Feb 17, 2019

Litzman was just helping the people who need his help

Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman is under investigation for pressuring doctors to issue false psych reports to help Malka Leifer  avoid extradition too Australia.

Today MK Uri Maklev and Jerusalem City Councilman Yossi Deutsch and MK Yisroel Eichler and DM Meir Porush made public statements in support of Litzman. I have no problem with that. There is a presumption of innocence and they can express support for him and give him encouraging words, if they wish to. Some of what they said though is interesting.

Maklev said it is a witch-hunt going on against DM Litzman already for many months and is looking to delegitimize the Haredi community. It bothers them that Litzman's door is open before anybody who needs help... this campaign against the Haredi community and Litzman, to turn helping the public into guilt...

Deutsch said that he strengthens and encourages Rav Litzman who is going through a difficult time right now from miserly people who hate the Haredim, how fortunate is Litzman for being attacked for helping the needy, and we are confident that you did nothing wrong..

Eichler said I strengthen and encourage Rav Litzman and promise you that he is clean with no stains. We have arrived at a crazy situation and it makes no sense that a public figure would be sent to help people and cannot do his work..

Porush said in the name of the entire Haredi Judaism I want to express support for our friend Rav Litzman. How fortunate are you for being attacked for helping the needy.

All those words of encouragement and stating their belief in his innocence are fine. I have no problem with that. The interesting part I find is what they each said - he is attacked for helping the needy, he just wants to help those in need but cannot do his work, helping the needy is turned into guilt.

So he did help Malka Leifer?

It is wonderful to help those in need of government assistance and help ease bureaucracy when possible, but to help an alleged molester, charged with very serious crimes, by, allegedly, pressuring doctors to falsify documents - that is not exactly the type of "helping those in need" that is deserving of praise. I am not saying he did it, but they are referring to the accusations, and they are not saying the accusations are false, but that he does not deserve to be punished for helping the needy. This type of helping the needy deserves to be punished, or at least investigated.

They would have done better by just offering the words of encouragement and their belief in his innocence and not implied that he tried to help her.

 




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Headline of the Day

I was debating whether to use this as the HotD or QotD.. HotD won, but I will excerpt the ridiculous quote from the article as well...

Iranian general says Israel stealing Iran's clouds


  -- Ynetnews

The General said, Foreign interference is suspected to have played a role in climate change. Israel and another country in the region have joint teams which work to ensure clouds entering Iranian skies are unable to release rain. On top of that, we are facing the issue of cloud and snow theft

haha!


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pizza and Bnei Braq to meet halfway

you know you live an exciting life when pizza is the big news item of your day...

Rav Landau is both the Chief Rabbi of Bnei Braq and also the head of a well-respected, and very stringent, kashrut certification organization.

Until now, Rav Landau has refused to grant kashrut certification to pizza shops in Bnei Braq saying the very nature of the beast is problematic and against the atmosphere of a city like Bnei Braq. Even pizza shops that would be take-out only, without seating, were not allowed, lest they become hangouts. Despite Rabbi Landau's position against pizza shops, a couple of shops opened in the city in recent years, under other hechshers.

Now, Rav Ladau has basically given in and is allowing take-out pizza shops to open in Bnei Braq. He is placing strict conditions on pizza shops wanting to open with his hechsher, and/or approval, but it is happening.

Rav Landau posted broadsides around town announcing the change of policy. He says that the policy against pizza shops has been in place to preserve the atmosphere of holiness in Bnei Braq. However, in recent years many have broken policy and pizza shops have opened against the opinion of the local rabbonim. Therefore, after much thought and consideration, it has been decided to allow take-out pizza shops that will be supervised with the strictest kashrut and modesty guidelines they will accept upon themselves to not allow any seating  or gathering. Whoever needs a meal of pizza can now buy it in a way that is kosher and appropriate for our city. Lest anyone should think that the ban on pizza shops has been lifted, that is not so - it remains and stands in its place. The only thing allowed is the take-out pizza shop with a commitment to kashrut, modesty and a commitment to what was stated above.
source: Kikar and Behadrei

Change is slow. Right now pizza is being allowed in Bnei Braq, even though they say it isn't being allowed while allowing it, and tomorrow it will be mixed dancing! Well, hopefully pizza won't bring about the downfall of Bnei Braq.



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United Airlines, almost, strikes again

UA removed someone from a flight, though it didn't come to actual blows this time.

I dont know what is going on, but the situation with behavior on airplanes, whether by passengers or the airline staff, has gotten very strange.

Another incident after which Jews were removed from a flight, accompanied by strange claims regarding their behavior. This time it was a United Airlines flight and an elderly couple, made up of a rosh yeshiva and his wife. Mrs  was told to put her carry-on bag in the overhead compartment. She asked for a couple of minutes to remove a few items she would need. Shortly after that the couple found themselves being removed form the flight. The attendant claimed she had been nasty when she responded to him. He threatened to have her removed form the flight and then left, with another attendant incredulously apologizing. The first attendant came back shortly after with the police in tow and that was the end of their flight.
sources: Hamodia and Baltimore Jewish Life

I guess they are lucky the United Airlines attendant did not just beat them up and physically drag them off the plane. We are seeing what seems to be an increase in such incidents. If we take the story as reported in Hamodia and BJE as fact, it very well could point to an increase in overt anti-semitism. That would not portend very well for what the Jewish community can look forward to in coming years.






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interesting psak: lending an Arab worker a phone charger

this is one of those questions you don't know why it was ever asked and never thought such a question would be necessary to ask..but it was asked, so here goes..

