Aug 30, 2016
Aug 29, 2016
Aug 28, 2016
* the situation with the meshulachim is not nearly as bad as I have heard it made out to be. I might be wrong, and maybe this is just a quiet season for them, maybe they don't travel now because people are on vacation, I don't know. but it does not seem so bad. Some days there are none in shul, some days there are a few. Either way, it is far less than what we get in Israel on a daily basis.
* people are extremely generous. They give to all the meshulachim no matter what they look like.
* as few as the meshulachim were, some of them really have no etiquette or manners. Some were fine - went through the shul collecting from whomever would give and walked out when they finished. Others were pests and stayed longer and asked repeatedly and followed other meshulachim around to ask from people giving them who might not have given him when he asked.
* squirrels, alleys, and water
* it rains, even pours, in the summer. and it is warm/hot at the same time
* family is great, as annoying as they can be to each other at times.
* I still think surprises are dumb, even when they work
Aug 25, 2016
Aug 24, 2016
Aug 22, 2016
more observations from the USA (Chicago):
* I don't see runners anywhere. In Israel no matter where I go (running or driving) I see runners and bikers. I did see a few people that looked like they were biking to work.
* in the 2 shuls I have been to so far, I have yet to see anybody pull out a cellphone to check their messages. I stopped myself from doing so thinking that the Israeli shouldn't do it if the locals aren't. I don't know that it added to my kavana at all, but that is what happened.
* walking briefly through a supermarket - food is cheap and plentiful (in quantity, quality and variety and package sizing)
* I think the above also sheds some light, in my mind, on why America suffers from an obesity problem.
* the topography is so flat. and so much grass.
* i find myself thinking of distance in miles again rather than kilometers
Aug 21, 2016
Initial observations from the USA :
* the drinks are so big - cups, bottles, everything.
* there is so much water in the toilet tank. Floaters can only be an American thing.
* nobody uses soap anymore. Now everyone uses body wash and body foam and whatever else they call it.
Aug 19, 2016
Aug 18, 2016
Rav Melamed responded that one should make the bracha and the purpose of this bracha is to remind us not idolize these people but we should remember that their special gifts and talents are from God. Rav Melamed says that one would have to actually see the athlete in person, rather than seeing a picture or video of the athlete, and one did not necessarily have to see the actual competition to make the bracha.
Rav Melamed added that one would not make the bracha for seeing just any Olympian athlete, but only for seeing one that actually won a gold medal - the real champions. Whiule that would mean Israelis would not make a bracha upon seeing Yarden Gerbi or Ori Sasson, Rav Melamed added that in each country one could make the bracha on his country's local champions.
Making the bracha on a female athlete would have to be done when she is appropriately dressed, meaning it is unlikely to be able to make it while she is competing, but more likely after the fact.
source: Walla News
Until now, since the foundation of the State, it has technically been illegal to play on Shabbos. The Minister of Commerce and Trade has been able to give a temporary exemption, or pass, and the issue was basically ignored by all willing parties.
source: One Sport
Katz is making a dramatic statement with this, as it means the State of Israel will legalize chilul shabbos. the change in practice is not great, as it has been happening until now anyway, but at a social level it is a statement that many will find hard to swallow.
Personally i am less bothered by his coming attempt to legalize it. The fact that it has happened for the past 70 years makes this change one in semantics alone and therefore not that important to me. Semantics are for the politicians. the reality is that it has been happening and this is not a practical change of facts on the ground.
Behadrei also calls it the breaking of the status quo, which is also an argument I am less than impressed with. For the same reason - it might have been illegal, but for the past nearly 70 years the leagues have all played on Shabbos. The change in status quo is on paper alone. Facts on the ground will not have changed on iota.
What bothers me more, or surprises me more, is that recently there has been a trend to try to accommodate religious and traditional athletes, with teams moving games to weekdays from Shabbos. Ministers in recent years have spoken about the need to move games when possible, to be more inclusive of the religious and traditional communities, of fans and athletes alike. It seemed, to me at least, that we were heading on the path of the leagues moving away from Shabbos, and suddenly we are seeing an act that will likely solidify the league's hold on Shabbos for years to come.
