Jul 24, 2017

Meilech Zilbershlag on freckles (video)








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a different view of the situation.. (video)


hmmmm




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Jul 23, 2017

easy conversion for new immigrants drivers license

Good news for new immigrants to Israel, and for many other people..

Yisrael Katz, the Minister of Transportation, has announced new reforms in the transportation industry. A number of these reforms might be thought of as a big deal for a lot of people.

The reforms include issues such as:
 - extending the age of the drivers license to 70 instead of requiring it to be renewed every ten years. Once the driver reaches 70, he or she will have to renew it every 5 years until the age of 80 and then every two years.
 - adding more automated machines around the country, called RishyoMat, from the current 50 to the eventual 100. This makes it easier to print licenses and pay fees without having to step into the DMV and wait in line
 - providing more DMV services via the post office. nobody really wants to wait in line at the post office either, so I am not sure this is a big deal, but maybe even the post office is better than waiting at the DMV
 - installing an appointment system for the DMV
 - new DMV offices around the country in cities that until now never had one
 - more hours open to the public at the DMV
 - and more
 - and perhaps the biggest reform for many of the people I know... new immigrants will no longer need to go through the same bureaucracy when coming and converting the foreign license to an Israeli license. Until now new immigrants had to take a lesson and a test. This was basically part of the same scam the entire licensing procedures follow, just to get more money out of people while not necessarily producing better drivers. Now new immigrants will just be able to go to the DMV and convert their valid foreign drivers license to an Israeli license without going through the lesson and test procedure. The foreign license will have to have been valid for at least 5 years in order to be converted like this. this one is a big deal.
There are still a lot of uncertainties and questions as to how this will work, but hopefully that will be cleared up soon. Will it apply to people who have already gone through the procedure and failed the exam - will they now be able to get the Israeli license without further testing or are they up a creek because the failed exam is on their record? Will this apply only going forward or also to new immigrants already here under the old system?

This will ease the pain for many people, and thank you to whomever lobbied to get this done.


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Facebook Status of the Day




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Palestinians: Do you want the Islamic Caliphate to be restored? (video)








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One on One with Alan Dershowitz - July 20, 2017 (video)







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how Israeli police are catching people using cellphones while driving (video)

don't say you weren't warned...





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Synagogues of North Carolina (video)










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B.G.B ELBAZ - Sh'Ybaneh Accapella (video)








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Jul 20, 2017

Interesting Psak: false claims in divorce proceedings

Oftentimes, or at least sometimes, divorces can get pretty nasty. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, one spouse might use dirty tactics to get an upper hand, such as making false claims against the other that can result in restraining orders.

The beis din in Tel Aviv has issued a psak that would take away her "kesuba money" and her alimony for making a false claim against her husband.

The specific case they were dealing with involved a Real Estate Broker and his wife a Veterinarian, with two children.

Mr Real Estate filed for divorce, and Mrs Veterenarian filed to reject divorce and demand shlom bayit counseling, as a tactical move to get the upper hand, as if she is willing to stay married and work out the issues, when she really was not.

At some point she filed a complaint (probably that he was abusive, but it does not specify what her accusation was) with the police and he was removed from the house for 5 days, which she then had extended by the courts for 90 days.

After some investigation by the police, the case was closed against him due to lack of any evidence. They also discovered that she has previously threatened to make false claims against him. And they discovered that in the past she had demanded a divorce numerous times, so they realized her demand now for shlom bayit counseling was simply a tactical move - to get a better financial settlement in her favor.

With this background, the beis din decided that she should be punished for making false claims against her husband. The punishment is that the divorce must happen and she loses her alimony and her "kesuba". A beis din in Haifa recently also decided similarly that if a false claim is made by any party in divorce proceedings, that party is causing significant damage and will lose out.
source: Haredim10


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Picture of the Day


many Arabs are still protesting the installation of magnetometers at the entry to Har Habayit and are refusing to enter to pray. to that end, they held prayer services just outside the entrance.

Pretty soon they'll have their own version of the Kotel and insist it is a holy site for prayer and worship. Or maybe they'll demand ours.

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the divorce over the cellphone

A divorce case in beis din between a haredi husband and wife revolved around the usage of a smartphone.

It seems the husband does not like that his wife allows their son to use a smartphone, and for that he is divorcing her.

Husband says boy (11 years old) is addicted to the smartphone, and it is his wife's fault.
Wife, a clinical psychologist, says boy is not addicted to the phone, but he simply uses it like any normal child. She says it enriches his life. He uses it for his homework, and he uses it all the time as any child does. He eats with it and he sleeps with it.

her claim that this is normative does not sound reasonable to me - she says he uses it like any normal kid, while he eats with it and sleeps with it. That isn't a sign of being addicted? especially for a young boy that does not sound healthy. If he isn't addicted to it yet, it is surely heading down that path.

Husband stands strong and says the smartphone is poison to intellect and to faith and it must be cut off.

Wife claims that even in parts of the Haredi community, filtered smartphones, kosher smartphones, are allowed, and she has this phone monitored and controlled as to what he has access to and what he does not have access to.