Kikar is reporting about a question posed to a number of poskim by a group f yeshiva bochurim. The question asked was that an Arab employee of the yeshiva, working in the maintenance and cleaning of the yeshiva, sometimes asks the boys to borrow a phone charger from them for a few hours at a time so that he could charge his phone. The question is, would lending the Arab worker a charger fall under the prohibition of "lo techanem" - not giving anything in the form of a gift to a non-Jew - and therefore should they be refusing such requests?

Rav Chaim Kanievsky responded that if there is any concern that the Arab worker might hold it against them in some form of "eiva", hatred, they would be allowed to lend the charger with no prohibition. In the case of an employee of the yeshiva, this will definitely be a concern and is therefore allowed.

Rav Yaakov Meir Stern responded that a yeshiva employee is not invcluded in the prohibition of lo techanem, as the worker would at any time be able to return the favor in all sorts of form, and this would not be a free gift. The students would always be expecting some sort of return from their goodwill gesture when they would need it.

Rav Mordechai Gross responded that not lending the charger would cause a chilul hashem when he sees they have a charger available.

Rav Moshe Fried responded that nowadays the media turns everything into a big story especially if it can make yeshiva students look bad, and one should be concerned that the disgruntled employee will tell people outside the yeshiva and it will turn into a chilul hashem, so they should lend him the charger. Rav Fried adds that he proposed this to Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein and Rav Zilbershtein agreed.

The consensus is to lend the hcarger, though they differ slightly as to the reason why.


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Rav Chaim Kanievsky is not a prophet

Remember the time Rav Chaim Kanievsky recently told someone that mashiach will be coming to redeem us before the upcoming Israeli elections? It seems his daughter, Rebbetzin Kolodetzky, also repeated this in his name to her followers. Rebbetzin Kolodetzky strengthened the idea by adding instructions to people that they should prepare their Shabbos finest and musical instrument in preparation to greet mashiach in the coming weeks.

In case you were getting excited in anticipation, Rabbi Yitzchak Kolodetzky, Rav Kanievsky's son in law and husband of Rebbetzin Kolodetzky, has thrown a damper on that prediction.

Rabbi Kolodetzky has explained that Rav Chaim Kanievsky is not a prophet and is not in the mashiach prediction business and he does not actually know the date mashiach will be actually coming to redeem us.

According to Kikar, Rav Kolodetzky explains that Rav Kanievsky, like all gedolei yisrael, has a deep belief in the 13 Principles of Faith and all his life has waited expectantly for mashiach to come on a daily basis. When asked about questions further into the future, the answer comes naturally to him and bursts out expressing that one need not worry too far in advance as mashiach will come prior. Rav Chaim Kanievsky is not making a prediction and does not know the future date of mashiach's arrival and regularly says only a prophet can know such a thing, and he is not a prophet.




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2/16/19 Marrying for money in Halacha and Hashkafah & Preparing for a successful marriage (audio)







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Israelis: Can you tell the difference between Jews and Arabs? (video)







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The Ship That Almost Sank Israel (video)








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Cruising Israel - Western Wall Tunnels (video)







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Yonatan Razel and Daniel Zamir: Now I am Flying (video)








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Feb 14, 2019

Quote of the Day

How is it that for murderers and senior criminals who stole millions, the president can erase their criminal record? But by me, even after the State witness recently told all the truth about his testimony against me, admitting that he had lied, they rejected my claims and request? It is only because I am sefardi. 

  -- Shlomo Benizri (former MK from Shas), upon learning that President Reuven Rivlin rejected his requesting for erasing his criminal record saying that the appropriate place for Benizri's arguments is in the courts and legal system.

of course it is due to racism and discrimination. What else could it be?



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Bet Shemesh outdoes Sallah Shabbati

oops. This reminds me, sort of, of the old Israeli movie Sallah Shabbati, but worse because they weren't just changing the JNF donor sign, as they did in the movie, but razed the entire forest to build a neighborhood. They have outdone Sallah Shabbati. Reality is often stranger than fiction.

to excerpt from Shemesh Online:
Chiune Sugihara, known as the “Japanese Schindler,” was Japan’s consul-general in Kovno, Lithuania, during World War II. Despite his government’s orders to the contrary, Sugihara signed over a thousand transit visas to Japan for the Jewish refugees seeking to escape Lithuania during the war.
Yad Vashem named Sugihara a Righteous Among the Nations in 1984 and in 1985 a grove was planted in his memory near Beit Shemesh. Hundreds of trees were donated by his friends and businessmen in Japan in his memory.
In January, Nobuki Sugihara, Sugihara’s son, visited Israel with his family and wanted to visit the memorial forest, but was unable to locate it. Attorney David Shor, whose father was saved by Sugihara, investigated and discovered the forest had been uprooted a few years ago in order to build a residential neighborhood in Beit Shemesh, Heftzibah.
After the discovery came to light the JNF sent a letter of apology. They promised to investigate the matter and to plant a new grove in his memory.
The JNF explained that the growth of the neighborhood had led to significant changes in the area, including the construction of a wall around it and the paving of roads. "In light of all these changes, there is no longer convenient access to the site, and it is not fit for use as a memorial," the JNF said. "However, in light of the Jewish people's great admiration for Mr. Sugihara's deeds and bravery, it was decided before the matter was checked in depth to dedicate an additional orchard to commemorate Sugihara."


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RBS C or G

Since RBS "Gimmel" has been planned, I have always called it "RBS C" for short, in English, in conjunction with the standardized Ramot Bet Shemesh neighborhood names.

RBS Aleph is known ad RBS A. RBS Bet is known as RBS B. Personally I call RBS Gimmel as RBS C, yet many online call it RBS G. I keep seeing it referred to, in English, by many people, as RBS G.

And, to me, that makes no sense.

Presumably RBS Daled will be called RBS d, but what will RBS Hey be called - RBS H? and RBS Vav will be called RBS V?

This makes no sense. We will have the neighborhoods RBS A, B, G, D, H, V, and on and on..

