Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jew Hatred in Edison, N.J.

This is pretty sad. I used to live in Edison/Highland Park. There is a fantastic Jewish community there. Hang in there sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Don't give in to the knuckle-draggers!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

I've Got That Selichot Feeling

Two weeks of selichot and I've got that selichot feeling...kind of dazed from not getting enough sleep. But it's worth it!

It's time to link to one of my favorite posts, original posted here and later on at Beyond BT.

Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak vs. Neturei Karta

I say this video on Rafi's blog. He finds the best stuff!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obama calls to 'End the Occupation'

That was the headline here. I guess he wants to give America back to the Indians. I'm not sure if the Lenape want New Jersey back.

Okay, this is what he really said:
United States President Barack Obama issued a stinging condemnation of the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria on Wednesday in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. The U.S. “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” Obama announced.

Using unusually harsh terminology, Obama called to "end the occupation that began in 1967" - referring to Israel's control of Judea and Samaria.

What Obama is saying is that he thinks Judea and Samaria should be judenrein. Sorry Mr. BO, but Jews have more of a right to live in the land of Israel than you have to live in the United States. As far as I am concerned, Obama the fake messiah can take his racist policies back to Kenya.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rosh HaShannah is Coming!

Last day of the year 5769

Can you feel the excitement? I hope and pray that the coming year will be a good one:

A year of good health,
A year of good livelihood,
A year with lots of rain,
A year with lots of Torah learning,
A year with lots of Teshuvah,
A year of settling the land of Israel,
A year of peace (real peace, not piece),
A year of happiness.

לשנה טובה תיכתבו ותיחתמו

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

English Torah

26 Elul 5769

At first glance it would seem that the proliferation of Torah literature in English is a blessing for those lacking a background in Jewish learning in general and the Hebrew language in particular. One can find books in almost every area of Torah learning in English. You can even learn Gemara in English.

When I became acquainted with Torah Judaism, about 26 years ago, there were not nearly as many Torah oriented books available in English as there are today. I can tell which English books I used the most. They are the ones that fell apart: the Ganzfried-Goldin Abridged Shulchan Aruch, "A Tzaddik in our Time" (about Rabbi Arye Levin zt"l), the Chabad Siddur, and Art Scroll Zemiroth.

Looking back, I am glad that there were not that many books in English. It forced me to work hard to learn Hebrew and Aramaic! I had to look up words in the dictionary, I had to ask a lot of questions. Little by little, word after word, my vocabulary grew. The entire gamut of classic Torah literature, in its original Hebrew or Aramaic, is now accessible to me. How much I am able to learn and understand is a matter of how much time and effort I devote to learning and how much help I receive from Above.

Today I see people that have been learning Torah for years but have not weaned themselves from the English translations. Personally I think this a pity. While these English versions of Torah classics are an important first step for the beginner, one must move onward. The authors of these works never intended them to be a substitute for learning the originals. I would venture to say that without a good understanding of Hebrew, it is impossible to really understand Torah, it is impossible to really understand Chazal.

This dependency on English translations is particularly disturbing here in the land of Israel. The Hebrew language lives here! Even one who chooses to surround himself with English speakers cannot remain totally unaffected by his surroundings. Hebrew is everywhere! Hey guys, wake up and smell the Hebrew!

On the other hand one can understand those that prefer their mother tongue. If I see a street sign that is written in both Hebrew and English, even today my eyes are usually drawn to the English. People naturally prefer to remain within their comfort zone. Breaking one's teeth learning a new language is not easy. However, one must understand that when it comes to Torah learning, those that stick to English are paying a very high price for their lack of effort.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Second International Jewish Bloggers Convention Links

Unfortunately I missed the conference this year. Since I cannot blog about the conference, I'll post some links from jbloggers who were there:






Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Nefesh B'Nefesh Second International Jewish Bloggers Convention

Arutz 7 is going to cover the conference:
Jewish bloggers will meet in Jerusalem on Sunday for the Second International Jewish Bloggers Convention, organized by the Nefesh B'Nefesh aliyah organization. Hundreds of bloggers are expected to turn out for the event, and dozens more will take part online.

