Buy School Clothing Square New . . SodaStream (Soda-Club) USA.

Mar 31, 2010

We don't need the US money

Commentators and journalists in the US media regularly comment on how the US has a right to tell Israel what to do, considering how much financial aid the US gives to Israel. Basically, they say, if Israel doesn't want the US to tell them what to do, they should stop taking out money.

Avi Trengo, in a piece published in Ynet, has written a response to Thomas Friedman saying just that.

In a recent interview, Friedman accused Israel of misusing American money precisely when the US needs it more than ever to boost US employment. Many foreign journalists believe that the Jewish People exists here only because of America’s money. When they are told that the Israeli economy’s scope is hundreds of billions of dollars a year and that US aid constitutes a miniscule portion of it, they refuse to believe it.

Of the $3 billion handed over by the US annually, only $690 million are transferred to Israel in practice. The rest – 75% of the aid – remains in the US and constitutes an indirect government subsidy to US arms manufacturers – Boeing, Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas etc. – thereby enhancing US employment.

Israel’s acquisitions in the US are far greater than the American grant. Just recently we read about a $1.8 billion acquisition of Hercules aircraft from Lockheed. Does Friedman think there are no other global cargo plane manufacturers? Moreover, as result of the US grant, Israel has given up on the development of weapons that would compete with America’s military-industrial complex. In addition, Israeli developments were integrated by American manufacturers, thus saving the lives of US troops on the battlefield.

Friedman must also be aware of the tens of thousands of Israeli engineers – the finest scientists, educated through investment of billions – who brought their know-how to Silicon Valley. This constitutes a huge contribution to the US economy. A CEO of a Silicon Valley company who admitted that he seeks Israeli employees told me there is no better background than Israeli education and chutzpah, coupled with a few years in the IDF, in order to produce “Yankee ingenuity.”
Read the full article...

Stray Cats are planning a V-like takeover

These stray cats start out acting all nice and cute. After they win over your sympathy, they start putting their proactive plan to take over our country and planet into action.

The stray cat outside our home has suddenly become 9 large cats that fight and make a lot of noise, and do all sorts of inappropriate things in public. Have they no shame?! Get a room!

They have become a nuisance, and it seems they might be planning on overtaking our building and then moving on to overthrowing our local government (maybe that would be a good thing) and then maybe join cat groups everywhere and take over the national government (maybe that would be a good thing).

Seriously, is there some way to get rid of the stray cats? (besides the "anti-freeze in the milk bowl" advice)

Mar 29, 2010

Chag Sameach (video)

I am going to close the pre-holiday posting with my favorite song of all the holiday songs, and probably my favorite of all jewish songs... once again, V'hee She'amda, sung by Yonatan Razel and Yaakov Shweckey..

Chag Kosher V'Sameach to you all

An Alternative Echad Mee Yodeia, song for Pesach (video)

The haredization of Bet Shemesh (video)

This investigative report by Israel TV show "Mabat Sheni" on the haredization of Bet Shemesh ran on national television this past week...





Mar 28, 2010

Mah Nishtanah Kimcha D'Pischa...

What makes Lema'an Achai's "Kimche DePischa" different from All Other Kimche Depischas??

Answer: Because This Pessach, many of the families who need our help are *Different Families* than Last Pessach.

Many organizations hand out Kimche Depischa aid to the *same* families year after year - even generation after generation.

Not at Lema'an Achai - where your donation actually helps families *solve* their problems.
So that these families can achieve independence and won't need charitable help any more.
We call this unique solutions-oriented approach - "Smart Chesed".

For example, we have just received this email, which (with permission of the anonymous writer) I share with you:

"Dear Avraham,
XXXX and I thank Lamaan Achai most sincerely for the assistance which we have received.
However as a result of this and especially through the support and advice, given so freely by Motti Wiesner [Lema'an Achai Financial Counsellor] and mostly through Hashem's Benevolence, we find our financial position greatly greatly improved.
We are most grateful for your past help over various Chagim, but, we ask that anything that you intended giving us prior to Pesach, is directed to more deserving families.
Tizku lemitzvos!"

Smart Chesed - Poverty Solutions - That's what makes Lema'an Achai's "Kimche Depischa" different from all other Kimche Depischa's!

--
Chag Kasher VeSameach,
David & Avrohom

** How To Conveniently Donate Kimche Depischa to Lema'an Achai **

24/6 Phoneline: 02 99999.33
Mail: 40/7 Nachal Lachish, Ramat Bet Shemesh, 99093

Or via your Lema'an Achai street representative or shul gabbai.

The positive side of the hospital fight

I don't have a strong opinion on the issue of the graves in Ashkelon and the building of the hospital. While the alternative solution is very expensive, that might be a cost worth paying. Also, the delay is hardly Litzman's fault - this has been an issue for over three years already.

Articles and news items I discussed on the topic were out of interest only, not because I ascribe to any particular side in the debate.

I do find it a bit disheartening how this has come about. The State has a mechanism in place for deciding halachic issues. The State has the Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbanut that is meant to make such halachic decisions and the State is meant to follow them. It is wrong for the State to start making its decisions base don private rabbis piskei halacha. I would have no problem if the Rabbanut consulted with a private rabbi and allowed that rabbi to influence their decision, and then the State follow that. But in this case, the Rabbanut issued a ruling, and the State ignored it and followed a conflicting opinion of a private rabbi.

It is unhealthy, in terms of the State, for the State to ignore its own bodies and institutions created for various functions and processes and to prefer alternates.

And then there is the very bright aspect of the debate - the whole country is debating halacha right now. The secular papers are non-stop bringing quotes form various rabbis and discussing which aspect of the halacha should override the other aspects.

It is not just fighting over money, though there is that too. It is not just fighting over power or a hospital or efficiency or anything else, though there is some of all that. The main focus of the debate has been regarding whether or not it is allowed, or what is allowed or not allowed, according to halacha.

I find that to be a nice aspect of the nationwide debate.

Jewish Holidays

Here is a humorous tidbit I received by email....

Jewish holidays are for people with illnesses:


Purim is for alcoholics.

Pesach is for OCDs.

Shavuos is for insomniacs.

Lag Bomer is for pyromaniacs who weren't satisfied with Chanuka.

Tisha B'av is for manic depressives.

Rosh Hashana is for people who are obsessed over dying.

Yom Kippur is for anorexics.

Sukkos is for the homeless.

Simchas Tora is for those in their happier stages of bi-polar.

