Apr 15, 2021

Yom Ha'Atzmaut 2021 | #IsraelAt73​ (video)

Join the Embassy of Israel & Israel's diplomatic missions across the United States to celebrate Israel at 73! Tune in for special guests, music, and more at our Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration.






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Apr 14, 2021

Yonina- Hatikva (video)







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73rd Yom Haatzmaut Torch Lighting ceremony at Har Herzl, opening the Yom Haatzmaut festivities (video)








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Hatikvah התקווה - Cantor Netanel Hershtik & THS Choir (video)







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Proposed Law: pay for slay will lead to losing Israeli citizenship

MKs Avi Dichter (Likud) and Orit Struk (Religious Zionism) have proposed a law that 42 other MKs signed on to. 

The proposed law would strip of Israeli citizenship any Israeli citizen or resident that assists in a terror attack in any way and then receives payment for that from the Palestinian Authority. Not only will this person lose Israeli citizenship but he/she will also be banished form Israel and sent to the Palestinian Authority. 

If the person returns the money paid back to the PA, he will be able to have his Israeli citizenship reinstated.

This law, or somethign similar to it, was proposed by Dichter in the previous Knesset in October 2020, about 6 months ago, but when that Knesset dissolved and went to elections, that law proposal went with it.
source: Israel Hayom




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An Interview With Nahal Haredi CEO Yossi Levy (video)

Major Res., Yossi Levy is the CEO of Nahal Haredi. Born in Jerusalem, educated in ultra-Orthodox institutions, he served in the Netzach Yehuda Battalion as a soldier, commander and infantry officer, was released after serving as an officer in the operations division of the Netzach Yehuda Battalion. He founded the first Haredi Soldier house in Israel for lone soldiers, the Haredi hesder yeshiva Betzavta and the Haredi prep school Rashit. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the Open University and serves in the reserve as a unit commander of the 217 (Duvdevan) veterans in the 21st Battalion.






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Yonina- Oz Ve'anava (video)

this song was originally written in memory of Hadar Goldin who fell in battle in Operation Tzuk Eitan in Gaza, 2014





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singing in their memory, in the Knesset (video)







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Songs in the Square—Erev Yom Hazikaron in Rabin Square (video)

The IDF Martyrs' Remembrance Day Ceremony "Songs in the Square" is an exciting and unique musical event in memory of those who fell in the Israeli wars. Hosted by Lior Ashkenazi, the evening will feature popular artists Amir Dadon, Esther Rada, Danny Sanderson, Zehava Ben, Jasmine Mualem, Yishai Ribo, Church of the Intellect, Mark Eliyahu, Margie, Ninet Tayeb, Natan Goshen, Keren Peles, Raviv Kinner and Shuli Rand. The songs will include videos with the stories of the fallen from all over Israel.







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Memorial Day Ceremony at Yad Lbanim (video)







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broadcast from the Western Wall of Remembrance Day ceremony (video)







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Lenny Solomon Live (video)


In tonight's a tribute to Yom HaZikaron and Yom Haatzmaut. He will play songs honoring the Israeli Soldiers and the State of Israel on it's 73rd Birthday.








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KOLture Shock - Shir Shel Acharei Milchama (video)










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Apr 12, 2021

3000 year old city with mud bricks discovered in Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt just discovered, unearthed, a 3000+ year old city, near Luxor, that they are calling the Golden City of Luxor.

Along with the discovery of pottery and remnants of jewelry (among other things), they also discovered mud bricks bearing the seal of the Pharoah, Amenhotep III.




fascinating. And interesting with the mud bricks discovery - this might match up with what is related in the Torah, and the timing of 3000 years is right in sync with that as well. They should do some DNA testing to see if they find Jewish blood or remains there, as we learned that they would use Jewish babies in place of bricks during the bondage of Egypt. We don't need archaeologists to find discoveries to prove the Torah true, but I find it fascinating when we do find such old remnants, especially when they do. And maybe mud bricks were just the standard back then and this is not necessarily a city built by the Jews. I don't know, but I find it fascinating.




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Quote of the Day

In our meetings with Mr Netanyahu, and I say it here as well, the Likud can count the fingers of the Yamina party for establishing a right wing coalition.

  -- MK Naftali Bennett

1. it sounds like a very simple and straightforward statement. maybe it is as simple as it sounds. Bennett is now rejecting a coalition with Lapid and others from the center-left and will only join a Netanyahu led coalition. It also sounds like Bennett is no longer demanding a rotation arrangement, but perhaps that is still up to negotiation.

2. or maybe it is not as simple as it sounds. Even with Bennett and Yamina, Netanyahu does not have a right wing coalition. He will still have to persuade Gideon Saar and Tikva Chadasha to join to have a real right wing government. Maybe Bennett knows this is not going to happen. Relying on the Arab party Raam might push Smotritch out, and also might be enough reason to allow Bennett to also say this is not a right wing government so I am not in. If this is Bennett's intention, his statement today was just to set up Netanyahu for failure and to be able to deflect blame away from himself for a right wing government not being formed. 

