Apr 30, 2023

Headlines Podcast: 4/29/23 – Shiur 417 – Miscarriage in Halacha (audio)








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Arab Israelis: How are you different from West Bank Palestinians? (video)







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Watch CNBC’s full interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (video)







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RELAXING JERUSALEM. Quiet Evening After Independence Day Celebration. (video)







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Apr 27, 2023

protesting what?

Later today is supposed to be the right wing "million person protest"

first, they set their sights high. Not sure why they are looking for a million people. I dont see how they can possibly expect just about 10 percent of the country to show up for this, even if it were the most important thing in the world. It is doomed to failure just because of that. They should have called for 50 or 100k or even shoot big and call for a quarter of a million, but not a million.

Second, what is the protest about? in support of the judicial reform, supposedly. Why does it need support? Netanyahu froze the judicial reform. So it is a protest against Netanyahu? 

I dont get the point of or need for this protest... of course everyone has a right to protest, but what are they protesting about?





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Why do Haredim not celebrate Yom Haatzmaut? (video)







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Apr 26, 2023

International Bible Quiz Yom Haatzmaut 2023 (video)








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The Yom Haatzmaut Experience 5783 (video)







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President's Yom Haatzmaut ceremony celebrating the excellent soldiers (video)








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tehillim on Yom Haatzmaut instead of Hallel

this is funny..




The Satmar congregation in Kiryas Yoel discovered the the daily schedule of saying some chapters of Tehillim after the morning services would have them saying today, 5 Iyar Yom Haatzmaut, the chapters of Tehillim that make up the Hallel service - chapters 11-115.

So as not to God forbid be confused as if they might be saying Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut, the Rebbe has instructed them to change the chapters for the day and say some other chapters and then will replace these on another day..

This reminds me of the psak, or hanhaga, of Rav Chaim Kanievsky. that possibly originated by the Chazon Ish, that if he was invited to be a sandak at a bris on 5 Iyar he would specifically say tachanun, even though normally when a sandak is present in a minyan tachanun is skipped. He did this so nobody would suspect him of skipping tachanun because of Yom Haatzmaut.

Satmar's perspective in interesting. Some other people maybe have taken this as a sign from God perhaps that this is what is supposed to be said today. Either way it is highly ironic


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Israel Celebrates 75 with Omri Caspi (video)







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Yom Haatzmaut torch lighting ceremony on Har Herzl (video)








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馃嚠馃嚤 75 most Israeli things - in 75 seconds! 馃嚠馃嚤 (video)







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IDF soldiers singing for the peace of the State: Yom Haatzmaut 75 (video)







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Apr 25, 2023

Picture of the Day








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Remembering the Fallen: The State Yom Hazikaron ceremony on Har Herzl (video)







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State ceremony at the Kotel for Yom Hazikaron (video)







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Mi Sheberach L'Tzahal 诪讬 砖讘专讱 爪讛"诇 - Aharon Gerlitz and The Halelu Choir - 讗讛专谉 讙专诇讬抓 讜诪拽讛诇转 讛诇诇讜 (video)







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Apr 24, 2023

Interesting Psak: Aviv Gefen can peform

Aviv Gefen, one of Israel's leading singers/performers/celebrities, recently lost has father Yehonatan Gefen.

Gefen, still in the middle of the shiva period, asked a rabbi if he could perform on Yom Haatzmaut as originally scheduled. 

Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Ben David paskened that he is allowed to perform as scheduled. Rabbi Ben David said sometimes halacha recognizes the need to go out to work during shiva, especially in a situation of great loss, and especially when great loss will be caused to other people. Still, usually the allowance is for working in private not public in front of others, but some allow that too. Yom Haatzmaut has the status of a day of joy, similar to Chanukah and Purim, and just like on Purim there is no public display of mourning so there is room to say that this is so on Yom Haatzmaut as well.

