Jun 20, 2021

Kashrut Alert: Aroma Mamilla loses hechsher

Kikar reporter Ariel Elharar reported on Twitter that workers of the Aroma Cafe in Mamilla Mall (outside of the Old City of Jerusalem) were seen, by Haredim returning form the Kotel, going in to Aroma and beginning to bake. this Aroma is/was under the hechsher of the Rabbanut Mehadrin (of Jerusalem) and the Badatz of Chug Chasam Sofer.



A sort while later Elharar tweeted again that the hechsher of Chug Chasam Sofer has been removed due to the opening of the shop on Shabbos, and they take no responsibility over the kashrut of the place until they clarify what happened.



Interestingly, the first tweet reporting the infraction is accompanied by a picture. So the Haredim returning from the Kotel before Shabbos was over reporting the violation of the Aroma employees took a picture of the incident? they were carrying phones with them? they asked someone else to take a picture and send it to them? I am not quite sure how this picture was obtained, though except for the lights being on I dont really see anything special in it anyway so maybe it is just a poor quality archived picture of Aroma Mamilla? I am a little confused by this.

In general, I have no problem with them losing the hechsher over a serious violation of the rules. The hechshers all have rules, and if you can't keep to the rules, get a different hechsher whose rules you can keep. In this case, what bothers me slightly is that they add "until the matter is clarified". If they have not looked into it yet, why pull the hehchsher? Anybody can call in anything to a hechsher about a restaurant under its supervision and make an unverified claim and get the hechsher pulled until it is clarified? Anybody who does not like a restaurant, or is a competitor, can go file false reports and destroy a business. Restaurants often do not recover form such incidents that hurt their reputation of trustworthiness, even if later it is found to be not accurate. In this instance, maybe Shabbos was really already out according to the earlier time but these passerby thought it was still Shabbos based on their stricter time. Maybe they were not baking but only cleaning up? I don't know what other possibilities could be the truth, but should a hechsher automatically be pulled "until it is clarified"? Maybe clarify first?

Another question I have is that according to the original tweet, the Aroma branch is under the hechshers of the Rabbanut Mehadrin and Chasam Sofer. That is not standard Rabbanut but Mehadrin - if this is really a Shabbos infraction, why did the Rabbanut Mehadrin also not remove its hechsher?

I am not sure we have the full story here.




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Quote of the Day

The government is not interested in what happened in Meron. Their objective is to embarrass the Haredi MKs, the former Prime Minister, and the families, instead of helping them financially. The government just wants blood and for heads to roll. 

  - - MK Keti Shitreet (Likud) 

I'm not sure how creating an investigative committee into Israel's worst civilian tragedy is just revenge and looking for blood, but ok. If their opinion is worth anything, the families have been demanding such an investigation.

 Whether the state should pay the families some sort of financial stipend, I don't know though I'm not opposed to it. I do not know why the two are mutually exclusive - they can set up an investigation and also pass the decision to grant a stipend of some sort. The previous government did neither. 

Setting up an investigative committee is also not looking to embarrass anyone but to get to the bottom of what happened and where the failures were, and yes, who was responsible, if anyone. Should we never investigate anything because it might find someone responsible? Should we not investigate just because someone from the previous government might bear responsibility (maybe, nobody knows if that is the case)? Did only Netanyahu's government have the legitimacy to investigate this? 



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Headlines Podcast: 6/19/21– Show 327 – Female Rabbis - A problem of Halacha, Mesorah or even worse (video)








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Ko Amar - The Rebirth of Israel - Gavriel Klatzko - Composed by Benzion Klatzko (video)








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Jun 17, 2021

Dayeinu, Netanyahu

Dayeinu to MK Benjamin Netanyahu.

Dayeinu.

Enough is enough.

it is normal, it is obligated, it is expected. When a Prime Minister is replaced by a new Prime Minister, as bitter as the former PM might be for losing his position, he must pass the reigns graciously to the incoming Prime Minister. Personally he might nto want the new PM to succeed, so he can make his way back to the post as soon as possible, but the interests of the State must come before personal interests. The former PM must do the basic acts of passing the reigns and making sure the incoming PM has the necessary information to do the job.

It was nasty, but it was one thing when Netanyahu only allocated 20 minutes to meet with PM Naftali Bennett to do the "chafifa", the transition and pass over necessary information. There is no way 20 minutes is enough to get a Prime Minister up to speed. Previous Prime Ministers always made themselves fully available to pass along all the info to new Prime Ministers, until Netanyahu did this to Bennett.

Ok, dayeinu.

