Jul 24, 2019

Muslim Arab Israelis: Who do you want as your government? Israel or Palestine? (video)







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Tel el-Ful - Abandoned Jordanian Palace | Jerusalem (video)







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Just Be Yourself - Avraham Fried & Zemiros Choir (video)

A few years ago, Avraham Fried introduced the world to a famous saying from the Kotzker Rebbe ZT”L through a song. The song titled “Ich Bin Ich”, featured this tongue twister in Yiddish, which was a unique and unusual way for the Kotzker Rebbe ZT”L to say, “Just Be Yourself”. Now with the three weeks upon us, Avraham wanted to take this opportunity and make this amazing message more universal. He chose this time of year when it is more important than ever to remember to be the best “you” and love your fellow friend like they were you. When tasked with how to turn the original track into acapella for the 3 weeks, Avraham approached Zemiros Choir’s director and arranger Yoily Polatseck to take the reins. Zemiros and Fried have worked together many times over the past ten years, so it’s no wonder they sound so good together. Gershy Schwarcz who recently joined Yoily and his team at the Zemiros Choir, is also a producer and mixing engineer at Edgware Studios in Monsey. Together, both Yoily and Gershy worked tirelessly night and day, and created a phenomenal sound. Yoily with his magical touch was able to add a beautiful and modern vocal twist to the song while still keeping the Yiddish “Taam”. Being that no real instruments were used in the process of this arrangement, Gershy added his touch both sonically using his engineering skills and vocally together with Yoily, by imitating the instrumentation vocally to perfection. Now all that was needed was the visual element to really drive home the theme of the song. That is where veteran video producer Menachem Weinstein came in. He took the simple idea of the song and what Yoily and Gershy created with the vocals, and weaved his magic, creating a vibrant video in which everyone will be reminded to be the best they can be. Enjoy! #JBY (Just Be Yourself)






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Jul 23, 2019

Ehud Barak apologizes again

So, how many more times is Ehud Barak going to apologize to the Arab community for the events of the year 2000? Does he expect his apology to be accepted and all forgiven just because he said it? Why did he feel he needed to apologize again - if his first apology years ago was not enough, what made him think this apology would be any different?  His apology actually seems pathetic to me, insincere, groveling and as if he has no idea what the relevant and important issues are in the year 2019  when there are other issues and nobody is even thinking about the year 2000.


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Quote of the Day

I want to relate, once and for all, to the issue of [assassinating] Haniyeh. I submitted an organized plan to the Security Cabinet. My position was clear and the one who stopped all plans, the one who prevented every initiative for an attack, was Netanyahu... everything we do, instead of initiating and leading, we respond and get dragged into things. More than once I brought requests and plans and recommendations to the Cabinet to act, to return to the policy of targeted assassinations. I am sorry to say, the one who stopped it, the one who blocked it, was Netanyahu

  -- MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beyteynu)

as far as I know, this is the first time Lieberman is commenting on his unfulfilled promise to assassinate Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas within 48 hours of becoming Defense Minister - a promise that has become somewhat of a national joke. And suddenly he is blaming it all on Netanyahu. I'd like to hear responses form other Cabinet members, but I doubt anyone would say anything, let alone the truth.



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Aliza Bloch offered position to head Ichud Hayemin

According to this report, MK Motti Yogev has confirmed that Ichud Hayemin is opposed to Ayelet Shaked heading the list only because she is not religious and not because she is a woman. To prove that Yogev revealed that they approached Dr Aliza Bloch, mayor of Bet Shemesh, and offered her to head the list for Knesset.

Yogev does not say what Bloch responded. Presumably she responded the same way she responded during the previous elections when she rejected a similar proposal saying that her work right now is in Bet Shemesh.

On the other hand, perhaps this would be the perfect opportunity for Bloch to relieve herself of the tzurres of Bet Shemesh. Recently it seems to have gotten to be a headache as the attacks on her and her regime have increased after an initial relatively quiet period.

I have not heard otherwise so I am assuming she is staying in Bet Shemesh, but anything can happen!




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more and more performers are refusing to perform on Shabbos (video)







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Shachor Lavan 1st episode: with Deputy Minister Yaakov Litzman (video)







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Press Conference - U S Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in Jerusalem (video)







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Synagogues of Romania (video)







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Homemade Korean BBQ Short Ribs (ft: Fleishigs) | Eitan's Outdoor Summer Cookout - Episode 3 of 8 (video)

looks good. the chef looks super young, but he looks like he knows what he's doing!






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Jul 22, 2019

Quote of the Day

When Lieberman will fulfill his promises regarding assassinating Haniyeh within 48 hours [of taking control of the Ministry of Defense], then I will start to take seriously his promises against the Haredim

  -- Deputy health Minister Yaakov Litzman

Haha! This is great!





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Picture of the Day


That is Ayelet Shaked at the press conference announcing the agreement between her and Naftali Bennett to run together under the platform of Hayemin Hechadash again, this time with her leading the party from the number 1 slot and Bennett at number 2. And in the background Bennett looks on with a beaming smile, obviously happy with the way things are turning out.

Bennett is deservedly getting a lot of praise for standing down and letting Shaked take the top spot int he party - something generally not easily done by politicians.