Israel National News will feature live footage of the event on Sunday.
I really enjoyed last year's conference. This year I won't be there in person. Regards to all.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Send A Greeting Card

22 Elul 5769

Arutz 7 has a nice way of sending New Year's greetings through email, featuring original works by Israeli youth. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Not All Collections are Equal

When I was a kid I used to collect baseball cards. Later on I collected records, mostly by the Beatles. Now I guess you could call me a collector of Sifrei Kodesh.

What kind of collection would you expect from someone working for Human Rights Watch? Omri has the answer.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

It's Time For Some Really Hot Pics


Secret IDF Report Warned: Oslo Will Lead to Rockets on Ashkelon

This comes as no surprise:
A secret IDF Intelligence (AMAN) assessment warned as early as 1993 that the Oslo Accords would likely end with rocket attacks on Ashkelon, according to former AMAN Maj.-Gen. Yaakov Amidror. The politicians, however, were not interested. Amidror leveled the charges during a lecture at the Netanya College on Monday.

According to Amidror, who headed the IDF's Research and Assessment Division responsible for preparing the National Intelligence Assessment, the decision to go ahead with the Oslo agreements between Israel and the PLO terrorist organization was made without taking into account the military implications. The Rabin government "completely ignored" IDF assessments, Amidror claimed.

In fact, as Amidror recalled, then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres ejected the IDF representatives from the Cabinet meeting when the ministerial vote on the Oslo Accords took place. In Amidror's view, it was symptomatic of efforts by the political echelon to close their ears to warnings from the military regarding the fateful agreement to establish an autonomous Palestinian Authority.

The secret Oslo-era AMAN report stated that the accords contained several clauses that were clearly militarily unenforceable, Amidror said. These included the right of IDF "hot pursuit" into Palestinian Authority areas in the event that the PA leadership refuses to cooperate. In the assessment of the AMAN analysts, PLO failure to uphold its end of the agreements with Israel would end with PA rockets fired at Ashkelon.

Right-wing politicians at the time echoed these very same specific concerns regarding rocket attacks from Gaza, but were dismissed by government spokespeople as "fear mongers." In the interim, thousands of PA rockets have exploded throughout southern Israel, including Ashkelon and areas to the north and east of the port city.

In Amidror's view, the political leadership knew the IDF position on the inherent dangers of the Oslo Accords, but simply chose to disregard them once the principles of the accords were agreed upon with the PLO.

Shhhh! The Murderer is an Arab!

Update: The murderer was not an Arab! Read the update at the end of post.

For some reason the Jerusalem Post didn't want do publicize that the murderer was an Arab:
A man suspected of stabbing his former boss in a Ramat Gan store following an argument gave himself up to Tel Aviv police on Monday evening.

According to an initial investigation of the Monday afternoon incident, the killer arrived at a photocopying store on Arlozorov Street where he used to work as a courier. A discussion between the owner and former worker led to a heated argument, following which the former employee stabbed the man a number of times in the torso.

Children who were near the store and witnessed the stabbing yelled out 'a man has been stabbed!' and the owner of a restaurant located near the scene of the crime called the police.

A Magen David Adom intensive care unit evacuated the man in serious condition to Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, where he died of his wounds.

Before he gave himself up, police were scouring the area for the man, and issued a gag order on his identity and picture. On Tuesday, he will be brought for a remand extension hearing.

The stabber is a known criminal with a history of violence, police said. He was arrested several times in the past for possessing a knife.
He's a killer and a criminal with a history of violence. The fact that he is an Arab is not important. Imagine what the Post would have written if the guy was a Hareidi!

In stark contrast, Israel National News doesn't want us to forget that the murderer is an Arab:
The Arab who stabbed his former Jewish employer to death because of a financial dispute on Monday has turned himself over to the police.