It was one thing when Netanyahu still has not packed up his clothes and moved out of the Prime Ministers residence in Jerusalem. The State should forcibly remove him, but if he needs a little more time, he should say he needs another week and get out. And he is holding meetings with officials and dignitaries in the house, as if he is still PM. 

Ok, dayeinu.

Now Haaretz is reporting (behind paywall so see Hamechadesh) that Netanyahu and his people have been shredding documents from the Prime Ministers office, illegally, rather than leaving them for official collation and for Bennett's team to use and review.

I do not know if this is true or not, but it needs to be looked into. As bad as Netanyahu's bitter behavior has been, this is beyond the pale.

Netanyahu is not interested in the success of the State at all. He has put his own interests above the interests of the State, and a Prime Minister cannot do that. He might put enough obstacles in Bennett's way to make an already shaky position and coalition that much more unstable, but I hope he won't be rewarded for it. he deserves to be condemned for the way he is handling this transition.




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President to be sworn in early

We never did anything major during the "Nine Days", and generally not even during the "Three Weeks". Not major purchases, not trips or major events. It was always considered something that would bring "bad luck" of sorts. I remember when someone close to the family bought a car during the Three Weeks - family members pleaded with her to wait, but she bought the car. That car was in a number of accidents, besides for often breaking down. While it might have just been a lousy car and she a lousy driver, family members always blamed it her having bought it during the Three Weeks.

President-elect Yitzchak Herzog was set to be sworn into office on July 7, 2021, and while that is deep into the Three Weeks, it was actually scheduled for the following Wednesday, but that is during the Nine Days. Both President Rivlin and President-elect Herzog agreed and requested that the date be pushed up to avoid such a major move during the Nine Days.
source: Behadrei

While it is still during the Three Weeks, here in Israel, perhaps because of the dominant Sefardic influence, the Nine Days is considered much more significant and the Three Weeks is more "regular".

Both Rivlin and Herzog are traditional Jews, sensitive and connected to their Judaism. It is refreshing that this request came from them, and it was [seemingly] easily worked out, rather than something that had to be fought over or not even done or noticed and then snickered about.




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Chayot Hanohamot - Shlomo Katz feat. Nissim Black (video)







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Jun 16, 2021

Quote of the Day

The Photoshop person at Behadrei Haredim should get a raise. Thank God he will have a lot of faces to blur in the new government.

  -- Minister of Transportation Merav Michaeli, after Behadrei posted the official government ministerial photograph with the women's faces blurred




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Jun 15, 2021

Facebook Status of the Day




Full text of Post:
There's something I need to get off my chest.

I'm an Ultra-Orthodox, Chassidic, Hareidi Jew. I live in Jerusalem, in an area that is exclusively Ultra-Orthodox Hareidi for street after street, suburb after suburb, for miles and miles. In all of these neighborhoods where the roads are blocked off and no cars drive on Shabbos, each black-hat-wearing family has many many children and literally no TV’s. I personally only ever wear black and white clothes, my wife only dresses in Chassidic levels of tznius (modesty), and my boys and girls all attend mainstream Hareidi Chassidic schools where the main language is Yiddish. My kids don’t and never will have smartphones, nor have they ever been on the internet at all. Period. They don’t know what social media is and they’ve never seen a movie — not even Disney animation.

Having lived exclusively immersed in this culture for the last 21 years, I think I'm sufficiently qualified and well-researched enough to state that the consistent depiction of Hareidim and Torah Judaism by mainstream media, from Netflix to the daily news, is somewhere between delusion, slander and the literal equivalent of racism. If you consider yourself less closed-minded than how you imagine we Hareidim to be, then permit me to share a few personal details about my family, and other families in our neighborhood, to see how well your mental narrative matches up to reality:

