Jun 20, 2018

Interesting Psak: Rav Chaim Kanievsky on sheitels

The debate over what is considered a more halachically acceptable, or even just permitted, hair covering for women has been raging for decades. It is sharply debated especially in Israel where the culture is less formal and it is far more acceptable for women to wear tichels outside, even at work, than it is in countries like the USA and Europe, whereas in many places in the Diaspora women feel they have more of a need for the sheitel and the appearance of hair that it provides, so the issue is less at the forefront.

According to an "alon" (ie a parsha paper, of sorts), quoting from a new sefer being printed, Rav Chaim Kanievsky has paskened that a sheitel is [sometimes] better (ie more appropriate according to halacha) than a mitpachat, or tichel, for a woman to wear as a hair covering. Rav Kanievsky says it is better, or can be better, because the sheitel generally covers all the hair, whereas a tichel often does not. Rav Kanievsky qualifies that by saying that the sheitel must be obviously a wig in appearance, but if one looking at it cannot tell that it is a wig than it is prohibited. Rav Kanievsky adds that all the gedolei Lita followed this opinion and their wives wore sheitels.

 (so you have a blog quoting a website quoting an alon quoting a sefer quoting Rav Chaim Kanievsky. so, as always, don't base your actions and halachic decisions on a fifth hand quote on the Internet. If you have any halachic questions, speak to your rabbi rather than basing on anything quoted on the Internet)

I would only point out that it is well known that many of the gedolei Lita had wives who did not cover their hair at all. As well, maybe they felt they had to being in Chutz Laaretz and needing to look like hair, while had they lived in Eretz Yisrael at the time perhaps they would have worn other hair coverings.

The alon also quotes the sefer in the name of the Chazon Ish saying that a wig/sheitel is better than a tichel even if it is not so clearly obvious that it is a sheitel and it looks like real hair.
source: Kikar

Being that there is no big chiddush stated here, I am a bit surprised that this is newsworthy. While I personally did not know Rav Chaim Kanievsky's opinion, though his wife wore a sheitel, as does his daughter -so perhaps I assumed it - it seems like nobody knew his opinion on this matter until the sefer came out and revealed it. Has nobody ever asked him before?





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Quote of the Day

We have a serious problem with the draft of yeshiva boys. They are threatening us that they wont give us budget monies. What - do we live for the monies from these goyim? We won't send a single one to the the army - not a single one. We are the army of Hakadosh Baruch Hu, that's why we are called [in the Torah] "Yotzei Tzava".

  -- Rav Shalom Cohen, spiritual leader of Shas, while paying a shiva call to Rav Gershon Edelstein and talking about the ramifications of the draft law

there are some groups of people that could maybe be thought of as honestly saying what they mean, saying something like this. Shas, living and surviving by all that government funding, and regularly fighting for it and for it to be increased, and its school system only surviving because of it, is not one of those groups. Funny how dismissive the Shas leader is of all that money that he so dearly needs for his organizations..let's see him put his money where his mouth is and give it all up.

I am a bit surprised he calls the Israeli secular government "goyim". That too is not really the way of Shas. Rav Ovadya said some harsh things about various groups, but Shas is very close, or at least tries to be, with the secular community in Israel and with the secular government. It is strange to see them become so extreme. It is more appropriate for the Eida types, though they dont really call them goyim either, or the Peleg people who do actually call them goyim. Just the other day Rav Tzvi Friedman of the Peleg, one of its leaders since the death of Rav Auerbach, called them goyim




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Book Review: My Country, My Life


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: My Country, My Life, by Ehud Barak

Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak has written his memoirs in the newly published book, by St. Martin's Press, My Country, My Life. The memoirs are not from one period in his life, or in his involvement in government or his time in the army, or the like. 


These are Barak's memoirs spanning his entire life - growing up on a kibbutz, serving in Sayeret Matkal, private life, army life , government life, and back to private life. Anybody growing up along with the foundation of the State surely has what to write about, memories worth sharing. A person who grew up with the state and was so involved in every aspect of the growth of the state throughout the years surely has memories worth sharing and worth being read, whether you agreed with his politics or not.

My Country, My Life is such a fascinating, intriguing, and captivating story that i am not even sure which part of it I felt more connected to, which captivated me the most. Very possibly it was Barak's memories of growing up on a left wing kibbutz, with no religion, just Zionism and a drive to build the State, describing what life was like back then. I have read a lot about the early days of the State of Israel, but his descriptions as a kibbutz child in those days are unique.

Another strong contender is Barak's days in Sayeret Matkal - the premier special forces unit of which he was one of the founding members. Barak describes, in great detail, some of the missions they were sent on, such as the infamous Sabena hijacking, the operation in Entebbe and other less famous and less widely known operations that were crucial for the security of the State of Israel.

The time as Prime Minister, and even Defense Minister, in the governments of Israel, seem more frustrating than brilliant. Barak took his strengths in planning and his detail oriented approach into government, but it did not help him with his efforts in making peace, which he describes as his prime focus when he went into government. 

It is interesting to see how he developed strong relationships over the years with figures like Yitzchak Rabin and Shimon Peres, and how that advanced him and helped him succeed at various stages of his life - entering government, in the army, etc. but also how he tried to advance Rabin's legacy and how he was still able to worth with right wing governments when that was necessary.