The Rabbi qualified his allowance by saying that with all that being ok to rely on in this situation, Aviv Gefen himself should not profit from performing during shiva on Yom Haatzmaut but should dedicate the profits in memory of his father and use them to commemorate him. Additionally, during the performance he should explicitly reference the chag, either in song or by reciting psukim of hallel, and he should also reference his late father in a way that will honor his memory.
source: Ynet

the most interesting part of this is that Aviv Gefen asked a shailah



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Picture of the Day




In the Haredi city of Modiin Ilit they prepared for Yom Hazikaron by hanging the Israeli flag on the central tower with the caption "for we are all brothers"...



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State insurance for Meron

Interestingly, no insurance company is willing to insure the upcoming Meron celebrations on Lag B'Omer. The people putting the event together are obviously throwing a fit about this. You can read all the relevant comments at Kikar from the various politicians and administrators involved... 

To that end, without insurance, with the event just two or so weeks away, they are saying that unless the State insures the event with a solution presented next week they will put a halt to all preparations and abandon the event. 

I am not sure who they think they are threatening. Does "the State" care if they do or do not put on a Lag B'Omer event?

Regardless of that, how does this work? If insurance companies will not insure an event, does the State have the ability to somehow? The State is not an insurance company. Under what authority or via what office using what methods and protocols can the State provide insurance to an event? How does this work? is this something normally done? They insist the State take responsibility but isnt that what happened last time even though it was not under the guise of insurance - the State paid families after the tragedy. What is this crisis really about?


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Quote of the Day

We are all dealing with issues of will he go? will he not go? will he speak? will he not speak? The test of our love is specifically on complicated days. When everything is nice and shiny, it is easy, the real test is now. We are all brothers from all the various exiles. This year the main request of everyone is to absorb and to be restrained. Let's get through this Memorial Day peacefully and we will be able to accomplish anything.

  -- Miriam Peretz




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President Herzog interview: I believe Netanyahu wants a compromise (video)







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Israelis: Should American Jews move to Israel? (video)







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From the Forest to A Beautiful Little Village Near Jerusalem. MOSHAV SHO'EVA (video)







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ARI GOLDWAG [A Cappella] Ashira Lashem feat. Dovid Pearlman (video)







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Apr 23, 2023

the best of bad options

Some of the Haredi ministers who did not serve in the IDF are respectfully bowing out of participation in the Memorial Day ceremonies they were scheduled to attend as representatives of the government.

I can respect that. Not having served in the army, especially in these times of tension and friction, with the debates over the new Draft Law having begun and the law being prepared for passage, their participation would surely have raised eyebrows, at minimum, and most likely caused fractious ceremonies. Nobody needs that right now. It looks like they are chickening out, but to me it seems to be the best of the bad options.

Though, they do say they serve an equally important function, if not more important by learning Torah - the Torah learning done in the yeshivas being the source of the success of the IDF. Perhaps if they are really partners in the IDF, with some by serving in the IDF ranks and others by serving in the yeshivas, perhaps that is a reason to attend and not cancel. Show that you really believe you are part of, the main part of, the IDF's successes.

Another consideration, I saw online some saying that as soldiers attending such ceremonies in the past, even though Haredim did not serve they appreciated seeing them attend the ceremonies, being sensitive to the losses of the ones who did serve, and it made them feel more connected as one nation with each doing its part but recognizing the other. If they stop attending, perhaps that will be lost. Though, and I am just musing, perhaps there is a difference when attending as an observer with empathy and creating a connection rather than as the government representative. Worth consideration. 




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letting the Khan Al Ahmar problem go away quietly

There was another interesting development today regarding the illegal settlement of Khan Al Ahmar, and the need to evacuate it. After years of avoiding the issue and refusing to evacuate the illegal Bedouin settlement, despite the Supreme Court having approved its evacuation, today the government, the "full right" government who made pledges to evacuate it and whose members include ministers who promised this would be a central demand, submitted to the Supreme Court a request to cancel the evacuation order saying they are working on a resettlement compromise, in addition to the evacuation being too sensitive at this time with far reaching diplomatic repercussions should we evacuate the settlement.