Mar 25, 2010

Telling the askanim where to stick it

The City if Elad, in coordination with the haredi radio station Kol B'Rama, has arranged a big event for Pesach. They are having a concert with such stars as Medad Tasa and Udi Davidi. Residents approached the city officials and asked them to arrange something for the residents, and they did.

The askanim of the Committee of Holiness and [Mis-]Education heard and saw the advertisements and have decided the show cannot go on. To quote an askan, "We never approved this event, and we will not allow the city of Elad to proceed putting this event on."

The organizers, and those involved from Radio Kol B'Rama have responded that they never asked them, don't intend to, they have permission from their rabbonim, including Rav Ovadia Yosef, and the askanim will not tell us what we can or cannot do. (source: Kikar)

How disgusting of them is that to stick their noses in and say we never approved of this and we won't let it happen! They feel like they are the final word in the haredi community - nobody can blow their nose or wipe their tushie without permission from this or that committee of holiness. Finally some are hitting back and telling the askanim where they can stick it. I hope this response becomes more common.

The Deaf and dumb Cherem

Because of deaf people, haredim might be doing a dumb cherem.

One would think that the public "fashla" the askanim caused when they signed the gedolim on the letter of support for Elior Chen would have been enough to shake the system up enough. One who would think that would be wrong.

Egged is running, in a number of cities, none of which have a strong haredi population (Tel Aviv and Hertzliya for example), a screen on the bus over which bus information (coming bus stops, routes, etc) is displayed, with running ads that cover the cost. This is done for the benefit of the deaf, to make it easier for them to know where they are going, the next stops, etc. as they obviously can't hear announcements and have a hard time asking for details and all that.

The haredi askanim have decided that these screens are problematic. I am not sure why, but I guess they don't like the possibility of the advertising, and who knows what advertisement might be run on any particular day. They have been trying to pressure Egged to remove these video screens and scrap the program. So far unsuccessfully. For their next step in the campaign, instead of giving up and leaving it alone, especially since it hardly affects anyone in the haredi community, they are now considering threatening to boycott Egged over this.

Israel's Channel 2 News ran a report on this last night, so the threat of boycott is already in the official stages.

Not only are they threatening this stupid boycott, but they are doing this against the will of the rabbonim.

Kikar Shabbos reports that there was a meeting between the askonim and some rabbonim over the issue, discussing the possibilities and options. The main rav in the meeting was Rav Shteinman. The askanim were pushing the boycott. Rav Shteinman and the other rabbonim said it should not be done.

It seems the askanim have decided to not listen to the rabbonim, and have decided to go ahead with increasing the pressure on Egged by threatening a boycott.

Some people are even saying that many of the recent issues raised and pushed by the askanim, this one included, are effecting a process of the anti-religious Shinui party coming back to life.

Yair Lapid, a journalist and the son of the head of the original Shinui party Tommy Lapid, has been talking about some of these issues and has been talking about the possibility of running for politics and possibly starting a new party. He is polling very well, and if polls are to be believed, if he starts such a party it would see tremendous popularity very quickly.

And I don't blame them. The haredi community is built on listening to the rabbonim, as they have daas torah and know what they are doing. When the community is not listening to daas torah, and possibly even going against daas torah, but is listening to daas askanim and doing every stupid thing the askanim feel like doing, that is not what the haredi community is meant to be, and that is a violation of the charter of the haredi community.

The [Baba Sali] clock has struck 12

The legend of the watch of the Baba Sali is famous. The Baba Sali gave his watch to his prized student, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (he should live long and be strong) and said that when it gets to 12, the Mashiach will arrive. The watch for many years was famously nearing 12:00.

Rav Shmuel Eliyaho, in an interview to the Chabad website, COL, was talking about mashiach and said that Mashiach is already here, just we have to open the door for him. Rav Eliyahu then said that his father recently told him that the watch has struck 12, and "what are we waiting for now?"

Perhaps he is waiting for an ishur from the askanim....

Seriously though, the story of the watch is famous, and this latest revelation is going to be exciting for many people.

For the interview and for a link to see the video of the full interview, see the COL website...

Another dissenting rabbinic opinion on Barzilai hospital

Rav Amsalem from Shas has written a booklet, and received the approval and agreement from Rav Meir Mazuz, explaining why he believes it is allowed to remove the graves from the plot of Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon and build the emergency room according to the original plans.

Rav Amsalem argues based on a number of points.
  • The issue of the re-interment of grave sites - many governments have done this when there is a need to build a road or to nationalize the area of a cemetery, and the like, and it was done with the approval of rabbonim and gedolim (he quotes sources from the halacha seforim)
  • Since the experts say these are definitely graves of non-Jews, as Ashkelon was always inhabited by non-Jews, usually Pagans, re-interment is allowed, as the non-Jews generally allow re-interment anyway.
  • Adding to that is the saving of lives as what would be built is a hospital...
  • Any changing of the plans will cause great delays, and a tremendous outlay of expenses, the graves are considered to be damaging to the public. When graves are damaging to the public, they are always allowed to be re-interred.
  • The gedolim have written in the past not to cause great expense to the public, especially when the public cannot afford it, especially when we are not even talking about Jewish graves and at most it is only a possibility they are jewish graves, and it is more likely they are non-Jewish, and even for Jewish graves it is only rabbinically prohibited to move graves
  • Therefore, causing such a great expense on the public is definitely considered damaging to the public, which should not be done. Especially as it is for a hospital.

Rav Mazuz in his approval, said that this is true, and the concern that the non-Jews will see Jews moving bodies and will learn to treat the dead without respect is unfounded, as everyone understands that Ashkelon has been coming under rocket fire and the situation is one of pikuach nefesh and the hospital is in dire need of this emergency room. Plus, the bones would be moved to Jerusalem [which is a situation that always allows the re-interment of bones].
(source: Kikar)

This issue is a big one. The voices are starting to make themselves heard..

Simple solutions

My softball team got slaughtered last night by the Dimona Black Hebrews. Slaughtered like the korban pesach, I might add.

The Black Hebrews are one of the best teams in Israel, perhaps the best though that is debatable.

So this morning why kids were asking about the game and laughing about how badly they beat us.

So my 8 year old son suggested I leave my team and join the Dimona team so I could learn to play better. And I should paint my face black so they would take me on the team...

Muslim prisoners keep Pesach

Interesting decision by the Supreme Court. They ruled that Muslim prison inmates will be given matza instead of bread during the holiday of Pesach.

Even though they have no obligation to eat matza, nor a prohibition against eating chametz, they do not have a specific right to bread, but a right to food. That food can be any type of food deemed appropriate by the prison services, and if their diet is switched for a short duration for the benefit of other inmates in mixed prisons, so be it.

