Sep 26, 2018

Tweet of the Day

this is referring to the traditional Birkas Kohanim at the Kotel on Chol Hamoed event..








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Book Review: Architects of Death


NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.

Book Review: Architects of Death, by Karen Bartlett

I have read many Holocaust books, of varying types. Most Jews, especially descendants of survivors, probably have. Architects of Death: The Family Who Engineered The Death Camps, by Karen Bartlett, is different than most other Holocaust books. Architects if Death is not a book describing the struggles of a family or an individual trying to survive the horrors and depravities of the Holocaust. Architects of Death is not a book describing the horrors and depravities of the Holocaust and it is not describing the destruction of families and communities throughout Europe. Architects of Death is not a book of heroism, or of survival, or of partisans or death marches. Architects of Death is a book of death and murder, but it is a book describing how the methods of death and mass murder were designed and made possible.


The Topf family in Germany had a company building ovens and other machinery. They built ovens for cremation and incinerators. It seems they were careful to follow regulations of hygienic and proper incineration. Until the Nazis came calling.

When the Nazis came to power and started building death camps and concentration camps, they needs ways to kill more people more efficiently, and to dispose of the bodies more efficiently. They needed to ramp up the killing, and the incineration, in order to achieve the numbers they were trying to achieve in the murder of Jews and others. 

The Topf family and company played a critical role in innovation and development of bigger and better ovens that would burn hotter and faster, that would incinerate the bodies quicker and more thoroughly. While the Topf family were not Nazis and were not Nazi party members, and even if some were they were not party activists, they directly benefited from their relationship with the Nazis and lived the good life while working to help the Nazis improve their processes. 

The book, Architects of Death, describes the lifestyle lived by the Topf families, their corporate structure and how they worked closely with the SS and other Nazis to understand the needs and to develop the technology required. They went and visited the concentration camps to see what was needed, they witnessed murders as trials and demonstrations and they knew what was going on and they helped it happen.

The last portion of the book is a bit bittersweet as we learn of the downfall of the family, in conjunction with the end of the war and the end of the Nazis. As the Allied Forces defeated the Nazis and split Germany and the Russians took over, the Topf family was prosecuted and tried for their work with the Nazis. Even though ultimately nothing came of those trials, it did  bring the Topf family down, they lost their company, even after trying to rebuild it in different fashions. The book describes the trials, the way the Topfs tried to defend themselves and their actions and deny having been anything more to the Nazis than suppliers like a baker that delivered bread to the Nazis in the morning or a milkman delivered milk and yoghurt.

If you ever wondered how the Nazis were able to come so close o succeeding in their Final Solution, if you ever wondered how the Nazis were physically able to murder so many people and dispose of so many bodies so quickly, if you ever wonder how the concentrations camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, and others but primarily these, were able to process the murder of so many people in such a short amount of time, you must read Architects of Death.


NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.


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Picture of the Day




Former PM Ehud Olmert came under a lot of criticism for this meeting with Abu Mazen a few days ago, and for what he said about it after the fact, but one point was barely mentioned - Abu Mazen was proud enough to go to the meeting and make sure the flag of the not-yet-country he represents was placed behind him, but Olmert did not even bother with that.


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the Reform are trying to take over the Kotel (video)

I am not sure I get the point but it seems to be saying that because the Reform are trying to take control of part of the Kotel, we should take control of the Reform designated area by going there in large numbers.





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Melech's sukka (video)







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Hillel Fuld: My brother was a hero, a super-hero (video)







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Shulem Lemmer Performs Gd Bless America At Red Sox - Mets Game (video)

what a voice!





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The Jerusalem's cantors choir performs "Am Yisrael Chai" (video)







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Sep 23, 2018

Headlines Podcast: 9/22/18 Contemporary Sukkos Shailos Everyone Needs to Know (audio)







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Tweet of the Day










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Yoni Z - Hoshana [Official Music Video]







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Sep 20, 2018

Interesting Psak: buying lulavs from Gaza

Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Safed (Tzfat), issued a psak today that people should not buy lulavs for the upcoming holiday that were grown in Gaza. Rav Eliyahu said that this would be a "mitzva haba ba'aveira", and such a person would be giving his money to the wicked people of Gaza.

Rather, one should buy from the farmers of southern Israel and we must assist them by giving them our business and not give our business to the farmers of Gaza or their brethren who burn down the fields of the Jewish farmers in the south.

Rav Eliyahu added that it is prohibited to buy anything from them - even shoelaces. One cannot buy things from people who shoot rockets at Sderot, Ashqelon or Beer Sheva. One cannot buy things from the people who dig tunnels in order to abduct soldiers or attack kindergartens.