They made major press with interviews in the Wall Street Journal and Fox News and other major media. Some called it a kiddush hashem, and perhaps it was.
Today the media outlets (or at least one) is writing about some frum men who have started a unique swimwear company for women that makes regularly bikinis but more stylish with whimsical fringes in a variety of styles that snap on and off. (link to article is posted here with warning of not-tzanua images in article).
Barry Glick is not your average bikini designer.kiddush hashem? chilul hashem? I have no idea. I think these terms get thrown around a bit too loosely. I am not sure this is either. I wish them well and great success, and am happy they have found a way to express their creativity and turn it into a business.
For starters, he has zero experience designing swimwear — or designing any wear for that matter. He’s not particularly involved in fashion either. Oh, he also is a Hasidic Jew living in Brooklyn.
None of this seemed to deter the 30-year-old father of five from starting a bikini company, Beach Gal, a year and a half ago.
"It isn’t a culture shock to me, I see it solely as a business opportunity and as a way to express my creativity," Glick says one recent summer afternoon. We’re sitting in his office in the Hasidic neighborhood of Boro Park. The newly renovated space is inside an inconspicuous concrete building, and is situated across the street from a funeral home wailing eulogies over an outdoor loudspeaker in Yiddish, and down the block from a plethora of kosher grocery stores and bakeries. It also doubles as home to the medical supply business of Saul Samet, Glick’s partner and investor, who is sitting with us as well.
Glick is tall and thin, and sports all the accoutrements of being Hasidic, with a big black yarmulke, long, curly sidelocks, and a bushy beard. Samet’s look is less obvious; he’s shorter, built, and has a clean, short beard and trimmed sidelocks. The duo hardly seems fit to be in the swimsuit market. But the story of how Glick and Samet are successfully building a swimsuit company from scratch — battling through all the complications of creating a business, only to be hit with more obstacles on the product end, like dealing with fabrics, sourcing, branding, and distributing — is as much about the power of the internet as it is about two Jewish guys from Brooklyn who believe so much in an idea that they’re willing to tiptoe around some of the rules that define their strict, religious lifestyle in order to pursue it.
That idea is a bikini, with a whimsical fringe that snaps on and off. Each Beach Gal bikini comes with an accessory, including bands of seashells, beads, sequins, and ruffles that attach to the top and bottom. The suits come in five colors and sell for $150 on the site (but are half off on Amazon right now, just FYI). They look like the sort of thing that would be trendy in places with a strong beach culture, like in Miami, or pretty much anywhere in the Caribbean.
"The Hasidic community is very tight-knit, and there’s a lot of business that gets done at synagogue because you meet each other three times a day," Glick explains.
Of course, the business proposals never went over too well: "It was pretty hard in the beginning. I would shop the idea around and say, ‘I wanted to speak to you about a business idea,’ and everyone would say, ‘Okay, what is it?’ and I would say ‘Bikinis!’ and they would go, ‘Huh?!’"
As with so many situations in life, sometimes it’s not just about what you know as it is about who you know. In a sheer spout of luck, Samet’s brother had a connection to Cyn & Luca, a swimwear brand found in stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. They were introduced to Cynthia Riccardi, the brand’s designer who’d worked for companies like Adrienne Vittadini and Liz Claiborne. She helped Glick perfect his swimsuit silhouette and interchangeable accessories. After her company was bought out last year, she agreed to share her sources for high quality production in South America.
From there, Beach Gal was officially born. A first batch of merchandise was created, Glick and Samet built a website, and photographers and models were hired out in Miami for a look book. Product was also listed on Amazon and Zulily at a discounted price (roughly 50 percent off). So far, the feedback has been positive, and Beach Gal has sold nearly all of the 2,500 pieces from its first collection.