I personally believe the 2nd seems more likely to me. I truly believe Bennett wants a full blown right wing government, but I think he sees that it almost definitely can't happen, and he would really prefer it without Netanyahu at the helm. If there is not going to be a full blown right wing government anyway, might as well let Netanyahu (and/or Saar, and/or Smotritch) take the fall for it instead of himself.




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if he gets a turn, I want a turn!

The news has been reporting that negotiations are happening between PM Netanyahu and Yamina head Naftali Bennett, as Netanyahu attempts to bring Bennett and Yamina into a future coalition.

Yamina, in its position as kingmaker due to the way things played out, has been able to negotiate from a position of strength, as neither side has a realistic coalition without them (and maybe not even with them). Reportedly this has led Bennett to demand the appointment of Prime Minister, maybe even first, in a rotation arrangement. While Netanyahu initially rejected even the thought of such a possibility saying that Israel has had enough of rotation arrangements, the reports now have him considering it and negotiating the possibilities.

The news last night reported that Netanyahu's coalition partners are now rejecting this option. If true, this might throw a wrench into the entire thing, but that remains to be seen. 

Supposedly Aryeh Deri has said it is inconceivable that the head of a party holding 7 mandates should be appointed Prime Minister. Additionally, Deri, and maybe others, said that there is no reason Bennett with 7 seats should be given a turn as Prime Minister in a rotation and we should not  - considering we are the same size or even bigger. If Bennett gets to be Prime Minister despite the size of his party, we want turns as well.

And honestly Deri is right. 

The main craziness of the Israeli electoral system has always been that small parties wield too much power, as they become needed for a coalition. 

The reason Netanyahu, and Lapid, is negotiating with Bennett and not with Deri or Gafni or Gantz or anyone else over who will be Prime Minister and when is because Deri committed to Netanyahu during the elections and has no other play. Not because Deri/Litzman/Smotritch/Lieberman/Gantz/etc  are less worthy than Bennett. Bennett kept his options open and both Netanyahu and Lapid need him, so they have to pay a high price to bring him in. Deri put his cards on the table from day one, so has no play now. This is why Bennett has been termed kingmaker, and Deri has not been.

But Deri is right. It is ridiculous that Bennett, at the size of his party, should be able to become Prime Minister. This is a prime example of why electoral reform is needed, and why so many politicians have promised it over the years but then backed down after elections.






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Birkat HaIlanot: The Year of the Truck

Last year was maybe the year of the truck.

With all the lockdowns and restrictions on movement due to COVID-19, in an effort to keep people from going out, cities around Israel did things for the residents via truck. We saw simcha trucks going around playing music to keep people entertained and cheered with some holiday spirit. We saw simchas beis hashoeva trucks driving around neighborhoods. We saw bonfire trucks driving around playing Lag B'Omer music. Add others I am forgetting about.

One of the trucks last year was a truck bearing fruit-bearing trees on its flatbed. This truck drove around the city's neighborhoods so that people could say the special bracha on seeing the blossoms of fruit bearing trees during the month of Nissan.


That is now just a memory of this past crazy year.

With Corona pretty much over in Israel (and hopefully soon everywhere else as well), tfoo tfoo tfoo, it seems we no longer need these trucks to help us fulfill our Jewish needs.

Today is the last day of the month of Nissan 5781, making it also the last day, for this year, for saying the bracha on the fruit tree blossoms. if you haven't said it yet but wish to, this is your reminder. No trucks to rely on this year. Go out and find your nearest fruit tree.







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#51: Behind the Bima - Special Guest: Mrs. Ruth Lichtenstein (video)








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Palestinians: Should you cooperate with Israel on Covid-19? (video)







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Efie's bein hazmanim adventures (video)







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60th Anniversary of Opening of Adolf Eichmann Trial (video)







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Apr 11, 2021

Proposed law: Firing Gantz

Back when we went to fourth elections suddenly everyone realized that Benny Gantz still has a chance to be Prime Minister - if no new government would be sworn in before November 17, the rotation agreement which is still in place would automatically go into effect and Gantz would automatically become Prime Minister.

For this to happen it would require no government being formed after the fourth elections, and also after 5th elections which would presumably take place at earliest in August or September.

While Gantz might still be holding out some sort of hope for this to happen (I don't know that he is, but it would definitely be interesting to see happen), Netanyahu is going to do everything possible, probably short of nothing, to make sure it does not happen. You can be sure he will try everything possible to form a government, even just a temporary one and one relying on the Arab parties, just to get a government sworn in to get that other situation behind him. Once that situation is no longer an issue, Netanyahu can continue through these elections while remaining Prime Minister of all the caretaker governments.

His latest move though is to try to get it over with by passing a law that says so..

MK Shlomo Karhi (Likud) has proposed a law that would put an end to the unity government (which is now a unity transitional government)  with Kachol Lavan. If the law should pass and the unity government canceled, Netanyahu would have the ability to fire all Kachol Lavan ministers, including Gantz himself and cancel the rotation agreement.
source: Behadrei

I am not sure what is required for a law to allow Netanyahu to fire the other members of his government, considering the government already collapsed and went to elections, but it seems there is a way for this to work. 

I also have no idea if the Likud has the numbers behind them to accomplish this, but I guess we wait and see. Maybe there are enough other people upset at Gantz to support it even if they do not support Netanyahu.

