Mar 19, 2019

The Full Story Behind Operation Finale (video)







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8th Day - "Bring It Home" (video)









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Mar 18, 2019

Facebook Status of the Day





The Sderot Municipal FB account is asking of the Tel Aviv Municipal FB account: a little bit of noise and you got tense? you are invited to our bomb shelters - VIP guest service plus experienced hosts...


and of course the comments are great as well..

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avrahamDavid - Yehudi Ze Hachi - (Music Video)

here's a great new music video, hot off the presses... great sounding song but even better message..





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Quote of the Day

They proposed a very respectable job for me in the Israeli government.. I said to them, and I tell this to my students abroad, I do not need to be in the government, as truthfully, women rule the world anyway. I believe in all this feminine power.

  -- Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi



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a modern-day Kiddush Levana miracle!

We sometimes think that only the Hassidic rebbes of old, of previous generations, could perform outright miracles, but today's rebbes are savvy and can work things behind the scenes, and maybe they are righteous and their tefillos might help in some situations, but not actually perform an outright miracle, today.

Well, Kikar brings us a modern-day Kiddush Levana miracle performed by a modern-day rebbe!

We here in Israel all know that this past weekend, including Shabbos, was pretty rainy, baruch hashem. With kiddush levana meant to be said on Motzei Shabbos, for those who did not already say it, a rainy and cloudy sky could be worrying, especially near the end of the kiddush levana period.

Rabbi Akiva Rabinowitz, the Admor of Porisov, told his hassidim out after the melave malka to go out and say the kiddush levana. Of course they went out, but found no visible moon due to the clouds. The hassidim went back in and told the rebbe they cannot say it because of the wintry weather causing the moon to not be visible. The rebbe repeated his instructions and told them to go out anyway.

With the hassidim chuckling at his attempts, the gabbai took a towel and started to make a wiping motion towards the sky, as if wiping away the clouds. The rebbe encouraged him to continue. The clouds then began to move and moments later the moon was visible! The hassidim said kiddush levana, and all was right again.

I actually witnessed this from afar. In my minyan for Motzei Shabbos maariv, some people had not said kiddush levana the previous week so they wanted to say it then. I stayed to help with the minyan, but unfortunately the moon was covered by clouds. The clouds looked like they were moving quickly, and every few moments we'd get a peek at the moon, but not enough to say kiddush levana. Sure enough, moments later, the clouds continued to move and there was a big gap in the cloud cover exposing the moon for a nice period of time, long enough to say kiddush levana, and the guys were able to happily say it! We were not in Jerusalem at the time, but the Porisov miracle helped my friends as well!



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MK Moshe Gafni at Shishi Tarbut in Bet Shemesh (video)







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Palestinians: Why not only use peaceful resistance? (video)







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Tamar Zandberg vs Moshe Feiglin regarding legalization of Marijuana (video)

this has somehow become the hot topic of this election season...





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Kan | Jewish Country – RaBBi-Q (video)






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Like A Lullaby - YERACHMIEL {OFFICIAL} (video)







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Mar 17, 2019

good morning

All the right-wing parties talking about what they are going to do to limit the power of the Supreme Court because of its decision tonight to invalidate Dr Michael Ben Ari from running for Knesset - they have been in power ten consecutive years already regularly complaining about the SC - why haven't they done anything about it until now?



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Quote of the Day

Any of the parties telling you that they will promote public transportation on Shabbat, don't believe them. It is all slogans. When they need the Haredim to form a coalition, they will forget all of that. Peres already said that for the Haredim he would even be prepared to wear a shtreimel. Don't vote for them..

  -- Moshe Abutbol, in an election panel in Beit Chashmonai

he happens to be 100% correct




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ShishiTarbut in Bet Shemesh

Shishi Tarbut is, sort of, a spinoff of ShabbaTarbut which has been running for a long time in cities around the country. It is a cultural event where the host interviews politicians or other people in leadership positions and they discuss various issues of current events. Shishi Tarbut is a spinoff in the sense that some places wanted to be more inclusive and include the religiosu public, and religious politicians and other leaders who would not or could not participate on Shabbos, so they moved it to Friday.

Aliza Bloch brought Shishi Tarbut to Bet Shemesh, in her attempt to improve the level, and amount, of cultural events happening in the city.

I missed the first one a few weeks ago, but decided I wanted to go to the one scheduled for this past Friday, especially considering the powerhouse lineup. The event was scheduled for interviews with Moshe Gafni, Gideon Saar, Moshe Kachlon, and local city councilman Moshe Shitreet.

I was a little disappointed that the hall was relatively empty. I expected with such a lineup of interviews the place would be filled to capacity. It was only about 25%-30% full, and some people were coming and going. I get that it is a new event and many possibly do not yet know about it. Perhaps it needs to be marketed better.

Regarding the interviews, they were as interesting as expected. Moshe Gafni is extremely sharp and witty. Gideon Saar is very measured with his words, very thoughtful and stately. Moshe Kachlon is very down to earth and straightforward. Moshe Shitreet spoke about local affairs and is very open and thinks very broadly in scope. Aliza Bloch opened the event with an introduction, and all the interviewees mentioned during their talks about having met with her and working to improve Bet Shemesh and spoke, briefly, about specific issues they would be helping the city with in the future due to her efforts.







The plan is to have these regularly, though I do not know how frequently. It was mentioned that the next one will be in two weeks, but I originally thought this was mean to be once per month. I guess pay attention to the announcements around town...