The mixed prisons with Jewish prisoners must be kept kosher, for those who observe Pesach, and his individual request cannot override their rights and needs, especially in light of the fact that he is being provided with food as is required of the Prions Authority, and not any specific food. (source: Haaretz)

I would suggest that perhaps matza should be served to them all year round, as a form of punishment, but I guess one week will have to do...

Yetzias Mitzrayim (video)

Obama humiliates Netanyahu

Obama can meet, be seen and photographed, have press conferences, with every cholera from the Middle East or other parts of the world, but to be seen in public after a meeting with Netanyahu, is not appropriate?

An administration official said "photographs would have been inappropriate given the current situation" as the reason why no photographs were taken of the two of them during or after their meetings, and why there was no joint press conference.

It is ok for the US to humiliate Israel, treating it publicly in a degrading fashion, yet they get all huffy and insulted when Israel announces plans to expand a Jewish neighborhood?

If he wants to be treated with respect and goodwill, he should treat us that way as well.

Mar 24, 2010

The chicken crossed the street because...

The chicken crossed the street because...he didn't realize he was a chicken.

During the pre-Pesach shechita (many more chickens are being shechted now because of the upcoming holiday), an unusual chicken has been found. A chicken with no tail. A chicken with no tail is discussed in the gemara as to how it should be considered and whether "gid ha'nashe" applies to it or not, and it is left as a question with no answer. Animals require the sinew to be removed, and they have a rounded bone. The chicken with no tail also has the same rounded bone (smaller of course), and therefore, with its physiology being different, is questionable whether it should be treated like an animal and have the sinew removed, or like a bird and not remove it.

Because the situation is one of a safek regarding a Torah law, Rav Avraham Dov Auerbach paskened that the sinew should be removed.

This situation is extremely rare, so the psak is not common.

(source: Ladaat)

Paskening against Rav ELyashiv

Is the hegemonious leadership in the haredi world finally cracking?

Generally, when Rav Elyashiv says something, or is at least quoted, no other haredi rav will generally speak up with a differing opinion. Rabbonim who pasken otherwise will still do so, sometimes, privately, but none will have the "gall" to argue on the gadol hador, posek of the generation, publicly.

Until now.

Rav Eliezer Brand of Emmanuel, he famous for encouraging the avreichim to set up a "hilltop settlement" outside of Kiryat Sefer a few months ago, has publicly spoken out with a psak arguing against the psak of Rav Elyashiv. (source: Kikar)

Rav Elyashiv has supposedly come out in favor of Yaakov Litzman's opinion that the Barzilai emergency room must be moved and constructed on the other side of the hospital rather than where it was planned to be built because of the graves beneath.

The Rabbanut has taken the position of the archaeologists that the graves are those of non-Jews, and can therefore be respectfully moved. For some reason, politics obviously, the State is ignoring the official halachic opinion of the halachic body authorized to decide halacha for it.

The rabbonim of Tzohar have come out with a psak saying that the graves can be moved even if they are Jewish. The graves are in harms way - they are a nuisance and danger to the public and can therefore, respectfully, be moved, even if they are Jewish graves.

Rav Brand has given a public shiur in which he said that the graves should be moved even if they are Jewish graves, just like Tzohar paskened, because they cause damage to the public. The hospital is inside a city and therefore there is even more room to be lenient on this in favor of the public.

The psak is interesting, though irrelevant as far as Litzman is concerned as he is only interested in the most stringent psak, not the more lenient psak. The more interesting aspect is the fact that he publicly paskened against Rav Elyashiv's opinion.

Nobody of any significance is going to listen to this differing opinion, as Rav Brand has already been painted as a bit of a nutcase and more zionistic than the haredi community (because of his hilltop settlement), and because he is paskening against Rav Elyashiv. Yet it is still significant that a public psak on the national level is being publicly disputed by somebody within the community.

Jewish - Catholic Parenting Battle (video)

A pinprick in a very sensitive place? That's it?

VeHi She'Amda (video)

Pesach is coming, and that means this song, VeHi She'Amda, is totally time appropriate...

Here are two versions of the song:

1. The original, as sung by Shweckey and Yonatan Razel together:


2. Sung by Shweckey in a concert this past year in Latrun, with soldiers singing along on stage:

Mar 23, 2010

HOTD

Egypt FM: There is no proof Israel wants peace

-- Galei Tzahal

uh, what about Gush Katif, settlement freeze, letting thousands of prisoners go free as goodwill gestures, Amona, Homesh, Sa-Nur, etc.?

It was all Litzman's fault

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman is coming under heavy fire for his decision to not move the graves (non-Jewish graves according to the Rabbanut) to build the new emergency room at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. Instead he has pushed a plan to move the emergency room and build it on the other side of the hospital, at much greater expense (4x, I think).

One of the main points of crticism his opponents are harping on, is that Litzman enabled Ariel Sharon to disengage from Gaza, a plan that included the removal of graves. Where was Litzman then? Why did he not force Sharon to give up the plan, so as not to move graves?

With all due respect, and I am not a fan of Yaakov Litzman, Litzman does not deserve this criticism. the disengagement was not his fault, and Ariel Sharon would not have given up the disengagement just because of a problem with the graves. UTJ did not oppose the plan strongly, and stayed in the coalition, giving Sharon the power to actualize the disengagement.

While UTJ's actions were reprehensible, it is wrong to blame the disengagement on them, or specifically on Litzman. The media that supported the disengagement, and shved it in our faces as the thing that needed to be done, is now pushing it back as if it was Litzman's fault. Litzman was wrong at the time, but the disengagement was not his fault.

(this has nothing to do with the debate about the graves in Ashkelon, but is only about the specific point of criticism)

Dirt is not Chametz, But…

A Guest Post by Professor Dr. Joshua Werblowsky
The writer is a clinical psychiatrist living and practicing in Jerusalem.

How is it that despite the fact that the Aishes Chayil of the home has been told and understands cognitively about the laws of Pesach, she continues to follow what she “knows-feels ” to be correct. A common answer begins with the words,” I know, BUT…”

Some of the other responses heard include “I know. Pesach cleaning is not spring cleaning , but…

I know dirt is not chametz and dust is not chametz, but…

I only want to get rid of the chametz, but… I need the house to look nice for Pesach.

But…”we always did it that way.”

The classic story is told of the woman who asks her Rav a question about checking all the books in her home. The Rav answers “Check only the ones you have used this year.” Whereupon she thinks, ”but… the Rav does not know the halacha” and decides that she will not be asking him any more halachic questions.

In my opinion “BUT” relates to the deepest desires and feelings, which transcend any cognition. (Cognitive therapy will not work in this instance J.)