Of course, being Hasidic and in the swimwear business is difficult. Last year, when the duo attended Miami Swim Week with the Cyn & Luca team, Glick — with his beard and sidelocks — was quite the spectacle. During a photoshoot a few months ago, a makeup artist working with the Beach Gal team took a photo of Glick helping a model with a swimsuit and leaked it to Instagram without fully explaining the scenario, leaving her followers to assume the scenario was scandalous. Overall, Glick and Samet are apprehensive people will get the wrong idea about them — the reason they requested Racked not take any photos of them.
On the other hand, though, why not? From Christian retailers to clothing boasting sadness to questionable tea products, internet shopping is peak eccentric. Today, truly anything is possible when it comes to people starting e-commerce businesses, and so trendy bikinis designed by people who put their fear in a power higher than Anna Wintour can certainly fit right in.
Glick and Samet maintain there is technically nothing wrong with what they are doing. While Hasidic lifestyle ascribes to that of seclusion and modesty — and not working with, or around, scantily clad women — the guys say they treat their jobs with respect, and are careful to not cross any boundaries or break any rules, like touching other women, for example. Is it uncharacteristic of Hasidic men to be designing bikinis and working in swimwear? Sure. Can they carry on with their business without violating Jewish laws? Certainly.
"I don’t look at it as a bad thing. It’s a piece of clothing and just because no one in our community [wears] it doesn’t mean we can’t bring something fun and funky to it," Glick says.
such crazy drama!
Aug 17, 2016
Heinz had to relabel all their bottles in Hebrew to say "metabel agvaniot" - tomato dressing - instead of saying ketchup, as the Heinz recipe for ketchup includes less than the mandated 10% tomato content.
Tomato Dressing no more! Heinz can now call their flagship product ketchup once again! #ketchuplivesmatter
Ministers Moshe Kachlon and Yaakov Litzman signed a new directive today canceling the requirement of 10% tomato content in ketchup to qualify for use of that name. The justification for the change is that the requirement was ancient and nowhere else is 10% required - not in Europe and not in the USA. Removing this requirement will help the competitive market, allow new companies to be imported and to be sold with that name.
sources: Ynet and Globes
I wonder if Osem will drop the level of tomato content in their ketchup now that they no longer need to stick to the previously-required 10%, or if they will keep it and use it in their marketing in some way such as more tomato = better ketchup.
Thank you Israel, for declaring Heinz Ketchup as real ketchup.
Minister of Sport (and Culture) Miri Regev decided that the honor brought to Israel by our Olympians has been so great that they must be justly rewarded, at a level that was previously not part of the arrangement.
Regev wanted to cancel the tax on their prize monies in order to allow them to keep the entire purse and not share any of it with the government. Realizing that this would entail a lengthy process, and probably one that she could not be sure of its final outcome, she came up with a different plan.
Regev's new plan is to basically give double the prize money. Basically she is saying the government will cover their taxes. We owe them a debt of gratitude, presumably for the glory they brought upon us, and they shouldn't need to pay this tax.
I don't know who deserves what. These athletes put in years and years of hard work and training, giving up a lot to compete at this level. They brought international glory and pride to the State of Israel. On the other hand, the State of Israel put its gravitas behind these athletes. The State of Israel invested its money and resources into these athletes. Both parties - the athletes and the State of Israel - went into this with a certain agreement and full knowledge of what would happen to the prize money - some would go to the athletes and some to the State coffers.
It is a very nice gesture on behalf of the State, to forgo its portion of the prize money. If only, if only, the State would allow all of us to bask in our accomplishments and in the pride we each bring to the State with our accomplishments that turn Israel into an international powerhouse. If only, if only, the State would decide to cover the taxes of each and every one of us to show its gratitude for what we each do for the State - teachers, educators, medical professionals, members of the security forces, entrepreneurs, members of the startup nation, and the list goes on and on...