At some point Husband asked the neighborhood rabbi to intervene and pasken to the wife that she must cooperate and put the child in therapy to break the smartphone addiction. Wife refused the demand, said the rav should educate his own kids and not her's and that she won't throw away money on that.

This fighting over the child's use of the phone led to the filing for divorce. Beis Din so far isn't allowing it, as she wants to go through "shlom bayit" counseling and the husband also says she is a good wife besides for this specific issue. Beis Din therefore says that there must be a way to resolve the issue of the phone and divorce is not an option right now.
source: Maariv

It seems like divorce is the extreme nuclear option here, and in truth it would not even help, as she could still give her son the phone to use when he spends his time with her (whether it is most of the time or even if only half the time)...

It is a shame that a good marriage, that they both seem to say they have, has to be destroyed over such an issue and the two can't find a way to work out some sort of compromise...





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the young Haredim leaving Bnei Braq (video)

interesting..






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Uber Driver Helps Deliver Jewish Baby in His Backseat (video)










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Operation Good Neighbor (video)

Operation Good Neighbor is a mission of compassion for those in need and of hope for a better, more secure border between Israel and Syria. Over the past six years, we’ve seen war destroy the lives of Syrian civilians. We couldn’t stand by and watch. While carrying out Operation Good Neighbor, we’ve had the honor of meeting our neighbors and hearing their stories.





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Not Your Typical Exam (video)








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Rav Shlomo Amar Lipa Schmeltzer - Bar Mitzvah, Kotel (video)








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Jul 19, 2017

Picture of the Day


this is a picture from yesterday, not from last Sukkos.

I had seen a flyer last Shabbos for the "hilula" of Shimshon HaGibor. It would be commemorated by a group of mekubalim with a ceremony including circling the grave with the 4 species (lulav, esrog, hadasim and aravos).

I do not know why - not why in general (ie.e why circle a grave with lulav and esrog) nro why specifically the grave of Shimshon (i.e. I have never seen this ceremony, or it advertised, by other graves).

Nor do I know where they can even get a lulav and esrog in Israel at this time of the year.



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Supreme Court rules on women as equals

The Supreme Court issued an important decision today that significantly changes society. Or maybe it reflects a significant change in society.

The Supreme Court today decided that divorced parents of children (between the ages of 6-15) will both need to pay child support and split it each according to his or her financial capabilities.

Until now the father always paid child support to the mother, no matter if the mother had greater financial means or earning power than he did, or not.

To me this makes sense and fits today's world far more than it did previously. Today women work and often the wife might earn more money than the husband (about as often as the husband earns more than the wife), and it makes sense that the wife should contribute equally (from a sense of equal responsibility) as the husband.

As has been pointed out, this is not just making the women pay, but it is recognizing their role, or at least another stage in recognizing their role, in society today as being equal to men and not just as a recipient from her husband.





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stain on the Rabbinate

A[nother] sad day in the [Israeli] rabbinate.

Rav Avraham Yosef, Chief Rabbi of Holon, has come to a plea arrangement with the prosecutors and has agreed to step down from his position as well as removing himself from his position in the Rabbanut Religious Council. As well, he agrees to not submit his name for any public position for a period of 7 years. To remind you, Rav Yosef was convicted of promoting his families kashrut business over others using his position of chief rabbi to pressure people to take on that hechsher, thus his conviction for breach of trust. This was actually his second conviction for the same issue, as his first, for the same breach of trust, was during his days as a municipal politician on the city of Ohr Yehuda.

Rav Yosef gives a wonderful halacha shiur on the radio, and that is my exposure to him. For a long time I listened to that shiur regularly, and it is very interesting and he has a clear expertise and control of the materiel according to various customs and not just for sefardim (or for any one specific group). And he speaks nicely and is pleasant to listen to.

This is another stain, in a long line of recent black marks, on the [Israeli] Rabbinate.


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Proposed Law: Faster elections for city Rabbi

Sometimes it happens that a city rabbi dies or retires and no new rabbi is appointed for a very long time. Sometimes this happens because of fighting among the politicians involved as to the identity of the new rabbi, and other times because of apathy to the issue or even because of finances as a city that might feel less of a pressing need for a new rabbi prefers to save that salary.

MK Betzalel Smotritch (Habayit Hayehudi) is proposing a new law that would require elections for a new city rabbi within 6 months of the post being vacated. The process would have to begin within 60 days of when the local council head approaches the Minister of Religious Affairs, kicking off a four month election process.
source: Srugim

There are debates raging as to which political party this would benefit most in future rabbinical appointments.

Whichever party that might turn out to be, the debate itself is an indication that the entire process is faulty. The city rabbi is meant to be there to help the residents and the city, not the politicians. If the appointment process is being done in a way that is something for the politicians to fight over and benefit from, there is something wrong with the process.





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Synagogues of North Carolina (video)







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Comedian Elon Gold's Most Jewish Interview Ever (video)

Coming soon to the 2017 Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal (July 26-29 2017), Elon Gold chatted with Jewlicious about Comedy and Jews. And bagels. And circumcisions. And Jewish babies! 





