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May 22, 2015

Litvishe are ok leaving out women, while the sefardim are problematic

this morning I heard the weekly program of Benny Rabinovitch and Moshe Osditcher on Radio Kol Hai, reviewing the weeks events.

They made an interesting distinction, when discussing the haredi papers form of publication of the picture of the new government with female ministers this past week.

They said that Yated and Hamodia are fine - they simply chose not to print the picture. They did not want to print the picture of the women, so they left it out entirely. Shas, on the other hand, in its paper, they said, photoshopped the picture. Shas had the women taken out of the picture, moved people over to fill in the space, and even put someone else into the picture that wasn't originally.

They support the non-printing of women in newspapers, but in the fashion of the Yated and Hamodia, where they are simply left out. Not in the fashion of Shas papers where the picture is published but with the women photoshopped out.

That, they said, is going too far.

I found that an interesting distinction.

They are both accomplishing the same ultimate goal - not printing women. Yated and Hamodia are doing it by omission, while the Shas paper (yom l'yom) are doing it by active sheker.

I disagree with the whole idea in the first place, but find it interesting to:
a. hear them criticize others for the way they left out the women and
b. hear how they distinguish and won't go as far as actual sheker and distortion.




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more Jewish or less Jewish?

I had a thought when reading Jeffrey Goldberg's write-up of his interview with President Barak Obama.

In the interview, Obama explained that he loves Israel and he criticizes it so much because he holds it to a higher standard than he does other countries. He will criticize Israel when it does not live up to her standards that she was founded upon, and when she does not live up to the values and teachings of Judaism.

SUddenly the thought struck me. Whenever Israel has tried to pass or discuss a law promoting Judaism at a higher level of standing in the country than it currently has - giving it priority in certain matter, such as nationality, such as in Hebrew law as becoming the foundation for the legal system, or in other manifestations, we get criticized for making, or trying to make, Israel too Jewish and less democratic.

So, on the one hand, if we are too Jewish it is bad, on the other hand, if we do not live up to the high Jewish standards it is bad.

Which is it? do you want us more Jewish or less Jewish?


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May 21, 2015

Erdan exempts sukkot from exemptions

The ministers of the new government each held a ceremony a couple of days ago, each in his or her respective office. the ceremony was a transfer of the baton from the previous minister to the new minister.

Right before the transfer of authority, Gilad Erdan, formerly the Minister of Interior, signed a directive that would ease the construction of the sukka, without requiring a permit.

Some recent directives require the request for an exemption from requesting a permit for building certain temporary structures. Sukka is not in the list, but it is in the descriptive imagery of the directive. A sukka that is larger than 50 square meters or higher than 3 meters, would need official exemptions, while smaller or lower would not.

Erdan decided that with most sukkot placed on porches and rooftops, with them only being used for a week, he decided to ease the burden from those who keep mitzvot and all this is not necessary - they will not need to request exemptions - since it is not included in the law, but only in the explanation of the law, he felt he has that leeway..
source: Kikar

It reminds me of the joke of the policeman who received a complaint about someone's sukka. He went down to see it, and asked to see the permits for building a structure like that. The owner tried to explain that he has no permits, but it is only temporary.. The police did not want to hear any of it, once he heard the fellow has no permit. He slapped on a warning with an edict that the sukka must be dismantled and removed within 14 days.

Erdan is a good guy who works hard. It is a shame he has not yet been brought into the new government with a satisfactory level of responsibility..



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Quote of the Day

I was never in Norway. I have already said: I do not recognize the Norwegian law, I am not going to resign for the benefit of Yaakov Asher.

  -- Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman

I like how they keep bickering and trying to find a way to get Yaakov Asher back into the Knesset.

I don't even think Litzman could help out, even if he wanted to. As far as I know, the Norwegian law only applies to ministers and not to deputy ministers. If it applied to deputy ministers as well, they should ask Porush who is also a deputy minister. And if not, then maybe Moshe Gafni should have also taken a ministerial position, or a deputy minister position if it applies to DMs as well, so he could resign for the benefit of Yaakov Asher. In the meantime, they are trying to get Litzman, a member of the Aguda faction, to resign for the benefit of Asher who is a member of the Degel faction. Good luck with that.


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News go for the boring pictures of blurred faces

All the news sites have been making a big deal about how the Haredi papers have not included pictures of Ayelet Shaked , Miri Regev and Gila Gamliel (and Tzippi Hotoveli when relevant) in its review of the new government, either as individual pictures, or in the group picture with their faces fuzzed out.

I am impressed that they are all surprised by this. It is nothing new (at least in the perspective of recent history). Erasing women from pictures or blurring their faces is done on a daily basis. The most famous was probably removing Hillary Clinton from a picture of Barak Obama and his staff monitoring the rain on Osama bin Laden's compound. Angela Merkel was also wiped out.

