250x300_01 . Buy School Clothing Square New . VocalReferences jpg 250x250_1 .

Mar 31, 2007

special tefilla for the seder night

Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, has composed a special tefilla on behalf of the captured soldiers. This tefilla is meant to be said at the seder, after the portion of Avadim Ha'Yinu (We were slaves to Pharoah in Egypt...).

The tefilla consists of two chapters from Tehillim and then a mi sheberach which he composed.


תְּפִילָה לְהַצַּלָתָם שֶל הַחַיָּלִים הַשְּבוּיִים הי"ו.
לִקְרֹא מִזְמוֹר שִיר לַמַעֲלוֹת אֶשָֹּא עֵינַי, וְשִיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת לְדָוִד לוּלֵי ה' שֶהָיָה לָנוּ

תהלים פרק קכא
שִׁיר לַמַּעֲלוֹת אֶשָּׂא עֵינַי אֶל הֶהָרִים מֵאַיִן יָבֹא עֶזְרִי:
עֶזְרִי מֵעִם יְהֹוָה עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ:
אַל יִתֵּן לַמּוֹט רַגְלֶךָ אַל יָנוּם שֹׁמְרֶךָ:
הִנֵּה לֹא יָנוּם וְלֹא יִישָׁן שׁוֹמֵר יִשְׂרָאֵל:
יְהֹוָה שֹׁמְרֶךָ יְהֹוָה צִלְּךָ עַל יַד יְמִינֶךָ:
יוֹמָם הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לֹא יַכֶּכָּה וְיָרֵחַ בַּלָּיְלָה:
יְהֹוָה יִשְׁמָרְךָ מִכָּל רָע יִשְׁמֹר אֶת נַפְשֶׁךָ:
יְהֹוָה יִשְׁמָר צֵאתְךָ וּבוֹאֶךָ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם:

תהלים פרק קכד
שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת לְדָוִד לוּלֵי יְהֹוָה שֶׁהָיָה לָנוּ יֹאמַר נָא יִשְׂרָאֵל:
לוּלֵי יְהֹוָה שֶׁהָיָה לָנוּ בְּקוּם עָלֵינוּ אָדָם:
אֲזַי חַיִּים בְּלָעוּנוּ בַּחֲרוֹת אַפָּם בָּנוּ:
אֲזַי הַמַּיִם שְׁטָפוּנוּ נַחְלָה עָבַר עַל נַפְשֵׁנוּ:
אֲזַי עָבַר עַל נַפְשֵׁנוּ הַמַּיִם הַזֵּידוֹנִים:
בָּרוּךְ יְהֹוָה שֶׁלֹּא נְתָנָנוּ טֶרֶף לְשִׁנֵּיהֶם:
נַפְשֵׁנוּ כְּצִפּוֹר נִמְלְטָה מִפַּח יוֹקְשִׁים הַפַּח נִשְׁבָּר וַאֲנַחְנוּ נִמְלָטְנוּ:
עֶזְרֵנוּ בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ:


תפילה לשלומם של החיילים

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ ה' אֶ-לֹ-הֵינוּ וְאֱ-לֹ-הֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶיַּעֲלוּ לְרָצוֹן מִזְמוֹרֵי תְּהִלִּים אֶלוּ שֶקָרָאנוּ הָיוֹם, כְּאִילוּ אֲמָרָם דָוִד הַמֶּלֶךְ עַבְדְךָ מְשִיחֶךָ ע"ה. וַעֲשֶֹה לְמַעַן שְמוֹתֶיךָ הַקְּדוֹשִים הַכְּתוּבִים בָּהֶם, וְהָרְמוּזִים וּמְצוֹרָפִים בָּהֶם, וּתְקַבֵּל ְּרַחֲמִים וּבְרָצוֹן אֶת תְּפִילָתֵנוּ וּבַקָּשָתֵינוּ, וְתָבֹא לְפָנֶיךָ תְּחִינָתֵנוּ, וְתָחוֹס וְתַחְמוֹל וּתְרַחֵם עַל שְבוּיֵינוּ

זְכַרְיָה שְלֹמֹה בֵּן מִרְיָם בַּאוּמֵל
יְקוּתִיאֵל יְהוּדָה נַחְמָן בֵּן שָֹרָה כַּץ
צְבִי בֵּן פְּנִינָה פֵלְדְמַן
רוֹן בֵּן בַּתְיָה אָרָד
אֵהוּד בֵּן מַלְכָּה גוֹלְדְוָוסֶר
אֶלְדָד בֵּן טוֹבָה רֶגֶב,
גִלְעָד בֵּן אֲבִיבָה שָלִיט
גַיא בֵּן רִינָה חֶבֶר

וְתוֹשִיעֶם בִּיְשוּעָה וְרַחֲמִים, יַחַד עִם כֹּל הַשְּבוּיִים וְהָאָסִירִים מֵעַמְּךָ יִשְֹרָאֵל.
מוֹצִיא אָסִירִים בַּכּוֹשָרוֹת, יַצִּילֵם מִשִּבְיַם, וְיוֹצִיאֵם מֵעַבְדוּת לְחֵירוּת, וּמִשִיעֲבּוּד לִגְאוּלָה, וּמֵאֲפֵילָה לְאוֹרָה, וְיִרְפָּאֵם רְפוּאָה שְלֵמָה, רְפוּאַת הַנֶּפֶש וּרְפוּאַת הַגּוּף, וְיְאַמְצֵם וְיְאַזְרֵם בְּשִמְחָה וּבְגִילָה, אַז יִתְחַזְּקוּ וְיִתְרַפְּאוּ וְהַיְתָה לָהֶם שִֹמְחַת עוֹלָם.

וּזְכוּת תְּפִלַּת רַבִּים וְצַעֲקָתַם וְנַאֲקָתַם, הַמַּעֲתִירִים בַּעֲדָם בְּכֹל אֲתָר וְאֲתָר, תַּעֲמוֹד לָהֶם לְמָגֵן וְצִינָה, וְיִקְרַע רוֹעַ גְּזַר דִּינָם, וְיִקַּרְאוּ לְפָנָיו יִתְבָּרָךְ זְכוּיוֹתֵיהֶם וְכֹל אֲשֶר פָּעֲלוּ וְעָשֹוּ לְמַעַן עַמֵּנוּ וְנַחֲלָתֵנוּ. וְיִקְרַע גְּזַר דִּינָם בִּזְכוּת הַשֵּם הַקָּדוֹש הָרָמוּז בְּרָאשֵי תֵּיבוֹת קַבֵּל רִנַּת עָמֶךָ שַֹגְבֵנוּ טַהֲרֵנוּ נוֹרָא.

וִיְקַיֵּים בָּהֶם מִקְרָא שֶכָּתוּב:
וּפְדוּיֵי ה' יְשוּבוּן וּבָאוּ צִיּוֹן בְּרִנָּה, וְשִֹמְחַת עוֹלָם עַל רֹאשָם,
שָֹשוֹן וְשִֹמְחָה יַשִֹּיגוּ וְנָסוּ יָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה. בִּמְהֵרָה בְּיָמֵינוּ. אָמֵן.

Mar 30, 2007

buying as if food is going out of style..

I was in the supermarket last night. I had to get one or two things that my wife needed desperately..

There were people there standing in line with (no exaggeration) up to three carts full of food to purchase. And in the express lane no less! They must have thought the sign that said "express line, 8 items or less" really meant "8 carts or less"!

