May 23, 2017

the Trump note

great historic visit - first ever visit to the Kotel by a sitting US president (not just by a presidential candidate, a president elect or a former president).

Fabulous.

So, what do you think Trump wrote on the note he stuck into the crevice of the wall?

Was it:
1. for divine intervention in the investigations against him back home?
2. for divine intervention in all the extreme opposition to him back home?
3. something more personal, such as request for good health, financial success, family members, etc?
4. something like, I have to make crevices for notes in the Mexican wall as well? do the crevices go on the Mexican side or the US side or both? Can I charge for putting notes into the wall?

anything else?


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comma Israel now

with everyone so high on Donald Trump's visit to Israel, now might be the time to ask for a smaller gesture than moving the embassy...

the embassy is a big move, and it brings with it a lot of problems, including that even some of the Israelis aren't sure they want it done. It would also take a long time and just physically be  ahumongous project. Something smaller can be done that would show his friendship and recognition of Israel and would affect less.

I would say to ask Trump to add just a few characters on his communications - the ", Israel".

That is, at least on communications regarding West Jerusalem, if not also East Jerusalem, it should say "Jerusalem, Israel" instead of just "Jerusalem".

The , Israel only adds 8 more characters to his Twitter postings, and it won't add much anywhere else either - in press statements, on passports, etc.

That little comma Israel can be a big gesture that would threaten less bloodshed than moving the embassy.



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Picture of the Day




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May 22, 2017

One on One with Alan Dershowitz - May 18, 2017 (video)







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Palestinians: Should Israel annex the West Bank? (video)







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the "drive by" bar mitzva (video)




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Zusha Ani Ma'amin (Moshiach) performed by The Weinreb Brothers - LIVE! (video)







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May 21, 2017

Do what you want in Tel Aviv

Rav Mazuz called on the Haredi MKs to fight to the end against the Kotel deal that is meant to grant a space for prayer to the Reform groups. He told them not to worry, even if necessary to bring down the government for this..

That much I get and can appreciate.

The part I find confusing is when he says in wonderment how they are "charging" on Jerusalem, as if it interests them when it never did before and they considered it an "old grandmother that should be given an honorable burial. Rav Mazuz says that they should leave Jerusalem alone and make for themselves a Kotel in Tel Aviv and they can do there whatever they want..
source: Haredim10

Really? The Haredi MKs are instructed to let them do whatever they want in Tel Aviv? They can have their buses on Shabbos and build their temples and the Haredi MKs will leave them be?

I was not aware that this is the Haredi position, or maybe Rav Mazuz is simply disagreeing on that with all the other rabbonim telling the Haredi MKs what to do about the fights in Tel Aviv..


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what are you doing Chol Hamoed Shvuos?

Chol Hamoed Shvuos?




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Rabbi Yona Metzger loves prison life

According to an interview with the new broadcasting agency Kaan, Rabbi Metzger seems to really be enjoying hsi time in prison.

Metzger is in what is considered the "VIP" ward of Maasiyahu prison and says he is living the good life and as happy as can be.

According to his responses in the interview, Rabbi Metzger says conditions there are better than in a dormitory and far better than conditions on reserve duty. He has an air conditioned beis medrash to learn in with comfy furniture and nobody bothering him. Everybody gets along, comes to davening, eats together, cooks together.... and the food is amazing and there are chefs there making food that even at home he has nothing like.
source: Haredim10

I hope his wife is not insulted by how he happy he is in prison, especially with the food but also with all the other conditions he is so impressed with.

Maybe he is just being positive and trying to make the best of a bad situation. Or maybe prison really isn't that bad - at least not in the VIP ward.






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Picture of the Day



according to COL Live:
9-year-old Chaim Brikman of Crown Heights enjoys a 4-gallon Slurpee at 7-Eleven's "bring your own cup day"

how can anybody even drink that much, let alone before it all melts? and if he can possibly drink it fast enough before it melts, that would probably cause the worst brain freeze ever!


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Hatzala Beit Shemesh Film 2017 (video)

Today, Hatzala Beit Shemesh needs your support, so Hatzala’s Heroes can be ready anytime the unthinkable happens and at all times.

