Sep 30, 2020

Quote of the Day

The exit strategy [of this lockdown] will be slow this time and could be spread out over half a year or maybe even a year.

  -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

looks like the enter strategy is like that too. Go outside. there is hardly a lockdown in place. People are everywhere, and anyone who wants in excuse to be out and go somewhere basically can find one.  





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fines or no fines

The news is reporting daily how many fines were dished out by the police to people breaking the CoronaVirus lockdown guidelines - not wearing mask, being further than 1km form the house, violating quarantine, etc. 

It has gotten so futile the CoronaVirus Czar Roni Gamzu is reportedly recommending to the Corona Cabinet right now that they increase the fines to be more of a deterrent - 1000nis for not wearing a mask, 10,000 for a business not following the rules, 50,000 for an educational institution opening up against the rules...

Yet at the same time as all this as happening and the government is having a difficult time enforcing the lockdown, let alone the basic rules, President Ruvi Rivlin and Justice Minister Avi Nissenkrn have announced that they are putting together a plan for amnesty, or pardons, for people who have received fines. The pardons would apply to those who have gotten into bad financial situations because of Corona. 

They insist that this will not be applied to parking tickets or to fines levied for breaking Corona rules, as there is a need to curb the spread, but people can request other fines be pardoned. Also, anyone convicted of a crime within the past 5 years will not be considered for pardon.

It seems somewhat complicated as to who will qualify for these pardons and for what types of fines. For details, if relevant to you, see the Calclist article linked just above.

So they won't get rid of their Corona fines, but they can get rid of most/many of the rest of their fines for other violations and misdeeds. I dont want to say I wish I had received many fines over the past few years to get wiped away, but I feel somewhat of a freier for not being able to take advantage of this... us good law-abiding citizens rarely get any significant prizes.....



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don't invite ushpizin

The news is reporting that Epidemiologist Professor Itamar Gruto has warned that in sukkas as well you can only be with families and the regular rules apply,. he added that the sukka is considered a closed structure rather than an open one and one should not invite Ushpizin to the sukka..

If you think I am joking, as many have joked about this already, listen to the news report as recorded in the Tweet below.



Either Gruto was joking and they picked it up as being serious not realizing, or else it is just ignorance of what the Ushpizin is. It is also possible that Gruto used the word "ushpizin" to mean not to invite any guests, as the word just means guests, even if traditionally it is used to refer to the sukkos ushpizin.

Anyways, if the ushpizin come they will need 14 days quarantine, so it isn't practical.



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the different approach of the Chassidim to wearing masks

Haredim10 is reporting on something said by the Vizshnitzer Rebbe, after the police went to the Vizshnitz beis medrash at the end of Yom Kippur and broke up a mass Corona party, of sorts - they had basically broken all the rules with no distancing, thousands of people beyond what the rules allowed, and no masks at the post Yom Kippur tish and the police broke it up. 

On Tuesday the Rebbe went to the mikva and found it locked, as per Corona lockdown regulations. He immediately contacted the person in charge of the mikva and instructed him to open it immediately. He said that he wants to see the mikva open, one full water cistern, and the opening should only be form the side and not the front so they can make it look like it is closed, and the bochurim should all be able to toivel. The Rebbe said he will not allow the closure of the mikvas, batei medrash or schools, and he will turn it into a war if necessary.

Today, in a phone call between the Prime Minister and the Rebbe, the Rebbe says he told the PM that these 3 are essential for them and cannot be closed, and that if the PM would ensure that the entire country keep Shabbos, at least publicly, he would guarantee Corona would disappear from the world.

To that end, Yehuda Shlezinger is reporting in Israel Hayom that the Vizshnitzer Rebbe, along with some other Admorim and chassidic groups, have decided to take a different approach. Shlezinger adds that it makes no sense so far into Corona they still don't get it and need more hasbara about the importance of masks and distancing, etc so he went and spoke to Vizshnitz chassidim, among others, along with people close to some Admorim, and what people don't know is that they have decided to take the approach of obtaining herd immunity - they are trying to get everyone sick and then be immune.

Part of their approach is that people in high risk groups and the elderly should protect themselves and stay home but everyone else should live their normal lives, catch the disease and effect herd immunity.

He says this approach started with Belz a while back, during the first wave, and has now been taken on by a number of other chassiduyot, including Vizshnitz.

Shlezinger explains that they have accepted the fact that they cannot avoid Corona, and the price to be paid in trying is too high - they cannot close their mikvas and yeshivas and shuls - the price of so much destruction among the Haredi yeshiva world because of Corona is not worth it. Many boys are stuck at home with little to keep them busy, and many are leaving the fold or going through some sort of spiritual death with no connection to shul and yeshiva.

So, when people complain about those chassidim who don't follow the rules, it seems they have chosen intentionally not to follow the rules because they are takign a different approach.

The problem is that they do not live in a closed ghetto. They go mingle with other people, in other shuls, in stores, on buses, and wherever else they go. They get sick and go to the doctor with other people in the waiting room. And all this time they are all getting themselves infected, they may very well be infecting others.

Further, this is the definition of the mishna in Pirkei Avos, Ethics of our Fathers, that warns people to pray for the government, for without it there would be chaos with each person doing whatever he wants and each consuming the other. I am not sure one group of a sub0sect of society, or even a few groups, has the right to take such a vastly different approach, no matter how much sense it makes (and I don't know if it is a good approach or not, but even if theoretically it were, they are doing it on their own against the greater society).

