SodaStream (Soda-Club) USA. . 250 X 250 .

Apr 30, 2012

Interesting Posts #377

Interesting Posts #377

1. Circus Tent's Picture of the Day

2. Glatt Kosher - Glatt Yoshor

3. 7 Greatest Quotes by IDF Generals

4. Another Gas Station, Another Story

5. Is Lag B"omer Out of Control?

6. Life Imitates Hafganos

7. Yeshiva Guys Are Pedophiles - (no, not what you think)

8. The Reform Jewish Convert has an interesting post about why he is growing a sefirah beard..

9. Why Cant Breastfeeding moms Just Be Nice?

10. The 1876 Photo Fraud

11. The Topless Synagogue in jerusalem

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Pri Haaretz Loses Hechsher After Serving Treif At President's House

A frightening story, for anybody who eats food made by someone other than himself or herself, has been in the news the past couple of days.

There was a suspicion that in the meal catered in the President's House on Yom HaAtzmaut for soldiers the meat was all non-kosher meat.

The suspicion is that the caterer, a company called Pri Haaretz, had a problem with their meat spoiling, leaving them with no food to serve at the upcoming event. Supposedly, the caterer went to Abu Ghosh that morning and purchased non-kosher meat which was then prepared and served at the event in the President's House.

The incident was initially reported by Maariv newspaper on Friday. In light of the report, the Rabbanut fraud division opened an investigation.

Pri Haaretz has denied the claims, saying everything was supervised, there was even a mashgiach on site at the President's House throughout the event, and all is kosher.

After the investigation, Rav Rafi Yohai, head of the fraud division in the Rabbanut, has said that the investigation discovered security cameras in which a chef of Pri Haaretz is seen buying meat in Abu Ghosh. Rav Yohai said that when the mashgiach was presented with the situation, he was shocked as he had initially said that all the meat they use comes from the same place. he obviously was not aware that they brought meat in secretly from somewhere else.

As a result of the investigation, the Rabbanut has pulled the hechsher from the caterer, and is now considering what further steps can be taken. Legal counsel of the President's House also issued a harsh statement against Pri Haretz and says they are looking at what actions they can take against Pri Haaretz.

There are two perspectives running through my mind:

  1. If the mashgiach is not checking every box of meat and controlling the meat coming in and going out, the situation is ripe for fraud. And this, many say, is one of the things seriously wrong with the Rabbanut kashrut. There is too much room in their system for allowing fraud and deception.
  2. The opposite - mistakes and fraud happen under every kashrus organization under the sun. It is a fact of life. At least in the Rabbanut there is transparency. When something like this happens, everyone knows about it, the results are public and people are made aware of the issues. That transparency means that the Rabbanut will work to seal the breach and make sure it does not happen again.  When it happens under the watch of private kashrus organizations, one has no idea that anythign happened, they answer to nobody and report to nobody, and who is ever to know if the breach was fixed.


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Amazing Pictures Of Israel From A Fighter Jet

The IAF, the Israel Air Force, released the following amazing images taken from a fighter jet flying across Israel (I think it was on Yom HaAtzmaut).

enjoy



Tel Aviv shoreline

Massada

Nahal HaBesor

Emek Yizrael

Tel Aviv breakers

Midbar Yehuda - Dead Sea

Moshav Kanaf

Ramon Crater 
Nahal Paran 
Maagal Michael

Lower Galilee

Nahal Yehudiya 
Knesset

Machtesh HaKatan

Jordan Valley

Temple Mount

Midbar Yehuda




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Does Prime Minister Netanyahu Have The Halachic Status Of A King?

With the news this morning of the death of Benzion Netanyahu, the father of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the age of 102, I was wondering how the country would be affected with its prime minister sitting shiva, and what Bibi could and could not do during this period.

Sure enough, as the morning progress, Srugim published an article detailing what the halachos would be in regards to the prime minister sitting shiva. As the author points out, there is little written about such a situation, as for most of the past 2000 years the question has not been relevant.

The author details what the relevant halachot are: the king, unlike the kohein gadol, cannot shave or get a haircut, but he also is not allowed to go to the funeral. It is possible, using King David as a precedent when he went to the funeral of Avner ben Ner, that nowadays when it is common for heads of state to go to state funerals, that Netanyahu would be allowed to go.

Regarding the shiva customs, the halacha says that people do not go to pay "shiva calls" when a king is sitting shiva. Only certain people would be allowed to go, those specially invited and expected, and "his servants". As well, the king is not supposed to sit on the ground when he is being visited. He is not allowed to shave, so we might soon be seeing Netanyahu sporting a beard.

With Netanyahu sitting shiva, I expect his substitute will be filling in for him during this period. However, if there is any situation of pikuach nefesh that would require Netanyahu's attention, he would be allowed to deal with it.

One issue not dealt with in the article is whether a prime minister has the halachic status of a king. I have never heard of anybody saying the bracha for seeing a king when seeing the prime minister. if such a status is not bestowed upon him, then some of these issues might not be relevant.
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The Titanic: Made In China

I am always fascinated by the story of the Titanic. With the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic passing very recently, there were numerous articles written about various aspects of the Titanic.

And now, an interesting item has been announced out of Australia regarding the Titanic. Well, it is not about the Titanic per se, rather, an Australian billionaire has decided to make a replica of the Titanic, calling it the Titanic II, and sail it from Europe to North America.

Clive Palmer has commissioned a Chinese shipyard to build the replica. When it will set sail, it will be accompanied by the Chinese Navy on its voyage.