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Jul 18, 2017

Facebook Status of the Day



Naftali Bennett posted the following story from Galit Itchoub (sp?):
It is exactly 9:24am. I go down to the Binyamina train station, and this is the picture in front of me. I go down to the station to wait for my bus and before me I see another woman photographing something and out of curiosity go look to see what is happening. I ask her what is happening and she tells me the soldier over there noticed that this elderly woman is holding up a newspaper to provide some shade form the hot sun, and she is tiring out form holding it up over her head. So the soldier decided to take the paper and stand there and help her, despite it causing him to be late to returning to his army base. Despite the fact that he too is hot. Despite the fact that he too is tired., And, he decided to wait there until her bus would arrive and only then go on and do what he needed to do.
Galit continues that she was speechless and got very emotional. She says, I don't know who you are but you are surely a good and fabulous person and there should be many more like you!
Bennett himself adds compliments to the IDF and its soldiers.




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Interesting Psak: prayers blocked by metal detectors

I am really not sure what to do with this. It is a prime example of misusing "halachic" (for lack of a better word) decisions for political purposes.

In light of the decision by Israel to add metal detectors to the Muslim entrance to Har Habayit, the Muslims have been protesting and refusing to go on to Har Habayit and conduct their prayers. In addition, the Mufti of Jerusalem, in an attempt to strengthen the position of the boycott, announced his "psak" that anybody who concedes and goes through the new security measures of Israel and agrees to be checked by the metal detectors and then goes on to pray, his prayers will have been blocked by the metal detectors and will not be accepted by Allah.

The Mufti has since retracted this statement or said he was misunderstood or he did not say quite that...

In the meantime, anonymous people in Israel's government have said the Arabs should take the same position regarding the metal detectors stationed at the entrance to the Bituach Leumi offices and should refuse to go in and collect their money.




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Picture of the Day


as seen in RBS B - changed Chardak graffiti to "Chayal Charedi Kadosh"


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Headline of the Day

Waqf urges Muslims to boycott Temple Mount over metal detectors


  -- Times of Israel

I fully support this boycott and hope it lasts a long time


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Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbi and Chipotle (video)

as described in the description of the Youtube video, though the channel is clearly biased against YCT so maybe take it down a notch and it is out of cnotext, but still.. what he says is pretty crazy... and here is the description..
After making an off color joke about the meaning of "kosher style", a graduate of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah speaks publicly about ordering non-Kosher food from Chipotle and holding hands with a strange woman.

While we should support all those who are struggling spiritually, is this the type of behavior we expect from our Orthodox spiritual leaders?





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Jul 17, 2017

Tweet of the Day

This tweet by Mk Betzalel Smotrich has broken the Internet today and upset many people, both Israelis (leftists) and Arabs.

The picture is of Arabs on Har Habayit bowing in prayer, while Israeli police stand in front of them. The pasuk saying the slaves will serve you and the nations will bow to you is superimposed over the picture. Smotrich also references the verse from the prophet Yeshaya saying "The children of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of Hashem, Zion of the Holy One of Israel."






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Ahavat Chinam is more important

There is an article in the online publication called MehadriNews (based in Bet Shemesh) about an incident that took place in which extremist thugs attacked a non-religious family living in the Yefe Nof neighborhood of Bet Shemesh. They broke the lock during the night, essentially blockading them in the house, and spray painted graffiti on the door of the house saying "enough of the immodesty". It seems this is not the first time this family has been attacked.

In the article, they speak to the victims and they say they have Haredi nieghbors and have a good relationship with them and everyone shows mutual respect and they have no problem with Haredim and it is a shame these extremists give all the Haredim a bad name..

The title of the article is "This is not how to Increase Unmitigated Love (Ahavat Chinam)".

As if the biggest problem with what was done is that they might make some people not like Haredim. That is worse than the violence, worse than the pain caused, worse than the financial damage caused, worse than the trauma caused. None of that is as important as making a non-religious family like the Haredi community..




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Proposed Law: Kollel Avreichim will be considered Working Men

MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) has proposed a law that would consider avreichim, and academy students, to be working men. At least for certain purposes.

According to the current law, an employee is granted 8 sick leave days per year for children who get sick, but that is conditional on the employee's spouse also being a working person and declaring they were working that day. They dont want people taking a family vacation and logging 8 days as sick days. As well, if the employee's spouse is a housewife or house husband, there is no reason to grant the employee the day off, if the stay-at-home-spouse can deal with the sick child.

Maklev says that the families of avreichim have been discriminated until now in this sense. They are not considered working men, so the working wife did not qualify for the 8 sick days per year. Meaning, the child is sick and his or her mother cannot take the day off of work to care for the child or to take him or her to the doctor. the father also cannot as he earns a kollel stipend and it is often dependent upon attendance records. and if he does because he earns less money anyway, his studies are disrupted, along with some of his pay being docked (in many cases).