Sadly, and it is being reported much sooner than expected, the fellow who recently sold his illness to a non-Jew for 600nis has passed away from his illness.
interestingly, Walla mentions that selling an illness is not anything new. They quote Rav Cholek, the head of Ezer Miziyon, who says he asked Rav Kanievsky about selling one's illness to a non-Jew as part of the sale of chametz on Pesach. The probem with that might be that when you buy your chametz back after Pesach you would also be buying back your illness. It seems Rav Kanievsky responded that you can buy your chametz back and have no intention of buying back the illness and have no worries..
source: Kooker, Walla, Srugim
"The house in which the United States Ambassador lives...was built by a Jewish family and taken over by the [Nazis]... We returned...and put mezuzahs on the door, made the kitchens kosher, observed the Sabbath there. And every time I ate a kosher lamb chop there I would say 'take that Hitler!'"
kol isha warning:
Aug 16, 2016
A woman was demanding, as part of her divorce, full payment of the money promised in the ketuba - 555,555nis.
The husband filed for divorce after she got sick and he felt she was withholding marital relations from him. She claimed in response that she only got sick after catching him having an affair with her good friend. His claim that she withheld relations is obviously to say she deserves nothing as she has a status of a "moredes" - rebellious wife. Her claim that he was cheating is to say she deserves full value, as it was his fault rather than hers.
She then claimed the full payment of 555,555nis, and he responded saying that this amount was put in the ketuba for her honor and to be against ayin hara, but they never seriously meant for this to be the value of the ketuba realistically.
The three members of the beis din were in disagreement as to what to do in this case. 1 dayan said he agreed and signed to this amount, he has to pay it. The contract is a valid contract, and he must fulfill his obligations to it. The two other dayanim were of the opinion that the number is symbolic and he never actually intended to pay it - he agreed to the number to honor her and to go against ayin hara, not to actually pay. This is what we call an asmachta and he is not obligated to pay it. As well, one of the dayanim added that this chosson was young with no savings and it is clear that agreeing to such a high and symbolic figure was not according to any belief that he would ever have to pay it.
this 2-1 decision led to a decision that he only has to pay a standard amount (120,000nis), and it also led the beis din to make a declaration to rabbonim who officiate at weddings to not use such high numbers, and only to use standard amounts. They explained that using such high numbers for honor and ayin hara only cause problems later in cases of divorce and cause fights and delays.
sources: Srugim and Kol Hazman
this reminds of a previous case mentioned a while back in which a ketuba dispute over money with the woman demanding the 555 combination led to a divorce...
I might say that perhaps the 555,555 does not actually protect against ayin hara, considering the divorces this ketuba money has not protected from...
This pashkevil went up around Bet Shemesh yesterday and is a worthy exception...
the pashkevil blasts the mayor, Moshe Abutbol, for repeatedly giving out fines and demands of removal to people in the community who hang signs on their porches against the IDF draft decree and for those hanging tzniyus signs requesting passerby dress appropriately - something that even the secular mayor of Jerusalem does not do. With the residents ignoring the fines and simply throwing them in the garbage, the Iryah sent inspectors to remove the signs. Inspectors accompanied by policemen beat up people who started to protest and even arrested 2 avreichim who are important talmidei chachomim and beat them up...
I am impressed that the city under Moshe Abutbol is regularly sending inspectors to remove the offensive signs from the porches and fine those who do not. I would hope that throwing away the notice does not absolve them of the fine but one day hotzaah lapoel will show up and arrest them for lots of unpaid debt or confiscate their belongings...
I would note that last night in the wee hours of the morning the police raided RBS B and arrested four people - 2 for previous activities that included overturning a police car, and 2 more for attacking police during the raid.
Aug 15, 2016
The Admor Rav Levi Yitzchak Horowitz zt"l put forth great effort to help childless couples with funding for various medical treatments.