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Agudath Israel of America pulls siyyum app

Interestingly, in advance of the siyum hashas of the current Daf Yomi cycle, Agudath Israel of America has decided to withdraw the siyum app they recently released.

The siyyum app was mean to encourage and facilitate learning of the daily daf by bringing shiurim and other tools and aids right to your smartphone.

After some rosh yeshivas complained about the appearances of Agudath Israel of America being behind such an app, it seems to give a hechsher, a gushpanka, to people using smartphones, and that is bad and damaging.

After receiving the complaints, they conferred with the gedolei yisrael and decided that despite their good intentions, the right move is to pull the app.
source: many websites, but here is the announcement on Baltimore Jewish Life with the text of the letter from AIoA and not just the image

It is a shame, though understandable. they really cannot just do whatever they want against their own official policy. This could have been an opportunity for education, to show that smartphones can be used for good, for Torah learning, for education, for positive uses and not just games, Internet surfing and pornography. I get it though.

Interestingly, the process is strange. For an organization that prides itself on daas torah and consulting with the gedolim before doing anything, here they created and released an app, a good app, a positive app encouraging more torah learning, received complaints and instead of saying we have the approval of the gedolim because we asked them first, they said, we hear your argument, let's go ask the gedolim. So, they had such a major decision facing them that would require a significant change of policy and they did not bother asking the gedolim for guidance before making a decision. Hmmmm.




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7/20/19 Pets in Halacha and Haskafah (audio)







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Israelis: Would you allow your children to visit a Palestinian school? (video)







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Rabbi Orlofsky Show Podcast: Episode 45: The Soul of Acapella (feat. Ari Goldwag) (video)

I dont normally share the Rabbi Orlofsky Show podcast episodes here but because this is acapella season, I figured this one is worth sharing..





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You thought Italian ice cream was the best? Wrong. Israel has the best. (video)







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NYPD VS Hatzolah Baseball Highlights At MCU Park (video)












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Jul 21, 2019

Quote of the Day

Lies have been published saying that I was a big part of the idea for the isolated Haredi hassidic sects to come to our city. I want to clarify in a very clear manner, I was not in any way part of this. Just the opposite - I am the one fighting to prevent them from coming here.... I am trying to advance alternate housing solutions for the isolated Haredi hassidic sects in other cities, and to that end I have recruited government offices that are willing to help.

  -- Mayor of Harish Yitzchak Keshet

Keshet is referring to the debate over to let groups such as Toldos Aharon move into Harish. Keshet is against it, as he has said before, saying that while general Haredim are fine (and Keshet himself is a haredi-ish baal teshuva), bringing in a group from sects like Toldos Aharon is just asking for trouble. The solution generally seems to be let them be someone else's problem. Instead of solving the problem somehow, building them their own community or integrating them successfully in some way, just send them to someone else's town and let them cause trouble there instead of in my backyard... I get why. Being from Bet Shemesh, I totally get it. Just sad that they could make themselves so hated and that nobody in any position of influence is really working on solving the issue rather than just kicking it a little more down the road.




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nearby haredi residents complain about Bet Shemesh allocation to IDF Prep School

The new Bet Shemesh Haredi anti-Bloch website Aspaklaria is reporting about an allocation of land granted to Yeshivat Hakotel for the formation of a Mechina Kdam Tzvait - an IDF prep school.

The allocation is in the area of Rashi St, near Yeshivat Reishit.

I would note that the allocation is temporary, for one year with an option to extend for up to another two, as can be seen in the Iryah notice. 

According to Aspaklaria, the allocation has been approved. They also say that the Haredi residents of nearby Bar Ilan St are upset that an allocation is being granted to an institution from outside the city while they continue to fight for approval for allocations to open nursery schools for their children - the children of local residents.

the Haredi news media on Twitter, Haskupim, also announced this issue on Friday. They described the location of the allocation as being "near a mitchared neighborhood".

So, the complainers feel not only do they deserve first rights to allocations in the Haredi neighborhoods, which is surely a good argument, and also in mitchared neighborhoods, which might be a good argument but is at least debatable, but now also they have first dibs on anything near mitchared neighborhoods! Nobody else gets anything. Anything near where a Haredi person might one day live has to go to them first!

Without discussing the merits, or lack thereof, of this specific allocation and institution, as I do not know why it was decided they deserve the allocation more than any other institution requesting it, nor do I know if any other institution was requesting this plot of land, nor do I know anything about this specific situation, I would say this this land is not in a Haredi neighborhood. It is not far from a neighborhood that some Haredi families have moved into in recent years and has become known as a "mitchared"neighborhood, a neighborhood in the process of becoming haredi, but this plot is not in that mitchared neighborhood, and I would say they deserve it no more than any other institution. Maybe if the plot under debate was actually in their neighborhood then I would have mroe sympathy for their complaint, but this is a plot in a different neighborhood that is nearby and actually seems to fit very well with the overall character of that neighborhood.

Should a plot be allocated to an institution from outside the city while their are already internal needs waiting to be dealt with? That question is above my pay-grade, but I would note that the local Haredi press never complained before when allocations were granted around Bet Shemesh to Haredi yeshivas from outside the city as an enticement to move to the city.