The woman of the Jewish home feels responsible for everything that transpires there. This sense of responsibility becomes especially relevant around Pesach,because of all the holidays, Pesach is the holiday of the family. The korban Pesach was eaten within the family. The Torah tells us “a lamb for the house of our fathers “but emphasizes “a lamb for the home.”(Shmos 12:3)

However the explanation goes deeper than that. Our rabbis associate chametz with sin .Therefore if there is any chametz in the home (even if it is halachically allowed to remain there) it is as if the home has not been cleansed of any wrongdoing. How then can we celebrate our freedom from Mitzrayim, and as the Nesivos Shalom states, how do we free ourselves from our own and our familys’ ”Matzar “ or distress, so that we can celebrate our freedom and lead us to getting the Torah at Har Sinai?

This responsibility or burden is taken on by the woman of the home. Therefore, in the deepest recesses of the mind, the deepest feelings of the Aishes Chayil of the home, believes that all this depends on her and” I better make sure it is done the right way, the way “I know.”

Josh Werblowsky M.D.
Jerusalem,Israel

Statue of King David subject to politics

What's the story here? Is it just muscle flexing? Trying to show that even though they lost the overall balance of power, they still wield a lot?

A statue in the supposed image of King David had been placed a number of years ago at the site of the [assumed] grave of King David on Mt. Zion, at the time under the authority of Mayor Uri Lapoliansky (a haredi mayor), with the permission from Rav Elyashiv.

Now, the haredi councilmen in Jerusalem are making a big deal saying the statue is inappropriate and must be moved.

I guess you could say that the approval and agreement at the time back then was only because they felt they had to - to satisfy some people, to placate, to get something else. but maybe it was not really something they wanted, but felt they had to give in on it at the time.

Except for the fact that it was a haredi mayor, with a large haredi ruling faction. They basically did what they wanted.

If they let it pass back then, what right do they have now to change and remove their support? Did new information come to light? Is it just political muscle flexing?

QOTD

They all heard, they all saw...This witness was at a very basic level in the office - she was not a Harvard graduate..

--- Former PM Ehud Olmert

(responding to testimony against him by someone in his office who listened to his phone conversations)

Martha Stewart tours Streit's Matza Factory (video)

Mar 22, 2010

Ascending Har HaBayit

7 Nisan. The 7th of every Hebrew month is the day the Bet Shemesh group is scheduled to ascend Har Habayit.

I had not had the ability to go for a long time already, but today worked out well for me, so I umped at the occasion. Especially because of last weeks riots and the three days Har Habayit was closed, I felt it was important to go now that it has been reopened. Along with that, in a week from now we would all be obligated, if it were possible, to go up and bring the korban pesach.

There was a lot of activity in the parking areas outside of the Old City, with people coming and going, and inside the Kotel area was also starting to get busy with bar mitzvahs and tour groups.

I actually felt a little funny going. I almost backed out. Last night, after I did all my preparations for going, I went to bed and read an article from this past week's Mishpacha magazine. The article "happened" to be about the group putting together a collection for the possibile korban pesach. The journalist also spoke with Rav Kook and Rav Neventzal about the concept, and about Har HaBayit in general. Obviously they both said it is prohibited to ascend. I said to myself - this is the article I had to read right before I go up? Maybe it is a sign I should not be going? Then I told myself that my rav allows it, and I also had just "happened" to see some correspondence he had written in response to someone else asking if he could go, so i decided I would go despite the article.

As we were waiting to be allowed up, this group of teenagers came dancing in towards the Kotel area.
And after them came the girls group.


The view of the Kotel from the ramp leading onto Har Habayit

Walking around the Makom HaMikdash

View of the Makom HaMikdash, covered by the Dome of the Rock, from the northern side



From this angle, you can see the estimated spot of the mizbeiach (under the small dome), next to the spot of the Heichal.


The view of Har HaZeisim from the "window" on the Eastern side of the Mount

Security was very tight today, despite the fact that they told us it was currently calm. You could tell they were tense and concerned. We were tracked very closely the whole time by 4 policemen, along with 2 agents of the Waqf. We were followed much closer than usual and by far more people than is common.


Despite that, we succeeded in having Birkat Kohanim, and prostration was done right under their noses using the stairs trick - sitting on the stairs on the eastern side and prostrating from a sitting position (similar to what can be seen in many of the pictures of Machon HaMikdash). After a couple of minutes, one of the policemen said we should not look for trouble and should move it along.


After completing the walk around the Har, we went back out via the Kotel. By now it was getting very busy, with many bar mitzvah boys and their families coming down for their celebrations.

Here is one family, a family of Bucharians, coming for their sons Bar Mitzvah. The son is dressed int he traditional Bucharian garments for the occasion.

...And his father can be seen here from the back in his traditional garments

Rav Shteinman on not accepting a kid to a school (video)

Kikar Shabbos is running this video, it is of a meeting that is a couple years old between Rav Sorotzkin and Rav Shteinman. Rav Sorotzkin went to Rav Shteinman to discuss an issue - a father of children in his school remarried and wants the school to accept his wife's children as well. Rav Sorotzkin was refusing to accept these kids, and the father was insisting, so Rav Sorotzkin went to Rav Shteinman for a decision and guidance.

Rav Shteinman insisted, over the protestation of Rav Sorotzkin, that he must accept the children, and there is no such thing as the school is "not right" for these kids.

For the actual dialogue, you can watch the video or read the transcript on Kikar Shabbos. The details of the discussion are less interesting.

I found one point in the conversation particularly fascinating. That was when Rav Shteinman said there is no such thing as "not the right style for the kid" because how do you know, Rav Sorotzkin responded that there is one of the parents in the school who says he can tell and can evaluate this. At that point, Rav Shteinman waved him off and said that there is always one who is concerned about his "gayva", nothing else but his pride and haughtiness. Don't think he is God-fearing, it is only gayva.... The Rav of Brisk went to a Talmud Torah - who else studied in that Talmud Torah? All the troublemakers, the nobodies...There was one person who wouldn't send his kids there, because how could he send his kids to the schoolof the Briskers? I learned there, the children of the Brisker Rav learned there, Reb Dovid learned there.. So for the Brisker Rav it was ok to send his children there, but this guy couldn't send his children there? What was inappropriate about it? It is only gayva....
It happens that kids "get ruined". Good kids also get ruined. In all the best cheiders, there are no good kids who get ruined? Kids get ruined."

I find that point of the discussion fascinating, as Rav Shteinman is saying that when a parent says he doesn't want his kid to learn with "that kid" or "those kids" it is all gayva, and there is no such thing as saying this or that child is not right for this or that school.