The proposal passed through the Ministerial Legislative Committee after winning the approval of a committee of employers. Initially they had opposed it pointing to the high costs that would be absorbed by employers, but eventually MK Moshe Gafni somehow won them over.
source: Kikar

When I studied finances in university, they spoke about a method from John Maynard Keynes how governments can combat unemployment, by which they would hire people to dig ditches, and then hire others to fill the ditches in. Just keep finding ways to call avreichim "employed" and Israel will no longer have a underemployment or unemployment problem!

It makes more sense to me to not make the sick days dependent on a spouse but to grant 8 sick days that can be used between the two spouses over the course of the year then to grant non-working people the status of working. Then the husband and wife can between them decide which of them will take off when to care for the sick child.







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Unaccompanied Jews on Har Habayit

Har Habayit has been closed since the terror attack last week in which 2 policemen were shot and killed.

This morning Har Habayit was reopened and Jews were allowed on. The news sites are making a big deal, and it is a big deal, about the fact that while normally Jewish groups on Har Habayit are escorted by the police and by representatives of the Waqf, today there were no Waqf reps present.

While publicly prayer is still not allowed, I did hear from people that as long as they did not do anything publicly against the rules on Har Habayit, without the Waqf reps present the police were more lenient in what they allowed the Jewish visitors to get away with.

Baby steps, as they say. Little by little. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

The one thing I am not sure about is why the Waqf representatives were not present. None of the articles I read explained why. Was it because the police "punished" them and did not allow them to escort the Jews? Was it because they are protesting the Israeli police/government installing metal detectors through which the Arabs have to pass upon entry to Har Habayit? Is this a temporary change or a permanent one?

Even if only temporary, it is good to see the symbolic "shualim" - foxes - as referred to in Rabbi Akiva's vision - not scampering around Har Habayit.



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Facebook Status of the Day




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Are Divorce Lawyers Putting Innocent Men in Jail? (video)

I know someone (a divorced male) who always talks about how the system is biased against men..





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U.S.-mediated water agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Jerusalem, July 13, 2017 (video)







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Israeli Frenemies - July 14, 2017 (video)








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Synagogues of North Carolina (video)







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Behind The Scenes: The Evolution of Jewish Music (video)







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Jul 16, 2017

The Evil Trinity of Judaism according to Haaretz

So, as a result of the wedding that took place recently during the Maccabia games, Haaretz has declared that both the Maccabia and Jewish weddings are racist.

(note - the article is behind the Haaretz paywall. I dont think you can see the entire thing from the direct link posted above, but if you go through the link posted to Facebook, you should be able to see the entire article. At least i was able to)

The Maccabia is racist because of being an event just for Jewish athletes. Jewish weddings are racist because they promote weddings only between Jews and do not include non-Jews. And being proud and supportive of someone who converted to Judaism is also racist. Combine the three together, as the recent Maccabia wedding did, and you have the evil trinity.

A discussion around the Maccabia games would not be so bad. I think they are unnecessary now in the format they have been running. Perhaps they can be changed to being something supportive of Israel and opening it up to non-Jews. Plenty already participate anyway, just make it more official.

Regarding weddings and conversions, I am not even sure what to say. Haaretz thinks Jewish weddings are racist and conversions are racist? We shouldn't promote Jewish marriage? Have they fallen off the planet? Has the extreme heat in Israel gotten to them?





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Proposed Law: Jerusalem Laws

There are two Jerusalem Laws being proposed and on the docket.. both are a big deal and will, and already have, invovle a lot of fighting, dealing and opposition.

Minister Yisrael Katz is proposing a law that would expand the borders of Jerusalem to include within it the surburban towns around, such as Maaleh Adumim, Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar, Givat Zeev, and more. This will add 150,000 or so residents to Jerusalem.

Somehow Katz's proposal will add them to Jerusalem while allowing them to somehow keep a level of independence as well. Residents of the affected areas will vote in Jerusalem elections, but will also continue to have their own local elections as well.
source: Kooker

I wonder about arnona payments. Will they go up in line with the rates used in Jerusalem? EVen if they don't go up right away, maybe they'll sneak in the increases in ten or fifteen years... Will residents have to pay twice in some way - to local authorities and also to Jerusalem? Will they all have problems with further construction now that they would be a part of Jerusalem?

The second Jerusalem law is the one proposed by Minister Naftali Bennett that is meant to protect Jerusalem from attempts to divide it. Bennett has proposed a law that would require a special vote of at least 80MKs in support of dividing Jerusalem in order to do so.
 source: Kipa

This proposal was threatened by some coalition in-fighting, but it has successfully passed the Ministerial Legislative Committee, meaning it will move along through the regular channels now and has a good chance of passing.

Obviously its supporters think that it is very unlikely 80 MKs will ever support dividing Jerusalem and giving parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians in negotiations. Just like this was passed, it can be overturned by a future government. As well, it will raise issues as to how to define dividing Jerusalem - meaning, if a government wants to give the Palestinians a neighborhood in, say East Jerusalem populated entirely by people who identify as Palestinians, will they be able to simply define it as not a part of Jerusalem? Will the definition be set in the law as the municipal borders?







