Jun 30, 2013

Interesting Posts #502

1. NBN should pull a Reagan on the Foreign Ministry - great idea!

2. ice ages

3. tikkun hatzot during the Three Weeks

4. an Israel story

5. are minimally involved shul members "parasites"?

6. when vitriol is justified

7. stop kvetching and seize the opportunity

8. wwwhat acts are ok?

9. the "nice guy" trap

10. another violation of Kotel norms - this one ignored

11. how much can the body take?

12. shabbat in Tel Aviv and the Chief Rabbi race

13. the Roman and his question





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Interest Psak: Kashrus of Medical Marijuana

According to Rav Efraim Zalminovitch, the Chief Rabbi of Mazkeret Batya, has paskened that medical marijuana is kosher. He qualifies his ruling by stating that it is only kosher when used for medical purposes, to relieve pain, but not when used for recreational use.

I did not even realize it was a question. After all, medical marijuana is an herb, naturally grown with no ingredients that require kashrut supervision. One can debate the permissibility of certain uses of marijuana, but the kashrus of it should not be a matter of question. I'd think. And I also would have thought that the medical usage of it would not be under question, as most things are allowed when there is a medical need with no equivalent alternative.

Rav Zalminovitch himself has said in the past that giving medical marijuana to a suffering patient is a mitzva, but now he has added that the medical marijuana is kosher for medical use, though it is "treif" for recreational use. The only time it is kosher is for medical use and upon instruction from a doctor..

Rav Zalminovitch also called upon Chairman of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein and Minister of Justice Tzippi Livni to give a clear allowance for medical marijuana as an official pharmaceutical drug.

Like MK Moshe Feiglin who made medical marijuana one of his prime issues after realizing how effective it is at reducing the pain and suffering in a way that conventional drugs do not, Zalminovitch also came to the recognition after personal experience - with his ill mother.
(source: NRG)

I think "kosher" and "treif" are the wrong words to use. The correct words should probably be kept in the realm of "muttar" and "assur" - "permitted" and "prohibited". I also think the marijuana use, not abuse but use, is far less dangerous than things like alcohol - and if alcohol or smoking are allowed than marijuana use (not abuse) should definitely be allowed.


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Quote of the Day

People will need to wait less time to close in their porches. Not everything needs to be rules and not everything should need a permit. I believe we will get to this situation in the near future.

  -- Minister of Interior Gideon Saar, referring to the law he is preparing to propose, known as the "Pergola Law". This law will allow homeowners to do light renovations without a permit. (I do not yet know what type of renovations will be included in this law)



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Here lives a Chardak

This is probably not significant enough to be considered an effective response to the "Chardak" campaign. I do not see something like this having any effect, unless it snowballs and becomes a campaign joined by all Haredim who serve in the army and all those who support them.

ripped off of someone's Facebook page




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Headline of the Day

Kerry in Israel: Netanyahu Opposes a Building Freeze


  -- Ynet

Interesting, considering the recent interviews with, and statements from, both the current and previous Ministers of Housing that Netanyahu has been behind a de facto building freeze in Jerusalem as well as in Judea and Samaria for plenty of time now...



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Ron Dermer: Netanyahu Is A Hell Of A Captain At The Helm (video)







------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Rabbi Daniel Korobkin in Conversation with Rabbi Dov Lipman (video)






------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Bar Mitzvah for 64 Year Old Polish Jew! (video)







------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

From Chicago to Jerusalem: The Jesse White Tumbling Team (video)







------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Jun 27, 2013

Headline of the Day

President of the Reform movement: We are Learning from Chabad how to bring people closer to Judaism


  -- NRG

in the article he explains that by this he means not to sit back and wait for the Jews but to go out and bring it to them. By the way, just to be clear, they are not bringing Jews closer to the same version of Judaism Chabad is, but to reform Judaism..




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Omri Padan's use of McDonalds as a vehicle for his political beliefs is nothing new

Omri Padan, the owner of the Israeli franchise of McDonalds, has decided that he will not open a branch of McDonalds in the new mall planned for Ariel. His decision has created a ruckus - that he is boycotting Ariel, helping the anti-Zionists in their fight against Israel, etc..

The turth is that this is nothing new. Padan is not just a businessman, but is a leftist activist and he refuses to open his restaurants in towns over the Green Line, and he has used his business to promote his policy in the past as well. He has refused to open McDonalds before in towns and locations he disapproves of, regardless of whether or not it would be a good business opportunity. His rejection of Ariel should not have surprised anyone.

I personally do not eat in McDonalds, and made such a commitment, albeit only a loose one, when Padan refused to even consider closing on Shabbos his branch of McDonalds located in downtown Jerusalem. He did not just not close it because it generated so much Shabbos business. When he was petitioned to close it, or to at least consider closing it, he spoke very harshly against Shabbos observance in his business and, while I don't remember the exact quote, basically said that he would never close that branch on Shabbos even if from a business perspective it makes sense. he wanted that store to remain open on Shabbos, by hook or by crook even if he would have to take a loss for it.