Please donate at: www.unidy.org/hbs

Hatzala Beit Shemesh (HBS) is an independent, nonprofit emergency medical organization certified by the Ministry of Health (Misrad Habriut).

A dedicated and fully trained group of sixty dedicated volunteers, serve the residents of Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph & Gimmel (RBS A & C) with the best emergency medical care available free of charge. With the nearest hospital nearly forty-five minutes away, HBS provides a critical lifesaving service every day and night, 7 days a week, 365 days a year






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Israelis: What do you think of Palestinian property confiscated in 1948 war? (video)







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NISSIM "Lemala" Z Report Interview with Yossi Zweig 5/17/17 (video)







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May 18, 2017

Facebook Status of the Day



Being that Steven Tyler is not Jewish, he would have to either convert (with a Rabbanut approved Rabbi) or get some sort of special dispensation like some athletes get in order to be able to play in Israel..
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female kindergarten teachers are a new invention

looks like Rav Shmuel Auerbach is making changes to the extreme, and not just regarding appearing before the IDF draft board.

Rav Auerbach instructed a boys school under his authority to relieve all female nursery school teachers (ganenet/ganenot) from their duties and replace them with male rebbes instead.

The surprised parents complained to the principal who went back to Rav Auerbach for clarification. He asked Rav Auerbach to clarify as the situation is one of very young children, even prior to learning "aleph beis" and it not being a situation of women teaching torah but just relating stories form the parsha, and the women are God-fearing..

Rav Auerbach answered definitively that they must be replaced with male rebbes as having female teachers for boys is a new reality that was never before acceptable and the influence even at such a tender young age is immeasurable.

It is a matter of hashkafa and not specific to this or that teacher, as fine as they might be.
source: Haredim10

I would hope his girl schools do not have male principals or teachers, as the influence of inter-gender teaching and  mingling goes both ways...

(as an aside, I would like to see his history books to see what else is considered new and never before acceptable)



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The Jerusalem Dress

I am not one to normally comment on women's fashion, but this is something I have to mention and offer my respect.

Minister Miri Regev decided to honor the 50th anniversary of the recapturing of Jerusalem at the Cannes Festival with a dress specially designed with the images of Jerusalem on it.


Regev also called for masses of people to go to Har Habayit, in honor of Yom Yerushalayim.

Respect.

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem...



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Picture of the Day


definite caption contest!

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Micha Gamerman - Yihye B´seder | מיכה גמרמן - יהיה בסדר (Official Music Video)







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50 Years Ago Today | Six Day War Project (video)

1/12 | In the first video of the mini-series, find out about the early steps that led to the 1967 Six Day War - a war that changed the future of Israel. Surrounded by enemy neighbors and only nine miles wide at its narrowest point, Israel was vulnerable. 

In May of 1967, the state of Israel was only 19 years old. At its inception in 1948, five Arab armies had coordinated a military invasion to prevent the creation of the small Jewish country. But Israel’s War of Independence succeeded in repelling the forces bent on Israel’s destruction. Israel reclaimed sovereignty over the ancient Jewish homeland, making way for the establishment of a Jewish country after 2,000 years of statelessness and periods of persecution.

Yet despite Israel’s success in creating a new country, it did not enjoy peace with its neighbors. Terrorism and frequent attacks on three borders kept Israel in a perpetual state of alert.

To the north, from the Golan Heights, Syria shelled Jewish communities below on a regular basis. In the South and East, Arab terrorists from Egyptian-controlled Gaza and the Jordanian-controlled West Bank infiltrated and perpetrated attacks on Israeli civilians, killing 400 in the 19 years since Israeli independence.

The attacks reached the point that they were condemned as “deplorable” by then-Secretary General of the United Nations U Thant.

Although the Jewish state had been welcomed into the United Nations and hailed by the international community, its Arab neighbors rejected its very right to exist, preparing to resume a war for Israel’s destruction which they had halted 19 years earlier. The Arab buildup for all-out war was very near.

In this video - the first in a 12-part mini-series - you will learn about the regional atmosphere leading up to the 1967 Six Day War, and find out about the early steps that led to the war that changed the future of Israel.