This is another example where you see that Netanyahu and his people have that killer instinct to win elections at all costs, and his opponents do not. The opponents have had the chance, and once again have the chance now, to pass laws and replace key Netanyahu people in Knesset, but they do not take advantage. They just do not have that killer instinct. Maybe they don't even want to win. 


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Quote of the Day

We are World Champions in dying together, but in figuring out how to live together we have not yet even finished basic training level.

  -- Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv Rav Yisrael Meir Lau




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Headlines Podcast: 4/10/21 – Show 317 – Yom Hashoah - Should we commemorate? (audio)







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Efie Hercky, the new face of Israel's Foreign Ministry (video)







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Barstool Pizza Review - Prime Pizza (Los Angeles, CA) Bonus Bar Mitzvah (video)







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KOSHER IN IRAQ??!! (Erbil Supermarket Vlog) (video)

he's proably been catching a lot of flak for the last few seconds of this...





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Avishai Eshel and Medad Tasa - Achim, acapella (video)








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Apr 8, 2021

Quote of the Day

I am committed to the way, not to Netanyahu - I said I would be a part of a Right Wing government of Netanyahu - a government with the Arabs is not a Right Wing government, it is pikuach nefesh

  -- MK Betzalel Smotritch

so far nobody is blinking, at least publicly




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Proposed Law: no more putting people into groups

It seems that with nobody knowing how long this Knesset will last, they are trying to get as many laws in as quickly as possible that will draw some favor with their constituents. Elections are coming, they have to win back some of the people who didn't vote for them last time. 

Kol Hai News is reporting that MK Yisroel Eichler (UTJ) has proposed a law that would attempt tp prevent incitement against Haredim in the media.

According to Eichler's proposal, the slander law, aka the lashon hara law, would be amended to include banning slander or shaming of a person due to his or her sectoral or social identity.

Just as a person could sue for damages of slander without having to prove damages, a group could sue as well for damages - a group could sue someone for hurting them, even without proving actual damages. So, as the example given is, someone who says "the Haredim spread Corona" could be sued, or if the report states " a Haredi criminal did..." the reporter could be sued.

Eichler says this law would force reporters and media sites and companies to be more careful with what they say and how they report, to not generalize and stereotype Haredim or any other group.

Whenever something like this comes up it makes me wonder how "Haredi" (or any other group) would be defined legally. Meaning, if someone says Haredim spread Corona, could I sue? Can my secular cousin claim he is Haredi and sue? How do they determine who has the right to sue? Do you even need to be Haredi, or claim to be, to sue or can anyone sue?






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Proposed Law: cancel CoronaVirus fines

MK Yitzchak Pindrus (UTJ) has proposed a law that would cancel most of the fines given out for breaking the Corona guidelines of the past year. Pindrus is proposing this saying that the people have experienced a particularly difficult year and should not be turned into criminals at the same time. According to Behadrei, the other MKs to sign on the proposal were all Haredi MKs in addition to MK Shlomo Karhi of the Likud, which is surprising because the Likud controls the ministry that decided on the fines.

Pindrus would have the fines canceled for most issues, but it would not include fines given to people for breaking quarantine or people who regularly flouted the rules and received multiple fines. 

Pindrus explains in his proposal that frequently the laws were changed form moment to moment, at times with no advance warning and without enough publicity to let people know the new rules, with many new rules at all times and different rules in different places making it difficult for people to keep track. Additionally at times there were complaints of how the laws were enforced, selectively and harshly at times, with fines given in a way that left no room for appeal, children, etc.

Further, at times the fine was not given at the time of the infraction but was sent via mail, which didnt always function properly throughout the Corona year. At times people did not receive the fine yet in the mail before even finding out that they missed the pay date and a file had been opened on them with the fine doubled and interest added, etc

The purpose of the fine is to create deterrence and encourage people to follow the rules. Now, after the fact, with Corona in recession and most of the restrictions already removed, there is no reason to continue enforcing the fines that remain unpaid from the past year. As well, most fines were not paid and many are asking to appear in court to challenge their fines. This will put a heavy burden on the courts.

So as not to encourage people to break the laws, and so as not to reward people who broke the laws, the proposal for canceling the fines would only apply to the first fine of any type for a specific person - so if someone was fined 3 times for not wearing a mask outside, he would only get two fines (or maybe 1 as he also proposed certain infractions get the first two canceled). I dont know if this applies to people who made weddings or other large events against the rules, but presumably it does.
source: Behadrei

I predicted a long time ago that they would try to get the fines officially canceled, so this is not surprising.

He says he doesnt want to "reward the sinner", but that is precisely what he is doing. Some people did not try to break the rules and were surely fined for minor things, mistakes, etc but many intentionally flouted the rules, refused to wear masks, made parties against the rules, etc.

He also does not want to encourage people to break the law, but canceling the fines does just that. Next time there is a situation requiring similar rules, another pandemic or whatever, people will already know they do not need to bother keeping the rules because fines will be canceled anyway. They will even use this as a precedent.




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Interesting Psak: funeral in handcuffs

An interesting question was posed to Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, rav of Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq, and to his brother in law Rav Chaim Kanievsky.

