Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Is the End of UNRWA Near?

Okay, it has been a while since I have posted anything here. I've been busy doing other things. But in light of the latest news regarding UNRWA, I just cannot help myself from saying, "I told you so!".

This organization, whose full name is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, has no interest in resettling refugees. The opposite is true! Perpetuating the problem is a cash cow for its managers and workers!

It is now clear that anyone who is really interested in peace will not donate to this awful organization.

That's all for now.

Monday, March 06, 2023

We are Living in Wonderful Times

Last Sabbath I was walking down the streets of Jerusalem. It was just before sunset. The rays of the sun were scattered along the horizon in spectacular colors. The streets were mostly empty, since this is the time that many recite the afternoon prayers or eat the "third meal".

I could not help but be enchanted by this beloved city, a metropolis that hums with activity from Sunday to Friday, but closes down almost totally for the holy Sabbath. How wonderful is it that I am living the dream of generations of Jews, strolling through the holy city on the holy Sabbath and breathing its holy air?

Every day is a blessing. Indeed, every breath is a blessing. “Praise Him for every single breath.”

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Emergency Aliyah Conference

A few days ago a bunch of idealistic people came together in Jerusalem and held an "Emergency Aliyah Conference". I also believe that it is urgent, that Jews all over the Diaspora pack up their bags and come home, Some interesting things were said:

Thursday, June 02, 2022

A Day of Contrasts

Two events will take place today in Jerusalem. One of them will be a disgrace and a disgrace to its participants. The other will be a noble event, a mitzvah, and a merit for those who take part in it.

The first event is an event which is being forced upon the vast majority of Jerusalemites, is the so called "gay pride" parade. I have blogged about this in the past.

The other event is the funeral of Rabbi Uri Zohar z"l:

Rabbi Uri Zohar, one of Israel's most famous performers and later, one of the world's most prominent figures to become religious, has passed away at the age of 86.

Rabbi Zohar was born in Tel Aviv in 1935 to parents who were recent immigrants from Poland. He studied philosophy in Hebrew University and then began a hugely successful career in the performing arts, gaining renown as an actor, comedian, screenwriter and film director, alongside fellow artists such as Arik Einstein, Shalom Hanoch, and Jonathan Geffen.

In the late 1970s, Rabbi Zohar became religious, joining the haredi community over time; his transformation was watched with shock, admiration, and sometimes horror by the Israeli public. He later chronicled this period of his life in a book he titled, "My friends, we were robbed!" referring to the Jewish heritage so many secular Israelis are ignorant of.

A day of contrasts, indeed!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Chaim Walder Scandal and Suicide.

I feel that I have to put down some of my thoughts on this matter. For those of you who do not know:
Haredi author and radio personality Chaim Walder was found dead in Petah Tikva Monday afternoon, after apparently taking his own life.

The 53-year-old writer and educator, best known for his series of children’s books, Children Talk About Themselves, was found dead at his son’s grave in Petah Tikva at the Segula Cemetery Monday afternoon.

Walder’s apparent suicide comes after a wave of allegations against him of sexual misconduct, including a report by Ha’aretz which cited the claims of 22 alleged victims, including underage boys and girls.

I am not going to opine as to the veracity or the falsity of the claims against the man. Similarly, I am not going to get involved in the discussion of whether this case was handled properly. But I do have a few takeaways from the scandal and its aftermath that are worth stating regardless how one feels about the case.

1) One should avoid receiving counseling in private from members of the opposite sex. The Torah has very strict laws with regard to yichud, being secluded with a person of the opposite sex. Unfortunately we have been witness to people who should know better ignoring these laws. Rabbis are only human. They and those who seek their counsel should realize this.

2) Know the laws of Lashon HaRa. (forbidden speech). One has to know when to keep his mouth (or keyboard) shut. On the other hand, one has to know when to speak up to prevent others from being harmed.

3) Avoid getting into arguments that you are really not a party to. "He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife not his own, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears" (Proverbs 26:17). It's not a good idea to grab a dog by the ears.

4) Don't commit suicide! I almost forgot this one. I can understand that there are situations where people think that there is no other way out. But, in general, this is forbidden

This case has left a big wound that may take some time to heal. "Heal us, O LORD, and we shall be healed; save us, and we shall be saved; for Thou art our praise."

Sunday, November 07, 2021

The Death Throes of "Conservative Judaism"

Perhaps there are Baby-Boomers like me who remember when the Conservative movement at least put on a facade as being faithful to Jewish Law. However, it seems to me that few Boomers were willing to go along with the charade. Those that sought God became Orthodox, and those who didn't became Reform or unaffiliated.

Way back in 2014 I blogged about a gay "wedding" that took place in a Conservative Temple in New Jersey. I had left a comment on the web site that reported the deplorable event:

The job of a rabbi is to uplift them to the Divine ideals of Torah and not lower them down into the depravity of ancient Egypt:

“Lesbian relations are forbidden and it is among the “doings of Egypt” that we have been warned about as it is said, “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do”. The sages said, “What did they do? A MAN MARRIES A MAN, and a woman marries a woman, and a woman marries two men.”

From Maimonides, Laws of Forbidden Relations 21:8

Did I really expect these clergy to uplift the congregation? If so, I was really naive! Take a look at what their clergy are doing today:
Rabbi Ariella Rosen and Rabbi Becca Walker tied the knot at the Conservative movement’s camp in Palmer, Massachusetts, last month, with yet another queer woman rabbi, Megan GoldMarche, officiating. Rosen’s father, Rabbi Jim Rosen, also played a role.

A big thumbs down to all the "rabbis" that took part in this farce. You guys are harming yourselves and your congregations.

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