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Sep 28, 2023

Interesting Psak: Rats in the Sukka

There is still an ongoing infestation of rats in Bnei Braq and it seems this may very will affect Sukkos obligations.

Rav Mazuz was asked if one is obligated to sleep in the sukka in light of the possibility of rats scurrying around in the dark.

Rav Mazuz, after comparing it to a lengthy halachic discussion of the obligations in the sukka when extremely cold or with other annoyances paskened that in regards to the presence of the rats in the area, one would be relieved of the duty to sleep in the sukka. One would still need to eat in the sukka and make kiddush, etc, but one would be exempt from sleeping there. A live and awake person does not need protection from rats according to the gemara as his living presence being awake is enough to keep the rats away from him, but a sleeping person needs protection form the rats, so it could be dangerous at night, thus exempting him from the obligation.
source: Hamechadesh



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Israelis: Is it true that the Oslo Accords were an excuse to steal Palestinian lands? (video)








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YomTov-Lipa-Sukkos. (video)







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Lenny Solomon Live (video)













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URI DAVIDI - Agudah Achas ( Official Music Video)







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Sep 27, 2023

mazel tov Israel

Mazel tov to Israel. The USA just announced that Israel has been approved to join the Visa Waiver Program.

As of November 30, Israelis will be able to travel to the USA without first applying for a visa and going through that entire cumbersome process.

I wonder if that will mean simply more travel for Israelis or if it will mean more Israelis traveling to the USA and never leaving....




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Ari Fuld z"l Lion of Zion prize 2023/5784 (video)








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Bardak: Yom Kippur (video)







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JERUSALEM: Mount Herzl, Grave of Golda Meir, Tram Ride (video)







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Motty Steinmetz & Neshama Choir I "Lemaan Yedou" I (video)








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Nissim Black ft. Oryahh - LOVE ME (Official video)








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Sep 26, 2023

selling or buying aveiros

Kikar reported, prompted by some tweets by Haredi journalist Haim Goldberg, on a weird situation that happened near the Satmar beis medrash in Jerusalem before Yom Kippur.

According to the report an Arab showed up offering to take on people's sins in exchange for money. Prices I saw earlier indicated 20 shekels for a sin, and 30 for multiple. Kikar doesn't specify but does say another Arab showed up as competition and the two got into an altercation over this. He may have been "over" hasagas gvul, but I guess he didnt care.


The Arab collected the money in exchange for taking the sins, and also performed a kinyan sudar with each seller/buyer (I am not sure if the Jew is a seller or buyer - he is selling his aveiros but he is paying so he is really buying the clearance of his sins..)

Yes, it sounds ridiculous and crazy, but is it any stranger than kaparos or tashlich? Maybe if they had waved the Arab over their heads people would scoff less. And maybe then he could have charged more! 






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Quote of the Day

'The Jews love to hate', Prime Minister Ariel Sharon z"l said that to me several times, as he merited to be the recipient of over-heaping portions of hate from various portions of the nation of Israel throughout his life. This sentence rings in my ears in light if the ugly events in Tel Aviv on Yom Kippur. Because of them came forth ugly responses form Netanyahu, Ben Gvir and Lapid (yes, you too Lapid!). Each one of them is trying to throw another match into the bonfire instead of trying to extinguish it. What type of "leaders" try to ignite a civil war right after Yom Kippur?

There are things that there cannot be an argument about. Decisions of our courts must be respected. There is place for everyone in our public sphere. And yes, that also includes place for our shared Jewish tradition. Anyone who degrades and curses religious Jews is not protecting the character of Tel Aviv as a liberal and free city. The opposite. They are not removing the mechitzas but raising walls between the different parts of the nation.

To my friends fighting with me shoulder to shoulder to protect the democratic governance of Israel I say: Do not be enticed to turn the protest into an effort against religion, Jewish tradition or our rights over the Land of Israel. They will fail. There will not be a civil war.