One day he received a pamphlet that was dedicated to prohibiting a certain method of fertility treatment, and in the front was printed letters of approbation from many rabbis. the Admor opened the pamphlet, scanned through the various approbations and on each page said "he has children", "he has children", etc until he completed all the approbations and put the pamphlet down.
He then turned to his grandson and said, "I thought there might be one rav who signed no it that he himself does not have children. How can they prohibit this when they themselves do not know the pain of the childless parents?". (this story was heard from his grandson Rav Eliezer Geldzhaler shlit"a)
All the "small" parties in Knesset will be affected by this, including Meretz, Yisrael Beyteynu, UTJ and Shas. If the proposal should ever pass, these parties would have to form deals and mergers with other parties, the way UAL parties all got together, they way Livni formed a bloc with Labor, and the way Tekuma has been hanging together with Habayit Hayehudi. Shas and UTJ would most likely merge, Meretz would have to make a deal with Labor, or maybe with the United Arab List. Yisrael Beyteynu with Habayit Hayehudi, or Yesh Atid or Kulanu Kachlon or Likud - depending on whom they are at peace with or fighting with on any given day.. Of course any of the existing parties might become threatened by this law or might be protected by this law, depending on when it is brought up - as each party grows and shrinks as per the whims and trends of the voters.
MK Sharren Kaskell (Likud) is behind the preparation of this proposal, and the purpose is to create more political stability. With tens of thousands going to waste, people will presumably vote for parties they think are likely to pass the threshold, and no longer vote for the really small parties that seem to crop up every election cycle and then disappear and cause all those votes to be wasted.
Haskel says she expects that this proposal will cause the end effect of their remaining just five political entities - two large parties, one centrist party, one Arab party and one Right-Religious party.
Haskel is optimistic, but I don't see how she is going to get her party's coalition partners to agree to pass a law that will effectively put themselves out of business. That is why electoral reform has to be done by an external body.
According to Kikar that yeshiva is the yeshiva run by Rav Moshe Sternbuch, of the Eida HaChareidis.
This has caused quite a ruckus around town. Non-Haredi city councilmen are threatening to resign if the mayor does not intervene and get this canceled. Many residents of the old city are fuming saying this is crossing a line. They are concerned that such a yeshiva will be an attraction for similar Haredim who will start moving to that part of town and hurt the delicate balance. As well, it will turn the area into a place of conflict as they will surely make trouble for people passing through to do their shopping at the Neimi Mall.
Personally, my opinion is that while it might not be a wise move for the yeshiva to move to this location, and it might harm the balance of the area, it is a private venture and anybody can buy wherever they want. If they take the approach that they want to take over "by force" and not just stick to their own neighborhoods, they can buy up all the property legally and do what they want, no matter how much other people do not like it. They eventually might target RBS A as their next location and start making life difficult for people here, and then other neighborhoods. And there is nothing anybody can do. Raise prices, sell and move. That's life. If you don't like it, rally your neighbors to not sell. Instead of letting them make life uncomfortable for you, make life uncomfortable for them. Let the few who succeed in buying have to deal with living among an entire neighborhood of people who don't play along by their rules. Or else sell, make a profit on your property, and leave. But the Iryah has nothing to do with it.
Of course, that is assuming there are no zoning issues involved. if the building or area is not zoned for such an institution, then the Iryah must not agree to change the zoning and it must not ignore any misuse of the property. The Iryah should do what it can to not allow the area to turn into a war zone, but they cannot be involved in the private purchases of private properties.
interesting to note the books on the shelves behind the PM...
and behind the scenes..
Aug 14, 2016
Aug 11, 2016
First they came for the cornflakes, and I did not speak out, for I don't eat cornflakes.
Then they came for the tehina, and I did not speak out, because I buy a different brand.
Then they came for the frozen french fries, and I did not speak out, for I prefer fresh.
Then they came for......
Just wondering - Is there any food sold in the stores that isn't contaminated? Someone recently pointed me to a study that claimed that all packaged foods contains significant traces of feces (animal or even human). We had a good laugh at the time. Looks like it might actually be true...