It happens every day.

Yet every time it happens, everyone acts all shocked and surprised, as if they expected the Haredi newspapers to print the pictures this time.

These stories are boring already. Find something else to write about. If the paper thought it had the ability to influence change on the matter, that would be one thing. But they don't. They just keep writing about the same shocking story over and over again. It seems boring news is ok as long as it is against the Haredi community.


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Israeli Ambassador serenades the UN with John Lennon's Imagine (video)







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PM Netanyahu's Meeting with FIFA President Sepp Blatter (video)







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A Bissel of Romance (video)







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Farmers' Market at Tel Aviv Port (video)







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May 20, 2015

Facebook Status of the Day



לכל מאן דבעי: אתמול בישיבת מועצת עיריית תל אביב ואריתריאה אושרה בהצבעה ההצעה לתת לכל ילדי המסתננים גן חינם הכל כולל - עד...
Posted by May Golan on Tuesday, May 19, 2015



May Golan, an activist in Tel Aviv, writes:
For anybody interested,
Yesterday in the meeting of the City Council of Tel Aviv and Eritrea, a resolution was passed by vote to give all the children of the migrants free nursery school until the age of 3 years old. Not to the children of struggling Israelis, not to needy families - no. Only to the illegal infiltrators from Eritrea and Sudan and their high percentage of children - yes!


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Picture of the Day

Photo credit: Jorge Novominsky - taken from WoW FB page

I am sorry, but as often as I see pictures of women in tefillin, it still looks strange to me.

She is wearing the tefillin to low on her forehead, but maybe it slipped down as she leaned over to look. The other problem is the headband under her tefillin.


The point of this picture is the new padlock placed on the mechitza by Rav Rabinovitch, rav of the Kotel, to prevent the opening of the mechitza for passage of a Torah scroll to the women, as happened last month.


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Kahlon wants to control the private rental market

I am no economist, but it seems to me that Kahlon's plan that will meddle with the free market is a bad idea and will backfire.

Kahlon announced his first law proposal being the "Fair Rent Law". Kahlon is focusing on trying to bring housing costs down, and with this bill he is focusing on rental prices.

The idea of Kahlon's proposal is that rental prices would be standardized, and landlords would be limited in their ability to raise rent - once a renter signs on an apartment, the landlord will not be allowed to raise the rent for a period of three to five years, though the rent could increase as it would be tied so some housing market index, or a flat 2% per year.

It seems to me, in my non-expert opinion, that this is meddling in the free market. If landlords cannot charge the rent they want, and cannot raise rents when values go up, when supply is down and when demand is high, they won't invest in real estate.

Perhaps landlords will decide to sell their apartments, with their rental income limited, and that will flood the housing market and bring prices down. Maybe that is really behind Kahlon's plan.

I think the market should dictate what landlords can charge. If a landlord charges too much, he wont find a renter.

I have no problem with his ideas of taxing rental income from the first shekel. I don't see why I need to pay taxes on my income from the first shekel but landlords do not need to. So I am fine with that. They should pay taxes on their income like everybody else. That is not meddling i the market.

Telling landlords they cannot raise the prices, despite an apartment increasing in value due to local market forces seems unfair to the landlord.

Kahlon should increase the number of public housing units available where the government can establish rent control. I don't think he should meddle and control rental prices in the private market.

what do you think?




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PSA: Ladies Bake Sale and Men's Auction for Mesivta Bet Shemesh

REMINDER; This is TONIGHT!!!

The annual pre-Shavuos bake sale benefitting the Mesivta of Bet Shemesh is on this week, and you are encouraged to attend, for both a great time and to get some great cakes for Shavuos (or to eat pre-Shavuos)..

and this year they have added an event for men as well, after the bake sale! an auction and an event that I am told will have cool stuff for men like a variety of herrings, boxed and ready to go complete shabbos for two from Weissmandl, Matt Bornstein's famous drizzled popcorn and the nicest of the fancy cakes. Plus they will be serving sushi!





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Headline of the Day

New York - Several Reportedly Ill After “Halakhic” Dinner Serving Kosher Locusts, Veal Hearts, Ox Tail And Goat

  -- VIN

only several?
are they surprised? just reading it and seeing the picture of the chocolate covered locust is making me ill.
I am a bit surprised this dinner was led by Rav Meir Soloveitchik (without commenting on Rav Meir Soloveitchik himself, who I do not know). The Soloveitchiks as a family are such traditionalists and generally avoid reviving lost traditions. I am surprised one from the Soloveitchik family would be involved in reviving lost kashrus traditions like this. It seems, to me, to be so uncharacteristic.


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ceremony for the Moskowitz Prizes for Zionism (video)







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a look at Itzhak Perlman and the Israeli philharmonic (video)








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