Rav Eliyahu called on other rabbonim to refuse to give kashrut certification on lulavs from Gaza.
source: Haredim10

I have no problem with this. The one question I have is a similar one to the one asked during shmitta - are our vegetables coming from Gaza, making this moot, or are we careful to ensure that we are not buying our cucumbers either from the terrorists? I am not asking rhetorically - I really don't know the answer as to where our cucumbers and other vegetables come from, but if we only make a big deal out of the big things but are not consistent with the daily little things, the whole thing is pointless.




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when personalities are the issue

The fighting between the different factions in UTJ (and add Shas to the picture) over municipal elections in various cities has gone from a minor, and even amusing distraction that I assumed would all be worked out when everyone finishes calling each other's bluffs and as we get pretty close to elections everything will just fall into place. As it usually works out with them.

And it still might. But as of right now it looks to have gotten much worse than in previous years and each faction is holding their ground, and even taking additional steps to ramp up the conflict even further to the point of no return. They all still might be bluffing and work things out at the last minute, but the way it looks now that would be much more surprising.

It is kind of sad to see this deterioration in the relations between them. It is really based on nothing significant. The parties all believe in almost exactly the same ideologies and have almost the same positions on almost all the issues. The difference between them is minimal, if at all. In one party the representatives came 70 years ago from Poland, and in the other they came 70 years ago from Morocco and in the third from Lithuania. Besides for that, they want to increase the level of kedusha, the level of public shabbos observance, to keep the yeshiva boys who want to learn out of a forced draft to the army, to keep money flowing to the frum school systems and yeshivas, and the like. The differences between the factions are extremely minimal. Yet they can't get along.

The main differences that keep them from getting along are if the guy with Polish descent should be the mayor in this or that city or if the guy with Lithuanian descent should be the mayor or the sefardi guy should be the mayor.

It is like watching a slow burn. And yes, it is sad. It is sad that the frum leadership can't get along and it is only because of this issue - Polish or Lithuanian or Russian or Moroccan descent and not because of the need to promote different ideals or policies. As if the mayor is hassidic or litvish or sefardi  makes such a major difference in anything. It is sad the issues are not what is considered important but the personalities are, and that that is what is used to divide.




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Quote of the Day

After denials for many months, the plan of Deri and Lieberman to try to take control of Jerusalem has been exposed by running Moshe Leon again as a candidate - a candidate who receives single digits in all the polls of the residents.

  -- Minister Zeev Elkin, candidate for mayor of Jerusalem, after Rav Shalom Cohen, spiritual leader of Shas, came to a deal to support Leon for mayor after initially expressing support for Yossi Deutsch.

Doesn't every candidate, and the party running and supporting that candidate, in every city with mayoral elections, plan to "take control of" the respective city? I am not sure what is different, or bad, by Deri and Lieberman having a plan to "take control of Jerusalem" by running a candidate they prefer..



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Palestinians: What do you think of "Queers for Palestine"? (video)






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One on One with Alan Dershowitz - Sep. 13, 2018 (video)







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Hillel Fuld: My brother was a hero, a super-hero (video)







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Tribute to Ari Fuld - by Simcha Leiner (video)






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KOLture Shock - Peacing it Together (video)







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Sep 17, 2018

and now Ethiopians can't cook

Phineas T Barnum supposedly said there is no such thing as bad publicity.

The veracity of that expression is debatable, but both the Rabbanut and the Ethiopian community are getting a lot of publicity nowadays, somewhat leaning to the side of bad, and perhaps soon they'll each be able to offer an opinion on Barnum's claim.

The latest is a report that the rabbi of Kiryat Gat, Rav Moshe Havlin, banned a couple of female Ethiopian employees from cooking for a catering company in Kiryat Gat until their Jewish status can be clarified and confirmed.


These Ethiopian employees are not new and have worked there for years, but only now are they being banned from cooking due to their Jewishness being unconfirmed at this point.

Rav Havlin's lawyer clarifies that Rav Havlin did not ban Ethiopian employees from cooking, but banned all employees whose Jewish status has not been confirmed and is questionable.

In the previous case, with the Barkan winery, it was somewhat understandable, even if upsetting. That was the Eida Hachareidis and they do not follow the psak of the Rabbanut or accept Rabbanut rulings and decisions, just as they do not accept anything else from the State of Israel. The Rabbanut decided the Ethiopians are Jewish, or need to undergo conversions lchumra - very nice, but that does not obligate the Eida (in their eyes).

In this case it is more surprising and even shocking because this is the Rabbanut itself making problems and raising questions against its own decisions. You want to check the status of these people out, go check them out - it should not take long. They have been cooking for 3 years, how long will it take to find their paperwork and computer files in your own Rabbanut offices and confirm their statuses one way or another? Why do they always seem to shoot first and think later, as Justice Sonia Sotomayer put it?