Why do people buy so much food? Pesah is only a week long. 7 days. That's it. If you hold two days yom tov it is 8 days.

Yet people buy food as if they are storing up for a long winter of hibernation, or stockpiling before a war.

I understand they need a little bit more than what they would usually buy for a week. On yom tov people eat more than during the week. Also, people have guests over. But so much more?

I wonder how much of what they bought is not used on pesah but only used after Pesah.. There is nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that they have paid higher prices for Pesah food to be used only after Pesah. It is extremely wasteful.

I probably should have written this a week ago before you all did your Pesah shopping, but I only thought about writing it now. It is ok for me, because I have not yet done our Pesah shopping. I hope to go tomorrow.

Don't forget - Pesah is only a week long. Don't overdo it. Buy what you need, but try not to exaggerate so much.

Hag Kosher V'Sameah..

Father of Israeli MIA died today

Avraham Feldman, the father of Israeli soldier MIA Tzvi Feldman has died at age 84 of Alzheimers.
He dedicated his life to trying to find information of and ultimately the return of his son Tzvi. Sadly, Tzvi is still MIA.

Baruch Dayan Ha'Emes

(HT: A Town Crier)

Mar 29, 2007

how much would you pay for a pizza?

How desperate can a person be for a piece of pizza?

It seems some people can be very desperate...

Some pizza shop in NY is auctioning off on eBay the rights to buy the first pie of pizza after Pesah. The bidding right now is sitting at $147!!! Can you imagine that? Somebody had to survive a week without pizza and it was so painful that he would be willing to pay $147 to be the first one to get a pie. He can't even wait one more hour and save $130.. He is willing to pay $147 to be the first..

People take Pesah out of proportion..

(HT: Jameel )

Kollek's legacy revisited

About three months ago, Teddy Kollek, the former Mayor of Jerusalem, died. I then wrote words of praise for Kollek, as he was responsible for building up Jerusalem to the beautiful city it is today.

Many of my more right wing friends were upset at me then because he had a history of being anti-religious.

Today, Ynet is reporting that British intelligence has opened many files from the 1940's. These documents have revealed that Kollek worked as an informer to the British authorities against fellow Jews. He was informing on rival groups and their activities, namely the Irgun and Stern Gang.

So, despite the zchus he has for having built up Jerusalem, it turns out he was a "moser". He gave over other Jews to the non-Jewish authorities because he did not agree with their methods. Jewish history is filled with scum like this, and now it seems he is one of them.

zman heiruteinu

Pesah is coming and I do not know how much blogging time will be available over the next couple of days before Pesah.

So, just in case I do not get to it later, y'all should have a great holiday and a Hag Kosher V'Sameah.

Pesah is called z'man heiruteinu - the time of our freedom. Let's pray that this Pesah will be the time of freedom for the captured soldiers; Gilad Shalit, Ehud (Udi) Goldwasser, Eldad Regev, Ron Arad, Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz, Tzvi Feldman and Guy Hever along with Jonathan Pollard.

Mar 28, 2007

Yontiff Thoughts

As I make my way through the haggada, lots of new posts are going up at my Yontiff Thoughts blog. Check it out.

will talmidim of Rav Bar Hayyim be smoking marijuana this Pesah?

As we have all been following the story, Rav David Bar Hayyim of Machon Shilo published his psak which is now famous after burning up the wires around the internet.

He paskened that the "minhag" to not eat kitniyot on pesah is not relevant in Eretz Yisrael.

According to the latest press release by the Green Leaf Party (political party in Israel supporting legalization of marijuana), marijuana, which contains hemp seed, falls under the category of kitniyot and therefore is forbidden Pesah.

Last time I checked, kitniyot is only forbidden to be eaten (by those of us who adhere to the kitniyot decree), not to be enjoyed in other manners. There is definitely no need to remove kitniyot from your house.

Also, I was unaware that hemp was included in the original ban of kitniyot, but maybe it has been added in more recent years, such as was done with peanuts.

The good news is that students of Rav Bar Hayyim can feel free to smoke marijuana this Pesah.

NOTE: According to Israeli law it is illegal to have marijuana in your possession.

NOTE: It has come to my attention that some people might have taken this post as being a serious one and a crticism of Rav Bar Hayyim and his students. I would like to make it clear that this post was humorous in nature. In no way did I intend to disparage Rav Bar Hayyim and/or his followers. In no way did I intend to indicate that he or his followers would be inclined as to smoke marijuana. It was simply a humorous post putting together two separate psakim that were not at all related to each other. It was meant to be humorous in nature and should not be taken as anything mroe than that.

Happy Birthday, R' Shneerson!!

This week is the 105th birthday of the Rebbe. The Lubavitcher Rebbe. I suspect he is getting close to be in the running for oldest person alive. Soon the men at Guiness will be knocking at the doors of 770 to start checking his credentials and verify his information...

Last night Habad sponsored a concert in Tel Aviv to celebrate the Rebbe's birthday. Friends of ours invited us to join them in attending the concert, and against our better judgement with Pesah quickly approaching, we decided to say yes and go.

Due to our friend's great navigational skills, we ended up getting their pretty late.. We caught most of Lipa's performance, and he was pretty good. For every 8 minutes of singing there was about 25 minutes of speeches and "Yehi"'s.

The crowd was pretty full, but not packed. There were a number of empty seats that I saw in my area.. I did not like the way they set up the grounds. The stage was so far away from the crowd that even with good seats we could not see the performances directly but had to watch on the screen. Also the lighting was pretty funky. They had some very bright lights flashing off the stage sporadically and the lights were blinding the crowd so at those times wee could not even see the screen...


But aside from that and the length of the speeches it was pretty good. MBD came up next. I thought he was a bit flat and unexciting. He sang a few songs and then sang one with Gideon Levine.

After some more speeches with some interesting gematriyas proving how great the Rebbe is, and a public kiddush levana, the star of the night came out.

Shweckey.

I was surprised that he got bigger billing than MBD. I remember MBD being the star and everybody else was his warm up act. Now MBD is a bit of a has-been whose time has passed, and he is warming up for the younger, more energetic stars of today. Shweckey was really the star of the night and he was great. He was exciting. He was vibrant. And the crowd loved him.

One more picture - at some point this guy started walking around the area I was sitting in and passing out drinks of vodka.. he got mobbed pretty quickly and his bottle was knocked off..

Mar 27, 2007

hagala happening

One of the local tzeddaka organizations (Kupa Tzedaka) sponsored "hagalas keilim" today, right down the street from us. It was fully sponsored, so it was free (so I am told) in an effort to help cut down expenses. Kol hakavod!


This is what it looked like when I got home from work... looks like it was the happening place to be in RBS today!

Homesh

It is short, but it is from someone who was there..

Mar 26, 2007

pix and videos from todays har habayit visit






This clip is looking at the approximate makom of the kodesh kodoshim..


This clip is upon departing from Har Habayit...


On our way out, we passed this view of the kotel and you can hear the celebrations of the bar mitzvas that were taking place...

better than Yom Kippur

On Yom Kippur we prostrate ourselves before God four times during the repetition of the Mussaf services. We do not do a full prostration and that which we do do is done on a towel of some sort. It is prohibited to bow before God on a stone floor. That is, it is prohibited outside of the Mikdash area.
On Har Habayit, and only on Har Habayit, when prostrating before God, one does so using the full prostration method. That is fully extended laying on the floor. not on the knees. Fully laying flat with arms extended. And directly on the stone.