From The Bee:
A flamboyant Australian billionaire has ordered a shipyard in China to build him an exact replica of the Titanic. Mining magnate Clive Palmer has announced the luxury cruise ship will have the same dimensions as the original Titanic which sank on its maiden voyage 100 years ago.
"Many people have attempted to do it before but have failed because they didn't have the money to pay for it," Mr Palmer told reporters in Brisbane. "We've got the money, we've got the shipyard and we're moving very heavily to commence construction to bring this ship into service."
Mr Palmer wants the ship to be built by state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard. With the latest navigation and safety systems, Titanic II will sail in the northern hemisphere, with her maiden voyage from England to North America scheduled for late 2016. Mr Palmer said the rebuild was a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic, which sank after hitting an iceberg on April 15, 1912 and cost the lives of 1,514 passengers and crew.
Asked if the ship could sink, Mr Palmer told reporters: "Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it. It is going to be designed so it won't sink. It will be designed as a modern ship with all the technology to ensure that doesn't happen. "But of course if you are superstitious like you are, you never know what could happen."
The businessman said design work in conjunction with a historical research team had commenced on the new Titanic, which will have 840 rooms and nine decks. The Chinese navy has been invited to escort Titanic II on its maiden voyage to New York. Mr Palmer said the ship's funnels, which with modern propulsion would be purely decorative, and would be used to house a restaurant, a theatre and an "internet room". 
The original Titanic had nothing wrong with the design and build, so I would imagine, if the replica will be built well, there is no reason it should have any problems. The problem with the original, we all know, was the arrogance and pride of the owners and the captain. If the replica will be able to withstand the little "made in China" sticker that will be affixed somewhere at the bottom of the boat, I assume it will be ok.

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The Yeshiva Boys Choir - "Amein" - A Cappella (video)

The Yeshiva Boys Choir - "Amein" - A Cappella



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Jewish teenagers join Auschwitz march (video)

Jewish teenagers join Auschwitz march



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Volunteers Older than the State Come to Serve in the Army (video)

Volunteers Older than the State Come to Serve in the Army


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Apr 29, 2012

Debating Atheist Ideology


I was always fascinated by the historic debates, actually the background of those debates rather than the arguments themselves, about Judaism, such as the supposed debate written about by Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi between the king of the Khazars and a simple Jew, such as between the Ramban and Pablo Christiani, among others. The idea of a debate in which everything is on the line is exciting.

This debate is not quite at that level, where everything is on the line, where the victor might be at the threat of death or banishment, but it is interesting nonetheless. This is more of the modern day type of debate where a couple well-versed people get together to see who can present better, or maybe who knows a little more than the other. This debate almost reminds me of the great book jointly written by Reform Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch and Orthodox Rabbi  Yaakov Yosef Reinman in which they publish a debate about the major issues in Judaism that they discussed via email.

Rabbi Moshe averick, author of the book, "Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist" about the flaws of atheist ideology, has invited a proclaimed ideological atheist to a debate about atheism and Judaism.

Averick extended the invitation, er challenge, to Shauli Grossman, via his article in The Algemeiner a few weeks ago:
[...] Under “religious views” he wrote: “shul [synagogue] of the flying spaghetti monster.” For those who are unaware, “the flying spaghetti monster” has become a standard atheistic metaphor used to mock religious beliefs as in “you believe in something as ridiculous as angels, I believe in the flying spaghetti monster.” While the “shul of the flying spaghetti monster” might not be conclusive, the following does not leave much to the imagination: In “People Who Inspire Shauli” he has listed three of the most prominent “new atheist” ideologues: Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins. It would seem reasonable to assume then that Mr. Gross is a committed ideological atheist himself. He also described himself as “A puS**Ter yid” – poking fun in a vulgar sort of way at the common Yiddish expression “A Poshitah yid” which means “A simple Jew.” Interestingly enough, I recently posted a song on YouTube that I wrote and recorded in Jerusalem called “Just A Simple Jew.” (It hasn’t gone viral yet, but I’m still hoping)
As I explained earlier, I have no intention of expressing any opinion on Shauli Grossman’s personal experiences or the particular lifestyle he has chosen to lead. However, the ideology of atheism as expressed by writers like Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris interests me very much. All three are discussed in my book (whose title does not leave much to the imagination as to where I stand on these issues), Nonsense of High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist. It is one thing to make personal choices; it is another to mislead people with ideas and ideologies which are utterly false. If Mr. Grossman is inspired by these people and is prepared to go on national TV to express his opinions, perhaps the following challenge will be of interest to him:
Dear Mr. Grossman (R. Shauli): As we both know, Talmudic literature is filled with metaphors comparing the arguments that took place between the sages regarding Jewish law and thought, with the idea of warriors battling one against the other. I respectfully invite/challenge you – from one “simple Jew” to another – to articulate and defend your new-chosen atheistic ideology in the arena of the intellect. Let us meet and debate the issue in a proper forum. I think the best place to start would be at the very beginning (always a very good place to start). I suggest “Does the Origin of Life require the existence of a Creator?” I look forward to hearing from you. May the truth win out.

While I don't know if either of them are an authority on the matter, or in general in any way, I am not sure that it matters. Must one be a national leader of sorts, or the head of a large movement, in order to hold a serious debate? Not at all. The only thing is that when it is just two guys arguing about something, the results don't matter much to anybody else. Maybe this one lost because he just was not well-versed enough, or maybe the other guy was a bit more charismatic or boisterous. Without a large following of people who will act on the results of the debate, the debate is just a simple discussion between two people. Nice, but does it matter?

Either way, even if there are no ramifications to the actual debate, if it happens it will be interesting to  keep an eye on. I have not seen any response yet from Grossman regarding the debate invitation, but I am hoping some interesting reading will come out of this..