Gimmel is not G, just because that is the letter Gimmel (in English) begins with. It makes so much more sense to call it RBS C, then RBS D, then RBS E.

But I guess this isn't the hill I need to die on. Call it what you want, but it seems silly and inconsistent to call it G.


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More than Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews

As Achad Ha'Am said, More than Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.

According to this report in Kipa, Just a few days ago an IDF rabbi, Rav Eitan Shinrev, was out with the unit he is attached to on patrol in an area of the Shomron near Har Bracha. Rav Shinrev went out to check the eruv around the complex the unit was stationed in. While checking the eruv, the rabbi noticed two suspicious looking people hiding on the sloped perimeter of the complex, so he called in the emergency response team. The invaders were apprehended and a gun and knife were found on their bodies.

The rabbi received a award for his efforts and alertness and the rabbinical division was praised in general for their mesirut nefesh, their dedication even under danger, for the mitzva of Shabbos.

What Achad Ha'Am said is so very brought out in such an incident.

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people who don't feel represented by the Haredi parties will go elsewhere

There seems to be a trend, a worrying trend for some, of members of the Haredi community not just choosing to vote for other parties, as has been happening at an increasing rate in the past decade, but choosing to run as candidates under the banner of other parties.

This is especially true of female candidates. Michal Chernowitzky recently ran in the primaries of the Labor party. She achieved a spot on the party list that is presumed unrealistic for the Knesset. Adina Bar Shalom formed her own party.

Today Omer Yankelevitch was announced to be taking the 10th spot in Benny Gantz's Chosen LeYisrael party. Yankelevitch is a Haredi lawyer, a graduate of Gateshead Seminary and the Wolff Seminary in Bnei Braq. Yankelevitch lives in Bet Shemesh and bears an impressive resume of degrees and accomplishments. And the 10th spot in Chosen Leyisrael is presumed to be realistic under any scenario, which will likely make her the first ever Haredi MK. Sort of. Years ago there was an MK with the Meretz party named Tzvia Greenfield - she was Haredi and lived in Har Nof, though many considered her not really Haredi because of the policies and organizations she supported and was involved in.

In recent elections there were Haredi women running and campaigning for other parties, such as Habayit Hayehudi, the nascent Haredi women's party (bzchutan). Add to that the occasional Haredi man running and campaigning for other parties, such as Yaakov Vider in the Likud and some others. There was also Rabbi Dov Lipman who went to the Knesset for Yesh Atid, though some did not consider him Haredi either for some of the issues he wa sinvolved in.

Add this trend to the polls that indicate that about 20% of Haredim will not vote for Haredi parties, and it looks like this, especially if the trend continues to grow, could point to trouble in the Haredi political world.

With the women it seems only natural. Any woman who feels driven to public service, finds herself with no place in the Haredi parties. It is only natural that they would look elsewhere in order to accomplish what they are looking to accomplish. The Haredi parties basically held a monopoly on the Haredi public until now, but people are feeling more liberated and not just taking what the Haredi leadership is saying at face value. This can be seen as a real revolution. They are not even trying to fight it anymore, as has happened in the past - they are just leaving and finding their places elsewhere.

I don't see this as presenting a real existential danger to the Haredi parties. They have enough support to survive this issue and the yeshiva world continues to grow with its natural base of voters for the Haredi parties, but they will not grow as much as they could if they would make themselves more inclusive to diversity within the Haredi community. The Haredi parties are basically an old mans club for people associated with specific rabbonim and yeshivas. Anyone else, from any other faction within the Haredi community, does not really have a real path to public service.

If people do not feel connected to the party and do not feel the party works for the issues they feel are important to them, the people will find other parties to support that do. That is simply how it works. It has been easier to accomplish as a voter, as voters have to answer to nobody. Voters go behind the voting partition and slip a ballot anonymously into the envelope - nobody knows who anybody really voted for, so nobody could be brought to task for not supporting the Haredi parties. Running as a candidate for another party is a much bolder step, and it really shows the disconnect so many people have with the parties that are "supposed" to represent them.
 


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CBS show interviewing Ashley Blaker (video)







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Israel - Women and Girls in Science (video)







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The Super Bowl Explained by Israelis (video)







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Amb. Friedman on stage with Gov. Huckabee and band (video)

cool





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Sruli & Netanel - Gmara Sababa \\ Netta - Bassa Sababa Cover (video)







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Feb 13, 2019

Picture of the Day

credit to Shos Haderech

Today was the day for the ceremony for the laying of the cornerstone for construction of the new cultural center in Bet Shemesh. The new center will hold up to 550 seats and is planned to be opened in September 2021. The cultural center will be available for concerts, performances, conferences and many other recreational and cultural events. A foundational scroll was signed by city leaders and buried and embedded into the cornerstone.




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differnetiating between Haredi and non-Haredi women

This is interesting..

Signs in Jerusalem, placed along the Ramot Road, have been advertising upcoming events with a variety of speakers and hosts. As we have come to expect already, pictures of the women were defaced with spray paint covering their images.

What is interesting is that this time they have started differentiating between Haredi women and secular women.

The ads with images of Henya Shochat, a Haredi woman, were left untouched, while all the other ads with womens images, such as Orli Vilnai, Emily Arrusi and Maya Roseman, were all defaced.

So now, the extremists, if it was them as the article in Kikar assumes, are allowing frum women's faces to appear in public, but not secular women's faces. Interesting.

What I don't know is how they knew which women were religious and which were not. I would not have known without googleing the names. Also, the pictures are just faces, not full body shots, and even the non-Haredi women do nto appear immodest, so I am not sure how they could tell or differentiate.



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102 year old kindergarten student

There's a cute story in the news today about a 102 year old man who received a letter from his local municipal offices that he should register for kindergarten. The letter was sent "to the parents of Yosef Eshed"..

