Jan 17, 2019

Interesting Psak:

Someone asked Rav Chaim Kanievsky if the portion of his donations to Torah and chessed institutions that he later receives back in the form of tax credits is considered tzedaka as well when he give is or is only 65% of his donation considered tzedaka because he gets 35% back?

According to Kikar, Rav Chaim Kanievsky answered that he gets the mitzva of tezdaka for every penny/agora/pruta that he takes out of his pocket and gives to charity. The fact that he gets some back later does not take away at all from the tremendous mitzva he had done...




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the Rebbe's illness transferred to the goy

Kikar has a wild story running right now.

One of the Visznitzer Rebbes, Rav Yisrael Eliezer Hager, the Seret Visznitz Rebbe of Jerusalem, son in law of the Kretchnif Rebbe, was sick and admitted to the Shaarei Tzedek hospital. In the bed next to him was a sick elderly gentile (Arab?) man.

The Rebbetzin davened, upon seeing her husband in pain, that her husband is a tzaddik and goes every day to the Kotel to daven for klal yisrael - please let him be released from the hospital and pyut his illness on the non-Jew next to him who is sick and in pain anyway and does not go to the Kotel to daven like my husband does..

The son supposedly said that his father was released two days later. They asked about the non-Jew who had been his roommate only to discover that he got much worse and died the next day after the Rebbe's release.

That is wild.




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The Haredi unified party

The Degel Hatorah and Agudat Yisrael factions of UTJ yesterday signed an agreement to merge and run on one ticket in the upcoming elections. This is seemingly the first step in the united Haredi party they have been talking about. The next step would be to bring in Shas and if possible the other smaller Haredi parties (e.g. Yachad, Etz, etc)...

In general this is a good thing. These parties should be running together as there is almost no difference between them and a united front is better for the community. Shas will be more difficult and is not to be taken for granted, as they have been attractive to non-Haredi voters in the past, and as part of a joint haredi party they might lose those votes, so that is a bigger issue to figure out.

Regarding the merger that happened between Degel and Agudah, as good as it is, I do not see how this is any different than what the situation has been until now. They have been running together for a long time already. Practically this is a new agreement and the division is 50-50 between the two factions rather than the 60-40 (I think) in favor of Agudah that was in place by old agreements until now. And the new agreements assures they will continue running together for the foreseeable future rather than split up as has been a consideration recently.

The thing is, as far as unity, nothing has really changed. This is simply a bloc of two parties agreeing to work together to try to maximize voting potential. This is not unity. The two parties are still separate and the UTJ party is comprised of a working agreement as to which faction gets which seats and which factions gets which positions in government - they are still just two separate factions working together. As meaningless, to me, as the word achdut always is, this agreement is just that - no achdut, just voting tactics.

If they actually wanted something more like unity and recognized the shared destiny between them rather than identity politics, they would do a full merge and stop with the factions. All gedolim would sit down together and decide which people are most qualified to represent the Haredi public, or they could hold a primary among all the Haredi communities. They would not need to divide the seats and roles along the lines of Litvishe and Hassidic and that a Gerrer has to get this and a Vishnitzer that and a Belzer something else.

So, as good as this is, for a first step, and it is good as a first step, it is not the ultimate unified party they are using as a slogan - this is really just a slightly improved version of what has been until now.



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Israelis: What was your reaction on September 11, 2001? (video)







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Justin Trudeau on BDS - January 15, 2019 (video)







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Mordechai Gordon: Eishes Chayil (video)

one of 3 triplets, Mordechai composed this for his brother's (another of the triplets) upcoming wedding.. they are neighbors of mine..





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SIMCHA LEINER ft. 1001 Voices - Stand Up For Each Other - (Official Music Video)

Simcha Leiner is proud to present “Life’s better when your with your brother” a song celebrating the power that each and everyone of us has to stand up to a bully. After reaching out to educators and Mechanchim around the world, Simcha embarked on the monumental task of crisscrossing the country recording over 1000 boys together to form a Chorus of Unity. Each of the children were given a chance to discuss how bullying can affect their friend. A global anti-bullying initiative is currently being prepped for launch to further establish an ongoing awareness of the power of anti-bullying tactics.






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Jan 16, 2019

Facebook Status of the Day




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Masbia Volunteers distributing Flyers to TSA workers yesterday evening at LaGuardia Airport (video)

such a kiddush hashem!





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Shalva Band sings The Sound of Silence (video)

another homerun by The Shalva Band!





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Synagogues of Germany (video)







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Yonina- Hayamim Ovrim Cover (video)






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Jan 15, 2019

divers to search for remains of Holocaust victims in the Danube River

As reported by TOI, Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri has been in talks with the Hungarian Interior Minister, Sandor Pinter, and has now obtained agreement and permission to have Israeli divers and rescue teams search for the remains of Jewish victims of the Holocaust who were shot and thrown into the Danube River. The Hungarians will also provide assistance, as needed. Any remains found will be brought to Israel for burial.


