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

Sep 30, 2012

Shakin' the Lulav (Sukkot song) (video)


this is from last year, but it is still a great video!


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Israeli leaders meet Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in NYC (video)


I like how they call the video a meeting of "Israeli leaders" with Ahmadinejad...

ecchh.. I want to puke when they hug and kiss him and wish him success..



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 28, 2012

What Is Gefilte Fish? Brought to You By OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES (video)





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 27, 2012

Moshe Abutbol's Yom Kippur Resolution

Perhaps the new year will bring a cleaner and more organized Bet Shemesh.

Why?

Because one of Mayor Moshe Abutbol's resolutions for Yom Kippur, in order to merit a positive judgement, was to stop spending his time on Internet forums, specifically the minimum of 10 Whatsapp groups he is involved in on a daily basis.

According to bechadrei, Abutbol wrote a message saying that one his resolutions was to disconnect from all his groups on Whatsapp - he says he reads, responds and defends himself regularly on Whatsapp groups, and it takes too much of his time which should be spent on behalf of the public, besides for the lashon ha'ra, scoffing and various other issurim one is inadvertently transgressing when involved in these discussions. Abutbol thanked those he chatted with for the experiences, but asked that nobody add him to any more groups without first getting his permission (RG: which I assume he will not give, if asked, in light of his resolution), though he can be reached by email and telephone, personally or via his assistants...

I would have thought a mayor would not have time for this, on a regular basis. Perhaps scheduled sessions where he makes himself available to answer questions, or something similar. But to participate regularly in Internet forums while trying to run a complex city? How does he find the time? I would have thought he would have hired PR people to handle that kind of activity, or maybe his spokesperson would deal with it.

Hopefully his resolution will free up enough time for him to dedicate enough time to run the city more efficiently...

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Quote Of The Day

In 10 years, there will be no more Israel..

 -- Henry Kissinger

Staffers are now denying Kissinger actually said this..

If he did say it, what probably upsets him most is that it will make his recent medal of distinction granted by Shimon Peres worthless...

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Duet of Amir Benayoun and Yitzchak Meir Helfgot: VHayu L'Msheesa (video)






------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Mike Huckabee on Israel/Iran Conflict (video)




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

doctor copeland's speech before team israel's first game (video)

talk about Jewish pride!



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Shuffling through the IDF (video)





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 25, 2012

Kol Nidre (videos)

Kol Nidre is one of the most popular cantorial pieces around. There is a broad array of singers and chazzonim who have performed Kol Nidre, each version with its own nuance and style. here is a sampling of a variety of Kol Nidre versions...
























------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

BRIDGES-Naftali Kalfa and SHYNE with Piamenta (video)





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

The Yom Kippur Countdown (video)

the Jewish version of dropping the ball...


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 24, 2012

IDF Chief Chazzan Shai Abramson Sings Unesaneh Tokef (video)

Earlier today the IDF Chief Chazzan Shai Abramson released his new video clip of him singing Unesaneh Tokef




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Horaat Keva with Lema'an Achai




The Ultimate Social Contract

The books are almost sealed. We now daven for an entire year of brocha and
hatzlocha.

What better merit can we have then committing to help
aniyei ircha, our local needy, all year round?

By making a horaat keva with Lema'an Achai, you'll assure that hard working
families in our neighborhood have assistance not just for the Yomim Tovim
but every day of the year as well.

In the zechut of your commitment to improving their situation this year may
you and your families be sealed for a year of brocha and nachas.

All Horaat Keva through Lema'an Achai are both Maaser kesafim and Tax
deductible (Israel or US).

Horaat Keva can be arranged through credit card or bank order.

To sign up please visit our website at www.smartchesed.org or email to
avrohom@lemaanachai.org

Tizku L'Mitzvot and Gmar Chatima Tova!



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Going To The Rabbanut for an Army Exemption (Religious Girls)

Today I took my daughter to deal with the IDF. She recently received her initial draft notice. Even though she is young, the process starts now - the process of interviewing and getting medical clearance and all that. And for religious girls the process of declaring intent - intent to either serve, do National Service or apply for a religious exemption starts now.

My daughter opted to get her religious exemption, which any female in Israel can legally request if they do not want to serve in the army for religious reasons - the army being considered an inappropriate place for religious girls (the belief is that the army is an inappropriate place for any female, but the agreement is that religious girls can get that exemption).

The process is like this. After the young woman gets her teudat zehut, which she can do from age 16, and after she has received her draft notice from the army, the applicant must go to the offices of the Rabbanut (in our case in Jerusalem) and declare before the rav, the dayan, that she is religious and wants an exemption from the army.

For us the process was very simple. it is a bureaucracy like any other, so while for some it might be smooth and efficient, for others it might be slow and troublesome. The Rabbanut office in Jerusalem, where the beis din sits, is on King George 24. That is just after the Mashbir building, across the street (on the same side of King George).

What happens is that you basically wait your turn among people who are there to get divorced, and they fit you in in between divorce cases. I personally think that should be changed, but that is the way it is. It is difficult to find information about this, as the Rabbanut websites, and in the building as well, has no information posted about what needs to be done for this army exemption declaration or where one needs to go. So, you go into the building and go to the "secretary" on the main floor. This is a guard who tells people when to go into the clerks and deal with what needs to be done. if you are there for a divorce or filing a lawsuit in beis din, you get a number and wait until you are called. If you are there for an army declaration, you just wait and he calls you in between people.