Also, they are only external/foreign institutions until the day they move in. Once they move in to Bet Shemesh, they are now a local institution, so I am less sympathetic to this complaint. Plus, in this instance, it is not a foreign institution, but a new institution being built and formed, albeit by a parent institution from outside the city. Should nobody be able to move to Bet Shemesh, open businesses and open schools and institutions until this or that person or community gets all his needs met?

Overall I have no general problem with this allocation or institution, and while the residents of Bar Ilan St might have a complaint about their needs not being met, those concerns and fights, justified as they might be, have nothing to do with this allocation.




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Frum man scamming McDonalds or legitimate lawsuit?

It seems a Lubavitch man applied for a job on McDonald's (not kosher, in the USA). McDonald's responded that if he wanted the job he would have to shave his beard. The applicant offered to keep his beard in a net, but he could not shave it off as it goes against his religious principles. McDonald's said that will not work for them and did not give him the job - the applicant claims only because of the beard, as he says was told by the manager that he would have the job if not for that policy violation.

The applicant is now suing McDonald's for violation his religious freedoms and denying him a job for a reason that goes against his religious principles. He applied for the job, and was rejected, in 2016, so he is suing now, in 2019, for back wages for the 3 years he would have been employed by them had they not violated his religious freedom.
source: Newsweek

One fact I left out is that he had applied for work as a maintenance worker, not as a food server or as a cook. I can understand the beard policy with no compromise for someone in a position handling food, but as a maintenance worker changing lightbulbs, fixing leaky sinks, touching up the paint job, adjusting loose chairs, and the like, I do not see why they cannot compromise on this policy in situations of religious needs. I guess the New York Yankees (now known as the New York Savages) also have a strict no facial hair policy with no compromises ever given, so maybe there is something more to it then a loose hair falling into the food and more of a uniform clean look as part of their corporate image.

I have seen online in social media many people claiming this guy is a fraud and he simply found an easy lawsuit he is looking to make money off. There is no way, they claim, that a frum guy would apply to work, for real, in a McDonald's, so the entire application was just a scam looking to build a case for an eventual lawsuit.

I have no way to know this guy's motives, but I do not see why that has to be true. Today in the USA pretty much anybody can work anywhere with no real limitations. This guy was not applying to serve or prepare treif food, that might be a halachic problem and surely he would not want to do that, but to work in the maintenance department. I doubt there is anything halachically inappropriate about working in McDonalds or in other treif restaurants in a non-food capacity, such as cleaning the toilets, changing the lightbulbs, painting the walls, and all the other issues that require the attention of the maintenance people. In the Land of the Free, in the land of opportunity and freedom, in the current millennium, people can pretty much find ways to do almost anything with few, if any limitations.

While I can understand why some frum people might look at this as a scam and an easy lawsuit, I see no reason this cannot be legitimate. 




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Facebook Status of the Day





Translation (taken from Stu Schnee who translated it to a closed FB group):
A message from Deputy Mayor, Moshe Shitrit of The Likud - Beit Shemesh:
Big News! Starting next year, American football in Beit Shemesh!
I’m happy to update that the Judean Rebels which plays in the first American football league in Israel, will represent Beit Shemesh starting next year. Their junior team will also move to Beit Shemesh. Both teams are leaving Jerusalem for Beit Shemesh due to the encouragement and support of local football fans with the backing of Beit Shemesh’s City Hall.
Games will be held at the new Beit Shemesh stadium on Rt. 38.
Picture: from the first meeting of Moshe Shitrit with representatives of the Judean Rebel’s and the football league.
Shabbat Shalom!


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Kubi should kill the Shabbus in Tiberias

Reports have been saying that the "Shabbos bus" in Tiberias yesterday only had two passengers - Ron Kubi himself and an assistant.

Whether that is true or not, I don't know. The report is about the beginning of the line at a specific time. Maybe at other times of day there were other passengers, or maybe not. Maybe at other stops other passengers got on, or maybe not. I don't know, but the report says only two passengers were on the bus, Kubi and an assistant.

Kubi should not feel bad and should not force the issue. If people are not using the bus, it means there is not enough interest to justify it, from a financial perspective. Maybe it needs time to build up or to get people aware of it running and the schedule, to get people used to its availability and to use it? Maybe, but with the loud marketing he has done for it it seems fair to assume most people know about it. If they are not using it, just kill it. If people complain that he stopped running the bus, he can just point to the fact that they were not using it. If he wants to keep it running, ostensibly because the people want it to be available,  he should warn the people that if they don't use it he wont operate it any longer.

No harm no foul. There need be no shame in saying that people have alternate methods of transportation and don't want to use that bus he has provided.




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Cutting-Edge MedTech: 3D Printed Heart, Holograms & More! | Israel Trip (video)







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Norfolk speech after Rabbi Bauman's body found (video)







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Yair Netanyahu Speech in Alabama / Truth About Israel (video)







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The Kibbutz: Israel's Collective Utopia (video)







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Rabotai Jewish A Cappella: Shevet Achim VaAchayot (video)







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Jul 19, 2019

L'cha Dodi - Benyamin Steinberg (video)







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Jul 18, 2019

Quote of the Day

Mr Gantz, it is a shame you are being pulled along after Lapid. Though you are couching it in nicer words, it does not conceal your dangerous intentions to destroy the status quo that is in existence for decades, to arouse hatred and division, and to turn the holy day of rest for every jew to rest with his family into another weekday.