The murderer entered Dyo Nati (Nati’s Ink), an office-supplies store in Ramat Gan where he worked until recently as a delivery man, in the early afternoon hours, stabbed Netanel Mangami several times, and escaped. The victim was rushed to the hospital after resuscitation efforts on the scene, but died there of his wounds.

The murderer, an Arab living in Jaffa, arrived at the Dan Region police station at 11 PM, and will be brought before a judge for extension of his custody on Tuesday. He claimed that his victim had owed him 380 shekels.

Netanel, 32, was one of eleven siblings in a Chabad-Lubavitch family, and studied in a yeshiva in Lod. His wife is in her sixth month of pregnancy with twins, and the family has two other children, 3.5 and 2 years old. Family members described Nati as a “genuine man of kindness.”

Other recent cases of Arab violence against Jews – not including outright terrorism - include:

* The stabbing murder of a man in a Jerusalem hostel

* The gang murder by five Israeli-Arabs of a man in front of his wife and daughter in northern Tel Aviv

* An armed robbery of a Postal Authority office in an Arab town in the Galilee

* An accident caused by an Arab ambulance driver who hit an oncoming car near Beit El. A Traffic Police investigator told Israel National News that even though the ambulance was on its way to another accident, “he still has no authority to drive wildly or to hit another car, as he did and we will probably put him on trial.” Beit El security officer Menachem Tzur said the ambulance driver sounded his siren against the guidelines, and that “this is not the first time that PA ambulance drivers take advantage of their position to carry out dangerous overtakings and pass through checkpoints, even when not on urgent missions.” The driver said that the ambulance did not stop after the accident to offer help to the injured.

Asked what measures the police are taking against the reckless driving habits, particularly of Arab drivers, on Judea/Samaria roads, the officer said, “Just yesterday, we had a special blitz on Highway 60, between Eli and Adam, in which we gave out 150 tickets and revoked 12 licenses.” In answer to a question, he acknowledged that most of the tickets were to Arab drivers, “but Jewish drivers are also not entirely innocent; they barely ever drive with seat belts within their communities, and often drive with too many children in the car, and sometimes too fast as well.” He admitted, however, that on the highways, Arab drivers often pass slower cars with total abandon.

Also on Monday, a gang of 15 hooded Christian youths attacked a Jewish teenager in the Old City, beating him for no apparent reason.

Update: Israel National News got the story wrong here. If you click on the link to the original report you get a "404 - Page Not Found". I found the following on their web site:
A resident of Yafo (Jaffa) suspected of murdering a 34-year-old Chabad Chassid during a dispute Monday afternoon over payment worked last year as a security guard in the bureau of Ramat Gan Mayor Tzvi Bar, according to a report broadcast Tuesday night on Channel 2 TV. Oren allegedly turned himself in to police Monday night after fleeing the scene.

Assaf Oren, 20, is suspected of stabbing to death Nati Mangami, a resident of Bnei Brak, who owned the Nati Dyo Printing Press company. Oren was a former employee of Mangami, who was married and the father of two young children.
Jpost got the story right. Mea Culpa. I've been blogging long enough to avoid making posts like this!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Hadassah Ein Karem Accused of Abuse

The other day I found a pamphlet in the Beit Midrash where I learn entitled "Blood Libel 2009" (volume 2), published by "The Association for Curbing the Harassment of the ultra-Orthodox Community". The pamphlet defends the mother accused of starving her child, and purports to document various abuses that were allegedly committed by the staff at the Hadassah Ein Karem University Hospital.

The pamphlet accuses the hospital of using patients as guinea pigs in experiments without their knowledge, performing tests that the patient did not need, neglect, euthanasia, etc.

With regards to the stories presented, they are probably in the category of Lashon Hara which one is forbidden to believe, but on the other hand one is obligated to be wary/concerned that they may be true.