Today I went to Har Habayit. It was the day for the monthly ascent for our group from Bet Shemesh.

The past few months we have had a paltry turnout for our monthly ascent. We have averaged between 2 - 4 people. While those visits were nice and we had our opportunities to daven to Hashem on (nearly) the holiest place on Earth, it is not the same as a large group.

In anticipation of the Nissan ascent being another small group, I sent out the following email a week ago to the Bet Shemesh Har Habayit email group list:

Dear all,

Aliya L'Har for our group is coming up this coming Monday.
Our groups going up in the past few months have been disappointingly small. 2-3 people each time the past 3-4 months at least.

I know it is difficult. We all work and have tight schedules and it is hard to make the time to go up. I, too, have not always been able to make it.

This month is Nissan, the time of the geula, both past and future.We who go up have shown our desire and yearning for the Beis Hamikdash to be rebuilt. What better time to express that than in the Hodesh Ha'Geula!

Also, the relevance of Har Habayit in our religious lives is especially strong during Nissan. We have the time of a Hag coming up with the extra significance of Korban Pesach. Rabbi Ari Shames in the past has led our groups on occasion and has wonderfully woven the significance of the relevant time period with Har Habayit. I did not ask Rav Shames in advance of this email, but maybe he would do so again this coming Monday describing Korban Pesach along with the other korbanot. This would make the upcoming holiday especially meaningful.

But even if he does not, we all know enough that being there right before Pesach will make the holiday especially significant.

And who knows - maybe this year we will be able to bring korban pesach and our going up one week before and "scouting" out its location will help us!

We have a week to try to work out our schedules and arrange it so we can each go up. Please try your best to join our group this month and show Hashem that in Hodesh Ha'Geula we really are m'tzappim l'yeshua!

Kol tuv,
Rafi


I did not know what to expect. I was going to send out a reminder a couple of days ago, but decided not to.

Today's group was 15 people. A few of the people (and I did not ask around) told me that they came because of the email I had sent out. They had not been there in many months and my email motivated them. I was happy that I was the catalyst for such a nice turnout.

We went around. We were led by two phenomenal talmidei chachamim who are extremely knowledgeable on all materials related to the mikdash. As we made our way around the Mikdash area, they (in turns) spoke about the relevance of our time period with the mikdash. Being nearly erev Pesah, much of the discussion was centered around the korban pesah. How it was done. Where it was done. The purification process. And much more.

The area was fairly lively and busy. Down by the kotel were lots of people. The area was bustling. Going up to the Har were various groups, most of whom looked like non-Jews, going to tour the Har. We were slightly delayed because there were so many people the police were shorthanded and we had to wait for them to bring a police escort for us from elsewhere.

We finally make our way up. As we are making our rounds, the policeman escorting us was unusually watchful of us. While he kept a further distance than usual, he kept his eyes on us much more than usual. God forbid we should present a danger to someone by praying illegaly!

At a certain point we had stopped and the leader was talking, describing some process related to Pesah. I took the opportunity to close my eyes and concentrate my thoughts on some prayers. The policeman noticed. He did not make a big deal of it, but he did tap me on the shoulder and motion for me to stop. It is unusual because usually they only do so when someone is shuckling or mouthing prayers or the like. Just thinking usually does not warrant police intervention, but it did today.

Another trick we use to get prayer in, even openly, is by the leader saying a relevant chapter of tehillim out loud in the tone of a tour guide, as if he is talking about something else. It sounds like general discussion and the policemen are generally not religious and therefore do not recognize the words as tehillim. This policeman, despite being not religious, heard us at one point and recognized it as a tefilla and made us stop. On the one hand he made us stop, but on the other hand he recognized it as a tefilla where others do not. So that was a positive point.

Along the eastern wall of Har Habayit is a pathway we walk upon. This pathway is separated by a wall from the previous area and we descend to the pathway via a series of steps. The policeman was far enough away at this point and distracted talking to some of the local Arabs that as we went behind the wall, his view was blocked. A number of us took the opportunity to do (the above described) hishtachavaya - prostration before God.

It was an uplifiting experience, as it is a rare opportunity to be able to serve God in that manner, let alone for so many people in the group to succeed in it. We had 5 people do hishtachavay (that I saw), and I did so twice.

The policeman seemed to realize he had lost us and I guess we looked a bit suspicious. He came over fairly quickly with a nasty look on his face. But it was too late, as we had already done what we had done and he had missed it. So he could not do anything. He backed off and we continued on our way.

I took some pictures and some video. Later, when I have a chance to download them to my computer, I will see if anything came out good and I will post them here..

We begin our ascent via entering the Mugrabim Gate. We conclude our ascent by departing through the Chain Gate, which leads into the Arab shuk, with a turnoff for the Kotel area. Every month as we depart from Har Habayit, after we exit through the gate, we break out into song (which we cannot do when on Har Habayit). Today we sang a Pesah song from the Haggada - Kel B'neh, bnei beitcha b'karov, etc.

May this Nissan be the month of redemption for all the captured soldiers and Jonathan Pollard, and for all of Israel.

JPix4 is live

being hosted by Life of Rubin

Shabbes! (video)

This is so funny I couldn't not post it...

(HatTip: DA)


Mar 25, 2007

join a group for the korban pesah..

I couldn't not post this. May it only come true..

I've got my own Seder too! (video)

Lenny and Shlock Rock are rockin!! Time to get into the Pesah spirit. enjoy...

Sandler on letterman (video)

David Letterman is sick and my favorite jew in Hollywood, Adam Sandler, seems to be filling in for him. I found this clip pretty funny... enjoy.

Yontiff Thoughts

I have started posting my Pesah related posts on Yontiff Thoughts blog... be sure to check it out.. Yontiff Thoughts

HH#111 the Torah edition - is up

DafNotes is hosting it this week

went away

We went up north for shabbos to the hotel at Moshav Nir Etzion.
The ride up was very smooth except for one spot where there was a serious accident on the opposite side of the highway. It slowed traffic down on our side because of rubber-necking. The accident was so fresh that the police and ambulances had not yet shown up..
As we drove into the moshav we passed the barns where the cows live and are milked.. My kids said, "You should have brought your knife!". I do not think that is the first reaction most kids have to seeing a barn full of cows...
The hotel was beautiful, as was the moshav itself. The hotel consists of a section of room in the hotel itself and a section of cottages on the grounds of the hotel.

We stayed in a cottage... not in the hotel itself.

The dining room was nicely set and the food was good.

They had a group from the Biale shul in RBS there on some sort of a shabbaton. By mistake we davened with that group on Friday night (thinking that was the main minyan), so the tefillot were long. What was interesting was that the "Rebbe" of the Biale shteibel led the services and he sang a number of Carlebach tunes in kabbolas shabbos. That was surprising, but now I hear that is what this particular Biale shteibel is like...Shabbos morning we davened in the regular minyan, and davening was a more normal pace...

There was another friend we saw there from RBS on a shabbaton with a school his wife runs, and I met someone fairly new to RBS as well who was there for shabbos.

One of my kids met a veritable twin of his from Modiin. It turns out they were born a day apart from each other. They played the whole shabbos together and both us and this other kids parents kept mixing up the two of the kids. It did not help that they were both wearing the exact same sweater, so at a quick glance they looked exactly the same!

