Nov 13, 2019

Menachem Toker: The keyboardist: Episode 2 (video)







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Nov 12, 2019

Panel at Social Cohesion Summit about Hadarat Nashim (video)

the interesting part of this conference (interesting for the purpose of this post) is the panel discussion at the 5:14:00 mark. The panel is made up of Yishai Lapidot, Rabbanit Adina Bar Shalom, MK Merav Michaeli, and Mayor of Ramat Gan Carmel Shama Cohen. The panel discusses the issue of "hadarat nashuim" and the standing of women in society and the issue of separation between men and women.





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Palestinians: Who do you support, Saudi Arabia or Iran? (video)







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Bring Them Home - Aliyah Now: Rabbi Zev Leff (video)







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Top 5 beautiful roads in Israel (video)







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Sruli & Netanel - How we rebuilt Bein Kodesh Lechol (Music Studio Vlog) (video)







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Nov 11, 2019

Quote of the Day

If Gantz and Netanyahu would form a government together, I would give them my 8 mandates and vote in favor of the government even if they won't bring me in to the coalition.  Netanyahu and Gantz should take a Tanakh and performt he Goral HaGra between them [to decide who should be Prime Minister first]

  -- MK Avigdor Lieberman



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Grow Bet Shemesh!

According to a report on Globes, among the larger cities of Israel, that being any city with 100000 residents and above, Bet Shemesh is the fastest growing city in Israel for the past decade.

10 years ago, in 2008, Bet Shemesh had a population of 72,780 while the end of 2018 found the population count of Bet Shemesh to sit at 118,676 - growth of 62.3%.

The big cities are mostly in the region between Tel Aviv and Haifa and population statistics show the cities growing, with more cities near the 100k mark expected to break through it in the near future, indicating the preference people have for cities over small towns, and indicating the increasing gap between the cities in the center of the country and the towns in the periphery.








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Book Review: The Lions' Den: Zionism from the Left from Hannah Arendt to Noam Chomsky

A Guest Post by Dr Harold Goldmeier


I was on a speaking tour discussing "When Zionism Became a Dirty Word."  My wife warned me that I will be walking into a lion's den.

Susie Linfield was at a pleasant, tony New York dinner party until she realized she was in the lion's den as the only Zionist present willing to speak up.  The experience inspired her book, The Lions' Den: Zionism from the Left from Hannah Arendt to Noam Chomsky (Yale University Press, 2019).  The book is a brilliant, intellectual, sociological exploration of eight popular, prolific thinkers and writers.  Her focus is on their ideologies regarding the modern Jewish people; our track-switch from religious faith to political and military creeds; and the great love of our life, the inamorata State of Israel.

Israel was conceived, founded, and remains in stewpots of controversy and derisiveness.  At the dinner party, one guest disparagingly dismisses the work of a particular journalist because, "oh, he's a Zionist!"  Condescension fills the air.  Then Linfield retorts with, "'Well, so am I.'  A frozen, stunned silence ensues ... [as] they shoot pitying glances at my partner."

Linfield's subjects are not all consumed by anti-Israel ideology.  Maxime Rodinson, Albert Memmi, I.F. Stone, and Fred Halliday intellectually and ideologically struggle about Israel's right to exist and the behavior of the Jews and Arabs.  "Rodinson was acutely aware of and unsentimental about, the consequences of the Arab world's underdevelopment, which is part of the realist Marxist tradition."  The book "is not a general survey" of the Left's relationship with Zionism or the relationship of Jews with the Left.  It is a series of portraits uncovering a rich, fraught, sometimes buried intellectual history, tackling "the Zionist Question."  The points of view of her subjects are meticulously researched.  There are 34 pages of footnotes and an equally long bibliography.


I find Linfield's scathing assessment of Noam Chomsky's unwavering commitment to internationalism and his  pattern of thought daring in her world at NYU.  "His loyalty to principle has morphed into a crippling ideological rigidity that prevents him, time and again, from apprehending what is happening in the world around him.  He views the reassessment of ingrained ideas as a betrayal of principle rather than as the wellspring of intelligence ... in a very real sense, he has fallen asleep ... [like] the dreaded Rip Van Winkle."  Chomsky and other anti-Zionists oversimplify their ideologies and arguments about the Palestinian-Israel conflict.  Amos Oz was moved to say in an interview, "[T]o a certain degree I envy these people.  Theirs is a simple world."
Stone is presented in a buttery fashion.  Stone has become "a beacon for me.  He has so much to teach: about how to be a journalist, an American, a Jew, a defender of freedom, a person of courage."  Too many other leftists appear contradictory and calcified. 