  -- MK Gideon Saar (Hamachaneh Hamamlachti)

the only decent response I have seen



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Prime Minister Netanyahu Addresses the UN General Assembly (video)







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Netanyahu’s push to weaken Israel’s Supreme Court divides nation | 60 Minutes (video)







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馃崕HAPPY NEW JEWISH YEAR!馃崕 Jerusalem at Night. A Walk from the Center to the Central Train Station (video)








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Kerry Bar-Cohn – Hyper (Official Music Video)







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Sep 24, 2023

Eden Ben Zaken: Mee Ani Biladecha (Prod. By Moshe & Ofek) (video)







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Sep 22, 2023

Ani Maamin - Shlomo Carlebach Feat. Eli Levin (video)








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Sep 21, 2023

The Israelis who should ask for forgiveness (video)

I like the responses and identify with many of them






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Eli Schwebel feat. Avrumi Schwebel - Ani Ma'amin Live @ King David's Crown (video)








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OBband :: feat. Lipman & Saada :: Ochila Lael (video)








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Teshuva - | Mendy Worch | TYH Nation (Official Music Video)








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Pirchei Shomayim Choir - "vehaarev" - (official video)








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Sep 20, 2023

Picture of the Day





the long awaited day has arrived, as PM Netanyahu meets with president Biden in New York..




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Interesting Psak: AI making haredi women obsolete

In recent years it has become popular for Haredi seminary students to learn programming for a future career in which they can better support their learning husbands, rather than the old style studies of teachers certificates and accounting.

The recent advent of Artificial Intelligence seems to have some worried about their future parnasa capabilities. Parents of a Haredi seminary student asked Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, rav of Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq, if their daughter should change fields and study something else as programming very well might become obsolete as AI itself will do do a lot of the programming at a higher level than trained programmers. While programmers will still be needed, the concern is that specifically the Haredi women will be the first to lose their jobs and be replaced by AI because of being late tot he game and being less trained and less experienced overall (individuals might be different, but as a whole this is the concern). The cost of the studies is high and if their field will go away, perhaps they should train in other studies?

According to Kikar, Rav Zilbershtein responded that proof of God is that we still have workers in every type of work in the world at all different levels, and everyone loves his (or her) work and goes to work happily.

Before continuing I would just personally point out that plenty of people do not love their work and plenty of people go to work less than happy. But they do still go to work and perform as they must because they need to pay the mortgage and bring home the facon.

Back to the response of Rav Zilbershtein... 

Rav Zilbershtein says the reason for this is that for the sustenance of the world this is necessary to have all this work done and for all the people to have their parnassa - there are people who have to collect the garbage and others who fix the sewage systems, etc. so during creation God gave out the different attributes to different people for the tasks they would later accomplish, along with the pull to those fields.

If everybody wanted to work in only a specific field because it earns more or is more respectable, or is easy or whatnot, the world would not last as many other jobs would just not get done as nobody would want to do them.

Therefore, Rav Zilbershtein said, there is nothing to worry about. It is possible AI might make many positions redundant but God will not abandon the world and nobody will be left without parnassa. If the student has a pull to the field of programming and sees that as her calling, that means God has given her those attributes and direction and He wont leave her without parnassa.

Even though it is true that sometimes some fields become obsolete, but God provides for those workers by sending other jobs and opportunities, so even if AI makes some fields obsolete, there will be others ceated, and everyone will have parnassa.

God controls the world and makes sure everything runs well. We just have to worry about sustaining the world through our Torah and mitzvos. Leave the rest to God running the world better than anyone else can.




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Quote of the Day

We will not sit in a government that includes concessions to the Palestinians in the framework of an agreement with Saudi Arabia

  -- MK Limor Son Har-Melech (Otzma Yehudit)

will PM Bibi continue moving ahead with a peace deal knowing he could lose his government over it? Peace with Saudi Arabia is not something to scoff at. Is she authorized to make such threats of toppling a government? Will Bibi call her bluff? Will Ben Gvir actually bring down the government? So far he has said about many things that he would and while sometimes Bibi caved, sometimes Ben Gvir found reasons working from within is more important as he is successfully making positive changes... it could get interesting...







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not in my backyard


The latest flash point is around the recently annual Yom Kippur services at Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv organized by an organization called Rosh Yehudi.

In today's environment, the large leftist groups in Tel Aviv are saying "not in my backyard". You want services, go do them by you, here we won't allow it, not while separating men and women in the public sphere.

Last night Rav Yigal Levenstein, head of the military prep yeshiva located in Eli and considered by many to be fairly extreme (rightly or wrongly, but he has spoken out publicly on sensitive topics in ways that anger many not in his camp), went to Tel Aviv to express his support for Rosh Yehudi and its leadership in light of the protests. Rabbi Levenstein was attacked by some protestors, who were held at bay by his students who surrounded him and by police as he was whisked off to a waiting car.