I get when someone has a business that is successful on Shabbos so he won't close it. I don't agree, but I understand. The person does not believe in Shabbos observance, and acts accordingly. I feel bad for him, I hope one day he might change his mind,  but God gives free will, and there is nothing I can do about it. When it becomes a crusade to attack Shabbos, when it is no longer a simple business decision but a crusade against Shabbos, that is something I will oppose. As a matter of fact, and this is the converse, I just recently heard a rosh yeshiva say that he eats Rabbanut hechsher specifically because anybody in this country who is moser nefesh to close his restaurant on Shabbos must be supported.

The best response I heard about Padan's decision is MK Eli Yishai's. Yishai said that when it opens he will order a hamburger from the Burger Ranch that will open in Ariel instead and have it delivered to Padan's office so that he will eat a "blue and white" hamburger and learn the updated borders of Israel..



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Quote of the Day

I assume that you have not seen the actual statue, and you are basing your complaints on rumors [of what it will look like]. I recommend that you should go back to the person who whispered in your ear and you should tell him he should stop seeing everything around him as an abomination, lest he will begin to see immodesty even in electricity poles, wood and mailboxes.

  -- Mayor of Haifa Yona Yahav

It was reported (I saw it in the Yediot metro paper) that Haifa will be installing a statue of a giant female image near the entrance of the stadium in Haifa. Representatives of the local Haredi community are campaigning against it as they are saying the statue will not be "dressed".

Rav Gedalya Axelrod, one of the rabbonim of the haredi community of Haifa, has protested to the mayor, Yona Yahav. The location is near the entrance to the city and is overlooking a religious mixed neighborhood of Jews, Arabs and Christians, and such a statue is pornographic.

Yona Yahav's response is above.

I do not know what the statue will look like. If it is of an undressed woman, I agree that even as art it can be inappropriate and perhaps should be in an art museum or located somewhere else where less kids will be exposed to it. If it is not really a provocative statue than no big deal. Perhaps protests should be delayed until actual information is known.




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Lema'an Achai in a Flash (video)

what a great video



support Lemaan Achai 


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Knesset Channel: Debate over the Chief Rabbinate (video)

this is a very interesting interview on the Knesset Channel about the battle for the Chief Rabbinate. Both Benny Rabinovitch of the Yated and Rav Rafi Feuershtein of Tzohar made me laugh with some of their arguments and statements..





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Aliza Bloch announces candidacy for mayor of Bet Shemesh (video)

I dont know much about Aliza Bloch at this point. Not more than the fact that she was a successful school principal in Bronco Weiss and is well-liked by those who know her.

Yesterday she announced her candidacy for mayor of Bet Shemesh. She is running as the new head of the local Habayit Hayehudi party, and she is supported by the local Yesh Atid and the local Likud branches. They have all signed the commitment to participate in the survey that will decide the one candidate from the general population to oppose Mayor Moshe Abutbol.

Here is the announcement from yesterday:





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Join US Embassy in celebrating July 4th in Israel (video)







------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Jun 26, 2013

Interesting Posts #501

1. rescuing mashiach

2. buying haredi: a win-win

3. Rosenblum apologized: deal with it

4. the difference between terrorists and charedim

5. Reddit's Q&A hosted by a hassidic Jew, on Shabbos.. very interesting

6. we need to hold hands

7. Letter to the Editor: Many Messengers

8. top 10 Jews on my block

9. Hassidim on bikes - I am not sure why someone would compile such a collection of photographs, but someone did..

10. Israel should be Jewish by law

11. 9 signs of summer in Jerusalem

12. want your prayers answered?

13. what does a name mean?

14. Israeli inventor of cardboard bike goes to crowdfunding to move to production - I love the idea, but don't see why a donor does not get the bike itself until he makes a donation of $290 or more. With the bike expected to sell eventually for about $29, I think he should be giving donors the bike at a much lower cost right now than $290..

15. The RCA responds to Hamodia, in Hamodia






------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Quote of the Day

Not like cultural and entertainment locations, businesses need to be closed on Shabbat. Not for religious reasons, but for socialist and cultural reasons. It is important that there be a day of rest for everyone, and a day off on a different day is not the same as a shared day off for everyone.
A day off from buying is also a healthy idea. The makolet owners are right in their claim that the large chains unjustly destroy competition. Correct, people will have to take care of their shopping on Friday. But from the other perspective, they won't need to go shopping on Shabbat.

  -- MK Meirav Michaeli (Labor)

If the long weekend movement should ever succeed and turn Sunday into a national non-work day, Michaeli's argument will have to be adjusted.





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Law Proposal: Due to DST, religious employees can be tardy

Either my solution was obvious to everyone, or Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Rav Eli Ben-Dahan reads Life in Israel.. I proposed a couple of days ago that in light of the problem the new DST law will present to religious employees in the second half of October, perhaps Bituach Leumi should cover the wages of such employees who need time to daven that will take away from their work time.

Dahan is now proposing a new law that is meant to fix the problem caused by the DST law. Dahan's law will allow affected workers to come late to work in the last two weeks of October, and that the government will foot the bill.