The Lion's Den is not a roadmap to peace.  It's a sagacious exposé about "the crux of this conflict" and offers tremendous insight into many of today's other contentious issues: BDS, reactions to refugees, the occupation.  The reader feels that the author is sensitive to the Left, but she has a supercilious response to their downplay of what Jews see as existential threats.  The intellectual Left pays short shrift to the cumulative impact on the mind of the Jews from the expulsions, pogroms, the Holocaust, and how nations sealed their doors to prevent Jews from entering after escaping from Nazis.  Some of the Left justify as acceptable strategies Arab wars launched against Israel, their intransigence against normalizing relations with the Jewish State, and terrorism that has morphed into pay-for-slay of Jews.

Linfield, however, is no sycophant.  She upfront expresses her criticism of the State's policies and actions, including settlers in Hebron who do not represent "Zionist values," but "they have re-created the despised, endangered, and ghettoized position of the Jews that Zionism was designed to eradicate.  Talk about the return of the repressed!"

She wears her sympathy for a two-state solution on her sleeve but asks the Left: what kind of state will the Palestinians create?  A free, democratic state respectful of gays, women's rights, minority rights?  Or will a Palestinian state be more in the fashion of repressive Hamas in Gaza, Hezb'allah in Lebanon, and the ayatollahs in Iran?  She concludes with a warning to the Left, Jews, and Arabs: "The opposite of realism isn't principle; its pathology.  To reject realism makes you — and your children — into slaves of the past and strangers to the future."

My warning to readers draws on the caveat of sociologist Andrew Chrucky: "not [to] confuse influence and popularity with importance."  The intellectual leftists are popular but hardly important in defining the actions of adversaries.  Israel will not just disappear.  Palestinians are unlikely to become Democrats.  The timely question in this age of conflict denouement is, how far will the new Jews with nuclear weapons go when facing utter calamity?

Dr. Harold Goldmeier is the manager of an investment fund, a university teacher, business consultant, speaker, and writer for many sites and newspapers.  He is a graduate of Harvard and was a research and teaching fellow.  He can be reached at Harold.Goldmeier@gmail.com.




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Amazon now offering free shipping to Israel

Heads up everybody.... Amazon is now offering free shipping to Israel!!!

Amazon is now offering free shipping to Israel on many qualifying items, not everything, on orders above $49.

that means you can qualify for the free shipping an still keep your order under the $75 limit for no import tax or VAT. Just note that if you go crazy and order a ton of stuff to take advantage and surpass the $75 mark, you will still have to pay the VAT and any relevant import taxes.

Qualifying items will have a note in the description that it qualifies for free shipping to Israel, and when you checkout and pay you will have to select the free shipping option.

I do not know, and have not seen it mentioned anywhere, if this is just a temporary promotion for a few days or weeks, or if it is a "permanent" arrangement... Hopefully they will find it worthwhile enough to continue long-term.

The purpose of this promotion seems to be to compete with the big annual 11.11 promotion by Ali Express, and then also with the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. It is entirely possible that after this shopping season passes, the Amazon promotion might also go away, but nothing official has been announced.




The Ben Shapiro Show: The Poop-Flinging Begins | Ep. 882 (video)

Ben Shapiro recently vacationed in Israel for the holidays, and he continued broadcasting his podcast while here. In this episode he starts off talking about Israel, and even if you have no interest in his show, the first ten minutes or so are about Israel...





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Palestinians: Why do you wear the hijab? (video)






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Ateret Shlomo visits Telshe (video)

as an alumnus of Telshe Yeshiva, I have a soft spot for anything Telshe.. I just found this video after listening to an episode about Telshe on the Jewish History Soundbites podcast... the video is really a fundraiser for Yeshivat Ateret Shlomo, but much of it is about Telshe...




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Meet the 'Best Shofar Blower' of the Modern World (video)







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Isaac & Rubenstein - Shalom Aleichem (video)







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Nov 10, 2019

Quote of the Day

Netanyahu would not have dared to come to me with a request to be flexible about religious issues

  -- Deputy Health minister Yaakov Litzman, after reports publicized that Netanyahu asked Deri to be flexible on the religion-state issues that would allow Lieberman to find his way back to a Netanyahu coalition..





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Bibi caves to Bennett

I am impressed. Naftali Bennett has been trying to persuade PM Netanyahu for so long to appoint him as Minister of Defense, and Netanyahu has regularly called his bluff and refused.

Ayelet Shaked has been trying to make her way back into the Likud but has been finding nothing but locked doors in front of her.

Suddenly Netanyahu is in this situation of no government after two elections, with the possibility of someone else forming the next government. He see Ayelet Shaked courting Avigdor Lieberman, and he sees Naftali Bennett talking about the need for a unity government, even without him, while also seeing him talking to Benny Gantz's people.

Out of fear of the 55-bloc crumbling, Netanyahu offers Bennett what he has wanted for so long - the Ministry of Defense. And, Yamina and Likud will run on a joint ticket, essentially, bringing Shaked back into the Likud. While for now it is just technical, it is already bringing Shaked part of the way in, and the door is now open for either a full merger or other changes that will find Shaked fully in the Likud.