MK Merav Michaeli (Labor) justified, or defended, the attack on Rabbi Levenstein. She said that it is justified to protest against Rav Levenstein. He is someone who fights against women in the public sphere and against women serving in the IDF. When he works against the IDF, against women and against liberalism in a democratic country from his yeshiva that gets a lot of money from the State and there nobody protests against him.... a mechitza at services in Dizengoff is like a "tzelem bheichal" - like bringing an idol right into the Holy of Holies. The Kotel has been turned into an extreme Haredi shul, and that is a badge of shame as to what is happening in Israel.

First, anybody can protest against anything and anyone and they definitely had and have the right to protest against Rav Levenstein (assuming coordination with police and obtaining the necessary permits).

That does not give the right to get violent and attack the target of the protests.

Protest yes, violence no. Speak out against him, protest his visit, protest outside his house every time he says something provocative, whatever. Attack him, no.

Second, if they don't want the organization's services in Dizengoff, they should pressure their municipal representatives to refuse permission. They can tell him go have your services in a shul, not in the street. They do what they do, Tel Aviv does not have to give permission. Rosh Yehudi will not (at least I do not believe they will) going to conduct services any other way, even if they technically could run services that are mixed with self segregation on the sides (as has been suggested)

These may be the extremists (I am less familiar with the players on that side of the map) and not the average person, but from what I am seeing, they are generally saying what was will be no longer. We demand equal respect and consideration. This is our home court, you cannot come in here and do what you want, try to make us religious, discriminate against our women, tell us to keep Shabbos, etc. It is not really a hate fest and antisemitism (though there might be some of that as well) as much as it being, we are no longer going to allow you to do whatever you want in the name of religion. This is just another point in a long list of things over the past months that they have started to say no more. 

but with all that, violence should not be acceptable. That is already crossing the line.








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Candidate Shmuel Greenberg interview for new year (video)







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Moshe Shitrit (Likud Bet Shemesh) goes out to talk to the people (video)





he has permission from the Likud to run for mayor but as the time this was written he has not yet announced his candidacy. For now he is only running for city councilperson


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The Women's side of the Western Wall. Old City, Jerusalem (video)








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"Mareh Kohen" Aryeh Kunstler feat. C Lanzbom [Official Music Video]








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Sep 19, 2023

salute me!

Pretty funny and seemingly weird, but I dont know that it is really as bad as it is being made out to be.

According to Channel 12 News, Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir has given new orders to the police. Until now police officers were obligated to salute in the presence of heads of state, including the President, the Prime Minister, all Supreme Court Justices, Speaker of the Knesset, and all government Ministers.

According to the new orders, Supreme Court Justices and government Ministers were removed form the list and no longer need to be saluted by police officers. the only minister remaining in the list that they must salute is Itamar Ben Gvir himself - Minister of National Security.

This is funny and sounds a bit megalomaniacal. 

While the Chief of Police initially signed off no this putting it into effect, he then retracted (after the public criticism hit the fan) and sent it to be decided on by a committee within 7 days. 

I dont know who salutes whom elsewhere and what is right and appropriate here but it does not seem so illogical. IDF soldiers dont (as far as I know) have to salute ministers and whatnot - they salute up their chain of command and the Prime Minister. So it doesnt seem to me to be a big deal that while police officers no longer have to salute ministers in general they still have to salute up their chain of command, and that includes the Minister of National Security.



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Tibi claims Israeli food

According to Channel 12 News, MK Ahmad Tibi has now claimed the famous, iconic, Israeli food "ptetitim", also known as "Orez Ben Gurion", or Ben Gurion Rice, as originally Palestinian and appropriated by the Israelis.

Back in the early days of the State when the economy was not doing great and there was a shortage of foods, in what is called the days of Austerity, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion approached Osem and asked them to come up with a cheaper alternative to rice. They took the task to heart and created the petitim, a baked pasta type of food that was made to look like rice. It was given the name officially as petitim but has also always been known in Israel by the name Orez Ben Gurion - Ben Gurion's Rice.

So according to Ahmad Tibi, not only did Ben Gurion steal the Land of Israel from the Palestinians, but also stole the iconic petitim.


Tibi claims this is just a form of maftul, or couscous, which is a Palestinian dish. it clearly is not even though one of the commonly produced shapes of petitim is small round balls sort of like maftul/couscous. I guess just like I have not eaten maftul (though I have eaten couscous), Tibi must not have eaten Petitim if he thinks they are the same. He must have gotten confused by the name on the bag that describes it as couscous because of the shape...