- Besides learning Torah each day, most of the men in our neighborhood work full or part-time.
- Many women in our area work. Some even manage their own business or company. These are not special or “liberated” women — it’s so normal here it’s not even a discussion point.
- My wife is a full-time mother by choice, who despite attending an Ivy League College, finds it a profound and meaningful thing to dedicate her life to. If she didn’t, she’d go get a job. Mind you, she also attends Torah classes each week, works out with both a female fitness coach (who’s gay) and a frum Pilates instructor, writes and edits articles for a couple global websites and magazines, and personally mentors a number of women. None of this is seen as unusual.
- Kids in our community go to Torah schools where they learn (surprise!) Torah. They are fluent in three languages from a young age and the boys even read and understand a fourth (Aramaic). All the kids learn grammar, math and science. Weekly after-school activities have included music (violin, drums, piano), Tae Kwon Do, swimming, art, woodworking and robotics. The girls' school teaches tools of emotional intelligence. The principal of the boys' school doesn't hesitate to refer to kids to OT if needed. I practice meditation with my children multiple times each week. None of our kids think the world is literally 6,000 years old. They devour books about science and think it’s cool. They know dinosaurs existed and don’t find that existentially threatening. They have a telescope with which they love to watch the stars.
- The women in my family (like the men) only dress modestly according to Hareidi standards. The girls don't find this burdensome or oppressive. Period. They aren't taught that beauty is bad. They're certainly not taught to hate their bodies, God forbid. Each morning when they get dressed, they are as happily into their own fashion and looking pretty as any secular girl is. They just have a different sense of fashion than secular culture dictates. (Unfortunately for me, it's no cheaper.)
- The local Hareidi rabbis we receive guidance from are deep, warm, sensitive, supportive and emotionally intelligent. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t go to them.
- My boys assume they will grow up to learn Torah, as much as they want to, and then when they’re ready, get a good job or learn a profession to support whatever lifestyle they choose. My girls assume they’ll be wives and mothers (which they can’t wait for) but they're also warmly encouraged to train in whatever other profession they desire. (My 9-year-old daughter, chatting with her friend in the living room, just commented, "I want to be a mother and a teacher and an artist." Her friend replied, "I'm going to be a ballet teacher.") All options are on the table, and their future seems bright.
- We love living in modern Israel, feel proud and blessed to be here, and frequently count and celebrate its blessings. Everyone in my area votes. Sometimes not even for Hareidi parties. I pay taxes. (And they’re expensive!)
- As a Hareidi person, I’m glad we have Hareidi representation in the government — though I don’t always love or approve of how the Hareidi politicians act, or what they choose to represent. For the record, I'm equally dubious about secular politicians, as well. 🙂
- While I don't spend much time in Tel Aviv, I do have a few close Hareidi entrepreneur friends who have founded high-tech start-ups there, and are — Boruch Hashem! — doing very well.
- We don’t hate all non-religious people. Our kids don’t throw stones at passing cars on Shabbos. I doubt they even know anyone who would do that or think that it’s ok. We frequently talk about the Torah value of caring for and being compassionate towards everyone. As a family, we proactively try to find ways to judge others favorably (even those people who throw stones at passing cars on Shabbos.)
- We invite all manner of religious and secular Jews to join our Shabbos meals each week and the kids are open, happy, and confident to welcome everyone. (No, we're not Chabad.) One of the many reasons for having such guests at our table is to teach the kids this lesson.
- While we would technically be classified as right-wing and we don’t at all buy the modern “Palestinian” narrative, we certainly don’t hate all Arabs, nor do we have any desire to expel them all from the land. We warmly welcome anyone seeking to dwell here with us in peace and we are pained and saddened to see the suffering and loss of lives of all innocent Arab families and children — as would any decent human being.
- Of the few local families I know whose kids no longer identify as religious, none at all chose to disown their kids. The very thought, in such lovingly family-dedicated communities, is hard to imagine. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying it's not as common as it's made out. Rather, these families have tirelessly, profoundly, compassionately committed to maintaining any connection with their children, and to emphasize that, no matter what, family is the most important thing. Because it is.
- We aren't just living our life blindly, dogmatically following empty religious rules; rather, we are frequently engaged with, exploring and discussing Torah's richness, depth and meaning. Our kids honestly love learning Torah, praying and doing mitzvos. They’re visibly excited about Shabbos and festivals. This lifestyle is in no way oppressive or burdensome for them. If you suggested to them it was, they’d laugh and think you were crazy.
- We Hareidim are normal people: we laugh, we cry, we buy too much Ikea furniture, and we struggle with all of life's daily ups and downs, just like the rest of you. Some of our communities are more healthy and balanced, some are less so; some of our people are warmer, nicer and more open, some are more closed, dogmatic and judgmental; some of our leaders are noble and upstanding, and some are quite frankly idiots…JUST LIKE ANY SECULAR NEIGHBORHOOD IN THE WORLD TOO. But having grown up living a secular lifestyle myself, and today being Hareidi-by-choice, I can testify that in these communities there is generally a greater and more tangible sense of well-being, warmth, tranquility, connection and meaning. We love and feel blessed to be living this life and wouldn’t want any other.

If this description of Hareidi life is hard to swallow, be careful not to push back with the often-used defenses like: "Well, you're just an exception to the rule...", "You're just American Hareidim", "You're baalei teshuvah", "Well, I know a bunch of Haredim that aren't like that at all"....because the truth is, while there might be many Hareidim who aren't like what I described above, it's still an accurate description of literally hundreds of thousands of Hareidim in Israel and the US — a decent portion of all Hareidim in the world. Which is my very point — how come you never see this significant Hareidi demographic represented in the media, television series, or the news? How come we mostly see the darkest and most problematic cliches instead?