And, this morning Uri Ariel tendered his resignation from the Ministry of Agriculture. Quietly. Just went away.

Journalist Yaki Adamker reported that Ariel resigned after Netanyahu requested he do so, considering that it is illogical that a party with 7 mandates should hold 4 ministries. So he retired. Without screaming about Bennett taking away his job or anything like that.

Very strange. But look what a little fear of losing control of the government can do...




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11/9/10 - Show 245 - Women’s Hatzolah Ezras Noshim (video)





it is a shame Ruchi Freier did not take the interview as scheduled. Personally most of the things mentioned are not issues in my mind. Hatzala cant complain about issues like funding and response time and whatever else, if they do not let the organization grow. Most of those issues are things Hatzala probably had the same issues with when they were just getting started. Obviously an organization of 25 or 50 people is not going to be able to have the same response time as Hatzala, but as the organization grows that will improve. The anecdotal cases of people who died or nearly died are also not relevant. I am sure there are hatzala patients who have received bad treatment, wrong treatment, or even with the right treatment did not respond. not everyone is perfect, and not every case goes according to textbook - as long as that is not the norm (and I have no idea if it is or is not).

The one issue mentioned that is concerning, to me, is the experience and training. If they are going to go out on calls and try to save lives, they must have the proper training and experience required. If they are skipping that and sending novices into the field with nobody more experienced assisting, that is bad. I hope that is not the case.

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Sivan Rahav Meir reports on the secret funeral of Leonard Cohen (video)







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Epic! Drawing a 747 on LAST EL AL 747 Flight (video)

pretty cool

EL AL is ending the service of their Boeing 747, after 48 years of operation. This video is part 2 of 2 featuring the final EL AL B747 Flight LY1747 from Rome to Tel Aviv on 3 November, 2019. The 747 flight took a one-time flightpath to create the 747 shape commemorating El Al's final commercial 747 flight. The final flight flew low over the Mediterranean, south-west of Cyprus to fly and “draw” in the shape of 747 jumbo jet; a complex two-hour manoeuvre revealed in real-time by flight tracking apps such as FlightRadar24. Watch the video how the pilot drew the 747 in the sky before returning to Tel Aviv for an emotional farewell.





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Could hummus MILK be the next big trend? (video)







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Sruli & Netanel \\ Bein Kodesh Lechol (Amir Dadon & Shuli Rand Cover) (video)







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Nov 7, 2019

Quote of the Day

Either somebody will break, or we will end up in elections. I do not know who will break, but I can tell you who will not break - we will not break. Every week we sit and look each other in the eye and declare the bloc is alive and well... there is Avigdor and there is Yvette - Avigdor is a Jewish name, a nice name - Avigdor sits with us, does things with us, can agree t the Draft law that we agreed upon, can go with Netanyahu and all is fine. Yvette is a politician that does one thing one time and another another time. He has a split personality and is unpredictable. Before the municipal elections Lieberman begged us to work together to get Moshe Le-On elected mayor of Jerusalem. After that he turned on us. I am familiar with institutions that deal with split personality.

  -- Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman




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Rabbanut considering revoking decade old conversion

Nearly a decade after a woman converted to Judaism, the beis din is considering revoking her conversion.

This woman was originally married to a non-Jew. Eventually they got divorced, and now she wants to marry a Jewish man. When applying for marriage the beis din discovered that during her original conversion period she was continuing her relationship with her non-Jewish boyfriend and she hid it from the beis din. She deceived the beis din and they will now look into the possibility of revoking her conversion.

The beis din stated that normally the rule of not looking into another beis din's conversions would not allow them to consider revoking the conversion, but in this case she herself told them that she deceived the original beis din regarding her relationship with the non-Jew. They must therefore redirect her back to the original beis din and look into what happened and investigate the conversion process in her case. In the meantime, she is being added to the list of people who cannot marry.
source: Israel Hayom

Obviously, some are upset about the fact that a beis din can possibly revoke a conversion nearly ten years after it happened. Converts should not have to walk around unsure if one day a beis din will say you are not Jewish.

And I agree with that. Once converted, converted. There are no backsies. A convert is as Jewish as any other Jew, and no matter what happens after the conversion, it cannot be taken back. The Shulchan Aruch even says if certain things were done improperly during the original conversion, the conversion remains valid. And, as well, the recent trend of rejecting some rabbis who do conversions as not doing them properly, despite being Orthodox rabbis, or not being knowledgeable enough or important enough to do conversions, is a crock. That does not fly in halacha and only works in Israel because the Rabbanut has been given centralized power to do such things.

This case seems to be different than that. In this case she seems to possibly have deceived the beis din doing the original conversion. If she deceived them it was not just regarding the intent of the conversion, which might still be ok after the fact, but in her actions. I dont know if the deception of hiding a non-Jewish boyfriend is strong enough to determine the original conversion invalid, but I can understand looking into it.

