Apr 22, 2018

First World Problems in Vizshnitz

שטריימל עם שפיציםThe Vizshnitzer Rebbe spent some time in his Shabbos drasha to students in his yeshiva system going on the attack against the phenomenon of people buying the new style of shtreimel that has points, or "shpitzim", at the top - the mink fur is combed and set brushed upwards with the top coming to points, kind of looking like the tips of flames going up.

The rebbe told the students that he does not want boys from Vizshnitz buying these shtreimels with shpitzim, they are disgusting, and they look like the old shtreimels they used to wear on Purim. If everyone would refuse to by these before they get married, the shtreimel makers would stop making them.
source: Behadrei

I don't know much about shtreimels and which group of hassidim wear which shtreimels, besides for a few basic rules, but I have seen this often as they are common in a community I sometimes spend time in in Jerusalem. I thought they look nice (much nicer than in the picture included), though I could never identify which Hassidic sect they were associated with - I assumed it was just general hassidim without a specific rebbe. Most of the time, members of a hassidic sect wear specifically shaped and designed shtreimels, as per each groups specifics. This is also why it surprises me a bit to see the Vizshnitzer Rebbe warn his talmidim like this - why aren't they wearing the classic Vizshnitz shtreimel, whatever that may be? All these chassidim generally stick to the rules wearing the same glasses as the rebbe, the same shtreimel as the rebbe, same shoes as the rebbe, etc and now it seems the hassidim are getting caught up in some sort of fashion race in the realm of shtreimlech, instead of sticking to the rules and standards. I find that interesting, and even a bit surprising.

Further, I am somewhat impressed that this is such a serious problem that he has to express his concern about it. Online we call such things #firstworldproblems or #WhiteWhine - meaning, poor guy, he has nothing else to complain about other than that his Ferrari got a scratch on it, or something like that. Baruch Hashem one of the most pressing issues facing that community's new grooms is which shtreimel to buy and not anything much more serious than that..







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Genesis Prize now a farce

Natalie Portman's decision regarding the Genesis Prize surprised me. Portman has always been a supporter of Israel, and is Israeli herself. She has visited Israel in the past and has spoken in support of Israel. I dont want to accuse her of supporting BDS, as she herself says she is not, even though BDS supporters will probably use her in their campaigns, but her decision is painful.

The way it seems to be going down, with Portman accepting the prize (a lot of money) but refusing to show up and give an acceptance speech, turns the entire enterprise into a farce.

Basically this prize has been to attach a celebrity face to Israel on the world stage. It has done a good job so far, until Portman's decision, but perhaps instead of honoring rich celebrities and calling it "the Jewish Nobel prize", they would do better with honoring people who really work tirelessly on behalf of some cause connected to Israel - medical research, the poor, hunger relief, the sciences, peace efforts etc. Giving rich celebrities money they do not need for what the Prize calls its mission as  "The Genesis Prize honors individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel." makes the entire thing kind of wishy washy.

The Genesis Prize should also include a clause requiring recipients to be present to receive the award, or else an alternate recipient will be selected. What's the point of giving a celeb the prize in order to highlight their connection to Israel if you are not given the opportunity to highlight their connection to Israel?


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Headline of the Day

D.C. lawmaker who said Jews control the weather visits Holocaust Museum but leaves early


  -- The Washington Post

I hear he left early because of bad weather in the forecast




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4/21/18 The Return of the Shaitel Controversy (audio)

fascinating discussion with fascinating guests





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Is the Prophet Mohammad mentioned in the Bible? (video)







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Video 2213 R. Danny Myers 'Better for our children to take cheeseburgers then supermarket wagons' (video)







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Synagogues of Venezuela (video)







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Another Bais Yaakov Production - Trailer (video)

lol





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Apr 19, 2018

360 degrees video from the cockpit of a plane in the Yom Haatzmaut flyover (video)

very cool, though dizzying at times...





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Israel: Defying the Odds (video)







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Ethiopian Jews blessing Israel for 70th Independence Day (video)







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Yom Haatzmaut torch lighting ceremony (video)

here is the entire torch lighting ceremony. the actual torch lighting part of the ceremony begins at about 1:30:00 in and includes 12 wonderful and amazing people, each with touch and inspiring stories and words, including people such as, but not limited to, Dr Avshalom Kor, Racheli Ganot, Margalit Zinani and Zeev Revach whoput on a kipa in the middle and said the bracha of Shehechiyanu.




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Facebook Status of the Day




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Eretz Tzvi - Shai Abramson (video)







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Six13 - Mi Shebeirach | מי שברך (a prayer for the IDF soldiers) featuring Chaim Dovid Berson (video)







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Ari Lesser - Jewish Refugees (video)







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