  -- Minister Aryeh Deri, responding to Gantz's statement earlier today saying that a way to operate public transportation on Shabbos respectfully for those cities that want it should be found.

Most interesting thing about this is that Deri has not said anything similar about the Likud leadership that has been saying, and doing, this very thing that Gantz talks about as a theoretical in the off-chance he becomes prime minister..



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Citizen Guetta: Episode 9: Who is profiting from Hiriya smelling so bad (video)





one thing I have learned from this series, interesting as it has been, is that screaming, ambushing CEOs at conferences, sticking cameras in people's faces, arguing, barging into offices without appointments, does not work. Even for a famous person.

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Chassidishkeit Online: Episode 5 (video)

the highlight (for me) is Nissim Black..





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Special interview with Gov. Mike Huckabee at the City of David in Jerusalem (video)







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Joshua Aaron // BRING US BACK // LIVE at the TOWER of DAVID, Jerusalem (video)







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Jul 17, 2019

Trump sends regards to Rav Chaim Kanievsky and asks about Mashiach

The haredi media is reporting about a visit  two anonymous Jewish friends of Donald Trump paid this week to Rav Chaim Kanievsky.

According to the reports, they introduced themselves as friends of President Trump and they delivered warm regards from president Trump to the rav, as he had heard great things about the rav's influence on world jewry.

It seems Rav Chaim was slightly amused but not really interested and he asked them if they have anything further to ask or discuss. It turns out they did.It turns out the burning question on Trump's mind is to find out from Rav Chaim Kanievsky when Mashiach is due to arrive. They asked him that in the name of President Trump.

Bemused, Rav Kanievsky responded turning it back on them asking what they have done recently to hasten mashiachs arrival - have they moved to live in Israel? When they answered that they have not, Rav Chaim instructed them that they should move to Israel and then we will soon see the final redemption.
sources: Behadrei, Actualic



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Kosharot now recommends Rav Auerbach hechsher as mehadrin

Kashrut in Israel can sometimes be complicated, especially if you only rely on mehadrin hechshers, and the more restrictive you get limiting your reliable kashrut list to fewer and fewer kashrut agencies the more complicated it can become (objectively speaking - determining which agencies to accept and which not to accept).

Why is it so complicated? In my opinion what makes it complicated is that standards are generally not published, and rumors abound. People talk about this or that hechsher being not reliable, and few people actually have a reason for saying that other than that being what they were told. They often don't know what policy is held by that organization that makes someone consider it not reliable or not preferable, while some people might be perfectly fine with that policy.

One of the hechshers that fall in the above category has been Rav Auerbach's hechsher on Oaf Tov chickens. Many people who eat mehadrin would say that this brand of chickens is not reliable. Rarely would I get an explanation as to why, though I have heard one or two theories over the years as to why it is not "really" mehadrin and not acceptable.

Anyways, be that as it may, Kosharot, the kashrut agency that does not supervise products or companies but raises awareness of kashrut issues and seeks to educate the public about standards of different organizations, policies and issues, has announced today that Rav Auerbach's kashrut certification on chickens has now been moved and added to the recommended list. Below is the letter published by Kosharot.

The letter states that the hechsher of Rav Auerbach on of Tov is now recommended, and the details are:
1. We have been in touch with the staff of the Of Tov slaughterhouse for several years already and have been tracking the level of kashrut, In the visits and meetings, it has become clear that welcome  changes have been implemented int he slaughterhouse to improve the kashrut level.
2. We have been deeply impressed by the positive and serious changes implemented in issues that have been submitted over the past few years
3.  It is important to note that giving complete freedom of action to the rabbonim of the slaughterhouse regarding all kashrut issues is the basis, from our perspective, for recommending this product as kashrut mehadrin.
4. Ergo, we have decided at this point to add the product of this slaughterhouse, unprocessed chicken and turkey products, to the Kosharot recommended list.
5.  If there will be negative changes in the standing and process of the slaughterhouse, or the freedom of action for the slaughterhouse rabbis will be curtailed, or if our continued entry will be limited, we will remove the slaughterhouse from the recommended list without warning.

They don't really say what changed, besides for freedom of action for the slaughterhouse rabbis, whatever that means, so we don't know what was done before that was unacceptable to Kosharot and what is being done now that Kosharot approves of. Either way, if you accept Kosharot as a source in kashrut you can now consider Rav Auerbach's hechsher on unprocessed chicken and turkey products as mehadrin.







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Ladino Festival in Tzfat upsets delicate status quo

the Haredi community of Tzfat is upset at the mayor (that they elected  - to remind you, if relevant, the Haredi community supported a secular mayor despite a Haredi mayor running in the recent electoral race).

the mayor has planned the first ever Ladino Festival in Tzfat. The festival will include a variety of performers performing throughout the city in a variety of performances, shows and workshops, including in the older part of the city that has a more Haredi population. The festival started yesterday and is running through Thursday.

According to Actualic, some rabbis in Tzfat have written the mayor a letter complaining about this breach of the status quo as such a festival has never before taken place and been held in the haredi neighborhood.