It is hard to believe that after so many years the remains might still be there and be retrievable, but in recent years some remains have been found with forensics indicating that at least some of them belong to Asheknazi Jews from the time of the war.

The “Shoes on the Danube Bank” memorial, pictured to the left, consists of 60 pairs of period shoes made out of iron to commemorate the Jews who were brought to the spot by members of the Arrow Cross. They were ordered to remove their shoes and then were shot so that their bodies fell into the river.

Respect to Aryeh Deri for working on this and hopefully some Jewish souls will be able to find peace as their bodies are brought to proper Jewish burial..





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Book Review: The Jewish Ethic of Personal Responsibility


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

Book Review: The Jewish Ethic of Personal Responsibility, by Steven Pruzansky


I am always a bit hesitant to review books of divrei torah - after all, who am I to critique or to confirm someone else's Torah thoughts? I have found somewhat of a middle ground where I comment on the topic of the book itself or the quality of the writing and not on the words and thoughts of Torah expounded upon in the book. The reception of Rabbi Steven Pruzansky's most recent book for review presented me with an additional problem in that it is actually the second volume on the topic, and the fact that I did not read or review the first volume means the second volume, for me, only stands on its own and I cannot consider how it stays true to the mission laid out in the first volume.


The Jewish Ethic of Personal Responsibility, by Steven Pruzansky, is a well thought out book laid out in the form of essays on each portion of the Torah. Volume 2 includes his essays divided up based on the portions found in the books of Vayikra, Bamidbar and Devarim.  

The idea Pruzansky focuses on is personal responsibility and he finds lessons to tech us about it through each and every parsha. Personal Responsibility is not just taught as you have to be responsible for your actions and deeds. Rabbi Pruzansky discusses practical applications in which the lessons of personal responsibility are taught, such as, off the top of my mind, in education, tuition, zealotry, prayer, marriage, employment, enjoying physical pleasures and much much more.

In today's day and age, in which we often tend to feel entitled and deserving and personal responsibility is often eschewed and laid by the wayside in favor of personal advancement, absorbing such lessons and strengthening our commitment to personal responsibility can only be an important and productive venture.



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


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certifying a Yiddish tour guide

I was not aware of this, though I guess the tour guides among us are, but the State of Israel has never authorized Yiddish to be used by tour guides when guiding tours in Israel. Not a single tour guide in Israel has been certified to guide in Yiddish.

I did not even know that it was necessary to be certified in Yiddish - I assumed tour guides are certified to guide, and they can talk to their "guidees", or clients, in whatever language they want. It turns out the State has to approve the language a guide can guide in, and Yiddish has not yet been included in the list of approved languages.

Why not? The problem, according to INN, is that they have had trouble finding testers who can test potential tour guides in Yiddish for certification.

That has now changed and one of the official testers has learned Yiddish and can now conduct certification tests in Yiddish for those guides who wish to guide in Yiddish.

A tour guide from Beitar, Yechiel Cherez, just upgraded his services and after passing the new test became the first tour guide certified to guide in Yiddish.

With the sharp increase in Haredi tourism, and the State's desire to encourage it to grow even more, this guide from Beitar, and others who follow in his footsteps, is going to rake in the Yiddish guiding business. Cherez said to the Tourism Minister that using Yiddish he will be able to bring the stories of Israel and the various sites to sectors that it was not open to until now, and thereby he will be able to increase their love for Eretz Yisrael..





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it is an honor to treat terrorists but not Netanyahu

A senior doctor at Hillel Yaffe Hospital, Dr Yaron Rieber, head of the Neurology department, said that Netanyahu must be removed and taken down. Rieber also said that if Netanyahu would come in for treatment he would refuse to treat him.

Rieber, like anybody else, is entitled to his political opinions and he is perfectly within his rights to want Netanyahu replaced and removed from the PMO. Saying you would refuse to treat him should he come in for medical care is another story.

We have seen the medical industry in Israel go the extra mile to treat terrorists and leaders of foreign countries and armies that are hostile to Israel, and get tremendous praise for considering medical care for everyone the most humane and altruistic.I don't know what Dr Rieber thinks about treating terrorists but the Israeli medical industry should roundly condemn Rieber for his statement about potentially refusing treatment to the PM, and the hospital he works for should look into sanctioning him if any rules have actually been broken (refusing treatment is a problem, saying you would refuse treatment is not necessarily the same thing).



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Picture of the Day




it seems to be a trend for non-haredi politicians to have their haredi-involved meetings over cholent...

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How Shvil Yisrael has become Jews-only (video)

my only bucket list item...





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Palestinians: What do you think of the Chinese peace plan? (video)







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The Meir Kay Show - Episode 1 (video)






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Eretz Nehederet (video)

Steve Goodman is a Chicago icon, with his song Go Cubs Go, among many other songs.. one of those other songs is City of New Orleans, that has been covered by all the greats...