It is actually fairly similar to a sentiment I have heard many times - back in chutz laaretz, they were happy to take any Jewish kid into the school. It didn't matter what type of kid he was or wasn't. They would take anybody. They were happy Jewish kids wanted to go to Jewish schools. Yet here, if you want to go to a specific school they don't accept you, saying you are not exactly the perfect fit.

See the video

QOTD

A year ago we came to power when we received the trust of the voter, and we placed before the voter our way. We waved, for those who have forgotten, the flag of settling the land. They told the prime minister to recognize two state solution, then to freeze settlement construction, and then dialogue would begin. But there are no negotiations. There was a party that went this path - they are now in the Opposition. Are we the ruling party so we could actualize their platform? When people stick to their principles, they are also victorious..

------- Minister Silvan Shalom

Unusual tour of Matza Factory (video)

Mar 21, 2010

HOTD

Health ministry head quits over government`s decision to move Barzilai ER

-- Haaretz

Uh, that was the position of Deputy Minister Yaakov Litzman, the "Head of the Health Ministry" and his decision was passed. he is not quiting over it because he won the battle. Haaretz got it backwards.

New vocational school opening

Rav Grossman, Stef Wertheimer and Min. Fuad Ben Eliezer are working on opening a new vocational school to train Haredim with skills for getting into the workforce. We really can't get enough of these vocational schools designed for the Haredi community. And, the fact that the number of such schools is continuously growing, shows there is a serious demand for it.

The schools, or the people behind the schools, are not trying to get the guys out of kollel, but are trying to help the guys who want to leave kollel, or feel the need to leave kollel, but have no skills or knowledge, get those skills and knowledge and find respectable work.

Kol HaKavod to Rav Grossman, Stef Wertheimer and Minister Fuad Ben Eleiezer for getting involved. Ben Eliezer said that the coming year will see heavy concentration on training Haredim for work and getting them into the workforce.

korban pesach under authority of the Supreme Court?

I recently wrote about a brochure being passed around the Haredi community encouraging, with Rav Chaim Kanievsky's blessing, signing up for partaking in the Korban Pesach, if it should become available in time for 14 Nisan.

Last year, Machon HaMikdash had made such arrangements, and now it seems they are doing so again.

I don't know if it is the same campaign as the one above, just under a different name, or if they are two different organizations. They are both charging the same price for your reservation - 12NIS.

Even more interesting is the fact that Machon Hamikdash has petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to force the State to allow them to sacrifice the Korban Pesach on Har HaBayit on Erev Pesach.

Surprisingly, the Supreme Court told the State they have to respond to the petition by Sunday (today).

I don't believe that at the end of the day the State or the Supreme Court will allow this to happen, but just the fact that they are willing to discuss it and not just immediately reject it outright is a start...

Rav Cherlo on changing the date of Yom Ha'Atzmaut

While the Chief Rabbinate has yet to respond, as far as I know, to the proposal proposed by Professor Weiss, Rav Yuval Cherlo has responded.

Rav Cherlo completely rejects the proposal.

Someone on Moreshet asked Rav Cherlo his opinion about the proposal. Rav Cherlo said "There is no worse proposal for Yom Ha'Atzmaut than this one, in the sense of unifying the people. This is simply a continuation of the disconnection from the State. It will cause a greater tear between us and the secular society, it will uproot Yom Ha'Atzmaut from its religious meaning, and there will probably not be even one Haredi person who will join the celebrations....
It pains me greatly, this trend of disconnecting frmo the State. A number of years ago I thought so,, and it is against the words of Chaza"l about the meaning of "One Nation in the Land", it is against the thanking of Hashem for the State, and obviously it will also achieve nothing."

The Seder of the future (video)

  1. cute
  2. how did the robots get up on the chairs? they should have sat on the floor Japanese style
  3. if the human had not already poured out almost all the wine, the robot would have poured all the wine all over the table.
  4. Also, the cup had to be placed just so or the robot would have missed it completely
  5. The robot messed up the matza when it picked it up
Clearly robots are not yet a threat for taking over the world. At least not the Jewish ritual world.


Mar 19, 2010

The needy at the wedding

I went to a wedding in Bnei Braq last night. It was beautiful.

There was one part of it that was sad. At our table, sat two, I assume, poor men. They came in, were totally out of place, and sat down at my table and ate. They sat there from the first course, all the way through the dancing and through the main course. They kept filling their plates with food, be it salads or side dishes or whatever was available at any given moment.

At one point, they pulled out a bag and started pouring food into the bag for later.

When I went back to the table after dancing the first round, there was a third, younger, poor guy sitting there eating as well, along with the first two. He also had his plate piled high and kept refilling it. Very sad that people are so needy.

It was a bit strange. I guess I don't understand people i. that situation, as thank God I have never been in such a situation. I would think that such a person would come and eat whatever food was available and move on. These people were asking the waiters to bring food, asking for more of this and that, not to bother bringing the other, etc. I guess I don't understand them.

Another strange thing - when I came back to the table, the main course was being served. The rice, potatoes and veggies were already on the table, and the waiters were bringing the chicken. The "guests" had already polished off almost all the side dishes, leaving just a few potatoes for the rest of us, no rice, and some cooked veggies.

I was ok with that, got my main, took some veggies and a potato, and ate my food. After they ate, one of them asked the waiter to bring more rice and potatoes, as some people at the table did not get.

The waiter complied and brought some more serving dishes. The two older folks took the plates first and restocked their own plates, leaving a bit of rice for the rest of us. I was already getting ready to leave, so I didn't want any. He was offering me the plate, and when he saw I was refusing he put it down in front of me.

The younger "guest" reached over to take it and refill his plate. With a bit of viciousness, the older guy grabbed the plate and his hand, and barked at him, saying, "You already ate a whole plate of food, and other people didn't get. Aren't you ashamed of yourself?!". He then pulled the plate away and offered it to me again. I refused as I had just benched and had to leave. I said no thank you and they can all enjoy it. Instead of giving it to the other guy, he finished dumping the whole dish of rice onto his own plate.

I was amazed at how much they could eat. They literally ate non-stop from the moment they came in until at least when I left, which was at least 2 hours, along with packing food away for later. I guess it must be difficult when you don't know where or when your next meal will be...

Mar 18, 2010

VP Joe Biden at Radio and TV Correspondents Dinner (video)

Biden started off with a comment about his recent trip to the Middle East

The new mehadrin bus

The image below was part of a display created by graduates of an advertising course. It is startling, unique and shocking enough that I like it, albeit it is a sad situation that this is what we fight about.