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The Most Generous Boy In The World! (video)

In a world that constantly tells us to get all we can, every so often it’s important to be reminded of the power of generosity.





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Synagogues of New Jersey (video)







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Vihasieinu - והשיאנו [Official Music Video]

Starting from a very young age Avi Beer has always had a passion for Jewish music and a great interest to produce his own music and songs. Avi spent almost two years in the Yeshiva Boys Choir and has since then been writing music with hopes to one day produce them all. Vihasieinu was composed by Menashe Mazurek. The lyrics are found in the Shmoneh Esray of the Moadim. It is Avi's hope that this song will uplift everyone's Yom Tov and inspire people through this beautiful song.





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May 17, 2017

children know best...

the following video taken by Yaakov Lederman is of a mob in RBS B being aggressive in the presence of two Haredi IDF soldiers. It turns out this was a sting operation and it was undercover police who then turned around and arrested some of the ringleaders.


We have "gotten used to" these types of mobs. I don't mean we find them normal and acceptable, but we are not surprised by them any more.

As I was watching the video, it struck me that what bothered me more than the harassing of Haredi soldiers, as bad as that is, and more than the violence (only verbal in this video and not physical, though that happens as well on occasion) is that children have been trained to be disrespectful to adults. With no sense of perspective there are children boldly telling adults how to live their lives and what is right and what is wrong.

For that I grieve.


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Book Review: Dancing With God

NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.

Book Review: Dancing With God, by Rabbi Mark Hillel Kunis
 

The blurb on Dancing With God reads:
How do we really connect with God so that our prayers move from the head to the heart? In its wisdom, Jewish tradition has created what can only be understood as a dance that, if done properly, can lift the participant into an intimate encounter with the Divine. How is Jewish prayer a dance? One sits and stands, moves one's hands, moves backward and forward, bows and rises up; one chants and sings and embraces God. Each movement is pregnant with meaning. Taken together, Jewish prayer is nothing short of a most intimate dance with the Creator. This book was written to help the reader learn how to "dance" in such a way that he will connect with God every time he prays.
Dancing With God is not like the books I normally read or have read before in the past. Dancing With God is a self-help book of sorts, though it is not there to boost your confidence or help you lose weight, but how to find meaning in prayer and how to connect with God when you daven rather than just say the words and going home.

I am sure most people can benefit from this book, but the real benefit will come to someone who is highly motivated to improve their davening and find real meaning in it. Dancing With God is not a quick read in which once you get the information you will suddenly have meaningful prayers. Dancing With God is really for the person who will work at it and put the effort in. The book is filled with explanations and exercises and "homework" (so to speak) to help the reader really improve his/her prayers - reading this book to get the full benefit will take some time and effort, but I truly believe that the motivated person reading this book and putting in the work to understand it and perform the exercises will really see a significant improvement, no matter what level he began at.

However, it would be mistaken to think that the book only has benefit to a highly motivated reader. Even someone reading the book casually without performing all the exercises and work will still benefit and see their prayers improved, though obviously not at the same level.

Every Jew who prays should be reading Dancing With God to help them bring their prayers to a higher level and infuse them with meaning and connection.


You can buy Dancing with God on Maggid Menorah Book

You can buy Dancing with God on Amazon.com

NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.


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Panel ' Is Israel still the state of all the Jews' at the JPost Annual Conference 2017 (video)

very interesting discussion





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Eli Beer at the JPost Annual Conference 2017 (video)








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US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman presents credentials to Israeli president (video)








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DJ Dance Party On The Los Angeles Subway (video)







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Six13 - Celebrate! (NYC Celebrate Israel Parade Theme) (video)








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May 16, 2017

Nissenkorn surprised that Shas is political

Next week there will be elections for the position of chairman of the Histadrut labor union.

The current chairman of the Histadrut, Avi Nissenkorn, running for re-election, is frustrated that Shas made a deal with one of his opponents, Shely Yachimovitz.