Kipa refers to a Kosharot article in which Rav Yitzchak Dvir posited that people cannot rely on the certificate of kashrut hanging in restaurants and other establishments. Rather, each person must do his own investigation into the reliability of the kashrut of the establishment in which he or she wants to eat.
Rabbi Dvir explains that our ability to rely on the kashrut certification comes from the halachic concept of being able to trust even a single witness regarding issues of prohibitions. That gives us the ability to trust someone when they say their food is kosher, or a mashgiach when he says the food is kosher, and even in writing such as via a kashrut certificate.
the problem, however, is that this trustworthiness only works for someone who is testifying that he saw the process of the food preparation and that it was done properly according to halacha. Unfortunately, due to the many "breaches" in kashrut supervision, this is no longer reliable.
Also, the stamps certifying kashrut and the signs posted, are all printed in advance of actually inspecting the food preparation process. Meaning, when I walk into a restaurant and see the kashrut sign that was printed months ago - how can he testify a couple of months ago that today's food is ok? How can they print a label for canned corn or tomato sauce or tuna or frozen chicken that the food is certified kosher when the food hasn't yet been processed and canned and packaged? Testifying in advance as to the kashrut of the food does not work, according to Rabbi Dvir.
Rav Yehuda Amichai from Machon Hatorah VHaaretz argues with the conclusion of Rabbi Dvir of Kosharot and says that anywhere there is a Rabbanut or other kashrut organization with mashgichim that are God-fearing and knowledgeable of the halachot - they can be relied upon and there is no need to do your own investigations, unless problems have been raised.
In my opinion:
most of us don't know how to investigate on our own, and our investigation would almost always be limited to asking the proprietor "is it kosher?". We would ask where they got the vegetables from, where the chicken is from, the meat, etc. and when the proprietor answers it would be meaningless to us.
How do we know he got it from that supplier? should each customer insist on seeing all the paperwork? Should each customer insist on being present when the meat delivery is being made? Do we even know what it means when he says he gets his cheese from Shmulik Cheeses Ltd and the other guy gets his meat from Yanky Meats Ltd.? And when they say they only buy meat that is Rabbanut, or Rubin or Eida or Mahfoud, or Beit Yosef or OU, or whatever, we can't trust that either.
And, if that is the opinion of Kosharot, than they must be of the opinion that all kashrut certification agencies are a scam and unreliable. They should go to the public and try to shut them down. this would bring prices down, and everyone will be doing their own investigations.
When a person goes to the supermarket, as he walks up and down the aisles, he will need to call factories in China and Turkey and the USA and Dimona and Bet Shemesh and Netanya, South Africa and Hong Kong for more information regarding each product. And he would not be able to trust the answers he receives anyway.
A mashgiach kashrut once told me that nowadays (and he told me this 20 some years ago) they need degrees in food sciences to be able to understand what they are looking at in many of these factories, with all the chemicals and additives going into the foods. How does Kosharot expect the general public to not rely on mashgichim but investigate on their own. Do we really have any way of understanding the food preparation process in today's day and age?
What Kosharot is suggesting is impossible.
A person should decide, with his rav's advice or via his own investigations and by finding out as much information as possible, which hechshers he will be able to rely on based on which he considers to be employing trustworthy and God-fearing mashgichim and employing good policies. How can anybody do more than that?
Translation: there is nothing like the nation of Israel.. even Jews selling shrimps don't forget to write BS"d (en: besiyata dishmaya - with the help of heaven) at the top
very much to the tune of Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov....
To do so they wrote and approved a new municipal bylaw that will force all stores to close at 9PM nightly (with a few exceptions, such as supermarkets (midnight) and bookstores (10:30PM).
The inspectors promise to enforce this new bylaw, especially among the stores that will be shown to be causing trouble and creating a disturbing environment to the surroundings.