And lastly, this is really the result of the semi-autonomy the State of Israel has always given to the Haredi community. In so many aspects of life the Haredi community does not feel beholden to the local rules and that they can do what they want and nobody can tell them otherwise. Why should this be any different? They can do what they want. Netanyahu spoke with him today - did he say we won't tolerate this - You are endangering the rest of us? There is no report of this. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but we basically continue to see these groups doing what they want and basically getting away with it (with maybe a few fines passed out to some individuals)... 




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found a boxload of cash... did he keep it or return it?

Behadrei has the story of a Satmar chossid, Avraham Rottman, who owns a couple of makolets in Bet Shemesh and Mea Shearim, who found money in his warehouse among the cartons of yahrtzeit candles.

His employee, also a Satmar chossid, was pulling out the boxes of yahrtzeit candles and when he opened one of the boxes he found more than half a million shekels in cash! 500,000NIS instead of yahrtzeit candles!

Mr Rottman asked his rabbi what to do with the money. The rabbi paskened that it is likely the owner had already given up hope on ever getting his money back, so Rottman could keep the money he found. Despite that he decided to try to find the owner and return the money. Somehow he found the owner and returned the money. The owner, a Dati leumi fellow, cried from emotion and praised the Satmar chassidim.

It does not tell us who the owner was - someone from the manufacturing plant or in charge of the deliveries, or some other person? Nor does it tell us how he found the owner. Both would be interesting parts of the story. Additionally, I wonder how this story will go down legally - we all know the government is phasing out cash. Reading a story like this in the news and seeing a stockpile of that much cash is sure to raise some eyebrows and get an investigation started.

Regardless of that, kol hakavod to Mr Rottman and his employee, either could have taken the money and not reported it further and not looked for the original owner. Starting off the year with a kiddush hashem like that will surely stand in their merit.




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Headlines Podcast: 9/26/20 - Show 290 - Chalav Stam today; Rav Moshe’s Heter (video)








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Chef Shalom on Chopped 2020 S47E03 - Soup and Sandwich Savvy - Food Network Chopped 9/22/20 (video)







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PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly







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Nissim Black: BLACKOUT | Episode 2: Black America (video)







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Mendy Jarufi and Nemouel Harosh: Ki Rega B'Apo (video)








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Sep 29, 2020

Kachol Lavan under pressure for protests

The news is reporting that the Knesset is prepping to vote on the issue of limiting protests during the lockdown. it seems Kachol Lavan is in a bind. They wan tot vote in favor of limiting protests, but are under heavy pressure form the protesters and their supporters to oppose any limitations. They are trying to find a way to bow out, generally by an arrangement to not show up and have others on the opposing team also agree to not show up, but are having difficulty working this out.

I would suggest Kachol Lavan ignore them. Those pushing them to vote against any limitations are mostly hard leftists and are not supporters of Kachol Lavan. They also will not vote  Kachol Lavan in the future. There is no need for Kachol Lavan to feel pressure by these people. If Kachol Lavan strongly opposes the vote, that is a different story, but that does not seem to be the case. It seems they are only seeking to oppose because of the pressure from the protesters. 

If that is the case, ignore them - they aren't people you will ever get votes form anyway. They will be voters for Lapid and for Meretz and maybe some United Arab List protest voters (not that they are the same, but they have strong anti-Bibi voters among them).




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Jews Praying in a Synagogue, with or without women

There is a famous painting, a piece of Jewish art, entitled "Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur".

You surely must have seen it at some point. it is often used in many references to Yom Kippur services. Here is an image of the painting:



There is a lot of story behind this. The artist was a Polish Jew named Maurycio Gottleib in 1878. The painting is supposedly a scene of the shul from his memory after he davened in a shul in Vienna and then decided to immortalize the scene in a painting due to an antisemitic attack. Gottleib painted himself into the scene a few times, plus one of the women is his fiancée (who broke up with him) depicted twice. The Torah scroll is embroidered with a memoriam to himself, depicting himself further after death. There is a lot more and you are welcome to research different explanations of the art.

Another interesting aspect of this painting is the edited version of it, which is also popularly used. I suspect many are not even aware they are not looking at the original. The edited version of the painting has removed the women, or blurred them, surprise surprise, from the balcony. "The Jewish Encyclopedia" posted the following edited image on their page explaining Yom Kippur:





I guess everyone can write the history as they want it, so here is the explanation from Kikar, specifically about the edited version. I found the assumptions entertaining.

First of all, Gottleib was not frum, not God fearing, so he painted women, rachmana litzlan, into the painting! GEVALT! Not only that but he depicted the seen with the women in the ezrat nashim being visible with no curtain blocking the mens view of them.

According to Kikar, this being a hassidic "kloiz" in Galicia it makes no sense and Gottleib must have painted the curtain a couple of meters back form where it actually was so that he could include women in the depiction. 

Michlol is something of an attempt at being a frum version of Jewish Wikipedia for frum people who don't want to use Wikipedia (for tzniyus and apikorsus reasons, ostensibly).

There you have the story




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Facebook Status of the Day







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Interesting Psak: Sukka Like a House

Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein called this evening for increased fines for those breaking the Corona rules. he also spoke about the lockdown and how they are dealing with it and where they are outing their efforts along with the plan to come out of it carefully and not give in to various sectors demands to ease up quicker...