Converts should not need to walk around for years, for the rest of their lives, wondering if a rabbi will come over and question his or her Judaism. But converts should not be deceiving the beis din doing the conversion and sometimes that deception might need to be investigated.

----- UPDATE TO POST ------

It has been clarified to me that she did not deceive anyone in this case. The story is that she met a man in the conversion class with her and they decided to marry. He decided not to go through with the conversion. She did continue keeping kashrut.

As well, someone sent to me the tshuva of Rav Shaul Yisraeli, published by Eretz Chemda, that says even in a case of full deception and the convert never had any intention on keeping mitzvos, once the person has been converted, the conversion remains valid because they wanted to be part of the Jewish nation. Rav Yisraeli qualifies that by saying this is bdieved, and lechatchila we do not convert people who do not accept upon themselves to try to keep mitzvos as fully as possible. After the fact, the conversion remains valid and there is no such thing as revoking a conversion.

So, in light of this, in this case as well, her marriage should not be prevented and investigating her conversion is "honaas ha'ger"




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Headline of the Day

Yarmulkes, Wigs Fly Over Jewish Ambulance Brouhaha


  -- Kings County Politics

No yarmulkes or wigs were flying in this heated session, but it makes for a great headline



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Nov 6, 2019

Picture of the Day



2 of PM Netanyahu's advisers, Ofer Golan and Yonatan Orich, went to Rav Chaim Kanievsky for brachas. These two advisers have been involved in the investigations against Netanyahu, with their phones recently confiscated. Rav Kanievsky blessed them but he also told Orich to get a haircut, though not to cut his peyos..




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the great Garbage Rebellion of Mea Shearim

The following pashkevil went up on the walls of the Mea Shearim area... it is protesting the increasing chilul shabbos around the country, especially in Jerusalem, with additional bus lines going into operation and an increasing number of stores opening for business, with municipal money being spent on chilul shabbos activities.It has even reached the point with the city providing its cleaning and garbage collection services on Shabbos itself in a number of areas such as in the Mahane Yehuda area.

Because of all that, the writers are calling for a garbage rebellion. Anybody who holds Shabbos as valuable will take his garbage out and place it in the streets rather than in the garbage bins and leave the garbage in the middle of the lanes. This will be an expression of protest that is measured, mida knegged mida.

from tweet by Shlomi Heller

Throw the garbage in the middle of the streets? To me it just sounds like every other protest and rally they hold  out there in that part of the world...




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Quote of the Day

The Prime Minister updates all the time about the negotiations between the Bloc of 55 and Kachol Lavan. I will tell you a scoop - until now, most of the discussions between them have been on the topics of the weather and the climate..

  -- MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ)

Either Gafni is being facetious, which I can appreciate, or Netanyahu is pulling a fast one over him and he is falling for it



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Interview of Kidney Donor One Day After Donating (video)







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These Dogs Have Chutzpah! (video)







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Simcha Leiner "Kol Hakavod" Z Report Interview With Yossi Zweig 10-30-19 (video)







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Synagogues of Yugoslavia (video)







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L'dor Vador - Choni G (Meir Finkelstein) (video)

L’DOR VADOR BY CHONI G. L'dor Vador, composed by Meir Finkelstein, is a headline choral classic in the rich repertoire of contemporary Synagogue liturgy. Here Choni G delivers a refreshing remix infusing this timeless favourite with a pop ballad feel.





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Nov 5, 2019

Facebook Status of the Day





Translation:
Ishay Ribo writes:
Friends, I want to share with you something personal, that happened to me several months ago.
The evening of Yom Hashoah I participated in a family event with my wife's grandmother, a holocaust survivor. Near the end of the evening I started to have light pains in my stomach that got progressively worse. That night the pains were very sharp and became unbearable. I had to go to the hospital emergency room and there they discovered stones in my kidneys and I had to go to surgery right away.
Surgery is never pleasant but with all of people's natural concerns, added to that was that this was just a few days before my big concer tin Ceasaria - and until things happen, and if the surgeon would be good, etc. What will be with all those people who cleared their calendars for the event, those who bought tickets?
And then someone pointed me to Rav Firer and he directed me to Professor Duvdevani, and took care of me in an amazing way. Just days before my concert I went into surgery, and two days later we were singing together in Ceasaria and we, thank God, shot through the skies.
It is clear to me that without the professional and humane help of Rav Firer, it would not have been possible.
I have not been exposed enough to the work of Rav Firer, but form the powerful help he gave to me, I can learn a lot about his 24 hours, times 365 days a year, times many years.
This morning I learned that unfortunately his fundraising event was canceled due to Rav firer's considerations.
As a note of personal gratitude to Rav Firer and to your work, I have decided to dedicate to the amazing organization Ezra Lamarpeh that you head one of the upcoming concerts of mine. All the profits from the concert will be donated to the organization and to the daily kiddush hashem you create.
It is clear to me that in heaven there is so much more waiting for us for every moment of action on behalf of everyone.
PS. This post was written from the heart, a personal discovery, and not as a starting point for debate. We should all be healthy, loving and accepting