And finally, if all the facts I've listed above about our communities are hard for you to accept as true, then perhaps the image you have in your head about Hareidim is less based on facts and reality and more based on stereotypes, fear, hate, and discrimination — like any other form of prejudice in the world.

Care to prove me wrong? Well, you're welcome to come argue it out with me and my family at our Shabbos table on Friday night. It would be a joy and honor to have you. 🙏🏼 





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Proposed Law: Benefitd Packages for chozrim btshuva and bsheila

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) recently submitted a law proposal that would grant a financial package of assistance to people who leave the religious community. The package of benefits, what is given to new immigrants to help them acclimate to a new country, would now also be given, should the proposal pass, to people who were educated in haredi schools but then leave religion. 

Some set of criteria would be established for qualification - otherwise people will say they are no longer Haredi, or no longer religious, just to get the benefits, while they really are still Haredi or religious. 

And how many times can you get it? Let's say Reuven grew up Haredi and at 20 left religion and gets the benefits package. At 22 he becomes religious again, and at 24 he becomes not religious, etc. can Reuven keep getting the benefits repeatedly?

Regardless, the reasons for the proposal are fairly obvious. People who grew up in the Haredi community and leave it, are basically on their own with no tools to succeed in general society. They usually have had no secular education and often their families break off connections with them. The benefits package is to help them get a stable life with a chance for a future..

Interestingly, Zandberg in her explanation of the proposal noted that the State of Israel gives financial benefits to haredim who grew up in the Haredi educational system and stayed Haredi but need to overcome the differentials created by the lack of general education. But the people who grew up int he same system but left the community get no assistance. 

In opposition to Zandberg's proposal, MK Uriel Buso (Shas) has now proposed a similar but opposite law.

Buso is proposing that the same benefits package should be given to people who become religious, chozrim btshuva. Buso says that in the Jewish State in which learning Torah is a supreme value, if benefits are to be given to those who leave religion, it should also be given to those who come to religion - and they should be given double.

Buso explains that "chozrim btshuva" refers to people who left the secular community and joined the religious or Haredi community. The range of people returning is great, from young to old, singles to married and families, men and women... There is no formal assistance given to chozrim btshuva, and it is only on an individual basis, meaning kiruv organizations help people going through their organizations, but nothing from the State. Besides for them, many people return on their own, not through any organization and without any assistance. 
sources: INN, Israel Hayom



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Sruli Broncher ft. Roy Yadid \\ Ha Lachma Anya (Official Music Video)







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Jun 14, 2021

glass bottles sold at beach illegal to be on beach

There is a law on the books that says that it is illegal/prohibited to bring glass bottles to a beach. Searching online I have found many complaints from people, going back several years (so it isnt anything new), on various forums about this law being enforced when the abuser gets slapped with a 750nis fine.

The law is understandable. If people come with glass bottles of beer or coke or whatever to the beach, soon enough there will be broken bottles and shards of glass in the sand tearing up people's barefoot feet.

Nobody wants that.

I guess the law's existence is not well known, and I have no idea if signage at the beaches is adequate or not - I do not recall seeing such a sign but maybe I just did not pay attention to it. if there isn't, there should be better signage. I would guess it is probably included in the large sign at the entrance to every beach with the rules that nobody reads.

To be fair, while it makes sense to ban glass bottles at a beach, the beach kiosk should not be allowed to sell glass bottles of beer (or other drink) either.

Hamechadesh is reporting on a situation in which several yeshiva bochurim who went to the separate beach in Tel Aviv who were slapped with these significant fines immediately upon opening the bottles that they had just bought from the beach kiosk.


While ignorance of the law is almost never a good defense for being caught breaking it, the boys complained that they had just bought the bottles from the beach kiosk. 

Now that is not right. 

I am not saying they should not get fined for drinking from a glass bottle, but the kiosk should not be allowed to sell drinks in glass bottles if it is illegal to drink from them on the beach. Nobody is buying beer from the beach kiosk to stock up their fridge for Shabbos or to restock their depleted pantry. They are purchasing in the beach kiosk to drink on the beach, and if it is illegal to drink this on the beach it should not be sold in the beach kiosk.

Of course if a glass bottle with a note inside washes up on the shore while you are at the beach, presumably you would be allowed to take out the ntoe to read...



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Proposed Law: drive a Mitsubishi

Alex Goldfarb was a Member of Knesset back int he early 90s, serving as a member of the Tzomet party headed by Raful Eitan. After some dispute with Eitan, in 1994 Goldfarb and a couple other MKs broke off from the party and formed their own independent party called Yiud.