Whatever the source might be, bon apetit











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Netanyahu and the Rabin Memorial

PM Benjamin Netanyahu recently announced that he will not participate this year in the memorial ceremony for murdered PM Yitzchak Rabin. Since then he has come under some strong criticism for this decision being disrespectful and inappropriate.

While I happen to agree with the criticism that it is disrespectful, inappropriately dismissive and wrong for the Prime Minister to not participate, I also happen to think there is no actual good decision and somehow at the same time it also is understandable and ok.

The Rabin Memorial, aka the annual Rabinfest, coming up in less than a month, has become a festival of hate and anger, directed at the Right in general but specifically at Netanyahu. Yes, as Prime Minister, he should just sit there and let them get their frustrations out and he should show his respect with his participation and restraint.

However, it is perfectly understandable that he has had enough. he has done this many times before, and has had enough of the hate and anger and derision directed at him at this ceremony. And this year, with the protest movement in full swing, all that anger and hate and verbal attacks will surely be turned up a notch or three.

Further, if they don't want him there, and if they think he doesnt deserve to be there (both because of what they accuse him of from Rabin's days as PM, along with considering him an illegitimate PM to a certain extent because of his ongoing trials), don't criticize him for not going. You can't have it both ways.




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Behind the Bima: Rivka Ravitz (video)








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Aliza Bloch: there is room for everyone (video)







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Tel Aviv's Endless Beauty Transformation. Scenic Journey Across Tel Aviv to the Beach. (video)







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keter Melucha - Moti Cohen, Samet, Balti (video)








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Sep 18, 2023

Yehuda Green Selichot - 2023 - (Official Full Video)







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full discussion on AI with Elon Musk and PM Benjamin Netanyahu (video)






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Picture of the Day






the iconic image of David Ben Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister and a Founding Father, standing on his head at Bograshoc/Frishman Beach in Tel Aviv was burned to a crisp on the first day of Rosh Hashana. Not from being sunburned for being in the sun for too long, but someone lit it aflame. Police are investigating.

Being done on Rosh Hashana I hope the perpetrator at least lit the flame from an existing flame and did not start a "new fire"...

UPDATE: News reports are saying now that the investigation is pointing to a homeless Arab that vandalized the statue of Ben Gurion. So he did not need to light it from an existing flame.




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9/16/23 – Shiur 436 – Making 5784 into “THE YEAR” (Audio)








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Comedian Guy Hochman performs at Coalition Dinner (video)

hilarious





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MAGIC OF NIGHTTIME JERUSALEM. From the Bustling Market to the Serene Western Wall. (video)








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Ani Maamin - Shlomo Carlebach Feat. Eli Levin (video)








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Sep 14, 2023

Explaining the Jewish Holiday Schedule to your Boss… (video)







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Lenny Solomon Live (video)







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Levy Falkowitz - Kol Nidrei [Official Music Video]







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Sep 13, 2023

JERUSALEM. TUNNELS of The City of David. Journey Through Time (video)








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Six13 - 5784 (a Rosh Hashanah adaptation of "25 or 6 to 4" by Chicago) (video)








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Sep 12, 2023

Satmar says thank you to the Israeli government

My  mouth is still somewhat agape at the argument presented by the government's representative in the supreme Court today at the session regarding the possibility of overturning the Reasonableness Clause.

The lawyer representing the government argued at one point that the Declaration of Independence should not be binding in obligating anyone today in anything, considering it was signed hastily by 32 people who were not elected by the people.

The government is really arguing that the Declaration of Independence is basically null and void? To me this seems worse than Herzl's consideration of Uganda as a [temporary] solution for getting the Jews out of danger.

The Declaration of Independence is a worthless document because it was hastily signed by 32 unelected people?

What else can be dismissed so easily?

the Balfour Declaration is worthless.

The Jewishness of the State can be dismissed

The democratic nature of the state can be dismissed.

the UN vote to support the establishment of the State of Israel can be dismissed.

The Status Quo can be dismissed (1 person signed a hastily constructed agreement with the Haredi reps of the day and it should be binding on us 70 years later?)

There are probably plenty others.

Satmar says thank you to the current government. As does Mahmoud Abbas and anyone else who decides from today that they can take Israel's right wing government's own words about the illegitimacy of the founding of the State (it was declared hastily by unelected people) to international bodies around the world to delegitimize the State of Israel.