Along the way, Minister Edelstein, NOT to be confused with Rav Gershon Edelstein, issued a psak regarding sukkos saying that a sukka constructed properly according to halacha is considered a closed space (rather than an open space). He added that we will nto send police into every sukka or house to check, but just like it is prohibited to host guests in your house, it is also prohibited to host guests in your sukka. 

There you have it. Your sukka is supposed to be your home for the week, and it gets the legal status of your home as well!



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Yaakov "I'll be back" Litzman

The news is reporting that MK Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) is working on making his way to back to the government, once again as a Deputy Minister. Same job, slightly less responsibility, mostly in name since he always takes these Deputy Minister jobs with all the authority as a minister...

It is slightly more difficult this time. In the past Netanyahu himself would take the position fo Minister above Litzman and give Litzman full authority over the ministry as Deputy Minister. This time Netanyahu cannot. When he was indicted for his alleged crimes the law forced him to give up all hsi ministerial positions (except for the Prime Minister position), so now Netanyahu cannot take the title of Housing Minister back, even if just in name. So he has to find another minister who is willing to add the title but also give Litzman all the authority. Technically, this minister is at risk for being blamed by history for whatever happens within the ministry, as he will always bear the title Minister of Housing, even though it will be Litzman making all the decisions and wielding all the power. This might be an impediment, but I expect it won't be too difficult to resolve.

I thought for a moment that this time he was serious. I now take back what I said about respecting him for putting his money where his mouth is. This is what we call a "combina" in Hebrew. He resigned to make a big deal then sneaks back in through the back door in a way that he can take all the credit and none of the blame for what he doesn't like. if he really had principles and if he really were serious, he would have left the government and stayed out, or else he could have saved us all this drama.... 

And he recently made such a dramatic statement of you will never hear the name Minister Litzman being called again - haha, so he is Deputy Minister Litzman instead. And even that is probably just temporary... We are going to rename him after Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in The Terminator series of movies who would say "I'll be back" ominously... Deputy Minister Yaakov I'll Be Back Litzman




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Quote of the Day

The lockdown will definitely continue beyond the two weeks. If we ease things up or not in various ways - that will be decided later... this time going out of the lockdown will be done gradually and responsibly. There will be no giving in to pressures...

  Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein

haha.. the entire form of the lockdown was set by giving in to pressure, with all the exceptions.. not sure  he's earned the ability to say this and be believed, but let's see what happens...



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the crisis that is threatening shuls and communities (video)








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Palestinians: Sunni Arab countries are making peace with Israel, why aren't you? (video)









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Omri Casspi Podcast, with Aviv Gefen (video)

they even talk some religion and kabbala .... 






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LENNY SOLOMON LIVE (video)











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MORDECHAI SHAPIRO - Ein Od Milvado (Official Video)








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Sep 28, 2020

Avremi Roth - Mendi Jerufi - Tishrei Kumzits Melody (video)








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Sep 27, 2020

President Rivlin asks everyone to light a yahrtzeit candle for Corona victims with a prayer (video)







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Deri calls on the public for Yom Kippur (video)








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Interesting Psak: wearing masks near other people

Kikar is reporting that a group of rabbonim led by Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, Rav Siman, Rav Webber, among others, issued a psak today, Erev Yom Kippur 5781, regarding the wearing of masks.

According to the psak the opinion of the doctors and medical experts is that wearing masks does a lot toward bringing down the risk level of catching and spreading the CoronaVirus. Everyone is obligated to wear masks that cover the mouth and nose and thereby protect ourselves and our Jewish brethren near us.

Not doing so, they say, will cause great damage to the existence of torah and tefilla as a result of spreading the virus further.

Everyone must wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose and must wear it the entire time one is in close proximity to other people, and this obligation is like all other obligations on a Jewish person.

They add, and this is the first time I have seen a rabbi discuss this, that even people who already had CoronaVirus and have recuperated must also wear a mask when near other people, due to this being a decree for the public.

gmar chasima tova








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President Rivlin's new year greetings 5781 (video)








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Rav Hillel Pelei: Nusach Hatefilla of Yomim Noraim (video)








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Sep 26, 2020

The Farbrengen - "Anapoli" - Part 7 (video)







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Sep 25, 2020

Songs for the Soul – Preparing for Yom Kippur (video)








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Mizmor Shir: Kee Hinei Kchomer (video)








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JVocals: V'Chol Ma'aminim (video)







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TESHUVA - NAFTALI BLUMENTHAL - (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)







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Sep 24, 2020

Rav Zilbershtein's sequel for Yom Kippur night

Mah Nishtana on the porches was such a resounding success (not quite sure how that is measured) this past Pesach under full lockdown that Rav Zilbershtein is going for the sequel. Or maybe the third in a series (though the sequel, the porch shofar blowing at 11am, was not his).

Kikar is reporting that Rav Zilbershtein called for adults and children to go out on their porches and in the streets on Yom Kippur night after saying Kol Nidre and before saying the Maariv services, and call out "Shema Yisrael...", "Baruch Shem kvod..", "Hashem Melech, hashem malach..", and "Avinu Malkeinu M'na mageifa m'nachlatecha".

Rav Zilbershtein explains that the gemara says that the Kohen Gadol would call out "Ana hashem" on Yom Kippur in the mikdash, and his voice would be heard all the way to Jericho. We don't have a kohen gadol today, Rav Zilbershtein says, but we can go out together to the streets and say these verses (stated above). Our voices may not carry all the way to Jericho but it will definitely make it all the way up to the Heavens and it will cause those far away to come and crown the King, and in that merit the palgue should be stopped.