Little did I know, a similar song in many other countries is based on this song - in Israel the Eretz Nehederet song is converted from the City of New Orleans song.. I had no idea (thank you Jewish Humor Central for the background)..

and here is the latest cover of Eretz Nehederet, based on Steve Goodman's song..








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The Harmonides: Israel Roads (video)




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Jan 14, 2019

Nasrallah suffering a trifecta of ailments

As reported by Israel Hayom, Lebanese media is reporting that Hassan Nasrallah has been hospitalized in serious condition after suffering a heart attack and a stroke, and he might also have cancer according to further reports. The ultimate trifecta.

I do not wish Nasrallah a refuah shleima, if he really needs it (the reports have never been confirmed by any official source).

I am waiting for the news report that has Nasrallah being treated in an Israeli hospital, as we have seen in the past regarding other sick terrorist leaders.




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the final tunnel discovered..until the next one

The IDF announced that the 6th - the last and final - tunnel has been discovered from Lebanon entering Israel, and has been demolished. Operation Northern Shield is now concluded.

This particular tunnel was massive. It was much deeper than the others, at a depth of 55 meters. It was 800 meters long. This tunnel had railroad tracks laid to move heavy equipment in to Israel, along with electricity, lighting, and stairs. More details can be found at Israel Hayom and Times of Israel.

Thank God and the IDF for this latest discovery. May they have continued success in the defense of Israel and the Jews. My only question is why the IDF is calling this the last tunnel. This can only be the last tunnel until they find or don't find the next one. They probably thought the previously discovered tunnel - the fifth tunnel - was the last on as well, though I dont remember them  saying ti was the last one - I do remember PM Netanyahu explaining that after finding and demolishing that tunnel, the threat/crisis is now behind us and we can now go to new elections. It seems more hopeful - they, and I, hope it is the last tunnel and that there are no more. Hopefully it is the last one and the threat is now really behind us.





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Omer Adam turns down Eurovision gig

Omer Adam is an Israeli singer. Adam is not religious, though he is traditional and famously does not work on Shabbos.

Omer Adam was approached by the organizers of the upcoming Eurovision concert (being hosted in Israel) and was presented with the opportunity to perform at the Eurovision event.

Omer Adam thanked them for the honor and for the offer, but politely declined. The Eurovision event takes place on Saturday night with rehearsals on Saturday. Adam was not willing to participate considering he would be obligated to do his rehearsals with them on Shabbos.

I don't really get why a song contest needs to bring in another singer to perform, but I wish Omer Adam all the blessings in the world for choosing, on his own volition, to not sacrifice Shabbos for this tremendous opportunity, and making a public kiddush hashem in the process. It would have been so easy for Omer Adam to say yes and grab this once in a lifetime opportunity, especially considering he isn't religious anyway. Or, perhaps we need to redefine what it means to say someone is or is not religious. Is there anything more religious and faithful to Judaism than holding Shabbos dear the way Omer Adam is?



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1/12/19 Kashrus Expose Part II: Dealing with the issues and transparency from the world’s Kashrus Experts (audio)







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Israelis: Do you own a gun? (video)






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Israeli Frenemies - Jan. 11, 2019 (video)







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Netanyahu: an Israeli patriot for the Knesset - against the entire Left (video)

it seems he's running for a spot on the Likud list..





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Reb Hillel Pelei: Kadesh Atzmecha (video)






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Jan 13, 2019

Quote of the Day

I have no problem serving in the Knesset along with women in the same party, but I am subjected to the various rules of the party and the time is not yet ripe..

  -- MK Yaakov Margi (SHAS)




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Snow in Tiberias as part of Shabbos street party

Mayor of Tiberias Ron Kobi trucked in tons, literally tons, of snow to the boardwalk of Tiberias and threw a street party on Shabbos day for residents to come enjoy the snow (video was posted on Kobi's FB page). Supposedly about 15,000 people participated and enjoyed.

Local religious and Haredi residents were upset, not just at the chilul shabbos but also by the fact that immediately as Shabbos concluded, the complex was closed and the snow removed. Meaning, not only did Kobi throw another street party involving mass chilul shabbos, but also brought in this snow and found a way to exclude religious/Haredi residents who could not even enjoy stomping around in it after Shabbos, as Kobi had it removed.

Kbi's response was that by the end of the day the snow was muddy and melted and no good any longer and they could not just leave it there in an empty complex waiting for someone to get hurt, so they had to remove it. And of course Kobi also added that the city of Tiberias no longer buckles under Haredi coercion, blah blah blah..

That's like rubbing salt in the wound...it is also discriminatory. Even if he wants to promote chilul shabbos activities, why should the religious residents not be able to choose to benefit from the same services after Shabbos is out? Perhaps the religious residents should boycott such an event anyway so as not to benefit from chilul shabbos and so as not to support such endeavors as if they are ok with it, but that is their own choice - should they choose to stomp around in the snow, it should be made equally available to them.