Barak's relationship with Yasser Arafat took a tremendous change from when he was an army officer, looking to possibly killing Arafat and at least doing a lot of damage to his organization, to when Barak entered government and suddenly had to look at Arafat as a partner for peace, and how that frustrated him when he was willing to go to almost no ends to make peace offers that Arafat never seemed to reciprocate.

One of the most intriguing aspects of My Country, My Life is Barak's connection to a young Benjamin Netanyahu, Bibi, and how that developed over the years. This connection is well known, as Barak was Netanyahu's commander in the Sayeret Matkal, but one can trace throughout the book the connections that keep coming up over the years and how their fates and careers were intertwined with each other. So much so that early on it had been predicted, over a decade earlier, that the two young up and coming stars would face off against each other in the 1996 elections -a prediction that would come true albeit off by just a few years. One can see how Barak did not like Netanyahu, from the beginning, and can get a feel his attitude abotu Netanyahu from the early days, though he continued to work with him for decades in a professional manner.

Barak describes Jerusalem, and other parts of the land recaptured in the 1967 Six Day War, and the feelings of being able to see and experience these parts of the country in words and descriptions that are just beautiful and emotive, and particularly interesting is his feelings about these despite growing up with practically no religious upbringing - it was just part of the early days of Zionism and the State of Israel.

The conclusion of the book, when Barak describes the bar mitzva ceremony of his class, on the secular kibbutz that was anti-religious, is poignant and touching, and even a bit surprising.

Anybody interested in the history of modern Israel should read My Country, My Life by Ehud Barak. It is that good.


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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Tweet of the Day






translation:
I request of the media and journalists to stop with the generalizations. The fact that Segev spied for the Iranians does not turn all the Jewish ministers and Members of Knesset into suspects. Stop with the incitement. Please.

Ahmed Tibi is genuinely a funny guy.



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Nir Barkat supports Zeev Elkin for mayor of Jerusalem (video)

cute





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MK Eichler on the arrest of Ronen Segev (video)

interesting connection, interesting law proposal..





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One on One with Alan Dershowitz- June 14, 2018 (video)







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Yeshiva Of Philadelphia Singing National Anthem At Graduation (video)







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Yonatan Razel & Mzansi Youth Choir - For my Brothers (video)







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Jun 19, 2018

Quote of the Day

In order to continue evading the army draft the Haredim would sell the Land of Israel..

  -- MK Motti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi), after MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) publicized that he came to an agreement with MK Ahmed Tibi that in exchange for their (UTJ) knocking down the Muezzin Law, UAL will support the UTJ position on the draft law.



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the IDF doesn't really need us anyway

One of the main arguments always used, and being used now during the current debate about the draft law proposal, against drafting Haredim is that the army does not need them anyway. There are too many soldiers as it is, the army has no need for another few thousand soldiers - soldiers who dont want to be there anyway. So, considering that, the only purpose in forcing a draft of Haredim is an attempt to change their lifestyle. The army and the politicians should just release the Haredim from this obligation.

So goes the argument. One of the most frequently used arguments on this issue.

I have a question about this argument, if you accept the premise that the army does not need them, which I do not know if it is really true or not.

If the attempt to draft the Haredim, or some of the Haredim, is based on the idea of "shivyon bnetel", sharing the burden equally, and the army does not need an additional few thousand soldiers each year, why exempt the Haredim from the draft rather than some equal proportion of young men and women from all sectors of society,m, proportionally?

Meaning, let's say the IDF has 20,000 soldiers and does not need any more soldiers this year. The incoming draft will bring in, if you include all potential draftees (including Haredim), let's say 8000 soldiers, with the army needing, say only 5000.

Why exempt 3000 Haredim from the draft, just because the army doesn't need them? If we want shivyon bnetel, the army could exempt 3000 people from serving but why 3000 specific people from one sector of society - spread it out proportionally among all sectors and exempt 3000 people including some haredim, some DL, some secular, some men, some women, some Druze - a little bit of everybody. This way, according to the argument that the army does not need so many soldiers, the excess of soldiers will be relieved but it will be relieved fairly, with not just one sector benefitting from it but all sectors. Are young Haredi men the only people in the country who do not want to spend 2 or 3 years of their lives in the IDF? Surely among the thousands of draftees every draft cycle there are plenty of young men and women who would prefer to be doing other things for the coming three years and the army could release some of them all.

I do not know if the entire premise is true, that the army does not need them. It might just be a convenient argument that nobody has the information handy to prove or disprove so they just accept it. But even if true, why is the argument - therefore the Haredim should just be exempted - just taken at face value? Why does nobody say, you have a point, and we will talk about exempting x number of soldiers every year, due to lack of need, distributed evenly, or by some fair criterion?

It seems to be a much fairer way to oppose the Haredi exemption than just ignoring the idea of not really needing them and saying shivyon bnetel. When they argue that they aren't needed and should be exempted, their opponents on this issue (ie politicians, media, etc) should make a proposal to accept that concept and discuss an even distribution of exemptions. Why should only one sector of society benefit from this?



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Israeli Frenemies- June 15, 2018 (video)







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Palestinians: What do you love about Palestine? (video)







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messages from Ms Israel and Ms Iraq (video)









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Synagogues of Europe- Bosnia Bulgaria Croatia and Channel Island (video)







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Hevenu Shalom Alehem /Jerusalem Academy flashmob for Taglit at Ben Gurion Airport (video)







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