We got a tour of the moshav, including the petting zoo and the "refet" where the cows are kept. These cows are humongous. Much bigger than the ones I have been shechting. He told us that on average they weigh about half a ton each. I am converting the weight now and it seems that comes out to about 450-500 kilogram each or about 1000 pounds each. That seems too small because the 6 month old calves I shechted were much smaller and they weighed about 300 kilogram (about 660 pounds)...

They showed us how the cows are milked on shabbos, though to be honest I did not understand the process the way he explained the halachic aspects of it. I am not sure the tour guide understood the process either because some of what he said was very unclear..

Speaking of cows, I just found this great site promoting cows to be bought as house pets instead of dogs. It is pretty funny, but the best line is, "And when get tired of them, you can kill them and eat them."

If you are looking for a nice mehadrin vacation spot, look up Nir Etzion. It is about 20 minutes away from Haifa..

Mar 22, 2007

surveys - ARGGHHHHH

I normally like participating in surveys, so this was unusual for me.

This lady calls up for a work related survey about equipment that we use. She says it will only take a couple of minutes. I agree to participate.

The questions she is asking me are all starting to run together. They all sound the same with just slight differences. I am trying to do somethign else at the same time, but can't seem to focus because her questions require too much concentration just to catch the subtle differences so as to answer properly.

After about 5 or 6 minutes I tell her that is it. I have had enough and cannot take it anymore. She is startled but says we are near the end, just a few more questions. She asks me to bear with her for another minute or so.

Two minutes later, after 4 more questions that all sounded the same, I tell her I have had enough. I cannot answer another question. I say goodbye.

She is startled and says, "What? What do you mean? we are almost done?"

I say I am sorry but all your questions are just about the same and it is taking way too long. I do not have the time.

She asks when she can call back to finish up.

I said not to call me again. If she has any more questions she should email them to me. I told her off for having so many questions and making it so difficult to answer and for taking so much of my time. She asks again if she can call back and I say no. I can't give her any more time. I hang up.

Recently I had another similar experience, but it was a digital survey.

We upgraded a product and afte rinstallation I agreed to participate in a survey. I get it by email and it takes me to a web page that had page after page pf questions. These, too, were very similar to each other and I had to really pay attention to answer properly.

I have done these before and sometimes a survey has a button that you can click to save the survey and get back to it later. This is very useful, especially when doing it at work. Sometimes I have to stop in the middle and being able to save it and get back to it later is useful.

This survey did not have such a feature. Just page after page of questions and I had to fill it all out in one sitting. After about 20 or so questions, I gave up and stopped.

A few days later I get an email from the company that I never completed the survey. I email them back that I could not give it the amount of time it needed. I suggested they shorten the survey in the future and that they add the feature to allow me to save it in the middle so I can get back to it later.

A few days later I get another email saying I still have not completed the survey. I ignored it, realizing it was just an automatic email and nobody actually reads the responses.

I am starting to lose patience with these guys. ARGHHHH

JOTD (joke of the day)

The latest joke making the rounds (no I am not the author) is pretty funny. It is a play on words in Hebrew. I will post it in Hebrew and then translate (though in English it is not funny)..


איך מכניסים חמישה ח"כים לניידת? 2 מקדימה ועוד שלושה מקדימה

How do you get 5 MK's into a police van? 2 in the front and another 3 in the front (the front is a translation for "kadima" which is the name of a political party who has yet another mk about to be arrested..play on words is 2 from kadima and another 3 from kadima.. as I said - not funny in english)

Mar 21, 2007

ridiculous design

I just saw someone selling some silver plate items for the holidays coming up. There was a very interesting item in the pile that made no sense.

It was a cake cutter. It was very nicely designed. The handle was designed beautifully with banners saying (in Hebrew), "Remember the sabbath day to make holy" and "Guard the Sabbath day to keep holy". I would guess the designer felt that most people eat cake on shabbos. Or at least would use a fancy cake cutter for shabbos.

The funny thing about it was the handle. He made the handle in a way that you pull out of the handle a lighter. Very kitchy. I am not sure what the lighter is for. Maybe to light the shabbos candles with.

So, you will use a cake cutter on shabbos that is muktze because it has a lighter built into it! What a ridiculous design! The artist who designed it must have been ignorant of Jewish tradition.

a matter of priorities

The Labor Union called for a general strike today. That pretty much means the country services have been shut down. The reason is because the problem from a few months ago regarding unpaid municipal workers has still not been resolved, despite government promises many times to resolve it.

They rescheduled the strike a few times already and after the government not coming through on their promises another time, the Histadrut finally decided not to give them any more chances but to show they are serious. So we have a major strike shutting down the country right now. Hopefully it will be resolved quickly and things can get back to the normal level of inefficiency!

The strike was originally called to begin at 6am this morning. They compromised to push it off until 9am to allow a few extra hours for last minute negotiations. Until 9am nothing was shut down and no services were delayed. Everything (evertything that opens before 9am that is) worked normally until 9am. At 9am whatever was working in the public sector then shut down.

Everything, that is, except for one thing. The trains. Of all the striking authorities, everyone provided their services to the public until 9am except for the trains. People who went for earlier trains found the doors to the stations locked and signs saying they are on strike.

The Labor Union has announced that even if the strike continues, they will allow flights from England to land. The reason is the upcoming soccer (football for you non-Americans) match between Israel and England. They are expecting a lot of English fans to fly in and have decided that they should open the airport to these English hooligans.

At the same time, they are still undecided as to whether they will allow flights for 900 students returning from Poland (March of the Living) to land. That is aside from all the people travelling for personal reasons and business reasons who are stranded. The English soccer fans are more important. Soccer is a national emergency.

It is all a matter of priorities.

She's back!!

with a new url. Welcome back.

A Simple Jew asked and I answered..

read it here..

Kitniyot is now muttar!!!

As you can see here, Rav David Bar-Hayim, head of the Bet Ha'Vaad Beis Din in Jerusalem (he spells things differently - I am spelling it more phonetically practical for your ease of reading) has come out with his long awaited psak.

Rav Bar-Hayim holds that the decree against eating kitniyot is a ban that should be repealed.

Discussing the custom he says, "According to Rav Bar-Hayim, the custom grew up in some Jewish communities during the Exile, but no one is quite sure how it began or why. Some say it started in Medieval Europe as a response to sometimes finding wheat grains in sacks of rice. This is a problem, as rice cannot become Chametz (leavened) whereas wheat certainly can--and the consumption of Chametz is strictly forbidden during Pesah by the Torah. Others have suggested that it was to avoid confusion with the five grains that can become Chametz.

"This was a localized custom in parts of Germany, which later moved eastwards to Poland and Russia with the waves of Jewish emigration", states Rav Bar-Hayim. "The explanations offered for the custom are unconvincing. You don't find wheat in rice today. It was never accepted by Jews worldwide. Whatever the origin of the custom, Ashkenazi Jewish commentators have struggled to find good reasons for the ban. Some authorities, such as Rabbenu Yeruham, called it a ‘foolish custom'".

Over time, more and more items were arbitrarily added to the list: beans and peas, and more recently soya beans and even peanuts. Few Ashkenazi Jews today would eat peanuts or use peanut oil on Pesah, but as recently as 40 years ago peanuts were permitted by all Rabbinical authorities. Often there were economic interests at work behind the scenes, pushing for ever more stringent definitions of Kitniyoth, in order to create a market for a particular product. Products that were previously kosher were banned. Very expensive oils such as walnut oil replaced other oils that were previously acceptable and the focus of the holiday shifted from avoiding Chametz to avoiding Kitniyoth.