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Uman no longer dfenseless

Despite the fact that Israel has issued a travel advisory warning Israelis not to travel to Ukraine (because of the little war going on there), Israel will be sending a delegation of 20 police officers to protect the High Holiday pilgrims to Uman.
(source: N12)

I am not quite sure what the Israeli police can do against possible incoming rockets from the Russians and how 20 officers will protect the tens of thousands of pilgrims, but Zelenskiyy said he can't offer any security, so Israel decided to send some police. Uman is no longer defenseless! 20 Israeli policemen will protect them!

Ukraine has all their defense systems protecting the major cities, leaving the small cities and hamlets defenseless. I think the Breslav organizations and Meir Porush should protest in the United Nations and in other international bodies that Ukraine does not consider Uman a large and important city worthy of protection and defense.


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An Epic Time for Religious Zionism

An Epic Time for Religious Zionism

 
Dr. Harold Goldmeier is a business investment consultant, teacher, and writer. He worked for
US governors and was a research teaching fellow at Harvard. He can be reached at Harold.goldmeier@gmail.com
 
Now Is Their Time

The election of a right-wing government to lead Israel in 2023 was an epic event for Religious Zionists. The campaign solidified American Mizrachi members. Leaders implored members to support Religious Zionist parties in Israel. Together, they believed, the doors accessing power might be pried open. Religious Zionism had a chance to move from a street ideology into the Knesset policymaking chamber and executive suites that come with influence.

The excitement was palpable seen in their international magazines, open letters, from conference speakers, and in song at every Saturday night kumzits. Religious Zionism no longer was destined to play second fiddle to Haredi definitions of Torah. Religious Zionist lawmakers were on a path to destiny, but are their definitions of Torah law, societal norms, of power politics markedly different from the ultra-Orthodox?



Into the maelstrom that ensued enters Rabbi Doron Perez. His 2023 book, The Jewish State, From  Opposition to Opportunity, is an attempt at a Religious Zionist manifesto. Perez describes Religious Zionism as the ideology that will destroy the moral perversion created by the secular demand for individual rights. Now (election time) is the opportunity for “togetherness and camaraderie among the Jewish People…for the inculcation of Torah values.”

Rabbi Perez time and again cautions against employing coercive methods to enforce Torah laws. Yet, he argues, for a Torah state. The Rabbi’s Western value system comes through the fast-read of 178 pages; he repeatedly calls for Jewish unity and acceptance of people, the “others,” who do not believe like Religious Zionists. Perez claims they cannot be coerced, but how do you create a Torah-true state, this reader wonders?

How is he going to allow secularists and minorities to live free? His vision, it seems, entertains notions of a monarchial concept in the image of King David “to heal the fractures of national society and forge a unified commonwealth.”

Who are the Religious Zionists? They sing Hatikva and the ultra-Orthodox do not; the former are ultra-nationalists believing that military service is at the core of their own identity and identity of the Jewish state.  The ultra-Orthodox scheme to avoid army service wanting to enforce it as public policy.  Religious Zionists are students of Torah and university studies. They are educated in the world's ways; they are eager to make their marks in business, medicine, and other professions while maintaining Torah traditions, learning, and celebrating the laws in ways central to their lifestyles.  

Filling The Void

Religious Zionists grew in the IDF following The Six-Day War.  Religious Zionist soldiers were donning tefillin and tallis with a prayer book in one hand and a weapon in the other. Soldiers became officers; female religious soldiers traded skirts for pants. But they were a force without a leader, a movement without an intellectual enterprise. The Yom Kippur War and Oslo Accords were signed by old-guard leftists, and Intifadas radicalized the next generation of Religious Zionists.

My Religious Zionist nephew was raised in the Gush. He once told me that every student in his elementary school knew a family or relative of another student who had someone killed by intifada Arab terrorists. He and his brothers and sisters grew up stellar members of elite IDF combat, intelligence units, and national service. They are Religious Zionist professionals and businesspeople today.

 

Eliezer Don-Yehiya has pointed out in “Messianism and Politics: The Ideological Transformation of Religious Zionism,” that over the decades Religious Zionist leaders were able to cap extremism from dominating their ideology.  But on the ground, the stewpot was bubbling. Young Religious Zionists were growing impatient. Death followed them everywhere: into the halls of Passover celebrations, on buses, in theatres, on airplanes, into schools while they learned science and math and Torah. Terrorists reached into bedrooms slaughtering families while they slept. Youth grew impatient and seethed with anger leaving an opening for extremist voices.  