So, we sat with a clerk for a few minutes while she printed the paperwork. It cost 43 NIS and required a signature on the declaration. With that done, she sent us upstairs to the room where the dayanim sit and hear cases.
clerks area of Rabbanut for initial clearing


waiting in hallway outside of dayan's room 

Again, there are people in line waiting for their court cases to be heard, or continued, and there are other young women also waiting for their declarations or whatnot. There was one family there with about 20 people and witnesses regarding a court case they are currently involved in. Others were there to hear more regarding a divorce settlement.It is a bit uncomfortable, waiting among people who have lawsuits and divorces, while these young women are being squeezed in in between other cases...

I go into the secretary's room and tell him what we are there for, and he takes my daughters teudat zehut and says to wait. He then comes out and asks for the information from anyone else there for the declaration.

After a short wait, someone comes out of the dayan's room and calls the waiting young women in. The declaration in front of the dayan consisted of him looking at the signed declaration and asking my daughter if that is her signature. She said it is and he said fine, and sent her out. A few minutes later they brought all the cleared documents out. The documents were 2 copies of the army religious exemption - one to be kept by the young woman for her records, and the other to be brought to the army.

Of course with Israel being such a small country, you will find someone you know almost anywhere you go. I saw an old friend who happens now to be a divorce lawyer.

From there we went to the IDF Draft Board in Makor Baruch neighborhood of Jerusalem. I was not allowed in, as only the draftee is allowed in. My daughter went in, and two minutes later was done. She spoke to a clerk, gave her declaration, and that was that.

  --- UPDATE MARCH 23, 2014 ---------------

I received an update from someone that the office is no longer on King George st. but has moved to Givat Shaul.

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Arabs Complain About Bar Mitzvahs At Kotel

One of the great programs initiated at the Kotel in recent years is the Bar Mitzva program. Any Jewish boy can get a free bar mitzva ceremony at the Kotel, first being danced down with guys in robes playing the darbuka and some other music and singing traditional songs.

It looks like a really great experience, and you can see it happen over and over again by going to the Kotel on any Monday or Thursday and just hang around and watch. You can't miss it. You will see these traditional or even secular boys getting these exciting ceremonies with their families, dancing their way down to the Kotel where they then have a traditional ceremony of prayer and Torah reading. It is great. It connects the youth and families to tradition and to the Kotel.

Is all this now at risk? Probably not. I hope not. But you never know how the political machines will respond when the Arabs complain.

Jewish and Israeli sites (source: Kikar and JDN) are reporting that an Arab Israeli newspaper has reported on a complaint registered by the Islamic group the Al-Aqsa Institute, along with the Director of the Palestinian Committee for Jerusalem, who have said that these bar mitzva ceremonies are an attempt to Judaize the Kotel, and they are an expression of completing the Israeli occupation in Jerusalem, and it is damaging to the religious and historical symbols. As well, Israel has discovered new ways of Judaizing the holy Islamic symbols in Jerusalem.

Obviously Rav Rabinovitch, rav of the Kotel and head of Keren Moreshet HaKotel, rejects the claim and criticizes them for politicizing such a beautiful activity that is so natural to every Jew.

I hope nobody will feel the need to pull the plug on this beautiful program so as not to upset the Arabs. They should stick their noses out of the Kotel. In response, the government should say that they have had enough of the Islamisizing of the Har HaBayit and knock them down a notch or two up there and remove some of the authority that has been given to them...

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Picture Of The Day


I guess the Minister of Education Gideon Saar is in better shape than PM Bibi Netanyahu who broke his leg when playing soccer with a youth team. Saar went to visit the team from South Tel Aviv...
------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

A word to rioting Muslims (video)

This fellow, Pat Condell, is great. His previous videos were great, and this one is great..



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

The Factuary on Yom Kippur (video)





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot - Kol Nidrei (video)

Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot - Kol Nidrei


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Cantor Yaakov Yosef Stark - V'lirushulayim Irchu (video)





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 23, 2012

Picture Of The Day


this picture has raised a ruckus as it was posted to Facebook (with some other pictures) with the explanation (in Hebrew) "There were no signs prohibiting photographing with the animals.. there were also no signs prohibiting feeding them, but we waived that right..".

Very racist, and human rights groups, and many people, were condemning the picture. I read somewhere that she was receiving death threats because of it..


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

SHAS took the hit for DST

I think SHAS is taking a bit of an unfair hit over the Daylight Savings Time issue. It is true, they are responsible, overall, for the decision, as SHAS controls the Ministry of the Interior. However, it is not like SHAS turned it into a fight this year and said they are goign to turn back the clock earlier than scheduled.

There is a law in place, and the clocks were scheduled to be adjusted last night as per that law. Meretz suddenly wakes up and wants it changed, almost at the last minute, and everybody has to scream at SHAS for being the bad guy? I am no big fan of SHAS, but they really were not at fault here. People want the law changed, there is a process. A committee was formed, they offered their opinion, and than it has to go through the legal and political channels. Just because MERETZ wants it changed it has to happen right away? Everybody has to agree and nobody can think otherwise?

Personally I think SHAS should agree to move it. I do not think they need to agree without having discussions and research. And just because I want them to agree does not mean they have to. Different people in politics have different opinions.

SHAS was made to look bad in this instance, and I don't think they deserved it.


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Modiin has responded officially to the approach taken by Modiin Ilit regarding the upcoming new attraction in the area.

Modiin Ilit is involved in preparing an archaeological park, Hirbat Bad-Issa (Bad-Issa Ruins) that has won governmental support for being operated according to haredi  oversight - the programs will not talk about the worklld being millions of years old or anything like that, but will discuss the history based on mishna and gemara and divrei chazal. Rav Gutterman, the mayor, had also originally told the press that the park would only be open to haredi visitors. That upset many, especially the residetns of nearby Modiin who have a big park of their own that is visited by many residents of Modiin Ilit during the vacation periods.