A fellow died of Corona. A tremendous talmid chacham. One of the children of the deceased is someone who went "off the derech" and ended up in jail.

Boychik requested permission to attend his father's funeral. Permission was granted, though the prisoner would only be able to attend in cuffs accompanied by two policemen.

The question posed was if the son should be allowed to attend under these conditions - having him there in handcuffs and accompanied by policemen would be a very strange sight in this community and would draw attention to him. Perhaps this would not be respectful to the memory of the deceased but would be shameful, or maybe he should be allowed to pay his last respects to his father at the funeral?

Rav Zilbershtein paskened that him being at the funeral would bring shame to himself, as he would know everyone is looking at the unusual situation, and this alone would serve to bringing a kapara. Rav Zilbershtein said he proposed this to Rav Chaim Kanievsky who agreed and paskened similarly.
source: Hamechadesh


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never again: they fought the Nazis, now it is our turn (video)







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official Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at Yad Vashem (video)








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Apr 7, 2021

Din Meron KDin Har Habayit

Deputy Minister Meir Porush just complained and warned about Meron on Lag B'Omer.

Current reports suggest that the government is planning to limit the pilgrimage to Meron on Lag B'Omer.

Porush said, when he heard this, paraphrasing Ariel Sharon's famous statement, din tel aviv kdin netzarim - the status of Netzarim is the same as that of Tel Aviv, Din Meron kdin Har Habayit. Porush added that if next week during Ramadan they will allow a hundred thousand pilgrims to Har Habayit, there is no reason to limit the pilgrims to Kever Rashbi in meron on Lag B'Omer.

While Porush might be right about the numbers of pilgrims allowed, he should also remember that Jews are not allowed to pray on Har Habayit. If he says the status of Har Habayit and that of Meron are one and the same, he might get his Jews banned from praying in meron....





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Trump Heights takes life

According to Hamechadesh, the first family has moved into the "new" community of Ramat Trump, or Trump Heights, in the Golan Heights.

The Bieber family, probably not Justin, are the first to make the move, with several others set to follow in May. For now the community is set to house 20 "caravillas" for families, with the Biebers moving into the first. 10 additional families have already completed the acceptance process (I have no idea who is supposed to accept them and based on what criteria considering no families have lived there until now, but whatever). 

It is expected that in about another year the various bureaucratic hurdles will have been completed the residing families will be able to begin construction on actual homes.

Honestly I am actually a little surprised, and impressed. I thought that with the political changes and storms, this project would be abandoned and only remember historically as a form of goodwill.

The Biebers say that it is strange waking up to a community with no neighbors, but they know some will be there soon.

Yishuv Kal!

I just hope they fix the sign. Back in December when I was there the T of Trump had been missing and it said Rump Heights.







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Quote of the Day

I am willing to compromise with the Haredim regarding the draft law, but they will need to compromise with me regarding the conversion law. The Haredim have the ability to solve the political crisis by connecting with the Bennett-Lapid camp, or by supporting another candidate from the Likud that is not Netanyahu

  -- MK Mossi Raz (Meretz)

1. the Haredim won't compromise on the conversion law. It is just one of those issues they see as crucial. So this approach is not realistic

2. by supporting another candidate? The Likud is not fielding another candidate for them to support. And the Likud won't until the day Netanyahu steps down. So this is a pipe-dream at best. And a red herring.

3. As if Meretz would then be happy with a Likud-led government led by someone else other than Netanyahu.





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Proposed Law: racism against Haredim

The current law on the books disqualifies anyone from running for Knesset if it can be shown that the person or party incites to racism. The law has been defined as actual racism - based on someone's actual race or skin color.

Immediately after the swearing-in ceremony for the 24th Knesset yesterday MK Yitzchak Pindrus (UTJ) proposed an amendment to this law. Because "Haredi" is not a race, anyone who is "racist", in the broader sense of the term, against Haredim is not really being racist and cannot be disqualified from running for Knesset for such behavior. Pindrus proposed to amend the law to include incitement against Haredim. 

Pindrus's goal is to either get Avigdor Lieberman disqualified from running for Knesset in future elections or to make him reign himself in and stop being so anti-haredi out of concern that he could be disqualified.
source: Hamechadesh

What are the chances of this law passing? While the "coalition" (that does not yet exist but is currently in the form of a bloc of parties) does not necessarily have the numbers to pass this, The Haredi parties are friends with enough parties that they could rally additional support - maybe the Arabs parties who used to be the target of Lieberman's ire and often cooperate with the Haredi parties might support such a law and maybe some others who might not like Lieberman or some who might just want to curry favor with the Haredi parties. It doesn't seem likely to me, but I don't see it as being far fetched.

Even if it passes it seems like it might be hard to put into effect. Will they try to disqualify every political opponent using this law, saying they are racist against Haredim? For example, Yair Lapid because he has wanted to pass laws regarding Haredi community that Haredi parties were opposed to, such as drafting yeshiva bochurim or budgets for yeshivas or requiring core curriculum studies? What Lieberman recently said about Haredim might be far more clear for such a law, but there is also a lot of gray situations where they might try to use it.