The article in NRG announcing the law proposal does not specify where the money will come from, but it does say the government will pay for it. The Kipa article on this just says employees won't lose money because of it, but does not specify who will pay. I hope it won't be the employer, because that might become a threat to religious employees, as employers will refrain from hiring religious employees or might even fire them.

It's an ok adjustment - it solve some of the problem, but presents some new problems of its own. I am not sure an additional law is justified for these two-three weeks, or if employees should just be left to figure out their own solutions to daven and get to work..

The Good:
Employers won't feel threatened or as the losers in this deal. Employees will be able to daven if they want to without their jobs being threatened.

The Bad:
Some employees might take advantage just to come to work late. I dont want to say that davening employees should have to bring a note from the shul gabbai to affirm that they attended services, but this could be a problem.

Another problem is that some employers might feel a loss of productivity -with a percentage, sometimes perhaps a significant percentage, of their employees coming in late. It is only for about 2 or 3 weeks, so it is not a permanent loss of productivity. As well, few employees are productive consistently throughout the day so 20-30 minutes (though it could become more when taking into account public transportation schedules) of less productivity might not be such an insurmountable problem.


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Breaking of the law in Tel Aviv is not so bad unlike in Beitar or Amona

The big news of the day is the success of the lawsuit of small market owners in Tel Aviv against the city demanding enforcement of the Shabbos laws.

The city ignores the laws requiring businesses to be closed on Shabbos. The small market owners are at a disadvantage, as they close on Shabbos, and they want to continue closing on Shabbos, while the big chains stay open and the city basically ignores it while simply collecting the fine which is too measly for the chain stores to be concerned about anyway. Even small stores that want to stay open on Shabbos cannot, as the fines against them are too significant to bear. The city sees it as a way of promoting their liberal policy and making some money in the process (in both fines and tax collection), while at least superficially being able to point to the fine and saying we are following the law.

Surprise, surprise, but the courts actually upheld the law.

The Supreme Court decided that using the fines as the only method of enforcing the law is not achieving the goal - the goal being the businesses remaining closed on Shabbos - and it is upon the City of Tel Aviv to find alternate methods of enforcement to ensure the businesses remain closed. The current method of enforcement, the court said, is basically enabling the continued breaking of the law, with the rule of law being harmed in the process.

The Supreme Court also said that the City of Tel Aviv is not above the law, and if they do not like the law they are able to work to change the law, but in the meantime they must fulfill their obligations in enforcing it. The purpose of enforcing the law is not for religious or secular reasons, but because the law must be enforced. The law of Shabbos has both social and religious value, and the law requires the stores to be closed on Shabbos and not allowing them to be open as long as they are willing to pay the necessary fine (i.e. imposing the fine is meant to be a deterrent so stores will close - payment of the fine is not an allowance for them to then remain open).

The biggest losers of this decision, after the City of Tel Aviv, will be the chains of AM:PM and Tiv Taam. The biggest winners, after the small market owners, will be Shefa Shuk (or Zol b'Shefa as they are called now). Shefa Shuk has suffered from an unofficial haredi ban due to being owned by the same owners of AM:PM - with AM:PM blatantly flaunting their chilul shabbos, the haredi community has held an unofficial ban on Shefa Shuk in an attempt to pressure the owner to close AM:PM on Shabbos (as well as simply being upset about the chilul shabbos). While the ban has only been unofficial and I have not even heard anything about it in the past couple of years, I still have not seen the local Zol bShefa to be anywhere near busy, even at peak times, unlike the other local supermarkets. Forcing AM:PM to close on Shabbos might help Shefa.

The other point is that nobody, outside the Supreme Court, seems overly upset or shocked at the City of Tel Aviv's flaunting of the law. Many people have been quoted in the news as saying things about demanding the opening of these and more businesses, keeping Tel Aviv pluralistic and open, etc.

When religious folk say things not in line with the law but in support of their religious beliefs, when settlers talk about promotion of the furthering of their beliefs and lifestyles, when haredim talk about their lifestyles and beliefs, everyone goes up in arms about the rule of law, supporting the courts, etc. Just look at Justice Minister Tzippi Livni and her crusade against discrimination against women in the haredi public (not unjustified) - I have not heard her talking about the rule of law in Tel Aviv and setting up a task force and hotline to deal with the breaking of the Day of Rest law. Suddenly the greatest ideal in society has nothing to do with the straight following of the law.












------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Headline of the Day

Releasing Pollard would be seen in Israel as a jump-start to renewing negotiations with the Palestinian Authority


  -- The Post

According to the article, messages to that effect have been transferred to the Americans. I do not know if releasing Pollard just for the purpose of renewing negotiations is a good idea, but then again, even if negotiations are renewed they are as likely to fail as all such negotiations have failed and gone nowhere in the past 20 years... Pollard himself as demanded in the past that he not be released in a manner that his release will then be used as an impetus to giving away land...