Let's hope.

I was thinking that this is different than Mah Nishtana by Pesach. that was to help those conducting the seder alone, the elderly mostly, and encourage them that they are not alone. This is nice, but it isn't for other people really. Then I saw a notice abotu it and the explanation given is that this would help many who cant go to shul have the traditional kabbalas ol malchus shamayim - the acceptance of the yoke of heaven. So it really is similar. It is not just between each person and God, but is there to help other people.






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Interesting Psak: asking mechila or calling the police

Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, rav of Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq, pasked today was asked by someone who screamed at someone else for not wearing his mask properly in shul if he needs to ask forgiveness. He explained that in his shul some wear properly and some dont wear masks at all - someone not wearing a mask sat near him and he screamed at the person and told him to move away and not get close to him, and he screamed out at the others asking how many people need to die before you start being careful??

The person asking says that after the incident someone came over to him and told him he must ask mechila from that person and he should not have screamed at him. So he is asking the rav if he needs to ask mechila or if he was ok with his harsh criticism.

Rav Zilbershtein paskened that someone who told off another person harshly for not wearing a mask does not need to ask his forgiveness before Yom Kippur. Not only that but he should have called the police on this person. He actually said that what you did was somewhat incorrect - you were wrong for not calling the police. He quoted Rav Akiva Eiger who said that screaming at people doesn't help and the police must be called.

Rav Zilbershtein also said it would be a great sin to ask this person for forgiveness.
source: Kikar

All throughout this pandemic, Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein has probably been the rav to take the strongest stance on following the guidelines completely and even more than required.








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Government allocates funds for helping minyanim to stay cool


Before Rosh Hashana the news reported that Minister Deri was arranging assistance on the municipal level to prepare all public buildings such as schools and community centers to be used for minyanim so many of the outdoor minyanim would be able to be indoors with air conditioning. 

Personally I have not heard of a single outdoor minyan that was allocated space in a classroom with an air conditioner or provided shade and air conditioning from the government. Maybe it happened, but I know a lot of people who davened in outdoor minyanim and I haven't heard of a single one that was moved indoors into a public building at the expense of the government (or even out of their own pockets, for that matter).

And now the news is reporting that Ministers Katz and Deri have agreed to allocate 25million NIS immediately to local government to prepare shade, chairs, lighting, fans and coolers in outdoor areas to be made available to minyanim. This will help, and also possibly encourage, people to daven outdoors. This would also be used not just for Yom Kippur but for the entire duration of the lockdown.

I want to know who gets this. Where is this money going and which minyanim are being helped in this way? How does a minyan apply for a piece of this pie? Which local minyanim will be granted the shade and fans from the government? Is this all a scam for a bit of public relations, as if they are trying to help or do some people actually benefit from this? Where can I see this government aid in action?


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liberal or conservative feminism

MK Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) commented on the death of RBG, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, praising her for her strength and feminism and leadership, while at the same time saying there would be no room for someone like her on the Israeli Supreme Court.

That has baffled many people. Shaked, a woman who describers herself as a feminist, praises RBG effusively and talks about how she was a trailblazer and led the way, an paved the way, for so many women, but Shaked would never appoint her to the Israeli Supreme Court. This makes people wonder. It sounds contradictory.

I think one needs to separate Shaked's words. Shaked can admire RBG for the trail she blazed as a woman and all that she accomplished and still disagree with her politics and her legal stances. Shaked is more conservative in how she sees Israeli society, and despite thinking wonderful things of RBG, she can also think that RBG was too liberal for Israeli society.

Being a feminist and working for female advancement does not require one to also be an uber-liberal.


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the real reason for CoronaVirus

We have all heard the various reasons given for why we were made to suffer from the CoronaVirus pandemic and, more specifically, why God chased us out of the shuls. Talking during davening. Lashon Hara. Tzniyus. Treating davening with less than the deserved respect. and more. Each person coming up with a reason does it according to his or her personal agenda. And that's fine. We each see the world through our own little prism.

Here is a new one I never heard before. This Letter to the Editor from the Flatbush Jewish Journal was posted in a FB group, and it is pure gold.




pictures with shidduch resumes. that brought the pandemic to the world.

ok then

There you have it

I love the letters to the editor section in every publication. It is always the best part of the paper, especially Jewish papers.






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religious prisoners being abused in jail...

Kikar is reporting on a complaint from the "Torani" ward of Maasiyahu prison. The Torani ward of this prison houses religious and haredi convicts who get special dispensations for religious needs and are able to spend more time learning Torah than they would be able to in regular wards of the prison system.

The prisoners in the Torani ward are complaining that the new warden is abusing them or harassing them.

before continuing, a complaint like that ina  prison initially makes me think the warden is making them do backbreaking work that might be undeserved, or maybe he is having his guards hit them or deprive them of food or their time outside or their time in the shul or beis medrash, for whatever reason. We have all seen the movies about evil wardens who abuse the prisoners unde rhis watch.

So how is this warden abusing his felons?

Basically the previous warden was not so strict with the rules and gave the prisoners a lot of leeway in various matters, and the new warden is strictly following the rules. For example, the warden recently saw the prisoners going to the early morning vatikin minyan and saw them before the services drinking coffee and smoking. he decided that this is not what the allowance given for the vatikin minyan is for, so he shut it down and now they can only go to daven at 6:45am.