[Many or some] Residents are upset saying this will force them to leave the city to buy what they need, even if just to go get cigarettes and will create a situation that people are going to Rosh Haayin or other towns and the kids will be going to towns with a less religious (or even secular) atmosphere instead of remaining within Elad.
It is a shame that they think the way to deal with bored kids is to push them into someone else's backyard. I am sure there is not all that much to do in Elad, but the kids at least have their local places they can hang out together and talk, eat or whatever. Taking away their ability to hang out in Elad is not going to solve the problem but will push the kids to hang out elsewhere in more welcoming environments. The attitude of let it be someone else's problem, better in someone else's backyard, is unfortunate and not helpful.
Aug 10, 2016
The police explained that riding an electric bike is like driving any other motorized vehicle and all the relevant laws apply equally.
Does one need a license to drive an electric bike, like one needs a license to drive a car, bus or truck? If someone without a driver's license drives an electric bike while inebriated what does he lose? what does his driver's license have to do with an electric bike - maybe the bike should be confiscated, maybe he should be fined, maybe arrested.. but I do not see any connection between his driver's license and his riding an electric bike.
I commend the police for cracking down on unsafe peddling of electric bikes, but I don't see the connection between that and suspending his driver's license.
While I would think that this initiative is specifically for the days of bein hazmanim, no tournament dates are mentioned in the flyer.
I wonder how many will register and compete. This can be a good initiative, to get people physically active, to keep people mentally active and not bored during a long bein hazamnim, and in general to let people see that playing with a ball does not mean the end of the world is on its way.
I wonder how quickly the condemnations will come, and when the yeshivas will ban their students from participating, and when people will start asking in shidduch investigations if the bochur had participated in these tournaments.
Until now the Israeli athletes have been disappointing. Even the athletes that were expected to do well, did not. Yesterday Israel won its first medal (bronze) of the 2016 Olympics via the judoku Yarden Gerbi. mazel tov!
Miri Regev, the Minister of Sport and Culture, publicized that she had been davening for Gerbi to win and had moments before Gerbi's victory sent a sms message to a rabbi, Rabbi Netanel Shriki, in which she said how important it is to win the medal and hear the national anthem and that she is praying for a victory.
Regev doesn't explicitly ask him to add his own prayers, but that seems to be implied that she is looking for a blessing or his own prayers as well.
Sure enough, Gerbi won her match shortly after, and won her gold medal.
I think Miri Regev should be fired. Regev was derelict in her duties. Why did she not care enough about all the other athletes under her responsibility and pray for them as well? Why did she not send messages to the rabbi on behalf of each one of them? Israel would have a few more medals, and maybe even a silver or gold, if she would just take her responsibility seriously!
Aug 9, 2016
Dov Eichler, a Haredi journalist, has written an op-ed in Behadrei.
Eichler writes a strongly worded piece about a deception that is not uncommon during the Nine Days. A deception in which people find all sorts of siyyumim to hear so that they can be allowed to eat meat during the Nine Days.
Eichler references a restaurant in Boro Park that pays a rotation of avreichim to come in every half an hour and make a siyyum so that they can continue to have customers during the Nine Days and sell and serve meals as regular.
Eichler calls it a deception. He calls it making a joke of halacha. He calls it acting as if you are smarter than Chazal. Eichler's final two paragraphs are particularly strong in which he says he is not lecturing to anyone, but expressing disdain at this "combina" - this shady deal or deceptive practice. "If you must eat meat during these Nine Days despite them being categorized as national days of mourning, go ahead and eat. I am not coming to educate you, just don't make a joke of a hetter, don't make halacha into a joke... I am not a posek halacha or a talmid chochom, but I am also not an idiot. Sometimes something makes me think that we doubt the wisdom of Chazal. If we would only lie to them and to ourselves, nu, ok. But to doubt their wisdom? woe to the shame!"