According to Nissenkorn, Shas should have made a professional decision, a decision based on values and gratitude, to support him, but instead they made a political decision. Nissenkorn says he helped the haredi community a lot in his position as chairman, and he lists many examples. According to Nissenkorn, Shas made their deal with Yachimovitz, because however much he had promised Shas and done for them in the past, Yachimovitz promised more for their support.

Good morning, Mr. Nissenkorn. Shas, a political party, made a decision to support a candidate based on political issues and on who would promise them more. Does Mr Nissenkorn not know how the system works - how any political party works, let alone Shas (as a reminder, 10 years ago I coined the term "Shastitutes")?







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Picture of the Day



Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith, in Israel for a concert on their world tour, bumps into new US Ambassador David Friedman at the Kotel. Tyler is not Jewish, Friedman is.

This deserves a caption contest.




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who is more extreme?

I admit to not being an expert on the nuances of Satmar, but this statement put out by one of the Satmar Rebbes (Rebbe Zalman) is surprising to me..

The Rebbe said that it is obvious that one is allowed to go to the draft board in order to get his exemption from the IDF. He also said that the Divrei Yoel (Rav Yoel Teitelbaum) also said the same, and it is too much mesirus nefesh to not go at all and it would be very difficult to say going to the board is prohibited.
source: Haredim10

What is more interesting about this than the little item and understanding about Satmar is the revelation that the Peleg Hayerushalmi people led by Rav Shmuel Auerbach are seemingly being even more extreme than Satmar on this issue


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Quote of the Day

We’re a bit tired, but we wanted to come straight to the holiest place in the entire Jewish world, the ‘Kotel Hama’aravi,’ the Western Wall, so we straight came here.

  -- US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman

I am assuming the "straight came" was a typo and he actually said "came straight"

It seems the Trump administration has become part of the #fakenews industry, as the Western Wall is not "the holiest place in the entire Jewish world", but Har Habayit, and more precisely the makom hamikdash, is..

Actually, David Friedman seems the type to go to Har Habayit. Maybe someone can plant the seed and maybe he'll eventually actually go to the holiest place in the Jewish world!


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shtreimel on Storage Hunters (video)






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MKs Michaeli and Furer argue about Shabbos (video)








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Larry King at the JPost Annual Conference 2017 (video)

riveting talk





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Mendy Pellin Takes Over Evergreen (video)






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“Shokhein Ad” (2017) by Joey Weisenberg and the Hadar Ensemble, featuring R. Yosef Goldman (video)








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May 15, 2017

Tweet of the Day




Today the Palestinians are marking the 69th anniversary of "Nakba Day". This woman is holding a key to the house she says was taken from her. Somehow she has a key to a Rav Bariach door from 30 years before Rav Bariach was founded.




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Palestinians: What do you think of BDS? (video)







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Dr Mordechai Kedar, Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar Ilan University May 11, 2017 (video)







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Melech Zilbershlag explains peyos and chalaka on Lag bOmer (video)







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Synagogues of New Jersey (video)







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Shmueli Ungar - Yiten Lecha [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]







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May 14, 2017

no chilul shabbos on Lag bOmer

Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, rav of Tzfat, had an interesting perspective on the discussion of the chilul shabbos in the preparations for the Lag bOmer bonfires in Meron.

Rav Eliyahu said that what the police do is not chilul shabbos. Their preparations are necessary to protect the masses of people, and therefore are really a big mitzva. That being the case, the celebrants are not causing chilul shabbos. While it would be better to delay the bonfires so as to avoid causing the police to travel on Shabbos, the actual travel being done is not considered chilul shabbos. If we would consider it a probelem, Rav Eliyahu says, one would not be allowed to go to Mearat Hamachpela on Shabbos, and definitely not on Shabbos Chayei Sara. As well, one would not be allowed to live in places like Bet El, or actually anywhere in Eretz Yisrael.
source: Kipa

That is an interesting perspective.

The debate has been looking at the increased chilul shabbos caused by the bonfires happening after shabbos. The police actions were never in question, as far as I can tell, but the causing of those actions was. According to Rav Eliyahu such considerations are not relevant because nobody would ever be allowed to do anything in Eretz Yisrael on Shabbos or after Shabbos anywhere. The fact that it is a mass event makes no difference. If you are causing chilul shabbos of a few police or soldiers, it is the same as causing the chilul shabbos of thousands of police and soldiers. And it isnt chilul shabbos anyway.