It seems when they go in to the area of the shul, it has to then be locked. This past Shavuot he did not want to let them stay up all night learning, so he decided that anyone participating must be locked in all night, meaning no bathroom or water would be available to them, and only once every two hours would the gates be opened for them under the watchful eye of a guard to go use the restroom.

And now, during the selichos season, the gates would only be opened for 15 minutes to allow people in early for selichos, and whoever gets in can participate and whoever misses it, even if just by a moment, is stuck.

And now, in advance of Sukkos, the warden decided he would not allow the prisoners to sleep outside in the sukka. It seems they are not allowed to, according to the rules, but the previous warden was lax on this and allowed it, so the tradition of 12 years is now being broken, as the new warden said he will not allow it. 

I don't know what they deserve and what they don't deserve. I don't know what rights they have coming to them and what prison is meant to deprive them of. But I have a hard time feeling bad for them over this serious "abuse" and "harassment". 






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Corona's affect on the shuls (video)







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Come Clean in Time for Yom Kippur! (video)

interesting. weird. if you call the phone number at the end of the clip, please post here in the comments and let us know what their solutions is. My assumption is to give them tzedaka, as when trying to repay someone unknown the halacha says to give money to public needs, tzorchei tzibbur.






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Synagogues of Arizona Part 5 Tucson (video)








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DOVID LOWY- Oseh Shalom/Heal The World [Unplugged #4] (video)








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Sep 23, 2020

Quote of the Day

A full lockdown is anyway going to happen within the coming days - better to start it now during the holiday period..

  -- PM Benjamin Netanyahu

it has been a long day, with a long night still ahead, of fighting in the Corona Cabinet and government about the possibility of going full lockdown

I assume by "better to start it now" he means from the perspective of the economy as many businesses go no holiday anyway during the holidays and naturally far fewer workdays are missed during this period of the year. I assume that because those opposed don't think it is better to start now because of the holidays - they think the holidays are the worst time for this.





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Tweet of the Day




Translation:
Listen, last year we all davened in shul and look what happened. Let's give this outdoor thing a chance....

haha! Jacobi is a comedian in Israel...part of the Underdos team as well...


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long weekends making a comeback due to CoronaVirus...

There is a famous story that happened with Levi Eshkol (I think) when he was Prime Minister of Israel in the '60s. People came to Eshkol and were pushing him to establish Israel's economy to function on a five day work week. Levi Eshkol responded saying are you crazy? We can't just start working five days a week! First have the people work 2 days a week and get used that, then we can bump it up to 3 days, and eventually we'll make it up to working five days a week!

I always think of that story when the discussed of the possibility of introducing "long weekends", ie turning Sunday into an official day off of work, comes up.

The biggest push for it seemed to be about four years ago when it was seriously discussed in government and they floated a plan to start slowly with one Sunday off every two months, and then the plan just disappeared into thin air. Well, it has come up again. This time because of CoronaVirus.

According to Ynet, the issue has been raised again, and this time it is supported by the labor union, the Histadrut. According to the plan, there would be 6 long weekends over the course of the year, once every two months. Minister Eli Cohen is pushing the plan again, after having pushed it a few years ago unsuccessfully in light of CoronaVirus wreaking havoc on the economy and the workforce. I am not sure how but Cohen says this plan would shrink unemployment, and that is in addition to the other benefits of a better work-family balance, of not burning out the employees, improved quality of life, boost to the local tourism industry, and putting working parents and their children students in better sync with their vacation days...

This reminds me of the story I posted above. CoronaVirus has done such damage to the economy and workforce, I find it funny to suggest taking days off as a way to help unemployment and to help the workforce. Start working two days a week, then 3 and we'll make it up to five eventually....

But more seriously, I am in favor whenever this comes up. If this is the one positive to come out of CoronaVirus, dayeinu. 




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The Yom Kippur War of 2020

I predict that the hostile situation regarding the debate of a tight closure that will possibly shut the shuls for Yom Kippur will lead to headlines that will play off the words/idea of "Yom Kippur War"...

this is a very difficult situation... I am not sure how it can be resolved besides for one side forcing the other to give in and everyone will simply suffer the consequences one way or the other. 


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The Unexpected Victim of CoronaVirus

A boutique bakery in Bet Shemesh named "Bakery Boutique" posted on Facebook about a curious situation..

Generally most kashrut certificates form the Rabbanut for restaurants and other food establishments are renewed twice a year - from Rosh Hashana until Erev Pesach with the new certificate granted right after Pesach, and from just after Pesach until Erev Rosh Hashana, with the new certificate granted just after Rosh Hashana.

We have all been taught to check the kashrut certificate to make sure it is valid and not expired. We hear all sorts of stories about we didn't renew it yet but nothing changed, or the Rabbanut is working on it, the Rabbanut is overwhelmed and will send out the new certificates within the next week, etc. Yet we are all taught to not accept such excuses and if the certificate is expired, you can't eat there because it is not supervised.

Well, listen to this story.

According to the post by Bakery Boutique, the kashrut certificate expired on Erev Rosh Hashana but they have yet to get the new certificate from the Bet Shemesh Rabbanut.