 

Extremists Fill the Void

Rabbi Perez’s book is a marvelous compendium of the roots and contemporary phenomenon, of anti-Semitism. He traces its history and the links to anti-Zionism. Every student of modern history ought to read these chapters. Religious Zionism, though, was hit hard by the turn of events. Its leaders were not prepared or able to coherently respond to the seismic shift from anti-Semitism to anti-Zionism. Nor were Religious Zionist leaders politically well-organized in Israel. Power eluded them and a vacuum filled the void. Extremism in the defense of Judaism became a vice.   

 

Multiple Religious Zionists were named ministers and bureaucrats proudly proclaiming it their Divine Right to change the modern definition of Israel’s democracy, diversity, equality, brotherhood, and inclusion, once hallmarks of Israel’s political system, to what Rabbi Perez foresees as the last option for the State: “Only after being anchored in religious and national foundations can a universal vision of peace be promulgated.” In that case, extremism and violence between Jews and Jews let alone between Jews and non-Jews in Israel might be the future rather than a memory. Religious Zionists themselves might miss the opportunity to mature their movement if led by extremists much longer.  


Degel says it is ok to break agreements

Rav Dov Landau, one of the leading rabbonim of Degel Hatorah today (since the recent death of Rav Gershon Edelstein, Rav Landau shares the leadership mantle with Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch) laid down an atom bomb last night in the realm of municipal elections.

This big dispute between Dergel Hatorah and Shas began with the situation in Elad. Before the previous elections, Shas and Degel signed an agreement that Shas would support Degel's candidate (Yisrael Pindrus) and in the upcoming elections Degel would support Shas's candidate (Yehuda Butbol).  Shas kept their side and supported Pindrus for mayor of Elad. Pindrus got disqualified for technical reasons (it was determined he did not live in the city as required), and the incumbent Yisrael Porush won another term. Now Shas wants Degel to support their candidate but Degel is saying no. They are making excuses why they dont have to (Pindrus didnt win, Shas didnt do enough, etc) and Shas is saying it is not our fault he was disqualified, that was your problem for not making sure everything was kosher, we kept our side of the deal, now keep your side.

that fight in Elad has led to a breaking down of the Haredi agreements and general working relations) in other Haredi cities (including Bet Shemesh).

So last night Rav Landau issued a letter relating to the issue. In Degel right now, Rav Landau's word is the final word and this is now Degel's official position on the matter.



Rav Landau says that the issue of the mayorship is not specific to a party but is fore the good of Jewish issues, education, keeping the torah and mitzvos and everything that entails. Therefore all agreements that were signed between different parties have no value and obligate no one. Making anything dependent on specific sects and groups is doing a disservice....

So, if Degel believes that agreements do not need to be kept, nobody will any longer make agreements with Degel. Right now they agree to something because that is good for them but tomorrow they will not keep it because yesterday's concern is no longer relevant and they don't feel obligated by it.

Another point is that this shows very nicely, in my opinion, why many do not like Degel Hatorah. There is a certain haughtiness in their approach that only they can decide what is good for Judaism, for torah and education. Is Shas or Aguda any less frum than Degel? Even without getting into other streams and approaches being able to have a voice - just within Haredi Judaism, Degel feels they can break agreements because Shas (or anyone else) cannot be relied upon for what is good for Judaism and only Degel can be the arbiter of that. It might be just me, but I think this approach upsets many people.




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Aliza Bloch, female mayor of a Haredi city (video)








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First Night of Selichot - Yitzchak Meir (video)








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The City That Never Sleeps. Jerusalem at Night Before the Holidays.








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Yanky Hill & Yanky landau - Pitchi li (video)







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Sep 11, 2023

No, Not Petach Tikva!

This threat by Minister of Transportation Miri Regev is funny..

Since the opening of the Tel Aviv Light Rail a few weeks ago, some people have been demanding the rail line operate on Shabbos. In protest of it not, on Friday afternoon they have been chaining themselves to the rail cars.

Ynet is reporting that at a municipal election speech in Kiryat Ekron, Regev threatened the protesters. Regev said that she has discussed the issue with the Chief of Police and come to the conclusion that if they chain themselves again to the cars on Friday, they will simply shut the train and drive them all to the depot Petach Tikva and leave them there.