The problem is that the chilul shabbos is happening at a time before the pikuach nefesh happens, not as a result of pikuach nefesh. As well, people are knowingly putting themselves in a situation in which the situation will then become pikuach nefesh - there is discussion in halacha whether one can knowingly create a bdieved situation and then benefit from hetterim of the results.

Regardless of all that, the issue Rav Eliyahu discussed was the chilul shabbos, or not, of the police. He did not find a way to justify the work caused to the bus drivers, the organizers, and all the other people not dealing with pikuach nefesh but working on shabbos to be ready on time and to make sure plans go smoothly..





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Clarification to Jordan

A Jordanian tourist in Israel stabbed a policeman and was then shot dead.

The Jordanians are upset and are demanding clarifications from Israel about the incident and why the Israelis shot a Jordanian.

Here is your clarification, King Hussein - because he stabbed an Israeli!

Even ignoring the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, no matter what country in the world you might be in, if you stab a policeman, the policeman, and other security responders, are going to shoot you dead. That's just the way it is. Add the element of terror in Israel and the trigger finger is even a bit quicker.




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the non-chassidishe Lag bOmer

I have been to many bonfires, including Litvishe, Israeli, American,. dati, chassidic, sefardic, etc. and it seems to me that pretty much the chassidim have their tradition of what to do and everyone else just stands around looking at the bonfire, talk with their friends sings for a few minutes and then roast marshmallows. For most non-hassidic communities, the bonfire is really just a nice social event.

I have found that the only people who seem to "know what to do" around a Lag b'Omer bonfire are chassidim, and that is probably because the Lag bOmer bonfire is really a chassidishe minhag that was started, or at least made popular, by the "Arizal". We don't find any serious discussion in Chazal or halacha about the bonfire until the Ari, and even after there is very little about it.

My question is, how did what is so clearly a chassidishe minhag become so prevalent among all sectors of Judaism today?

In general I am all for more social events in the frum community. We have very few times to interact with our friends. Most shuls don't make regular kiddushes on Shabbos, except for a simcha. General social interaction is frowned upon as people are encouraged to spend their free time going to shiurim and learning torah, along with dissuading situations that are mixed gender. "Going out" in the frum community is also difficult because of limitations, such as not going to movies or kol isha at theater shows, mixed swimming and the like. So the bonfire seems to be a relatively low-key social interaction event and I think that is fine - but that is not really the intention when the shuls or communities plan such an event - it just happens that way because people don't really know what else to do, or feel uncomfortable doing it.

So, how did such a clearly chassidishe minhag become so prevalent among the non-chaasidishe communities?

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is it kosher or not?

someone sent this in to me from their workplace.. and it makes me wonder what it means..



so, does it mean:
1. it is not kosher. but why mention it is pareve? might people care less that it is not kosher because it is not meat or milk?
2. maybe someone might eat not kosher food but would not eat non kosher meat with non kosher milk?
3. it is kosher but maybe someone wouldn't eat it because it would baked in a non-kosher kitchen, though it was baked in a kosher way? I would think the writer should be more specific and say that it is kosher, if  it is, considering that the note-poster writes it was baked in a non-kosher kitchen. As long as it is kosher, why would the non-kosher kitchen make a difference?

are there any other options?

UPDATE:
I have been told what this is about. the cake was baked kosher, in a non kosher kitchen. it is noted as being pareve because some people are lactose intolerant.



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Israelis: Would you vote for an Arab Prime Minister? (video)








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We All Speak Ball - American Football in Israel (video)







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Mother's Day and Lag Ba'Omer (video)







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Ari Lesser - Lag BaOmer - Shimon Bar Yochai (video)







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Beri Weber - Rabi Shimon [Official Video] feat. Malchus Choir (video)







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May 11, 2017

Facebook Status of the Day




Brief rundown of what happened:
The wife of Yisrael Cohen was riding the bus 4255 from Ohr Yehuda to Jerusalem. Opposite him was sitting, behind the driver, the Haredi fellow depicted in the picture attached to the post. At one of the stops, a soldier gets on the bus with his gun and massive duffel bag, seemingly going home for Shabbos. The driver asked him for his soldier ID, as required to let him on without payment, but he could not find it in his pockets and the documents he did have were not sufficient for the driver.