Now, with the information being posted officially on the Modiin Ilit municipal website, Modiin has responded officially. While I could not find on the site anywhere that it says the park will only accept haredi visitors, it does say that the atmosphere will be set by haredi decisions and all historical details will be only based on sources from Chazal.

Modiin is upset that the park will be designated for the haredi public and all program information will only be according to that, and the visitor experience will be designed for the haredi public alone, and has now announced that Park Anabe will only be open to residents of Modiin (and their guests) during the Sukkos vacation. If they can keep us out of their parks, we can keep them out of our parks.

While one might suggest this will not stand up in court, as such discriminatory policy has already been challenged (such as in park Ranana) and declared as illegal, they have legal council stating that such policy is illegal when it is permanent. When it is in effect at only certain times of the year it is seemingly legal. I imagine it can still be challenged, and then it will be determined if their council was right or wrong, but they are at least going to try to limit entry to only residents of Modiin.

Good fences make good neighbors. It's a shame, but maybe that's what they need... They can stay in their neighborhood, and they can stay in their neighborhood... Now Modiin wont complain about being overrun by Modiin Ilit haredim during vacations, and the haredim wont have to see the secular or dati leumi people at all, not in their own ghetto and now they wont have a reason to go to Modiin either...

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Making Yom Kippur Davening Interesting..

How would you make Yom Kippur davening more interesting?

This is one way...




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Learn How to Defend Yourself — IDF Style (video)






IDF style...

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Rummikub - The Israeli Game which Became an International Sensation (video)

I didn't even know Rummikub was an Israeli invention!




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Glad You Prayed (The Wanted - Glad You Came - Yom Kippur Parody) (video)






------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Ask Herzl (video)



he sounds like Arnold Shwarzenneger to me... I call him the Herzlnator..


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 21, 2012

Yom Kippur 2011: The Chief Rabbi teaches Boris Johnson to play the Shofar (video)




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 20, 2012

Fighting About An Hour

This Saturday night, early Sunday morning really, here in Israel we will be changing our clocks. We will be abandoning Daylight Savings Time and moving back to the winter clock. That means it will soon be getting dark at around 5:00 PM.

This issue of when to move to and from Daylight Savings Time has been a fight among the political parties for many years. The religious parties always want to abandon DST right before Yom Kippur. While the fast remains 26 or so hours long no matter what the clock says, without DST an extra hour of it is in the dark when people will generally be sleeping, while on DST would mean that hour is in the daylight while awake. It is not really a big deal, but that is their preference. Those who don't like that say we should be more in sync with the DST situation around the world which is generally adjusted at around the end of October.

To stop the annual fight over DST, which was always won by SHAS anyway, they formulated a law, which had broad support (at the time), determining a formula of exactly when we move to and from DST. For a number of years it has actually been quiet when the time to adjust the clocks approached. No fighting about it. The law worked.

Looks like those days are over...

Nitzan Horowitz from Meretz is protesting the fact that we are adjusting the clocks this Saturday night. A while back he proposed a 5-word law to replace the current law - all it said was "DST will conclude at the end of October" (in Hebrew). At the time, Eli Yishai responded by forming a professional committee to lok into the issue and make a professional recommendation.

Sure enough, the committee worked and concluded. They recommended that the Ministry of Interior should lengthen the period of DST by about another month, to a total of 193 days of the year. Upon release of the committee's conclusions, Yishai said he would consider the findings and make a decisions as to implementation.

until now, no decision has been announced. Basically the findings were ignored. No problem here - that too is a decision. That too was expected. I don't think anybody expected Yishai to seriously consider making a change to DST. Setting up the committee was just a delay tactic. That's how the committee system generally works in Israel.

So, for now, DST is still working according to the formulation of the law that has been in place for the past several years. But it does not bode well for the future, if the fighting over the issue is getting back on track..
(sources: NRG, Globes)

Interestingly, Eli Yishai has responded by saying the committee met, gave it's recommendation, and that he intends to implement it. Yishai said that he has not yet had a chance to review the findings and implement them, but he definitely intends to. (source: Kikar)

It just looks like it won't be this year. If it will be, he is cutting it awfully close. And I am surprised he is saying he will implement it, and not saying that he will review it and decide. Saying he will implement does not give him much room to maneuver and change his mind later...

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Picture Of The Day


for those of you who do kapparos with a chicken but are always nervous that the chicken might relieve itself while being waved over your head, this fellow came up with a good solution....

and now, if you raise chickens, you can check your local supermarket for the new size of Huggies or Pampers available just for you!
------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

The Attack on The Smartphone Moves To The Honor System

The attack on the smartphone continues. It seems that even the most hard-core hassidim, those who do everything by their rebbes command, don't actually always listen and follow instructions. If anybody thought that at least by the hassidim, the rebbe's word is writ, and his followers obey carefully, they would be surprised to find out it is not quite so.

The Vizhnitzer Rebbe publicized his attack on the non-kosher cellphones the other day when he said that anybody who has a smartphone should not come to him for a kvittel. I imagine this is something that is on the honor system - I mean, if they did not listen to him to get rid of their smartphone and continue to use it despite his opposition, it is on them to honor his wishes and not come for a kvittel, but they may very well not listen to that either. But clearly is wish has not been their command.

Add to that this announcement by a Rav Avraham Shorr of a community in Flatbush in which he said, according to this report on Bechadrei, that anybody who has a non-kosher phone, or unfiltered internet access at home, would not be included in the community for shofar blowing - such a person would have to go to hear shofar elsewhere. He clearly suspects that people in his own shul have not been listening to him the many times he has spoken against using such devices.