Petach Tikva??? That is a massive threat!

Is Petach Tikva really that bad?

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Eichler goes back in time and forgets he is part of the government

The other wild thing that happened last night is MK Yisroel Eichler responded to PM Benjamin Netanyahu's comment about Uman.

Netanyahu had commented that it is dangerous to go to Uman and people need to be safe and responsible, and he also said that God hasnt always protected us, especially in Europe. 

Eichler flipped out, as he is wont to do. Eichler went on an anti-Zionist screed that would put Satmar to shame. The only thing he forgot is that he and his friends swerve in the Israeli government and have representatives in WZO and perhaps it is time to put the fight from 80 years ago to bed.

So that I did not have to translate it, I took the recap of what Eichler said from Times of Israel:

Eichler wrote that “for over a century, the God of Israel has saved the Land of Israel from the idolatry of power, vulgarity and assimilation of the secular regime.”

The Germans were halted on the way to conquer Israel by extraordinary miracles, not because of the Zionists, Eichler argued.

He went on to claim that the Zionists had in fact turned their backs on the Jews of Europe, thwarted rescue attempts and disdained “the Jews of the ghettos,” while adding that some had collaborated as Judenrat. Eichler said that the once-revered military had been revealed in its “incompetence and contemptibleness” in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and that former top generals who oppose the current government’s judicial overhaul had recently shown themselves to be “rebels” who are “inciting a bloody [civil] war” in the country and giving it a bad name abroad “like the worst of our Islamic enemies.”

“When you see who the generals were, you realize that only thanks to the miracles of God Almighty do we survive,” Eichler fired.

He added that “some Zionists even called the Jews in the ghettos ‘Human dust, they should meet their fate.'”

“Be silent when you blame the God of Israel for your failures and crimes,” he declared. “If it weren’t for those who keep the Torah, Israel would have long ago been erased from the map of the Middle East.”

Just like the Zionists were not able to stop the Holocaust, neither were the Torah learners. We dont know why God sent us that punishment, and it does not serve Eichler well to blame it on the Zionists. Also, being a Belzer chassid, he should be grateful that the Zionists saved his rebbe, the Belzer Rebbe, who escaped Europe at the last moment through Hungary after having been granted a travel certificate from the Jewish Agency that were supposed to go to Zionists.

Regardless, the battle he is screaming about is one that took place back in the 1940s and is really irrelevant today. Today Eichler himself, and his other anti/non/somewhat Zionist peers serve in the Knesset and represent the government themselves! And as much as the State of Israel has supported Torah learning and helped it flourish over the past 50-70 years, this now is a government that is supporting Torah learning at unprecedented levels. Eichler would do well to take a breath. He can oppose what Netanyahu said without losing his mind.





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Bet Shemesh elections getting dizzying

Local politics got wild last night, and I think Bet Shemesh politics, municipal elections, might have surpassed Bnei Braq in its craziness.

While everyone was busy speculating on the clash between Degel candidate Shmuel Greenberg and the incumbent Mayor Dr Aliza Bloch trying to guess who is garnering support from where and who has the edge in the upcoming elections, Shas threw down the gauntlet with Deri announcing that they are going to run their own candidate, former Mayor of Bet Shemesh and current MK and Deputy Mayor Moshe Abutbol.

Shas is upset at Degel. The way the Haredi parties conduct elections (in cities controlled largely by them) is by dividing up the spoils with multi-city agreements, such as, in Bnei Braq you will support my candidate for mayor and in exchange in Elad I will support yours, while in Rechasim you will support mine and in Bet Shemesh I will support yours, etc. Degel seems to have broken the long standing set of agreements, and Shas is upset. In Bet Shemesh there is an additional problem in that Shas considers Shmuel Greenberg persona non grata as they say he hurt them in the past (both in Bet Shemesh and Jerusalem) keeping Sefardic girls out of Ashkenazi seminaries, etc. 