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McJesus being crucified

The art museum in Haifa has a display that has upset many people's religious sensibilities. The display is one entitled "McJesus" and has what looks like a Ronald McDonald figure being crucified.
מק-ישו (צילום: יח

The Christian community is upset about this, understandably so, and has gone out to protest the display. 200 protesters showed up, and the protest got physically violent at some point as protesters tried to force their way in to the museum in order to remove the display.

According to the museum, this display has been up for 6 months already and is set to come down in about 3 weeks as the entire exhibition comes to a close. the exhibition is about the culture of consumerism. McJesus has already been on display in other countries around Europe.
source: Ynet

Why this caused a ruckus now after being up for half a year already I do not know.

In general it is not really a good thing to scoff at or make fun of other people's religions, just as nobody would want their own religion to be scoffed at. Personally I also think that people need more of a sens eof humor and even if we should not scoff at other people, we should not take ourselves so seriously that we have to get upset at every little thing that might be offensive.






 




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Bet Shemesh Clean-Up Day (video)







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One on One with Alan Dershowitz- Jan. 03, 2019 (video)







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Melech learns English to prepare for Eurovision (video)







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Synagogues of Germany (video)











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Dovid Pearlman - Modim feat. Tzvi Silberstein (Official Music Video)







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Jan 11, 2019

Kabbalat Shabbat with The Shuk in Jerusalem, Israel (video)







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Jan 10, 2019

Thanks for the rain


Last winter was particularly harsh, with little rainfall. The regular water shortage in the country was exacerbated by the minimal rainfall last winter.

This years rainfall, so far, is well above average. The rivers are flowing, the Kinneret is rising, and all is good again.

Last winter, Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel called for a prayer service because of the shortage. Ariel came under heavy criticism for trying to solve the problem, as a minister, by calling on people to pray.

Now that we are having a winter blessed with plentiful rain, Minister Uri Ariel is now calling for a mass prayer service at the Kotel to express our gratitude to Hashem for the rain. The mass prayer service will be held at the Kotel on Tu B'Shvat. That is, unless the Beis Hamikdash gets built first, though I am not sure why we no longer need to say thank you for the rain if the Beis Hamikdash gets built.

I don't have the necessary connections up there to know if it is last year's service that helped with this year's rains, but it can't hurt to say thank you...





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Tweet of the Day






lol


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Shalva Band second audition (video)

The Shalva Band is back with its second audition on "Rising Star for Eurovision"... and they knock it out of the park!





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interview with the Razels, the Banais of the religious (video)







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Sit Down With Speaker of Knesset Yuli Edelstein | The David Wiener Show Ep. 1 (video)







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MODI performs at the roast of Joe Lieberman (video)







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Ariella Zeitlin: Say You Wont Let Go - James Arthur - Wedding Violin Cover (video)







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Jan 9, 2019

Quote of the Day

The two parties have run for elections together as one party, though with two separate factions, for the past 25 years..this request is purely technical and will not have any financial repercussions... by us the bride and groom do not see each other for 2 weeks before the wedding, though by the chassidim they have that custom for a longer amount of time.

  -- MK Uri Maklev (UTJ), requesting the Knesset approve the request to split Degel and Aguda to two separate parties.

two weeks? They stay away for two weeks? I never heard that - only 1 week! When did it become two weeks?



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Interesting Psak: respectable siyum

An avreich spent a few years working towards his goal of learning the entire shas. His plans for celebrating the monumental achievement did not include anything more than having a schnapps and saying lechayim, and getting back to learning. His friends were pushing him to make a nice party, commensurate with the level of accomplishment, though he considered that bittul torah and too much of a bother..

This accomplished avreich went to Rav Chaim Kanievsky to ask for guidance as to what type of siyum he should have.

Rav chaim Kanievsky considered the matter and told him that while he is not obligated to throw a big party, it is appropriate for him to make a respectable seudas mitzva, and not just something small to be "yotzei". Rav Chaim explained that others seeing a respectable seuda for a siyyum causes an increase in their hearts the love of Torah and will cause them to strive to complete shas as well. Being that such a siyyum would be an encouragement for other people, it is worth doing.
source: Actualic






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Moshe Arens (video)







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Israeli Frenemies- Jan. 04, 2019 (video)







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the rivers are flowing again! (video)

wow! BH!




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Why Do Orthodox Jewish Women Wear Wigs (If They Look Better Than Hair)? (video)







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Yonina- Blowin' in the Wind (video)







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Jan 8, 2019

Interesting Psak: paying the lira ketuba in dollars

45 years ago in the city of Lod a young couple got married. The ketuba given was written for 100,000 lira.

Needless to say, the lira no longer exists as a currency today, as they are getting divorced.

The question is how much he needs to pay her for the ketuba payout.

Mrs is demanding 238,000nis, claiming the currency exchange and inflation - meaning, she says it should just become 100,000 in shekels instead of lira, plus inflation.

Mr is saying that based on what the lira is worth today, he only owes her about 20nis, and he is more than willing to pay it in full. Magnanimously he even offers to double or triple it to make her happy.