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Significance of Netanyahu's Visit to the Barkan School (video)






------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Colbert on the New Iran, and Jon Stewart goes to Egypt on show of Bassem Yousef (video)









------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Chinese blockbuster in Israel (video)







------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Knesset Channel: MKs Tibi and Baracha protest (video)

the Knesset is always a good source of entertainment.. th Arab MKs protest the Prawer bill regarding Bedouin land in the Negev





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Jun 25, 2013

No more monopoly on cement

The government just approved the breaking of the monopoly of the cement producer, Nesher. They are expecting that with other cement producers and importers on the market, prices will come down, which will bring housing prices down, among other things.

So, anybody out there want to open a cement factory with me?





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Informal survey: BBQ appropriate or not for breaking the fast?

I was planning on barbecuing the food for dinner tonight - the food for breaking the fast of the 17th of Tammuz.

The barbecue was just going to be a method of cooking - not a celebratory meal like a birthday or graduation party.

Then I had this thought, that perhaps it is inappropriate. When people, especially Haredim, have gotten "caught" barbecueing on Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron) or Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom HaShoah), society cries out in shock and rage that these people are so insensitive and are doing something fun and celebratory on such a sorrowful day. Perhaps, if society considers it inappropriate on those days, how much more so should it be considered inappropriate today.

Or maybe it is just another method of cooking. Maybe not turning it into a picnic or party makes it ok.

I did an informal and unscientific survey on Twitter, and respondents initially seem to think it is ok, though after then comparing it to Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron BBQs, nobody really rebutted the comparison very well...

So, my informal survey continues here - what do you think about barbecueing the food for breaking the fast?



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

A Druish Kup creates Shabbos Goy company

This concept for a business is very cool, and it was not even a "yiddishe kup" that came up with it...

A company made up of, and owned by, non-Jewish IT specialists to provide IT support to hi-tech, and other, firms that do not operate on Shabbos.

Jewish-owned companies that are closed on Shabbos, especially if they are owned and managed by religious Jews, will generally not know about problems that might have cropped up in their company on Shabbos, and they definitely would not be able to fix them. They would not find out about it, or be able to fix it, until after Shabbos. Hiring a non-Jew to be on staff for Shabbos is also a problem if the owner of the company is religious.

A Druze computer guy came up with the idea after having worked at Microsoft. At the time a religious manager would sometimes ask him for help with checking for and  dealing with problems on Shabbos. After leaving Microsoft this Druze fellow decided to open his own "Shabbos Goy" company to provide Shabbos support to other companies that would not do it on their own but really need someone monitoring their systems and fixing problems on the day off.
(source: Bechadrei)

Even without being Jewish, he clearly has some sort of Yiddishe Kup. Maybe we should call it a Druish Kup



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

PSA: Tonight - MK Moshe Feiglin presenting his solution to the army draft in RBS

Maybe you have heard him talk about his solution already, or maybe you are not familiar with it... it will be interesting to hear MK Feiglin present his solution to the army draft (aka shivyon bnetel) and give you plenty of food for thought for the breaking of the fast...

TONIGHT - Be Part of Something Much Bigger...


The IDF forced draft is the cause for so much "Sinat Chinam" between
different sectors of Israeli society.

Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, MK MOSHE FEIGLIN has a solution, and he’ll be
presenting it here, in ENGLISH!

TONIGHT, AFTER the fast is over. No weddings or s'machot.

Video - 8:45
MK Feiglin speaking - 9:20
Where: BTYA Social Hall
Followed by Q&A (Hebrew and English)

No Reservations or payment required for this part of the program.

For men and women. Separate seating available.

http://www.jewishisrael.org



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Picture of the Day





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Israel Postal Pre-Loaded Credit Card (video)

This humorous, but tasteless, ad drew a lot of complaints, which are sort of misguided.



Many complained that this is an ad depicting sexual harassment, while in truth it is not sexual harassment but is a mugging that the woman turned into a sexual incident. Tasteless, yes, harassment it isn't...



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Why Europe Has a Problem with Israel - Rabbi Daniel Gordis on Prager University (video)







------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Architip - fill in archaeology (video)

this Israeli technology is very cool...

Architip from Architip Ltd on Vimeo.



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Orthodox Teen Entrepreneur’s Passion to Feed the Hungry (video)







------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Jun 24, 2013

Headline of the Day

Residents of Elah Valley: We will not allow Holyland 2 to happen here


  -- NRG

According to various reports in the various news outlets, between 120 and 150 residents of the Elah Valley towns and Bet Shemesh showed up outside the office of Minister of Interior Gideon Saar today to protest the planned construction in the mountains of the Elah Valley, in what is to become RBS D and RBS E.

The main statement of the protesters was that the Elah Valley, where David fought against Goliath, is a unique region in the State of Israel, and in an arbitrary decision of the previous Minister of Interior, it is going to become a real estate monstrosity. The protesters say that these plans were approved without alternatives being investigated, as the law requires, and such massive construction will destroy the area. Alternatives should be researched, and a national park should be established in the area to protect the environment and archaeology.




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Daylight Savings Time extension and the halachic and legal problems that arise

Yesterday the government Cabinet approved the proposal of Interior Minister Gideon Saar to extend Daylight Savings Time until the end of October. The bill has to go to the Knesset for final approval, though it is expected to pass easily.