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3/16/16 Credit card miles and points: Swiping for rewards, buying and selling miles, is it Assur and a Chillul Hashem or a great way for a side Parnassah? (audio)







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Aliza Bloch interview Bet Shemesh (video)







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Check the graves of Esther and Mordukhai (video)

timely for Purim





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Synagogues of Germany (video)







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Matt Dubb - Aifo? feat. Beri Weber & Haim Israel (video)







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Mar 14, 2019

My mom does mitzvos better than your mom

I think this qualifies for the weirdest or strangest campaign issue, or maybe attack, to come up so far..

Minister Moshe Kachlon attacked Lihi Lapid, Yair Lapid's wife. His attack is regarding her participation in "hafrashat challa" events - she famously hosted one such event during the last election campaign in 2015.

I have seen in the news here and there about other such events Lapid participated in, but I have not paid attention closely to it and do not know how frequently or infrequently she does these things. I do not even know why it came up now - maybe she announced participation in another hafrashat challa event, I don't know.

Anyways, Moshe Kachlon criticized her saying she does not even know  what the mitzva is and does not know what she is doing. Kachlon added "my mother did all the mitzvot, such as hafrashat challa - I dont know if Lihi Lapid understands anything about what she is doing, but my mother understood".
source: Kikar

Huh?

I have no idea if Lihi Lapid understands what she is doing or not. I also do not care. I also do not care if Mrs Momma Kachlon understood what she was doing or not. I have no idea what this about or why it came up or what Kachlon wants to get out of it. It sounds like one of those fights common among 9 year old kids - my dad is stronger than your dad..

Definitely one of the weirdest campaign issues to come up so far


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Aryeh Deri vetoes Netanyahu visit to Rav Chaim Kanievsky

Mishpacha Newspaper (link to Kikar article) is reporting that PM Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to go to Rav Chaim Kanievsky to get a bracha for success in the upcoming elections. Deri heard about the plan and vetoed the visit. he was worried that pictures of Netanyahu getting a bracha from Rav Chaim Kanievsky would only increase Haredi support for Netanyahu and help him take voters away from the Haredi parties and cause them to vote Likud.

Deri is probably right that that would have happened had the meeting taken place.

Deri should have also considered that Shas promoting Netanyahu in nearly all their campaign advertisements might also do that (there were reports yesterday that Netanyahu has benefited the most from those Shas ads, far more than Shas has and Shas is now going to change campaign strategy because of it)...

Deri already showed he controls Netanyahu (somewhat) and the government when he successfully vetoed a deal between Netanyahu, Habayit Hayehudi and Eli Yishai that had nothing to do with Shas. Now he is showing that he also controls the gedolim - not just the sefardi gedolim but also the Ashkenazi gedolim.

Aryeh Deri gets to decide who gets in to Rav Chaim Kanievsky for a bracha and who does not? Let Rav Chaim decide that - he is pretty smart and savvy and would know how such a picture could be used and he can decide to allow it or not.

Assuming Rav Chaim Kanievsky's brachas help, withholding that bracha from Netanyahu could also be a disaster for the Haredi parties who have thrown their lot in with Netanyahu. If he does not win, the Haredi parties will be in a bind for a while.


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Quote of the Day

This hurts every Haredi Jew. When Omer Yankelovitch will run by himself in his own party - let's see if he gets in then, if he did anything

  -- Deputy Minister Meir Porush, when asked in a Kikar interview about Omer Yankelevitch running in a non-Haredi party

pretty much anybody running in his own party by himself will not get in. That is the purpose of the 3.25% minimum threshold. Porush also would not get in if he ran by himself in his own party. Neither would Gafni or Litzman or Deri or most MKs. Yankelevitch also would not get in on her own, but so what? That's why she is running as part of a larger party, just like every other hopeful MK.

The main interesting part of the quote is how Porush refers to Yankelevitch as a male. Either he just made a grammatical mistake, or he does not even know who Yankelevitch is and is assuming Yankelevitch is male. The name "Omer" is not common or gender specific, so perhaps he just does not know but was told about a Haredi person running in a non-Haredi party....




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Tweet of the Day






translation:
In a moving ceremony, I today gave Israeli citizenship to Hapoel Jerusalem basketball player Amare Stoudemire, or his Hebrew name Yehoshafat. A great basketball player, a great man, a great ambassador of the State of Israel and of our capital, Jerusalem, who tied his fate with Israel. Good luck Yehoshafat!


Stoudamire recently converted to Judaism after a long connection to Israel and Judaism as someone with "Hebrew roots".

Mazel tov!

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Arab Muslim teacher in Yeshiva High School (video)




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Dr Avishai Ben Chaim interviews Mayor Aliza Bloch (video)







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UN accuses Israel of "war crimes" at Gaza border; Hillel Neuer responds (video)







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HaZamir Presents: Exploring Pitchu Li - by Cantor Gerald Cohen (video)







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Yossi Lebowitz - Retzei V'Hachalitzenu (video)







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Mar 13, 2019

Olmert as the moral authority

I find it interesting how much of a platform the media has given former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The guy sat in prison for bribery and corruption, yet every day or two the media is asking him his opinion on the state of the country and the upcoming elections.

And now he has the gall to talk about how corrupt PM Benjamin Netanyahu is and that all he talks about is words of incitement against anybody not with him.