Clearly when you have in mind to include other people in your mitzva and help them fulfill their obligation, you have the ability to exclude certain people. Generally that would be done by actually excluding those specific people. In this instance Rav Shorr is excluding a general unknown - anybody with this or that is not included. Whether that actually works or not I have no idea, but on the honor system, anybody who has not listened to him until now was going to be expected to "fess up" and listen to him regarding this and either find another minyan or get rid of his phone...
------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Interesting Psak: Saying Kaddish Against The Wishes Of The Dead

Yesterday, Haim Hefer, one of the old Israeli poets, died at age 86. Hefer seems to have been one of those people with a "spicy" personality. I don't know much about him, besides for little tidbits I have heard over the years, but I was reading about some things he had said. The one that got me laughing, while at the same time disheartened as it indicated his position on Jewish tradition, is when he referenced that in the future the tzadikim will be sitting at a table and will eat the meat of the leviathan and of the wild ox. Hefer said, "when I was on Norway I ate leviathan (RG: commonly translated today as whale), and I say phooya - disgusting!"

Anyways, Hefer had left instructions regarding his death and burial. He did not want anything too unusual and against Jewish tradition, as some do, but he did say he did not want the kaddish or the "Kel Maleh" to be recited at his funeral.

In light of those instructions, which Hefer seems to have made known well before his actual death, Rav Baruch Efrati was asked about the priority of Jewish tradition or fulfilling the wish of the dead person. In other words, someone suggested that despite the wishes of Haim Hefer, when he would die, perhaps they should bring a minyan to his funeral and say kaddish anyway.

Rav Efrati responded, according to this report on Ynet, saying that it would be a mitzva to ignore his living will and to say kaddish at his funeral. Rav Efrati said it should not be done in a way that would cause a disruption, but it should be done on the side and quietly. Efrati referred to a psak of the Chasam Sofer who said that kaddish must be said even for someone who is not God-fearing... and especially for someone like Hefer  who was a good person, who loved Eretz Yisrael and the Jewish people...

Reports of his funeral left no indication that anybody actually went ahead and arranged a minyan against his wishes to say kaddish. Either they did it so quietly and non-intrusively that it went unnoticed, or it just did not happen....
------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Headline Of The Day

Twist: Netanyahu Is Prepared To Advance in Stages The Plan For Long Weekends

  -- Globes

this is great news. instead of turning down the plan, as he was nearing the time to make a final decision, Netanyahu had another meeting with Silvan Shalom about the possibility of introducing the "long weekend", meaning turning Sunday into an official day off of work, and he decided to advance it in stages. It looks like Netanyahu will declare Sundays as a day off once every few weeks, for now, and then will get feedback from economists and people in the various industries, as to how it appears to be successful or not.

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Mitt Romney's remarks on Israel, Iran (video)

This video was published with leaked parts of a private Mitt Romney event in which he said some controversial things about Israel and the Palestinians and the Iran situation. They have caused quite a stir since being publicized... They only score points for him in my book...


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Hasidic Jews on Pilgrimage to Uman, Ukraine: Festival for Rabbi Nachman Breslov on Rosh Hashana (video)


some images from Uman....


it was reported that for the first time (perhaps true, perhaps not) there was a Jewish wedding in Uman (on Erev Rosh Hashana) near the grave of Rebbe Nachman. According to the news reports it caused a fight as some Neturei Karta members (what were they doing in Uman anyway?) did not want it to happen (I dont know why - perhaps just not next to the grave itself). They got into a scuffle and then called the police, who came and detained the couple. A few minutes later they were released, and they held the wedding ceremony near the grave (but not right by it)...


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Religious and Married on the Navy's Missile Boat (video)




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

In the Year - Country Yossi (video)

I always find the following interesting to see:
a movie mentions the future, usually in the sense of time travel or some sort of prophetic vision, and mentions a specific date and what will happen. Eventually, in real life, that date comes, and goes, and people dig up the old reference and refer to it comparing the vision expressed to the reality. It happened recently with "Back To The Future", and now this old Country Yossi song has come to be, with Boro Park still intact... (thanks ED for the reference)


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 19, 2012

Interesting Posts #414

Let's start with a fun video... the shofar man was seen recently in Los Angeles.. now he has been sent to New York to spread his message there as well..


and now, on to the links..

1. Yossi Sarid Concedes Defeat

2. Daily Life in Israel

3. Plugging In Differently on Shabbat - interestingly, a Reform convert comments on a Reform rabbis suggestion that kids watch tv and play video games only on Shabbat and suggests instead that on Shabbat maybe they should plug out instead of plug in.

4. Baalei Teshuva and Aliyah

5. An Olympic-size Embarrassment

6. just say no... to nonsense

7. My Berditchever Moment

8. Military eBay

9. Jerusalem, on the cusp of Rosh Hashana

10. Jewish atheist or Christian Atheist

11. Chassidic Rebbe Discovers Evolution (almost)

12. calling a bochur a chosson

13. 5773: A look back from the future

14.  time to let go

15. Tradition

and I'll add some interesting articles to the list today as well:

1. Starting Over - Gilad Shalit shares his plans for the coming year and talks about dealing with crises

2. Where Ultra-orthodox Girls Study For Bagruyot

3. Mountain Climber Leaves Peres's Flag in Georgia

4. Abbas Proposes Canceling Oslo - go for it. and give us back control of all those Area B and Area C territories...

5. Groom breaks glass at wedding using his mind - this raises an unusual question about whether the custom/tradition was followed or not...good thing he also stepped on one..

6. The Catholic girl who was too jewish - a good description of why intermarriage is a bad idea and does not work out well...

