Jun 26, 2017

record numbers on Har Habayit

statistics compliments of the Yeiraeh organization - an organization that works to encourage ascension to Har Habayit.

in the month of Sivan, 1356 Jews ascended Har Habayit. This is a 101% increase over the same period from last year.

Among the 1356 were at least 18 grooms on wedding day, 6 brides, 3 bar mitzvah boys and 1 bat mitzvah girl.

All this despite abbreviated visiting hours for Jews due to the Ramadan schedule, and despite attempts by the Waqf Arabs to get it closed more by rioting and throwing stones.

Things are a-changin...




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system to request appointment for biometric passports changes


After writing both here and on Interior Minister Aryeh Deri's Facebook wall about how inefficient the new appointment system is with it set up for the public to request appointments via email and to then wait for a call back, the system has been slightly altered.

I would like to think I had something to do with it, but it probably had nothing to do with me. At best I might have been one of tens of thousands of people who complained about the obvious problems....

I checked the website yesterday and discovered that instead of a list of email addresses as appeared before, the link to making an appointment now takes you to a page where you click on your city and then fill out a form to submit online requesting an appointment.

Still not perfect, as you submit the form and still have to wait for them to contact you, but it is better than the resident having to send an email on his own and not know if anybody actually sees it. At the end of the day, it is more or less pretty similar, but I think most people will be more confident with an online form than with an email that they had to get right on their own.

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Palestinian Christians: Why did many Christians leave Palestine? (video)






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Rasputin vs Kol d'Ovid Rachmana (video)

and now I just found out about Michoel Streicher's Kol D'Ovid Rachmana.. originally a song by Boney M called Rasputin...

what particularly draws me into this one is the similarity in style (not the music but the costumes and dancing) to the Ghenghis Khan video MBD took a song from... the 70s were really insane...

Michoel Streicher's..


Rasputin: (tzniyus alert)


Ghenghis Khan:





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The Elevator: 8 reasons for dividing Jerusalem (video)

cute..




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NAS Daily: Am I in Israel or Palestine? (video)




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Behind the Scenes of the All New Album - "Storm the World" (video)







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Halbertal on the main export of Bet Shemesh

I'm really not sure what to do with this...

Dov Halbertal, writer of many provocative and extreme op-eds in the Haredi press has written a piece about Bet Shemesh. You can read the full op-ed in Hebrew, though I will summarize the main points here:
Halbertal says the only news coming out of Bet Shemesh is only about violence in the city - we hear nothing important from Bet Shemesh, nothing but violence.

Halbertal points to a number of recent instances of violence that made the headlines around the country. again, Bet Shemesh only produces violence.

Halbertal isn't impressed with the regular response of "it is just a small number of extremists making all the trouble. He says this changes nothing - the city has a bad name, a name that precedes it. Violence is the profession of Bet Shemesh.

Halbertal instead blames the violence on the mayor, Moshe Abutbol - not that e wants it or causes it, but he simply does not deal with it. Abutbol is a Shas man, and if it is not tied to Shas, it does not exist. Halbertal says Abutbol should not even be mayor, but somehow because of political maneuvering among political parties, he became the mayor, even though Shas is a minority in the city. Halbertal points to this as another sign of the backwardness of Bet Shemesh - he says anywhere the mayor of a city is from Shas, things are not run in a modern and properly ethical way. Halbertal says a mayor should be chosen by his capabilities and not just by which party he is affiliated to.

Halbertal also points to the elections of a new chief rabbi in bet Shemesh. Again, the political parties are electing the Chief Rabbi rather than the residents. In Shas we only have Deris and Yosefs and their immediate relatives, and Shas chooses them, without even thinking about any conflict of interests or concern for appearances.

Halbertal concludes by saying Bet Shemesh is the prime example of everything bad. he says we should have brought in a goy from abroad to manage the city and deal with the violence as his top priority. Until then, whatever happens, Halbertal says, the current mayor should be fired.

I don't know what suddenly prompted this op-ed. The issues happening in Bet Shemesh have been happening for a number of years already.

It almost hurts me to say that everything Halbertal is saying are things that I myself, and many other people, have said many times, especially during the last elections. It hurts me because I really do not like Halbertal and almost never agree with what he has to say. While I am no longer active locally, this op-ed hit me. It hit me because it is years too late. It hit me because it is now coming from mainstream Haredi "askanus", and I and many others were vilified for saying things like this just a short time ago.

I would like to add that Halbertal ignores the wonderful people who live in Bet Shemesh, the wonderful communities, the wonderful chessed organizations, the shuls, the immense number of Torah learning programs, the numbers of yeshivas and kollels, of bochurim and avreichim, the amazing baalei batim who work hard to live frum lives dedicated to torah and mitzvos while working and supporting families and mosdos and also set aside time to learn consistently, the amazing women who work to support their beautiful families or work raising beautiful families. There is the development of the city, which is actually very impressive, despite some problems of infrastructure and graffiti and garbage collection and dirty streets and whatnot - the city is growing by leaps and bounds with an influx of residents to new neighborhoods, with the construction of new malls and businesses and the ever-increasing various mosdos torah of all types and stripes. Halbertal doesn't mention the creativity of brilliant businessmen and businesswomen, entrepreneurs, startups, businesses that provide parnassa to hundreds and thousands of residents, and creativity and advancement to the world.

Halbertal ignores all that, but it is not his fault. Halbertal is talking about how Bet Shemesh is perceived around the country - not how it runs internally. The problem with Bet Shemesh has never been the majority of its people and mosdos. The problem is the external appearance. the regular violence that keeps on happening with no end in sight and no serious attempt by the mayor to deal with it. Yes, the police are ultimately responsible to deal with violence, but there is a lot the mayor can do, and the first step is to show commitment to dealing with it.