If there is a halachic problem it surely needs to be dealt with. There is surely a sensitive way to deal with it without destroying people's lives. If there is no halachic problem, people who create halachic problems that do not exist should be punished for it. There are lives and people at the other end of these problems.


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Banning separate swimming in Rahat

History has been made with the first "country club" being built and opened in the Bedouin city of Rahat in southern Israel. "Country Club" in Israel usually means swimming pool and perhaps a gym. The Rahat Country Club definitely has a pool, built to the tune of 32 million shekels and form the video below, it looks beautiful and I am sure the residents will enjoy it.


Itamar Ben Gvir, a lawyer and right-wing activist, has petitioned the Attorney General with a threat to go to the Supreme Court. After the Supreme Court required the town of Kiryat Arba to open its municipal pool to reasonable hours of mixed swimming, despite the vast majority of the residents opposing it and only wanting separate swimming options, Ben Gvir says the same rule should be applied in Rahat and the pool should be required to be open for mixed swimming, despite the fact that the local residents are opposed.

The Attorney General has accepted the argument and informed the city of Rahat that based on the Supreme Court decision in Kiryat Arba, the local government is not allowed to separate between men and women, even at the behest of the residents. Being the first pool built in the Bedouin sector, this takes on extra urgency as it would be precedent setting.
source: Kan

Are we now going to see suits and counter-suits all over the country forcing pools with separate swimming to change to mixed swimming due to discrimination? Can the courts not find a way to allow residents to swim gender-separate should they consider this important? The courts recently allowed an academic leadership course in the Haredi community to continue on as planned as gender separate. I don't know what case can be used as a precedent for what, but if it can be allowed in that course, and if the recent Chabad event in Tel Aviv was allowed by the courts to function with a mechitza, there should be some way to allow separate swimming as well. If not, where does this end? Will the courts ban every religious behavior in public because it discriminates against something in some way?





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para aduma found, now looking for kosher kohen


Another potentially kosher para aduma, red heifer, was recently born, this time in Israel.

The Machon Hamikdah, the Temple Institute, is overseeing that it be raised carefully to grow into a kosher para aduma candidate, and will re-examine it in 3 months.


According to Behadrei, the Machon Hamikdash is now looking for a tahor, pure and undefiled, kohen who has never left Israel. The plan is, if it remains kosher, the heifer will be nrought to the rabbonim for discussion and then slaughtered in purity for use. According to Behadrei, Machon Hamikdash has a list of a number of young kohanim that can qualify to shecht the para aduma but are also publicizing to the public asking qualifying candidates to step forward and present themselves.

Interestingly, the foreign press reporting on this issue all consider the discovery of a para aduma to be a sign of coming Armageddon and the commencement of construction of the Third Temple..






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Funeral of Ari Fuld HY"D







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Israeli Frenemies - Sep. 14, 2018 (video)







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GAD ELBAZ feat. AVI BENJAMIN - Ochi Chernye (video)







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Sep 16, 2018

Montag running against Abutbol in Bet Shemesh?

Kikar is reporting that Moshe Montag, Bet Shemesh city councilman from the Degel Hatorah faction of the UTJ party, has filled out the necessary forms to run for mayor of Bet Shemesh in the upcoming municipal elections.

This is a very strange report and really makes me wonder about a few things.

1. Degel has decided that if they run a candidate of their own it will be Moshe Montag and not Shmuel Greenberg? Where are the rabbinic proclamations or the statements from whatever process they use to decide these things?

2. A short while ago I commented on a report that Montag is running coalition and electoral support negotiations on behalf of Mayor Moshe Abutbol, from Shas. At the time I thought it was strange that a councilman from Degel that has not yet declared support for Abutbol is running coalition negotiations for Abutbol. I confirmed it at the time with people "in the know" and despite the weirdness, the report was true. Now it turns out that Montag is submitting forms not just to run as a councilman but also as a candidate for mayor against Abutbol, yet he is running the negotiations for Abutbol. My head scratching just got harder.

3. Considering the above 2 thoughts and questions it makes me wonder if this would even be a real candidacy or just an attempt to take away Haredi support from Aliza Bloch. Supposedly she is getting a lot of support form the Haredi street and is leading Abutbol in [some?] polls for the mayoral race. While some Haredim around town might not want to vote Abutbol this time around for whatever reason, they might find it more difficult to vote for Bloch if there is a different Haredi candidate to support. Montag, in this scenario, would not get enough votes to actually challenge Abutbol but it might take away enough from Bloch to push Abutbol over the top.




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Waqf might refuse to accompany Jews on Har Habayit

Good news? Bad news? I never really understand these types of protests, but it is what is happening. Kipa is reporting that the Waqf representatives on Har Habayit are going to now refuse to escort Jewish visitors to ensure they follow the "rules" and do not pray, among other banned behaviors, and will leave it up to the police to enforce on their own.