7. The World Baseball Classic Endorses a central precept of Zionism


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

The Other Olympics You Should Know About

A Guest Post by Dr. Harold Goldmeier


A high quality education system is the single most important key to a nation’s prosperity.  It must be underpinned by money from the national budget, and coupled with unwavering commitment by elected officials.  The national government must establish a core curriculum for every school that reflects the social, cultural, and intellectual priorities of the nation.  Think of it as the business plan that forces the bureaucracy to “stick to the knitting” every well-run company employs. This will ensure all students an equal opportunity at success. Teachers will thrive. Right now, Israeli culture and visions of the future are floundering in a sea of ravelment exacerbated by discontent and consternation among parents, educators, and politicians.  Like a good movie, the school system reflects what is happening in society, but it can also be a vehicle for change.

The U.K. spent over $14 billion hosting this year’s Olympics producing the most entertaining, majestic extravaganzas for the opening and closing sessions.  Nation’s fielded exciting athletes with winning personalities that made the games fun to watch. The enthusiasm of the British teams performing beyond even their own expectations was infectious.  These weren’t the only Olympics games held this summer, however.  World championship games took place this summer in other countries that the media neglected to cover.  They were worthy of worldwide attention but given short shrift. The U.K. games tell about the brawn of nations.  The other games give us insight into their brains, education priorities, and cultures.

Washington, D. C. hosted the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad in July 2012. It is Israel’s seventh consecutive year fielding its best high school chemistry students competing against 71 other national teams. No Israeli athletes won medals at the U.K. games despite a budget of $5.6 million for training, travel, housing, and enormous personal effort and commitment from the athletes and their families.
The Israeli chemistry team brought home three bronze medals and one silver without much of a budget or fanfare.  The four students were finalists from a field of 3,000 applicants who trained with science teachers and volunteers including The Technion.  They tested on three-dozen chemistry concepts and skill sets; eight laboratory skills and procedures; and more than two-dozen factual concepts about chemistry.  The students tested in a five-hour laboratory practical, and a five-hour theoretical written exam. They deserve a parade.

The 53rd International Mathematical Olympiad was held in Argentina, at which the Israel student team (the youngest is 15 years old and the senior is 18 years old) won three silver, one bronze, and one special citation medals. There were two, five-hour sessions completing problems in algebra, geometry, analysis (real and complex), and combinatorics (whatever that is).  100 teams competed (team Canada has an Israeli living in Toronto on its team), and Israel placed thirty-first tied with Germany ahead of Switzerland and France. The Israel high school physics team won two silver and three bronze medals at the 43rd International Physics Olympiad held in Estonia this summer.  Israel now ranked thirteenth in the world last year, but dropped to 25th place this year despite the students’ stellar performance. 

The investment by the Ministry of Education in training programs is responsible for some of the first class showings, but it is not enough. This year’s Olympiads are a crucible for a school system in turmoil.  Math and science education need a long-term infusion of money to attract students into the fields of study, taught by the best, well-paid teachers, in an environment that encourages inquiry, inquisitiveness, and research.  Students captivated by science and math need support, and low achievers need help focusing with good teachers able to draw out their interests.

Debate rages in Israel about the need to upgrade the core curriculum of schools. Some want to scuttle the system and start over.  Matriculation rates are haphazard and choppy. Professor Shay Gueron, of the University of Haifa, who heads the math team points out this year’s team has only five students, because a sixth out of 1,600 hopefuls from around the country cannot not be found who meets the academic qualifications and skills.

The intensity and breadth of study depends on parents demanding more from the schools.  Arab, minority, and ultra-Orthodox students are increasingly a larger percentage of the elementary and high school student bodies. They receive little if any STEM education (science, technology, engineering, math), because of community and cultural biases, and a succession of governments making little or no effort with these children.  The result in years down the road will see STEM quality deteriorating, grades suffering, fewer matriculations, and fewer international competition achievements. It is apodictic that the “start-up nation’s” ability to compete economically and militarily sans a flow of the well-trained young people into jobs and careers in math and science will be adversely affect weapons of defense, food and water science, bio-med, and other cutting edge technologies. The economy will sputter when Israelis cannot fill STEM jobs. 

The cultural sea change that motivated America to heavily invest in public school STEM education after Russia launched Sputnik is a good example for Israel. Sputnik sparked fear in Americans that the Russian bear is able to blow-up New York. Instead she blew-up the American educational system. Internationally renowned American scientists were relentless in their articles and interviews calling for a new culture of science and math education. Congress rushed to pass the National Defense Education Act earmarking more than a billion new dollars in 1958 for science and math education. There was money to pay and train math and science teachers; special after school programs and summer camps in science and math education; science labs were built in elementary and high schools; money for grants and student loans flowed to science and math majors; the Federal government created many new science and technology agencies that kept up the momentum; and, on May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy spoke before a joint session of Congress delivering a historic challenge for the advancement of science and math that lasted more than half a century when he said, “…I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind….”

After the 2012 Olympic games closed and athletes returned empty-handed to Israel, the Associated Press reported a spokesman for the Israel government outlining plans to spend $1.5 billion in the next ten years to upgrade athletic facilities.  Some op-ed writers blame government niggardliness for the poor showing in London. They condemn inadequate government financial support for athletes in training, the need to subsidize modern training equipment, housing, training camps, and the best coaching money can buy.  The dearth of organized sports programs in elementary and high schools leaves a black hole every aspiring star athlete must climb out of on his/her to shine in international competition.