The caption on the bus reads, "Don't let religion tie you up"

Changing the date of Yom Ha'atzmaut

Below you will see the original letter sent by Professor Hillel Weiss of Bar Ilan University to the Chief Rabbis of Israel.
Prof. Weiss is making an interesting, albeit radical suggestion. Weiss is suggesting that the Rabbanut change the celebration of Yom Haatzmaut from 5 Iyyar to Rosh Chodesh Iyyar.

Professor Weiss bases his suggestion on the fact that Yom Haatzmaut is rarely actually celebrated on 5 Iyyar, because of how often it falls out on Shabbos or Friday or Sunday (on those days they always push it up to avoid issues of chillul shabbos). And, Professor Weiss says, in the next 10 years, the celebrated day will not fall out on 5 Iyyar even once.

The benefits of pushing it back to Rosh Chodesh are that doing so would make many people who currently do not partake in YH festivities, de facto celebrating Yom Haatzmaut. The haredim and Dati Leumi who do not want to partake in secular celebrations, would now be saying Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut, albeit because of Rosh Chodesh, but the end result would be that they said hallel on YH. And, Professor Weiss says, doing so would allow those who want to praise God for the miracles, but don't because of the secular aspect of the day, would now be happy to do so.

Interesting suggestion. What do you think? If they accept (no response has yet been announced) his suggestion, do you think the haredim will stop saying Hallel on Rosh Chodesh Iyyar, as "maris ayin" perhaps? Will they approve of this solution?

פרופ' הלל וייס

אוניברסיטת בר אילן

0545-343545

בס"ד, ראש חודש ניסן תש"ע

כבוד הרבנים הראשיים לישראל

הרב יונה מצגר שליט"א והראשון לציון הרב שלמה עמאר שליט"א

וחברי מועצת הרבנות הראשית

שלום וברכה!

הנידון: שינוי מועד תפילת הלל של יום ה' באייר

כידוע לכבוד הרבנים שליט"א, לאור שינויים בתקנון הוועדה לסמלים ולטקסים, יום העצמאות של מדינת ישראל כמעט ואינו חל יותר ביום ה' באייר, שהוא למעשה היום המקורי עליו קבעה הרבנות הראשית לומר את ההלל וההודיה לה' מאז קום המדינה. בעשור הקרוב עד לשנת תש"פ, לעולם לא יחול יום העצמאות בתאריך המסורתי, וכך למעשה ברוב השנים.

בנוסף לכך, כיום חלק גדול מאד מהציבור הדתי החרדי לגווניו, אינו משתתף כלל בטקסי התפילות של יום העצמאות כפי שנקבע על ידי הרבנות הראשית (כולל רבני ערים וכו') כל חוג וטעמו עימו, כאשר הצד השווה שרבים לא רוצים להיות מזוהים עם הממסד החילוני וכל הכיעור שהוא מייצג, ובפרט לאור ההתנכלויות לארץ ישראל ולקדושתה.

מאידך, חלק גדול מהציבור שלא מזדהה כיום עם תפילות יום העצמאות, היה רוצה להיות שייך ולהודות לה' על הניסים והנפלאות על שיבת עם ישראל לארצו, וכל מה שכרוך בפריחת עם ישראל בארץ ישראל תחת שלטון יהודי וכו'.

בעצה של מספר רבנים ואישי ציבור מחוגים שונים, הועלתה ההצעה, לקבוע את יום ראש חודש אייר, כיום בו יאמרו את תפילת ההלל כהודיה לה' על הניסים והנפלאות, יום בו עם ישראל יתחבר לשורשים העמוקים של ארץ ישראל ויחבר את הזיקה לקדושתה של ארץ ישראל.

כידוע יום ראש חודש כולל את כל החודש, ובמילא כל הציבור שאומר את ההלל, יראה בכך יום הודיה לה' על הניסים והנפלאות, ורוב רובו של הציבור יזדהה עם המסר שלנו, כולל בציבורים רחבים שבמשך שנים ראו את עצמם מנותקים מכל דבר שקשור לרבנות הראשית.

אני מבקש מכבוד מעלת הרבנים הראשיים וחברי מועצת הרבנות, לדון בכובד ראש בהצעה שהועלתה. אין לי ספק שההצעה תתקבל בברכה בקרב כל החוגים, ובפרט שהדבר ילווה בקמפיין הסברתי נכון ושוווה לכל נפש, ובכך נשיג את המטרה הנכספת של חיבור והזדהות של הציבור הדתי והחרדי עם המעשה המופלא של שיבת ציון, בלא קשר לאירועים שאין רוח חכמים נוחה מהם.

אין לי ספק, שהחלטה ברוח זו, שטומנת בקרבה אחדות וליכוד השורות תחת שרביטה של הרבנות הראשית לישראל, תביא להאדרת כבוד התורה וארץ ישראל, וכהמשך לראש רבני ארץ ישראל מרן הרב קוק זצ"ל, ורוח חכמים תהא נוחה מהחלטה זו על כל המשתמע מכך.

בברכת התורה והארץ

__________

פרופ' הלל וייס

אוניבסריטת בר אילן

העתקים: רבנים ואישי ציבור


Women of the Wall get chaired (video)

The modern day form of sekila...

Where Jimmy Carter is the good brother..

This is strange. Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat are troublemakers, and Jimmy Carter is the good boy.

In 1979, the Kidasa family of Lod had triplets. They called them the peace triplets. Ibrahim Kadisa believed in coexistence, so he named his three boys Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat and Jimmy Carter.

Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat
, however, have not exactly lived up to their peacemaker namesakes. Menachem was just shot and killed in Lod. While that just makes him a victim, he was a known drunk and troublemaker, and has been in prison. Anwar himself has been in jail, and right before he got out, he murdered someone in prison and got an additional 10 years.

So it turns out, Jimmy Carter is the good one of the batch...

POTD

Pesach cleaning

Rav Kook zt"l bio (video)

Mar 17, 2010

POTD

Brazilian President Lula Da Silva placing a wreath on the grave of Yasser Arafat (after he refused to visit and place a wreath at the grave of Theodore Herzl) ..

The mitzva to not be a vegetarian

I'll take any excuse to eat meat, though I do not feel the need to justify it.

Rav Dov Lior has written an article about why it is wrong to be vegetarian in today's world. I would assume he is not referring to someone who wants or needs to be vegetarian for health reasons, but he is referring to vegetarians who do so out of sympathy to animals.