The discussion around the proposal has focused on mainly being harmful to religious workers. In October sunrise will be so late that it will make it difficult for people who need to get to work early to have davened prior to going to work. Some people might even be forced to choosing between davening and being late for work and between going to work and skipping davening.

There is a psak that would solve the dilemma, but it seems to be unpopular in many places. That is, technically, one could daven before sunrise. Of course, there is an earliest time one could daven, but I don't think that earliest time would ever present the same problem.

People don't like this solution, calling it a b'dieved. I have heard a rav say that davening before sunrise is just as b'dieved as davening after sunrise. So anyone willing to daven at 7:00 or 8:00, for example, should theoretically have no halachic objection to davening before sunrise either. But I know that this is not the accepted custom and while some do that, many prefer not to.

Interestingly, I did learn something new because of this. While of course it was always halachically preferable to daven at sunrise, I have always thought that the preference for davening at sunrise is in relation to davening later. Most won't daven earlier, even though it is an option. According to what I read in Srugim, it used to be exactly the opposite - the sunrise prayers were really the late minyan, not the early minyan. According to that, people commonly davened earlier, and the halachic preference for sunrise was in reference to davening earlier, not later. I guess that would be because in the days of working in agriculture, they had to be working in the fields very early, so they davened even before sunrise. Later, when other fields of employment became more popular, with agriculture going on the decline, things got turned around, people did not need to be up and out so early any longer, and sunrise became the early minyan for most people and regular davening became the later minyanim.

I thought that was an interesting revelation. Does anybody know if this is historically accurate?

Another development is a request for a new law proposal due to the effects of the DST extension. The head of Machon Keter - an organization dealing with economic issues according to the Torah, the DST extension, as already explained, will present a problem for people who need to leave early to go to work. Even allowing them to daven early - prior to sunrise, in the second half of October, anybody who needs to leave their house before 6 AM will still have a problem.

Rav Ishon, the head of Machon Keter, says that the law allows an employee to daven at his workplace during the workday, with prayer times being arranged in accordance with the needs of the workplace and the requirements of the religion of the employee. However, unlike certain breaks that are guaranteed by law so the employee can get some air for a few minutes, while the employer has to give the employee time to pray, he does not have to pay the employee for his praying time.

Rav Ishon requested a new law proposal to adjust that, so that any employee who has to leave his house within a range of 40 minutes prior to the earliest time one is allowed to daven would be allowed to daven during work hours and would also be paid for that time.
(source: Kikar)

I see the need to protect the worker, so that he/she should not have to be put in a situation of needing to decide between working and davening - plenty of employees would decide they cannot afford to lose 20 minutes or 40 minutes of pay and might decide to continue working instead of davening. However, I do not see why the employer has to pay for it - what did he do wrong that suddenly he has to foot the bill, when he never had to before?

I would suggest that maybe Bituach Leumi should have to pay for that davening time, instead of the employer. Also, if employers know they will have to pay for non-work time, they might be reluctant to hire religious employees. Having the payment for this time taken away from them and put in the hands of the government, who is really at fault for the issue anyway, would resolve that,a s now the employer is taking no loss.






------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Quote of the Day

We are deciding today a decision that was not accepted for the past 65 years - extending the summer clock. The Minister of Interior is bringing an important decision, it will add an extra hour of daylight until the end of October. Meaning, we are bringing good tidings to the citizens of Israel.
Now we have a land flowing with milk and honey, gas and sun. This is good, it is a change that is very very blessed.

 -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Tzedaka for a friend

Jason Swirsky is a friend who lives in RBS. His wife passed away at a young age, and since then he has been raising his daughter Chana on his own - surely a difficult enough task for any person. He has recently found out that while in preparation for his wife's funeral an accident happened in his home that could cost him, and there is a campaign to help defray the costs...

I want to start by thanking everyone who has helped me since Rachel has
passed away. Your love and support has taken me through some pretty
rough times and I truly appreciate everything you all have done.

Within a short period of time Rachel passing away, there was a whole
bunch of people in my apartment helping in whatever way the could.  I
was still dealing with the police, funeral arrangements, notifying
Channah and preparing the apartment for the Shiva. To help out a private
cleaner was hired for they day. At some point she slipped and fell
damaging her teeth.  She has been seeking payment for damages.

Rabbi Myers, Devorah Strauss & Lorien Balofsky have been working really
hard to try to avoid this from even finding out. They tried their best
to avoid it from becoming my problem. They have worked out a settlement
with her that will negate any future claims of liability. The Rabbi,
Devorah and Lorien are trying to avoid having me pay for the damages
incurred. They are seeking assistance to help defray the costs and make
this problem disappear. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Rabbi
Myers has paskened that meiser money can be used for this cause. Any
additional funds will go to Tzedakah in Rachel's memory.

http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/rachel-swirsky-memorial-fund/67269

Thank You
Jason Swirsky


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Friendly Message to Camp Summer Staff (video)







------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Former Hasidic Jews Reveal Hidden World (video)







------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Campaign to Teach Israelis Basic Transportation Etiquette (video)

I don't know if they could have found a more complicated design for those arrows...