The impressive medal winnings of Israeli students are a testament to student initiative, their teachers, and the private sector, but commitments of more money will be welcome.  Warning calls from senior math and science professors must be heeded.  STEM education in Israeli schools needs to be reinforced and reinvigorated, for our advantages to continue and the nation prosper. This year’s World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report dropped Israel’s ranking cautioning that Israel is challenged by the need for “a renewed focus on raising the bar in terms of the quality of education. If not addressed, poor educational quality—particularly in math and science (89th)—could undermine the country’s innovation-driven competitiveness strategy over the long term.”  Israeli Professor Daniel Shechtman warns, “Israel is still producing world-class scientists. But unless changes are made, the output will dwindle over the years.”  Professor Ehud Keinan believes STEM education is rapidly deteriorating in Israel, and the outstanding students thrive in spite of the schools, and because of special extracurricular programs enhanced by motivated parents. “Mathematics instruction in Israeli schools is at a low level and is getting worse,” Professor Gueron observed on Israel placing 53rd in the IMO.   

We can start rebuilding the culture of science in our schools with more public attention to and acclaim for our young student stars competing in Olympiads around the world. We must also keep a close eye on the outcomes of a major event in December, 2012, at which staff and donors of philanthropies will gather under the auspices of The Rashi Foundation and Jewish Funders Network to “learn how philanthropy can kick start educational innovation, and drive government R & D to improve outcomes” in STEM education that will create the future generation of Israeli scientists and inventors. This might just well be the most important event of the decade for Israeli education. I hope they invite the student winners and teachers of this year’s Olympiads for advice and counsel. Let’s hope their conclusions are more challenging than phatic, and the Ministry of Education pays attention.

harold.goldmeier@gmail.com
The writer is a former Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard University where he received his doctorate. He served in the administrations of three U. S. Governors, is Managing Director of a business marketing and development company after selling his companies in America. He consults on business, education, and community development matters. His writings frequently appear on the blog Life in Israel, on other blogs, and publications.




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Should Israel Block Access To The Anti-Muslim Video?

Some Arab MKs have petitioned the courts in Israel to demand that Google (owner of Youtube) block access to the video (Innocence of Muslims) that has [supposedly] sparked riots across the Mid-East, as Muslims see the video as being anti-Islam.

According to the JPost:
MK Taleb a-Sanaa and various Arab-Israeli mayors and religious leaders on Wednesday filed a petition with the Jerusalem District Court demanding that Google take down an anti-Islam video ridiculing the Muslim Prophet Mohamed from YouTube, to prevent future publicizing of the film and to block all access to the film in Israel.
The petitioners characterized the film as abusive and violating the image of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad in a racist manner, while trampling his sanctity and desecrating his name.
The film was also considered highly damaging as it violated the dignity and faith of more than a billion Muslims and more than a million Muslim citizens in Israel, according to the petition. The petitioners claim that the publication violates the religious feelings of Muslims in contravention of Section 173 of the Penal Code, constitutes incitement to racism against Muslims in violation of Article 144 of the Penal Code, and is defamatory according to the 1965 Defamation Law.
The petition was filed by attorney Kais Nasser, and was filed against Google, which owns YouTube.
News reports have indicated that Google has already blocked access to the video in Egypt, Libya, Indonesia and India, but has rejected a request by the White House to pull it from the video-sharing site YouTube altogether. Authorities in Afghanistan ordered YouTube to be shutdown "indefinitely" to stop Afghans from watching the film, while Russia and Saudi Arabia also threatened to block the website unless it removes the film.
I don't see why  Google/YouTube doesn't block the video completely and have it removed. They do that regularly with videos they determine to contain hate or indecent material. They should do that with this video as well, if anything.

If they do not remove it from their system, I do not think it should be "blocked" in Israel. Israel should not be in the business of censorship. Proving the necessity for censorship by pointing to China and Libya as examples just sows even more how much we should avoid getting involved in censorship.

What do you think?

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

The Haredi Baale-Basta

After a couple years of Iryat Yerushalayim sponsoring a summer event called Baale-Basta in the shuk of Mahane Yehuda, it looks like the program might now expand.

For the past two years the haredim, both the "regular" haredim represented by the haredi political parties along with the haredim represented by the Eida, have protested, in one way or another, the Baale-Basta events. They were immodest, female singers, caused drunkenness which eventually spilled over into the nearby haredi neighborhoods, and whatever else they could come up with, they now are overjoyed to be getting their own version of the Baale-Basta.

According to this report on Mynet, the Iryah has suggested a program that is being embraced by the community representatives of Geula. The city has been revamping the neighborhood of Geula, and bringing in  a haredi version of the Baale-Basta should bring a big boost to the local businesses. Obviously instead of female performers, all will be male and Haredi (Avraham Fried's name is mentioned, but I doubt all performers will be such major names), and crowds performed to will be segregated.

They might have protested the event until now, but they can't argue with the results. And hopefully they will replicate those results into Geula.

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Headline Of The Day

this one made me laugh...

Rabbinate orders hotels not to serve figs

 -- Ynetnews

According to the article, the Rabbanut instructed hotels to not serve figs or asparagus at meals over the High Holidays, due to the need to check these for bugs.

The entire exchange, as you can see in the article, made me laugh. The Rabbanut abdicates it's responsibility, and instead of having its mashgichim check for the bugs they just say "dont serve figs". The hotel people wave the banner of "peirot eretz yisrael" - not a bad argument, but the simanim include dates, not figs, so they could probably could have survived without serving figs over the two days of Rosh Hashana. And his claim of not knowing anyone who has seen a worm in figs is disingenuous. Everyone knows figs have worms - forget about Rabbi Vaye's requirement to practically look under microscopes, with figs it is fairly common. If that means not to eat them or just to check or if their is a way to clean it, that is a different question, but to claim it does not exist is putting on a blinder..