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Headline Of The Day

Headline Of The Day

Court: Non-Jewish man can sue over anti-Semitic slurs

  --- US News

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Quote Of The Day

Quote Of The Day

Our rights to the land, prior to coming from the laws of the nations, , is based on the history of this land, on the deep connection thousands of years old between the people of Israel and Eretz Yisrael... We believe with all our hearts, that the Jewish settlement in Eretz Yisrael is the actualization of our rights. It is returning to the land of our forefathers. And this right combined with the right of the Jewish people to national security... After you have read the Tanakh well you know very well that to Bet El, just as to Hebron, Avraham and Yaakov went 4000 years ago, well before it occupied todays headlines..

  --- Ministeer of Education Gideon Saar, at the International Bible Quiz

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Netanyahu At The International Bible Quiz (video)

Netanyahu At The International Bible Quiz


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Netanyahu on CNN (video)

Netanyahu on CNN



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Peek A Jew, Coke Ad (video)

Peek A Jew, Coke Ad

Somehow this Coke ad features seemingly Orthodox Jews...



though they are hunting, and hunting is not typically an "orthodox jewish" sport...

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Apr 27, 2012

Fort Hamilton Holcaust Day Event Hosts Satmar Grandson

This is very interesting. Fort Hamilton Army Base hosted a Holocaust tribute on Holocaust Day last week. The guest speaker was a fellow named Rabbi Chaim Teitelbaum - a grandson of the Satmar Rebbe.

From the Facebook page reviewing the event:
Fort Hamilton held its Holocaust observance at the community club April 19 to honor the millions of European Jews who perished or survived the Holocaust, the deliberate extermination of Jews by the Nazi regime in Germany led by Adolf Hitler during World War II.
Considered a very good friend by Col. Michael Gould, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hamilton commander, Rabbi Chaim Teitelbuam was invited as the guest speaker who shared the stories his great grandfather, a survivor of the Holocaust, told him as a child.
He spoke of how his great-grandfather was one of the happiest children alive until he lost both his parents at age 11. Now an orphan, stability was scarce as he often had to sleep with several neighbors while others provided him with warm food and clothing.
“Despite what he was going through at such a young age, he never lost his faith,” Teitelbaum said. “On the contrary, he engulfed himself deeply into his religious studies, opposite of what his younger brothers did, who eventually fled to join the Communist Party, which broke my great-grandfather’s heart.”
Later, his great-grandfather married and had a family. He soon was promoted to chief rabbi and began to enjoy a happy and loving lifestyle as he often played with his children. Then in 1944, that all began to drastically change as the Nazi Regime rose to power. Teitelbaum said the Nazis forced his great-grandfather and his family onto trains to travel for days without food or water.
“My great-grandfather couldn’t bear the cries of his children as they begged for small bread crumbs and drops of water,” he said. “No parent could imagine that about their children, yet when they reached their destination, his child was snatched from him and brutally beaten to death right before his eyes as he stood helpless.”
Teitelbaum continued to share his great-grandfather’s story as spectators listened closely.
“Then,” he said, “the rest of his family was stripped from him as they screamed and pleaded for a good-bye kiss and hug. But it wasn’t to be. Nothing in the world could describe the pain of watching your child’s small hand waving in eternal good-bye. He witnessed so many tragedies with the killing of many of his friends, but no tragedy was worse than having his family stripped from his arms and watching them killed by the hands of the Nazis in the gas chambers. As he stood and watched the smoke rise from the chimneys of the chambers, he knew that he would no longer see his wife and children again.”
Teitelbaum said that his great-grandfather’s fate surely would have been the same had it not been for the U.S. Army rescuing him and thousands of other Jews from certain death at the very last moment . He credited his great-grandfather for his strength, faith and courage to find enough good in life to start a new beginning. He died six years ago at the age of 93.
“I don’t know how, but he always had a smile on his face,” Teitelbaum said. “I don’t know how he had the strength to play with me when I was a boy, but he did.
“He knew something that we all should know,” he said. “It makes no difference what punches life throws at you.
Nothing but nothing can break your heart and nothing but nothing is stronger than you.” He shared his belief, also shared by his great-grandfather, that had it not been for the United States and its support, he and many Jews would not be here today.
“Even as all other countries turned their backs, including Germany, when Israel was facing a similar Holocaust of its own in 1974, the United States of America was there and always has been, and there is no greater country than America,” he said. “And Israel and Jews around the world, know that when push comes to shove, America will always be there.”
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Ari Goldwag - Hashem Loves You A Cappella (video)

Ari Goldwag - Hashem Loves You A Cappella



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Neturei Karta Leader Meir Hirsch Welcomes Raed Sallah upon his Return from Britain (video)


Neturei Karta Leader Meir Hirsch Welcomes Raed Sallah upon his Return from Britain


I am surprised Hirsch is speaking in Hebrew, rather than English, Arabic or Yiddish...


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Apr 26, 2012

PM Benjamin Netanyahu Sings Oseh Shalom (video)

PM Benjamin Netanyahu Sings Oseh Shalom



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The Haredi Community and Yom HaAtzmaut

Every year the debate of how the haredi public relates, or should relate, to the State of Israel and Yom HaAtzmaut is renewed with interesting perspectives and opinions.

This year there were a number of articles I saw describing how the haredi community, including both the gedolim and the haredi media, related to Israel and Yom HaAtzmaut in the earlier days of the State.