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Benny Friedman & Yedidim Choir "Mi Shebirach-Shwekey" (video)






------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Jun 23, 2013

Interesting Posts #500

1. As mentioned previously, I love the creativity in Kickstarter, and many of the projects that are trying to be funded through it. Here is one that I love the video and description, but don't understand why they expect people to fund them - the Flying Falafel food truck. Somebody who wants falafel can go out and buy a falafel. Why fund a truck for someone to open another falafel stand? On the other hand, a project like Mianzi Fashion is both practical and an amazing solution to a very serious and important need and by supporting it one helps both the fashion world and the special needs community. as of this writing, the Mianzi project is 70% funded...

2. whose responsibility?

3. a mulberry story

4. chameleon soldiers

5. ordinary Orthodox Jews being extraordinary

6. #tomorrow13 - the missing demographic

7. best Palestinian government account

8. the wascally wabr

9. the annual Tel Aviv water fight is coming up...

10. when is an apology not an apology?

11. branding secrets from Google and Aish




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Proposed Law: exempt Haredim from army service based on religious conscience

An interesting law has been proposed that might solve the rift in society over the issue of drafting the Haredim. I do not see it having much of a chance at passing, in part because it has come from the opposition but also because some of the main obstacles are not resolved by it.

MK Meirav Michaeli (Labor) has proposed a law that would give a blanket exemption to Haredim (they are not specified in the law proposal, but would seemingly be the main beneficiaries of it) from army service for reasons of conscience.

According to Michaeli's proposal, anybody coming up to the draft who meets the following three criteria would be automatically exempt from service:

  1. submitted by a given time period a declaration to a judge or beis din stating that he/she has 1) religious reasons preventing such service 2) he/she keeps kosher at home and outside of the home 3) does not travel/drive on Shabbos
  2. learned in a religious institution (various types are listed) during the 8 years prior to the request for exemption
  3. the applicant passes an exam testing their knowledge in Torah (the content and type of the tests will be decided in the details of the law)
MK Michaeli says that this proposal is an extension of the current law that already allows an exemption for conscience based on religious observance. This exemption has never been challenged, but it has only been applied to women. This proposal would extend it to men as well - it would actually make it entirely non-denominational - anybody from any community could request the exemption if they meet the criteria by law. 

According to Michaeli, the benefit of this law over previous attempts to resolve the issue by laws is that this law dissociates the army service exemption from learning in yeshiva. Every person, each and every haredi youth (here in the explanation of the proposal Michaeli does specify haredim) would be able to make his or her own decision as to whether or not to join the army or request an exemption. Currently the exemption  and deferments are given en masse to the community of yeshivot, and the threat of a draft allows the yeshivot to lock the boys into yeshiva - even those boys not interested in staying and studying - and keeping them there and in the community for many years. This law proposal takes that power away from the rabbonim and puts the decision on each individual.

Without even reading further, that last sentence alone might make the haredi parties oppose the proposal, even though it would solve their army problem and despite it being proposed by a fellow Opposition MK. The law states specifically that it is looking to take the power away from the community and away from the rabbonim and give it to each and every haredi youth. I don't think the haredi parties want that. And that might explain why I have not been able to find any mention of this law proposal in any of the haredi news media.

Back to the proposal - in order to prevent the law from being taken advantage of, by non-religious people  who just want to get out of the army service, the testing requirements for qualifying for the exemption will be expanded and the applicant will have to have studied in a religious institution for 8 years.

I might say that this hurts people who are baalei teshuva at the age of 18-21, or even anywhere near it (any time after 10 years of age can be a problem). If they only learned in a religious school for a few years and want the exemption because now they want to study in yeshiva or they have decided their religion does not allow them to serve, they will not qualify. Each person will have to have learned for 8 years in a religious institution.  

I opened by saying this law does not solve the main obstacle - that is, the general public has come to see the haredi lack of service in the IDF as being a problem of inequality. The haredi young men and women sit at home, their mothers don't wait in worry for them to return home, they are not being harmed in battle and in operations, while the youth and mothers of the secular community are doing all that. This law does not change that, and it will not solve that resentment. 

It might do something for allowing more haredim to choose to serve, but I think more will choose not to. Even so, they will then receive a full exemption rather than a deferment, and if they do not want to stay in yeshiva, they will be able to go study for a vocation or college and get a job or go traveling. In my opinion, that getting haredim into the workforce is more important than getting them into the army, this could be a good resolution. But it does not solve the obstacle that has become the main focus of the general public - the lack of equality in service.


 




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Does Shas out of government mean opportunity for casino in Eilat?

When Shas and UTJ were left out of the government, many looked (and still look) at it as an opportunity to accomplish things that were not possible in previous governments in which they were partners. That has so far manifested itself in the public discourse in the form of where money will be directed, and where it won't be, issues with advancing the equality of the IDF draft, connecting core curriculum in education systems with size of budget grants, and perhaps even issues such as civil marriage and the operation of public transportation on Shabbos in secular areas.