"We learn from the Mishnah and the Talmud that customs are connected to a particular place. When one moves permanently to another locality, one is to adopt the local custom," explains Rav Bar-Hayim. "The custom of abstaining from eating Kitniyoth during Pesah has never been the prevailing practice among all Jews in Erets Yisrael, and is therefore not binding upon Jews living in Israel. A person may choose to continue adhering to his custom, but no one has the right to enforce his custom on others."

According to the ruling, the variety of customs forbidding different foods creates divisiveness that the Torah prohibits. "The Torah specifically instructs us not to act in a divisive fashion; the Jews in a particular place should follow the same customs" says Rav Bar-Hayim. "This is the opinion of Rambam and other authorities who state that we should not have more than one beth din (religious court) or groups practicing different customs in the same city. This leads to a lack of societal cohesion. Today we see that this is all too true. We hope that this ruling will serve as the beginning of a process that will unite the Jewish People.""

I like the idea behind it. Over the years we have become more and more machmir as to what is considered kitniyot. As he writes, many items are no longer used today despite never having been included in the ban.

Some of Rav Bar-Hayim's talmidim will eat kitniyot this year, I am sure. I am not a talmid of his and will therefore continue refraining from eating kitniyot, until my rabbonim decide otherwise.

But who knows - maybe this psak of Rav Bar-Hayim's will open the file on kitniyot and spur halachik debate among the rabbonim on the issue. Maybe this is the beginning of a general change.

The latest scandal

Finance Minister (Kadima) Avraham Hirschson has been under investigation for embezzlement, theft, fraud and more to the tune of between 5 million dollars to 15 million dollars. This allegedly took place when he was the chairman of Nili, a non-profit organization associated with the Labor Union.

The investigation was just ramped up and Hirschson was questioned today under caution for seven hours. While by law he does not need to resign until the point that he is indicted, Kadima officials are saying that there is no way he will be able to continue at his post as Finance Minister under such heavy suspicion. He will be pushed out shortly.

I predict that unless Olmert decides to go with an outsider, as he did with the appointment of Friedman as Justice Minister, he will appoint Meir Sheetrit as Finance Minister. Sheetrit, while he is a jerk and I do not like him, is the only guy there who has experience in running the Finance Ministry. He was joint, or rather sub, Finance Minister working closely with Bibi Netanyahu in the Sharon government. Sheetrit is also a political rival of Olmert's and this might be the candy that Olmert can use to keep Sheetrit quiet.

Another standard day for the Kadima party...

Mar 20, 2007

give credit where credit is due

Kadima MK Otniel Shneller gets my support today.

The left wind parties are generally hell bent on delegitimizing the "settler" community. They do everything possible to accept the Palestinian opinion and reject the settlers opinions in any conflict/scuffle. It never matters if there is proof for the claims of the settlers or not, the left wing always takes the opportunity to blame the settlers for conflagarations in our relationship with the Arabs.

Some "settlers" from Hebron took over a building from the Arabs. They say they bought it fair and square.

The left wing parties are up in arms as to how this can go on and they must be evicted and they are ruining the prospects for peace, blah blah blah.

Today MK Shneller from Kadima, who is known to be close with PM Olmert, went down to see up close what is going on down there. Instead of releasing a statement condemning the provocative acts of the settlers and that they must be evicted, he took the unusual step of supporting them.

He is assuming the sale was legal and valid, as claimed by the settlers of Hebron. Based on that assumption he supports the move into the building.

The left wing believes that only in Israel can land be sold to Palestinians. We have seen many court cases petitioned up to the Supreme Court about a Jewish moshav that refused to sell lland to an Arab. The left wing parties (Labor and Meretz among others) always support petitions to the Supreme Court to force Jews to sell their land to Arabs.

Yet when Arabs sell their land to Jews, either the left wing assume they are lying (despite documentation) or they say it is illegal, or they say it does not matter because it harms prospects for peace.

Kol hakavod to MK Shneller for going against the popular stance and coming out in support of the settlers.

Mar 19, 2007

new restaurant coming to Israel

According to Haaretz Breaking News, Hooters will be opening up its first restaurant in israel. of course it will be in Tel Aviv.

16:08
Hooters restaurant chain to open branch in Tel Aviv (Reuters)

My only question is if it will have a mehadrin hechsher....

Cantor Helfgot (video)

Helfgot's endings to his songs are just out of this world... enjoy

Mar 18, 2007

HH #110 - school is in session!

SoccerDad teaches us a lot of lessons in the latest edition of Haveil Havalim!!

me me me - check it out

Check out my brother's progress as a volunteer (maha"l) in the Israeli army.

He recently started this new blog to post his updates. They are funny and sometimes crude and give an interesting outlook and insight into the going ons in the army...

kosher l'pesah gasoline?

I just received this by email. I have no idea of it is true, though the writing style definitely sounds true. Because I do not know for sure, I will refrain from commenting. Anyway the letter leaves no real need for comments anyway...

>>>> March 1,2007
>>>>
>>>> Yaniv Ban-Zaken, a local gas station owner, will be selling Kosher
>>>> for Passover gasoline during the holiday this year. The move,
>>>> Ben-Zaken says, has become necessary due to the increased ethanol
>>>> content in gasoline required by the government. The ethanol is
>>>> typically derived from corn, which is a forbidden food for Jews on
>>>> Passover. And, according to Ben-Zaken, underJewish law, it is also
>>>> forbidden to derive any benefit from
>>>> corn.
>>>>
>>>> "We will be providing a number of services to anyone interested in
>>>> making
>>>> their motor vehicle Kosher for Passover," Ben-Zaken says. Services
> will
>>>> include siphoning off the non-Kosher gasoline and replacing it with
> the
>>>> Kosher gasoline. The entire process will be supervised by Rabbi
> Yitzchok
>>>> Mendelbaum. A special exemption to the EPA rule regarding the plant
>>>> ethanol
>>>> content of gasoline had to be obtained from the government to allow
> for
>>>> the
>>>> use of this gasoline.
>>>>
>>>> The move has created some controversy among local community leaders.
>>>> Rabbi
>>>> Shalom Silver, of Congregation Ohel Emeth in Teaneck, has
> recommended to
>>>> his congregants that they not buy the gasoline. "Although Jews of
>>>> Ashkenazi
>>>> descent are not permitted to eat corn on Pesach, they are permitted
> to
>>>> derive benefit from corn byproducts, such as gasoline with ethanol
>>>> additives," he said.
>>>>
>>>> However, Rabbi Mordechai Silver (no relation to Shalom Silver), of
>>>> Yeshivas Torah Ohr in nearby Englewood, disagrees, and maintains
>>>> that while it might
>>>> technically be acceptable to use mass-produced gasoline, those who
> can
>>>> afford to purchase the new alternative should. "In Jewish law, we
> have a
>>>> principle of lifnim mshuras hadin--going above and beyond thebasic
>>>> requirements of the law," he explained in an email. "Thank G-d, many
>>>> people
>>>> in the area can afford to do so in this case."
>>>>
>>>> Some local Jewish leaders have also complained about the high price
>>>> of
>>>> the
>>>> ethanol-free gas, which Ben-Zaken estimates will be $9.69 per
> gallon,
>>>> but
>>>> Ben-Zaken insists that it is necessary. "The Kosher gas is made in
> small
>>>> quantities and not mass produced, so the costs are high." In fact,
>>>> Ben-Zaken, an immigrant from Israel who is not himself religious,
> claims
>>>> that he will not be making any profit on the sale of the Kosher gas.
>
>>>> "I'm
>>>> doing this more as a community service. My hope is that people will
> be
>>>> more
>>>> likely to patronize my station the rest of the year."
>>>> Julio Sanchez, one of Ben-Zakens employees, also expressed some
> concern
>>>> over the high price, explaining that it might drive away customers
> and
>>>> reduce his income from tips. Co-worker Naveen Samhari disagreed,
>>>> because,
>>>> as he says, "Orthodox Jews are among the best tippers in the area."
>>>>
>>>> Ben-Zaken also says he will be contracting with a local car rental
>>>> agency
>>>> to provide customers with a Kosher for Passover car if they would
> prefer
>>>> not to use their own. This will also save the time of having to
> clean
>>>> chametz from the car before Pesach--time that many local two-income
>>>> families do not have. "Jews use different dishes for Passover. They
>>>> ought
>>>> to be able to use a different car, as well." Ben-Zaken says.