Interestingly, they see the status quo as such - they don't like the existing annual Klezmer Festival either, but don't complain about it because it has been going on for so long, but the status quo in existence is that no new festivals will be added. During the Klezmer Festival, many from the Haredi community plan to leave the city for those days. This is worse because the city is bringing singers, from around the world, some of whom are not Jewish and the Iryah brought them in to defile the city.

According to Kikar, tens of Haredim held a hafgana yesterday outside the mayor's home to protest the Ladino Festival. The mayor updated the Haredi city councilmen with information about events being planned specifically for the Haredi community over the summer vacation. I guess he knows he can buy quiet.

As always, status quo issues only ever work in one direction. And, I did not even see referenced any official status quo agreement. This one seems to be imaginary - just because the previous mayor did not organize any other festivals the community thinks now it is not allowed for anybody to do so.






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Minister Rafi Peretz's missing handshake that shook the country

There is a report about an event at which Rav Rafi Peretz, Minister of Education, officiated called the International Physics Olympiad.

3 boys and a girl won prizes at the event. Peretz is coming under criticism for not shaking the girls hand, though he shook the hands of the boys. Peretz has responded to the criticism by saying he was not familiar with the protocol of the event and because she was first, he just did not realize he was supposed to shake her hand. Presumably by the next winner he had been told or figured it out.

In defense of Minister Peretz, besides for the fact that I don't see this as a bad thing, considering he is a religious politician, he also comes from a rabbinical background, not a political one. He is not a seasoned politician, and he likely falls back on his rabbinics considering he does not yet have developed political senses.

Nobody would expect any of the Haredi politicians to shake hands with a girl, and they are careful not to in the Knesset and at State visits from foreign dignitaries and at their meetings with female professionals, and nobody says boo when they don't. Just because Rav Peretz is dati does not mean he has to compromise on those same ideals, if that is what he believes is right. Even if I think it is ok to shake hands with a woman in a professional setting, I accept that others do not.

Besides for all that, this is a contrived crisis. If you watch the video in the original report of this incident, you will see that the girl did not even extend her hand toward Peretz for a shake. He did not rebuff her attempt to shake hands. She did not stick out her hand, and he did not stick out his. This entire crisis is made up and turned from something completely insignificant into an attack.

You can see the video on Mako.





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Elon Gold's Jewish stand-up comedy (video)







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How Are Iranian Products Making Their Way into Israel? (video)







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Skill'it: The Battle Continues (video)







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The mission of Hannah Szenes (video)







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R' Mordechay Gottlieb - Nigun Gottlieb (video)







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Jul 16, 2019

reporting sexual assault in the Haredi community on the rise

the news has been reporting this afternoon about a 35 year old man in Bet Shemesh who has been arrested for attacking a 10 year old girl, with possibly other victims as well.

Kikar has added that the fellow arrested is haredi.

Of course the story and incident are troubling and difficult and I wish her the best and if this guy is guilty he should get a nice long prison sentence. Besides for that, what is promising, and relieving, about this report is that it shows that parents are no longer sitting back and not report incidents because the rabbi said not to or because it is a child who cannot be believed or because it will hurt the alleged perpetrators family and/or parnassa. Parents are showing more concern for the children (than for the communal concerns pushed by the rabbis who dissuade people from reporting) and are now reporting to the police, and the Haredi news sites are reporting on these incidents as well, though I do not expect the printed newspapers to report anything about it. Change takes time, but it happens.

It is possible that this is just one isolated case and reporting is not really on the rise, but it seems that this is accepted and acceptable now. I dont see any criticisms of how it should not have been reported, and I think the feeling is since the incident a couple weeks ago in Modiin Ilit with the 7 year old girl that this cannot be covered up any longer.

Then again, it might just be wishful thinking


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Facebook Status of the Day

In light of the construction having begun at the entrance to the city of Jerusalem that will keep the main entrance to the city closed to private vehicles for [at least] the coming 3 years...this post by Sivan Rahav Meir gets the FSotD






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Quote of the Day

We will not participate and lend a hand to turning Israel into a halachic State. If there is a need to have work on Shabbos - it will happen. There will be work on Shabbos so as not to hurt the tens of thousands of soldiers and citizens who need to use the trains. This is not any breach in any way of the existing status quo.

  -- Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis

Akunis joined the increasing voices from within the Likud talking openly about allowing work and/or public transportation on Shabbos, despite the Likud relationship with its natural coalition partners (ie the religious and Haredi parties) being diametrically opposed to such policies. And, this is in direct opposition to Netanyahu telling his people, the Likud MKs and Ministers, at an election rally yesterday to not talk about the "medinat halacha" issue anymore in any way. Despite what Netanyahu ordered yesterday, Akunis spoke about this just this morning.

While I am not sure if Likud policy has changed or not, they are definitely speaking differently in public. If this continues, at some point the voices will get too loud for the Haredi/religious parties to ignore.





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by women, for women, but women can't look at women

this is interesting...

A Dati Leumi conference, organized by the Binyan Shalem organization, for women only did not allow any images of women at the conference. At the conference for women. These women stood there looking at each other and sitting next to each other and watching women speak, but anything printed could not have a woman's face on it.

The conference included lectures, shiurim and booths. The booths, selling clothes and other stuff, could not be adorned or decorated with images of women.
source: Srugim

This craziness has crazily spread to even more crazy applications. At a conference for women, only they could not see images of women in print!!