Hadasah's claim that the mother accused of starving her child suffers from "Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome", is apparently also in this category of Lashon Hara. However, if you ask me the claim doesn't make sense, as the lady four other children bli ayin hara who seem to be just fine.

It seems to me that everybody is a loser in this case. Hadassah will probably suffer financially, as many people will avoid going there. "The Association for Curbing the Harassment of the Ultra-Orthodox Community" claims to have received 467 complaints that have been sent to a well known lawyer abroad, who is considering suing Hadassah in the International Court in Hague. If the ultra-Orthodox community boycotts Haddasah, where will they go? How many people can Bikur Cholim and Sha'arei Tzedek take care of?

On a personal note, my own experience with Haddasah Ein Kerem has been mostly good. Once I brought my son to a doctor there who checked him and refused to receive payment. What a Tzaddik! Another time I brought my father there for tests. With the help of an askan was able to do all the tests he needed in one day. (I blogged about that experience here.) The fact that my father payed in dollars must have helped.

A not so good experience happened when me and my wife were newlyweds. My wife needed to have a tooth pulled, and we heard that you can get it done at Haddasah at a relatively low price. What happened was that a dental student worked on her, while an experienced dentist supervised. My wife said that several times during the procedure the doctor told the student, "hafuch, hafuch" i.e. do the opposite of what you are doing. That is not the best feeling for the patient being worked on! In the end the tooth was removed. I imagine that student is a professor by now.

HH #233

JoshuaPundit does Haveil Havalim.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Moshe Plesser, The Amazing Private M.

Once upon a time we couldn't publish his name. Now he has been honored by the army:
IDF Northern Commander Gadi Eisenkot presented an award Wednesday to Moshe Plesser, an off-duty Golani soldier who stopped a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 2008. Plesser, a resident of Kiryat Moshe, risked his own life to shoot the rampaging attacker, who used a bulldozer to kill three people near the downtown area.

Eisenkot said at the ceremony: "What was special about Sergeant Plesser's deeds was that this was a soldier who was just beginning his military path, who chanced upon a [terror] event when he was on leave, showed initiative and resourcefulness and kept his cool, strove for contact with the target and thus saved human lives. In his deeds, Sgt. Plesser offered a personal example of how IDF soldiers are expected to act.”

Plesser was riding his bicycle through Jerusalem's streets when he saw the attack unfolding. He got off the bicycle and raced towards the bulldozer as the terrorist attempted to continue his attack while still unarmed. Once he reached the bulldozer, he grabbed a gun from a nearby guard and fired on the terrorist, killing him.

An IDF committee found that Plesser's act was noteworthy, and that he had demonstrated initiative and bravery.

After the attack, Plesser credited his yeshiva education, his IDF experience, and his brother-in-law David Shapira with giving him the courage and the ability to stop the attack. Shapira had similarly risked his life to stop a terrorist attack one month earlier, shooting an Arab gunman at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva as police hesitated to intervene.

Plesser had to fight to gain the IDF experience he noted as crucial to stopping the attack. For years, he was unable to enlist in a combat unit due to his history as a protester against the 2005 Expulsion from Gaza.

Plesser was accused of disturbing police in connection with an incident in which he photographed fellow anti-Disengagement activists as they blocked a road. Plesser, then 17, was beaten by officers during the demonstration. Despite his record, he eventually succeeded in enlisting and was accepted to an elite unit, in which he was serving at the time of the attack.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

100 Years Since the Passing of the "Ben Ish Chai"

Learn about this great rabbi.

Check Your Tzitzis!

As if we haven't had enough of cheap, low quality imports from China:
Jewish media are warning consumers that "treif" or non-kosher tzitzit, made in China, have been flooding the Israeli market. The non-kosher tzitzit sell for only NIS 10, making them considerably cheaper than the regular retail price.

Tzitzit are ritual fringes worn on the four corners of a garment and are intended to remind a Jew of G-d and the commandments. For tzitzit to be kosher they must be tied by Jews. Many tzitzit today come with kosher certificates.
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