Yosef Eshed was one of the founders of the State of Israel - not quite in the league of David Ben Gurion, Menachem Begin and the like, but he played an important role nonetheless. Eshed, born in Poland, immigrated to Palestine in 1936. In 1938 Eshed served in Orde Wingate's Special Night Squad division and was an officer in the Royal British army and served, among other things, protecting the oil pipeline laying ambush and attacking terror units targeting the pipeline.

According to Yediot, Eshed is the last surviving member of Wingate's Special Night Squad units...

So why is Eshed being invited to register for kindergarten? It seems the municipal computers could not handle the 3 digits of his age and dropped the leading 1. The computers though he was 02 years old, so they sent him the letter. It seems Eshed's parents are not available though, so he had to open the letter himself, and decide whether or not to register.

As an aside, it turns out 19 other letters were sent out to people over 100 years old. When the issue became known, some were caught and taken out of the system and some were actually sent out..



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Quote of the Day

Bennett raped Habayit Hayehudi.. The disregard of Bennett for the religious Zionist over the past 6 years reached a record high. Not only did he abandon the political home of the religious Zionists with heavy debts but he also raped Habayit Hayehudi in the last elections that could have acheived 14 mandates - in the end we only got 8, and he left us with debts of over 11 million shekels for that rape.

  -- MK Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi)

whoa!


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Talking with heads of Political Parties - MK Avigdor Liberman, head of Yisrael Beiteinu (video)








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Moshe Boogie Yaalon at Bet Shemesh's first ShishiTarbut (video)







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The first Sea Plane in Israel to operate on the Kinneret (video)

I am impressed.. though Kubi will probably schedule the first flight for a Saturday...




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The Best Kind Of Super Bowl Party in New York City (video)






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Ahron Razel: Rachamim Nisan (video)







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Feb 12, 2019

Quote of the Day

The United States does not have the courage to shoot a single bullet at us despite all its defensive and military assets. But if they attack us, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground

  -- Brig. Gen. Yadollah Javani, commander in Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

Haifa? Not Jerusalem?

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Shabbat Hayom!

The best thing about the start of round 2 of the Shabbos fights in Ashdod, upon notice of kiosks opening on Shabbos and now approval by the City for a new theater that will operate on Shabbos, is the possible return of the "Shabbat Hayom" guy.. we have not seen him in a while...



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Interesting Psak: possession is nine tenths of the law

Kikar has an interesting story that has been hotly debated in the Mir Yeshiva and has finally come to an end with a final psak.

The story is that 4 young men were sitting in their dorm room, in one of the yeshiva dormitory buildings. The fellow sitting on an upholstered chair felt unstable and flipped the chair over to adjust it and make it better. When he flipped it over, a pile of thousands of dollars fell out of the bottom of the chair. The chair itself had been salvaged from a nearby garbage can a couple of years prior by one of the young men.

When the young men got over their initial shock, the one who turned the chair over grabbed a 100 dollar bill, but one of the other guys in the room jumped at it and grabbed the rest of the pile of money.

That is when the argument began as to who gets to keep the money. Arguments were presented by the various parties involved, each supporting why he specifically deserves the money.

- The fellow who had taken the chair in from the garbage years prior claimed it as his, as it was in his chair - even though he is married and no longer lives in the room, he still goes to the room daily to rest and put his stuff own and makes use of it.

 - An argument was presented that it should be divided among all the roommates, as they all acquired it together via a "kinyan chatzer".

 - The one who grabbed the money first claimed it as his, even though he is not even one of the roommates of that room and was just visiting in the room at the time - he argues that he claimed the money from hefker.

The young men went to a local beis din led by Rav Yitzchak Eizik Silver to plead their cases. Rabbi Silver paskened that being that there are different opinions with regards to each of the arguments presented, at the end of the day the young man who grabbed the money first already has a strong claim on it, by possession, and the other arguments are not strong enough to be able to take it away from the one holding the money.




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Talking with heads of Political Parties - Mr. Avi Gabbay, head of Labor Party (video)







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Israelis: Do you pray? (video)







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Dodgers ‘Deeply Saddened’ By Death Of Jewish Woman Hit By Foul Ball At Dodger Stadium (video)

what are the odds?





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Synagogues of Germany (video)







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Adon Olam / Viva La Vida(Coldplay cover by Michoel Tavares). (video)







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Feb 11, 2019

the party does not own the voters

MK Yaakov Margi (shas) commented this afternoon on what his party leader, Aryeh Deri said, basically burying the option of a united party of Shas, Degel Hatorah and Agudat Yisrael together. Deri did not address it directly, but did say the parties have worked well together in the past and after the elections will continue to work together, perhaps in the form of some sort of bloc, and the various council of sages should get together and put out calls for the Sefardi religious and traditional to vote Shas and the Ashkenazi Haredi to vote UTJ.

Margi commented explaining that when a party, UTJ, is playing in your field, i.e. trying to bring in votes from Haredi Sefardim, using a variety of manipulations, so the party leader has to come out and say Ashkenazis should vote for them and Sefardim for us.

I like how different parties (and this is not limited to Shas, but they said this almost explicitly) believe they own certain voters and nobody else has the right to get their votes. I will vote for whichever party I feel closest to and most aligned with - nobody owns my vote and I am willing to, and plan to,  hear the pitches of all the parties and decide for whom to vote, even if I already have my inclination for which party to vote. No party owns anybody's vote. You want my vote - earn it.