The beis din in Petach Tikva heard the case and considered the halachos relevant to the monetary issues and decided that 100,000 lira is 100,000 lira, and NOT 100,000nis. And, because nothing was specified as to the rate of inflation, the halachic linkage would put it against the dollar. After some research, they concluded that 100,000 lira in 1974 is currently worth $15,000.

The conclusion of the beis din was:
1. Mr is obligated to pay up the ketuba
2. the debt was for 100,000 lira
3. $15,000 is the sum to be paid in actuality

sources: Haredim10, Kikar



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Hayemin HeChadash selects winning candidate

Hayemin Hechadash, Th New Right, founders, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, have made another selection for a candidate for the party list. And it is a winner. A big move.

If you though Caroline Glick was a splashy appointment, Shirley Pinto might be even bigger. The selection of Shirley Pinto is historic, as it is the first time a deaf person will be competing for a Knesset seat.

Pinto is an activist for the rights of deaf people, and for others with disabilities as well, in Israel.
source: Israel Hayom

Naftali Bennett is, so far, being heavily outnumbered by women in this new party.

Without knowing anything about her beyond the little I read, this looks like a great selection. A woman, young, someone who fights for the disabled, as she herself is deaf... this is a home run selection. Pinto will provide a good reason for a lot of people to vote for this party...




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Book Review: President Carter


A Guest Post by Dr Harold Goldmeier


Dr. Harold Goldmeier speaks for free to public forums about political and social policy matters. He teaches international university students in Israel courses in Business, Middle East Politics, Modern Zionism. Harold.goldmeier@gmail.com


JIMMY CARTER: POPULAR BUT NOT AMONG JEWS
My sister lives in Atlanta and tells me former President Carter is held in high regard but not among Jews. To us, Carter is a chimera.  Carter is rated by YouGov as the 10th most popular public figure and 23rd most famous. 53% of the nation holds a positive opinion of him, while 43% are negative to neutral. Jewish emotions range from simmering indignation to curdling rage. Among my Gen Z international gap year college students, Carter is a cloudy antiquarian. Israel apartheid week on campuses and his repeated slurs against Israel the apartheid nation gins up Carter’s fame.


Some former presidents of the U. S. fade into the night rarely making public appearances after leaving office. President James Earl Carter, Jr., who served as 39th president from 1977 to 1981, is one the most inexhaustible and prolific past presidents. He is a leading global advocate for issues he believes were left undone in his one term presidency.

People have strong opinions about his presidential effectiveness and persona. Author Stuart E. Eizenstat hasn’t changed my opinions of the president or the man but Eizenstat’s book is fraught with background. He gins-up my interests to know the “rest of the stories” behind world events during President Carter’s White House days.

President Carter: The White House Years, (St. Martin’s Press 2018), is a plodding read of more than 900 pages each filled with lots of print. It took me six weeks to finish the book despite skimming-over parts. Perhaps it is my unshakeable impression of President Carter that turns-me-off to anything admirable someone has to say about him? 

The book is of classical importance to history buffs and teachers, diplomats, and politicians because Eizenstat reports meticulously recorded conversations with backdrop and context to their import. His writing is simple and forthright offers tantalizing possibilities for readers to comprehend the nuances of events shaping the world.  

The book is an authoritative accounting about President Carter’s human rights agenda, the Egypt-Israel peace negotiations, Panama Canal negotiations, the Soviets slog in Afghanistan, the Iranian revolution, the fight to free Soviet Jewry, and stories about how and why Carter missed out on a second term. The book is Eizenstat’s memoir as much a biography of Carter’s term in office. Eizenstat cannot overcome his outsize rapture for being an insider in the throes of power as Chief White House Advisor on Domestic Policy. Eizenstat’s enthusiasm for almost everything is understandable but inexcusable. He demonstrates in the book he knows Carter, to paraphrase another author, “slipped and slithered steadily down in fetid foulness” of religious-based anti-Semitism, arrested development for the State of Israel, and a total lack of respect and cold-hearted attitude for Menachem Begin.

We Had Our Doubts
Carter’s fundamental religious beliefs framed his campaign, political and public policy decisions. That bothered a lot of us Democratic voters at the time. So did his rural, peanut-farming background. His homey Southern drawl made him sound like a supplicant rather than a stentorian leading light. 

Our concerns all seemed to come true when the nation fell into deep domestic troubles under his watch. In the late 1970’s, it was a struggle for us college graduates to find good jobs. Interest rates skyrocketed and mortgages were slippery.  My 1981 home mortgage was made at an interest rate topping 14%, and I said, “thank you” to the one savings and loan officer willing to make the mortgage.

Eizenstat liberally paints Jimmy and Rosalynn Carters as gentle folk with no rough edges. They were inclusive at a time Southerners were predominantly still racists. Eizenstat pictures the Carters as loving, respectful, morally untainted, and idealistic. He and his sweetheart, wife and partner, Rosalynn, “disdained politics.”