Commenting on Netanyahu's style of incitement is not so bad. It happens to be true, and while some may not like his style, that is not corruption or illegal. Olmert commenting on how corrupt Netanyahu is and how he stole from the people is the problem - who made Olmert the moral authority? What gives Ehud Olmert any moral standing to complain about Netanyahu's corruption.

As the Rambam said, one must accept the truth from whatever the source - Olmert might be speaking truth, and Netanyahu is under investigation for all those things and if found guilty will pay for his crimes. My question is why is Olmert being given a platform and he himself should not be acting like a moral authority.



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Interesting Psak: eating dairy after meat

An avreich in Bnei Braq asked Rav Zilbershtein, rav of Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq, an interesting question about eating dairy after meat.

The avreich explained that his wife does things very slowly. Often he comes home for the lunch break after morning kollel and it takes her a very long time to make him his lunch, while he is extremely hungry. He says, today on the way home he was very hungry so he stopped in a meat restaurant to get something to eat.

Sure enough he gets home and his wife surprises him saying that lunch is ready for him! She surprised him witha hot plate of his favorite cheese blintzes!

This is called Murphy's Law. The one day she makes him lunch on time, and his favorite food, he can't eat it because he is fleishige!

Now he has a dilemma - what to do? he can't eat the dairy blintzes because he just ate meat, but if he tells her he ate meat on the way home, she'll get upset at him and it will turn into an extended fight! What to do? He asked Rav Zilbershtein if for shalom bayis he would be allowed to eat the dairy meal even though he had just eaten meat.

Rav Zilbershtein responded that he is not allowed to eat the dairy blintzes after meat. The only thing chazal allowed for shalom bayis is lying - they did not give permission to violate any other prohibition. So, he cannot eat the blintzes but he can lie for peace - he can tell her that he had eaten meat at a pidyon haben, that in reality did not happen, before he came home.
source: Kikar



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Facebook Status of the Day






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campaigns picking up steam

Finally! I love it! Even though nobody is talking much policy in this election campaign, finally they are talking about other things than which prime ministerial candidate they would recommend to the President for the formation of the next government.

As we get closer to the elections and the polls become less meaningless (not more meaningful, just less meaningless), parties are finally noticing the people they expected to vote for them might not actually do so.

So, we have UTJ attacking Feiglin, Likud attacking Feiglin, Blue and White, and The New Right. Bennett is attacking Blue and White and Feiglin. Shas is attacking Kachol Lavan, quietly the Likud, Yisrael Beyteynu, and Feiglin. Everyone is attacking the Otzma Yehudit people. Labor seems to be entirely ignored, as is Meretz, and we already know nobody will sit with the Arabs so they can be ignored as well. Kachol Lavan is attacking Feiglin, the New Right, and the Likud. Kachlon is attacking Kachol Lavan, though I haven't noticed anybody bothering to attack them..

Feiglin seems to have become a central figure - important enough to be attacked by many of the other parties who until now felt they could ignore him.

The campaigning is finally picking up a little steam and becoming interesting!




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Quote of the Day

Feiglin is irresponsible, a megalomaniac. If he says his condition for entering a government is to flood the streets of Israel with drugs - and there is no such thing as light drugs - as long as it is up to me - he will not be a part of the government. I have no intention of flowing with this golden calf, if there are a few stoners in Meretz who want to start their day with a joint - they can vote for Feiglin..

  -- MK Betzalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi)



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What Language Am I Speaking? (Round 2) | Lineup | Cut (video)

wait for the Hebrew.. (it's horrible)





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Aryeh Deri challenges Yair Lapid to a debate (video)





I would like to see such a debate... actually I would like to see any real debate between political opponents. There is no culture of electoral debates here, and when they have them they are not real debates... but I would like to see this. I hope Lapid accepts the challenge.

That being said, I am not sure why Deri is doing this. Deri's voters, generally, are not debating between Shas and Kachol Lavan. Maybe he wants the stage to get his anti-secular pro-Jewish message across and the best way to do that is opposing Lapid.

The last line he closes with is cute and funny. The truth is, nobody in Shas can do anything without Deri's permission either..

 

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Gideon Saar interview on Likud TV (video)

I like Saar..





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Shlomi Ben David's full Israel's Got Talent performance (video)

Shlomi Ben David grew up Haredi in Bnei Braq but took an unusual route following his passion for magic. they don't show his intro in this clip where he talks about that and how his mother supported him all along even though it was unusual in that community...





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URI DAVIDI - Nu Nu (Official Music Video)







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Mar 12, 2019

Interesting Psak: no need to sift flour

Rav Maor Kayam, a rav in Har Bracha and head of Machon Har Bracha, publicized a psak by which you would no longer need to sift your flour. Even in Israel.

Rav Kayam explained that in the past it was necessary to sift all flour the reality is different today. Our storage capabilities are much better nowadays. Flour produced by reputable companies and sold i responsible stores has the status of chazaka of being clean from bugs and worms.

Rav Kayam adds that even if you occasionally find  bug in your flour, that changes nothing and you still do not need to sift. The flour in general has a chazaka of being clean, and the minority in which bugs are found do not hurt that chazaka. Rav Kayam qualifies that by saying that after buying your flour you need to store it in a place and way that will not allow bugs to infest it - for example, in the refrigerator or freezer.