The Waf people are upset about various incidents of conflict with the police and along with lack of support from the Waqf administration.

Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan responded by saying the Waqf reps had no such responsibility or task until now, in any official capacity beyond self-appointed guards - the Israel Police are the only authority there and is the only body responsible for enforcing the rules to keep order on Har Habayit. People have questioned the veracity of Erdan's response, considering how Waqf representatives regularly accompany Jewish groups and point out possible infractions to police demanding enforcement. As I understand it they do not have this responsibility but do so on their own accord and it is the police responsible for enforcement, even if the Waqf people make them do their jobs at a stricter level.

MK Betzalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) responded by questioning how it can be possible to ban Jewish prayer on Har Habayit, considering there are no such laws banning it and any such rule is gross discrimination that cannot exist in a democratic country. This shameful undemocratic behavior on Har Habayit must come to an end and this would be the perfect opportunity to do so.

I agree with Smotrich, but as I have commented in the other direction, if one can ban Jewish prayer on Har Habayit one can ban the Women of the Wall from praying in their preferred style at the Kotel, and if one says banning such prayer on Har Habayit is wrong and undemocratic, on what basis can that person oppose the Women of the Wall at the Kotel or having a "Reform Kotel"? Once you use the rules of democracy as your basis. they are either both ok or both can be banned.

Anyways, back to the original topic, if the Waqf want to refuse to accompany Jews on Har Habayit, in my opinion they are more than welcome to carry out this protest for as long as possible.


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Interesting Psak: what is Cholent?

Cholent. Not too many shailos can come up with cholent. Maybe if a drop of milk spilled into your bowl of cholent you would ask if it is kosher. Maybe you might have a question about how to heating or wrapping your cholent on Shabbos. Those, though, are really shailos external to the cholent.

As Kikar reports, nowadays cholent is commonly consumed in ways it never before was. Cholent is no longer just a Shabbos lunch food. Nowadays cholent gets served at weddings and bar mitzvahs throughout the week, it gets served as a social food on Thursday nights, it accompanies shiurim often on Thursday nights at "mishmar" but also at other times...

A question was sent to a number of gedolim asking about a person who committed to not eating cholent during the week - he wanted his cholent to remain special for Shabbos - can he eat cholent at a wedding he participated in where cholent was served. His friends had asked him why he wasn't eating, and when he explained what he had committed to, they claimed that the pareve cholent served at the wedding is not the same as the cholent he eats on Shabbos and is therefore not the subject of his commitment - only fleishige cholent would be the subject of his commitment. The question presented to various gedolim was does this person need hataras nedarim, an annulment of vows, in order to eat pareve cholent at upcoming simchas, or perhaps his commitment does not include this type of pareve cholent.

Here are some of the various responses from the rabbonim asked:
Rav Mendel Shafran and Rav Moshe Shaul Klein both answered saying that cholent is cholent and his commitment applies equally to pareve cholent as it does to fleishige cholent.

Rav Shmuel Eliezer Stern and Rav Naftali Nussbaum said it needs research to figure out what people call cholent. Personally I think it is clear that people also call pareve cholent "cholent", and if their answer is that it depends on how people call it, the answer would be that pareve cholent is equally cholent for this issue.

Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein said we don't necessarily need to consider what people call it but a beis din should debate the issue - if a person commits to making cholent for his friend or for a shiur, can he fulfill his commitment by making a pareve cholent or only by making a fleishige cholent?

Rav Mordechai Gross answered that "cholent" is only fleishige cholent. A person in this situation could eat the pareve cholent, should he so desire, without annulling his vow.





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the Haredi paratroopers (video)







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One on One with Alan Dershowitz - Sep. 6, 2018 (video)








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Palestinians: Do you speak Hebrew? (video)







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Tel Aviv will host the 2019 Eurovision! (video)







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Beri Weber - Riboin (Official Music Video)







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Sep 15, 2018

Yehuda Green Selichos 2018 - (Official Full Video)







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Sep 14, 2018

VehaKohanim Avshalom & Shlomo Katz (video)

beautiful rendition of a beautiful song




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Sep 13, 2018

Eurovision in Tel Aviv is fine by me

It has officially been decided. The Eurovision contest next year will be hosted in Tel Aviv, rather than Jerusalem.

I do not know how they came to the decision, but it is fine by me. It is nice to promote the capital of Israel and get the tourism boost and injection of foreign money there, but not everything needs to be politicized, and Tel Aviv is a more natural fit anyway. Even Haifa and Eilat are more natural fits for the Eurovision contest than Jerusalem is. And that is fine by me. Surely some of the tourists coming for the big event will also make their way to Jerusalem and to other parts of the country.

