Feb 23, 2017

LttE: Greek Culture

this "Letter to the Editor" is awesome..




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Picture of the Day


VP Mike Pence helps clean a vandalized Jewish cemetery in Missouri..


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Feb 22, 2017

“Were We Like Dreamers?” From Six Days to Fifty Years (video)



Yossi Klein Halevi, award-winning author and Shalom Hartman Institute senior fellow, did a live broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, and what it has meant for Israeli and Jewish society worldwide. Yossi answered questions during the program. The program was part of the Hartman Institute David Hartman Annual Conference for a Jewish-Democratic Israel.





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CNN hosts panels on anti-semitism (video)


CNN has hosted a number of panels on anti-semitism and Trump's dealings with it.. one of those panels included Jake Turx.

it is finally a focus of discussion..










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The Solomon Brothers: We are Not Angels (video)







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Feb 21, 2017

The Hagbah Institute

I love this.. kudos to the person who thought of it..





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Palestinians: Who do you support in the Syrian conflict? (video)






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Is Trump the world's least anti-Semitic person? (video)

this guy seems so angry all the time...





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"Self-Ish" with Yishai Lapidot and Baruch Marzel (video)




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Why do good things happen to bad people? (video)








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Synagogues of Virginia (video)








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Feb 20, 2017

Interesting Psak: using a blech

What makes this "psak" particularly interesting is that it does not come from a rabbi (though maybe some rabbis are now issuing piskei halacha based on this, in one way or another). Rather, ti comes from the fire and rescue services.

This past Shabbos the fire and rescue services of Jerusalem were called into action to put out a fire in a yeshiva. The fire had originated from the sue of some sort of ad hoc "blech" - a metal sheet placed over a fire. Pots had been placed atop the blech to keep the food hot for the upcoming meals, and draped over the pots were towels, to keep the heat in.

The towels caught fire and it quickly spread. The firemen put the fire out relatively quickly, but much damage had already been done.

The fire and rescue services then issued a statement to the public saying that using an electric hotplate to heat up food for Shabbos is definitively prohibited, but using a blech is 7 times worse and 7 times more dangerous. The chance for a fire catching on the towels and spreading is extremely high and the chances are high for a fatal fire to spread. Many fires and much damage is caused regularly by using such hotplates and blechs, even proper ones, and covering the food.
source: Behadrei

I am pretty sure we hear even more frequently about fires that started from electric hotplates that shorted out or something else happened to that caused an electrical fire.

I'd say to only use hotplates made by reputable companies and to be careful to cover your food without letting towels touch the surfaces of the hot plate or blech, but the rescue services are saying that even that is not good enough and no such method should be used as they are all too dangerous. Unfortunately such a warning in basically a waste of time, as how do they expect anybody to heat up food for Shabbos, if neither a blech nor a hot plate is acceptable? If they really want people to listen and heed their warnings, they should figure out what the safe way is for keeping food hot on Shabbos and letting the public know what is acceptable, and not just what is not. As of right now, people will nto listen with every method they are familiar with being condemned and no alternative being offered.






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Facebook Status of the Day




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but they seemed so normal!


There was some horrible case in Modiin Ilit of serious child abuse that led to the parents being arrested on Shabbos. After a doctor suspected abuse and reported it to the police, an investigation discovered, including supposedly catching serious abuse on camera form both the father and the mother, the abuse and led to arrests. They'll get their day in court, the legal process will move as normal, and they'll get their chance to argue their case and they'll either be guilty or innocent.

Among the articles I read about this, one of them quoted neighbors that are in shock about this and said things such as "we never suspected" and "they seemed like normal parents, we saw no indication of this", and the like.

There often is no clear indication. Abusers often look just like normal people, until they are behind closed doors with the people they abuse. It is the same shock people express when someone they know and never suspected is arrested for fraud, or for sexual abuse or being a pedophile or whatnot. They look like anybody else and often act like anybody else in public. If you do see or suspect something, it is important to check it out or report it to people who can, because it can go unnoticed for so long...



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when a cultural difference says you can ignore psak

the gedolim of Eretz Yisrael have come out many times with statements that concerts and the like are prohibited, even with separate seating and even if the event is only for men.

Kikar reports about a "dinner" on behalf of the Gerrer institutions of Eretz Yisrael set to take place in the USA next week with the main attraction being a performance by Mordechai Ben David, along with some other performers.

Now, they could have explained it away saying that the Gerrer Rebbe never signed on any ban or prohibition but that would not be true as he did sign on such a ban a number of years ago...

So, with the Gerrer Rebbe against such performances (arvei Shira and the like), why is it ok for the Gur institutions to hold such an event with such a performance?

The answer given by the relevant askanim is that the culture in the USA is different so it is ok (even though it is on behalf of the Israeli institutions.

Sounds good to me. Whenever there is a self-defined cultural difference we are now able to ignore the psak of the gedolim and even our own rebbe... many people have said similarly in the past - that a given psak isn't relevant because of x, y or z differences - but now the response has the hechsher of one of the gedolim saying my psak can be ignored for those reasons.






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Rubio questions David Friedman at ambassador to Israel hearing (video)

that's an awfully short answer for an awfully long question





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