The best of the articles, the most interesting and fascinating, that I have read, in my opinion, is this article called "When Unity reigned: Yom HaAtzmaut 1954" about how the rosh yeshiva of Telshe yeshiva in Cleveland, Ohio, Rav Eliyahu Meir Bloch, participated in a Yom HaAtzmaut event and wrote favorably about Israel when he defended his position. I would also note that the footnotes are just as, or possibly even more, interesting and fascinating as the article itself.

Well worth a read.


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Rav Amar And Rav Sharki get Into It At Kotel About Hallel

There have been lots of interesting events, incidents and news stories regarding Yom HaAtzmaut, but the one I find most interesting is the one regarding the tefilla led by Rav Sharki at the Kotel last night.

Rav Uri Sharki , head of the beis medrash of Machon Meir, started, a few years ago, leading a festive holiday tefilla at the kotel. It started off small, and has grown every year, with now thousands of people participating. Rav Sharki is of the opinion that halachically it is necessary to say hallel, with a bracha, on the night of Yom HaAtzmaut as well, as an expression of faith in the redemption.

At the tefilla last night led by Rav Sharki, according to this report on Srugim, the chief rabbi, Rav Shlomo Amar, decided to participate. Just before the chazzan was about to begin the hallel, Rav Amar told rav Sharki that he is prohibiting him from making a bracha on the hallel.

Rav Amar explained that Ravv Sharki's opinion, that had been published and publicized in a journal and detailed as well in a pamphlet of tefillot for Yom HaAtzmaut,, is incorrect. Rav Amar explained one cannot make a bracha on the hallel, and if he does it is a bracha l'vatala.

After some back and forth between them, Rav Sharki decided to stand down and not argue with the chief rabbi. Rav Sharki decided that hallel would be said but with no bracha.

After the tefilla, Rav Amar explained to the crowd that his decision and statements were not personally against Rav Sharki, but were to clarify the halacha. Rav amar explained that in Morocco and North Africa they used to say hallel with a bracha, but in Eretz Yisrael the psak of "Maran" (Rav Yosef Karo) is accepted to not say the bracha on hallel, and definitely once Rav Ovadiah Yosef has paskened that way.

After Rav Amar left, Rav Sharki said he had not responded so as not to argue with Rav Amar publicly, however he feels that the bracha must be said and Rav Yosef Karo was only referring to hallel on Rosh Chodesh and not the full hallel as it is said on Yom HaAtzmaut, as we make the bracha on Hannukah as well. Rav Sharki said that next year he will say the bracha on the hallel, and hopes by then to convince the rabbonim as well that that is what is correct.

With so many different opinions of what to do on Yom HaAtzmaut, Rav Amar should have either kept quiet, relying on the eilu v'eilu approach, or else not participate. He was a guest in someone else's minyan. I would not walk into a shul as a guest and tell them that their customs are wrong. If I don't like it and think they are doing something that according to my opinion is wrong, I would daven elsewhere.

That being said, rav Sharki's response was dignified, and his submitting to Rav Amar's opinion was honorable. Is the bracha of hallel more important than a public dispute? I don't think so. It initially reminded me of the famous story of Rav Baruch Ber Lebovitz who tore up his own writings when he met and became a student of Rav Chaim Brisker - though then I realized it is not the same. Rav Sharki submitted just to keep the peace, not because he became a talmid and accepted the opinion.

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Quote of The Day

Quote of The Day

In these days of wonder and doubt regarding the justice of our cause, in a time of factionalism and social schisms, in times of international isolation, there is nothing like the fighters section of the cemetery to relate how deep our roots are in this land.
In this section are buried religious and secular, yeshiva and university graduates. Young people that fell while defending the Jewish Quarter on the day of the establishment of the State are buried alongside students of the Gra who immigrated to Jerusalem, alongside victims of the 1929 massacre and alongside admorim from Poland, alongside Shai Agnon and Menachem Begin, near the burial spot of Rabbi Saadia MiSklov and the Maiden of Ludmir, Generations of Jews, too many to count.
He whose feet did not walk among these graves will not understand what is Jerusalem, will not understand what is Zionism, will not understand what is independence. He will not know how deep our roots are, how Jerusalem is planted deep in our hearts.
We did not return to this mountain in order to eventually leave it. We returned to jerusalem in order to live in it, to build it, to be built by it. With that we can be comforted, by Jerusalem that has been reestablished and has become a metropolis, in Jerusalem that has become a symbol of our freedom and strength, in jerusalem in which boys and girls are playing in its streets...

  -- Speaker Of the Knesset Ruby Rivlin, at a memorial ceremony on Har HaZeisim for the fallen soldiers from the Old City of Jerusalem
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A Tribute to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) - Our Brothers, Our Home


if you think today is not a chag, then this is a sefira alert (foreground music). if you think today is a chag, then no sefira alert needed...


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PM Netanyahu Yom HaAtzmaut Wishes (video)


PM Netanyahu Yom HaAtzmaut Wishes


I am not quite sure why he tacked on that cat singing at the end of the video..


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President Shimon Peres Yom HaAtzmaut Wishes (video)


President Shimon Peres Yom HaAtzmaut Wishes


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Apr 25, 2012

Haredim Censuring Yom Yerushalayim Event

This news piece seems a bit backwards, and I'd like to see someone try and call their bluff, just to see what happens.

In a committee meeting in the City of Jerusalem this week, the planning committee decided to invite Yardena Arazi to perform at the upcoming Yom Yerushalayim ceremony of the giving out of the Valuable Of Jerusalem Award. At the meeting, the haredi members protested the event and opposed the decision to invite Arazi to perform.

Nothing unexpected so far, right? They are upset that at an official ceremony, in which haredim will obviously be present, a woman is being invited to sing.