There is no place like Jerusalem, but it is fine that some events take place elsewhere..


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Honey

A Guest Post by Saraya Ziv


Joëlle’s humongous plasma TV takes up a whole high wall of her hairdressing salon. You can’t miss it. And I, not having a TV of my own, don’t want to: an appointment with Joëlle is an appointment with culture. Besides French soaps, she favors Israeli cook-offs or the spitfire chat-chat of talk shows. Her natal French and acquired Hebrew lead me through the weird life of chanteur Johnny Hallyday to an ancient and skilled woman teaching her great-grandson to make honey cake. The cake is for Rosh Hashana, which is imminent. Commercials wish me Shana Tova, and at last, six glamourosos of both sexes sit in a wide U, mikes clipped to their hip clothes. One woman sports long sleeves but naked shoulders, one curly haired man wears sunglasses nipped into the cleavage of his shirt. All of these people are Jews, and they are all talking at once. I hear them say Rosh Hashana but I don’t know if they’re condemning or celebrating. They talk straight into the commercials. They’re talking when the camera returns. They don’t seem to care that I’m out here; they’re busy.

Another commercial with more Shana Tovas and when we return a young woman, sweet faced, dressed plainly, warm with smiles, is talking about her career. Joëlle tells me the woman is a chef, a new Israeli from New Zealand. The panel pelts her with questions ensemble, and gently, smiling at the onslaught, she replies. Black and white stills show her at her pots and ovens. Joëlle says, “They’re asking her what she makes special for Rosh Hashana.” She describes a honey upside down cake in English and Mr. Curly Hair translates to Hebrew. “Ha-fuach”; I pause. It’s the word in the Megilla of Purim, where good and rotten, optimism and dread, normal and insane, are tangled: upside down.

They throw her more questions; it’s a mosh pit of noise. She describes a complex dish, then slips back to English to say, “Honey coated ham.” No one needs to translate. This panel of hip Jews, to a one, becomes absolutely still. Ms. Shoulder looks down at her shoes, Mr. Curly stares ahead. The director must be nervous with this hush. His timing wildly off, he cuts to commercials, which wish me, again, Shana Tova


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oldest shofar blower and most consecutive years

this is a great story,

Amihai Bannett, a local Bet Shemesh resident and friend, tweeted about his 97 year old grandfather having now blown the shofar in his shul, as of this recent Rosh Hashana, for 80 consecutive years - he did not miss a single year since he started.




The tweet became a news item of a human interest story. I don't know if Guinness will agree to open a new category for the oldest person blowing shofar during services or for most consecutive years, but either way, kol hakavod to his grandfather! Maybe some momentum and publicity can get it going!



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keeping the Haredim out of Tel Aviv

The news headlines are shocking the readership with revelations of a concerted effort by secular residents in the neighborhoods of North Tel Aviv to keep out Haredim - they are working to encourage residents to not sell or rent homes to potential Haredi residents. Specifically, it seems some Chabadniks are trying to move in and to ramp up their "kiruv" efforts in the area, and the efforts are described as general "Haredim" but is really against these Chabadniks.

Everyone is shocked, and all the Haredi websites are discussing how this is racist, discriminatory, shameful, hateful, etc. Things like "replace "haredim" with "Jews" and what would you say?" Things like "you will let Arabs move in but not Haredim". And the like.

As I have said before, in a free democratic society, everyone is, and should be, able to buy or rent homes wherever they want and live wherever they want. I, however, do not get excited by the secular trying to keep the Haredim out of their neighborhoods, especially when those Haredim have ulterior motives of trying to do kiruv on the local residents and change their lifestyles, when the Haredi residents of Haredi neighborhoods do the exact same thing in the opposite direction. They get together to ensure that secular, or even other types of religious, people cannot move in, and if they do they expend great efforts to pressure them to move out. Neither should happen, but both do, and the crocodile tears do not impress me. If it is ok in one direction, it is just as ok in the other direction, though in truth neither is ok, even if both are understandable..


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Tweet of the Day






These types of shuls are not trying to keep Judaism relevant to their membership and they are not trying to keep their membership interested in Judaism. They are interested in keeping their membership as paying members, so they are finding ways to provide interesting experiences that have nothing to do with Judaism. These synagogues are being converted into country clubs and yoga studios.


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Palestinians: In a two state solution, do you expect the right of return to Israel? (video)







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Melech Zilbershlag: million dollar peyos (video)







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Eric Trump: Bob Woodward Made ‘Three Extra Shekels’ With CNN Appearance (video)

wait for it, wait for it...



big debate why he said that. if it was an anti-semitic slur or something else... I have no idea what the real reason is..