To use such a law, if it should pass, would require the Haredim to break from previous policy. In cases where parties appealed to the electoral board to disqualify candidates based on racism or supporting terror, the Haredi parties always refused to vote saying if they do, it can boomerang and later be used against them. If they pass this law and then later appeal to the electoral board against Lieberman or any other candidate, that would be a significant break in policy. 






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opening session of Knesset 24

lots of pomp and circumstance





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Interview with Minister Litzman (video)








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street survey with Oded Menashe: what's next? (video)







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Lenny Solomon Live Show 101 - Nachum Segal (video)







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Al Tira - Corona edition (video)







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Apr 6, 2021

Picture of the Day

צילום: תדמית הפקות. מהטלגרם של עמית סגל


Prime Minister Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Gantz sitting back to back at the 24th Knesset swearing-in ceremony today. Tensions between them have been high, putting it mildly, for a while now...

The two of them look like a couple of little children in kindergarten....




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Quote of the Day

We will not be partners in an attempt to dismiss Moshe Gafni. he was born to serve as head of the Knesset Finance Committee. Gafni has never been caught saying anything racist.

  -- MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List)




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I don't understand

I don't understand.

1. I don't understand what Bennett is doing. If he wanted a Netanyahu government, he could have recommended Netanyahu to the President, instead of recommending himself. If he wanted a Lapid government, or a non-Netanyahu government, he could have recommended Lapid to the President instead of recommending himself (and he has done so previously). If he wanted to be Prime Minister and really thought he could with just 7 mandates, Lapid agreed to make him PM, he would just have to recommend Lapid. Does he want to be PM with 7 mandates but leading a Netanyahu government? What else could he possibly want that he did not already have the chance to achieve? Even if he joins Netanyahu and gets massive concessions from Bibi, that still does not give Bibi a government, unless he can also bring in Saar which seems unlikely.

So I don't understand Benett. I wonder if he has a massive rabbit in his hat (which he doesn't wear) or an ace up his sleeve and cannot wait to see what it is. Nothing else makes sense at this point.

2. I also don't understand what Saar is doing. He recommended nobody. He is refusing to join a Netanyahu government, and he refused to recommend Lapid or Bennett. So what does he want and what does he expect to happen? What is he willing to do and what type of government is he willing to join?

The only thing that sort of makes sense is if the two of them, both Bennett and Saar, are rejecting the Netanyahu coalition and the Lapid coalition and think they can somehow create a coalition led by them with the support/cooperation of Shas and UTJ along with Lapid. That still does not give them enough mandates to form a government, even if it could possibly happen, which is extremely unlikely and has already been rejected by the Haredi parties, so they would need to add parties such as either Labor or Lieberman - and the Haredim have already rejected sitting with them and some of them have rejected sitting with the Haredim. So they might be trying to work something like this out, but it does not seem to be a realistic possibility.

In general, and this does not apply to (or maybe applies less to) Bennett or Saar but to many of the other politicians involved in trying to form government coalitions, maybe stop bad-mouthing the people you might need tomorrow as partners. Likud and Smotritch have spent weeks bad-mouthing Bennett and Saar. Not that Bennett wont join a Likud government just because Likud has been bad-mouthing him, but it definitely adds to the complexity of the situations and makes it more complicated.

I am just waiting to see what rabbit Bennett is going to pull out of his hat, if he even has one. Nothing he is doing right now makes sense.





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Ruvi sets record appointing Bibi

President Reuven 'Ruvi' Rivlin has gone into the history books as the President of Israel presiding over the most Knessets and for giving out the most mandates to a candidate to form a coalition - this is the fourth time Rivlin is appointing a Knesset member to form a coalition. Also, this is the fourth time he is appointing a specific MK to form a coalition - PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Rivlin made it official when he announced a short while ago that he is tasking Netanyahu to attempt to form a government. 

Good Luck Bibi. Maybe the fourth time is the charm. But probably not. And even if a government is somehow formed, nobody is expecting it to last long.


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Interesting Psak: fishing for vaccines on Shabbos

Weird question for this one...

Somebody who is a baal teshuva and studying with Lev L'Achim asked a question about his parents who are still not religious. He explained that his father has wanted to get vaccinated against Corona urgently and needs his son's assistance to bring him to get the vaccination. He eventually realized that his father is so desperate for the vaccine because until the pandemic he would go every Shabbos to the beach and go fishing, an activity he loved and brought him peace and calmness. When the pandemic hit he could no longer go and do this on Shabbos - he just stayed home the entire time. But now there are vaccines  and if he gets the shot he can go back to his beloved fishing. And he wants his son to help go get the vaccine so he can get back to fishing.

Now, I do not understand why he needs his son to take him to get the vaccines.  Why can't he go on his own or ask someone else for help. And if he is disabled or immobile and needs that assistance, how exactly is he going to go back to fishing on Shabbos on his own?

But anyway, the son asked if he is allowed to take his father for the vaccine, which will be assisting him in going back to his beloved activity of fishing. He wants his father to get vaccinated, so he will be safe and healthy, but it will assist him in being mechalel shabbos. So, he asked if he is allowed to or not.

The people at Lev L'Achim brought the question to Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, rav of Raat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq.