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Interesting Psak: Flying Motzash

It seems recently the rabbis have either discovered ethods of chilul shabbos they were not aware of before or they are just taking on more issues than before..but it seems that this topic of chilul shabbos keeps somehow expanding, especially very recently.

Rav Meir Mazuz said in his shiur that one should not fly out of Israel on Saturday night flights. The reason being that the preparations made by the airlines for the flight take place on Shabbos and involve chilul shabbos.

Rav Mazuz refers to a time when he first flew out of Israel and it was on behalf of his yeshiva. The flight was at 10pm, and he started to have strong pains, as well as having forgotten half his medications on the plane and half his seforim as well. When trying to figure out why this was happening to him, he came across an article written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe about not flying on Saturday nights because of the preparations done for the flight on Shabbos, and he realized this was the cause.

Rav azuz concludes by saying that everyone is worried about preventing the flights from leaving on Shabbos, and as long as the flights go on Motzash everyone is happy...but that is wrong, as chilul shabbos still happens in preparation for the flight.
source: Kikar

Rav Mazuz does not say when it is ok to fly, how much in advance before the flight is needed in order to avoid chilul shabbos. Meaning, is a midnight flight ok with enough time to prepare after Shabbos? Maybe not any flight before, say, Sunday at 6am? At what point does the flight no longer incorporate chilul shabbos?




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Facebook Status of the Day




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Likud Anglos Interview with MK Oren Hazan (video)








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One on One with Alan Dershowitz - July 13, 2017 (video)







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Jon Stewart Crashes Jimmy Kimmel's Interview with Bar Mitzvah Kid (video)







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Israelis turn off the A.C. in solidarity with Gaza (video)

major show of solidarity...

actually this was funny because they got the title backwards. the title on the video actually says they turn the AC "on" in solidarity, rather than saying "off"





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Ambassador Friedman throws first pitch in Maccabiah final Baseball game 07/14/2017 (video)









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Jul 14, 2017

Shabbos Medley - FDD Vocal (video)

The singing group known as FDD Vocal from the FDD Production team is raising a storm for the new season of Bein Hameitsarim bringing a taste of things to come with this exciting and tasteful Video clip of multiple popular Sabbath melodies. The clip shows a special Sabbath experience with vocal accompaniment, beginning with the receiving of the Sabbath and carrying on through to a musical Havdala. 





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Jul 13, 2017

Interesting Psak: Guns N Roses concert attendance

Gun N Roses is coming back to Israel for another concert. The concert is scheduled for this Saturday night and was originally scheduled to begin shortly after the conclusion of Shabbos. Even though many religious fans would have had to come a little bit late to the concert, they got upset when GNR announced the concert was being lengthened to 3.5 hours and therefore advanced to begin at 8pm, while it is still Shabbos. Now, despite more concert time, the religious fans are missing a more significant part of the concert. After some complaining, GNR agreed to refund tickets for religious people who felt they could not participate.

But there is another problem.

Much, probably all, of the preparation for the concert is going to be done on Shabbos. Even though Axl Rose and Saul Hudson (Slash) are not Jewish, the people putting the event together are the Israelis in the production company hosting the performance. With all that chilul shabbos going on for the concert, is one allowed to attend, even after Shabbos?

Rav Benzion Algazi, head of the organization Tzurva mRabanan, responded to this query explaining that it is simple and clear that it is a problem to attend the concert. Because all the prep is being done for the people who bought tickets, the chilul shabbos is therefore being done for them specifically. Therefore it is prohibited to go to the concert, regardless of the fact that they will be beginning on Shabbos.

Can one sell his tickets to the concert? Rav Algazi says one could return the tickets to the box office for a refund, even though the tickets will be resold to other people, but one cannot sell the tickets directly to other people. That would be "lifnei eever" because by selling them the tickets they will be benefiting from the chilul shabbos of the concert.
source: Kipa

I find it interesting that not a word is mentioned of either the "Three Weeks" or the appropriateness of attending such a rock concert in the first place.

Regarding the Three Weeks, the rav is Sefardi, so Three Weeks is not an issue. Maybe an Ashkenazi rav would have related to this problem.

Regarding the appropriateness of the concert... I am no major prude but I am surprised the rav did not even relate to the issues of tzniyus, drugs, and everything else that goes along with the genre. Perhaps it is to his credit, knowing that people going are going anyway and talking about that would not change anything, but I am surprised because from my history and experience, the rabbonim I have always seen and heard would always have talked about this issue and raised it as a problem, whether or not people would listen.





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Facebook Status of the Day




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Boomerang: A brave Muslim woman bashing UNESCO's resolution (video)

Despite threats on her life, Sara Zoabi - a brave Israeli Muslim - decides to stand up for the truth and bashes UNESCO's resolution.






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Tel Aviv street survey: what rav are you familiar with? (video)








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Deputy Foreign Minister Hotoveli to Arab MKs: you steal Jewish history (video)








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NYC Version of Sharktank Gives Entrepreneurs Chance to Pitch Investors (video)

BizTank, the frum version of Shark Tank, made the news recently.. here are some clips











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Synagogues of New Jersey (video)









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Jul 12, 2017

Wrigley Field kosher food!