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Is "normal" the same for Rav Tau and for Avigdor Lieberman?

Avigdor Lieberman's new campaign ads is really a spoof on Donald Trump's presidential campaign "Make America Great Again". Avigdor Lieberman is campaigning to "Make Israel Normal Again"


ok. but with Rav Tau's new NOAM' party running a similarly-themed campaign, with the slogan "A Normal Nation In Our Land", it makes me wonder if perhaps Tau/Noam and Lieberman/Beyteynu will be merging or running together as a technical bloc...


Just joking. There is no way these two fit together. Funny though that they both want to make Israel "normal", each according to its own definition. What does "normal" mean to you? It is too subjective a word to be used so ambiguously...


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Ehud Barak's Falafel Fiasco (video)

Ehud Barak put out the following snarky election campaign video. The video does not discuss policies in any way but is a dig at Netanyahu who seems to never pay for himself but always has friends who pay for him. I like the snarkiness of the video.

The fiasco is that during the video, Barak pulls out his credit card to lecture Netanyahu. Barak did not bother getting a fake card, covering the number or turning it over. Thus, Barak exposed his actual credit card information to the entire world - or at least to the people who watch his videos. After realizing what happened, Barak was forced to cancel the card and have a new card issued. I can't wait to see how Netanyahu uses this fiasco in a coming response video.




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IDF Rabbinate: the next chapter in Tanach (video)







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Skill'it: The Battle Begins (video)

Get the edge of your seat ready, as 4 passionate cooks take on the ultimate challenge to be the best. They'll face a new challenge each week, a panel of expert judges, a relentless clock, and of course—each other. They'll be judged by the ever creative Chef Gabe Garcia, Executive Chef of Tierra Sur and star of Under the Hood, and Chef and Owner of the legenday Los Angeles restaurant, La Gondola, Chef Nir Weinblut. Today, the judges are joined by guest judge Drew Rosen, of Nes Events, the premier kosher caterer in Los Angeles. With host Elon Gold, watch as they battle it out and stay tuned for episode 2 next week!






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The Grotesque Golem of Jerusalem - Niki de Saint Phalle (video)







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Thank You, Modeh Ani by Jeremy Gimpel - (Official Music Video)







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Jul 15, 2019

Picture of the Day



This is the fine paid by Radio Kol BeRama to the Kolech organization for having discriminated against women. This is 30,000nis in 10 and 50 agora coins. They did this as an act of protest for Kolech trying to intervene and try to change Haredi lifestyle.

I am assuming this is just part of the payment as the original fine was 1 million shekel. When Kol Berama appealed to have it lowered and Kolech counter-appealed to have it increased (to 20 million), both appeals were rejected. Either the fine changed and I didnt hear about it or this is just partial payment.

I remember back when I was in yeshiva high school, the mashgiach would fine repeat offenders for various things, such as coming late to shacharis or late for seder, and other things like that. There were always a few guys that were always getting into trouble, and every now and then they would come up with this bright idea to pay the fine, usually 5 or 10 dollars depending on how frequently it happened, in pennies. It was always good fun for a bunch of teenagers.




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Feiglin and the balagan in Zehut

As much as Moshe Feiglin has always said he is not the focus but Zehut is the focus, the ideas are the focus, and he can leave one day and someone else will take over and everything will be the same, that was never really true. Moshe Feiglin was always the focus, always the issue. Feiglin is the draw for his supporters, not Zehut. They never put up anybody else to share the spotlight and to try to attract voters, because Feiglin has always been the guy for Zehut.

On Friday Zehut had a crisis. It seems Moshe Feiglin has been fighting with the controlling board and reserving a high spot on the list for a personal appointment. The steering committee has rejected Feiglin's request and has refused to allow him to appoint his guy to the spot he wanted to. The steering committee points to the recent primaries held, open primaries that Moshe Feiglin himself devised and was so proud and boastful of, and says we cannot change that. Feiglin resigned from Zehut.

Feiglin resigned from Zehut.

Feiglin resigned from Zehut.

Basically that means the end of Zehut.

Everyone was in a tizzy. Events were quickly canceled and nobody knew what would happen to Zehut at that point. Shortly after, Feiglin took his spot back revoking his resignation, after being bombarded with requests and also after some scheduled event in Afula insisted he still come and remain in his position.

Feiglin rescinded his resignation, and in his place, most of the members of the steering committee resigned. He was left with a few other of his people. Feiglin canceled the results of the primaries and appointed 22 people and spotted them according to his own desires.

It looked like Zehut is dead in the water, but they are at least going through some serious problems that they might or might not work their way out of.

Reports have them today trying to come to an agreement and put this all behind them.

Whatever happens, with this balagan it seems unlikely any party will agree to a merger with Zehut, even just as a technical bloc. Whatever happens, many people who supported them or thought about supporting will likely stay away - nobody wants to be involved in such a chaotic party. Their chances of success were already not great, based on history, and this makes it all that much more difficult. Whatever happens, the open primaries they were so proud of, the symbol of being the most democratic party in Israel (in their words), has all been wiped away and Feiglin/Zehut is no better than Yair Lapid, Ehud Barak, UTJ, Shas, and all the other parties that appoint their people as per the wishes and whims of someone rather than through primaries - this is generally fine as most parties do it but when you have bragged about your primaries, this is no longer fine.