I personally agree with his approach. Not his approach in talking about those who use the siyyumim to eat meat, but his approach in not looking for ways out of the Nine Days. It is just nine days, one or two of which is Shabbos anyways, and I can handle not having meat and wine for these days. The purpose is to make us think about the destruction of the mikdash, and I don't think nine days is asking so much of us.
As the Aruch Hashulchan says, members of other religions take off far longer periods of abstaining from various pleasures for their religions; Lent and Ramadan come to mind. The Aruch Hashulchan exhorts us to give these few days to show our minimal sacrifice for remembering the destruction of the Temple and not looks for ways out of it, even ways mandated in halacha.
Where I don't agree with him is in his criticism and scorn of people who take a different approach. If he were a community leader of some sort looking to exhort his community to changing its approach, that would be acceptable, I think. In the meantime, the people who look for the siyyumim, whether they hear them on the radio or in a restaurant on some sort of regular schedule, are at least following halacha as the Rama writes it - at a siyyum and seudas mitzva one is allowed to eat meant, though during "the week of", which does not apply this year, a siyyum should only have a basic minyan of people and not extras.
So, Chazal allowed it. And Chazal being pretty smart knew that people could use it to find ways to eat meat and "get out of the mourning" yet they did not put in limits and qualifications. And, without doubting the wisdom of Chazal, maybe they did so because they wanted to offer people a way out, for people who feel they need it. Since halachically it is ok to eat meat and it was Chazal who added it as a custom to adhere to, perhaps they also chose to leave it open enough to allow people a way out.
Deri does not have the power to recognize this as a degree at the national level, but he does at the municipal level. This will potentially open up job possibilities for thousands of people in the Haredi community, for those who have decided to leave kollel and go to work.
I heard Deri speaking about this on the radio. One of the additional points he made that i think is important to point out is that these recognitions will only be for positions that do not require specific professional skills. Meaning, someone with a "degree" from smicha will not be able to apply for jobs in the legal department that require legal training, or for jobs that require studies in finance or others.They will be able to apply for positions that require degrees but not specific professions.
I am in favor of this. I think it is a good idea. the Rabbanut tests for smicha require years of study and discipline and should be recognized and it will give people a good base to start from when they are ready.
Amsalem explains the obvious - the job of PM is very important and the PM must remain focused on his job and not be distracted with all sorts of investigations. In the past 30 years there has not been a single Prime Minister that has not had investigations to deal with.
A light crime for this will be defined as any crime that bears a punishment of up to just 6 months in prison. Anything beyond that will be serious and will be allowed to be investigated during the term as well.
I think this is something that is necessary and I hope this law passes. I would add that I made a similar suggestion for such a proposed law both two months ago and 8 months ago, each time when new investigations into Netanyahu and his family were announced for minor issues.. Maybe Dudu Amsalem reads this blog...
If life were only as simple as the Olympics.
In the Olympics there have already been a couple of incidents in which an uncomfortable situation, or worse, between Israeli representatives and representatives of Israel's neighboring countries was averted.
The Lebanese team refused to allow the Israeli team to ride on the same bus to the opening ceremony.
A Syrian boxer refused to compete against an Israeli boxer at the World Boxing Championships and gave up his potential spot in the Olympics because of it, as these championship matches were qualifiers for the Olympics.
A judoka athlete from Saudi Arabia forfeit her match supposedly to avoid meeting the Israeli judoka Gili Cohen in the next round.
If we could only have avoided conflicts in real life so easily, so many thousands of lives would have been saved. Instead of having all those wars, the Arab countries and representatives could have taken this new approach already back then and just walked away from facing us all those times... Maybe Hamas can take lessons from the Olympics and help us all avoid an unnecessary summer war (whether this year or next or the summer after)...
Aug 8, 2016
FYI - here is a schedule, put out by Chabad, of siyyums that will be broadcast over the radio to increase the happiness of Torah during this sad time of mourning, as per the instructions fo the Lubavitcher Rebbe (zt"l). These siyyums will be broadcast on Radios Kol Hai and Kol Berama at different times of the day, as per the schedule below...