Rav Zilbershtein paskened that even though the father is also mechalel shabbos at home, it is different when he goes fishing as that makes him a mechalel shabbos bfarhesya -a public shabbos desecrater, which gives him a worse status in halacha. He said that the son should not assist in his father getting vaccinated and should put forth effort to prevent his father from getting vaccinated so he will not return to fishing.
source: Hamechadesh


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street survey with Oded Menashe: what's next? (video)








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Lenny Solomon Live (video)









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Ariel Zilber: Givat Koach (video)








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Apr 5, 2021

foreign students to be allowed in to Israel

According to YWN, it has been worked out via the efforts of Rabbi Nechamya Malinowitz of "the Igud" to allow all foreign students into Israel. This will include yeshiva bochurim, kollel avreichim with their wives and children and other single students. Also, this will include both returning students and new students who were not in Israel before.

Foreigners have not been let into Israel for several months already, so this is big news that there is an agreement to let these non-Israelis into Israel to study.

The allowance will, obviously, be dependent on Covid-19 testing and maybe other requirements (of quarantine and whatnot).

That is a big win.

As an aside, there is an anglo oleh protest being formed against the government for still not allowing non-Israelis to enter Israel. Many family members have been unable to come to Israel to be with their children getting married, to be at funerals of relatives, at the birth of grandchildren along with bris or to be there to help the birthing mother, to be with siblings and children who have needed them in difficult and joyous times. While the country continues to open up, this issue seems to be stagnant with nobody in power talking about the possibility of loosening the restrictions and letting these family members in.

My thought it, why can't parents and siblings who want to come for a birth or wedding or funeral or whatever just call themselves students, register in a yeshiva, kollel or educational program for a bit, and come to Israel for their affairs and then leave when ready?










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meet Yaish GIat

The torch lighting ceremony is one of the main highlights of Yom Haatzmaut, Independence Day, in Israel.

12 people of Israel are selected, each to represent one of the 12 tribes of Israel, figuratively - with each coming from a different sector of Israeli society, according to the theme selected by the committee each year, and they light a torch after a brief statement.

Today they announced one of this year's torch bearers, and he looks like an interesting personality.

Meet Yaish Giat:




Giat is 102 year old immigrant from Yemen (I do not know when he immigrated to Israel) will light one of the torches in this year's Independence Day ceremony celebrating the 73rd birthday of Israel.

Giat lives in Ashqelon and is a teacher, a "Mori", while also being an herbologist who provides natural medicines, and grinds them himself based on the teachings of the Rambam and tradition passed down to him. 

Giat is also a sofer stam, and has written numerous torah voluntarily that have been donated to shuls all around Israel.

According to the reports, this past year during Corona, Giat continued to receive people in his home, despite the danger especially at his age, while taking precautions, to help people and listen to their problems and advise them and help them. 

לתפארת מדינת ישראל!



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welcome to Israel, Pfizer

Just a few weeks ago Pfizer was so enamored with Israel and Netanyahu's obsessive drive for vaccines, and today they are frustrated and calling Israel a "banana republic" (because Israel never approved any of the purchase orders after the first batch so has yet to pay for most of the vaccines received)...

welcome to Israel, Pfizer...

Maybe Bourla should call Netanyahu 30 times and wake him up at 3am to obsessively pester him for the money....






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Interesting Psak: faking movements of kavana during davening

An interesting question was sent to Rav Yitzchak Zibershtein, rav of Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq. 

The question asked was from a person who says he wants to be honest and true and not just do things for appearances, not to do things on levels he isn't at (ie he doesnt want to do things that make him look holier than he is).

The question he asked is that he is sitting and davening from a siddur, is careful to not talk during davening, but he does not feel his davening is special enough and isn't giving his children a strong personal impression, so he asks if he should do all sorts of movements, all external, to put on a show as if he is having a lot of focused kavana, even though he really isn't and is just putting on a show for the kids to see and be impressed and see how important it is to him and therefore impress it upon themselves as well. Or maybe because he isnt really on that level and doing these motions and whatnot is not "l'shma", maybe he should not be faking it.

Rav Zilbershtein responded with a story. A maiseh. He says a Jew went to Rav Shlomke of Zhvil and told him that he enjoys reading the newspaper in the morning before davening, but he knows that when the children will get older it will make a bad impression on them. The yid said that he takes a mussar sefer so the kids will see and reads form it, but he really wants to be reading the newspaper instead and he does not want to be dishonest - he asked Reb Shlome of Zhvil if he should read from the mussar sefer "shelo l'shma" to give his kids an impression of what is important, or should he do what he feels is honest? Rav Zilbershtein related that Rav Shlomke responded that while it is "shelo l'shma" regarding the learning of mussar, it is 100% l'shma regarding the educating of his children to the right path. Additionally, Rav Zilbershtein added, performing the movements and activities that he does not yet feel are honest and appropriate for his level will little by little change him and eventually he will reach that level.
source: Hamechadesh



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Shirat Haneshama #2 I Shuki Solomon & David Taub (video)








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Apr 4, 2021

breaking the stalemate

As the issue of forming a governing coalition becomes increasingly complicated in the leadup to tomorrow's round of meetings between the President and party heads to hear their recommendations for Prime Minister, journalist Attila Somfalvi has made an interesting proposal. Most have been based on the same thoughts over and over again, slightly adjusted, so this is much more unique.