The author admits others hold the memory of Mr. Carter as a “weak and hapless president.” In her Foreword to the book, Madeleine Albright sends kudos to Eizenstat for making “a compelling case that Carter’s four years in the White House deserve far more credit than he generally receives.” Senator Robert Dole is quoted echoing Carter’s diminished legacy that in time will be viewed more generously. Paul Volker’s words about Carter are hardly effusive when reflecting on “The Great Stagflation” during the Carter administration.

Eizenstat claims, though Carter was not a great president, “He has more than redeemed himself as an admired public figure by his post-presidential role as a diplomatic mediator and election monitor, public health defender, and human rights advocate.”  Carter’s post-presidency television image to me is of a hammer-slinging builder of houses for the poor, and elder global advocate for human rights. Yet, 32% of the population in his home state of Georgia is living in poverty, and while Carter is building houses around the world, 28% of the poor in his state are children living in ramshackle, tarpaper & chicken wire shacks as I saw on a road trip across the rural South.

Liberal or Conservative
Eizenstat’s devotion and admiration seem untethered. First, his characterization of the Carters is not borne out by machinations reported in the book about early state campaigns for office and Carter’s run for Governor. Eizenstat relates how Carter purposely took actions to convince white voters he was giving short shrift to black community demands. He wanted to come across as a moderate. Carter visited a segregated academy with all its symbolism pledging support for all-white private schools. When asked his heroes, Carter never mentioned Dr. Martin Luther King. Carter extolled the value of ethnic and racial neighborhoods. He publicly promised whites not to use government power to “break up a neighborhood on a numerical basis or inject black families into a white neighborhood just to create some sort of integration.” He pridefully declared he was now able to win the governorship “without a single black vote” Eizenstat relates.   


Second, Eizenstat is an Orthodox Jew and a heartfelt Israel supporter. His former boss carries on post-presidency mendacious attacks against Israel. Carter’s antipathy for Israel has created a toxic & demeaning environment coining the anti-Israel eponymous “the apartheid nation.” His attacks spearhead the global apartheid-nation movement that solely attacks Israel. Carter gives gravitas to the global rise in anti-Semitism perhaps as an unintended consequence of his fire hose torrent of accusations but for which he takes no responsibility. That’s how Jewish memory keepers will memorialize the Carter legacy and the man.


Camp David
The third concern about Eizenstat’s devotion to Carter is revealed in his inside revelations about Camp David negotiations. The book is at its best in a thorough, detailed and enthralling retelling of behind-the-scenes conversations, strategies, and impacts of personalities, when President Carter dragoons Begin and Sadat into a peace accord. He tells about Carter’s “love affair with the Saudis.” Sadat is the  “shining light,” peacemaker, friend and ally of Washington. Menachem Begin is an unbending, unforgiving, nationalist, himself a terrorist, and puppeteers of the American Jewish lobby. An exasperated Eizenstat writes, “The president’s lack of political sensitivity was sometimes breathtaking.”

Carter’s opinions and actions are anything but banal. They seem predestined by Carter’s spiritual religious fundamentalism. Eizenstat leaves the reader thinking the Jews never had a chance at a fair and impartial intercession with President Carter the linchpin in negotiations between Jews and Arabs.

Palestinians are a conquered and occupied, poor and downtrodden People for whom Christ would advocate, President Carter seemingly believes. The Palestinians want normal lives, “but the Israeli military treats them worse than the white police treat blacks.” The Palestinians “suffered for many, many years,” Carter tells Prime Minister Rabin, and deserve a “homeland.” In President Carter’s mind, the homeland is parity. He equates the statelessness of Jews, slaughtered by Christians, persecuted and expelled from nation after nation for 2,000 years with Palestinians displaced for six decades after losing repeated wars against the Jews. Palestinians cling to the hope of driving the Jews into the Sea.  Other Presidents give away cufflinks and glasses aboard the President’s jet. President Carter gave special guests a “personally autographed Bible with ‘Air Force One’ embossed on the front.”
  
Eizenstat tells a story reporting how deeply felt, in his crevices and fissures, is his spirit and policies shaped by religion.  President Carter is a sermonizer. Even as President, he loves teaching scripture and retelling Biblical stories. He told a Bible study group during a campaign about Christ driving the moneylenders from the Temple leading to Christ’s crucifixion. “There was no possible way,” Carter was quoted telling parishioners, “for the Jewish leaders to avoid the challenge, so they decided to kill Jesus.” That made newspaper headlines.

Begin hung tough in all negotiations. He was a Holocaust survivor and cared little for the opinions of gentiles. He was a survivor of British colonialists in Palestine who armed and trained the Arabs. Begin was a survivor of pre-State terrorist attacks against Jews. Begin was a survivor of Britain’s and America’s Foreign Service Arab-lovers, who re-incarcerated concentration camp survivors into barbed wire detention centers. Begin was a survivor of efforts to strangle the fledgling Jewish democratic state when the U. S. and virtually every Western nation sanctioned Israel from financial aid and arms while lavishing emoluments Arab, Nazi-sympathizing despots. Begin was a witness to repeated miracles that saved the remnants of his People from multi-Arab nations’ wars of annihilation.