Rav Lior says that the time for mercy on animals as a reason for vegetarianism has not yet been reached. Right now we should first be concerned with being merciful to humankind. Only when the world is "raised" and reaches a higher level will we strive for the level of mercy to animals and promote vegetarianism.

We are meant to take the physical and imbue it with holiness. When a person eats, if he does it for holy purposes and in a holy way, he imbues the food with holiness. (source: ynet)

As I said, any excuse to eat more meat is good by me...

Lokshen and Knish do them in

Top contenders in the Mississippi Statewide Spelling Bee were eliminated by misspelling Yiddish words.

One could not handle lokshen, and the second was done away by a knish.

Oy gevalt.

Religious violence

I find it mildly amusing, and very sad, how religion is turned to as a form of violence. A local religious newspaper is fighting against a new religious newspaper that is attempting to start distribution in the city.

It happens to be that the new newspaper, in my opinion, has a far more professional appearance and is written better, and the competition can only help the established paper get better, but that is besides the point. Instead of the old paper improving, and instead of them going to beis din to claim hasogas gvul and the like, they resort to violence; some physical and some religious.

They have resorted to physical violence to actually disrupt the distribution of the newspaper on Friday. The opponents claim the paper has no hetter from a rav, actually no hetter from the rav they want it to have a hetter from, and therefore allowed themselves to physically stop the paper guy from distributing his papers, and even took his bundle and lit it on fire.

Besides that, now they have distributed a four page pashkevil in the mailboxes full of old quotes and letters from rabbonim saying the "shvuons" (weekly papers) are prohibited and the source of all eveil (the shvuons were the source of all evil before the Internet came to be). Of course, their shvuon is allowed, just no other shvuons.

Of course, in light of recent events, such as a certain letter signed by certain gedolim supportng a certain person, and asking for money on his behalf, who is in jail for violent acts against children, one has to question whether these quotes should be listened to.

If the rabbonim actually signed those letters of support, which I do not believe to be the case, they do not deserve to be listened to. If they were tricked into signing those letters, then it is not their opinion but the opinion of the askanim, and I have no interest in listening to them. if they never signed it, but their names were added without their knowledge, that is even worse, and who says in any other letter with their signatures we can now assume they actually signed it.

Until now, it hurt to say that gedolim were tricked into signing their name on all sorts of crazy takanos and issues. Askanim manipulate them and all that, but it hurt to say it. After the Elior Chen letter, it is now clear and publicly known to all that that is exactly what happens. There is no longer any denying it - the rabbonim said openly they were tricked into signing it. Rav Elyashiv even said he never signed and his signature was added without his knowledge.

So now, when a poster goes up against a yeshiva someone doesn't like, we can easily ignore it, without even a guilty conscience, because the gedolim don't really sign these things or know what they are signing. When the put out pashkevilim against something signed by the gedolim, we don't have to be concerned because the gedolim don't really sign these things, or know what they are signing if they did.

And at the end of the day, it is all religious thuggery.

Hurva rededication: She'Yibaneh Beit Hamikdash (video)

Mar 16, 2010

Netanyahu King of Tanach

Mazel tov to Avner Netanyahu and the Netanyahu family. Avner today won the nation Tanach Chidon and is now officially headed to the International Tanach Chidon which will take place on Yom Ha'atzmaut.

The Hurva Skyline

click the image to enlarge, courtesy of Akiva, Mystical Paths...

US and PA both looking for excuses

There was absolutely no reason for the USA to take the announced construction plan as such an insult to its efforts to mediate peace talks.

Jerusalem was specifically excluded from the construction freeze. North Jerusalem neighborhood expansion is not a new settlement, nor is it 16000 settlements.

Perhaps the US (i.e. Obama) was just looking for an excuse to come down hard on Israel, just like the Palestinians have been looking for an excuse to capitalize on the US being upset at Israel. They are rioting over the restoration of an ancient synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem because they know now is a good time, as the Israelis have fallen out of favor in the United States. The US might also just be taking advantage of the recent construction announcements to criticize and berate Israel, for unknown reasons, despite knowing that israel had every right to continue construction in Jerusalem and never agreed to freeze anything.

There was no reason, other than perhaps diplomatic courtesy, for the announcement to not have been made during Biden's visit. It did not go against any principles Israel had announced or agreed to work with. Just the opposite - it was perfectly in line with Israel's public positions on Jerusalem and the peace process.

Will Obama cost the Democrats the Jewish vote?

Is Barak Obama destroying the relationship Jews have always had with the Dmeocrat Party? Is his demeaning attitude toward Israel, despite some mistakes Israel might have made, going to harm the party at large rather than just him?

Barak Obama is in big trouble in the US. Many don't like him, and many of thse who supported him have become disenfranchised, realizing that while he sang a nice tune, his charisma and speech-writing abilities are not really enough to be president or to bring peace in the Middle East.

While perhaps the average person in the United States does not really care about the intricacies of the Middle East peace process and of the details of the conflict between Israel and the Arab nations, at least we can talk about the Jews.

While in recent elections we have been seeing a swing of Jewish votes toward the Republican candidates, much of that swing was from the Orthodox community. The lions share of Jewish votes has remained in the Democrat camp. Yet, with the way Barak Obama has mishandled the Middle East issues, and how he has been one-sidedly against Israel all along, perhaps Jews are moving further away from supporting Obama, and perhaps from supporting any future Democrat candidate.

I suspect we are going to see a greater swing of Jewish votes toward the Republican cnadidate in the next election as a result of Obama's policies. The question is really after Obama is gone, will the Jewish vote continue moving towards the Republicans, or will people only punish Obama and not the Democrats?

Daas Torah as per the latest pashkevil

Somebody in RBS is working on opening a Yeshiva High School.

There are new posters plastered up around the neighborhood descrying the fact, and saying nobody should assist him, parents should not register their kids there, and chas v'shalom to touch even a small bit the framework and appearance of the holy yeshivas. Parents should only send to the holy yeshivas, and only then will they see nachas and success from their children.

The poster is not signed, but some name sof gedolim are printed. Does that mean they support this poster or that the printer felt like adding their names at the bottom?


The Infidel (video)

Mar 15, 2010

Rabbonei Tzohar Against Yaakov Litzman

I am not sure what the point of this is, as I thought the government already voted on it and decided not to move the graves, based on Litzman's opposition, in Ashkelon on behalf of construction of the new emergency room for the hospital.

Yet perhaps the fight goes on because they think they can get it back on the table and get the emergency room built.

The fight until now has been based on those who accept the Rabbanut psak that the graves are almost definitely not of Jewish origin and therefore can be moved, respectfully of course, compared to those who accept the psak of the Asra Kadisha who say that the graves are likely to be Jewish and cannot be moved.

