Mar 22, 2017

Proposed Law: paying victims of terror abroad

If the "heritage rule" was good for Team Israel in the recent World Baseball Classic tournament, it has to be good enough for the victims of terror...

The Knesset yesterday passed a law by which the State of Israel will pay compensation to victims of terror attacks abroad, even if the attack was not directly directed at Israel or the Jewish people. Payment would be made to a victim of a terror attack performed by a terror organization who has in its charter the stated goal to attack Israel, Israelis or Jews.

The law qualifies the payment to allow it to be lessened in cases where the foreign country in which the attack took place also pays compensation for the attack, or for other reasons to be determined later.
source: Kikar

My main question or concern would be, who qualifies for payment? Only Jewish victims? What about any victim of ISIS terror, or some other jihadi or Islamist group that wants to destroy Israel and kill Jews, among whatever other goals it has - will Israel start paying out money to victims of Islamic terror all over the world? Syria wants to destroy Israel - does Israel now have to pay all the Syrian victims of the civil war, and especially of ISIS, compensation as victims of terror?




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Mar 21, 2017

Facebook Status of the Day




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Interesting Psak: selling land in Eretz Yisrael

Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, Rav of the Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq, issued an interesting psak regarding selling unused land in Eretz Yisrael.

Someone inherited a piece of land but had nothing to do with it. The parcel of land is located in a rocky and mountainess area and he basically has nothing to do with it. He came to Rav Zilbershtein asking about the possibility of selling it.

Rav Zilbershtein responded that right now it seems worth little to him but in the future one day it will be extremely valuable.

This is not just astute real estate advice being handed out by Rav Zilbershtein, but something more esoteric.

Rav Zilbershtein explained that in the future the value will jump and increase tremendously. He quoted a "Chacham Laniado" who said (quoting a medrash) that all the stones of Eretz Yisrael will be very valuable as every single stone has a hidden "segulah" associated with it but at some future time all those segulahs will be revealed.

He gave some examples of stones that will be good for causing peace (Netanyahu and Abbas should get some of those now!), others that relieve tooth pain, stop bleeding, cut through other stone, remove kidney stones, etc.

Rav Zilbershtein concluded quoting his brother in law Rav Chaim Kanievsky that mashiach is going to be coming literally at any moment, so the land is surely worth holding on ot until it will be very valuable in the days of Mashiach.
source: Kooker







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grandfathered city rabbi being forced out of his position

The Ministry of Religious Affairs is reportedly trying to force the Chief Rabbi of Kfar Saba, Rav Avraham Shlush, to retire. Rav Shlush is 87 years old and they have discovered through reports and investigation that he is hardly functioning. It seems that he only goes into his office once a week for a short amount of time and he does not even live in the city - he lives in Jerusalem.

The problem is that despite the fact that the law was changed a while back limiting city rabbis to a maximum age of 70 with the possibility of an extension to 75, Rabbi Shlush is grandfathered into the old system of the appointment being for life. And the law now is that a city rabbi must live in the city he is rabbi of.  A further problem is that Rabbi Shlush was never formally appointed to the position, but started functioning in it unofficially in the 1950s and it just became his.

So they want to push him out, but the Minister of Religious Affairs, David Azoulai, is fighting to keep him in place, as it seems he and his family want him to retain the position.

In my opinion, this is the biggest support for the forcing of a retirement age. Here you have a rav not functioning and the city suffers because of it, but there is really nothing anyone can do about it. I do think that because he is grandfathered in, he should not be forced out and taken to court. He is a remnant of the old system, and that's the way it is, and this is the reason the law was changed. He should be pressured to retire with perhaps some coordination regarding the granting of an honorary position and title that might make him happy. Surely he and his family can be persuaded that for the good of the city it is time to move on and let a younger rabbi take this leadership position.


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Picture of the Day



when the extreme yeshiva guys started wearing blue shirts....


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Chag HaSemikhah 5777 Highlights (video)

I like the name "Chag HaSemikhah"..





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Prague's Old-New Synagogue gets first new Torahs since World War Two (credit: REUTERS) (video)







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Mar 20, 2017

Facebook Status of the Day




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NAS Daily and the Abrahamic Reunion (video)




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Israelis: Do you believe in evolution? (video)







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Religious women in the army now (video)

Do religious female soldiers face special challenges in combat units? • What support is available for them? • Host Steve Ganot speaks with Lt. (res.) Elisheva Elazar about the Aluma organization's efforts to assist religious women in the IDF.





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Publicly Walking With Israel's Flag in Berlin (video)







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marathoners dance with protesters (video)







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Mar 19, 2017

transgender refuses to give gett for presently being a woman

This is just a crazy item to make the news...

Two women come to the beis din fighting about a divorce. It turns out that one of them had previously been a man before undergoing a sex-change operation. They married as classic husband and wife and raised their children together. When the husband went through his changes, a year ago, the couple separated. The wife could not move on and date and marry anyone else, because she was still halachically married to her "husband" - he/she had not [yet] given his wife a gett.

After hearing the unusual situation, the dayanim decided that this is good reason for granting a gett, and there is no reason to insist on shalom bayis counseling as it clearly won't lead to reconciliation and a happy marriage. The beis din ordered the parties to begin the process of divorce.

The problem was then raised by the "husband" when s/he said that he cannot grant a gett because he is no longer a man but a woman, and a woman is unable to grant a gett.

The wife then requested an annulment of the marriage, but the dayanim said that would not be possible. The dayanim decided that the husband had to give a gett and if he would not he would be considered as a gett refuser and would end up in jail.

After some arguing about the details of their relationship, the dayanim decided that halachically the husband is a man and is obligated to give the gett.

The husband eventually agreed to give the gett, but during the process recanted and explained that s/he was upset that s/he is being related to in the text of the gett as a male. She criticized the beis din for living in the Middle Ages. After being warned again about possibly ending up in jail, s/he agreed to complete the process and give the gett.
source: Ynet

fascinating. Whatever the exact details of the case are (Ynet is not reliable to get the details and halachic aspects correct), the debate and potential ramifications are just fascinating. I know that the Tzitz Eliezer has a different position on the matter of transgender people and considers the possibility of considering them as their new gender, but I am not sure he comes to a definitive conclusion. In the few shiurim I have heard on the matter, the general consensus is that halachically there is no such thing as a sex change and the Tzitz Eliezer is only referenced in limited situations.

In the article they say that it seems this is the first time such a case, of a transgender coming to give a gett in beis din, has ever happened. Perhaps this will open up the debate and discussion and help things get clarified in society. In the meantime, much pain can be avoided if people in such situations would deal with this in advance...










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these marathon runners didn't let some measly protesters get in their way..



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