Without the "choger", the soldier ID, the driver had to ask for payment for the ride. The soldier rifled through his pockets to get his money out, but the fellow behind the driver interceded and paid the driver without saying a word. The soldier then said to the tzaddik "wait - I have money!", the tzaddik depicted said "no way - you don't need to pay for serving ... soldiers don't pay"


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My apologies for nto updating the blog the past couple of days. A medical emergency in the family did not afford me the time or ability to do so


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Gershon Veroba - Bayom Hahu (A Capella) feat. Ari Goldwag (video)







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May 9, 2017

the Hebron Half Marathon that wasn't

Mohammed Al-Mohtaseb has put together a race in Hebron. It seems he was not as ambitious as some others who respectively put together the Gaza and Bethlehem marathons, as the Hebron race is being billed as a Half Marathon.

And, by the way, different from those 2 other Palestinian races, I am told that Israelis can participate in the Hebron Half Marathon (I cannot yet confirm that - I asked the organizers but did not yet get an official answer).

The event sounds nice. Only one point is questionable.

Here is the description of the event:
A half Marathon in the ancient city of Hebron for the first time in history! 
Hebron (Al-Khalil)
The second oldest city in Palestine and largest in the West Bank. A home of around 700,000 Palestinians and many historical landmarks to different religions and cultures.
With a wealth of stunning architecture , it is the hub of west bank trade and responsible for a third of the area,s gross domestic product. 
This half marathon has been organised by our Palestinian youth in an attempt to raise awareness of the Political and cultural situation of Hebron. We strive to be different from other marathons by making it the largest ever tour of Hebron, taking in the all aspects of the city.
Our half marathon will be held on Friday 19th of may and commences at 9:00am. It is an 8km run which will take the runners from the northern entrance of the city(Ras ALjoura)and will finish at the friendship garden near the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Activities at the finish line will include

1: traditional meal
2: presentaion about Hebron
3: interculture meeting with Palestinians
4: market of Palestinian hand made goods

Tickets are available from Nidal Abu Mariah at the Habibi Hostel.
Contact : Nidal.BYH@gmail.com
Tel: +972599099089
Ticket prices are 75 nis for internationals and 25 nis for locals.
Included in this price a traditional meal after run, and a donation to poor families in the old city of Hebron.

Activities at the finish line will include 
1: traditional meal 2: presentaion about Hebron3: interculture meeting with Palestinians 4: market of Palestinian hand made goods
Tickets are available from Nidal Abu Mariah at the Habibi Hostel. Contact : Nidal.BYH@gmail.comTel: +972599099089Ticket prices are 75 nis for internationals and 25 nis for locals.Included in this price a traditional meal after run, and a donation to poor families in the old city of Hebron.
Sounds nice.

Only three times does the description of the event call it a "half marathon", and then once it explains "it is an 8km run".

Needless to explain, a half marathon is 21.1km and 8km is not quite a half marathon.

While most of the time I hear from people things like "I am running a marathon" when they are running a 5km or 10km race I just ignore it, understanding that people don't pay attention and are not aware that "marathon" does not just mean "race" but is actually a specific distance - this is different. An organizer of a race should know the difference and get his terms right.

A friend of mine saw this and pointed out that this fits perfectly with the general Palestinian style of stretching the truth, or outright lying - like their claims of having had a country in this land or like claiming to be on a hunger strike and then eating when nobody is looking.

Anyways, the event looks nice, my one point notwithstanding.  








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Rav Aviner would cancel Lag bOmer

I am not a follower of Rav Aviner and don't know much of what he says or talks about. The little I have heard from him have mostly been tings I did not agree with and I don't normally personally really connect to what I see quoted from him.