Wrong. It is more interesting than that.

It turns out that the reason the haredi councilmen oppose the event and object to the invitation to Arazi is because they are accusing the City Hall of discriminating against haredim, as their is a lack of proportion of Haredim being awarded the honor relative to their size in the local population.

Those on the opposite end of the political spectrum in Jerusalem are accusing the haredim of being sneaky,, as their intention is really to oppose her for being a female singer, and just using this as an excuse. the haredim deny it and say it is not possible that they were unable to locate a few haredim deserving of the award for doing positive things for the city.

The vote on the matter was tied, and the discussion will continue at the next meeting. (source: Mynet)

As I said above, I would like to see the councilmen and Nir Barkat find a bunch of haredi recipients of the award and add them to the ceremony and watch them accept but unable to ask Arazi to step down because they already said they have no problem with her performing.

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Picture of the Day

Picture of the Day


With the Iryah of Bet Shemesh cowardly avoiding putting up the flags of Israel for Yom HaAtzmaut, some local residents decided to step up to the plate and put up flags in the lightposts flag slots.
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Chief Rabbinate On Tachanun On Yom HaAtzmaut

The Rabbanut just sent out a clarification of how to deal with the various aspects of Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim due to them being pushed up and not celebrated on their original dates.

The Rabbanut writes:
As is known, this year Yom HaAtzmaut falls out on Friday. In order to prevent desecration of Shabbos that would be caused by the various events as a result of being so close to Shabbos, it has been decided to make the celebrations and ceremonies earlier to Thursday 4 iyar.
Yom HaZikaron is therefore also made earlier, pushed up to Wednesday 3 Iyar.
With that, the minhag to not say tachanun on Yom HaAtzmaut will be followed this year as well as it is every year on the original date of Yom HaAtzmaut, on Friday the 5th of Iyar. The change in the date is only relevant to the various events, and not regarding the tefillot.
Yom Yerushalayim, which is on 28th of Iyar, this year falls out on Sunday. The Rabbanut has decided that this day also, in order to avoid potential desecration of Shabbos when preparing for the various events, events will not be held on Saturday night but will be delayed until Sunday.
However, also on this day, the prayers of Yom Yerushalayim are not changing. The tefilla said on the night of Yom yerushalayim will still be said on Saturday night, and the prayers said by day will be said Sunday morning as every year.  



The statement by the Rabbanut relates to which day tachanun should be skipped - Friday. Does that mean that tomorrow, on Thursday, tachanun should be said, as usual for 4 Iyar?

As well, they make no reference to specifically hallel or the other special prayers (e.g. Torah reading, etc.) - are they included in the statement that they should be said on Thursday night-Friday, and not on Thursday? The shuls I am familiar with holding special holiday services for Yom HaAtzmaut are doing so on Wednesday night-Thursday, and not on Friday. In previous years I remember the holiday prayers being said on the cellebrated day, and not on the original date.

Because the Rabbanut statement of clarification was so unclear, the Rabbanut issued another clarification shortly after the first.

In this reclarification, the Rabbanut explains that tachanun should not be said on Wednesday mincha of Yom HaZikaron, Thursday being Yom HaAtzmaut and on Friday 5 Iyar.


The Rabbanut still said nothing specifically about hallel and the other prayers, but it seems to me that they are continuing to mandate hallel and the prayers for Thursday, and are just adding that on Friday tachanun should not be said despite that not being the celebrated day.

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Quote Of The Day

Quote Of The Day

If we maintain our resolve to have true peace internally with each other, we will be able to gather the strength needed to distance the enemy from our borders and to allow peace to come to Israel...

  -- IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz

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"Hatikvah" at the Kotel (video)

"Hatikvah" at the Kotel


from the Yom HaZikaron ceremony last night..


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Nefesh Yehudi-My Israel My Roots (video)

Nefesh Yehudi-My Israel My Roots


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PM Netanyahu's Yom HaZikaron Message To Bereaved Families (video)

PM Netanyahu's Yom HaZikaron Message To Bereaved Families


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Your Only Son (video)

Your Only Son

A poignant look at a bereaved mother on Yom HaZikaron..

   

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Apr 24, 2012

Interesting Posts #376

Interesting Posts #376

1. The Problem With Shlissel Challa

2. A Special Gallery For Yom HaAtzmaut

3. A Blessed Year, for people in chu"l

4. String Theory - I have been following this fellow for a short amount of time and find his writing very interesting and thoughtful. he is associated with Reform, yet he seems to be more inclined to perform mitvos that Reform Jews do not normally perform, and he is very thoughtful about what he chooses to do. Take a look.

5. Halachic Significance of Yom HaAtzmaut

6. Seret Vishnitz Rebbe As An Israeli Soldier in 1948

7. Culture Of Growth

and some interesting articles:

1. Why Haredim Should Be Zionists

2. The Club No One Wants To Belong To

3. Stallone Sues A Palestinian
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Mila Before Marriage

According to the article below, from today's edition of Israel Hayom, the Chief Rabbi of Ashqelon, Rav Yosef Chaim Blau, has decided to establish a new rule in his city for people registering for a marriage. According to Rav Blau, any male registering for marriage will be obligated to first undergo, if he has not already, a circumcision. Rav Blau announced this in a recent interview with the Yated Neeman.

The statement has upset some people, prompting the Hiddush organization to petition the State's Attorney and the State Comptroller to force Rav Blau to retract his new rule.

The Rabbanut's response was that they have no such rule in place connecting circumcision to the wedding, and if any rav has reason to suspect a familial problem he can recommend a circumcision, but he cannot force one.