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it is always someone else's fault

At the funeral for the victims of the horrific bus accident yesterday, Rav Meir Kessler, rav of Modiin Ilit, exhorted the crowd in what type of behavior they should work to improve upon. Rav Kessler pointed out two problems that need improvement and work:
1. the women talk on their telephones while on the bus, loudly and with no shame, and they talk about everything, even personal matters and shidduchim, and the entire bus has to hear it all. As well, he called upon the women to improve their level of modesty in dress.
2. The men were exhorted for allowing their children to talk lashon hara and evil gossip and get involved in machlokes - parents must scold their children for getting involved in machlokes. It is a tremendous danger that destroys the entire environment around us.
source: Kikar

Rav Shalom Cohen, in his shiur, related to the bus accident and seemed to blame it on the bus line in Tiberias operated on Shabbos by Mayor Ron Kubi - we have to scream against this as Shabbos is the source of all blessings and if we desecrate the Shabbos, how can we have any blessings?
source: Haredim10

While perhaps it was implied, but Rav Kessler does not seem to be blaming the bus accident on these issues, just using the opportunity to exhort the public on points in the community that need work.That is the rav's job. It is interesting that the women have a problem and the children have a problem but the men seem to be perfectly ok..even though the kids talk about the machlokes that the men are actually involved in. The machlokes is fine, it is the talking about it that is the problem.

Rav Cohen seems to use the concept of arvus. The Jewish community is all connected, so blatant chilul shabbos in one place can affect other communities negatively as well. Besides for wondering how anyone can know definitively the reason or cause for anything happening in this world, I have no problem with a rabbi using a tragedy to try to strengthen Shabbos observance - that is the classic job of the rabbi.

That being said, wouldn't it be more fruitful and productive for a rabbi or teacher to tell his students and listeners in what they could improve and strengthen their observance, and not just talk about other people's problems?

Can we really improve our society by always pointing out other people's faults and never looking at our own?


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Quote of the Day


 We had an excellent partner in this recent term, his name is Benjamin Netanyahu. I know him from way back even before he entered politics. When I was the Minister of Interior he came to Israel. He wanted to consult with me how to proceed in politics. He was student that surpassed his teacher....I applied with the electoral board to allow the Shas ballot to bear the words"supporting Benjamin Netanyahu" in addition to [the standard] "union of Torah-observant Sefardim, movement of Rav Ovadia Yosef z"l", but as expected the electoral board rejected it saying that the ballot is not allowed to bear any images or words not included in the name of the party. But everyone needs to know that with the Shas ballot every voter is getting two - 100% Netanyahu and also tradition and Judaism.


  -- Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) at the opening of the Shas electoral campaign

This embrace of Netanyahu with the claim to trying to get their support for him on the ballot is a great move (if Netanyahu should win). Many are planning to vote Netanyahu instead of their traditional parties as a way of showing their support for him despite the investigations and possible upcoming indictment. Deri knows he could not put his support for Netanyahu on his ballot. It is a gimmick. And it might work late in the campaign when Netanyahu pulls in the voters from other parties with last-minute scare tactics like he did last time (see Habayit Hayehudi). Shas voters will have it in their heads that voting Shas is just as good and [some] might not feel the need to vote Likud.

I especially like how Deri takes credit for turning Netanyahu into the brilliant and successful politician he became..



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Aliza Bloch at first ShishiTarbut in Bet Shemesh (video)







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Palestinians: Should Israelis trust you? (video)







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Haredim increasingly going to the gym (video)

interesting..





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Get to Know the Israelis (video)







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Sruli & Netanel - Abba gadol \\ Sarit Hadad Cover (Official Music Video)







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Feb 10, 2019

two bus accidents on the same date years apart

This morning there was a terrible accident in which a bus (kavim line 304) traveling from Modiin Ilit to Jerusalem overturned. There were many injuries and a couple of deaths deaths.

The freaky part of this is that today was the 5th of Adar 1, 2779, and 3 years ago to the Hebrew date, on the 5th of Adar 1, 5777, the horrific accident involving the 402 bus from Jerusalem to Bnei Braq happened.

I don't know what that means, if anything, but it is freaky that these two serious bus accidents, which in general are thankfully pretty rare, happened on the exact same date a few years apart.

In general, Adar is supposed to be a good and happy month. It is especially freaky that both of these accidents happened in Adar, let alone on the same exact date.

Feel free to suggest explanations..


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Pollard feels abandoned by Netanyahu

in 2017 or 2018 it was reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested from the Americans that they ease the parole restrictions on Jonathan Pollard and allow him to make aliya and emigrate to Israel. In 2018 it was reported that the USA had rejected the Israeli formal request.

That really should be the end of the story. Pollard's parole terms require him to remain in the USA, though after 5 years he should be able to travel abroad and emigrate to Israel, though it is possible he will not be allowed to then either - but he has a minimum wait of 5 years. So, being that he was released from prison into parole in November 2015, that leaves him as likely being allowed to travel to Israel in late 2020.

Being that a formal request was made by the Israelis, I do not get what Pollard's problem is. According to the report in JPost, Pollard is upset and feels abandoned by Israel. The seemingly close relationship between Trump and Netanyahu, accentuated by recent election posters in Israel depicting Trump with Netanyahu, has made Pollard feel as if Netanyahu has such a close relationship with Trump that if he really wanted to he could obtain permission for Pollard to leave for Israel even earlier than the initial parole terms allow.

The problem is that he already made the request and it was denied. Of course Pollard is frustrated, but he should be happy he is out of jail and much free-er than he was previously, even if it is not yet the optimal situation. He just has less than another 2 years to wait out and he should be fine. Netanyahu might have abandoned him - many  Israeli politicians and handlers surely have over the years, but there really is almost nothing that can be done at this point. Pollard should just wait out his final period quietly. He should be happy if Israel will still let him immigrate when the Americans let him out - it is not a slam dunk that Israel will want him then either - Pollard is a problematic individual and the situation will not present Israel with the easiest of decisions...