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Baruch Levine, Mendy Berger & Chicago Chevrah - Kivisi (video)

from the song description on Youtube:
Dovid Hamelech uses these words to describe his desire for closeness with Hashem. This sentiment was ever so present in our lives during a trip, a group of friends took to Poland. A country whose soil is saturated with centuries of Torah and tragically, with yiddishe blood. While standing in the gas chambers of Majdanik, we shared in a bond so unique. We cried so many tears of pain and sorrow for all the death and destruction around us. The history of what had happened to our people became so real, so devastating. But then another reality set in. The sacrifices of so many before us, is precisely what enabled us be there that very day. As Yidden who are shomrei Torah Umitzvos, we are zocheh to have children fulfilling Rotzon Hashem, at a pace that has never been see before in our history. קויתי ה' קוותה נפשי. The dawn that our grandparents davened for on the way to their deaths, is today on the verge of becoming a reality. נפשי לה' משומרים לבוקר.When I close my eyes and picture my grandparents back then, and many others like them, I imagine these words were uttered countless times. Hoping for Hashem. Yearning for The Dawn. While it may not have been with this melody, they sang from the deepest depths of their neshamos. How lucky and thankful we must be. How incredibly humbling it is to know that we are the keepers of so many dreams and tefilos that ended in that gehenom on earth. As we do so often in Chicago with our Chevra, we took the time to express our feelings through Niggun/Song. The final part of “קויתי” was born at that very moment and we sang this song throughout the trip. (Thank you to R Yitzi Simcha, Binyamin Shkop, and Dovid Schmelczer for spending time with me on the bus, to perfect it). I want to thank Harav Menachem Fine (Mora D’asra of BCDE) for leading this trip, R Ari Sharf for coordinating everything, R Yechiel Spero for inspiring us constantly throughout the trip, and all my friends for allowing me the opportunity to have shared in such a memorable experience. I also want to thank my Chevra for singing this song with me in the choir. There’s no more meaningful way of sharing this song, than with you guys. Last but not least, I want to thank Baruch Levine for bringing out the true, raw emotion of this song. You sing it so beautifully, and you capture it’s essence perfectly. It is my hope is that this song will conjure up the emotions that we all shared together that day in Poland; to yearn for the ultimate dawn like our grandparents and great grandparents did, and ask Hashem to bring the Ge’ula quickly, to end Klal Yisroel’s pain and suffering.




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The Sound Of Silence in Yiddish (TinkelKeit) - MAYESZ (video)

nice





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Sep 12, 2018

Proposed Law: food donations to the needy

MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) has proposed a law that would remove liability from people/organizations that donate food to the needy.

As of right now, many people/organizations refuse to donate their leftover food to the needy, or to organizations that help the needy, due to fear of lawsuits if someone should get hurt from the food - sick, food poisoning, or some other form of damage or harm as a result of the donated food. If Maklev's proposal passes, donors of food would not be prone to lawsuits and would not bear criminal responsibility for any problems resulting, and that would increase the amount of food donated to the organizations that work to help the needy.

Maklev explains that a lot of good, not spoiled or damaged, food is disposed of just because of bureaucracy that dissuades hotels, the Knesset, restaurants, people making affairs such as weddings, etc. from donating the food to the needy. With every fourth child in Israel under the poverty line, thousands of children go to sleep every night hungry, and we have a solution for it.

 As of today, with the exposure to lawsuits, hotels and other organizations are donating 1765 hot meals per day. Maklev says that number can easily be doubled by removing the risk of lawsuit. Probably even more as many food manufacturers have expressed willingness or desire to donate food but have refrained form doing so out of fear of lawsuits. Leket Israel considers this a social welfare law of the highest degree and a tremendous opportunity to shrink social gaps and provide hot food to many in need.

This law proposal already made it through much of the process in the last session of Knesset and is being prepared now, and organizations are preparing, for the coming Knesset session to pass it and make it official.
source: Actualic

I don't know what the laws are in the USA about this, but I was always told many people making affairs, and organizations, do not donate leftover food out of fear of lawsuits and liability. The fear makes sense. Removing liability might, will, increase donations, but what happens when people start getting sick from spoiled food. And that's not even taking into account people donating bad food with malicious intent.






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Tweet of the Day








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The Truth About BDS (video)







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Israeli Frenemies - Sep. 7, 2018 (video)







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Americans React To Israeli Candy (video)







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Rush Hashanah Traffic (video)

cute..




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Israel In Our Hearts - FDD Singers - (Music Video)







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Sep 9, 2018

PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Rosh Hashana blessings (video)

Netanyahu has a good sense of humor...





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What happened when Ambassador Friedman lost a small item, and Rosh Hashana is almost here... (video)







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Yonina- Next Year (video)







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Sep 6, 2018

The Hasidic Rebbe Who Left Judaism (video)

interesting..