Another related issue is that even if you stop sifting your flour, what if you are baking for other people - do you need to tell that the flour is not sifted and let them decide whether or not to eat it?

Rav Kayam says that until recently it was necessary to sift, and people continue sifting it today even though it is no longer necessary. So, being that it was until recently a "halacha psuka", it is appropriate to be considerate of other people and either tell them or sift it when baking for others. He leaves this point as a question that needs more research.

Another added qualification is that flour that is sold but sits on the shelf for a very long time or other situations that might be problematic should still be sifted. As well, businesses should be more stringent and continue to sift, depending on their storage capabilities. The idea being, as long as storage realities are good, the flour is clean and there is no need to sift and even finding a small amount of bugs does not change that reality.
source: Srugim





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Tweet of the Day




I am not sure how this validates that the future of Israeli tech lies in the inclusion of the ultra-orthodox and Arab communities. Sure it is important for everyone - for the industry, for the people, for the ultra-orthodox, for the Arabs, for the economy, but the future is dependent on it? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. 


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solution for distracted walkers

Sometimes we get so caught up in our phones that we become oblivious to everyone and everything around us. This unfortunately happens while we are driving, and it is very dangerous. It also happens while we are walking down the street - we bump into things, we failt o notice traffic patterns and crossing lights, we nearly bump into things, we become obstructions for other people, and it can also be dangerous as pedestrians on their phones have been hit by cars as they step into a street not noticing oncoming vehicles. It has happened to me occasionally and I have seen it happen to other people.

The City of Tel Aviv is trying something new to help to phone zombies among us and keep them safely moving across streets. They have installed led light strips at a number of major intersections, on a trial basis for now.

With people regularly looking down at their phones, the will notice the led light at the edge of the crosswalk indicating that they should cross the street. If the trial is deemed a success, the led lighting on the street edge will be expanded to other intersections across the city.
source: The Jewish Press

This is a fabulous solution to an ever-increasing problem. We still need solutions for the distracted drivers but at least this will help the distracted walkers.



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Quote of the Day

I wish that the Labor Party would respect women as much as we do. You only know to attack us and to preach morality. In my role as mayor I integrated women in all key roles in City Hall, and not in a denigrating way as Avi Gabbay did with Tzippi Livni..

  -- Moshe Abutbol, Shas candidate for Knesset, at an election panel in a Tzur Hadassah school




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Uggs & Shatnez (video)

I never heard of anybody checking shoes for shaatnez until this situation arose...





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Yehiel Kalish in the Illinois House on anti-semitism (video)






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Shabbos meal with Mrs Revia (video)

from Israel's Got Talent...





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I Was Spat Out By A Whale | SNAPPED IN THE WILD (video)

[nearly] a modern day Jonah...





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Two Great Emotions - YERACHMIEL {OFFICIAL} (video)

The third single from the upcoming album "Off The Derech" by Yerachmiel. Chana Leah Reich grew up in a strict religious community and is now on her journey of figuring out what works for her and what feels right. She works as a waitressand can be found many nights dancing through the streets of Jerusalem. Shes not yet sure where here odyssey will lead her but shes in for the ride... For the longest time Jewish womens voices have been silenced, shunned and shamed. Help support creative Jewish music that showcases and empowers woman to be imaginative, creative and free!





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Mar 11, 2019

Smotrich's contradiction regarding the Chief Rabbinate

Yes, UTJ is back to using Facebook.

They have reopened their Facebook page - the same one they used prior to the last elections after which they shut it down - and have started posting election campaign material to the page. After a little bit of controversy among the UTJ activists as to whether or not they should use this presence and if it is official, they decided to keep it active because some Haredim are using the social media sites even if they should not be and UTJ does not want to give upon even a single vote they believe should be going to them.

Today UTJ posted an attack on Betzalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) on their FB page.

They posted two quotes from Smotrich, each said just a couple of days apart form the other.
"Last Friday Smotrich said - we have to protect the Kotel according to halacha and the customs as determined by the Chief Rabbinate"
"On Sunday Smotrich said - 30 years of Haredi rule in the Chief Rabbinate has brought about a chilul hashem"
What happened in between? There was a poll that showed the movement of half a mandate from Habayit Hayehudi to Feiglin's party and that caused him to lose all his values and express an irresponsible denigration of the Chief Rabbinate.
Betzalel, you need to decide: the Rabbanut or polls?

The truth is those two statements are not contradictory. One can believe that the Chief Rabbinate should have the ultimate authority in setting rules and customs and behavior at the Kotel must follow those rules. At the same time, one can also believe that the people controlling the rabbinate have been doing so improperly and have caused a chilul hashem. According to Smotrich the control of the Chief Rabbinate must return to Religious Zionist hands (he said so explicitly - they only quoted the part of what he said that was relevant to them) and they will bring the Rabbinate back to its former glory. All the while, the rules of the Chief Rabbinate at the Kotel must be adhered to. No contradiction at all.

I get that they do not like that Smotrich was criticizing them and Shas for corrupt rule over the Chief Rabbinate (a period of time that has seen the decline in the authority of the Chief Rabbinate, has seen a Chief Rabbi go to jail, has seen numerous fights and scandals within), and they can fight back, but what he said was not in any way a contradiction. The Chief Rabbinate is in charge, but is currently corrupt and causing a chilul hashem. If he would say the CHief Rabbinate should not be listened to but ignored, because it is corrupt, he would lose its audience forever. Even if/when Smotrich leads the way in fixing the Chief Rabbinate (haha) and turns it into a model organization, if he says now that everyone should ignore them, he will not later have anyone following them. Nobody will come back once they have left.