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Picture of the Day - too bad he can't dunk

Amare Stoudamire at the Ministry of Interior offices applying for Israeli citizenship... According to the media, his forms are expected to be approved in time for him to play for Hapoel Jerusalem tomorrow..


Now let's juxtapose that with this report in Kipa of a young Ethiopian man, grandson of an Ethiopan "Kess" (what they call their rabbi or priest in Ethiopian) - when he arrived with his family in Israel at the age of 5, the entire family underwent a "giyur lechumra" - a conversion just to remove any doubt - as they are from the Beta Israel sect, though this young fellow did his conversion 3 years later, separate from his family. The article does not say why he did not do it with his family, but I am not sure it matters.

When he was in the army he discovered he was still listed as Christian in the Ministry of Interior records, as he was invited to the IDF conversion course, called Netiv. This fellow went to the Rabbanut beis din in Ashkelom to clarify his status and they confirmed him as Jewish and gave him documentation to that effect.

A few years later this fellow wants to get married only to discover that the Ministry of Interior still lists him as Christian and the beis din's confirmation of his Jewishness is inadequate.

After some appeals and loopholes, it turned out he was approved to marry, as the letter form beis din was deemed enough for that purpose, though he continued to be listed as a Christian in the official State records. Later that decision was reversed as well, and the State refused to register his marriage.

The State of Israel offices do not recognize each others decisions and this poor kid can't get himself properly registered because of it. Too bad he cant dunk a basketball.



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chilul shabbos continues to increase with increased religious representation

While sad and disappointed to see the trend of increased public chilul shabbos, I find it fascinating to follow. Tibrias with its new mayor, Ron Kubi, is already easy to keep track of, as he is loud and outspoken about it and promotes it all on social media and has been interviewed regularly in the news, on probably all the various channels. Besides for Tiberias, there are kiosks opening on Shabbos in Ashdod, while Tel Aviv has been talking about increasing the chilul shabbos for a long time, along with fighting for permits for public transportation,  though I am not aware of them doing so as of yet, though the road works (such as with the Yehudit Bridge) and rail works have very publicly gone Shabbos...

I find it fascinating and intriguing that while the religious and Haredi representation in government has gotten increasingly powerful, the level of chilul shabbos has increased as well. While the numbers of Haredi and religious MKs and mayors and city councilpeople across the country have increased (the number of MKs hasnt really increased but representation in city councils has), their power and influence has actually increased tremendously. Yet with all the more power and influence the religious and Haredi communities have in the public sphere, the opposition to them increases and the activities to oppose the religious positions do as well.

It does not take a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to figure out that it is, at least in part, a response to the increased religious legislation (and this can also be seen in other religious state issues not relevant to this topic), the people not wanting to be told how to live their lives, how to behave on their day off. Especially fascinating is that survey after survey over the years has shown Israel to be overwhelmingly traditional and not anti-religious yet the public movement to chilul shabbos continues to increase.

I suspect Shabbos, in this case, is a victim in the story and struggle for power in Israel. Israel is not a religious state and people seem to not appreciate being told by religious people what to do. It seems to me that this is another example of the need for a separation between shul and state. Religious legislation in Israel almost never improves society and its approach to religion - it generally increases the animosity to religion. As I have said before, I do not know how separation of shul and state can work in Israel while still calling it a Jewish country, but there seems to be a need for some separation at some level.

Specifically regarding Tiberias, while the mayor is encouraging the chilul shabbos in general and the new bus line in particular, it is all really private. They are not running Egged (or whichever company operates the public lines in Tiberias) buses, but private vehicles at no charge. They are using Arab drivers, according to reports, and the bus stops at pre-determined bus stops at specific time and it is free of charge. It seems to me that this is far less of a problem frםm a Shabbos perspective than having residents who wish to get to the boardwalk to call taxis or drive their private cars. Based on what Shmiras Shabbos Khilchaso says in 30:55, this seems to hardly be a Shabbos problem at all at an individual level, though the public appearance of buses running on Shabbos is still a visual problem for the public sphere in a Jewish state..




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Osem's Bamba to take on peanut allergies in the USA

Bamba in the USA sounds like a recipe for disaster, as the stigma against peanuts and peanut-based foods is strong and the fear of peanuts is dominant. That is not stopping Osem from aggressively attempting to ramp up the marketing of bamba in the USA and step up the distribution to a much wider public.
source: Algemeiner

Osem points to opinions that show the incorporation of bamba as what might be considered a staple of the diet of Israeli children is responsible for keeping the peanut allergy rate in Israel very low. I have never seen any studies quoted that prove or strongly indicate this as fact, but people in the health industry are of the opinion that early consumption of bamba, from the ages of 4 to 6 months, can generally take the credit, at least partially, as a form of inoculation against the peanut allergy.

All will be good and dandy until the first lawsuit against Osem, unless they can produce studies and not just opinions. While I don't eat bamba, it seems to be so well liked in Israel that it is a shame the kids elsewhere can't really enjoy it, and its possible powers against a peanut allergy would be an added bonus if real.


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2/9/19 Contemporary Bishul Akum and Yoreh Deah questions (audio)







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Shalva Band's goodbye interview on Hakochav Haba (video)

they can hold their heads high - they nothing to feel bad about. They have made everyone proud and have changed the face of Israeli society.





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Rafi Reshef follow-up with Sivan Rahav Meir about the Uri Zohar interview (video)







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Weird Ways Israel Won its War of Independence (video)

very cool





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Eitan Katz Feat. Benny Friedman - B'fi Yeshorim (video)







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Feb 8, 2019

Yonina- 7 Years (video)







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Feb 7, 2019

Chalak or Glatt in Bnei Braq?

someone sent me a letter written by Rav Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau, head of the Landau hechsher in Bnei Braq. It was also published on Yudel Shain's blog, though I do not know where it was originally published, but I will translate it here.