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Palestinians: When was Palestine established? (video)







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Dana Varon on tzniyus (video)

she's a good spokesperson





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Synagogues of England (video)








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Beri Weber - Riboin (Official Music Video)







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Sep 4, 2018

Parking in Tel Aviv

People have been complaining for a long time about the parking situation in Tel Aviv. I knew there's a shortage of available parking but it sounded like people just enjoying the complaining. It couldn't be ad bad as they made it out to be. Whenever I needed parking in Tel aviv I always found an available spot relatively quickly, and if not there were always parking lots nearby.

Today I needed to find a spot early and there was literally no parking to be had. On side streets parking is limited to residential tags, and that was packed bumper to bumper, and on the main roads there was nothing available. I couldn't find parking lots on the area and it took a lot of driving around before I found a spot.

Now I see and understand what they complain about.

Sep 3, 2018

Rabbi posts video condemning Flatbushgirl

Rabbi Yehuda Levin, who made quite a stir a few years back when he spoke out about alternative lifestyles and homosexuality - and over time on many other topics, is upset that "FlatbusGirl",  Adina Miles, is running for political office as District Seat under the Democrat Party.

Here is a clip made by Rabbi Levin speaking out against Adina Miles..




I admit that I too have been surprised, not with her running for office but that years ago with her antics she was not strongly condemned or anything like that. Perhaps personally within her community she suffered some backlash, as in interviews she says she has, but it seems publicly she has been largely ignored by the establishment. Perhaps it speaks to the strength of the Jewish community in the USA that their leaders do not feel the need to speak out and condemn every person who does not toe the line.

I would point out that the antics Miles is criticized for by Levin are relatively old. She has changed her style in recent years. A few years ago she was making funny and crazy videos of her antics and publishing them everywhere online, but more recently, in the past year or two, she has been showing herself as having matured - videos of chessed, of discussion, of motivation and almost no videos of the antics she used to post. I guess Rabbi Levin does not recognize that people can change and mature and only sees her the way she was a few years ago.

I have no idea if she is worthy of the seat she is running for, and I am not endorsing her for office (as if she needs or wants my endorsement or that it might even help her if I offered it or hurt her if I didn't). She does seem like a thoughtful person and as someone who tries to help others, especially using her platform (that she spent years building) to do so, but more than that I do not know much about her or her capabilities.




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Quote of the Day

There is no logic in saying that "Degel" is the larger of the factions. Have you heard of any "plague", rachmana letzlan, by the Hassidim. By the Litvishe there is a harsh division. They should not threaten us with splitting off and running separately. If we do not run together in Jerusalem, we will not run together in Bnei Braq.

  -- Deputy Minister Yaakov Litzman

by "plague" he means the Peleg faction of the Litvishe community that does not support and does not vote for Degel.



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Rabbanut monopoly on Judaism strikes again

Some female Arab singer just converted to Judaism through a private beis din. The Rabbanut would not allow her to convert, supposedly because they insisted she give up her singing career and she refused to do so. So she went to a private beis din and went through the process.

I know nothing about her, her motives, or the private beis din that converted her, but assuming the beis din is Orthodox, this woman, Nasrin Kadri - now to be known as Bracha Kadri - is Jewish, though neither the Rabbanut of Israel nor the Ministry of the Interior will not recognize her as such. If the beis din is not Orthodox that is a different story.

I don't know why singing should be a reason to prevent someone from converting. There are plenty of female singers and female bands that are religious and perform in public, even if just for female audiences, but not just. It is not even a sin to sing, not even to sing in public. The sin, if any, would be on the men going to her concerts. So by saying she would not give up singing is not even saying that she intends to continue living a life of sin. When they hold a monopoly they can do what they want, even if it is not based in halacha.

sources: Kipa, Haredim10





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Agudat Yisrael to stop banning women from the party, sort of

The news is reporting that Agudat Yisrael has decided to respond to the courts demands by acquiescing to remove the clause in the party platform that disallows women from being members of the party, essentially also blocking them from possibly running as a representative of the party.

Theoretically, by agreeing to remove the clause, women can officially join the party and then would also qualify to join leadership of the party in some way and become a representative and possibly run for a Knesset seat or a municipal representation position.

Deputy Minister Litzman stated explicitly that nothing will change because of this. Every person applying to join the party does so, according to the conditions of the party, by agreeing to follow the decisions and orders of the Council of Sages. So, basically, even if women decide to apply to join the party they do so knowing that the Council of Sages will not let them join the party, and it won't be the clause banning them but the decision of the Council of Sages..

As I said when the court issued the ultimatum, if the court wants to effect change in this issue, this can only be a first step. A party like Aguda does not have primaries, so opening it up to female membership does next to nothing to giving the women the ability to run for office - and that is if the women will even be allowed to join the party even without the clause! If the court wants to effect change, it has to take further steps.