One opportunity has arisen that I think was overlooked previously, until it was just raised by a deputy mayor.

The deputy mayor of Eilat, Yehuda Mordy, has sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that with Shas not included in the government coalition, the time is ripe for the construction of a casino in Eilat. Mordy wrote that they now have a window of opportunity, as in the past every time a similar initiative was raised Shas was responsible for rejecting it.

Mordy says that building a casino will bring financial prosperity to the city. It will create jobs, the city will be able to lower property taxes for the residents, it will prevent crime (NOTE: I never before heard this "benefit" ascribed to casinos) as the increased revenues will allow them to add police to the police force, the best doctors and teachers will be attracted to move to Eilat. Mordy does qualify it by saying that such a casino should only be open for tourists but locals should be prohibited from entering.

Mordy also says this would allow the government to cancel the intended voiding of the VAT exemption currently held by Eilat. According to Mordy, the casino would bring in 5 times the revenue than the new VAT would bring in, and the government could cancel its plan with this alternate revenue.
Will Sheldon Adelson soon have a
new business opportunity in Israel?

The Shas representative in Eilat, Moshe Alemkais, though I am a bit surprised to hear that the haredi Shas party has a community down there, says that the opposition to a casino was never limited to just Shas but was cross-party opposition. The hotels might prosper from a casino, but the city itself will suffer from increased crime and prostitution. When the gambling boats were in operation off the coast of Eilat, many families suffered due to the gambling. To be fair, Alemkais does not discount it out of hand, but says a casino should not be in Eilat proper, but perhaps it would be ok in a closed complex in a place like Ovda (a spot in the desert about 60km north of Eilat), as long as it is not easily accessible.
(source: Erev Erev)

It seems people like to associate things with the haredim. Even the haredim do this, and regarding the casino issue Mordy is doing this. Did Shas oppose it? clearly they did. Were they the only ones opposed to a casino opening in Eilat? Probably not. Cities around the world deal with the debate of opening a casino, and there are very real concerns that affect everybody and have nothing to do with whether a person is haredi or not, or if there is a haredi community present in any given city or not. Plenty of non-haredi people oppose the opening of casinos, yet Mordy in Eilat makes it appear as if it is solely a haredi issue.

Another example of this, from the other end, is the law proposal floated by Minister of Health Yael German last week to make the default status of organ donation to be one where everyone is by default a donor and one who does not want to be must state so explicitly. In the Mishpacha newspaper this past week, when reporting on this issue, called it an anti-haredi proposal. As if the only reason to oppose it is for being haredi, and the only reason German suggested it is in order to get the haredi organs. Reading the general media one could have easily seen that plenty of non-haredim are also opposed to German's proposal. Many consider it immoral, many don't want to donate, and the issue has nothing to do with haredim, even if haredim are among those opposed to the idea. Just the fact that haredim are also opposed to it and would also be negatively affected by it does not make the proposal specifically anti-haredi.

Not everything is always about the haredim. There are good reasons for non-haredim to oppose things that sometimes might even coincide with the haredi position on matters. Haredim would do well to note that and not always see themselves as the target and the victim. As well, those trying to get things done should not always blame the haredim for being the opponents - even when haredim are opposed to something sometimes the opposition is supported and justified in non-haredi terms as well. Both would be more successful if they were not so narrow-minded.




------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Hebrew University goodwill rejected by opponents to Haredi program of academics

When attempting to make changes to society, at times it can be difficult to rectify the discrepancy between making the changes while staying true to the ideals one believes in and between making the changes in a way that will actually get them implemented even if it means giving up on some of those ideals. At other times it can easily be a symptom of short-sightedness. At other times it can even be indicative of ulterior motives.

I believe there is a time for cold-turkey and implementing a change all the way to the end. I do not believe that applies when trying to change an entire community and society. I believe goodwill and compounding small changes will go much further than trying to make massive that will face much greater opposition in their implementation.

I have seen all sorts examples of the above in the attempts to get the Haredi community more into the army. Sometimes there is goodwill and society is willing to make compromises towards the ultimate goal. Such happened when the army created Haredi units, such as Nahal Haredi and Shachar - the army, part of a society that believes in equality of women, for example, was willing to create an all male unit in order to get haredim into the army. And the haredim responded in kind, with unprecedented numbers increasingly entering the army from year to year.

Other times, further integration was met with less goodwill. People insisted on not harming the status of women in other bases where such units were considered for establishment, and then similar progress was curtailed.

Another example is a current situation involving academics. In addition to getting more Haredim into the army, society has been demanding that solutions be found to get more haredim into the workforce, and to get more haredim educated with general education.

To that end, the Hebrew University devised a program that would be tailored to the needs of the haredi community. They recently announced the intent to create an academic program specifically for haredim that would be gender-separate.

That is called goodwill, and given time, such a program could attract many haredi students looking for a general education and the eventual career.

Unfortunately, others are less interested in goodwill and prefer to not give up on their ideals even a bit, even at the risk of being less successful at making those changes to society.