Rav Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau 
Regarding beef "Kosher-Glatt" sold in stores in our city..
In advance of Pesach, meat will begin to be sold in our town marked as "kosher glatt". This meat is appropriate for Ashkenazim following the opinion of the Rama. In order for people to understand what this is about and to prevent confusion, I will explain the main points of the issue.

It is well known that the Mechaber and the Rama argue in Shulchan Aruch about the checking fo lesions on the lung of an animal. The Mechaber does nto allow any checking of any lesions at all. The Rama says that some allow checking lesions by rubbing and pressing them and he says that even though it is a big leniency, it has been the custom in our countries to do so. All Ashkenazic communities have accepted this custom.

Despite that, throughout the generation there were always some individuals who were stringent and careful to not eat meat that had lesions, even lesions that underwent the process of feeling and pressing. As time went on such meat became called "chalak" and meat that underwent pressing and feeling of possible lesions was called "kosher". However, even with such meat that undergoes the feeling and pressing, there are different levels - there are some lesions that come off easily without any effort and there are other lesions that are difficult to remove and need a lot of rubbing and pressing and even forcibly peeling it off. Being that animals without lesions are an uncommon minority everywhere, many communities have become accustomed to allowing lesions removed by rubbing and even lesions removed by peeling, based on the Rama. There were even places that out of necessity were accustomed to calling such meat "chalak" as long as there were no more than 3 lesions peeled off.

Thank God our generation is worthy and God Fearing, and if 50 years ago most people ate "kosher" meat and those stringent about "chalak" were just individuals, today most Haredim are careful about eating only "chalak" meat. So much so that good hechshers today only supply chalak meat. However, the high demand for chalak meat has forced them to bring down the level of chalak and include within it even meat that has some types of lesions and up to 3 actual lesions.

However, my father was very stringent, despite the difficulty, to not change an iota from the opinion of the Beis Yosef and would always say "Chalak is like a newborn calf, without any issues" and that is what we did all the years, with chalak under our certification being real chalak with no negative issues. In recent years, after merchants from abroad have already become accustomed by the different kashrus organizations to attain very high percentages of chalak they do not want to deal with us any longer due to lower profit margins so there has become a shortage of meat. With no alternative, and so as not to deviate from the custom of the stringent, I have decided that we can market in stores meat that is appropriate for those following the Rama called "kosher glatt". Meaning, "Chalak" will remain actual chalak as it always has been, and meat that his the minor lesions that required no major effort to remove will be marketed under the name "kkosher glatt". This meat can be eaten by those accustomed like the Rama and as Ashkenazic communities have followed throughout the generations. In all the other hechshers, this meat is included under the name "chalak". If someone tries to find the "chalak" according to the custom of the Beis Yosef, he will have to work very hard to find it. 

So that this will be easily identifiable, and as a sign for understanding: meat called "kosher glatt" in Yiddish will be designated for Ashkenazim only eating in line with the custom of the Rama, while meat called "chalak" - in lashon hakodesh, will be appropriate also for Sefardim who follow the opinion of the Beis Yosef. 

Therefore, the Ashkenazim following the Rama can buy from the kosher glatt and eat and enjoy.

In wedding halls and restaurants only chalak meat will be allowed as has been the case until today and this is appropriate for Sefardim following the Beis Yosef as well with no concern.