That being said, when he said today that if it were up to him he would cancel lag bOmer entirely, I can find myself agreeing with that. It is a made-up holiday and has come in recent years to have way too much significance on society and our daily lives. It does not need to be a day off of school. It does not need to cause even the slightest possibility of chilul shabbos. It does not require people to throw off their schedules staying up throughout the night and traveling up north.

People, as always, can do what they want, go to Meron or not, dance, cut hair or whatever, but Lag bOmer does not need to be considered a holiday.


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Quote of the Day

If they would have told me two years ago - we think we must  operate public transportation and allow supermarkets to open on Shabbos - we would not have signed the coalition agreement. It is possible I would have even gone to sign a coalition agreement with the Zionist Union

  -- MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ)




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Jerusalem's Museum on the Seam (video)

I always wondered what this museum was about..





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Rabbi Edgar Gluck & Delegation Meet With The Pope (video)

I have mixed feelings about this...



Background: this Rabbi Gluck has met with the Pope before, and this meeting was in continuation of the previous meeting to discuss prevention of destruction of Jewish cemeteries in Europe. His so, director of Amudim - an organization that deals with abuse victims - went along and relevant issues were discussed.




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Discover Israel's craft beer scene (video)








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Zero to Hero in Under 60 Seconds (video)







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A Special Surprise For Mother's Day (video)







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May 8, 2017

Haredi woman running for Labor leadership

As Ben said, pretty wild that the only woman running for party leadership in the Labor party elections is a Haredi woman...



It is interesting that no other women ran for party leadership. It is also interesting that a Haredi woman would run for leadership of Labor. I don't know how long she has been involved with them or how publicly. She is not the first haredi woman to run with other parties besides for the Haredi parties. You can't keep people down forever - try and they will just find others who will give them the opportunity..






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when wolves lie with lambs

When wolves lie with lambs, the Messiah is supposed to come. Or something like that. At some time in the future, lambs and wolves might one day get along, but nowadays any such friendship can only be short-lived.

Without deciding who is a wolf and who is a lamb, as neither descriptor really fits either party that well, MKs Oded Furer and Julia Melinovsky (Yisrael Beiteinu) have proposed a law that would allow the operation of public transportation on Shabbos. The law would allow each municipal government to make the decision for itself, without the intervention of the national government. The system on Shabbos would operate payments via magnetic card and no actual transfer of money on Shabbos. Each municipality would make its decision based on what its residents want, divided by each neighborhood.
sources: Walla News and Kikar

The biggest problem with this is that it is coming from a coalition member party. Obviously it will not pass. The question is if this will bring down the government or not. The Haredi parties and Yisrael Beiteinu will not be able to lie together for much longer with Yisrael Beieinu proposing laws for the desecration of Shabbos and the Haredi parties proposing laws against the desecration of Shabbos.





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no automatic membership to the Nazi party

Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman today said that Hamas and Hizbollah are the continuation of the Nazis, as are Israeli [Arab] MKs that smuggle cellphones into prisons to jailed terrorists.

As always, I protest the comparison to the Nazis. No matter how bad smuggling a phone into prison might be, no matter how bad helping a jailed terrorist might be, no matter how treasonous it might be for a Member of Knesset to try to help a terrorist, it has nothing to do with Nazism. Perhaps a case could be made for Hamas and others like them as they want to destroy the Jews and work towards that goal...

Comparing everything you don't like, even very bad things, to the Nazis disrespects the memory of the Holocaust and of the survivors. Whether it is a policeman acting on orders you disagree with or be it smuggling a phone into prison, it does not turn them into Nazis.


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Book Review: At His Rebbi's Side

NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.

Book Review: At His Rebbi's Side: Rabbi Yehoshua Liff’s 50 years of personal encounters with Gedolei Yisrael, by Rabbi Nachman Seltzer


At His Rebbi's Side is a book of stories written by Rabbi Nachman Seltzer, a talented writer and storyteller. The stories are not Seltzer's, but they are stories of the relationships Rabbi Yehoshua Liff had with various gedolim throughout his life experiences.