Mazel tov to Chicago Jews!

It has been announced that finally, after all these years, a kosher stand will be opening at Wrigley Field, making kosher food available during Cubs games.

The stand, called DanZtand, will sell Romanian hot dogs, Romanian sausages and super pretzels. It will be operated by Danziger Kosher Midwest Catering and will be supervised by the CRC.
source: Dan's Deals 

awesome! After all these years... mazel tov! Enjoy! and #GoCubsGo

Maybe in the merit of offering kosher food opportunities t the Jewish fans (and anyone else who wants to enjoy), the Cubs will play better in the second half of the season...



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Lakewood Kiddush Hashem

Considering the recent scandal in Lakewood that gave it, and the entire frum community, a bad name, it is worth publishing this story out of Lakewood to show that, obviously, not everyone is bad, there are good people there, and perhaps more importantly, just to give Lakewood some good press.

The Lakewood Scoop is reporting that a local resident was waiting for a wire transfer to his account from a corporation. When it came through he noticed that he was given too much money, by $30,000!

He contacted the relevant people and they insisted the sum was correct and that he should keep the money. He still refused to keep the money that did not belong to him and that was given to him by some mistake. He contacted the corporation again and proved to them their error, and then ordered the bank to transfer the money back.

Kiddush Hashem!

and, sure enough, after writing the above, I saw online that a friend in Jerusalem posted a similar story that just happened to him, and it has happened to him before as well





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wild dogs in Bet Shemesh go national

Without getting too bogged down by the details, because they are complicated and I am not an expert in them and they do not really matter for this post, residents of the new areas of Bet Shemesh have been suffering for some time now with wild dogs roaming the neighborhoods. They generally live in the mountains nearby but at night, and even sometimes by day, they come into the neighborhoods, probably looking for food, and have been terrorizing the local residents. People have been frightened, but even worse is that people, including kids, have actually been attacked and bitten.

City Hall called in the services of the Ministry of Agriculture and the chief of veterinary services and they decided they could not shoot the dogs but had to work on capturing them. After a period of working to this end, they basically have had absolutely no success in this. After another attack and biting this week, finally they got special approval with orders of "shoot to kill".

This information quickly went public and people around the country went berserk over the orders to kill dogs. In online posts they expressed outrage at the killing of dogs, including images of sad and lovable looking dogs, as if house pets are being killed (meanwhile local residents who have actually seen the dogs and support the drastic measure have been posting pictures of actual vicious dogs and attacks and someone from Tzur Hadassa even posted pictures of a deer attacked and killed by these dogs). It even came to the point of some people calling to kill city employees instead, and others blaming the religious or the haredim for this situation.

The orders got blocked by one local politician, and then the mayor renewed the orders and overrode his deputy mayor. Courts and court orders have been involved and people have been working to bus in masses of people from around the country in the event the orders go through to kill the dogs.

So far nothing beyond talk has actually happened.

The issue took a major turn this morning. The issue has gone as high as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and he has related to it. Netanyahu posted a letter from his wife, Sara Netanyahu, on his official Facebook page. Sara Netanyahu writes a simple letter to Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel asking him to do everything in his power to prevent the shooting of dogs planned for Bet Shemesh. She says she is convinced that with effort involving sensitivity and professionalism alternative methods can surely be found to protect the health of the public.


לכבוד השר אורי אריאל,
אני מבקשת ממך לעשות כל שביכולתך כדי למנוע את הירי בכלבים שמתוכנן להתבצע בבית שמש. אני משוכנעת שבמאמץ המשלב רגישות ומקצועיות ניתן למצוא דרכים אחרות לשמור על בריאות הציבור.
שרה נתניהו
רעיית ראש הממשלה

I do not know what else Netanyahu has done about this issue. He very well could have called Uri Ariel, a minister in his government, and given him orders or pressed on him his position on the matter. He could have put out his own public statement on the matter. But he did not. PM Netanyahu used his official Facebook page to publicize a statement and request from his wife.

I am not sure what this means. He himself does not want to get involved - the matter is too minor for his involvement?  He supports his wife's position, but not officially? I am not sure, but his publication of the statement seems a bit cowardly to me.

Either way, it is clear that Sara Netanyahu, her husband, and most of the other people expressing anger over this do not really know the severity of the matter and what types of digs are involved in this. They mostly seem to think these are house pets that were let go and are simply hungry, but can be dealt with. They are wrong. These are wild dogs, according to the veterinarian they carry diseases, they are vicious, they have no fear of humans and they are actually dangerous and are in attack mode when they approach the residential areas of Bet Shemesh.





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bringing religion into the public schools? all the truth here (video)






an argument, or point, I saw online in this debate, which I think I agree with, is that the same people who valiantly fought to force the Haredi community in the previous government to study core curriculum studies and to join the army, are now upset that they are being forced to incorporate some Jewish studies into their curriculum.

Personally I think both are important. Jewish studies for the secular so they will be familiar with at least the basics of Jewish tradition and history, and STEM studies in religious schools so they will be familiar with at least the basics of general knowledge.