Zehut is all Feiglin, and it always has been.




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changing the nusach of the prayer for the welfare of the IDF soldiers

According to Kipa, a proud grandfather of a female soldier int eh IDF has appealed to have the text of the prayer for the welfare of the soldiers changed to explicitly include female soldiers as well.

Yuval Peleg appealed to the IDF Rabbinate saying that just as we daven for female soldiers who died in battle, we should not wait until after death to daven for them but should equally daven for their welfare when serving int he army before battle.

Peleg wants the text to says "לחיילי וחיילות צה"ל"  just as in the yizkor memorial prayer it says "sons and daughters.

The IDF responded saying it is not up to them and the prayer is said in civilian synagogues, so the appeal should be presented to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Peleg did so and Rabbi Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel, said he has submitted it to the Rabbanut council for debate and discussion of the matter.

I get his point comparing it to yizkor, but davening for "the soldiers of the IDF" includes all the soldiers, male and female, so it seems unnecessary, but I also see nothing wrong with it. If it makes people feel better, I see no reason not to make the change. The only issue I can possibly foresee is the Rabbanut not wanting to be seen as encouraging women to serve, by changing the text. The reality though is that many do serve, whether the Rabbanut wants them to or not, so we should daven for them and their safety.



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Kubi fails to pass budget, opens separate beach on Shabbos

 Mayor of Tiberias Ron Kubi announced today that the newly renovated separate beach will be open to the public on Shabbos. And entry will be free.

I assume that means the mixed-gender public, since the religious (who want separate swimming) wont be using it that day.

This is actually a result of last night's city council meeting in which Kubi had his last opportunity to pass the budget. Being that the budget did not pass, the City Council has been dispersed automatically. The councilmen will be given a disciplinary hearing to determine ii they acted in good faith. In a couple of weeks the mayor will be given a hearing to determine if he acted in good faith. Then a decision will be made by the Minister of Interior, Aryeh Deri, as to whether to appoint a council to run the city and remove Kubi from the position of mayor or whether to let Kubi continue running the city.

During the meeting last night, one of the threats waged by Kubi to try to "encourage" the city council to vote for the budget was that if they don't he would open the separate beach on Shabbos. So it looks like he is keeping that promise.

What are Kubi's chances of survival? There is no way to know. There are actually 5 towns around Israel int he same position, and Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri will have to be careful to treat all similarly, so as not to give any room for Kubi to claim Deri just wants him out. I am not really sure why he is fighting to stay in Tiberias, considering that he already announced he is running in the upcoming national elections, meaning he is leaving Tiberias politics anyway. I would guess the fight is to keep his name in the news and will serve his electoral campaign.

If Deri removes Kubi from office, which seems reasonable, Kubi will surely appeal it to the Supreme Court. he will claim that Deri is opposed to him and just wants him out. he will claim that the city council, likely at the behest of Deri, turned their noses against the desires of city residents and refused to join his coalition and to vote for the budget, just to remove him. A conspiracy of sorts against him, rather than truly working for the good of the people who elected him directly. How his arguments will be received by the Supreme Court I don't know, but this isn't over and it will be in the news for weeks to come...

In the meantime, I am pretty sure all the Haredi politicians looking at Tiberias and saying "take that" and saying that all other cities and mayors who want to mess with Shabbos should see what we did to Kubi, should calm down a little. Talk like that will only help Kubi show that there is a conspiracy against him.


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Citizen Guetta: Episode 8: who profits form addiction to cigarettes? (video)







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Israelis: As former refugees, do you feel sympathy for Palestinian refugees? (video)







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Michael Neuman competes on Million Dollar Mile (video)

check out this proud Jew!






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Jason's Tomb - Jerusalem (video)

interesting. never heard of this..





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Nati Broyde Sings National Anthem In Boulders Stadium on Jewish Heritage Day (video)







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Jul 14, 2019

is Ehud Barak bringing back his civil revolution?

I anyone thought Ehud Barak was trying to cozy up to the Haredi parties by talking about canceling the entire draft law, he's got another think coming. I thought it was strange at first, considering Barak as Prime Minister way back when in the year 2000 ran a program he called the civil revolution in which he tried to roll back the religious influence on daily life of general Israelis.

Back then it was pretty bad and intense. The religious and Haredi parties saw it as a direct attack on them. The friction was intense, and when Barak authorized the transport of a massive transformer by the electric Company on Shabbos that brought about his downfall as religious parties backed out of supporting him.

People thought this time along might be different, as he remembers what brought about his downfall last time and as he sees the difficulty presented to Gantz considering the strong connection between the Haredi parties and Netanyahu/Likud. Then Barak spoke about his plans for canceling the draft law and people were sure he is softening the Haredim up for a potential coalition.

Sure enough, that might be over. It looks like Barak's civil revolution might be back. Today Ehud Barak announced that he is committed to a number of things that he will insist be included in any government he joins. Along with cancellation of the draft law, Barak commits to establishing a final border for Israel within two years thus guaranteeing security and a Jewish majority in Israel for generations to come, free education form age 0, no lines in emergency rooms, decrease cost of living by 20% and no religious coercion - no "hadata" in the education system, yes to civil marriage within a year, and yes to public transportation on Shabbos. This is along the lines of Barak's 1999 commitment to take Israel out of Lebanon, which he kept, and his later post-election commitment to his civil revolution.