At the time, Yitzchak Rabin was Prime Minister of Israel and had begun the process of the Oslo Accords. After Shas left the government (yes, Shas was in the Labor-led government coalition that also included Meretz, despite the way they talk today. UTJ did not join the coalition as Rav Shach was opposed to them cooperating and sitting with Shulamit Aloni who led Meretz at the time) after fighting with Aloni and trying to get her fired, unsuccessfully. They abstained form the vote on the Oslo Accords (rather than voting against), and the vote passed. 


In 1995 when it was time to vote on the second stage of the Oslo Accords, Goldfarb, a member of the coalition, was threatening to vote again and Rabin bought his vote by promising him a Mitsubishi with a driver.

MK Itamar Ben Gvir (Hatzionut Hadatit) has now proposed a law that would have Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and other ministers from the Yamina party drive only government-issue Mitsubishi cars and no other brand as befitting a politician who sells his ideals for a position of authority - in accordance with the Goldfarb precedent.
source: Actualic

Haha!






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Picture of the Day



That is MK Meir Porush catching a shluf during the speeches yesterday in the Knesset at the swearing-in ceremony of the new government.

There were so many interesting scenes happening, and this is the one I think I most relate to... every Friday night (not at early Shabbos though, because there is no break with speeches) between kabalat shabbat and maariv, and almost any other time I go to sit and listen to a speech...


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Quote of the Day

Bennett made the bracha of Shehecheyanu on the establish of the government. It is a bracha levatala (in vain) - this government wont last

  -- MK Yaakov Asher (UTJ)




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#59: Behind the Bima - Beatie Deutsch, Marathon Runner (video)








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Palestinians: Are people answering my questions honestly? (video)







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MK Gafni's speech at new government's swearing in ceremony (video)

Gafni is always fun...




and to be fair, Matan Kahana responded during his speech...





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Ain Aroch Lecha: the Mass Singing event of Kol Brama (video)







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Jun 13, 2021

Knesset session live of transfer of government (video)







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Naftali Bennett's halachic solution

I just realized.

As a religious Jew, Naftali Bennett had a problem taking the position of Prime Minister as it would require him to work on Shabbos.

Obviously in critical emergency situations that would be ok. And Israel is never short on those moments.

The question is only in a quiet, non-emergency, situation. If that even exists when you are head of state.

And that must be why he is fine with Mansour Abbas and the RAAM party being members of the coalition. They have been brought in to be his "Shabbos goy" for the non-essential work that needs to be done on Shabbos but isnt considered pikuach nefesh.
 
Now it all makes sense!

just some humor among the chaos

😂


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the modern day Jonah

The jokes, and comments, practically write themselves.

Some lobster diver off the coast of Cape Cod was swallowed whole by a humpback whale and then, shortly after, spit out.

And no, his name is not Jonah.

Michael Packard realized what happened after feeling a bump and everything going dark. He stayed calm, and continued breathing with his oxygen tank. I don't know how he realized he was in the whale's mouth - I doubt it is the first idea that would come to mind if it were me... Packard estimates that he was in the whale's mouth for about 30 seconds before being spit out.
sources: CNN, TOI

Forgetting all the possible quips and jokes momentarily, I am wondering what is going on that the Bible stories are suddenly coming to life and re-happening. Jonah and the whale now and just this past week a massive sinkhole opened up in Jerusalem near the Shaarei Tzedek Hospital (during the week of Korach). What's next - plagues? Tower of Babel? Something like Sodom being destroyed? Splitting of a sea? What story would be really cool for being recreated like this?



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Headlines Podcast: 6/12/21– Show 326 – Lace Top Sheitels – Are They permissible? (audio)








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Jeremy Saltan Debate w/Likud's Amir Weitmann (June 10 2021) (video)










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Ask the Chief Rabbi (video)









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Longest mustache, longest hair, and tallest man in Israel (video)

that guy with the mustache? he's my cousin






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Akiva: Ata Holech Iti (video)








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Jun 10, 2021

Tweet of the Day







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Jun 9, 2021

the kashrut alert that shows the days of mashiach are not quite here yet

There is a [famous] medrash that in the future (times of mashiach?), the pig will be kosher - there is debate what it actually means, perhaps the pig will begin to chew its cud and that will make it a kosher animal or perhaps it is an allegory for something else, but the medrash or Chazal say it in some way.

I do not know if we are in the times of Mashiach or not, but a picture went viral this past week of a package of ham steaks bearing the kashrut symbol of the Orthodox Union.





It was obvious that this was either a mistake or a forgery. I did not find anything sensational about it. But now that the OU has issued a kashrut alert, which I guess they had to, I figure I will post it.