Somfalvi has suggested that there is still the possibility of Lapid and the Haredim cooperating to form a government. This comes after Lapid himself said that if he can form a government with Bennett, the Haredim would be willing to join shortly after - they would not support him in becoming PM, but they would join his government once it is up.

Maybe, maybe not, but here is Attila Somfalvi's idea.

Somfalvi suggests that a Lapid-Haredi government could happen. The only thing preventing it is Lapid's stance regarding the drafting of the yeshiva bochurim. That has been one of Lapid's main flags since day 1. While he cannot just drop it now, it has never been actualized and will not be - Lapid won't draft them. Somfalvi says the Haredun need to be allowed to learn, to work to earn - whatever they want. They can do civil service instead of being drafted. Lapid can find the solution, but he needs a mediator to propose it and push it through.

Somfalvi's mistake is really that he suggests Olmert as the mediator. I don't think Olmert has that legitimacy, though he does have the relations with both sides. I think Bennett could be the perfect mediator on this issue - Bennett has pushed his agenda for a long time to give the Haredim a mass exemption at a younger age than currently exists in order to get them out into the workforce. A younger age of exemption will allow more to enter academic studies and get respectable professions rather than starting at a later age and more being able to only take low paying positions as unskilled laborers.

If Bennett can be the mediator and get Lapid to accept his plan, at least temporarily, and not force the draft issue, the Haredim could find a way to join such a government. Bennett has proposed, has campaigned on the idea of not dealing with all the social issues and only having a government for a couple of years that deals with only the economy and corona. This could be the basis of such a government that could allow everyone to live with it. Lapid would have to bite his tongue on some of those religion and State issues and the Haredi parties would probably have to be willing to accept that some of their budgets for yeshivas might be a little bit smaller and have fewer positions of influence in the government, but overall it could be livable for everybody.

Chances of this happening are miniscule, but it sounded like a good proposal to me to get the Israeli government out of its stalemate.




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Politics makes strange bedfellows

A lot of people are surprised, even shocked, even horrified, by what Rav Chaim Kanievsky was recently quoted as having said. 

There are slightly different versions of exactly what he said, so I'll just paraphrase the point of what he supposedly said.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky was, supposedly, asked if the Haredi parties should support a government that is reliant on the Arab parties, or if they should reject that and support a government of Jews but they are Leftists. What the exact wording of the question was, I do not know -I saw a few different versions, but that was the point of the supposed question (I keep saying supposedly and supposed because they video and publish everything about him nowadays. Anything that is put out in his name without some form of documentation is just supposed). 

Rav Chaim Kanievsky's answer was, again supposedly, that it is better to make a government with Arabs rather than Leftists because they do not want to create a melting pot and turn us all into secular Jews and also because their family values and respect for religion is a lot closer to our views than those of the seculars.

Supposedly he said something like that, with the point being (no matter what the exact words were, if he said it at all) that he has no problem with the Haredi parties being part of a coalition that includes, or is reliant upon, Arab parties and would prefer that over an alternate coalition that includes Lapid, Labor, Meretz, etc.

People are shocked and horrified over this, Rav Chaim Kanievsky is choosing the murderous and terror-supporting Arabs as coalition partners over his own Jewish brothers!?!?! Shock! Horror! See how much he/they hates the rest of us! So selfish for his narrow interests he will sell the entire country down the creek!

First, that shows how far the values of so many Jews has moved from his values, and seemingly from the values of the traditional Judaism that he represents. He does not have to prefer liberal values over traditional ones if he is opposed to them.

Second, as far as I can tell nothing new was said here (if anything was actually said at all). We have frequently seen the Haredi parties cooperating with the Arab parties to thwart potential laws that might hurt one or the other group, and in the other direction as well - cooperating to pass laws that help one or the other. They have found each other, for a long time already, to be convenient partners and on close enough to the "same page" that they have found it easy and convenient to work together often. As they say, politics makes strange bedfellows. The Haredi and Arab parties have been bedfellows for a long time already and this is nothing new.








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Book Review: Because It's Israel, An Aliyah Odyssey


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

Book Review: Because It's Israel, An Aliyah Odyssey, by Arthur Miller


I like a good, fun book as much as the next guy, and that is exactly what Because It's Israel, an Aliyah Odyssey, by Arthur Miller is. It is actually more than just a good, fun book. This is the love story of Arthur and Ronnie Miller with Israel. The setting is their aliyah story and experiences, but it is actually Arthur's, and Ronnie's, lifelong quest to emigrate to Israel, with tens of trips along the way.

Many people want to move to Israel but their plans get sidelined for a variety of reasons. Far be it from me to judge why someone does or does not make aliyah. Most people who not make aliyah have good reasons preventing them from doing so. The Millers wanted to make aliyah for decades before they were actually able to, and from the stories they relate and the desires expressed, the reader can see how much they really loved Israel and just could not make aliyah, until they finally could.

Once they did make aliyah, they fully embraced Israel, and Israel, it seems, fully embraced the Millers. They delight in every story and experience, even the ones that did not end to their expected satisfaction. Because it's Israel. They delight in relating all the strange stories and experiences, many of which can only be understood in light of the title of the book - because it's Israel. And that's just the way it is here.