Getting It…Or Not
But Mr. Begin knew with whom he was dealing. His fierce visage of peace for Israel with Egypt was an irenic opportunity for long-term security. Egypt reclaimed its identity by forging links to the West through the negotiations and return of all of Sinai with its beaches and its gushing oil wells. Carter never got a Palestinian homeland or the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Begin and Sadat; however, it was the
workaholic doggedness of Mr. Carter, and all three wives, who made peace a reality. Tens of thousands of Jewish and Muslim children are alive with no more war between Egypt and Israel leaving other Arab nations afraid to take Israel on alone.
Deep in negotiation with the Egyptians, Eizenstat relates scene after scene detailing Carter’s exasperation, frustration and downright dislike for Begin and his Jewish negotiators. Carter blamed the Jews but it was Carter who didn’t get it saying, “It’s hard to understand their motivation.” Carter never got it then or today.  

buy President Carter on Amazon.com



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1/5/19 Kashrus today: Can Chassidisher hechsheirim do what the large organizations do today? What hechsher is good and how do we know? China: A Kashrus nightmare - Hear the world’s experts (audio)

great topic





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Palestinians: What do you think about Saddam Hussein? (video)







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the sign language wedding rabbi (video)

amazing





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Asaf Buchnik is back on Israel's Got Talent again with a more dangerous act (video)







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Nafshi: duet by Shai Abramson and Nati Berakhan (video)







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Jan 7, 2019

Bloi tries to scare people to voting for Degel candidate

Tomorrow elections will be held in the ton of Telshe Stone, after its long-time mayor, Avraham Rosenthal, recently died, shortly after being re-elected to the position.

I know almost nothing about the two candidates vying for the top spot in this town - I don't have an opinion as to which of the two will do a better job, nor as to which is more or less deserving.. The only thing I do know is that one candidate, Yitzchak Ravitz, son of former MK Avraham Ravitz, has a good reputation, but he was rejected from Betar. 6 months ago Degel Hatorah in Betar held an internal primary election in preparation for what was then the upcoming municipal elections. Ravitz, who was Deputy Mayor at the time, lost to Dudi Zaltz. After he lost, Degel moved Ravitz out and sent him to Telshe Stone to prepare to run against Rosenthal. The other candidate is Yanky Pelei, and I absolutely nothing about him.

Ravitz had tried to usurp the seat from Rosenthal, but Rosenthal withstood the pressure on him and decided to run for re-election anyway, which he won. There was some bad blood, and Rosenthal supporters, led by his widow, are now supporting Pelei in tomorrow's election, while Degel is supporting Ravitz.

Anyways, with the election tomorrow, it seems Degel is stepping up the pressure to get people to vote for Ravitz. Degel activist and leader Mottka Bloi is warning residents of Telshe Stone that they should not base their vote on emotional or personal reasons against the candidate supported by the gedolim (i.e. Ravitz). Bloi warns that whoever votes against the decision of the gedolim will pay a heavy price through his descendants who will go against him and spend their time enjoying their recreational time in Abu Ghosh. Meaning, their interests will be turned elsewhere, away from Judaism, just because they voted for the other candidate..

I don't know one from the other in Telshe Stone and it does not matter to me who wins the election and who loses, but it is this type of intimidation and fear mongering that I oppose and am repulsed by. Compete in your election on the merits of the candidate. Tell people which candidate your rav supports and remind them of the importance of following the gedolim, if that is what is important in your community. Threats, warnings, fire and brimstone, dire predictions, and other scare tactics are just despicable. In a sense I hope people vote against Bloi's recommendation just to show that the days of intimidation and scare tactics are over.



 


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Quote of the Day

We are trying to get votes from the Likud, but mostly from the new parties established by Benny Gantz and Orly Levy-Abukasis. Those are "fake right” parties. The purpose of New Right was to ensure that voters who chose a right-wing list were getting what they voted for.

  -- Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked

Funny that Shaked calls Gantz "fake right", considering he has not claimed to be right wing. Gantz has not claimed anything, as he has yet to say what he stands for. Nobody knows if he is right or left or center or however else he might brand, define and categorize his party....


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a united Haredi party

The rumors right now are talking about an agreement being worked on that would have the three Haredi national political parties - Shas, Degel Hatorah and Agudat Yisrael - running together as one united party. The rumors include the gravitas of Rav Chaim Kanievsky who is supposedly behind the idea.

Is it going to happen? I have no idea. It is just a rumor right now, but it is a popular one right now that isn't going away so quickly.