Mar 16, 2007

shehita at school

My 5th grade son's class is just about to start learnign mishnayos masechet z'vachim which deals with various korbanot and their laws.

His rebbe asked if I would come in today with a chicken and shecht it for them, showing them what shehita is and the parts of the chicken and they would have a more real concept of it when learning z'vachim.

I said sure, so I went today to a local moshav and bought three chickens from soebody with a chicken coop. I brought one of them to the school later in the morning for the demonstration.

The 5th grade class and the 6th grade class came out to watch. They set up their chairs and I started to show them the various items and equipment, including letting the chicken run around a bit. I showed them the knife and one of my sharpening stones.

Most of the other classes also came out to watch. The various rebbeim wanted to see, so even though it was only for 5th and 6th grade, they all were there except for one. I now know that my 3rd grade sons rebbe has the best control over his class of all the rebbeim. My sons 3rd grade class was the only one not to come out and join us.

After talking a bit, I went off to the side and shechted the chicken. We decided not to shecht it in front of the kids, just in case some would be sensitive. It had not been planned in advance and parents had not been asked, so we felt the best way to deal with it was to shecht not in front of the kids.

After the shehita, I showed them the trachea and esophagus that I had cut. I then began to skin the chicken and open it up. I showed them the various organs, including the heart, liver, intestines, air sacs (equivalent of lungs) and more. My sons rebbe did the kisui ha'dam (covering the blood which needs to be done after slaughtering fowl), as it is not a very common opportunity to do this mitzva, so I gave him ownership of the chicken and let him do that mitzva.

After a nice demonstration, we left. I went home and slaughtered the other two chickens and kashered them. After kashering was finished, I took the first chicken to the rebbes house so he could have it for shabbos.

Later in the day the principal dropped off a cake for me in gratitude and had created a certificate thanking me as a friend of the school with some long text which I have not yet had a chance to read completely


pre-shehita demo
the shehita itself
post-shehita demo


Mar 15, 2007

and I thought I had heard some unusual frumkeit!

bluke at The Jewish Worker scanned in an advertisement from today's Yated Ne'eman.



You can see it here:

The ad basically announces for all daf yomi learners with the start of learning masechet Moed Katan, which much of the masechet deals with the laws and mourning, the Hatam Sofer supposedly said (the ad says "it was said in the name of the Hatam Sofer") that one learnign moed katan should be concerned because of the topic of mourning he is studying and therefore should protect himself by giving tzedaka.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky is then quoted as saying that the tzedaka you give should be to a specific organization called Kupat Ha'ir of Bnei Brak and it posts the contact info. Obviously this organization has sponsored the advertisement.

So, does somebody learning masechet gittin have to be concerned he will be divorced in short order? Is there some precaution to take against the vibes of that masechet?

What about someone learning masechet makkot which deals with the laws of the lashes beis din would meet out to those deserving of them? Would someone learnign Makkot be under increased threat of being beaten in an alley? Is there some sort of protection one can take against the threat?

What about learning masechet avodah zara? will one be taken in by the occult and end up receiving the punishment of kares?

And how does one protect himself from drought when learning masechet taanis? Do his chances of death increase when learning Yevamot, requiring his wife to fall to yibum? I do not even want to think about what a person should be worried about when learning masechet kritot!

Conversely, if a single person learns masechets ketubot or kiddushin, does that increase the chances of his getting married? would learning the various masechets of kodshim dealing with the sacrifices increase a persons chances of enjoying a good bbq dinner?

Why would the ammoraim compiling the gemara have written down a masechet that threatens the well-being of anybody who learns it.

And as bluke says from his rebbeim, Moed Katan and Hilchos Aveilus are just as much Torah as Bava Kama, Zevachim, etc. You are מקים the same mitzva of talmud torah. There is a chiyuv to know all of Torah and Moed Katan and Hilchos Aveilus are part of that. Therefore, it is inconceivable that a person would come to harm by learning Moed Katan and Hilchos Aveilus when by doing so he is fulfilling his chiyuv to learn Torah.

What a ridiculous manipulation for money!

The "strange" worker in Israel (funny video)

I am posting this video against my better judgement. It is a bit crass in the middle, but is very funny...
enjoy!


Mar 14, 2007

did you say tahanun today?

Have you ever wondered why the minyan you are skipped tahanun on any given day?

Was a groom in the room? maybe there will be a bris in the shul or for one of the attendees? Is it someone's yahrtzeit? Any other reason?

Are you happy when the minyan skips tahanun? It seems most people like skipping tahanun, even though timewise it only takes about 2 minutes, if that long, not including Monday and Thursday mornings where it takes a few more minutes.

I sometimes am relieved when I see that shliah tzibbur skipping tahanun. Sometimes I feel bad because it is really a nice tefilla. Sometimes I wonder why and wonder if it is justified or not.

Maybe shuls that skip tahanun regularly should put up a sign announcing the reason, assuming there is a reason. If there is no reason, then they are just cutting out parts of the siddur. So I am assuming that there is a reason for them to skip it.

I would love to be able to look at a sign and see what famous historical figure had a yahrtzeit on any given day or that someone is having a bris and know that we are skipping tahanun because of him.

more shechita

I went shechting again yesterday. These are the pictures that were missing the last time I went. It seems the guy using the camera yesterday had a few more brain cells than the guy last time. He was actually able to figure out how to press the button and snap the shot!

The meat was chalak and everything was great! We even had a mashgiah. Another group had hired a shochet to slaughter for them. This elderly rav is the rav responsible for all shechita at one of the hashgochos in Israel. He watched me shecht and checked the lungs of the animal and everything was great.

WARNING!! The photographs below contain graphic content. Do not view them if you have just eaten lunch, unless you have a stomach like mine...










Mar 12, 2007

Slifkin lost an admirer

What do you think of his arguments presented here?

important reminder

Over the course of the past year (even less, really. I am rounding up) a lot has happened.

Among all that happened, a number of Israeli soldiers were abducted and captured and might even still be alive.

A lot has happened since the Second Lebanon War. Time has passed and many of us have moved on. We follow the news and comment on it, but overall we are busy with our own lives. We have our jobs, our families, other responsibilities, our hobbies, and whatever else we have that keep us busy.