Running Moshe Abutbol for mayor in Bet Shemesh could be a real run at the mayorship, or it could be just to hurt Greenberg without explicitly helping Bloch who they also have lesser problems with. Being that Abutbol has not yet resigned from the Knesset or from his position as Deputy Minister, I personally consider it a not real candidacy, though it has potential to become one.

the announcement threw everyone in a tizzy. What does it mean? Who does it help? Who does it hurt? Each of the different commentators came up with a different explanation of how and why, and also of what it means for the elections as to who has a better chance of winning. Though it does look to almost guarantee that no candidate will win outright in the first round and we will almost definitely go to a second round to declare a winner. Imagining the scenarios that could play out and trying to guess who will support whom when and if what is dizzying

It looks like Shas is going to do the same in a few other cities as well now. And it also looks like Degel is going to retaliate and run their own candidate in Jerusalem against Lion instead of supporting him, and possibly oppose Shas in other cities as well.

And rumors are swirling over other candidates that might still announce, making it even more complicated and unpredictable!

We wait to see what happens, but it looks like this will likely be one of the most interesting municipal elections ever...



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Behind the Bima - David Fishof, Legendary Music Producer (video)








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Israelis: What do you think of the United Nation's role in Israel? (video)







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The Longest String Bridge in Israel. JERUSALEM AT NIGHT (video)








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Mordechai Shapiro & Shmuel - Yesh Bi Emunah (video)








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Sep 10, 2023

Quote of the Day

Israeli citizens traveling to Ukraine need to take personal responsibility for their own safety at this time.. Hakadosh Baruch Hu  did not always protect us, not on the lands of Europe and not on the land of Ukraine. It needs to be understood. in the State of Israel when rockets are falling, citizens go into bomb shelters and there are protections - there in Ukraine there are no shelters and no protections..

  -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

after passing some sort of funding for travel to Uman, PM Netanyahu warned, similarly to Minister Orit Struk, that it is not safe to travel there right now. I don't know how he voted but I am guessing he voted in favor - if he opposed it the package would not have passed.

This statement seems to be causing a bit of a coalition crisis with the Haredi members angered at his statement that God did not always protect us in Europe... probably nothing will come of it other than Netanyahu being pressured to issue a retraction or clarification...





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this happened in an Orthodox shul!

A weird incident happened recently in the Haredi neighborhood of RBS D. 

To introduce this I will say that I had heard RBS D was a super Haredi neighborhood, relatively extreme (with some more extreme elements), and that has been my preconceived impression of RBS D, until I actually went there several times and even more so until more recently as I started to hear about some of the communities out there. Sure enough, there are definitely some more mainstream Haredi communities and some extremists elements, but there are also some (and I dont know how many or how much of a percentage they are) of Haredim who call themselves "Modern Haredim" or "Young Haredim" - these are Haredim who seem to not feel bound by the old Haredi style and are somewhat forging their own paths and styles within the Haredi community.

That being said...

An incident recently happened at a shul in RBS D that extended what would likely have been the normal reach of that shul. They had to have known it would.

Briefly, what happened is that a sefer torah was donated to the shul. When they first used it, I think it was at the hachnasat sefer torah near the end of the ceremony, they allowed a woman, someone seemingly connected to the donation of the Torah (I dont know if she was the donor herself or some sort of representative of the donor), to do the glila of the torah - the rolling and tying it closed.

They claimed to have support of one of the local rabbonim, Rav Elimelech Kornfeld, who is also the rav of the shul in some capacity. I have heard that when the criticism started coming in he denied it he had given permission.

So the reason I have not posted about this until now is because until the other day I had not found the actual video of the incident. I had only seen people reference it. I didnt know what actually happened. It was weird, it was unusual and I didnt know what people were exaggerating or being accurate about or whatnot. But I found the original clip the other day and it was posted by the leadership of the shul it happened in on the X (formerly known as Twitter) platform. Here it is:



now, I am totally not familiar with this. To me it seemed strange. After I first heard about I tried to find out what happened and I found bits of commentary about it and it seems that halachically there is actually basis for it with some old sources permitting it. That being said I have never seen this happen (in an Orthodox shul) and I would put money down that until now almost none of you reading this will have ever seen this happen until now. So even knowing it is theoretically possible and maybe was occasionally allowed hundreds of years ago, though I have not heard of records of it actually being a regular thing, it still seems strange. That being said, I am all for change that is acceptable within the halachic parameters.

I should note that Rav Moshe Shternbuch, one of the heads of the Eida Hachareidis and a rosh yeshiva in Bet Shemesh and also rav of a community in RBS D, came out, I guess unsurprisingly, against this incident and criticized them strongly, calling them a community that had roots in the Haredi community (ie they are no longer Haredi).

I don't know exactly what is what but I am think my original impression was way off base and RBS D isnt quite as mainstream or extreme as I thought...


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