So the full right government that made this a central issue not only wants to continue delaying it indefinitely, but now wants to cancel the order altogether...

Minister Smotritch, followed by Minister Ben Gvir, did not like that and is using his power to halt the State's filing on this matter to request the cancellation of the order. It seems Smotritch has, theoretically, the power to do so as all government communications on this matter are supposed to go through him, as per coalition agreements. 

We'll see what excuse they use this time to allow it to happen without making more than a superficial opposition to the matter. Until now every time their own government does something they dont like, something that until now they would always make a big ruckus about, they simply say we are doing other important things so this wont derail all that other good. Will that be a good enough justification this time? Or will they find a better excuse this time? Or will it play out differently this time as they hold their ground?



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Troll of the Day, to save Shabbos

In a Knessett committee discussion today about the work done on the rail lines on Shabbos, after the various parties expressing their dismay, or outrage, about the work being done on Shabbos, Finance Minister Betzalel Smotritch made an interesting proposal.

Smotritch suggested that with all the protests happening regularly that shut down the Ayalon highway for hours at a time, we can do much of this work during the week. Smotritch said that if we can close the Ayalon for protests we can also close it occasionally in order to do this necessary work so they wont be needed to be done on Shabbos.

Boom




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to be or not to be, at the cemetery

There is a heart wrenching debate going on in advance of the upcoming Memorial Day, Yom Hazikaron, in just a couple of days. Some people, members of bereaved families or people claiming to represent bereaved families, are saying that politicians from the government should not participate in ceremonies at the cemeteries where fallen soldiers are buried on Yom Hazikaron. Others are saying it is the responsibility of government members to be at these ceremonies, even if people there will attack them. 

Because of the sharp political divide, especially exacerbated by the recent attempt to pass the judicial reform leading to massive protests, nobody is willing to give an inch to anyone on the other side. 

I have heard a lot of back and forth on this with arguments for both sides. One thing I have not heard mentioned is that the politicians are people too, Israelis like everyone else, some of whom served in the army (several in the government did not or did not significantly), some were officers or commanders or generals, and like all other Israelis lost family members in battle, lost friends or fellow soldiers, and they too want to commemorate their beloved who fell as soldiers or as victims of terror. And yes, coming as a representative of the government is different than coming as a private individual, but they have no way of coming to a commemoration as a private individual - even if they do others at the ceremony may very well treat them like a representative of the government.

There may very well be a time to reconsider and debate the traditional method of commemoration on Yom Hazikaron. Until a social consensus is reached, whenever that may be, I wish the divide would not be so sharp and that people would not use these commemorations to make political statements. But we know that is not going to happen.


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Headlines Podcast: 4/22/23 – Shiur 416 – Organ Donation in Halacha Is it an obligation, a prohibition, or a choice? (audio)







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Palestinians: Is there corruption in UNRWA? (video)







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Benny Baderech | 4 Shows in 24 Hours!! Feat: Mordy Shap and Brother Joey over there! (video)







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JERUSALEM. WALK UNDER THE RAIN. MY FAVORITE WEATHER (video)







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Apr 20, 2023

Interesting Psak: hallel with a bracha the night of Yom Haatzmaut

Kipa is reporting that Rav Dov Lior, former Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba, has just issued a psak to say Hallel with a bracha even by the night of Yom Haatzmaut, not just by day.

Rav Lior says that until now he said to say Hallel without a bracha at night even though he felt it was right to say the bracha but he was concerned of the opinions opposed to that of Rav Goren. Now, Rav Lior says, he has changed his mind and says we should act according to the psak of Rav Goren on this. The reason to say Hallel at night with a bracha is to acknowledge and appreciate the great miracle, but also to commemorate the end of the British Manadate that happened at midnight on this date, which began the reign of the kingdom of Israel.