I actually think it is a good idea. I personally see no difference between Degel and Agudah and don't see a reason why they have need to run as two separate parties or factions until now - on a national level, even if not on a municipal level, their needs are the same - mikvas, shuls, yeshivas, kollels, religious issues, child subsidies and all the regular national issues like security and whatnot. I see no reason why they need two separate parties just because these have grandparents who came from Lithuania and the others from Poland. Shas as well, though with Shas there is a slight difference - even though they have become more Haredi over the years, they still appeal to a traditional electorate in addition to their Haredi electorate. And I do not get how their differentiation in representation is necessary or good - it just causes more segmentation.

But will it happen? I have no idea.

My only thought is that with all the high-level politicians denying it, it is probably very likely at this point.



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Beatie Deutsch, Israel Marathon champion (video)







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Palestinians: Can people easily visit Palestine? (video)







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The Truth About Jews And Arabs.(video)







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Synagogues of Germany (video)







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Matt Dubb - Adama V’shamayim (video)







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Jan 6, 2019

crazy behavior and a shidduch crisis

hard to believe this description of behavior is really an issue.. and then people wonder why there is a shidduch crisis....


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Measles patient infects 80+ babies

A father of a newborn baby in the hospital of Maayanei Hayeshua in Bnei Braq insisted on visiting his new baby in the nursery. Sounds wonderful. A devoted father.

Well, he kept it a secret at the time that he had measles. He was already sick but did not tell the nurses that he was.

This wonderful doting father exposed over 80 newborns, preemies and full-term babies,  including his own, to measles.

When it was discovered, the hospital administration decided to vaccinate the 24 preemies in the ward and the 60 full-term babies.
source: Israel Hayom

If a person wants to be an idiot about himself and not vaccinate himself and his family, and stick to himself, that's one thing, as bad as it is. To go out of your way to expose other people - babies, with no immunity? That is criminal. This person should be arrested.

At least it happened in Maayanei Hayeshua, where the promise and bracha of the Chazon Ish is present that no tragedy and death will occur there. Perhaps that extra protection is what made this person figure he can walk in with such a disease.




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Netanyahu's play on Mandelblits decision


With word going out that Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit will soon be announcing his decision regarding possibly indicting PM Benjamin Netanyahu, even before the upcoming elections, Netanyahu and his people are going on a full-scale offensive against Mandelblit and a possible announcement.

Netanyahu attack is based on his idea that this is tampering with the elections and democracy and is unfairly going to influence voters. Netanyahu says any decision should only be announced after the election, not before.

All information about public officials, and those wanting to become public officials, competing in elections, is relevant to the voters and should be disclosed. Not disclosing information to the public is as much influencing the voters and disclosing information is. Voters have a right to know.

Even more than that - Netanyahu called for early elections in the shadow of a possible indictment hanging over his head. His expectation was to use the possible indictment, with the current police recommendations for one, as a mandate from the public to rule despite the recommendations against him. This seems to be a cynical exploitation of the public. Netanyahu wanted the benefits of the police recommendations to indict, but not the detriments - the actual indictment.

A theory that came to me is that Netanyahu's goal in calling elections was to delay an indictment. Meaning, Netanyahu knew that the walls were closing in and an indictment was due soon. By calling for elections, he thought he could perhaps pressure Mandelblit to delay the indictment, as it would be "interference" in democratic elections in some way.. Mandelblit seems to be a straight shooter, and does not care about these games - it seems he does what his job requires him to do, and Netanyahu also now sees that.



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PSA: Clean Bet Shemesh

This is a PSA for my readers in the Bet Shemesh environs..

Mayor of Bet Shemesh Aliza Bloch has publicized the following clean Bet Shemesh event to take place this Tuesday.


The poster itself announces the event calling on residents, schools, community centers (matnasim), factories, hi-tech entrepreneurs, municipal employees, and each and every one of you, to join together for a day of cleaning the city, painting, and beautifying the face of Bet Shemesh, with special surprises and attractions.. a list of meeting points is included, so residents and participants can choose where to go to receive equipment and to participate. The event will be this Tuesday, January 8, 2019, from 7:30am to 5pm (17:00). Every participant will receive a gift.

In addition, Bloch herself publicized the event saying that we the residents are the key to success and cleaning the city and on Tuesday we will take responsibility and go out for this cleaning Bet Shemesh campaign...

I would add that I saw elsewhere, when the campaign was first announced, that the purpose of this is to begin changing the culture regarding cleanliness of the city, and getting people involved in the process will begin that process.



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frum music gemach

this gemach notice appeared in a local ad booklet..

HatTip to Shui Haber


this raises a number of questions in my mind..
1. what is an amber gemach - what is amber, and how does it prevent jaundice?
2. Let's make a deal - isnt giving out 9000 frum songs for free stealing? Are the various artists getting paid for this music? Have they all agreed for their music to be distributed free of charge for this lofty purpose?
3. does it matter how many non-Jewish music files I have? if I delete 10 songs, will I still get 9000 frum songs or is it on some weighted scale?
4. what does "also applicable if you own only Jewish music" mean? - what am I supposed to delete to get the 9000 frum songs? delete all my Avraham Fried songs to get them back plus more?




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