Jun 21, 2018

shaming individuals for nothing

I am a little upset right now about the Herzl lady.

If you haven't noticed, a woman, seemingly from the weaker society of Israel, got herself caught on camera in the middle of a video documentary or news report being recorded at the Kotel. As she steps in front of the camera she turns and calls out looking for Herzl and calls out for Herzl a few times until she notices she is on camera and rushes out of the frame. The reporter and camerman then start laughing about what just happened.

The video has gone viral, and, the internet being the internet, has also spawned parodies sticking "Herzl lady" in the most bizarre scenes around the world, while the entire country laughs at her.

I think I have a pretty good sense of humor. I can joke about almost anything and can laugh at jokes about almost anything. But I don't like this culture of shaming of individuals who did no wrong, this picking an individual and laughing at them, for nothing. Herzl lady did nothing wrong besides for stepping in front of a camera at the Kotel that she didn't notice, and now she seems to have to lock herself in her apartment because she can't go outside as everyone is laughing at her and approaching her and bothering her.

There, I have said my piece and now I am a spoilsport.




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Aliza Bloch set to announce candidacy in mayoral race of Bet Shemesh

Aliza Bloch is set to announce her candidacy in the race for the position of Mayor of Bet Shemesh in the upcoming elections in October. Campaign signs, without her name, are going up around town, and the news sites (kikar, behadrei), and people in the know, are saying that this is the opening shot of Bloch's campaign.

So, if you thought this was going to be a one-horse race with Abutbol not having to campaign against anybody, things look like they are turning out differently than expected.

It should be noted that Bloch's chances of winning are very slim, if almost non-existent. Her best chance is in a scenario in which Degel does not come to an agreement to support Abutbol and fields their own candidate, thus splitting the Haredi vote.

That possible scenario will, it seems to me, push Degel to come to an agreement, maybe lowering their demands a bit, and will also put some pressure on Abutbol to come to terms with Degel. They all know splitting the Haredi vote will be a problem for them so they will work hard, even harder, now to run together.

The occupancy of RBS C over the past few years, which was really expected to help Abutbol, or any Haredi candidate, due to its being a Haredi neighborhood, might be a thorn in Abutbol's side. The residents of RBS C (aka Gimmel) have been outspokenly upset at the city administration, considering the lack of city services and poor infrastructure in their new neighborhood. It remains to be seen whether they will be willing to vote independently of rabbinic instruction or if they will at the last moment circle the wagons, but it could be a major factor in the upcoming campaign.

It looks like the upcoming election will be more interesting than previously expected...






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intolerance in Tel Aviv

By now you must have surely heard the news about the Chabad event scheduled for Tel Aviv's Rabin Square that was blocked by Mayor of Tel Aviv Ron Huldai..



in case you haven't heard, briefly, Chabad was putting on this event called "Mashiach BaKikar" - an event celebrating what Chabad calls "Chag HaGeulah" the holiday of redemption, as the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson had been released from Russian prison. At the holiday event in Kikar Rabin in Tel Aviv, as you can see from the sign, in addition to musical perfromances by Meilech Kahn, Mendy jarufe, Ariel Zilber and Avi Ben Yisrael, they were going to greet the Messiah, praise God, talk about the wholeness of the Land of Israel and its security and get blessings from the King Messiah.

Being that the event was planned to be gender-separate, the mayor, Ron Huldai, went and got legal opinion stating that because it is gender-separate and is taking place on public property he can/should legally cancel the event as being discriminatory against women. So he did.

Since Huldai declared the event canceled and off-limits, there has been a wave of anger against him and claims of being anti-religious. The obvious comparisons were brought up, such as to a women-only race that took place not long ago on the streets of Tel Aviv, along with other events that are female-only that seem to be allowed.

I dont think I have anything unique to say on this. Nobody is saying they cannot rent a hall and have their event there. Just that legally they cannot have such an event in the public area. Besides for that, they complain about the intolerance the secular have of the religious community, and that is a problem. However that problem is equalized by the intolerance the religious have for the secular community.

In general, the live and let live approach needs to spread more around all the different communities. We needn't feel so threatened by every event or statement made by other people in a different style than what we would prefer. Tel Aviv won't lose its character by a Chabad event taking places within the borders of the city, nor will Jerusalem or other cities lose its character by secular events taking place in them.


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Tefillin Wrapp — Let's Get Am Yisrael Wrapping (video)


what a brilliant, and unexpected, idea for an app! Chabad is shaking things up, taking their activities to new frontiers.





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Shocking Nikki Haley announces the U.S. withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council (video)







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Liz Wheeler and Mordechai Kedar on OANN 19 April 2018 (video)







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Visit Korazim National Park! (video)







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Synagogues of Europe- Bosnia Bulgaria Croatia and Channel Island, Cyprus Estonia Finland (video)








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Eli Levin ft. Pumpidisa - Halelu (Music Video)







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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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