the original:
הרב משה יהודה ליב לנדא
אודות בשר בהמה "כשר-גלאט" המשווק החנויות בעירנו.
לקראת חג הפסח, יתחילו לשווק בעירנו בשר שיסומן בשם "כשר-גלאט", בשר זה מתאים לאשכנזים הנוהגים כהרמ"א. בכדי שהציבור יבין במה המדובר וכדי למנוע מבוכה ובלבול, אבאר את עיקרי הדברים:                                 
ידוע ומפורסם, שהמחבר והרמ"א נחלקו בשו"ע אודות בדיקת סרכות הריאות בבקר, שהמחבר אינו מתיר בדיקת הסרכות כלל וכלל. והרמ"א הביא שיש מתירים כל סכרא שעוברת ע"י מיעוך ומשמוש, וכתב. "ויש מתירין למשמש בסרכות ולמעך בהם.. ע"פ שהוא קולא גדולה כבר נהגו כל בני מדינות אלו..". ובמנהג זה החזיקו בכל קהילות אשכנז.               
אם זאת, בכל הדורות, היו יחידים שהחמירו שלא לאכול מבהמה שהיו בה סרכות. ואפילו סרכות שעברו ע"י מיעוך ומשמוש, במשך הזמן אף נקראו בשמות – בשר שלא היו בו סרכות כלל נקרא "חלק", ובשר שהוכשר ע"י מיעוך ומשמוש נקרא "כשר". אולם, גם בסרכות שעוברות ע"י מיעוך ומשמוש יש דרגות שונות זו למעלה מזו, יש סרכות שיורדות בנקל ללא כח של הבודק כלל וישנן סרכות שבכדי להסירם צריך למעך ולמשמש הרבה, ועד כדי קליפה בכח. והיות שבהמות ללא סרכות הם מיעוט שאינו מצוי בכל מקום, הנהיגו בהרבה קהילות להכשיר את כל הסרכות העוברות ע"י מיעוך, ואף התירו סרכות שיורדות ע"י קליפה, וזאת על יסוד דברי הרמ"א הנ"ל. היו גם מקומות כאלו, שמתוך הדחק הנהיגו להחשיב כ"חלק" עד ג' סרכות שנקלפות.
ב"ה אכשור דרא, ואם לפני יובל שנים היה רוב הציבור אוכל בשר "כשר" והמקפידים על בשר "חלק" היו יחידים ממש. כהיום,  רוב  החרדים לדבר ה' מקפידים על בשר "חלק". עד כדי שהשגחות מיוחסות מספקות בשר "חלק" בלבד. אולם, הדרישה המרובה לבשר "חלק" הכריחה אותם לרדת ברמת החלק ולהכליל בהגדרת "חלק" גם סרכות לפי סוגים שונים. ועד ג' סרכות ממש. 
אולם אבי הגה"ח זללה"ה הקפיד מאד, למרות הקושי, שלא לשנות מדעת ה"בית יוסף", והיה אומר תמיד: "חלק הוא כמו שהעגל נולד, בלי שום ריעותא", וכך אנו נוהגים כל השנים, כאשר החלק שתחת השגחתי הוא "חלק" ממש, לא שום ריעותא. בשנים האחרונות, לאחר שהסוחרים בחו"ל הורגלו ע"י גופי כשרות שונים להגיע לאחוזים גבוהים של "חלק", הם אינם רוצים עוד לעסוק עמנו מחמת מניעת הרווח, וממילא נוצר מחסור בבשר בקר.בלית ברירה, ובכדי שלא לשנות ח"ו ממנהג המחמירים, החלטתי לאפשר לשווק בחנויות גם בשר המתאים רק לנוהגים ע"פ הרמ"א, שיקרא "כשר-גלאט". כלומר, ה"חלק" יישאר "חלק" כמו שהיה כל השנים. והבשר שהיתה בהם סרכה קלה ממש, שלא היה צריך כח הבודק כלל בהסרתם, (שאצל רבים הם מוגדרות כ"רירים"), ישווקו תחת השם "כשר-גלאט". בשר זה מתאים לנוהגים ע"פ מנהג הרמ"א, וכמו שנהגו בקהילות אשכנז בכל הדורות. ובכל ההכשרים הנפוצים בשר זה הוא בכלל "חלק" גמור. מי שינסה לחפש שם "חלק" ממש כפי שיטת ה"בית יוסף", יצטרך להרבות בחיפושים, וכולי האי ואולי.
כדי שההיכר יהיה ברור ולסימנא מילתא: הבשר הקרוי "כשר-גלאט" – באידיש, מיועד לאשכנזים בלבד הנוהגים כמנהג הרמ"א, ואילו הבשר שנקרא "חלק" – בלשון הקודש, מתאים גם לספרדים ההולכים בשיטת ה"בית יוסף".           
ולכן, האשכנזים הנוהגים כהרמ"א יכולים לקנות גם מן ה"כשר-גלאט" ויאכלו ענוים וישבעו.
באולמות ובמסעדות יכנס רק בשר "חלק" כמו שהיה עד היום, ומתאים גם לנוהגים כחומרות ה"בית יוסף" ללא חשש.
ghjghj



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PA thwarting Benny Gantz

PA Chairman's Mahmous Abbas's spokesman announced yesterday that he is encouraged by things Benny Gantz has said during his campaign regarding the possibility of future withdrawals from the West Bank, as long as Gantz sticks to these opinions in the future and does not change his mind.
source: Haaretz, Jewish Press

It is almost as if the Palestinian Authority is trying intentionally to thwart Benny Gantz's chances in the upcoming election and ruin any future prospects for peace. By making such statements they are handing the Likud and Netanyahu the best possible weapon against Gantz.. I can already see the Likud signs declaring the PA or abbas supports Benny Gantz for Prime Minister...




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State of the Union Trump-Congress wish happy birthday to Pittsburgh/Holocaust survivor Judah Samet (video)







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Talking with heads of Political Parties - MK Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid (video)







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Yoelish Krausz on Amnon Lei about gender-separation signs in Jerusalem (video)

Yoelish Krausz can be pretty funny...

this is about signs in Jerusalem (in Mea Shearim) near a shul that directs men and women to different sides and entrances...it has now become a fight betwene City Hall and local extremist residents similar to the issue in Bet Shemesh in RBS B with the signs there..





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2018 STEM CELLS Young Investigator Awarded to Benjamin “Beno” Freedman, Ph.D. (video)

to think we grew up together, were neighbors, shul mates, friends, etc.. congrats!



The 2018 STEM CELLS Young Investigator Award has been awarded to UW Medicine's Benjamin “Beno” Freedman for his groundbreaking work with organoids in studying kidney structure and disease. The award, which carries a $10,000 prize, is given annually to an early-career scientist whose paper is judged to be of worldwide significance by a global jury. Freedman was senior author on the paper, “Gene-Edited Human Kidney Organoids Reveal Mechanisms of Disease in Podocyte Development,” published December 2017 in STEM CELLS.





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CHAYA KOGAN- Hakol Mimcha (Official Music Video)

- לנשים ובנות בלבד! חיה קוגן- הכל ממך
for women and girls only





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Feb 6, 2019

Picture of the Day

this should really be a disqualified PotD..



This is a picture of Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, two Muslim Congresswomen who have been vocally anti-semitic and anti-Israel...this image was from President Donald Trump's State of the Union Address last night... the focus on these two by many on line is the fashion statement of them wearing Zionist "white and blue"... I say it should be disqualified because Israel does not own the white and blue colors and in an event that has absolutely nothing to do with Israel, wearing white and blue says nothing about their positions on Israel or Zionism. Had it been an AIPAC conference or an Israel Day Parade that would be a different story.


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Quote of the Day

Mahane Yehuda will not be shut down. Neither will the First Station complex be shut down.  We will do everything possible so that in Jerusalem there will be as much recreational and fun opportunities as possible. Let's leave the myths behind. The Haredim want to have recreation in Jerusalem just like the secular. The Haredim are not the enemy and they want to live with the secular together, and so it shall be. We will preserve the status quo for the benefit of everyone.

  -- Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Lion






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