So, At His Rebbi's Side is really a book of stories of gedolim. However, it is not your average "gedolim book" in which you read about how this rav finished shas by the age of 7 or knew shulchan aruch by heart by the age of 12 or anything like that. These are stories that were experienced in a very personal way through a very personal relationship that don't just show the reader how smart or diligent or studious Rav X was - rather, they show how these rabbonim acted with other people. These are stories personally experienced that show how the rabbonim interacted with others, how they were human, how they were considerate, how they had gratitude for others who helped them, how they did not want to inconvenience others.

In "At His Rebbi's Side" Rabbi Liff relates, through Nachman Seltzer, stories from gedolim such as Rav Moshe Feinstein, under whom he studied for many years as a young bachur, Rav Shach, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Rav Elyashiv, Rav Ruderman, Rav Beinish Finkel and Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Rav Gifter, and a number of other rabbonim/gedolim. With some of them Rabbi Liff had a deep personal relationship, and the stories reflect it, and with others the relationship was perhaps not as deep but Rabbi Liff seems to have had the personality to develop relationships even with less of a connection available.

The stories are fascinating and thoughtful. I was previously familiar with some of the gedolim described in the book  - for example, I grew up in the days of Rav Moshe Feinstein's heyday as being the gadol of America - I am familiar with his reputation and style, even having only seen him once or twice as a child. Rav Gifter - I  learned in telshe Yeshiva in Chicago, and knew about Rabbi Gifter, even though I only actually saw him a handful of times at most. Rav Shlomo Zalman, Rav Shach and Rav Elyashiv - having been in Israel since the beginning of the '90s, how can I not know of them, even having seen each of them just a few times. The stories related about them, while almost all of the stories were new to me, were true to each rav's reputation.

At His Rebbi's Side is a fabulous book. People who want more than just the biography of a rav - he went there, took a rabinic position there, finished Shas there, received thousands of visitors for blessings - should read this book to get more of a personal insight into some of the greatest rabbonim of the recent generations.



buy At His Rebbi's Side on Artscroll

buy At His Rebbi's Side on Amazon.com



NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.



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Picture of the Day



On the President's Facebook page he muses about how he had been given the gift of a fidget spinner to pass on to his grandchild, but after learning how to use it he might just keep it for himself..




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Melech checks how the shidduch system works (video)






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Marwan Barghouti Filmed Secretly Eating in his Cell (video)


he needed to eat something after a long day of hunger striking. he was famished by then...







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Ever wonder what fake news is? (video)






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Synagogues of New Jersey (video)













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Ari Lesser - 4 Holy Cities (video)







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May 7, 2017

Quote of the Day

The Peleg Yerushalmi (i.e. the Jerusalem Faction)? They are not part of the Haredi community..

  -- MK Uri Maklev (UTJ)

the easiest way to say your community does not have a problem is by saying that those that cause the problem aren't part of your community...



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the origins of the fidget spinner...

so it turns out those fidget spinners that can be so annoying, yet maybe helpful to kids who need help focusing on things, was created by a Jewish woman who thought of this as a way to get Palestinian kids to stop throwing rocks at Israeli police. Hat Tip to Aussie Dave of IsreallyCool..

From Time's Money:
Catherine Hettinger has an inventor's mind: When she notices a problem, she tries to imagine a toy or device that can remedy it.
So when she heard about young boys throwing rocks at police officers and people walking past them while visiting her sister in Israel, her wheels started turning. She started brainstorming devices that could distract young children and provide them with a soothing toy to play with.
First, she thought of a soft rock that kids could throw. But then she tossed that idea aside, still thinking about other options when she returned to her home in Orlando, Fla. It was there that she eventually developed the idea that would become the original fidget spinner — more than two decades before the wildly popular device became the must-have toy for both kids and adults this year.
“It started as a way of promoting peace, and then I went on to find something that was very calming,” Hettinger, now in her 60s, told MONEY of the fidget spinners, which she first began imagining back in the 1980s.

it took a lot of time until it went to market and became the hit it became , but these are the origins...




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One on One with Alan Dershowitz - May 04, 2017 (video)

with guest appearance by Moshe Feiglin...





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how do Haredi news sites appear on Yom Haatzmaut? (video)







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International Bible Quiz 5777 (video)







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What Israeli words do you know?! (Hilarious!) (video)








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