Because we have our daily lives at the forefront of our minds we (at least I do) tend to push other people's problems to the back of our heads and only occassionally think about them, if that much.

I just want to remind you that Ehud (Udi) Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit are still in captivity from just prior to the Lebanon War II last summer. Thet are in addition to Ron Arad, Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz, and Tzvi Feldman who disappeared in Lebanon a much longer time ago. Guy Hever disappeared a number of years ago in the Golan Heights near the Syrian border.

Just take a moment and think of them. Think of their families who are without them. Say a prayer for a moment for them

That's it. Thanks. Now you can go back to your lives.

Come back and look at this post every few days/weeks/months until they are returned to us.

Jpix edition 3 is up!

Check out jpix3 at me-ander!!! She did a phenomenal job!

tzedaka - coins in many kupot

One of the synagogues in which I daven has a shelf of about 40 or so kupot tzedaka.

All the charities being collected for by these various charity boxes are all approved by the vaad of the shul, and they have all been checked out and deemed to be worthy causes. Some are for organizations supporting the needy, some are for yeshivot, schools, kollels, synagogues, some for soup kitchens, some for widows and orphans, etc. You pretty much have your choice of which type of charity you wish to drop your coin into.

Nobody is allowed to walk around collecting with a separate charity box. People are meant to give in the boxes on the shelf.

The only exception to this is the gabbai (beadle). The gabbai walks around during the services with one can for the congregants to put tzedaka into without having to go up to the shelf. The gabbai has a specific can for a certain family of a widow and orphans that he collects for with this can. This can is also represented by a can on the shelf.

I find it unfair that the gabbai walks around with this can rather than the others. I have paid attention - because the gabbai walks around with this specific can, people rarely put their coins in the other cans. Rather they take the convenience of the gabbai approaching them and deposit their coins in the can he is holding.

I generally will not put my money into his can, but will rotate between the various cans on the shelf, including the can on the shelf for the widow and orphans. I feel the other charities are being unfairly slighted by the preference of the gabbai. I have no idea what the gabbai's relationship with this particular can is. Maybe he knows the family represented by the can, maybe he knows the story, or maybe not.

Am I wrong for preferring the other cans over the one he walks around with? Am I wrong for considering it unfair that because of the gabbai the other charities get very few donations?

For some reason I feel right because I do not like the fact that the others get less because of his preference, but I also feel bad that I give less often to this one because of reverse discrimination.

What do you think?

Mar 11, 2007

new currency being printed

this is the new currency being printed in Israel. Ehud Olmert's image appearing on the 0 (zero) shekel bill. At least his approval ratings are still slightly higher.. holding steady at 3%!! Way to go Ehud!!

HH #109 - double mega edition

First, a little background info on the Haveil Havalim Carnival.


This is the 109th edition of Haveil Havalim.

HH was founded by
Soccer Dad to potentially increase the exposure blogs get. Soccer Dad manages the HH carnival, and puts in a lot of time finding hosts. He fills in himself on weeks he has no volunteer. Kudos to Soccer Dad. If you would like to host a future edition of Haveil Havalim, contact Soccer Dad and schedule your week.

The term “Havel Havelim” is from Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, which was written by King
Solomon, who built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down
in materialism and other “excesses” and finally realized that it was nothing but
norishkeit, “havel” or in English “vanities.” (I plagiarized this description, or actually part of it, from an old HH hosted by
Shiloh Musings, so thanks Batya even though I did not ask permission :-) ).

This is a mega double edition because last week there was no Haveil Havalim, due to Purim falling out on Sunday. This week's edition contains two weeks worth of postings, so you will have plenty to read. Maybe take a day or two off of work to make some time for it...

This edition of HH includes something like 142 posts from about 102 different blogs. (If I counted correctly)

Hosting Haveil Havalim has been enlightening. I have found blogs that I had never seen before. There are so many interesting people with so many interesting things to say! I wish I had the time to keep up with all these blogs....

One more thing - I included a lot of posts I found on various sites that were not submitted. Basically I submitted them myself. So, if you did not submit them for a reason such as you did not want the wider public to find them, I apologize. I assumed that you are not aware of Haveil Havalim and would appreciate the link. If that is not the case, I apologize to you.

And now, on to the carnival!

NOTE: keep your eyes peeled for the winner of "the best post of the HH" award - it is posted in a nice bright color (similar to this notice). (this award is being nominated and decided by only one person - me. You might not agree with the decision, but then again, you can do what you want when you host HH)

And one more thing again. If you submitted a post and it did not get posted for whatever reason, I apologize. No insult was intended.

Oh yeah. One more thing (how many one more things do you think I can write?). While we are on the topic of carnivals, don't forget to submit your links to the KCC - the Kosher Cooking Carnival managed by me-ander and the jpix carnival managed by Bagel Blogger
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PURIM:

Because I am hosting this, I am giving myself an additional plug. You can see any and all of my Purim related posts at Yontiff Thoughts . And while you are there, with Purim behind us, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming Pesach related posts...

bec commits the ultimate crime and it might even be a federal crime in the US..

Yisrael wonders if this was the Purim shpiel he was supposed to be going to...

I posted about the possibility of the weather of Purim day being cursed though the weather was actually beautiful... and then posted pictures and video from my Purim.

We will never forget the Purim Podcast on MPR (Muqata Purim Radio) posted by Ezzie and
Jameel. Thanks to them we now have many voices to assicate with their writing styles. Soon, maybe we will have faces too, depending on Jameel's next stunt.... It took them many hours of work and they did a great job putting it together...

Am Kshe Oref gives over a powerful Purim message of achdus.

Rock of Galilee reviewed his Purim. He met up with one blogger but narrowly missed another. It turns out I am not too hard to find.

A Mother in Israel discusses her thoughts on the waste of money involved in mishloah manot.

I promise you that you do not want to miss BagelBlogger's Purim satire.

Reb Chaim discusses a fascinating story of murder at the Purim meal with various explanations..
Neil talks chinnuch with shalach manos. And who would have thunk it, but Neil seems to have written a book that got banned.

FrumWithQuestions talks about inappropriate Purim costumes.

Ari remembers delivering mishloach manot as a child.

AbbaGav talks Purim and shabbos demonstrations.

Hirshel discusses his inner conflict resolving words of Chazal in the Purim story and it spills
over to Judaism in general.

Shpitzle compares Yom Kippur to Purim.

Frum Satire talks about Purim in Albany.

Evan has posted some great pictures from his Purim in Jerusalem.

Shmuel at GoGolan lives in a great community where his shalach manos was delivered even better than right to the door.

Yitz tells over a fascinating Purim story.

muse learns a lesson about coincidences...

yaak has a bunch of links to great articles relevant to Purim and Amalek. He also has a strikingly relevant gematriya.

Social Worker enjoyed her Purim.

Elchonon at State of Judea compares Channuka and Purim.

Elie wrote up a great dvar Torah on Haman not getting past the missing .001% and that being his problem. I wrote something similar, but Elie put it so much better.

DAG thinks Purim was like the Cinderella story

Israel:
The ZionistYoungster points out Western hypocrisy, looking at Darfur as an example.

Cosmic X criticizes those who dare to speak ill of Eretz Yisrael and then continues it with great story.


Yisrael points out an interesting dilemma how to spell a street name.

Olah Chadasha talks about what associations sirens blaring have in people's minds.

JoeSettler did not submit this post about the Eurovision selection, but I enjoyed it so
I included it here... and Batya also weighs in on the Eurovision selection.