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Quote of the Day

I dont want to change the State. All I want is that what was will continue to be. Gantz says they wont drive in Bnei Braq on Shabbos? Thank you very much! The Supreme Court changed the status quo. I they would allow it to remain int eh hand sof the public, we would not be requesting anything... I never requested that this become a religious state, only Jewish and democratic, just as Ben Gurion established with the Status Quo, that the public sphere will be Jewish. Public transportation on Shabbos is dismantling the status quo. We will not know how to tell our children what a Jewish state is..

 -- MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ)

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The show should go on

Rav Firer decided to cancel his fundraising event so as not to be involved in such machlokes. He said he has never been involved in arranging fundraising events.

To remind you, an event was organized for the general public to raise funds for Rav Firer's organization Ezra Lamarpeh that helps people find the right doctors and treatments, among other things in the medical field. The organizer had asked bands to participate in the event, but when a band was one that included females, he told them only the men should participate but not the women. When a reporter asked a band member about it, it became a hot topic and some of the performers backed out, not wanting to participate in the event that excluded women. Many spoke out against the exclusion of women and many spoke out against the movement to ban the event because of the exclusion of women. Other performers said they would perform in honor of Rav Firer even though they normally oppose excluding women.

I still think from everything I have read that the fault is not with the performers or even the journalist, and it is definitely not with Rav Firer, but the fault lays with the person who was responsible for making the arrangements. He could easily have done it in a way that would be respectful and honor Rav Firer's religious needs but it seems he tried to sneak it through without people realizing and was deceitful about his intentions.

Regardless of that, it is a shame the event was canceled, and it is a shame it became such a big fight. Even if I do not approve of a specific organization or event or something an organization did, does not mean I need to shut it down and go nuclear. We need to find ways to live together and respect each other's needs and lifestyles. There were enough performers willing to participate that the show could have gone on. So some people would not have gone to the concert, and many others would have.




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shooting by the gas station!

Last night I found myself for a bit in the city of Rishon Letzion. When departing, I decided to stop for gas on the way out and there was a Sadash gas station right there. I pull in and find much of the gas station taped off by the police with a number of police vehicles there, along with a crime scene unit and a policeman photographing the area.

I pulled through and saw that outside of the taped off area there were another couple of gas pumps so I asked a cop standing nearby if it is ok to fill up. I expected a no, but he said you can fill up but only if you are paying by credit card. So I filled up the tank of gas and went on my way.



Not really knowing what happened but assuming there had been a murder (though no chalk drawing of a human shape was on the ground) or at least a shooting, I found it a little surreal that they even let cars drive into the complex, let alone fill up with gas!

If you are curious as to the actual story, the news reported that there had been a shooting and the victim is in stable condition. He had actually been shot outside a nearby wedding hall and ran away and collapsed in the gas station. I am not sure whether or not to feel bad for him, as a year earlier he escaped a situation in which an explosive device had been attached to his car. It seems as if this poor fellow is connected to the underworld. Or maybe he isn't and this is all a big case of a mistaken identity or whatnot...




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That isn't chocolate!

this is a hilarious ad...



the ad is part of a campaign encouraging parents to clean up after their dog in public. You can see the image, the words say "that isn't chocolate, clean up after your dog's mess!" Israeli humor...


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emotional meeting between Shai Abramson and the chazzan of Bergen Belsen (video)







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possible Leopard spotted in Samaria (video)

if true, this would be very cool. The Zoo Rabbi (Rabbi Natan Slifkin) told me there is no chance this is really a leopard...





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Two Bubbes Translate Science - Episode 4: Medical Research (video)







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Million Dollar Listing (video)

this is a clip taken from a recent episode





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SING IT AGAIN | PORTNOY (video)







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Nov 4, 2019

Pork with a hechsher

Mako is reporting that the government has changed its policy, a policy in effect since 1992, regarding importing of non-kosher meats, including pork products.

In 1992 then-Prime Minister elect Yitzchak Rabin was forming a government and in an effort to persuade Shas to join his coalition he agreed to a condition to pass a law banning the import of non-kosher meat to Israel. The agreement did allow certain exceptions - certain pieces of meats and sausages, to be excluded from the ban and that could be imported.

This ban, with the exceptions, has been in effect since 1992 until today, with hundreds of tons of pork pieces being imported annually - under the more recent authority of Aryeh Deri the amount imported dropped drastically, but plenty was still imported.

The holding government has now issued a new directive, changing the policy in place from 1992. As of now, all pork pieces and fats will require a teudat kashrut in order to be imported. Without a teudat kashrut, meat and meat products cannot be imported - including all those items that were listed as exceptions until now. The new directive means no non-kosher meat can be imported to Israel.