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the successes of the Haredi MKs (video)



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10 Years of Hamas in Gaza (video)








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Ya'alon: I think Netanyahu will be indicted (video)





As Amos said, I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet..


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Cantor Isaac M. Helfgot sings the National Anthem upon receiving his US Citizenship (video)








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Jul 11, 2017

Rav Chaim Kanievsky on working and learning

After a ceremony inaugurating a new yeshiva in Jerusalem that specifically has as its focus the concern for providing a place for the working man to learn in his free/available time, Rav Chaim Kanievsky was asked what working people, with just a little bit of time available to dedicate to learning, should prioritize in their learning.

Rav Kanievsky, reportedly, said that someone with just a little bit of time available should spend it learning mishna brura. Somebody who has a little bit more time to learn, about an hour and a half a day, should divide it up by learning 2/3 of the time gemara and 1/3 of the time mishna brura.
source: Kol Hai News

I'm not really sure what this beis medrash adds, as there are already plenty, in many communities including Jerusalem, that already provide a place for the "working man" or anybody else to learn with a chavrusa or join a shiur. I guess it is a good thing to have a place dedicated to that specifically in which perhaps some people might feel more comfortable than going to a local shul to learn at night or to a standard yeshiva beis medrash and if it actually provides a home for them, great.



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Proposed Law: email instead of fax

MK Sharren Haskel (Likud), has proposed a law that would essentially do away with the fax machine.

The proposal, approved by the Law and Justice Committee, would allow service receivers to communicate with the service providers, including the government, by email. Haskel says the requirement for sending faxes is a burden on society as fax machines nowadays are not readily available to many people and it will be more environmentally friendly as it will save all that paper and ink.

No explanation necessary. Anyone living in Israel knows how silly, and frustrating, the demand to send your request or information by fax is.

I do remember a similar proposal being raised in the past. I d not know what happened to it - perhaps it died in one of the various government collapses before making it into law.


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Flatbush Girl starts campaign to stop the erasing of women

Personally, I don't find the antics of "flatbush girl" all that funny, but some of her clips are funnier than others, and her antics are often cute, even if just for the sheer stupidity of them. Adina Miles, a.k.a. FlatbushGirl,  has graced the pages of this blog with a couple of her videos.

She is stirring up some social change now in the religious media..

FlatbushGirl has posted on her social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, etc) about a movement to pressure the frum media to stop blurring out, or banning, images of women.

Here is what she writes:
Men & Women - spread the word: Share a post with #FrumWomenHaveFacesWhat kind of message are we sending our daughters & sons when they look through a magazine & there are no female faces to be seen? We all know that a picture says a 1,000 words. Just the name of a woman is not enough.
In the last 20 years, Jewish publications were faced with a dilemma: what is a modest woman? Instead of embracing this as a time to create torahdig guidelines, editors got lazy. Rather than coming up with proper tznius parameters, they decided to remove women entirely & they rationalized: women are strong – they’ll be able to handle being omitted from the conversation. The 100s of people who have reached out to me aren’t going to tolerate this anymore.We can’t allow the fear of nuances to drive us towards extremism. With the internet in everyone’s pockets, we are raising a generation today that is faced with more influence from the outside world than ever before. If girls can’t see visible role models within the mainstream publications, they will turn to other more dangerous places.
"Im Lo Achshav, Aimasai?" Now is the time to iron out the details until we can all agree to guidelines. Here’s my proposal: SHOW FEMALES FROM NECK UP.
I wholly respect men & women who as a personal choice would prefer to keep their faces private. But the Jewish religion does not use veils. We unanimously agree that face coverings is not an acceptable standard for our community. If frum women are allowed to walk around outside with their faces uncovered, visit other people’s homes, & be out in the workforce, then their faces should be allowed to be in print as well.
My husband & I have reached out to Daas Torah to petition this cause. The Rabbanim who shared our views regarding neck-up photos were unwilling to put their names behind this cause #politics.
I have hit a brick wall & I am turning to you: Let it be known that your voice is louder than the extremists who have weaponized & twisted the words of Kol Kvoda Bas Melech Penima.
Men, we need your voices too. We need your support because you’re the demographic that the publications "think" they’re "protecting" by not showing a woman’s face. Let them know that veiling your wives, daughters, sisters, & mothers is more a travesty than the possibility that you might be triggered by a woman’s face.