The OU kashrut alert seals the deal that we are not yet in the days of mashiach.

While sometimes you will see kashrut certification on ham flavored products, that are artificially flavored to taste like ham, this says nothing about ham flavored, so it is clear this was not authentic. Even if you normally say "it is on the rabbi" or "it is on the hechsher" and as long as someone of authority says something is kosher you can eat it without asking questions and they can take the fall for it, this seems pretty obvious that you can't eat it and say it is on the OU.





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Book Review: Hip Set


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: Hip Set, by Michael Fertik 


I found the book Hip Set by Michael Fertik fascinating. As a novel it is good - well written, nice character development, interesting storyline with some nice twists and turns. Beyond that dry measure of the book being interesting and well written, I find it fascinating.

Michael Fertik is an entrepreneur and a specialist in the field of online reputation management, and also specializing in the realm of cyber bullying. The fact that he wrote a novel, and a good one at that (even if it is only 200 or so pages and not a 700 page Stephen King-like tome) is interesting on its own, but Hip Set is set in Tel Aviv, Israel. And not just generally in Tel Aviv, but it references Tel Aviv street names and landmarks. So an American entrepreneur in the field of online management wrote a novel, and a good one, based in Tel Aviv. Fascinating.


To the book itself, the story revolves around the migrant community of South Tel Aviv. Murder, police, religion, mafia, crime, international intrigue and some way out stuff that many books - fiction and non-fiction have been written about but I wont mention so as not to spoil the surprise with spoilers. As I said above, I really enjoyed the character development, making the various characters in the story really relatable and come to life.

If you read books, and especially if you like books set in Israel, Hip Set should be on your reading list. You will almost definitely enjoy it.


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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hysterical attacks

I understand why people are angry at Naftali Bennett, and at the government he and Lapid are forming. 

I especially understand why some Yamina voters feel betrayed and are very angry, as Bennett broke a significant campaign promise.

I understand why the Likud is angry - losing power and jobs they have held for a long time, unsure of the direction the new government might take and possibly changing it from the direction the Likud has been leading it in for a long time.

I understand why the Haredi parties are angry - losing access to control, to jobs and to influence that has helped them preserve their desired way of life. Unsure of what this new government might do, possibly slashing budgets that until now have been earmarked for Haredi institutions, especially yeshivas and kollels...

I dont understand why the Haredi parties are acting as if the world is coming to an end. They are hysterical with anger. I get they are frustrated and angry, but they have really gone crazy. On the one hand it seems like they are the most Zionist people ever, worried about defending the policies of the Right on the Land of Israel and attacking Bennett for already betraying that, so perhaps it is further indication that the Haredi parties are no longer "non-zionist" (or possibly anti-zionist) but have moved into the realm of being Zionists. 

Nothing has even happened yet, the government has not yet been sworn in let alone even one policy item been suggested or passed and they are acting and screaming that this is the worst government in history and most anti-Jewish. Rav Mordechai Neugershal, a Haredi spokesperson and rabbi, even said that we must sit shiva for this government being formed. Litzman called Bennett a chilul hashem and a "Reformi", Gafni has been out of his mind and out of control saying things like he is a rasha and other nasty things.

Gafni has even implored the Haredi journalists form the various papers and news outlets to not cooperate with the new government and to not cover them. Many Haredi journalists have responded negatively to this request/demand. It is a harsh request - how can a news media outlet not report on the government, not interview members of government and not take press releases?

I get that they are angry, but this reaction is too harsh - especially because nothing has happened yet. Give them a chance - it is not like you have a choice anyway. Say they are bad, if you must, and won't join them, but calm down and see what they actually do or don't do before going crazy. 

Unless maybe the going crazy now is their way of saying don't mess with us, don't touch our budgets, don't hurt what is really important to us, etc. and the attacks are just to scare them off.






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the Thousand Year Old Egg

While digging in Yavneh to begin work on construction of a new neighborhood, archaeologists discovered a chicken coop from 1000 years ago. And in the coop they discovered a whole egg, fully intact.

They immediately went and made shakshuka for breakfast.

Just joking.

But perhaps this can be used to settle the halachic debate on what the size of an egg really is.

The egg was settled on some soft material underground, which helped keep it intact. Sure enough, while removing it the egg slightly cracked but the organic lab of the antiquities authority was able to repair it.
source: Maariv

The Thousand Year Old egg sounds like something the Two Thousand Year Old Man would eat for breakfast...