The proprietor contacted the Rabbanut representative and asked for the new certificate to be sent over. The rabbi in charge, whose name and phone number is on the expired certificate, got back to her and explained apologetically that he can't right now because the entire staff of the Rabbanut is either in quarantine or actually has CoronaVirus. He said that her business is still kosher and he will vouch for her and anyone with any questions about it or issues with it can call him and ask.

I do wonder how they can vouch for kashrut if they have no ability to send a mashgiach every now and then to check, but maybe part of it is relying on her and a knowledgeable and religious person (often a "neeman kashrut" employee is relied on so that the mashigiach can be present less frequently).

Regardless of that issue, it seems kashrut supervision has become a victim of CoronaVirus. If you walk into an establishment and see the certificate expired, show some understanding rather than hostility. CoronaVirus is creating unusual and unexpected situations for many people....




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Zoom Hafgana

Nowadays almost everything we do [with other people] has been moved to zoom.

We've had halachic discussions about hosting the pesach seder on zoom, hatarat nedarim on zoom, birkat kohanim, minyan, and more, all in addition to school and extracurricular activities and social events and concerts and many others.
Why can't the protests be moved to zoom during this pandemic like everything else? They aren't being paid much attention to out in the streets of Jerusalem, so let them protest on Zoom and not be paid attention to there instead...



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what will be with the shuls? (video)








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Naftali Bennett: The infection dose determines the severity of the illness (video)








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Megillas Lester Pitch Meeting (video)







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Bibi - I'm Sorry for All I Have Done (Avinu Malchenu) (video)

the child's name is Bibi - this has nothing to do with our prime minister...






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SIMCHA LEINER - Seder HaAvodah (ft. Avromi Basch & Motti Feldman) (video)







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Sep 22, 2020

container to store Corona bodies in Haifa

Whoa

According to Channel 13 News, Israel's Chevra Kadisha, the Burial Society, has acquired and set up in Haifa a refrigerator container that will be used to store hundreds of bodies of CoronaVirus victims expected in the coming weeks due to the expected increased mortality in the immediate future.



This container will give them the ability to handle a large number of bodies in a short period of time. For now, the report says, there is only the one up north, but they are prepared, if necessary, God forbid, to quickly set up more containers like this in other parts of the country.

What a morbid report.

I hope it isn't too close to the port. It looks like any other shipping container. Hopefully a cargo ship doesn't load it aboard accidentally. 

But seriously, that is really morbid and brings home the reports. I hope they are only exaggerating to scare people into following the rules of the lockdown and that this really won't be necessary, but it doesn't look good.
.






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haggling over the price: Churchil vs Deri

The famous story is told about Winston Churchill (though some sources claim it happened with various other people) at a dinner party:
At a dinner party Churchill says to his dinner companion, "Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?" 
 The woman responds, "My goodness, Mr. Churchill. I suppose I would." 
 Churchill replies, "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?" 
 She answers, "Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?" 
 Churchill answers, "Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price."

According to the news reports this evening coming out of the Corona Cabinet meeting debating tightening the restrictions, including the possibility of shutting the shuls before Yom Kippur and closing the sukkos 4 minim markets, Minister Aryeh Deri has been fighting valiantly for the shuls. However, the caveat is, Deri said he is willing to sign off on closing the shuls, as long as the hafganot are not allowed to continue in the same format as they have been allowed to operate until now. They need to be shut down, temporarily, as well, and then Deri will allow the shuls to be closed. 

There is logic to this, obviously, but it reminded me of the Churchill story above. Deri is willing to shut the shuls, and even to sign the order himself to do so, as he said he would, now they are just haggling over the price.





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Interesting Psak: gentile doctor in yeshiva for Yom Kippur

Based on the psak of Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, rav of the Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq, Dr Tzion Schlossberg, a Haredi family doctor in Bnei Braq, sent a letter, signed on by Rav Zilbershtein, of instruction to various yeshivas with Corona infected bachurim as to how to behave on Yom Kippur.

Dr Schlossberg says there are now 2500 infected bachurim in Israel. Even though many will have light symptoms or even no symptoms for a few days and 80% will heal with no trace remaining, 5% will have symptoms for a longer period of time and another 5% will get a more serious version of it. I would note that this only adds up to 90%, but ok.

Dr Schlossberg says despite that, it is now known that the disease causes clots in the vascular system and affects organs, such as the lungs and the kidneys, along with other parts of the body, and for a long time people complain about exhaustion, achy joints, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, cough, etc.

Nobody knows in advance who will get a light case and who will get a serious case, and nobody should approach it as trying to get the disease to get it over with.

So:
1.  Somebody Corona positive with light illness from it, after 2-3 days of no longer having symptoms can fast on Yom Kippur. He should drink a lot on Erev Yom Kippur
2. Somebody who had more significant symptoms or continues to have symptoms should ask a rav privately about drinking bshiurin
3. Somebody currently positive and does not yet know if it will develop into serious symptoms or not, should get intravenously supplied liquids during Yom Kippur. If that is not possible, he should drink bitter water (without shiurim, drink 4 tea bags of chamomile tea in a cup of hot water every 15 minutes - sounds impossible). If that's not possible drink bshiurin as dehydration can cause complications with the disease.
4. someone sick with significant symptoms should not fast if it might become dangerous. If possible, he should be given intravenous fluids. If not possible, he can drink regularly
5. someone sick admitted to the hospital should not fast. If possible, IV fluids. if not, drink
6. someone who had been sick with significant symptoms or was hospitalized during the past month, should get IV fluids if possible, and if not drink bitter waters unlimited. If that's not possible, drink bshiurin

Rav Zilbershtein added that any yeshiva that has Corona-positive students would be doing good to bring a doctor, preferably not Jewish, in to be in the yeshiva over Yom Kippur to deal with the IVs and to deal with any health questions that might arise over Yom Kippur. He said that Rav Akiva Eigar instructed the town of Pozna during a plague to have two doctors present the entire day, as it is difficult to give general instructions for Yom Kippur, and no case should be kept secret no matter how light the case seems to be.
source: Hamechadesh

good health to all, and gmar chasima tova


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Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau on halachos of Yom Kippur in age of Corona

Chief Rabbi Rav Dovid Lau has released his psak on how to deal with various issues regarding Yom Kippur in light of CornoaVirus.