I find it a little funny that the way the ban for formulated is not a law against importing pork and other non-kosher meats but the insistence that all imported meats, including pork, must have a teudat kashrut, effectively but only indirectly banning pork from being imported.




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Quote of the Day

The State is losing its Jewish character, it is a tragedy on a national level and it has happened under your watch and under your responsibility

  -- MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ), to Minister of Transportation Betzalel Smotritch, after the City of Tel Aviv just announced the other day that it is jumping on the bandwagon and will soon begin operating a free bus service on Shabbos.

To be fair, Smotritch only just became Minister of Transportation several few weeks ago. Yes, Tel Aviv and a few others joined the fray now, but the movement began over the past couple of years with over a dozen municipalities already operating such bus lines or in the process of beginning them. This did not happen under Smotritch's watch, though he is in the position now responsible for dealing with it. Smotritch's response is that these cities are taking advantage of a loophole in the law and there is nothing directly that he can do about that.



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Rav Kesslers causes brouhaha with letter against secular studies

Behadrei reported yesterday about Rav Meir Kessler, Chief Rabbi of Modiin Ilit, stating his opinion, published in a letter to city residents, that opposes courses in secular studies for children int he Haredi school system.

Since the "cheiders" in Modiin Ilit do not teach secular studies, he is referring to private classes taken after school hours, chugim, that are meant to give the children some basic tools for the future and possible future work skills. Rav Kessler wrote very harshly against it and encourages parents to only raise interest and encouragement for more Torah studies in their children, and not secular studies, so that in the future they will grow to be God-fearing Torah scholars.

This letter from Rav Kessler caused a bit of a stir. Many are criticizing him for opposing secular studies and concerned parents giving the kids a chance in the future, and even MK Yair Lapid (Kachol Lavan) commented on what Rav Kessler said.

In my opinion, Rav Kessler has done nothing wrong beyond stating his opinion. He is a rabbi in the extreme mainstream Litvishe community, and he is a rabbi of an extreme Litvish city. What do people expect him to say or his opinion to be? The mainstream Litvishe (and maybe others as well) believes children should only be learning Torah with no secular studies, so Rav Kessler has not said or supported anything he, along with hundreds of other rabbis, does not already support. I am not sure what people expected his opinion to be that this shocked and upset them



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Rabbanut changing racist policy against Ethiopians

After Uriah Elkayam reported about the Rabbanut policy of checking the Jewishness of Ethiopians working in the food industry in Kiryat Gat, a lawsuit was filed with the Supreme Court against the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Gat for being responsible for this policy.

Just prior to the case being heard in the Supreme Court today, the Rabbanut issued a new policy directive. The Rabbanut has decided that they will no longer investigate the jewishness of any person just because they are members of a certain sect or community - they won't look into someone just because he is Ethiopian or Russian. It will be prohibited form now on. The only time it will be acceptable to investigate someone's Jewishness will be if there is cause for suspicion about a specific person, such as practicing tenets of another faith or religion, but not because of his connection to a group. And even then, when a suspicion arises about a specific person, they would have to investigate the Jewishness of all the workers of the factory and not just of that one person, so as not to target him and single him out. The will apply to workers in the food industry in a factory using a mehadrin hechsher.

sources: Uriah Elkayam Twitter, Kipa and Srugim

This makes a lot of sense, especially considering their Jewishness has already been checked and confirmed when they immigrated to Israel and when they married (if they are married), and there is no need for such wholesale investigations, except for perhaps in individual cases. There is no reason to operate on a racist policy that is not even necessary. It is far better to treat people with respect, and in cases where a question is raised, they will be able to check into it if deemed necessary.



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Picture of the Day



The residents of Sderot have set up 120 chairs with the names of every Knesset member on them with an invitation to come to talk with them about how they have to live with Hamas rocket fire.

I dont know who gets credit for the photo, but I took it from Rabbi Dov Lipman's FB page


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Israelis: How should Jerusalem be divided? (video)







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British People Trying Israel Chips & Snacks - This With Them (video)







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Synagogues of Wales (video)







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DANNY PALGON - BOU (Official Music Video)







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Nov 3, 2019

Headline of the Day

Last Jews in Afghanistan argued so much the Taliban kicked them out of prison


  -- Times of Israel

this is pretty funny




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The Mechina opens in Bet Shemesh - is it a victory or a defeat?

Today Bet Shemesh inaugurated the IDF Prep School, the Mechina Kdam tzvait, that was slated to be opened and allocated a location a few months back. The opening happened despite the protests of the nearby Haredi community that was hoping to get the land for a school for their needs.

