essays on different fundamental lessons from that weeks portion.

I enjoyed the writing style of Reachings. The essays are written in clear English and are easy to read. The essays are relatively short, each essay is just a couple of pages, and Rabbi Haber gets to his point clearly and quickly. 

The essays are peppered with stories, many of which were heard first hand, and not just classic old Jewish tales. I actually enjoy the stories so much, as they are chosen to enrich the specific lesson and drive home the point and they are all right on target, and have even shared some of the stories (and of course the lessons) with my family at the Shabbos table, and even just on the occasional random evening.

Reachings, by Rabbi Yaacov Haber is now in its fourth printing, with the original printing dating back I think over 40 years! It must be good to have sold out so many times!



buy Reachings 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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still no tzaharons despite government decision

A month ago the government announced that it had reversed its decision regarding the cut to the tzaharon budget and immediately after the Sukkos holiday it would return the subsidized tzaharonim, afternoon day care system, albeit with some possible changes. They even stated the date for the reversal to be October 19, the first day of school after the end of Sukkos.

So, October 19 has come and gone and nary a word about any new arrangement for the tzaharons. I have searched far and wide for any such notice, but have yet to find one. I posted the question on Minister of Education Rav Shai Piron's Facebook page asking what the status of the tzharons is, but I have yet to receive a response.

Working parents are still required to pay out a lot of money for private day care, for many rendering the economics of holding a job while paying exorbitant day care prices problematic and not worthwhile.

If anybody has information about this, let me know


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thoughts on the Jerusalem Chief Rabbinate race

thoughts on the chief rabbinate of Jerusalem elections:

 - Rav Moshe Chaim Lau has now lost two chief rabbinate races in just a few months. It is clear the only reason he was imported to the Jerusalem race was because of his family name giving him a chance to win. Jerusalem has plenty of qualified rabbis.

 - to continue that thought, with Rav Lau having now lost two chief rabbi races, will he be marked as a "loser" and end up with no further opportunities? Will his family connections prevent that? Is he "big" enough for this to not happen? Peres was branded a "loser", but that did not prevent him from running and eventually winning...

 - Rav Shlesinger saved himself the loss by pulling out, though that situation was dirty. UTJ should have backed him instead of Lau considering his loyalty to UTJ leadership, his standing in the Jerusalem rabbinate, and his many years of experience and reputation. All this makes the original point clear to me that Rabbi Lau was only brought in because of his name. Perhaps all this was maneuvered in order to save Rav Shlesinger's reputation.

 - the entire method of rabbinic elections needs to be somehow reformed. It is too political, too dirty, and that is not how rabbinics should be determined.

 - the Sefardi situation is just strange, with Shas and Rav Amar's alternating cold and hot relationship.

 - may the winners serve Jerusalem, Israel and the Jewish people with honor and dignity.


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Naftali Kalfa-South Africa TV interview (video)






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IDF Soldiers Educate the Next Generation (video)

sure, teaching Hebrew to new immigrant children is important, but is it "defending" the State?




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Skinning and Cutting of the Olah Sacrifice Korban (video)






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Rabbi of South Africa: This Shabbat, let's Keep it Together! (video)






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Eyal Cohen with Aviv Gefen on The Voice (video)

I am happy Eyal Cohen has done so well..







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Oct 21, 2014

Picture of the Day




reminds me of [reading about] the days of segregation.. separate drinking fountains, separate bathrooms, etc.


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PSA: Melaveh Malka Concert for Men in Yerushalayim to Benefit Camp HASC!

Melaveh Malka Concert for Men in Yerushalayim to Benefit Camp HASC!

Featuring:
R. Shlomo Katz ~ Chaim Dovid ~ R. Ari Waxman ~ R. Avraham Willig ~ R. Dovid'l Weinberg ~ R. Ari Yablok ~ R. Benjy Epstein (Shirei HaLeviim)

Your support will help us provide the unique opportunity for children from Eretz Yisrael with special needs and intellectual disabilities the opportunity to spend the Summer at Camp HASC, and enjoy all the benefits of being in a fully adaptive, therapeutic seven week sleepover camp.
Your partnership will help us fill the lives of our campers - and Yerushalayim - with song, friendship and joy…
Motzai Shabbos Lech Lecha ~ 7:45pm / Montefiore Hall, 29 Misgav Ladach, Old City







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An Incredible Story from Israel (video)






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Boo Hoo Palestine (video)

Pat Condell is back talking about the Middle East... I am happy we are on the right side of Pat Condell..

Somebody told me that my attitude on Pat Condell was already stated by Richard Dawkins who said:
Pat Condell is unique. Nobody can match his extraordinary blend of suavity and savagery. With his articulate intelligence he runs rings around the religious wingnuts that are the targets of his merciless humour. Thank goodness he is on our side.




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Shabbat Israelit and Keeping It Together (video)

Shabbat Israelit is a project sort of similar to Just One Shabbos (Keeping It Together), but is different. Instead of being about as many people as possible keeping one shabbos properly, Shabbat Israelit is about getting Jews of different stripes to share a shabbos meal together. Both projects are happening this Shabbos for some reason despite the differing objectives and messages..

here is a cute video about Shabbat Israelit and another basic viceo. Then a couple interesting videos for Just one Shabbos of people Keeping It Together...










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Ex-Gangster Turned Hasidic Rabbi Busted for Impersonating Cop (video)

this is just weird




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The Hope: Israel - Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, Yom Kippur 5775 (video)

this is a Yom Kippur sermon by a female Reform rabbi, which isn't normally my cup of tea, but it is pretty good. kol isha alert for the last few minutes of the clip




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