Rav Blau, who put himself in the hot seat, has since retracted, saying that he has been told he cannot force the issue on anyone, and therefore he will not.


Encouraging Jews to undergo the ritual circumcision is good, and every Jew that does not have one is a shame, but putting such things into law just harms religion and people's attitudes to it. As soon as it is turned into a law, into something they HAVE to do, they begin to reject that and everything else.


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City of Bet Shemesh and the Israeli Flag

I was out on a run this morning and I noticed on Sderot haYarqon that while many apartments had Israeli flags hanging from their windows and porches, there were very few Israeli flags hanging in the street itself in the flag-slots of the lampposts. Every single lamppost had a flag of the City of Bet Shemesh, but on the entire street I only saw 2 Israeli flags - one near the top of the street and one near the bottom of the street - while the rest of the lampposts were left empty on the Israeli flag side.

I have been told that around the city similar situations can be found. While some areas have Israeli flags, other areas have been left bare of the Israeli flags, while the city flag can be found everywhere. To be fair, the City of Bet Shemesh did install the flags in some areas where they were later removed by residents hostile to the presence of the flag.

People who have called the Iryah to complain about the lack of flags have been given a variety of excuses, including that it is a shame to place flags where they will just be burned down. I have no problem with that, and I am fine with the iryah being sensitive to certain areas where people are more hostile and would burn the flags. That does not absolve them of placing, or replacing, the flags in areas where residents are not hostile in that way.

As an individual, anybody can believe what they want. You have the right to be anti-flag, while your neighbor has the right to be pro-flag. The city, on the other hand, does not have such a right. I think it is a busha, an embarrassment, that, as a city, on public grounds, the flags are not flying in full force for Independence Day. It does not matter what I, or you, personally think of the flag - the City, any and every Jewish city in Israel, should be proud and patriotic, and should be flying the Israeli flag.

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Quote Of The Day

Quote Of The Day

When I see the State of Israel today, I am filled with pride of our achievements, of the peaks, and of the fulfillment of the dreams of those people, who were the builders of the State in its early days. There is no doubt that the dream of Ben-Gurion was small compared to the reality that we can attest to today..

  --- President Shimon Peres

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The Work Of The Devil

In a discussion about Yom HaAtzmaut, the State of Israel and Satmar, I heard the following statement said in the name of Rav Yoel Bin-Nun. I think it is a great statement and worth sharing.

[Rav Yoel Bin-Nun] said that he can't understand a philosophy that says that 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis is the hand of G-d but 600,000 Jews defeating 7 arab nations is the work of the devil..

What do you think?

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Israel at 64: "Chutzpah is the Key"


A Guest Post by Michael Steinhardt

As Israel prepares to begin its 65 year of modern-day independence, there can be no disputing that this nation remains confronted with a myriad of challenges and threats to its very existence. But despite the perceived pall of fear and tension which seem to hang eternally over Israel, I can confidently say, as someone who has been blessed to contribute to its modern renaissance, that Israel’s daily reality is one of hope and promise for a brighter future – a reality in which most Israelis live.

Recently, I appeared in a new film which will soon be showing across the world: "Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference." The film attempts to pin down the elusive key characteristics that make modern Israel a nation unlike all other nations.

I’ll name a few: Chutzpah, Transforming Adversity to Advantage and Powerful Family Links. While many explanations have been offered as to why our nation has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time and in a challenging and hostile environment, I believe that the issue of national character and personal determination shouldn’t be overlooked.

Undoubtedly, there is an underlying Israeli (or many would say Jewish) characteristic that can only be defined as chutzpah. To the uninitiated, this term is often mistranslated as brashness or even rudeness. Yet, those who truly appreciate what motivates chutzpah know that this is a character trait driven by an unwavering determination to get things done – and ensuring that “no” can not be the answer. Chutzpah can also be used positively to challenge the status quo and look for new ways to do things better and reject the skepticism of the naysayers. This is a big part of what makes Israel so successful and unique.

I can certainly relate to this character trait - it’s what made me push ahead when I founded Birthright Israel and since then, it’s a vision that I have been blessed to share with hundreds of thousands of young people since the program’s launch.

In the spirit of this film, Israel’s 64th anniversary should be used to dismiss the notion of a modern Israel solely defined by the conflict that surrounds it. In little more than half a century, a country has been created that is a burgeoning haven of scientific innovation, a marketplace of ideas that attracts the world’s leading minds and a center of some of the world’s most contributive medical discoveries.

An arid land of desert and harsh climate has literally been transformed into a leading international exporter of thousands of products to the majority of ports around the globe. Despite the global economic downturn, the Israeli export industry continues to grow and in 2011 recorded $89 billion in sales, a 4.5 percent increase over the previous year.

As clichéd as many might think it to be, the truth is that all of Israel is one big family – in times both good and bad. The concept of a national collective that motivated the establishment of the state demonstrates itself today in the ethos of a national responsibility for fellow citizens and has penetrated into all aspects of Israeli society.

I chided the Jewish establishment when I founded Birthright. My theory was that Jewish identity among American secular Jews would surge if that group felt connected to Israel. And I was right.

Here, I will chide again: Israel’s identity at 64 must be linked to our collective pride in Israel’s accomplishments, and the confidence that we have only revealed a portion of the country’s full national potential. It is for this reason that I threw my lot in with the makers of Israel Inside, JerusalemOnlineU.com, a group of innovative American Israelis dedicated to upping the connection of unaffiliated American Jews through paradigm- shifting film education.

Israel gives us many reasons to look forward to another year of our beloved nation’s independence. But most of all we need to remember that now is the time to embrace a new outlook on the Jewish State and ensure that we begin to view her for what she truly is – a nation of remarkable progress, innovation and the very best of downright chutzpah.