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MK Gafni: they should be excommunicated from the people of Israel (video)







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Minister Deri: The Jewish State is in danger, from someone who wears a kipa (video)







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Jenny Goldfarb Got a Cuban Deal on Shark Tank And Loves Learning Torah | JITC Speaks Ep. 208 (video)







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street survey with Oded Menashe: should Israel continue to allow the money from Qatar to Hamas to pass? (video)







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Shirat Habakashot I Shuki Salomon & Haim Israel (video)








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Jun 8, 2021

better to eat pork...

In light of the Pride Parade in Jerusalem this past week, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Rav Shlomo Amar spoke about the issue in a recent shiur. And he spoke about it harshly.

Often, after such harsh speeches, people feign shock and surprise, leading to anger, about what these rabbis say. My approach is that I don't expect most Orthodox rabbis - especially (but not just) Haredi rabbis -  to say anything different, definitely not anything positive on these types of issues, so I do not see why people get shocked or surprised by these things. What else are they going to say? They take a hard line stance, based on the Torah, and are unwilling to tone down their position just to make people happy. they think they are fighting God's battles and that this is what is demanded of them. At best they can remain quiet on the topic, but many don't want to or can't.

In light of that introduction, Rav Amar spoke about how they should be embarrassed about this , not take pride in being homosexual, with some pretty harsh things that you can see on Kipa and I don't want to write here. He especially criticized religious people who support or identify with the LGBTQ community saying they should remove the kipa from their head and it would be better to publicly eat pork before doing this (I assume he means an actual homosexual act, not just expressing support for human rights for homosexuals). Rav Amar said there is no sin worse than this one - it is the 50th level of impurity.

Right or wrong, I would not expect him to say anything different (other than maybe how harshly he worded it), if he already feels the need to speak up about it.

That being said, wouldn't the pork and homosexuality not be mutually exclusive? Just because you are doing one sin does not mean you should do others. Maybe a person who is caught with two strong desires, one to eat pork and the other to have a homosexual relationship, at the exact same moment, maybe he should choose to eat pork - but homosexuals are allowed to just go eat pork because it isn't as bad as something else they do?




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Proposed Law: Keep Your Campaign Promises

According to Kol Hai News, MK Yaakov Asher (UTJ) has submitted a law proposal that would attempt to force candidates running for office to keep their campaign promises.

Asher's proposal is that any candidate for office, be it minister, prime minister or deputy minister, will be disqualified from serving in that position in a government that is formed in direct opposition to any campaign promises made in writing by that candidate during the campaign.

That sounds like a law that is meant to be directed at Naftali Bennett.

According to Asher, MKs will be obligated by their campaign promises. he says this will increase faith in the system by the Israeli public, and it will improve the democratic process.. 

The bill does not seem likely to pass, considering the political situation right now, but I like his creativity. 

Campaign promises should be kept, but it is not uncommon that they are not. It might become even harder to form a coalition if MKs will not be allowed to break campaign promises. 






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Tweet of the Day






It never fails. If I post about why I am not posting about something, suddenly something about that very topic will come up that I will want to post about..


Translation:
Benny Rabinoviz, a veteran Haredi journalist and spokesperson, tweeted:
Let's put things in order.
Nobody will stop anyone from learning Torah, from keeping Shabbos, from putting on tefillin, from eating kosher and from getting married according to Jewish law and custom.
There are two areas the government could possibly cause damage: the public sphere and financial budgets that have gone to Haredim.
I state in a clear voice; the remainder of what exists of the status quo in the public sphere has already been destroyed by the Likud governments and Bibi. Regarding budgets, I am less concerned.




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fewer posts

Sorry for the fewer posts but the politics, the news, around here right now is kind of toxic with several of the politician descending into some sort of hysteria over the situation. A lot of the interesting things happening right now are in tones I don't want to get involved in, so I am waiting it out. I assume after a few days, maybe after the new government will be sworn in, things will calm down a bit....



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Quote of the Day

Just a few days ago there was a formative event in Jerusalem. On one stage performed the greatest of Jewish music Avraham Fried together with the star of Israeli music Avvi Gefen. This was a connection that if anyone would have thought of it  a few years ago people would have said they were hallucinating... I sat there in the crowd and understood that things can be done differently. Changes can be made. We want a change, and the change government, with all the difficulties and complexities and dangers and challenges that it will pose, could be good for the Jewish people..

  -- MK Nir Orbach (Yamina), announcing his final decision to support the "change government"

It is an interesting way to come to the decision. Aviv Gefen liked it as well, saying he is happy to have been influential in Orbach's making of such an historic decision.



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Behind the Bima - Dr. Leah Goldin (video)








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Is it the same God for Muslims, Christians and Jews? (video)








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MK Moshe Gafni: Abbas will be the most religious person in the coalition (video)

Gafni is always entertaining and always interesting to listen to...