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free cholent in RBS D!

Kikar is reporting on an interesting battle taking place right now in RBS D, a similar battle to one that has taken place in many cities and neighborhoods with mixed populations - basically a power struggle for controlling the tone of the neighborhood or city.

There is a bakery in RBS D, a branch of the Chalat Habayit chain (great bakery, by the way) on the main strip called HaAmoraim Blvd (Sderot Haamoraim). Besides for selling bread, pitas, rogelach, burekas, and the like, Chalat Habayit, like most similar bakeries also sells coffee, sandwiches and some other light food options. They are certified as kosher by the hechsher of Rav Rubin, a well respected hechsher in the Haredi community. 

It seems the llocal extremists who make a lot of trouble around Bet Shemesh have taken a dislike to the fact that Chalat Habayit put out a few small tables for people to sit and drink their coffee or eat a danish. They claim this will destroy their neighborhood and turn the street into a midrachov, something akin to Ben Yehuda in Jerusalem.

Sderat HaAmoraim is a long street of apartment buildings with shops of all types all along the street at the street level of the buildings. Anyone going to that area to shop, or anyone local needing to do their shopping, is going to the various stores on that street, in addition to health clinics and banks. 

The fights with the extremists (who may or may not even live in that neighborhood) have gone on for the past year fairly regularly over different issues. It seems to be back now, with a step up, and neither side seems to be willing to back down.

I will note, so the readers who might nto be familiar with it, RBS D is an entirely Haredi neighborhood, but regular Haredi norms are not good enough for the extremists. This isnt about Haredim fighting the secular who might drive on Shabbos or anything like that. This is extremists fighting the residents of a Haredi, yeshivish and hassidish, neighborhood. 

So, it seems the extremists have pressured the Rubin hechsher to force the owner of the bakery to remove the tables or else lose its hechsher. How they influenced the Rubin hechsher is a curiosity because they dont eat Rubin anyway (the communities of extremists only eat Eida), so they couldnt exactly threaten them with a ban, but they somehow did and Rubin let the bakery know to remove the tables or lose the hechsher. This is not general Rubin policy, as many other restaurants elsewhere with Rubin have tables, including other branches of this bakery, so making this threat was specifically for this location because of the pressure of the thugs.

Residents will be holding a protest, of sorts, outside the bakery this evening against the thugs. At around 8pm, an anonymous donor who has sponsored several pots of cholent will have bowls of cholent distributed to protestors. They say that this is to mimic so to speak the judicial reform protest in Bnei Braq in which food was distributed because the thugs like the reform protesters dont really want solutions, just control. Even after the tables were taken in the thugs continue to make trouble. 

They complain that the municipality and the police do not do anything to solve this. Truth is, they rarely ever have. Unless police get attacked by the thugs, the police generally leave them alone and are happy to just keep them contained, letting the locals be victims.

Basically, free cholent in BS D tonight!


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The Case for Out-of-Towners • All in the Mishpacha (video)







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Fmr. Israeli PM: ‘Democracy in Israel has prevailed’ after judicial reform protests (video)







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Crown Prince of Iran Enters Jerusalem’s Western Wall (video)








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BEAUTIFUL ISRAEL. the Hot Weather Doesn't Stop You from Enjoying the City. RISHON LE ZION (video)







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Apr 19, 2023

Tweet of the Day







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Picture of the Day



That is the exiled crown Prince of Persia, the eldest son of the last Shah, Reza Pahlavi, with his wife, at the Kotel, wearing an Iranian lapel pin, standing for the minute of silence on Yom Hashoah (not Yom Hashah, haha - maybe I should have titled this Yom Hashah). Pahlavi posted several comments online about his brief trip to Israel, especially about water technology that he would like to learn from Israel about to help his people...




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Apr 18, 2023

Tweet of the Day




Yisrael Diskind, a political media advisor, posted a picture stating "me and my grandfather getting revenge on Hitler...