Ehud Barak is not going to be romancing the Haredi parties with these promises...





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pride event in Bet Shemesh is still on

At the end of May it was announced that there would be a pride event in Bet Shemesh (along with a list of event sin other cities around Israel throughout the summer). At some point the event was removed from the LGBT website but not from Facebook. People wondered if perhaps the event was canceled or what the story might be.

It turns out the event is still going on, is back on the website, and will be taking place on July 25th as scheduled. What the event is exactly I am not sure, but it seems to not be a parade but an event. There was talk of it being in the old city center in the plaza by the shops, but then it seemed to be moved to Naimi. No official location has yet been announced, on either page, so it is unclear where it will be, though it seems likely it will be at the plaza of Naimi Mall.

As expected, this is going to cause a crisis in town. According to Kikar, rabbonim affiliated with the Shas and UTJ parties have issued a letter to the Iryah led by Mayor Dr Aliza Bloch protesting the event and calling upon whomever possible to help get the event canceled and removed from the city, using harsh words against it. By the way, according to the Kikar article the event will be held on Hagefen st. It happens to be that Hagefen St is not in a Haredi or religious neighborhood, but Kikar associates it as such by saying it is near and overlooks Bar Ilan St that has Haredi families (Bar Ilan is a mitchared neighborhood) so it could be a point of conflict.

UTJ activists have said that if it turns out the event will be [partially] funded by the City, they will pull out of the coalition.

The official response of the City of Bet Shemesh is that the Iryah respects and takes into consideration the sensitivities of the Haredi and Dati communities in the city and is not funding or supporting this event in any way, though any needs form the education and social welfare departments will be assisted. Mayor Bloch will not be participating int he event, as she has already stated. 

Assuming no secret Iryah funding is discovered, the event should go on and not cause any actual crisis, though the police will surely be on hand to ensure quiet and deal with any public safety issues.

It looks like it is going to be a hot summer in Bet Shemesh!



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Rav Tau. The New Normal.

Rav Tau, of Har Hamor, has threatened to break off from the United Right party and form his own party. The threat has been waged to prevent the United Right from forming a union with the New Right party of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked. According to Rav Tau, Bennett is not religious enough and Shaked is a secular woman, and the two should not be associated with the United Right,a party meant to represent the National Religious, and definitely not to head the party.

While the threat is still just a threat, Rav Tau has moved forward with preparations for realizing the formation and running of such a party. A political party is being organized with personalities being chosen to run it. Now a name, slogan and logo have also been chosen (source: Srugim). The name will be "Noam", the slogan will be "a normal nation in our land", and the logo is:





I am not sure what the party name Noam means or refers to, but perhaps it is for the phrase" deracheha darchei noam" - the ways of the Torah are pleasantness.

I have no idea what " a normal nation in our land means". Rav Tau is the head of the relatively extreme edge of the National Religious - even more than the "chardal". They are closer in their personal lifestyles to the Haredi public than to the National Religious, but they believe in and support the State. "Normal" is not something I understand in the context of Rav Tau. Suddenly he wants Israel to be a normal nation, like all the other nations? While he just recently spoke out against a woman leading the national religious party? Perhaps he is expecting that whatever he is proposing, or how he wants Israeli society to be, will become the new normal.

Regardless of whether or not they have a chance to get in, they are resigned to running, if their demands are not met, and insist they will get in either this time or next. They are working for the betterment of Israel, so the possibility of causing votes to be wasted (should they not get in) does not concern them. source: Makor Rishon




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not printing women's images but listening to them sing

This is an advertisement for an event in Netanya that will be hosting the Shalva Band. Looks exciting. the event is free to the public, sponsored by the Iryah.

hattip to SK on Facebook

The funny thing about the ad is that it is missing the two main faces of the band - the singers, Dina and Anael.

Presumably, the target audience for this event is not any of the residents of Kiryat Sanz, the haredi hassidic neighborhood of Netanya, as they would not attend such an event anyway, let alone for a band with female singers. Despite the target audience not being a haredi one, the city people running this still felt it necessary to cut out womens images from the ad. And we are talking about Netanya, not Bet Shemesh, Jerusalem, Beitar, Bnei Braq or Modiin Ilit.

The funnier thing about this is that by taking Dina and Anael out of the picture, people might think this is an all-male band. Even if they are familiar with The Shalva Band, they might think, because of the advertisement, that only the male band members will be performing at this event. That means people who do not want to hear women singing will show up to this event thinking it is an all-male performance and end up hearing The Shalva Band in all its glory.

This seems to qualify as an example of the law of Unintended Consequences. I might also call it a חומרה המביא לידי קולא, a stringency that brings about a leniency, but not printing women's images is not even a chumra, just some strange hassidic hanhaga that has taken off and gone viral.




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July 12, 2019 Why are they protesting? Why is the majority leaving Yiddishkeit? (audio)







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Christian Arab Israelis: Who do you want as your government? Israel or Palestine? (video)







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Ron Kubi on Tiberias, his grandfather, Aryeh Deri and the Knesset (video)







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Mariano Rivera: I Want to Understand All About Israel (video)







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Yonina- Movement (video)







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