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Interesting Psak: Withholding the Kollel stipend for a cellphone

It is common for kollels to make all sorts of rules and conditions to which any potential member must agree to adhere to in order to be accepted to learn there and to receive a stipend. One of the common rules nowadays is that neither he nor his family members may have a non-kosher cellphone. Having such a phone and being discovered would put the avreich at risk of losing his stipend and being asked to leave the kollel.

An avreich sent the question to Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, rav of Ramar Elchonon neighborhood in Bnei Braq, asking if a Rosh Kollel halachically is allowed to make the stipend he gives to the avreichim conditional on not having a non-kosher phone, and if he has one and it gets discovered if the stipend can be withheld or lessened as punishment.

Rav Zilbershtein responded that any avreich having such a device is not worthy of being called an avreich and does not qualify for the kollel stipend.

Rav Zilbershtein adds that this is also the case even if the Rosh Kollel did not make this a rule or condition of the kollel. Someone with a treif phone cannot be considered an avreich. An avreich, Rav Zilbershtein explains, is a ben torah whose entire day is focused on torah - someone with such a device does not have the ability to focus even for a moment on Torah and the beis medrash will not help him.

Further, the Rosh Kollel has the ability to ensure that the money he works hard and sweats to raise will go to the hands of talmidei chachomim and not to houses with this plague of non-kosher phones, so even if he does not use one but his wife does, the Rosh Kollel can withhold the stipend. If there is a real reason why she must have one, they can tell the Rosh Kollel and if he thinks it is justified, they will find a solution that will be acceptable to everyone involved.
source: Kikar





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Quote of the Day

From my perspective, the Chief Rabbinate has undergone a difficult process of a hostile takeover by the Haredim.. It stopped being a State institution. Even its kashrut nobody accepts and everyone wants either Badatz or Beit Yosef. Nobody accepts the kashrut of their own institution. There has been a hostile takeover of institutions that were once stately by some Haredim in Israeli society. That's how the genetic testing story came to be. The Rabbanut needs to decide if it is a stately institution or an Inquisition, there is no other comparison. It is racist, demeaning and tramples human dignity... this whole entire system needs to be dismantled: the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Rabbanut - they are all in Haredi hands. The Ministry of Interior must be removed from the hands of Shas and transferred to Zionist parties. I think the Ministry of Religious Affairs as well should not be allowed to be held by the Haredim...

  -- MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beyteynu)

Lieberman is really desperate with polls showing his party not getting in.. He sat for years with the Haredi parties in government holding these portfolios and did nothing about it. He also did not do what he said he would do when getting the Defense portfolio. Does anybody think he'll actually do anything about this even if he does get in?

And besides for that, what portfolios would he allow the Haredi parties to hold? They want Haredi integration, but then get upset when the Haredim integrate..



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Palestinian Authority officials come to the aid of Netanyahu


Probably one of the most interesting news items of the day is that of a senior Palestinian staffer in the office of PA President Abu Mazen telling reporters from Israel Hayom that Abu Mazen and the PA would really prefer Benny Gantz and his party win the upcoming Israeli elections.

Two reasons were given for their preference for Gantz over Netanyahu.
1. They hate Netanyahu and his right-wing governments
2. they feel that they will be in a good position to take advantage of Gantz (and most of the people running with him) and his being a political novice. They will be able to take advantage for better terms and accomplishments in any upcoming international diplomatic initiatives.
source: Israel Hayom

If their lack of parliamentary and diplomatic experience did not worry you until now, the PA are letting everyone know openly and explicitly that they plan to take advantage of that inexperience as well.

It is almost as if they are trying to thwart Gantz's election efforts in advance. They are writing Netanyahu's campaign material all on their own...



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the Haredi who thanks the IDF soldiers all across the country (video)

amazing






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Israelis: Should Israel recognize the Armenian Genocide? (video)








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SpaceIL - Yonatan Winetraub explains "Beresheet's" journey to the moon (video)







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Rep. Zeldin Rips Ilhan Omar: 'I Don't Believe She's Naive... She Knows Exactly What She's Doing' (video)







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Daniel Zamir: Modeh Ani (video)







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Mar 10, 2019

the Arab parties never wanted in

There's a brouhaha going on with Televisio celebrity Roten Sela having said, or written on social media, a response to the talk of "we won't sit with the Arab parties" asking what is the problem with the Arabs??? Dear god, there are also Arab citizens in this country. When the hell will someone in this government convey to the public that Israel is a state of all its citizens and that all people were created equal, and that even the Arabs and the Druze and the LGBTs and — shock — the leftists are human,”.

To that Netanyahu shot back saying that we recently passed the nation state law stating that the State of Israel is not for the Arabs, Israel is not a nation for all its citizens, Israel is a country for the Jewish people, and while Arab citizens have full rights, the country is here for its Jewish citizens. Miri Regev also weighed in attacking Sela, and the fighting continues.

The truth is they are all right. Israel is a country for the Jewish people. This is a Jewish and democratic state, and it was so before the passage of the nation state law. The Arab citizens, and LGBT and all other types and races and minorities, all have equal rights and full rights and benefits and are all humans and must be treated with dignity, but the country is one for the Jewish people.