Interestingly, one Haredi News source considered it a victory, while a second Haredi news source considered it a loss. One considered it a victory saying that because of the Haredi protests the Mechina opened but in a different location (it does not say if the original plot was allocated to the Haredi community or not - but the fact that the Mechina itself was moved is a victory). The second source considers it a loss because the Mechina opened, despite Haredi protests.

To the Haredi community, life is black or white. Things are either a victory or a defeat. A success or a failure. Someone who says something regarding the haredim either loves Haredim or hates Haredim. There is no middle ground. There is no grey. Nothing in between.

In my opinion, life is complex, people are complex, society is complex. Things can be good, anywhere along the spectrum, without being perfect, and they can be bad without being horrible. Things can be a little better or a lot better, a little worse or a lot worse. Just because something was not resolved exactly the way you want does not mean it is a loss or a terrible thing. Not everything needs to be a victory or a loss. It is society trying to find way to work together with different priorities, sometimes even conflicting priorities, and sometimes compromise works and each side benefits a little and each side gives up a little.

In a case like this, if let's say the news report is accurate that an alternate location is the site of the Mechina, the city opened the Mechina, so the people who support that can be happy, and it was moved to a location that would not bother, or bother less, the Haredi "Bar Ilan" community. It does not have to be a victory or a defeat for either side, but a way to work together even if things are not exactly the way either side would have preferred it.




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Quote of the Day

If there will be a third round of elections, the Right will collapse at historic proportions. We will find ourselves with a full-full Left-wing government. I am prepared to release Netanyahu from any obligations he has to me in order so that a government can be established....  the State of Israeel is in a state of paralysis. I am in constant contact with the Prime Minister, and I am also talking with Gantz. The ball is in the court of both of them. Everyone needs to come down from their trees and compromise. I am also ready to, if I am found to be an obstacle for establishing a government, I exempt Netanyahu from any obligation and commitment to me and to the New Right... the State is in an emergency situation..

  -- MK Naftali Bennett (Hayemin Hechadash)

some think Bennett is laying the groundwork for Yamina splitting off from the Right-wing bloc and going into a Gantz-led government. Others think he is speaking with integrity and is being altruistic (from a political perspective)





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11/2/19 - Show 244 - Employment Law in Halacha (audio)







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the potential of Ramat Trump (video)







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The Keyboardists (video)

new show by Menachem Toker





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Benny Friedman "Kulanu Nelech" Z Report Interview With Yossi Zweig 10-23-19 (video)







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Shulem - Face The Unknown (video)







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Oct 31, 2019

MoA using fake immigrants to encourage aliya

The Times of Israel is reporting a strange story. The Ministry of Absorption ran a campaign promoting aliyah to Israel. In the campaign they, supposedly, spoke to various immigrants about how they have made a successful life in Israel, some despite hardships they might have encountered.

As part of the campaign, they posted to the various social media platform images of immigrants they had spoken to with short blurbs from each about how they love it here in Israel.

What is strange about this is that the immigrants they included in the campaign are all made up and fake, as are the quotes and blurbs.

Instead of speaking to actual immigrants and taking their pictures, contacting them via Nefesh bNefesh or the Jewish Agency, via their Facebook or Instagram pages, they just made a bunch of people up, using stock images form the Internet!

While I am tempted to call this supreme laziness. in essence it was probably more work to make up all these personalities and quotes than it would have been to speak to a few actual immigrants!




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Har Nof to become Naot Yosef


Moshe Le-On, Mayor of Jerusalem, announced that he is going to be changing the name of the Har Nof neighborhood to Naot Yosef, as a tribute to Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Rav Ovadia Yosef, both leading rabbonim, gedolim, from Jerusalem.

Some residents love this change, and some residents are upset by it. I don't really care. I don't own stock in either name.



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Richard Branson haggles with Jaffa Flea Market locals in Tel Aviv (subtitles) (video)





and for background..




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Arab Israelis: Can you go on the Hajj? (video)







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Xtreme Eitzos And Chaps ft. Dr. Dreizich (video)

haha!





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Synagogues of the Ukraine (video)







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Country in the City - Kumzitz with Shimmy Steinmetz (video)







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Oct 30, 2019

performers protesting hadarat nashim in event for Rav Elimelech Firer

The issue of "hadarat nashim" is up again, and from a more interesting angle.

The annual fundraiser for Ezra Lamarpe, led by Rav Elimelech Firer, is coming up soon and is being planned. The show as planned was going to be a tribute to Shlomo Artzi with other singers singing his songs and other songs in a tribute to him. The concert is for the general public, not for the Haredi community, and will be mixed seating. After performers were approached and had agreed to perform at the event, it became known to them that it had been planned with no female singers or performers. For example, one band leader had been asked to perform without his band, just him and one other, leaving out the female member of his band. He only realized it was intentional that she was excluded at some point after he agreed to perform. The same story for other performers included. The reason, obviously, is because Rav Firer heads Ezrra Lamarpeh and as a frum haredi Jew cannot and does not want to be in a situation of women singing at his performance with him present.