And, I do not know why this is an issue only for Agudat Yisrael and not also for Degel Hatorah and for Shas.


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MIAMI BOYS CHOIR - Esmach (Official Music Video)







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Sep 2, 2018

"imported" Coca Cola might not be kosher

Rav Landau, Chief Rabbi of Bnei Braq and head of the "Landau hechsher", has issued a clarification about the kashrus of Coca Cola.

It is commonly assumed that Coca Cola is produced under strict regulations form the company and is the same world-wide, so, people assume, no matter where it is produced it will be kosher. Rav Landau says this is not true and people should not assume Coca Cola is kosher, unless it bears actual kashrut certification.



Rav Landau's notice actually refers specifically to Coca Cola from the Palestinian Authority and Coca Cola from Europe.

I once had a can of Coca Cola from the Palestinian Authority (purchased at a kiosk in Bethlehem) and it had no hechsher. I am surprised that Rav Landau says Coca Cola from Europe is a problem - Coca Cola in Europe is neither certified or on any of the many kashrus lists from various organizations there? European Jews do not drink Coca Cola?

Rav Landau says that whoever does not know the secret of the production line can only guess and estimate, but does not really know. He further testifies that the Coca Cola produced under his supervision is produced in a special department with his supervisors present 24 hours a day and is bottled in Bnei Braq under his supervision.

Rav Landau concludes his letter wishing everyone to be saved from stumbling and to have a sweet new year. Coca Cola, considering the amount of sugar it contains, should be a pretty good siman on Rosh Hashana for a sweet year!

Caveat Emptor! with kashrus, assumptions generally do not work. Knowledge is power.


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Quote of the Day

You have a great zchut to grow up and learn here in the city of our forefathers. When I was your age I did not even know that there was a letter "Aleph", while you are surrounded by excellent educators in Eretz Yisrael and are meriting to learn here reading and writing in Hebrew. I wish all of you a successful year of learning.

  -- Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, greeting first grade children on their first day of school in Kiryat Arba





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Headlines Podcast: 9/1/18 Shalom Bayis: Hear our Greatest Experts (audio)







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Israeli Frenemies - Aug. 31, 2018 (video)







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One on One with Alan Dershowitz - Aug. 30,2018 (video)






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Shulem Lemmer Performs National Anthem At San Francisco Giants Game (video)

great job!





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Hallel Women's Choir: Ana bKoach (video)








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Aug 30, 2018

Russian mohel's circumcisions declared invalid


this is pretty bad. can you imagine finding out that your mohel was no good so your mila is invalid and you have to do it again? Bad enough at 8 days, can you imagine having to redo it at 20 or 30 or 50 years old???

According to this report, a mohel from Russia, in the Saratov region, was invalidated by the Vaad Harabonim of the area due to it having been discovered that in 1991 he went to a festival in Zitomar in the Ukraine and at the festival ate pork. The rabbonim decided that this mohel was unreliable and unfaithful. He kept his secret hidden for 6 years until it became known, but in the meantime had circumcised 150 Jewish babies.

1997 is more than 20 years ago, so I dont know why they are only deciding this now, but still, can you imagine being told you have to redo your bris at age 25? Hopefully the rabbonim will only require the extraction of a drop of blood rather than some more invasive medical procedure..



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UN Ambassador Nikki Haley at FDD's National Security Summit (video)






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Palestinians: Are there many conspiracies against Palestinians? (video)






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Synagogues of England (video)







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Rav Lau sings Mah Tagidu Lo with Japanese (video)

very strange, but enchanting





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Aug 29, 2018

Mayor of Haifa Yona Yahav went to meet with Minister of Interior, and more specifically head of Shas, Aryeh Deri to try to make a deal to have Shas support him in the upcoming mayoral race in Haifa. Yahav is a bit beleaguered, as Degel Hatorah has been very anti Yahav, claiming he discriminates against their community in Haifa. Meanwhile Aguda has already declared support for him.

I don't know what will come out of it, nor do I have an opinion on Yahav's status as mayor of Haifa. The most interesting thing about this meeting is the following picture (posted in Haredim10)


Deri is wearing sunglasses indoors, in his office? Who does he think he is - Rav Ovadya Yosef?





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Quote of the Day

I am completely at peace with myself. I acted as was necessary. I went with my truth. I acted appropriately and everything that happened should not have. I have no regrets. I have no doubt that if you would put me back now to the same moments as the incident in hebron - I would do the exact same thing. Because that was the right thing to do.

  -- Elor Azariah




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Why I Donated a Kidney (video)







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ChasidiStock: Women Singing (video)

obviously, kol isha





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Got a note for God? His inbox is empty (video)

cute title





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