That being said, Sela's attack, and that of her backers and supporters, are all missing a point. As much as the Jewish parties have been saying they won't sit with the Arab parties, the Arab parties have always refused to sit with the Jewish and Zionist parties in a government. Even when approached for consideration they said no. They at times have been willing to support government initiatives form the outside, but as much as the Jews kept the Arabs out of government coalitions, the Arabs have kept themselves out as well, always refusing to even discuss entry..

Whether or not that might change at any time in the future I do not know, but as of now, the Arab parties have never been willing to consider joining a government.

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campaigning on Rav Ovadia

Shas is mainly featuring two figures in its election campaign ads - Benjamin Netanyahu and Rav Ovadia Yosef. I am not even sure which one of the two takes a backseat to the other, as both are featured very prominently and in most of the ads.

I am finding the Rav Ovadia inclusion (at the level it is at) very interesting. Rav Ovadia Yosef died 6 years ago. Yet he still is the main, or one of the main figures in the Shas campaign ads. Shas has had a new leader since then, yet he plays a small, almost negligible, role in this, little beyond the posek/adviser behind the scenes. Other prominent Shas figures play little to no role. The accomplishments of Shas play nothing more than a small role in the campaign, as do their plans for the future.

Is the memory of Rav Ovadia still so strong in the people's minds that using his image is what will capture the voters? I guess we'll find out.




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Yossi Deutsch disappointed me

Yossi Deutsch was very impressive in his recent run for mayor of Jerusalem, even though it was a doomed campaign from the start. Deutsch broke stigmas, he was unique, he was fresh and refreshing, he crossed sectoral lines and directly reached out to all sorts of people he would not normally converse with, he spoke directly and openly and clearly. Obviously not enough people were impressed, as he lost in the first round, but many people were, myself included. Based on the campaign Yossi Deutsch ran I could have seen myself voting for him had I been a resident of Jerusalem.

Yossi Deutsch just disappointed me, and not because of his recent, and continued, defense of Yaakov Litzman regarding his allegedly helping Malka Leifer avoid extradition in an illegal way.

During his campaign Deutsch spoke about doing things differently, seeing the person and not just the sector, breaking stigmas and molds. He asked that people not look at what he wears, how he dresses, which group he is part of, but to look at him for his ideas and his creativity and his plans. He made what seemed like a strong friendship with fellow candidate Ofer Berkovitch, even though they were opponents in the same race, and his concept of breaking stigmas seemed serious.

In an interview with Kikar, one of the questions asked was whom did he vote for in the second round of the Jerusalem elections. I was disappointed to see that Deutsch voted for Moshe Li-On, the eventual victor and current mayor.

In the video interview on the site (this info is not included in the text summary), Deutsch says it is clear he voted for Li-On and that was the only option because that's what the gedolei hatorah said to do.

Even though I cannot have expected otherwise of Yossi Deutsch, as a Haredi person, and a Haredi public figure, he could not really do anything but vote according to the instructions of the gedolim - that is how the party works. Yet I am disappointed. After a long campaign of him pleading with people to not vote along party lines, to not vote according to stereotype and stigma, to break all that and see the person and do something different, he himself did just that - he voted along party lines, he vote the way he voted because he is haredi and could not consider any other option. I am disappointed to discover that Yossi Deutsch was a fraud and just figured out a good campaign line but did not really live by anything he himself said.






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Interesting Psak: dropping a client

Someone in the printing and graphics business ran into what he thought might be a halachic problem and asked Rav Yiztchak Zilbershtein what to do.

He is a Haredi fellow owning a printing house and got a big job from a secular person, requesting he print a large sign, a meter by a meter and a half. They then wanted to add the picture of the female agent, and when they added it in a small size, the client requested the picture be enlarged to the size of 40cm x 5cm.

The question is, can he continue and print the sign or must he stop and cancel the order. The problem being the portion of the sign that will have a picture of a woman.

Rav Zilbershtein responded that causing the public to sin i s a very serious prohibition, even if it is only regarding the transgression of a light sin and definitely for such a serious transgression such as the issue of guarding one's eyes and how it affects one's spirituality, and teshuva cannot be done for this.

If the issue was one of preventing a loss, perhaps we could discuss whether that overrides the problems of "lifnei iver'- placing a stumbling block in front of others - and "lo tasuru" - not causing people to stray. However, this is not an instance of preventing loss of money, but of preventing profit. Receiving parnassa for something as disgusting as this cannot be considered "bhetter", so he should give up the job and tell the client that as a religious, torah and mtizva observant Jew, he cannot make a living from such bad things.
source: Kikar


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3/9/19 If you have a limited amount of time…What should you be learning? Daf Yomi? Halacha? Chumash? Chassidus? Hashkafa? Etc.. (audio)







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Israelis: Where is the Ark of the Covenant? (video)





I cant believe not a single person mentioned Raiders of the Lost Ark...

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Test Drive with Eli Yishai (video)







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Synagogues of Germany (video)







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Yonina- Mishe Mishe (video)







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Mar 7, 2019

Quote of the Day

There is nothing more vulgar that what is being done to Litzman. Leifer is not a Gerrer chassid, they simply turned to him for help, and he helped. His telephone is open to all citizens. Have we become Sodom?

  -- Jerusalem City Councilman Yossi Deutsch

If the allegations against Litzman end up being proven as true, perhaps we have become Sodom.