Hundreds of people, including faculty members and students, have signed a petition opposing the Hebrew  University's idea. They say that being the host, or sponsor, of a gender-segregated educational program would harm the integrity of the university. They say that the university is founded on openness and mutual respect - everybody is invited to attend, whether he or she is haredi or not, if they meet the acceptance criteria. Requiring gender-segregation is the invalidating of other people - the University does not need to adapt to the Haredim, but the Haredim need to adapt to the University. If the University is not appropriate for them, they need not come to learn there, according to the opponents to the idea under consideration.

This is an example of pig-headedness and maybe even bad-will. Pig-headedness, and definitely not bad-will, will not advance the changes to society that are necessary and under scrutiny. Goodwill will. They might want to stick to their ideals and not "harm women" in the process of making change, but this will only guarantee that nothing will change. The plan under consideration is not to turn the entire university gender-separate, in order to attract haredim, but to have one program under it's auspices that will be gender-separate. Why can't the university operate a program that meets the cultural needs of the community it is trying to cater to? All in all, their approach and opposition is a bad idea - it is stubborn pig-headedness that at best will leave everything the same and not do a thing for finding a solution to the problem at hand.


(source: Mynet)


------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Picture of the Day

"Wishful Thinking",  photo credit: me
I snapped this picture on Friday near the shopping center of RBS A. There were about 6 of these guys holding up 3 signs around that intersection, and they were posing for all the people and cars that were stopping to take pictures (including me)...

I call it "Wishful Thinking".. do you have a better caption?



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

YOU ARE IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE FOR THE SHAPE YOU ARE IN


A Guest Post BY DR. HAROLD GOLDMEIER
        

I had a wonderful time attending the Fifth Israeli Presidential    Conference: Facing Tomorrow 2013! This year The Presidential Conference is held in conjunction with the 90th birthday celebration for President Shimon Peres.  The ever-sagacious birthday boy and his minions planned three days of celebration and futurism to showcase the moral compass of the State of Israel, the fierce passion for mankind the President shares with the Jewish people, and the nettle of future human development and community.
            Former President Clinton is clearly more a soul mate to Peres than any other personality attending the conference. Clinton speaks and Streisand sings with partisan adulation of Peres’ passionate soul.  Clinton and Mr. Blair share how on the world stage Peres gives witness to the grievances of the poor, the meek, oppressed, and those betrayed and abandoned by their governments, time and place. All the speakers admire his unending worldwide quest for peace, his crusades to improve education, and Peres’ never flagging defense of the Jewish people and the Jewish State.
            The focus of the conference is on the future.  This is not a popular theme for most 90 years olds. Workshops and keynotes address the future of the environment talking about workable solutions to challenges of today, human brain development, technology, human intimacy and sexuality, Jewish community revival, political and social justice, among other topics.  Peres might be given a pass were he to rest on his laurels drawing an impenetrable curtain around himself satisfied to be another of Israel’s memory keepers. This is not his way. He is neither a survivor nor a victim, but he is now a futurist and that is the point of the conference.
            The star studded, birthday bash in a capitalistic inspired, municipal, convention center, is hardly a celebration worthy of King Louis VI as one critic accuses. The birthday was brilliantly the means to draw attention to the Peres agenda bringing to Israel from around the world statesmen, corporate and NGO leaders, donors, entertainers, and ordinary folk. I got chills seeing the overwhelming outpouring of support Israel gets from most quarters. The keeners do not understand how difficult it is for prescient minds to get their messages out in an age of simplistic conceptualization. Peres and his people figured it out, and for those not attending the conference you cannot know what I mean.
            There is so much in print and on the Internet about history and the self-deluding simplicities of the human condition that it is exciting the Peres people wisely figured out how to stimulate trenchant insights and share future reconciliations. Visions of the future are forged among thinkers, scientists, activists and theologians. Aubrey de Grey’s work earned him the sobriquet of futurist for giving voice to the radical life extension movement in aging people. Mr. Peres continues to demonstrate being old is not a disease, but brings gravitas to a radical life.
            Author Daniel Eisenbud wrote last year in The Jerusalem Post about toxic people always seeking ways to sabotage our pleasures. A quote from Shakespeare Dan reminded me of best sums up the birthday critics best,  “How bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes.”  My birthday wish to Mr. Peres is for all of Israel to share in the joy, hopes and dreams your birthday and conference bring when friends gather to praise an old proud Jew and he tells us the future is bright and full of dreams.

Dr. Harold Goldmeier
Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel and
Chicago, Il.
050 2619116
Managing Partner, Goldmeier Investments LLC
Business Management And Development Consultant
Instructor American Jewish University, Aardvark Israel Gap Year Program, Tel Aviv
            



------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Catherine Ashton Israel "selling Israel's security problems" (video)







------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

The 17th of Tammuz Blues (video)


this Tuesday...





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Yeshivas Arzei Levanon Video (video)

new yeshiva ketana opening in RBS this coming school year..  hazlacha. it looks nice

Note: I know nothing more about it at this point then what is included in the video





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

NISSIM™ "Chronicles" (video)







------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...