After the performers realized what had been arranged, they started to back out, saying they do not want to participate in an event that excludes women, especially women they normally perform with. Even Shlomo Artzi himself said he did not like how it was arranged and is going to try to get the event changed and to convince Rav Firer to allow it to include women.
source: Ynet and others

In all the recent events, the hadarat nashim was protested by external groups. Also, the hadarat nashim was manifested by the audience - women were not invited at all or were planned to be seated separately or in a smaller area.And in all those events, the event was for the haredi community. In this instance, it is the performers themselves protesting the event, it is an event for the general public and not for the haredi community and the hadarat nashim is in the lineup of performers, not the audience.

Being an event for Rav Firer, it is understandable that he won't listen to women sing or watch them perform. Perhaps his organizers should have been more upfront about what they were doing when they arranged the details rather than trying to do it in a way that nobody would notice. Then they would not have felt deceived. Still, putting on a performance for the general, secular public, and excluding women in the process, is a recipe for disaster.



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Interesting Psak: she isn't married

Last year there was an incident in Jerusalem among the "Cult of the Veiled Ladies" in which the police raided the wedding of a 17 year old groom and a 13 year old bride. Such weddings of underage minors are illegal. When the police raided the wedding, most of the people present scattered and ran off to avoid arrest, while the bride and some of her female escorts were detained for questioning. As well, the police raided the wedding before the ring was placed on the finger of the kalla.

The wedding was against the wishes of the father, and he was not present and was supposedly not even aware of it taking place. After this happened, the father went to a beis din in Jerusalem and asked what his daughter's status is - if married or not, does she need a formal divorce? can she later marry anyone, including a kohein?

The dayanim on the rabbinical court investigated the matter and questioned people whow ere present at the time. They were convinced that the halachic part of the wedding had not yet taken place before the police broke it up. As well, theysaid that the chosson, the young man standing beside her under the chuppa, had never before spoken to her at all, not a single word - not about the wedding/marriage and not about anything else. After discovering all this information, and upon further deliberation and debate, the rabbonim paskened that the young woman was not ever married and would be allowed to marry in the future without the need for a gett.

The beis din decided that she had a chuppa but no act of kiddushin, so she retains her status as being a single unmarried woman.

Another issue the beis din had to deal with was whether or not there was a "kol", public knowledge that she had been married. If such a kol goes out, it is enough to require a gett to dispel the rumors considering her married, even though she was not actually married. The beis din decided that while the wedding was the talk of the day around Israel and especially in her neighborhood of Mea Shearim, but they were actually talking about how the police raided the wedding and what happened and not about how she had actually married. Ergo, no formal divorce is needed even if just to dispel any rumors.

source: Ynet 





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Quote of the Day

The person who killed Rabin was a person with the initials YR - not Yitzchak Rabin. The person behind it was seemingly a leading politician who wanted to eliminate Yitzchak Rabin because he wanted to do away with the Oslo Accords.. From here I call out to remove the false titles "Classified" from all the documents that do not support the theory that the Right killed Rabin. The time has come, 24 years the Right is vilified, my university - Bar Ilan - is vilified. We are all vilified because of something Yigal Amir might not have even done. He is sitting in jail in solitary confinement. Why is he held in solitary? So that he cannot tell anyone the truth. 

  -- Dr Mordechai Kedar, at a pro-Netanyahu rally. Netanyahu rejected Kedar's assertions.






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Tweet of the Day









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Israel's Machane Yehuda Market: Kanafeh vs Rugelach (video)







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PORTNOY: Behind the Song - Ep. 2 “Home to Zion” (video)







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Modeh Ani, Yiddish cover - Duvid Schwarcz (video)







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Oct 29, 2019

opening the butter market to restock the shelves

the great butter saga of 2019 might finally be coming to an end!

For months there has been a butter shortage in Israel. The widely accepted reason is that because butter is price controlled in Israel, the manufacturers prefer to export the butter to Europe and other places where they can profit more off it rather than sell it locally at a controlled price with less profit. So, little butter has been sold in Israel over the past year. Whenever a supermarket gets a box or two of butters, lucky consumers present at the time snap up as much as possible, leaving the shelf empty almost immediately. Some shops have begun to limit the amount of sticks of butter any one consumer can purchase at a time.

I was actually somewhat surprised to see the frustration and desperation of so many people over the butter situation. We hardly use butter, and I thought butter is considered unhealthy nowadays and is discouraged in general and only used minimally. I was surprised to see so many people desperate for so much butter!

Anyways, the shortage might finally be coming to an end. Minister of Economy and Trade Eli Cohen has given the order to open up the imports market for butter without import taxes. Cohen believes that opening the butter market to competition by canceling the import tax will induce other companies to sell their butter in Israel.
source: Kipa

So soon enough you might see the return of your valuable butter to the stores of Israel.




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