Again, nobody is upset at Litzman, or investigating him, for helping citizens who turn to him for help. Litzman is being accused of, and investigated for, pressuring doctors to falsify medical records to help an accused extremely violent sexual predator avoid extradition to pay for her crimes (if found guilty). he is welcome to continue helping all citizens with their problems, as well as he possibly can, just not to be done in an illegal way. I hope Litzman is found innocent because I hope he had the seichel to not do what they say he did, but all his peers should stop acting as if he is being investigated simply for helping people who needed help



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Interesting Psak: smoking Parliament cigarettes on Yom Tov

The issue of smoking on YomTov has been discussed many times and very thoroughly by the poskim and by those who learn the topics in depth. The debate revolves, largely, around whether or not smoking is nowadays still considered important or appropriate for all people equally. Nowadays when there is a taboo against smoking and while some continue to smoke cigarettes many do not, perhaps smoking has lost the status it once held as being appropriate for everybody.

There is now a new halachic debate about smoking on yomtov, but it isnt the act of smoking that is the subject of the debate. Rather, it is a new problem caused by a recent redesign in Parliament cigarettes with the company including writing n the cigarette paper along with the company logo.

The problem with the newly designed cigarettes is that by smoking one is essentially erasing the written text.

The question was asked of Rav Binyamin Chuta, a posek and author a number of halacha seforim, and he responded saying that the prohibition of erasing is only when erasing words, not when the entire item with the surface on which words are written is being destroyed. He said there is still room to prohibit it and there is a debate about this point, so if relevant a question should be asked of a competent rav.

A Mir Yeshiva student who considers himself addicted to Parliament cigarettes claims that Rav Elyashiv held in a similar situation that the erasing in this manner is a problem. He says during Pesach he will smoke a different brand unless the manufacturer (Phillip Morris) solves the problem.

Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef has said that smoking these cigarettes on yom tov would be allowed because it is a "psik reisha" that he is uninterested in the results of and it is connected only to a rabbinic prohibition. Adding to that is the fact that the words are being erased in a backhanded manner, as all the smoker is doing is inhaling the smoke and not actively erasing the words directly, so one could be lenient and smoke these cigarettes.
sources: Kikar and Kikar


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the PM campaign being funded by the smaller parties

There is so little substance in this election campaign, at least as of now. Even less than usual.

For the most part, with minor exceptions, the various parties are not talking about what they plan to do or not do, why this or that is good or bad.

The overwhelming majority of the discussion involving the various parties is which candidate they will support for Prime Minister. The various parties are giving more publicity to, and investing more campaigning efforts in, Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu than they are for themselves.

Every discussion on the radio, in the news sites and on social media is about who will you, or who we will, support for Prime Minister rather than why should voters vote for you/us?

Ca we get some substance back to the elections please? I see no reason to vote for any of the parties beyond Likud or Blue and White. If these two are who all the smaller parties are pushing rather than themselves, I might as well vote for my preferred candidate directly rather than through a satellite party.

Netanyahu and Gantz are getting so much fee publicity, all paid for by the news sites and the smaller parties. They could not be running a better campaign than a campaign in which the other parties pay for their publicity!


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Omar refused the Neturei Karta

It has been reported (YWN, Behadrei) that members of the Neturei Karta went down to Congress to try to meet with Representative Ilhan Omar. They wanted to show support and thank her for her stance against Israel.

It turns out that Omar had no interest in meeting with them and refused the invitation.

The reason Omar refused is unknown..

I was able to think of two possible reasons for her refusal..

1. she is an anti-semite and does not want to meet with them, especially because they look so Jewish rather than like Liberal Left Progressive Jews. Perhaps she does not know about their anti-Israel stance and just [wrongly?] assumed she needs to hate them as well.

2. Perhaps she did her homework and knows all about the Neturei Karta. She did not want to meet with them so nobody could accuse her of being an anti-semite, and prefers to just leave the accusations to be based on things she said which she can easily claim were misunderstood, whereas a visual of her hanging out with the NKs would be more of a problem..

What are the other options



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Daniel Gordis and Peter Beinart at Harvard Hillel Reisman Forum (Feb 7 2019) (video)







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Elections 2019 Shuk Street Survey - who said what? (video)







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Naftali Bennett doing standup comedy for the first time (video)

this was funny





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U.S. Ambassador Visits Beit Jimal Monastery, March 6, 2019 (video)






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Zalman Stub - Tup Chai (video)







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Mar 6, 2019

Interesting Psak: matching campaigns or local needy?

As I have said before, I am not a big fan of these tzedaka "matching" campaigns that are so popular right now. I think they are largely a low-level scam designed to pressure/encourage people to give when they might otherwise not, to take advantage of the matching donations (which are likely fake or to be given anyway) - though I am confident that there are some organizations that are running real matching campaigns as well.

Despite my misgivings, these matching campaigns are super popular right now and the calls, emails and online posts for donations to this or that organizations matching campaign just keep coming in..

Regardless of that, a group of avreichim went to Rav Dov Landau, Rosh Yeshiva of Slabodka Yeshiva in Bnei Braq, and asked him if it is better to give one's tzedaka to one of these matching campaigns because it effects more tzedaka money - when I give 100nis it becomes a donation to tzedaka of 200nis including the matching donation, or is it better to give one's tzedaka to local organizations that help the local needy which has the benefit of giving to your local poor, but your 100nis donation  is just 100nis? Which is better?