As always, he prefaces his remarks by commenting on the need and obligation to follow the Ministry of Health guidelines very carefully. 

It should also be noted that while the government is considering tightening the lockdown with the possibility of shutting shuls for Yom Kippur and Sukkos, upon consulting with the Chief Rabbi he told them that he will not even consider supporting such a decision unless everything else is also shut down completely. If other things can continue to operate, such as protests and businesses and whatnot, then shuls must be allowed to continue to operate as well.

Rav Lau paskened, regard:

men's mikva on Erev Yom Kippur
on Erev Yom Kippur the men's mikva is very crowded and that will make it a place fo danger. One should not go to the mikva to immerse but can rely, this year, on "9 kabin of water poured over him" or immersing in "drawn water" rather than a collected rainwater mikva - basically take a bath or shower.

fasting:
someone in isolation but with no positive Corona test must fast
someone positive for Corona who does not have and never had symptoms must fast
someone positive for Corona who had symptoms, within 5 days of a positive test - should not fast. If 5 days have passed and he has no symptoms, up to 10 days after the positive test he should fast but eat and drink "bshiurin" - small measured amounts (will mention the amounts below).
someone positive for Corona who is sick in serious or moderate condition should not fast. Even if he is now recovered, his immune system is weak and up to 3 months from being sick he should eat and drink bshiurin.

"Shiurin": 
eating/drinking every 9 minutes
eating food would be 27 grams of food every 9 minutes
drinking liquid would be 37ml every 9 minutes
one should prepare a measured cup of the right size or marked off before Yom Kippur begins.
with the mitzva of the day being the fasting, any doubt or concern would submit to the preference of him staying home and davening alone. People should ensure air flow and appropriate conditions

davening alone:
someone davening alone should say the 13 middos, the 13 Attributes, using the trop of the chumash (as this requires a minyan in tfilla). One can say yizkor, vidui and avinu malkeinu as normal
 
The selicha "Kel Na Refa Na" should be said in all the tefilos on Yom Kippur.





Gmar Chasima Tova and good health to all



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Facebook Status of the Day







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Quote of the Day

If 80% of the public would wear masks we would destroy the CoronaVirus within 6 weeks..

  -- MK Naftali Bennet (Yamina)

hmmm




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Yishai Ribo sings Halev Sheli at funeral of Mirit Harari (video)

Mirit Harari died of pancreatic cancer at age 52. It seems she was well known (not just because of her husband Didi) and a cancer advocate and very public about what she was going through. She requested that Ribo sing this song at her funeral. To me it seems different than the regular version of the song and is perhaps more subdued and somber...






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Special Haftarah for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (video)

this tribute to Justice Ruth Bade Ginsburg by Rabbi marc Katz and Cantor Meredith Greenberg, replacing the haftora with words taken from RBG herself chanted to trop is strange and beautiful. I would say it is inappropriate to replace the words of the haftora and perhaps this should have been done in addition rather than instead of the haftora, but I never get the point of criticizing the Reform for not doing something the Orthodox way. They aren't Orthodox and don't follow halacha, and in that context I do not know how to say something they do is appropriate or inappropriate. They have a different way of doing things.







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blew the shofar 50 different times to help others (video)

their dedication to helping others is admirable....

5f67bbf507730_1600633845 from חרדים 10 on Vimeo.






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Synagogues of Chicago Selected Interiors (video)







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Shaindy Plotzker - Zachreinu | (For Women And Girls Only) (video)

With the Yom Tov of Rosh Hashana just around the corner, the emotion and inspiration floods my mind and my soul. We beg and plead with Hashem, "Zachreinu L'Chaim" - remember us for life. Those two words carry so much power. And after a year like we just had, I have never felt the impact of these words more. The power that we hold on this day is tremendous. We have a chance now to beg and plead with Hashem, our father, who loves us, to grant us with life. When I sang these words, I broke down in tears from the intensity of the emotion. But it's so much more than just asking Hashem to grant us physical life. We are asking Him to bless us with our definition of "Chaim" - "life", whether it may be peace of mind, fertility, emotional stability, mental health, a shidduch, happiness - whatever we may be hoping and longing for. This is the day where Hashem decides what kind of "life" each and every one of us will have during this upcoming year. Initially, the thought of that is overwhelming. But as I began to explore this beautiful tefila, I noticed something so calming that changed my entire mindset. We don't belong to a kingdom where our king sits and judges us as a dictator. On the contrary, Hashem is a "Melech Chafetz Bachaim - A king that desires life for each of us". Hashem wants us to be blessed with life just as much as want it for ourselves. He is "Avinu Malkeinu" - our father and our king, and He loves us more than we can possibly imagine. When I thought about this, I was filled with a sense of peace and comfort. The power of this day is tremendous. Use this time and this tefila to ask Hashem for what you hope for and so strongly desire. Remember that not only is He listening, he is "Melech Chafetz Bachaim", and He is on our side. Music is the language of the Neshama and helps us connect to Hashem on a deeper level. I know from experience how it can sometimes touch us in a way that nothing else can. I daven that this song touches each and every one of you and brings you into Rosh Hashana with a renewed sense of inpiration. May Hashem bless all of us with a Kesiva Vachasima Tova, a Shana Tova Umesuka, and may he remember us all for life. שתחדש עלנו שנה טובה ומתוקה! Shaindy