Anyways, nobody is firing Abutbol. At most, in a couple of years there will be new elections and maybe the Haredi parties will decide not to support Abutbol, considering Shas is a minority party and they no longer need him to win by taking a portion of the Old Bet Shemesh traditional sefardim, as the ashkenazi haredi will be the majority. Again, everything will be chosen by parties rather than by qualifications, but that is the system. Bet Shemesh did not invent it.

Halbertal is right, but he is too little too late, and saying the solution is to fire the mayor is useless. Nobody is firing the mayor, and nobody could fire the mayor even if they wanted to. It is easy to say, but that is not how the system works.





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Jun 25, 2017

Picture of the Day



Minister Yisrael Katz posted this picture of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and called for showing mercy and supporting the early release of Olmert from prison. Olmert was being checked in the hospital after suspicions of a possible heart attack and his feeling weak and ill.

The picture spread like wildfire and opened a debate about Olmert, showing mercy and early release.

I don't want to say he should not be released early just because I don't like him, but do they release any sick, or not well, prisoner early from prison because one should show mercy? if that is a general policy, then go ahead. If it is only being applied for Olmert, then no.


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Proposed Law: increase the size of Knesset

MKs Uri Maklev, Moshe Gafni and Yaakov Asher (all UTJ) have proposed a law by which the Knesset would increase in size from 120 parliamentarians to 140.

They explain that the Knesset was set at 120 MKs when the country was founded and had less than a million residents. Now that there are  about 8 million residents, it is long overdue, as the 120 MKs are overworked with heavy workload and multiple committees and caucuses they are all members of. Other countries with similar population sizes have larger parliaments.

As well, and I learned a new word from the Times of Israel article on the matter, many other countries have bicameral parliaments, while Israel does not but the 120 have to do everything.

For those of you who might not know what bicameral, as I did not:

bi·cam·er·al
ˌbīˈkamərəl/
adjective
  1. (of a legislative body) having two branches or chambers.

They say the additional expense to the State of tens of millions of shekels a year is justified as the MKs would work more efficiently.

According to TOI, similar bills in the past were rejected.

According to Kol Hai's report, Maklev prefers increasing the size of Knesset rather than expanding the Norwegian Law, as has also been proposed.

I don't have an opinion on the matter. I understand the need for it when considering the increase in population. I don't know if MKs are really overworked or not. They do get an awful lot of vacation - far more than the average working person in Israel. I don't know why it was rejected in the past - maybe most MKs want to keep it a somewhat exclusive club.






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Meat and Milk but not on the same receipt

Hattip to Gideon Slifkin for this..



Is there any halachic basis for this? Meaning, assuming they can properly sell milk and meat in the same restaurant in a way that the kashrut supervision approves of, and they do, what exactly is the problem with ordering the two at the same time? Can hamburgers and milkshakes not be printed on the same receipt? If one kid wants the burger and another wants the shake, what's the problem with ordering them at the same time? Maybe it is some type of extra level of protection put in place by the Rabbanut, already wary of allowing them to serve both milk and meat in the same restaurant?


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the demographics problem after peace?

There are two new crises looming now for the government. Minister Avigdor Lieberman is behind, or at least involved in, both of them.

One is the conversion law. Shas wants to push its new conversion law, and according to coalition agreements with Yisrael Beiteinu, any laws dealing with religion and state issues must first pass unanimously through the forum of party heads before going to the government for voting. Lieberman is opposed to it and the concern is that he will veto the law before it gets to go to the government. Minister Aryeh Deri, the man behind the law proposal, says Lieberman will not veto the law, because he cannot as it is being proposed by members of the coalition and he has to accept it.

I won't venture a guess as to what will happen with this, nor do I understand it fully, but it is a crisis waiting to happen that everyone is watching.

The second is Lieberman's comments on a different issue. Lieberman has recently been making comments about the Palestinians and the results of a future peace deal and what might be included in it. He even upset Minister Naftali Bennet who said something to the effect of the idea that in negotiations we need to hold our cards close to our chest and not let them know in advance what our [final?] offers will be.

Lieberman said something specific that seems to have upset a lot of people, and I do not really understand it. This post is not to argue or support either position, but to try to find an explanation as to the problem.

Lieberman said, "Let it be clear about an arrangement with the Palestinians - we will not agree that even one refugee will return to the 1967 borders. If they want to receive them in Shechem, Hevron or Qalqilya – let them do so".

People, friends, on the right, are considering this a horrible thing and a disaster and are very upset at Avigdor Lieberman, but I don't understand the problem.

I have asked the following question - what is wrong with a future Palestinian State, after a peace deal, accepting Palestinian refugees to live within its borders? They would not live in Israel or have any rights in Israel. If the Palestinians want them, it would be up to them to accept them or not. Why is this so bad?

The answer I got has only been vaguely pointing at a future demographics problem and so many of the enemy living so close to us.

Enemy? This would only be relevant after a peace deal. If this ever happens, they might not be considered enemy any longer. Also, a peace deal would seemingly arrange security guarantees for Israel. As well, I am not sure their military capabilities, even if they will remain the enemy, should really overly concern us.

Demographics? This would be in their future country, not ours. How would the Palestinian demographics, after a peace deal, effect us?

I am not arguing the position that there is no problem with this, but I don't really understand what the concern is and what the problem will be. Anybody out there who might want to explain further?





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Israelis: Do you believe in heaven & hell, angels & the devil? (video)







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Will I Starve If I Make Aliyah? by Rabbi Sholom Gold (video)








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US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley on her visit to Israel (video)




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Mets Fan Nearly Drops Baby For Foul Ball

peek a Jew





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