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PM Benjamin Netanyahu Yom Hashoah speech at Yad Vashem (video)







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Lenny Solomon Live - Yom Hashoah (video)







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Apr 17, 2023

PM Netanyahu interview with Yinon Magal (video)








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Palestinians: Which Gulf countries support you? (video)







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Beautiful Jaffa Is the City You Always Want to Comeback (video)







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ARI GOLDWAG [A Cappella] BiYerushalayim (video)







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Apr 16, 2023

Book Review: Next: A Brief History of the Future

   

Dr. Harold Goldmeier manages an investment company and writes for financial companies about business, social, and political issues. He is a free public speaker for community groups and consults on matters of commerce and industry. He can be reached a harold.goldmeier@gmail.com


 

 

Israel and America appear haunted by a sense of despair. The nation is locked in domestic and international political battles exacerbated by tensions between the ultra-religious and open-society proponents. As Rabbi Jonathan Sachs put it, “We live in an era of intense social discord and distrust… cancellation or ostracism.” The Rabbi asks the quintessential question, “How do we heal our fractured world?”

 


First, learn to think differently. Business schools and executive development programs incorporate psychology courses to stimulate contagious positive energy. Harvard University had us examine challenges with a positive mental attitude to welcome the fast pace of change.

 

Israel’s business and military complexes focus on the positive, on the miracles in our midst. Author and social anthropologist Avi Jorisch discerns from his studies that  Jewish prophetic tradition creates a remarkable culture of innovation. Its sobriquet as The Start-Up Nation is called an economic miracle by those who coined the term. Solve the world’s most formidable problems by innovating “on agriculture, medicine, water, and defense…making life better for billions of people around the world.” 

 

Second, ignore the bearer of bad news. Sages consider that person a fool. Negativity feeds into the stewpot of emotions fomenting hate and vengeance. The third change you can make if you want to have hope for our children and the future of the Earth is to read works by Avi Jorisch. His writing is smart, factual, refreshing, and uplifting.

 

Jorisch studies current trends and accomplishments. He talks of solutions being explored now how “human beings can exert (and are exerting) significant control over what happens to our species and our planet, and that our future is better than most of us think.”  

 

His new book, NEXT: A Brief History of the Future, reports on “thirteen game-changing innovations that are poised to transform our species from a society of takers to a society of givers.” Innovators are finding solutions to hunger, pollution, and global warming by mobilizing our remarkable abundance and wealth, greater and more democratic, in this writer’s opinion,

at any other time in human history.    

 

For context, first read about the storied life of Hans Rosling in Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think. Rosling explains how our worldview has been distorted. He identifies ten human instincts that cause erroneous thinking. Rosling and Jorisch make the case that we can learn to separate fact from fiction when forming our opinions.

 

The vast majority of people around the world are living middle-class life. Jorisch’s March 2023 Jerusalem Post article contains ten graphs and charts demonstrating human progress in living standards, health status, social services, and technology. According to Rosling, it means our lives improve regularly from generation to generation:
     • They are not impoverished and suffering. 
     • Their boys and girls go to school.

     • Their children get vaccinated.

     • They live in two-child families, and
     • They want to go abroad on holiday, not as refugees.

     • Step-by-step, year-by-year, the world is improving.

 

We might add that opportunities for success are greater for people of most races, religions, genders, and childhood class stations in life. In Next, Jorisch does a cursory review of the writings of futurists. He focuses on the moon-shot landing as the “greatest mobilization of resources and manpower in human history,” which ought to be a lesson for us. We need “moon shot thinking” to overcome our current challenges.

 

I sent off a note to my cyber-infatuated grandson about investigating Singularity University  Jorisch discusses at length. What this writer finds remarkable about the case reports Jorisch describes is the innovators are all self-made people; they are unique and outstanding only in that they recognize a problem a spend their waking moments—and in their dreams—finding solutions.