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street survey with Oded Menashe: should the flag dance happen despite the tension? (video)








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Never Alone - Bracha Jaffe & Shaindy Plotzker | TYH Nation | For Women & Girls Only (Music Video)







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Jun 7, 2021

lawsuit against IKEA for excluding women rejected

A few years ago IKEA Israel put out the first "Haredi version" of their popular catalog. This version was to be distributed in Haredi neighborhoods and towns. The main difference in the Haredi version was that the catalog included only pictures of men using and enjoying the furniture and accessories, and no women.

After a lawsuit was filed for discrimination against women, by the following year IKEA Israel had already decided that their Haredi version of the catalog would be pure product with no people at all, not men and not women. No discrimination, no problem.

Kikar is reporting that the courts have rejected the class action lawsuit filed against IKEA Israel for discrimination, though the judge also criticized IKEA for leaving women out.

It seems that while IKEA should not have left the women out, because they "correct their mistake" by not discriminating in the following years, their claim that it was a one-time mistake was accepted.

The judge however, despite saying that the keeping of women out of the public space is clearly wrong (and she proved how IKEA did that using images of a product from the catalog as an example), this does not justify the lawsuit based on the discrimination law, and a class action suit is not the right way to resolve this dispute.

If a lawsuit is not the right way to resolve such a dispute, what is the right way? The judge did not seem to say. 





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cancel the ask the rabbi programs

You know how when you watch a magic or a mentalist show and you assume the people they call on by which to prove their skills are just plants placed in seemingly random locations around the hall? They then call on them to do their magic on or whatever and everyone is wowed, but you really wonder if the person in the crowd was just a plant, and it was all coordinated in advance.

And, the teachers or rabbis who always say, it is ok to say "I don't know", or they say something like the greatest experience in the classroom was the first time I said "I don't know" to a student's question, and kids don't expect you to know everything and you should be honest, etc.

Chief Rabbi Rav Yitzchak Yosef, in his recent shiur, called on the radio stations to stop their popular "ask the rabbi" programs in which a rabbi takes callers on air and answers their halachic questions.

I would note that one of the most popular such programs on the radio has been run by Rav Yosef's own brother, Rav Avraham Yosef on Radio Kol Hai (note: I don't know if this program is still on the air, as I no longer listen to radio on even a semi regular basis, but it at least was for several years).

Rav Yosef criticized these programs saying the rabbi on air responds quickly, no matter the topic, whether it be in Yoreh Deah, Choshen Mishpat or whatever topic, and it seems as if the rabbi knows the entire Torah and has it all at his fingertips.

Rav Yosef called on the frum radio stations to stop these programs, as they cause people to "stumble", the rabbis cant always be right when they give these quick answers from any and every topic and they make mistakes. He said they should teach halacha but not with these types of ask the rabbi programs, but with shiurim in halacha.

Fair enough, I guess, if that is really a problem, though I have no idea if these rabbis are really making mistakes so frequently or not. Rav Yosef said he does not listen to these shows and does not know himself firsthand, but he has been told. Maybe the people who told him were mistaken? 

Also, I would bet many of the people who listen to this type of format of a program are not necessarily going to listen to a more formal shiur format of a program. Different people listen to different things, and the radio stations try different programs that will attract a variety of listeners. So while they have shiurim and people listen to those, these ask the rabbi programs also get listeners who wont necessarily listen to the other programs. 

Additionally, Rav Yosef related a fascinating story on this topic. He said that his father, Rav Ovadia Yosef, participated in such "ask the rabbi "programs decades ago, especially before Pesach. He said that Rav Ovadia would go to the shul and tell people to call in to the show when it would be on with specific questions. At least many of his questions that he was answering were plants. When asked why he did that he said he is afraid of getting a question that he would not know the answer to and that it would be a chilul hashem to say "I don't know".

Rav Ovadia Yosef, the person who knew the entire Torah by heart and mastered it like nobody else in his generation, was afraid of getting a question he would not know the answer to. He was afraid to have to say "I don't know", and to prevent it from happening he would plant people to call in with specific questions that he was sure he would have no problem with.

While I am not quite sure how that proves his point, other than Rav Ovadia not wanting to make a mistake on air (which I am sure he wouldnt have), it seems to prove the opposite. Despite his fears, he participated in such programs, though he tried to stack the deck in his favor. Maybe rabbis who participate in current programs do the same?

Regardless, it is fascinating that Rav Ovadia, of all people, was afraid to get a question he would not know the answer to. It would probably be next to impossible for that to have happened, but the slight chance scared him and made him plant questions. Rav Ovadia also seems to not believe the adage common today that it is ok to admit that you don't know something.







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