Along come the rabbonim of Tzohar and have thrown a onkey wrench into the works. They have offered a new psak. They say that even if the graves are Jewish they can be moved, respectfully of course. The halacha says that graves can be reinterred to new location when the graves cause damage to the public. The rabbonim of Tzohar say that these graves are causing a clear danger to the public, by preventing the emergency room from being built, and they can therefore be respectfully moved.

Is this enough to get the issue back on the table? Will the government suddenly reverse its acceptance of Litzman's position simply because the rabbonim of Tzohar offered an alternative psak, not even supported, yet at least, by the Rabbanut? I doubt it. I think it will only serve to fan the flames of public opinion against Litzman, though as part of the overall halachic debate it is a worthy opinion that should be publicized.

Interesting Posts

Sorry for not having the "Interesting Posts" editions over the past 2 weeks. I have been swamped with other obligations and have not had time to read other blogs. My Google reader feed was exploding from the blog feeds I was not reading, so I cleared them and all and am starting from scratch. I will, hopefully, get back to it soon.

Tzniyus causes a coalition crisis in Jerusalem

A fight between two Haredi parties over a school building is now causing a municipal coalition crisis in Jerusalem.

The Gerrers have a building for their yeshiva. Shas has been allocated a building for their girls school in close proximity of the Gerrer yeshiva building.

Ger is worried that having this Shas girls school nearby will be a problem of tzniyus for the yeshiva, and are therefore threatening City Hall that they will pull their reps out of the coalition if the allocation to Shas is finalized.

A solution is being worked on which might include a series of building swaps that would move the Shas girls school further away and put a boys school next to the Gerrer yeshiva. (source: mynet)

I hate it when every little thing has to become a coalition crisis - both on the local city level and on the national level. Barkat should tell them to take a hike, calling their bluff, and see if they are really willing to pull their hands out of the municipal pie over this. His coalition doesn't really need them anyway. Problems can be resolved without making them into crises.

QOTD

However, it has now been announced that Jerusalem District Police have closed the Temple Mount to visitors for the next three days due to fears of Moslem riots… How ironic that in the very place which the prophets of Israel tell us is the secret of world peace, the very place which is to be the ‘house of prayer for all nations,’ care must be taken to ensure that there be no religious freedoms - lest Muslim sensitivities are offended

---- Rabbi Chaim Richman (Temple Institute)

The Hurva riots?

So why should the restoration of an ancient Jewish synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City be a provocation to cause rioting among the Palestinians?

The Hurva shul ceremonies have begun

The festivities of the restoration of the Hurva Synagogue began yesterday, with the actual opening and rededication ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, Rosh Chodesh Nissan.

Yesterday they held a hachnassat sefer torah ceremony at the Hurva.

Kikar Shabbos has a whole slew of beautiful pictures of the shul and the event. Check it out.

The First Annual International Temple Mount Awareness Day - March 16 (video)

Mar 14, 2010

QOTD

The Prime Minister is in the middle of a fight for our eternal rights in jerusalem, so I agreed to his request to delay the [Likud Merkaz] meeting due to the pressure he is under right now.

--------- MK Danny Danon (Likud)

Danon agreed to delay the Merkaz meeting. Hopefully Netanyahu is actually fighting for our rights in Jerusalem and not just going to give in on everything. On the other hand, I would not put it past Bibi to have arranged this whole crisis just in order to get the meeting delayed, after he failed in his previous attempts...

Toyota drivers and speeding tickets

Another Toyota Prius was in trouble today when the car began to speed up unintentionally and the driver could not get it under control in New York, after it just happened in California the other day.

While this time the driver was lucky and he had only just pulled out of his driveway, sending the car speeding across the street into his neighbors wall, suffering only some injuries, this disaster by the Japanese auto maker is a serious problem with more and more life-threatening situations happening at more regular intervals. Get all those Toyotas off the road!

While I should not joke about it and take this lightly, I do wonder if this is a good "out" when a cop tries to stop and ticket for speeding someone driving a Toyota. When the cop pulls up behind him and call for him to pull over to the side of the road, the driver should speed up even more increasingly and call out that his car is out of control. I wonder if that would get him out of a speeding ticket..

The supermarket bank combo

Why can't supermarkets just sell food anymore? Why do they have to become banks and peddle credit cards? Is the food industry not profitable enough?

I am so sick of being pestered to sign up for a new credit card, I am, bli neder, going to avoid certain stores as much as possible, even if it means paying slightly more on some items at other stores.

Every time I walk into the supermarket it is the same shpiel - do you have our credit card? no? why not? it is free of charges for the first year! blah blah blah. Do they think we just came from the moon and have not heard the shpiel every week or two for the past 6 months?

I am not interested in my supermarket becoming my bank and my creditor. Just sell me my milk, cornflakes and toilet paper and let me go home in peace.

Jon Stewart on Joe Biden's trip to Israel (video)

While unfortunately this whole thing is portrayed inaccurately in the world press - "1600 settlements" etc. when it is adding on to a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem that was specifically excluded from the construction freeze - unfortunately it is something that needs to be dealt with...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Path From Peace
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

sign up for Korban Pesach membership

Last year, the Temple Institute promoted people signing up to join a chabura of people for a possible korban pessach, in the event that bringing such a korban would become possible by the time Pesach would arrive.

While it did not pan out last year, there is another organization promoting it this year, and it seems that their target audience is the Haredi community. They got a bracha from Rav Chaim Kanievsky who said it is a good thing to do, along with a whole list of other rabbonim who gave them their blessing and support.

They published a small pamphlet that they have begun distributing... Here are two pages from the pamphlet, courtesy of both Kikar Shabbos and Bechadrei.


Cantor Yitzchak Helfgot sings Naomi Shemer (video)

Mar 11, 2010

QOTD

On the negotiating table, far reaching offers have been made [in the past]. Not just in East Jerusalem - control over Temple Mount, Mt of Olives and the City of David were offered.
I am saying, on behalf of the Israeli government, that idiotic offers like these and other similar offers will in no way be offered again.

---- Minister Benny Begin

Israel's Challenge to the US

The New York Times is running an interesting piece in its "Room for Debate" feature.

7 journalists have each written a piece on the issue of Vise President Joe Biden's visit and being blindsided by construction in Jerusalem, that was announced while he was trying to mediate both sides back to the negotiating table.

Well worth a read...

Interesting business signs

sig says "400 cups for 10 NIS. Not recommended"


A clothing store, "department store" style has a small corner in the back just for "the religious sector".

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