Michael Steinhardt is the Founder of Birthright Israel and a member of the advisory
Board of JerusalemOnlineU.com. He is featured alongside other leading Jewish and
Israeli personalities in the film Israel Inside, produced by JerusalemOnlineU.com. To find
out about viewings in your area, please visit www.israelinsidethemovie.com


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Hamas Interior Minister Slams Egypt over Fuel Shortage in Gaza Strip: We are Egyptians! (video)

Hamas Interior Minister Slams Egypt over Fuel Shortage in Gaza Strip: We are Egyptians!


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What does Made in Israel mean to you? (video)


What does Made in Israel mean to you?




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Syrian Fighter Claims Zionist Weapons Were Captured (video)

Syrian Fighter Claims Zionist Weapons Were Captured

more interesting than the actual claim being stated, is the Druze guy who looks like a Hassid dressed for the High Holy Days..


   

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Apr 23, 2012

3 Minutes

3 minutes.Everybody has 3 minutes for something so important...
  worth a read..
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Picture Of The Day and Quote Of The Day

Picture Of The Day


Quote of The Day

Today on the way to my office I bought an Israeli flag for my car.I ask that the citizens of Israel paint the entire country blue and white in honor of the 64th Independence Day of the State of Israel


  -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
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Yated's Ad Error Highlights Need To Ban the Yated

Yated Neeman made a fashla, a mistake. A pretty bad one by their standards. In an ad for a weight loss rogram, one of the images in the ad bore the image of a significant portion of a womans body just clothed in a sports bra and shorts.

Mistakes happen, and that's life. Somehow it slipped through the censor. It was not the main part of the ad, so he clearly didn't notice it.

The haredi websites all ran editorials about the Yated's fashla, and the forums were ablaze (not really, but they did have some fun poking fun at the Yated) about it. And, despite the fact that mistakes happen, the Yated really deserves the criticism, considering their harsh and extreme stance on every topic, especially tzniyus and Internet.

My personal suggestion on the matter was that the time has come for the gedolim to ban the Yated, in light of the smutty advertising. Just as the Yated promotes, and the gedolim/askanim promote, banning the Internet due to the smut available that people inadvertently stumble across even if just by mistake, so too the Yated should now be banned for the very same reason. One can be innocently reading a kosher article in the Yated and inadvertently stumble across a smutty advertisement, even if just by mistake..

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Haredim Should Not Even Trust Haredim

It is fairly natural for people to trust "one of their own" more than people from other communities. A haredi fellow will generally trust the integrity of another haredi fellow more than he would that of people from other communities. A dati fellow would trust another dati more than others. A person from a specific strain of a community (maybe from a certain yeshiva or from a certain side of town, or whatever) will trust someone else from that particular strain over others. It is natural - he seems more like me, he comes from a similar background, etc. If he and someone else is trying to sell me something, I would trust the one I have some connection to quicker than I would trust someone totally unconnected.

Such advanced trust is natural, yet we have seen numerous times that people have been burned by such trust. Whether it is someone selling investment services, or selling apartments, or insurance, or whatever. The news has stories regularly of frauds who burned dozens or hundreds or thousands of people when they took advantage of that increased trust.

Arial Attias, Minister of Housing, related to a number of incidents of fraud in the haredi community where someone was selling apartments and ended up not giving bank guarantees or whatnot and then walked away with the money. Attias said that when you are buying a house, trust nobody. It does not matter if the representative of the kablan is secular or haredi, do your own due diligence and don't trust him. No matter who the guy is, ask for the bank guarantee, ask for the security, ask for the necessary background so you know from whom you are buying, and don't just trust him because he looks a certain way. (source: Kikar)

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Bigotry Exists In All Communities


A while back there were a number of instances of discrimination/racism that made the "front pages" in all the media. The reason they were such big news stories was because they were instances of discrimination in the haredi community. The entire country was shocked by stories in which ashkenazi haredi schools refused to accept sephardi haredi kids, or refused to allow any contact between the two communities, even building a wall to separate the two.

The holier than thou attacks on the haredi community made it seem as if discrimination had been stamped out from the entire Israeli public except for among the haredi community.

Since then many more instances of similar discrimination have been revealed, among the general Israeli public, though the exposure of none of them created the type of stir that had been created in the haredi discrimination cases.

According to this Haaretz report, as if the Eisner family was not already in enough trouble, Rabbi Yehoshua Zuckerman, Shalom Eisner's father-in-law and a "high profile religious Zionist rabbi", was explaining the differences between sephardim and ashkenazim. Rabbi Zuckerman said that sephardim are more "natural" and "pure", but they can't match ashkenazi knowledge.

People all over are bigots. Bigotry is not limited to the haredi community or any one community over another. We must all do more to eradicate such bigotry from our communities. It does not matter who is the bigot and who is the victim of the bigotry, it is passul in all regards
.  
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Shlomo Katz Tells An Embarrassing Story (video)

Shlomo Katz Tells An Embarrassing Story


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Ankie Spitzer Petitions Olympic Committee For Munich Massacre Memorial (video)

Ankie Spitzer Petitions Olympic Committee For Munich Massacre Memorial


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Google Street View Comes To Israel (video)

Google Street View Comes To Israel


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In Gaza Zoo, Stuffed Animals Join Live Ones (video)

In Gaza Zoo, Stuffed Animals Join Live Ones


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Apr 22, 2012

Interesting Posts #375

Interesting Posts #375

1. I more or less avoided "the asifa" topic, but this post is outstanding - Convention at Citi Field

2. Outpost Tours

3. Hashgocho Pratis Stories That Are Not True - in my opinion, if the story is not true, it is just a story and has nothing to do with hashgocho pratis.