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Apples and Honey for Soldiers in Hebron (video)





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Mordechai Adler About his son in Netzach Yehuda (video)





 

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Interview with Shannon Doherty (video)


Shannon loves Israel. That is always good PR for us...

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Phish - Avinu Malkeinu (video)


from their album "Colorado '88" that was published in 2006...

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 16, 2012

Happy Rosh Hashana From IDF Soldiers (video)




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

The Tel Aviv International Synagogue cantor/choir rehearsal (video)






------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Shana Tova

Have a great yom tov, and the coming year should be a shana tova for you all!

See you next year!

Shana Tova
Ktiva V'Chatima Tova
Rafi G.

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Blowing The Shofar (video)





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Shana Tova from PM Benjamin Netanyahu (video)




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 14, 2012

Democrat Politician Warns Jewish Voters Against Democrats (video)


I don't understand how he can be so vociferous against the Democrats in general, yet still remain in the Democrat party. The interviewer should have asked Hikind why he does not switch and become a Republican or Independent if he feels so strongly about how bad the Democrats are...



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Six13 - Shema (video)




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

I wish you a Happy New Year 5773 (video)




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 13, 2012

Quote of the Day

I know Maseshnikov 15 years. He is not like that. I have no intention of being interested in what people do in their free time. It is not my job and it is not appropriate. Every person is mature enough to decide what his hobbies are. I agree his actions are not similar to MKs Moses or Eichler from UTJ, but his actions are far from what they were described in the media as...

  -- Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman regarding the allegations against Tourism Minister Stas Meseshnikov (both from Yisrael Beiteinu) spending his free time getting drunk and going to strip clubs..

אני מכיר את מיסז'ניקוב כבר 15 שנה. הוא לא כזה. אני לא מתכוון להתעניין מה עושים אנשים בזמנם הפנוי. זה לא תפקידי וזה לא נכון. כל אחד מספיק מבוגר להחליט מה התחביב שלו. אני מסכים שדפוסי התנהלותו לא דומים לחברי הכנסת מוזס או אייכלר מיהדות התורה, אבל התנהלותו רחוקה מהתיאורים שהיו בתקשורת

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Interesting Posts #413

1. The jewish Take on my (Mayim Bialik's) car accident

2. 7 things to be forgiving of in shul this Rosh Hashana

3. If I were a Reuters caption writer

4. No time for Netanyahu, but Obama is doing Letterman

5. It Would Take an action hero to save music

6. Israel's gold standard


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Will Naama Leave Bet Shemesh?

Even if it is not accurate, it is reports like this that are disheartening to some and emboldening to others.

According to the report, Hadassah Margolese said that they are considering leaving Bet Shemesh, despite the fact that the situation has somewhat improved since the hostilities last year.  Some of the extremists have left town, a few extremist kollels have been shut down, and things have gotten quieter.

But, as you can see in the article and interview, she seems frustrated. And worn out. Margolese does not say they are leaving, but she does not rule it out.

Whether it is true or not, accurate or not, almost does not make a difference. This is exactly what the extremists had said would happen - they have a lot of patience and would outlast the other side who would quickly get frustrated and leave.

I know the Margolese family is not leaving so quickly, but that is not where the interview will matter. The interview itself, with the expressions of frustration, provide some sort of victory to the extremists. They will now be able to say that they have worn out their biggest opponents and they have them almost on the brink, they are about to be run out of town... while at the same time other people will be disappointed and say "we are losing, even they might leave.."

I even would not be surprised to soon see an uptick in extremist violence again, as the extremists will take this as a victory..

Will Naama leave Bet Shemesh? I hope not. But whether they do or do not, the interview will have made its mark...



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Spiderman Against Kippa-Man

Who is violating the copyright law when something is copied and sold? The guy selling it or the guy who made the copy?

Marvel Comics, the copyright holders of the Spiderman imagery along with that of many other superheroes, is going up for a fight with a chain of kipa stores in Jerusalem.

According to NRG, Marvel has had enough of seeing it's imagery, specifically that of Spiderman but not just, displayed unlicensed all over the place in Israel and even on kippot. Marvel sent a guy in to the store called "Kippa-Man" to buy a kippa with the image of Spiderman, and he did. Marvel is now suing the kippa store for copyright infringement.

Binyamin, the guy from the Kippa-Man store, responded to the suit by saying they are suing the wrong guy. He said his store does not manufacture them, so he is not the person violating the copyright. he simply orders the kippot from China. According to Binyamin, Marvel should be chasing down the factory in China and suing them.

I don't know if it is a fair fight - on the one side you have a team of superheroes, with guys like Spidey and Captain America, The Hulk and Iron Man, among others, all teaming up to pound on a guy with a kipa in his corner. Will the superheroes defeat the kipa, or will the kipa be too powerful? Or maybe the kippa is just a bluff with nothing behind it, if he is stealing in the process...

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Haredi Women Working The Shuk

Merchants in Mahane Yehuda shuk are complaining about a group of middle-aged Haredi women who are harassing customers in the shuk and telling them that they should be dressing more modestly.

According to this report on Mynet, a group of 4 women wander around the shuk and approach other people and instruct them how they should dress the next time they go to the shuk. One told a bare-armed lady that she should wear sleeves next time she comes out there. Another told a woman in shorts that she should come covered up next time...

The representatives of the Merchants Association thinks these women are connected to the Tzniyus patrols - the Mishmeret HaTzniyut - and they consider this an escalation and the crossing of a red line by creating an atmosphere of fear that will keep people away from the shuk.