 

There is the space program yielding untold advances for human existence. Russia and America launched the space race and now multitudes of countries and private companies are engaged. “Today, there are more than 50.1 billion devices online worldwide, used by half of the world’s population… The new space economy is the catalyst that will fundamentally transform life on Earth.”

 

Other case reports cover The Internet Academy and new means of learning, improving shelter, water resources, and health through advances in blood and genetic editing. Prosperity is in the offing for food security, electricity engineering, and more.

 

One more thought about the author. Jorisch brings a spirit and sense of spirituality to his work. I described his fifth book, Thou Shalt Innovate, as a “bouquet of life enhancing and life-saving innovations flowing from Israel.” Many already knew the stories of the start-up nation. “But Jorisch finds spiritual meaning or ‘higher purpose,’ as a secular man prefers, in them.” Jorisch finds an eternal message in the innovations that benefit humankind. No story is more impactful and inspiring than the 24 pages about the man who empowers girls and women through sanitary blood maintenance. He is changing the life and spirit of a generation.

 

Jorisch is a Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council and a prolific lecturer and writer whose books and articles have appeared in a plethora of languages. Everything he writes is documented and presented with extraordinary clarity and simplicity. NEXT flows easily because the stories are about the people he features “working to make the world a better place …and dreaming big enough” to make it happen.” NEXT includes 34 pages of endnotes to each chapter and a 37-page Bibliography.

 

I tell the story in my review of Rosling’s book about one of my children. He is a graduate of a prestigious university who told me,  “My head can’t handle all the facts and commentaries from pundits, and they don’t seem to care when their facts are wrong. It’s all mind-numbing and paralytic.” I gave him Thou Shalt Innovate to read. Now I will encourage him and others to buy NEXT: A Brief History of the Future. 



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Headlines Podcast: 4/15/23 – Shiur 415 – Is it good or bad that many young men don’t have a “plan” for parnassah? Should they have one? (audio)







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Palestinians: If a strong leader made peace with Israel, would you support it? (video)







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Bereaved father and husband Rabbi Leo Dee (video)







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Magnificent Neighborhoods of Jerusalem: Beit Ha Kerem and Givat Ram. Virtual Walk (video)







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Apr 13, 2023

5000 appointments

The Office of the Population Registry (the division of the Ministry of Interior responsible for identity cards, passports and the like) has announced that it has uncovered a system by which a bot would snap up all available appointments and then sell them to people in desperate need of an appointment to apply for a passport or whatever.

This has created an untenable situation, or made it much worse. There has been a terrible backlog of appointments and it is very difficult fir the average citizen to get an appointment to apply for a passport or identity card, for example. There are simply no appointments available for months in advance. Even though they release new appointments every now and then, they were getting snapped up and sold by this bot.

The Office of the Population Registry announced that they have successfully identified the bot and disabled its ability to function further in their system to snap up appointments. And more so, it has identified many of the appointments that were sold by this bot system and deleted the accounts registered for those appointments, thus freeing up 5000 appointments, with more on the way. 

These 5000 appointments should soon become available to the public again. I checked moments ago to try to make an appointment for something we need and could not find an open one, so either they will all snapped up again, either by the bot or by other people trying to make appointments), or they have not yet been released to the public..

first come first serve... good luck..




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Apr 11, 2023

Prayer for Peace at Home. Passover Priestly Blessing Takes Place at Western Wall in Jerusalem (video)







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Avi Ilson - Makom Lachlom (Official Music Video)







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Apr 10, 2023

PM Netanyahu's statement to the Press (video)

very disappointing speech


to blame everything on Lapid and Bennett he needed to call a special speech and press conference? he and his peers have been doing this for weeks already. He said nothing new and nothing reassuring other than basically 'trust me to fix all their mistakes'

adding a minor note, PM Bibi was always dressed impeccably. Tonight his tie was off center, his collar was creased up over his jacket, and his suit looked a bit ill fitting. I dont know if that indicates anything but he seems off just a bit...




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