4. Run Happy - Boston Marathon Recap

5. The topic of the segulah of "shlissel shabbos" is always an interesting one..

6. A Karaite, a Rabbi and an Arab walk into a courtroom...

7. Israel Should Learn From Denmark

8. Quirks of Shul Members

9. Shomer Misnomer

10. When a Survival Mechanism Turns Destructive

11. Good News About The Haredim
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Comments On Badatz Post-Pesach Kashrus Guiide

JKN has a post-Pesach kashrus update from the Badatz Eida Charedit. JKN only took this info from the Badatz guide, and therefore any comments I make are only directed toward the Badatz Eida guide and not toward JKN (unless explicitly stated otherwise).

I found a couple of points in the update comment-worthy.

Excerpts from the guide (not using the same numbering system as the original):

  1. Soup powder contains some uncooked ingredients so it may not be added to heated items above ‘yad soledes bo’ on Shabbos. 
  2. Rice packaged in a vacuum may be presumed insect free and does not require inspection. One wishing to be ‘mehudar’ (exceeding the required) may perform a superficial inspection however. 
  3. There is no fear of aluminum pans having a coating of non kosher oil for as long as they exhibit the badatz logo. 
  4. Regarding hard cheeses sold in chunks or sliced. If one buys from shopkeepers, one must make certain the knife used is exclusive for this product and that it is kosher and was toiveled. 

My comments per item:

  1. this is an interesting point, something I did not know. Anyways, I thought it was all basically chemicals and uncooked stuff and not really dehydrated soup and would never have cooked it on Shabbos (if I would use it as all).
  2. If it does not require any inspection, why is it called "mehudar" to inspect it anyway? and once one wants to be mehudar and inspect something that needs no inspection, why only a "superficial inspection" - why can't such a person do a full inspection to be even more mehudar?
  3. what if the aluminum pans bear a different hechsher? I understand they only guarantee their own, but their language makes it sound like they are the only ones who are ok
  4. hard cheeses cut by shopkeepers? why is the Badatz even talking about this? They always say they only guarantee sealed packages with their hechsher, and not once something has been opened. if a shopkeeper opens a package of Badatz cheese and cuts it, it is technically no longer certified by the Badatz. Why are they saying anything but that right now? And if they certify the entire cheese counter, shouldn't they be watching the shopkeeper and making sure he uses different knives?

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Quote Of The Day

Quote Of The Day

We want to strengthen the competition in the marketplace by.. limiting or canceling the cartels and monopolies. When there is more competition, prices go down... we are already witness to achievements. I have seen in the report of the central office for statistics that the prices of food have not increased in the past year, even though inflation went up... we want prices to go down, and decrease in prices is achieved by increasing the competition.

  -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

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Hypocritical Condemning and Commending Of Eisner

This whole situation with Shalom Eisner, the IDF officer who was caught on camera smashing a Danish pro-Palestinian activist in the face with his rifle, has been confounding.

I don't know how anyone, no matter what else one might know about him and no matter how well one understands the high pressured situation he was in and is even willing to give him some leeway because of it, could come out in support of him. On the other hand, Eisner is also not deserving of being a scapegoat, considering the situation he was in and the violence of the activists prior to that altercation. The IDF also must bear some brunt of the blame, considering they sent a team of soldiers not trained in riot control to control a riot that should have been dealt with by the border police (Maga"v).

That being said, there is a lot of hypocrisy going around. This article in Makor Rishon, about something said by Eisner in shul, proves it.

According to the article, Eisner said in shul that he does not understand why this was turned into such a big deal.. "last year there was a rally of right wing activists in the area for which I was responsible, and then too the situation turned violent between the security forces and the protesters. Then I received a commendation and full support from the army for my behavior... for the violence then nobody said anything.. they just let it pass. "


As I said last week, the right wing should not be so quick to support Eisner, just because he beat a leftist. That is stupidity. They are quickly forgetting that he has acted against them in the past. In the comments of that post people asked for sources that such a claim is true. Well, now Eisner has said it himself that he beat right wing activists in previous protests. And the quick condemnation of the IDF is also hypocrisy, if they are going to condemn for violent put-downs of leftists but commend for violent put-downs of rightists.

There is something very wrong with what happened here, from all perspectives.

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Herodian Road From Shiloah Pool to the Western Wall (video)

Herodian Road From Shiloah Pool to the Western Wall


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PM Netanyahu's Message to "March of the Living" (video)

PM Netanyahu's Message to "March of the Living" ------------------------------------------------------
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Londonistan - Melanie Phillips (video)

Londonistan - Melanie Phillips


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Apr 19, 2012

Yad Vashems Poster For Yom HaShoah

Yad VaShem's poster for Yom HaShoah.. very powerful imagery..



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Visual Testimony (video)

Visual Testimony



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Victor saw Hitler closeup.. (video)

Victor saw Hitler closeup..



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Apr 18, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Quote Of The Day

We have become used to the media, that is identified with the extreme left and with the anarchists, defending those who attack our sons the soldiers and the officers and regularly intrude in the life of the 350,000 residents of Judea and Samaria... We did not think for a moment that the Israeli media would give a good recommendation for the officer and soldier who risk their lives. It pains me greatly that on the eve of memorial Day and Independence Day the Prime Minister and Chief of Staff have chosen to immediately fall in line with whom they know hate also them, with those who cut down trees, those who throw stones and block roads.

  -- MK Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz (Ichud Leumi)
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