Shimon Darwish, director of the Merchants Association, says they will work on identifying the women, even using the shuk security cameras, and warning them off, though he thinks it is just a group of private women and not part of the Mishmeret HaTzniyut organization.

Representatives of the Mishmeret HaTzniyut deny involvement and say this group of women are not connected to them and must just be a private group of women trying to influence others to dress modestly, and as long as they are not being violent or doing anything wrong, even if they are asking rudely or without tact, that's their problem, but there is nothing wrong with it. And if they can give chizzuk to some women along the way, that's also good!

Good? bad? missionary work? It might be a socially inappropriate thing to do, but if they aren't actually doing anything wrong, there is probably nothing that can be done about it. Darwish and his people can perhaps try to make it uncomfortable for these women to continue, just as these women are trying to make it uncomfortable for the short-sleeved ladies to dress that way, but beyond that they will probably just be looked at as nudniks and ignored...

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Headline Of The Day


Lapid predicts his party will win 22 seats


-- JPost

Will he? Won't he? I have no idea. I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. It is interesting that he makes this prediction without even elections on the horizon and no real way to gauge upcoming voting patterns..

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Dov Lipman in the Jerusalem news Room (video)




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

SEPT. 23, WORLDWIDE JEWISH PRAYER FOR PEACE WITH MASHIACH (video)


will this work? How many people will even participate for it to really be called a worldwide jewish prayer session and be effective?


I don't know much about these things, but it seems pretty harmless at worst, and if it would work that would be great!

For more info, check out the Facebook page..

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Shanna Tova from Comedian Yair Orbach (video)

cute...

------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Rosh Hashanah Uman 1994 (video)


this video made in Uman in 1994 shows that it was a far cry from the over 20,000 people who go to Uman nowadays for Rosh Hashana...


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

The Maccabeats - Rosh Hashanah Card (video)

The Maccabeats have just released a new video for Rosh Hashana... don't get too excited, as it is just a very short clip They don't even sing in it - just whistle. Enjoy...


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Sep 12, 2012

Interesting Posts #412

1. Judaism: Partnership: Make Our Father proud This Year

2. Ari and Jeremy Run For Knesset

3. Iran, Rosh Hashana and what we can do about it

4. Gutter Gateway GoDaddy Gutted

5. US embassies under Muslim attack

6. Kevin Youkilis never played on Yom Kippur... or did he?




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Chicago White Sox Adjust Schedule To Accommodate Yom Kippur

The Chicago White Sox have changed a game schedule due to Yom Kippur. The September 25 game will be played at 1:10 PM instead of 7:10 PM.

Interesting.

The initial request came from fans, it seems, who did not want to have to miss watching the game due to the start of Yom Kippur. The person to really benefit from the change is Jewish infielder Kevin Youkilis. He now won't have to be worried about playing or missing the game. he says he has never before played on Yom Kippur, and it seems as f the game had not been rescheduled he would not have played in it, but now it does not even need to be an issue..

What young Jewish boy growing up in America has not dreamed of growing up to play ball for his favorite team and wondered what he would do if he was put in a position to play on Yom Kippur (or Shabbos)?

ChicagoSports has an interesting addition to the announcement:
Youkilis also was aware of former Dodgers Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax, who skipped a World Series start in observation of Yom Kippur.
"All us Jewish ballplayers hear about it at some point," Youkilis said. "Hopefully it all works out.”
Youkilis also mentions that he foresees no problem with playing after the fast will have been completed, even though he will not have eaten all day. He says he has played before on the night after Yom Kippur, and it has never been a problem.

This is called "Jews First World Problems".
------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Agudath Israel Blowing Hot Air On Metzitza B'Peh

I don't have much of an opinion on the metzitza b'peh issue. That is because I don't really understand it, I don't know how much of it is halacha, how much tradition, how much made up, and how strong each factor is.

This announcement, however, bothers me. Agudath Israel of America is preparing to sue the City of new York if it should pass a law later this week (tomorrow?) that would require a parental consent form to be signed for a mohel to be allowed to perform metzitza b'peh at a circumcision.

In a silly part of the statement, they say they are looking for a lawyer to work pro-bono on the case. Don't they have their own team of lawyers that can do this? And if not, why announce you are lookign for a lawyer to take such a major case pro-bono? Don't they have people they can approach quietly either to donate to the cause or to be the lawyers on the case and donate their time?

To the case itself though, Agudath Israel says this requirement would be a breach of freedom of religion and of freedom of speech.

I am no lawyer, but I don't know how making someone sign a form of consent is a breach in freedom of religion or speech. It is not likely that parents will sign such a form without asking the mohel first if he is carrying any disease before he performs the metzitza, so presumably forcing the mohel to disclose such medical information is the breach in freedom of speech. That does not sound like a problem of freedom fo speech to me, but more like an issue of disclosing private medical concerns, but when sucking an open wound, parents should be allowed to know if there is any reason for medical concern, and that should be so regardless of what you think of metzitza b'peh.

Even if I think metzitza b'peh is important and the circumcision is invalid without it, I would want to choose the mohel with the knowledge that my child will be safe when the mohel does the metzitza. Why would I allow the metzitza to be done by a mohel who wont tell me if he has herpes or some other infection? A mohel who refuses to disclose that info should not be used. he is not being forced to say anythign he does not want to - he has the option of not performing the circumcision. That is not a breach in freedom of speech, but is protecting the baby from a possible medical issue.

I also don't see how freedom of religion is being curtailed by this form of consent. You want to continue doing metzitza and the City is going to continue allowing you to. You just have to say that you want it and sign your name to it. All it means is that you are taking responsibility for your decision.


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...