Yid With Lid had a whole bunch of great posts.... bringing korban Pesach, claims against Israel's war crimes disproved but only "on page 42", among many other great posts... Of them all, I particularly enjoyed the one about Temple Mount. Then he gives us his take on the tragedy of the disengagement and talks about the alleged massacre of Egyptian POWs. He's got a bunch more great posts, so check it out.

Noorster describes her experience banking in Israel.

Boker Tov Boulder describes another heated conflict in Olmert's cabinet.

Daled Amod finds a new city that might be Jerusalem.

Batya remembers witnessing and being injured in a terrorist attack and talks about the miracle. She then has a guest post by A Good Jew about life in one of the famous "caravillas".

Judeospshere remembers back to a discussion of the Israel lobby from 1981.

LemonLime Moon quotes an old famous one about what anti-semites should really do if they want to be consistent.

Yisrael remembers and old picture from when he was hanging out with some serious folk from Lehi. I particularly was impressed with the name association (as I commented in the post).

If you are good with the Hebrew, you should be keeping tabs on Bibi Netanyahu's blog. Here he discusses how Olmert abandoned the home front. In the blog of Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction of the Likud, they suggest Bibi should be running for U.S. Senate.

Sin of the Expulsion blog talks about how Olmert continues to evade responsibility.

A Jewish Blog points out how Israeli soldiers will soon be much safer on the frontlines. IsraellyCool also mentioned it.

Kesher Talk discusses self-hatred of the right wing and calls it baseless. He also points out how much Iran has changed.

Elder of Ziyon proves terrorism is still the main part of the PLO and PA.

SimplyJews discusses a possible anti-semitic conspiracy surrounding International Womens Day. He also discusses the uranium Israel allegedly used during the Second Lebanon War.

Boker Tov Boulder proves that Abu Mazen is a liar.

Rubicon3 shows the Germans (at least some German clergy) consider Israel to be racist.

Daled Amos has some posts on the secular Islamic Conference he participated in. This one has some video from the conference

Judaism:

Robert Avrech sets the table for shabbos.

David on the Lake shares some more of his beautiful poetry, this time about children feeling distant, with a clear connection to our relationship with Hashem..

A Simple Jew has a guest post by Rabbi Sears talking Jewish Philosophy.

Mottel reminisces about the bonds created by tefillin and then questions the validity of Hassidic rock.

Nathan talks about a holiday I never even heard of...

Yehuda presents his interesting approach for preparing for Pesach.

A Simple Jew comes back with another interesting post, this one about potential conflict averted between hassidim and the Malbim.

Ari eulogizes Rav Mordechai Breuer.

WestBank Mama is getting into gear for Pesach cleaning.

Moshe talks about his dilemma regarding killing in Gods name.

Shlomo contemplates whether we are living up to our billing as a light unto the nations.

Another Chussid wonders whether there are too many heretics in the jblog world and then breaks down people into two categories - those who care and those who don't. And he seems not to.

Eytan on Cross Currents talks Pie Charts. I prefer the pizza.

DAG discusses whether Shabbat Across America is a worthwhile program

NRO brings a statement from a former French PM about the deportation of Jews and the French attitude.

Mere Rhetoric talks about his thoughts on a potential new deal with Hamas.

I learn a lesson from the parsha about investing your own efforts.

It's Almost Supernatural talks about anti-semitism in South Africa.

frumgirl gets high on Rebbe Nachman.

Frum Philly Farmgirl talks about Erez Levanon as does Lazer Beam. I too wrote abut Erez, comparing his murder to the Yafit Alkobi case.

Michelle has a Humble Jewish Opinion wondering whether lack of perfection means it is all worthless.

This one gets me a bunch of links in one... the Jewess does her own roundup
of some great posts.

Married and Jewish talks about the latest chumra in Brooklyn.

Yaakov from the Dry Bones blog weighs in on the fear of creating panic.

SoccerDad is davening for a former player on his soccer team and asks you too as
well.

Going to Beijing for business? A Jewish Blog points us to the first kosher restaurant.

Presence has some pictures of the various 770's around
the world
.

Sholom a.k.a. The Anarchist Rabbi discusses how meme's are used to wield power.

Getting ready for Pesach brings us to our favorite takkana of not eating Kitniyot (if you are of ashkenaz origin). Yonathan just started this new blog called The Kitniyot Liberation Front in which he calls not eating kitniyot a shtus and advocates repealing the ban. He has just begun
detailing the sources of the ban and what he advocates. It should be interesting.

General:

Jacob continues the discussion about school tuition comparing it to Robin Hood. Then DaJew meets up with a fellow blogger.

While I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about the possibility of Abraham Lincoln being Jewish, JoeSettler points us to a different US President who seems to have been Jewish...

Olah Chadasha went on vacation with Oleh Yashan and came back feeling stressed.

And the winner is..... (drumroll please..) MizEllie writes a very touching post memorializing her previous husband **** this post is the winner and has been declared the Post of the Posts of this edition of Haveil Havalim**** Your prize is that a bunch more people will probably read your blog. If you call that a prize.

Jewish Blogmeister does another of his great and very comprehensive Jewish music reviews, this one of a new person on the jmusic scene...

Yehuda has a post about those signs on the backs of trucks.

A Simple Jew posted a memory - if his father reads this one, he is going to be seriously grounded.

Shifra posted a real "must read" post recanting how she applied to a seminary and details some difficulties involved.

Bagel Blogger recounts his battle with (new) Blogger.

TherapyDoc learns lessons from a Night at the Meuseum. And it seems
people in her family are popular.

Mazel tov to IsreallyCool on his fourth year!! That's an old man in blog years!!

Also a Chussid in a license to lie went to a Neturei Karta protest.

Chaim pushes some new Jewish music radio stations.

The Ararat Scrolls ponders whether there is a curse on his site.

Lori went to Norman's - a great restaurant, imho.

megapixel presents a moral dillema.

Sarah is still sending her views from her vacation in California. I only linked to this post,
but check out all her posts and images...

Independant Frum Thinker seems to have been instrumental in solving a common problem of girls not getting accepted into school.

Are you a dad that changes or does not change diapers? Mother in Israel writes about one who does not and then she grades her parenting.

Barbara considers how religion and the brain interact and then posts a funny joke as
she considers exclusivity and inclusivity.

Chassidishe Yingerman suggested a shidduch.

Shmuel from GoGolan found a skull, but didn't take it. I probably would have.

muse gets a haircut.

Baleboostah continues with the treatments for Amber.

comments and suggestions. Let me tell you, some people are putting in a lot of time and effort to make this work. It should be good. BagelBlogger wants to give you a sneak peek at the awards.

Meryl shows the difference between a Frenchman and an anti-semite.

Irina remembers her grandmother.

Rivka at Haazina Tefillati gives over her life in lyrics and then she finds herself either depressed
or pregnant. Or maybe it is both.

Kasambe is looking through her freezer.

ZionTrain wants us to blog with positive messages rather than negative.

tnspr569 digs himself a hole. On his days off, he was learning his way around Israel.

Little Frumhouse on the Prairie is waiting for Subway to go kosher in Chicago.

Stefanella made an an observation in the doctor's office.

Irina debates whether a new intelligence agency should be created.

Persephone finds out Bet might be teething.

AbbaGav complains about skewed statistics. Unfortunately, this is a problem with most
statistics.

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...