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Sep 21, 2020

Mandy Patinkin blowing the shofar to ensure that RBG's dying wish is heard

he actually blows pretty decently... the idea is cute..






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Quote of the Day


Everyone must learn the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and adhere to them, and they must be enforced equally...Now, suddenly, everyone wakes up in the case of one man. Everyone who breaks quarantine should pay a fine, but there mustn’t be selective enforcement. Jews, Arabs, left, right — I think everyone should follow the Health Ministry instructions and they should be kept and enforced equally.

  -- PM Benjamin Netanyahu, regarding the outrage people expressed at one of his top aides being discovered having broken rules of quarantine




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holiday meals at Balfour protests unreasonable

I don't generally complain about people breaking the rules of the Ministry of Health, of the lockdowns or other CoronaVirus related issues. Adults can do what they want, taking the risks into consideration and then pay the price if necessary.

That being said, this is ridiculous.

The protesters against Prime Minister Netanyahu at Balfour St set up a large table for a joint holiday meal on Rosh Hashana.

Forget the shared responsibility of perhaps curtailing the protests during a lockdown, perhaps minimizing them, perhaps even canceling them temporarily.... in the name of protest, tens, hundreds, maybe thousands of people, were allowed to have a shared holiday meal consisting of strangers (ie people who do not live in the same household together), sitting close together with no social distancing, no masks and no precautions.

Forget dangerous and not dangerous. Forget law or no law.

How is it that they are allowed to have a shared meal like that, and from the pictures they do not all look like youngsters, while the rest of the Israeli public is told it cannot have relatives over - grandparents, children, grandchildren, brother, cousins, sisters, etc. for the holiday meal? People are told that they have to have the holiday meal alone, under all sorts of threats and attempts to scare them, while protesters are allowed to hold a joint meal?

Allow protests, if you must, in the name of democracy, even if I think it is also a bad idea. They can go to Balfour, scream slogans, wave signs, and protest Bibi and his policies. Sitting down to a joint meal with a long table set up in holiday fare should not have been allowed when it is banned for everyone else.






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Was Breslav on the border really a chilul hashem?

Last week, the past few weeks, leading up to Rosh Hashana, there were many (reports said upwards of 2500) Breslaver Chassidim sitting in no-man's land between the borders of Belarus and Ukraine trying to get into Ukraine to get to Uman for Rosh Hashana. Ukraine did not let them in and the people were waiting there at the border hoping and praying that their various efforts would pay off and that they would be let in at the last moment.

Alas, it was not meant to be. Ukraine stood firm in the decision to not open the border, and shortly before the holiday the disappointed pilgrims were dispersed into different Jewish communities in Belarus where they stayed for the holiday.

The Deputy Minister of the Interior of Ukraine, Anton Gerashchenko, posted to Facebook that he expects Belarus to be responsible for cleaning up the mess left by the wannabe pilgrims, as Ukraine had told Belarus that the people would not be let in but Belarus let them come in and to the border anyway, so essentially Belarus is responsible for the mess. 

The pictures Gerashchenko posted of the mess were a bit shocking. That is a pretty bad mess.







Of course this led to statements of disgust as to what the chassidishe pilgrims did, the chilul hashem caused, the lack of responsibility, avoda zara, Uman craziness, etc.

I would just say that the situation there was an unusual one. You had 2000-3000 people camped out with poor and unfavorable conditions on the street and in the woods with few supplies. Such pictures are only natural. This isnt a tourist throwing a candy wrapper on the floor instead of in the garbage can. Additionally, they were carted away at the last minute without much notice (not that the entire sojourn was justified and planned, but still, they were carted away at the last minute) - they were nto really given advance warning and time to clean up. Heck, you don't even see any garbage cans available on the side of the road even if they had wanted to clean up after themselves! According to some reports, the community in Uman sent a truck with cleaning supplies but it was stopped by the Ukranians, but true or not it does not matter. 

Yes, they should have kept it clean all along, but that is somewhat of an unrealistic demand considering the poor conditions they were subject to. 

I am not in favor of the Uman pilgrimage, nor am I opposed to it. Grown adults can do whatever they want and can make their own decisions, regardless of how silly you or I might think that decision is. No matter what I think about the annual pilgrimage to Uman, I don't think anyone can realistically have expected them to keep the area clean. It seems to me to have been an impossible task. Think of walking through a ghetto or area with homeless people or a general "underprivileged" area that receives less than stellar city services, or a refugee camp. You will feel bad for them, not blame them for making a mess. That is what happened here. For 2-3 weeks a few thousand people lived in what was basically a refugee camp with hardly any services and poor conditions. No matter how badly you think of them, cleaning up their mess just wasn't part of the equation.




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