Rav Landau responded that giving to your local needy is more important than to the matching campaigns.
source: Haredim10

I guess if someone would put together a matching campaign for the local needy that would be the best of both worlds!

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Lapid [unknowingly?] references medrash in attack on Netanyahu

Many people are familiar with the medrash that says the Jews merited to be redeemed from the slavery in Egypt because they kept three aspects f their identity standing out as being different from the Egyptians. They kept their names, their language, and their style of dress. The truth is that this is not exactly what the medrash says, it is really a couple of different medrashim conflated, but this is what everyone basically knows.

The fight between Lapid-Gantz and Netanyahu continues. Gantz attacked Netanyahu for moving abroad while he himself was serving in the army defending Israel and, now famously, commented about Netanyahu's "Boston accent", as if saying Netanyahu is a foreigner, not qualified for the premiership.

Netanyahu and the Likud attacked back, touting Netanyahu's military credentials as he served in the special forces, as he fought terror and served his country in many ways.

Yair Lapid has now joined the fray, nearly referencing the medrash I mentioned above. Lapid attacked Netanyahu saying that after changing his name to Benjamin Nitai and moved to Boston (for a couple of years), and moved to Boston to work there, that is called emigrating and leaving Israel. Lapid tempers it saying that was also 40 years ago, so no big deal, just setting the facts straight.

The whole argument is silly, but Lapid's response made me think of the medrash.




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Quote of the Day

Today I heard an interview on the radio in which Avigdor Lieberman said that Yisrael Beyteynu will request the Ministry of Interior after the elections. First of all, I am happy that he is willing to forgo the Defense Ministry for the Interior Ministry - clearly the Ministry of Interior is very important. But what really bothered them was that Shas holds the Ministry of Interior, because of our activities in the Ministry of Interior. According to them the Ministry of Interior does a DNA check on immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and that we make it difficult for potential immigrants from there to immigrate to Israel.
I admit it. There is a Law of Return in Israel. Unfortunately it has allowed masses of immigrants from the Soviet Union who are not halachically Jews to immigrate to Israel and they are here now. We are fulfilling our duties in the best possible way to check and ensure that only those really qualifying can immigrate..

  -- Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri

that DNA thing threw everyone into a tizzy.. the reactions were sharp and fast in coming...


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The First Ten

YR posted this notice he saw in a shul



The plan is to encourage people to show up to the minyanim on time so they do not need to wait for a minyan. They are offering to pay anybody who commits to being among the first ten people to show up at the minyanim. If they can do so for 30 days straight, they will each get paid 500nis (that is how I understood it, but perhaps it is 500nis to be divided among all of them). The sign says that 5 spots have already been committed to and only 5 spots remain available.

Not a bad idea, to pay for people to come and make a timely minyan... I just dont get how it will work. If mincha is at 1:30pm, and I show up at 1:20 one day and get there before most other people, have I just hurt one of the ten people who are supposed to be there first for 30 days consecutively?


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Picture of the Day



The first "selfie" posted online from the SpaceIL lunar module. The picture was taken from about 32,000km away from Earth, and that is Planet Earth in the background. As you can see, the picture is of itself, the outer panel of the module, with the plaque bearing theIsraeli flag and Am Yisrael Chai...

Can you see me waving in the background?


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KAVANA - UP TO YOU [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]







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Mar 5, 2019

showdown at the Kotel

The WOmen of the Wall have announced that in honor of the 30-year anniversary of them holding their monthly women's minyan at the Kotel, this Friday will be particularly special and their services will be made up of 1000 participating women. It will be so big they will use a sound system for the event.

They made an official request for the usage of a sound system. I am not sure what happened exactly as the article I read a few days ago said the Kotel Rabbi refused the request, but the Women of the Wall are still talking about the event with a sound system, so I am not sure what the status of that is.

Haredi leadership has just announced that they have obtained Rav Chaim Kanievsky's approval to send thousands of high school girls to the Kotel at 6:30 in the morning on Friday to oppose the chilul hashem with a grand kiddush hashem. In addition, they have planned services with participation of a couple thousand men to be accompanied by a sound system.

It will not be pretty at the Kotel this Friday, but if you are looking for some excitement, the showdown at the Kotel might be the place to be....

The truth is I am really curious to see if the Women of the Wall can really bring 1000 women, or even close to it, to participate in their services.




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Interesting Psak: good morning

Rav Bentzion Mutsafi was asked by one of his students if it is ok to say good morning to a woman collecting tzedaka money.

The student specified that this woman sits outside the shul collecting tzedaka for her family greeting every person with a 'good morning'. He said he tried to give her money when he can, but he is not able to give her tzedaka every single day. He wanted to know if he can at least say 'good morning' to her.

Rav Mutsafi responded that it is prohibited to greet the woman with a 'good morning', as it is immodest. Rav Mutsafi added that this is a new phenomenon, and a strange one at that, that women have become tzedaka collectors.
source: Kikar





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Headline of the Day

Rav of the city cries out: Avreichim have become cooks


  -- Behadrei News

In a conference about Haredi women in the workforce and encouraging the seminary students to study towards "kosher work" as teachers, one of the complaints listed by Rav Kessler, rav of Modiin Ilit, is that because of the women working full days in the secular workforce, the avreichim have become busy doing the women's work around the house and have become cooks, even at times cooking the meals for the entire Shabbos because the wife is tired from working or too busy.



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