FlatbushGirl is also being featured for her campaign in the New York Daily News.
 “I love my community. I’m not going anywhere. People can threaten me and ask me to leave. I’m Jewish whether they like that or not,” said Miles, 29, who runs the Flatbush Girl Instagram account.Miles took out an ad in the Flatbush Jewish Journal to thank City Councilman Chaim Deutsch for joining her for a local graffiti cleanup. The ad featured a photo of herself smiling next to the Brooklyn pol and a crew of volunteers.
But the paper refused to run a photo of her unblurred face, saying it violated modesty rules. They also refused to print the word “girl” in her moniker — so she slapped an emoji laughing so hard tears pour out of its eyes over her face, hoping to draw attention to the absurdity of the rule.
They were making me not show my face. They wouldn’t let me print the word ‘girl.’. . . I wanted to become a scapegoat bringing attention to this issue,” said Miles, who also changed “Flatbush Girl” to “Flatbush Boy” in the message thanking Deutsch for his help.
“We’re not even second-class citizens. We’re not being let in,” she said, adding she wanted “to bring awareness to how ridiculous the standards of the publication have become.”
Since posting a video on Instagram commenting on the incident, the married mother of two boys said online detractors have threatened to ostracize her children from community institutions.
I am in favor of her campaign



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"Chaidak Politi" with MK Yair Lapid (video)







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both sides of Mearat Hamachpela (video)







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Israel is Inventing Robotic Llamas (video)

really - robotic llamas?

and yes, this only gets posted because of that strange title..






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what do they think about cannabis in Mea Shearim (video)







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Ari Lesser - 17th of Tammuz Blues (video)







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Jul 10, 2017

Rav Lau upset about the exposure

yesterday a rav within the Rabbanut revealed/exposed the Rabbanut blacklist of Rabbonim in the diaspora who's  conversions will not be accepted under any circumstances.

The list is shocking and upsetting to many, especially considering some of the names that appear on the list and the seeming difficulty in understanding why they are on it. Besides for that, in general, the list is of Orthodox rabbis, and for the most part Orthodox rabbis generally should not be blacklisted (though I understand there might be good reason to exclude some specific individuals) as halachically, and any Orthodox rabbi by definition would be following halacha they are acceptable (the halacha doesn't limit geirus to the authority of the Rabbanut of Israel).

Anyways, the leak of the list caused quite a stir yesterday.

In an attempt at some damage control, Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau, and I generally like him, criticized the leaking of the document and expressed his anger over the matter and said he will find out who leaked it and criticize him.

I guess Rabbi Lau thinks this makes him look diplomatic, but I don't get it. He is not upset that someone in the Rabbanut put together this list and calls it unauthorized. He is not upset that someone, without the permission of the Chief Rabbi, decided on which rabbonim will and will not be trusted for conversions.

Rabbi Lau is simply upset that the document was leaked, not that it exists. I am not sure what he think she is gaining in the public eye by saying this document should have remained secret and he will punish the person who exposed it. the document should not exist. Damage control would not be saying I'll punish he who exposed it, but it would be I am sorry it exists and then either explain and justify it or cancel it. He looks conspiratorial being publicly exposed about the exposure but not about the document itself.


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What would YOU do with $1.1 billion? (video)




What would YOU do with $1.1 billion? The Palestinian Authority's spending priorities are shocking. Find out why.





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Palestinians: How much land do the Jewish settlements occupy? (video)







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Netanyahu reads from Tanakh at Cabinet meeting (video)







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Yonatan Razel and the Rishon Letzion Symphony Orchestra: Esa Einai (video)

Yonatan Razel is really something special, in Jewish music...





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Evolution Of Jewish Music (video)

I really enjoyed this clip...


This video is a project that I've been super excited to create for sometime and eternally grateful to all those who came together to bring it to life. The purpose of this video is to pay tribute to the singers and performers from the 20th century until today highlighting well known songs, concerts and music videos.
So get ready to dance, sing along and enjoy this nostalgic journey through the evoluton of Jewish music.




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Jul 9, 2017

Proposed Law: Forcing kablanm to repair damage to eruvs

MK Michael Malkieli (Shas) has proposed a law that would obligate kablanim building homes on the outskirts of the city to repair eruv wires and poles that they destroy, whether intentionally or inadvertently. According to the law proposal, any building permits requested would only be granted with a condition that the kablanim accept this responsibility and perform repairs to the eruv as necessary.

According to Malkieli, the expense of all the repairs ends up falling on the Ministry of Religious Affairs and on local religious councils around the country - to the tune of tens of thousands of shekels each year. Sometimes they don't have the necessary funds available and it causes delays in the repairs, and it sometimes means people carry outside on Shabbos without realizing there is no functioning eruv.

The Ministerial Legislative Committee has approved the proposal.
source: Kol Hai News

Perhaps I do not understand how this works, but it seems to me a law should not be required for this. A kablan damaging eruv poles and strings should be obligated to pay for the repairs just like any damages caused to anybody's private property or municipal property. I am unclear as to why damage caused by kablanim requires a special law to be passed. The Ministry of Religious Affairs and local municipalities should force kablanim to pay up, sue them, take legal action and recoup all that money. Maybe freeze assets, rescind building permits and other similar actions should be taken when necessary.

What might need to be dealt with in law would be damage caused to private eruvin. Besides for municipal eruvin, in many areas private eruvin are built, sometimes with permits and/or permission from City Hall and sometimes without. If a kablan causes damage to a private eruv pole or string, the private eruvin can also sue, but they do have less methods of recourse available to them than City Hall has. Suing might even be a problem for them if they installed an eruv pole without permission or permits. I don't know that they should be protected in law - maybe they should need to get permits as well - but they should be able to recoup the damages they incur caused by kablanim or others.






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