 Besides for the many fun individual stories related by the author that make up their odyssey, what I particularly liked is the inclusion of so much history before making aliyah; how Arthur Miller was a devoted defender of Israel in his professional life and in writing to newspapers in defense of Israel and through his work on the board of the Jewish Federation and through his communal work. Israel was the center of the author's life long before he actually made aliyah with his wife. 

Because It's Israel is a fun book to read. If you live in Israel already, you will easily relate to the stories and identify them as similar to many things you experienced. You will completely understand what the author is talking about. And if you don't [yet?] live in Israel, you will laugh at the craziness and maybe it will help help you somewhat understand the attitude of people and the culture here. It is easy to read and it is hard to put down once you start. 


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


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Tiyulim in Eretz Yisrael: the deep south west, Shivta and 10

We mostly took it easy this holiday. While it is wonderful that the infection rate has dropped tremendously (I would assume because of the high rate of vaccination and recovery rates) and people are able to get out, unlike the last few holidays, and travel the country, I personally hate standing in line and fighting with the crowds. So I love seeing the country filled with people having a good time, and I am happy to see that mostly from my home.

We spent a couple of days getting together with family, along with a relative's simcha, and relaxing.

We joined the rest of Israel out touring one day of Chol Hamoed.

But even then, while most of the Israeli tourists were running around up north or all the way down in Eilat, we went out traveling in a part of the country we thought would be slightly less traveled.

And we were successful.

We went southwest. Deep southwest.

We started out driving down to Shivta National Park. Shivta is an old Byzantine town, now in ruins, from about 1500 years ago along the Spice Route. We got there and ate some lunch before touring the ruins. Another great thing about Shivta is that there was no need to make reservations to see the site (and it was free). 

Due to Corona, many sites and trails require advance booking. Those sites are almost all busy. Also, it is hard to get reservations, as Israelis love to book several sites and only later decide which one to visit. there is no charge to make a reservation, and no penalty for skipping, so that is what happens. It is what it is, but we found a way to not have to deal with that (after trying just a little bit).

So we toured the ancient Shivta site, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There were other people there, but it was not crowded at all. We took our time and enjoyed climbing through the ruins.

From there we drove further southwest. There is a road called Highway 10 - not the well-known Road 10 on the edge of Bet Shemesh (which is really officially Road 3855), but Highway 10 that runs adjacent to the Israeli-Egyptian border. The road is normally closed to Israeli traffic for security reasons, but a few days a year they open it up, or at least most of it, to Israeli travelers.


The northwestern most edge of Highway 10 is at the very bottom of the Gaza Strip, just a bit northwest of the Israeli town called Kadesh Barnea. The road actually was only opened on the northern-most side from the junction of the town of Azuz, just a bit southeast of Kadesh Barnea, but it took us time to find that (that's what we get for not reading all the details). While we wasted some time looking for the opening of the road, it was pretty cool as we saw the closed borders and security stations. We eventually figured it out and as we got closer, there were also signs pointing us in the right direction.

Despite the road being officially open, it is still manned by Israeli soldiers securing the area, along with closed gates that they open for each car. They asked where we were going, and I said I heard the road was open and we just wanted to drive on it. The soldiers smiled, opened the gate and wished us an enjoyable and safe trip and we were on our way.

Obviously we were not going to drive all the way down to Eilat on this road, as we had no interest in going so far. Also it was late in the afternoon and they only keep the road open for some hours per day and then close it. So our time was limited, which was fine by us. 

The border is secured by a high fence with barbed wire (and probably other forms of security), which I understand is relatively new and was installed to stop the infiltrators from Sudan and Eritrea who came through Egypt several years ago. The road adjacent to the fence is actually new and beautifully paved, and I assume is only used by the security forces. The road used by the public, when open, is just a tad away from the fence and is older and not quite as nicely paved.

After driving for a while, we stopped to ask a group of soldiers securing the road where a lookout point is. They directed us to just a bit further down the road. When we got there we pulled over and got out and walked around a bit. The ground in that area is full of iron ore rocks. We also found a lot of old bullet casings - maybe from the Yom Kippur War (or maybe not). 

After checking things out there for a bit, we got back in the car and decided to drive a little bit further down the road. Someone told us there is "borot mayim" - water cisterns - in the area, and we decided to go a little further and look for them. As we got to the next group of soldiers, they directed us to the water, warning us that it won't be open much longer. We got there and the soldiers there told us we only have a little bit of time left. We parked the car and hiked out to the borot mayim. There were several other people there - some coming, some going. 

The borot mayim were actually a little disappointing. It was one hole in the ground with a bit of water. A few people were climbing down to touch the water, but without actually being able to go in and swim and enjoy, I didn't see the point. The cistern had a ladder, but the cistern was only big enough for one person at a time, and it was not particularly deep. We enjoyed the area and beautiful views and hiked back to the car. When done we turned around and went back to get off the road. From there we went to Tel Nitzana to relax, eat, daven and get ready to drive home.



















what interesting trips did you take or interesting things did you do and see?



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