May 28, 2017

Interesting Psak: pay attention to what you sign

an interesting case was brought before the beis din in Ariel, regarding a divorce and a fight over the kesuba.

The husband tried to get out of paying the kesuba, or at least to only pay a reduced rate. He made 2 claims:
1. the woman he married was evil, under the category of a wicked wife. That being the case, she should not deserve payment of her kesuba. He says that under the chuppa she followed the "minhag" of stepping on his foot, to show that she is in charge. After that, he says, she was very mean in general and did not perform what he considered her wifely duties (cooking, laundry, etc). she screamed and cursed and called his family members mean names.
2. the amount obligated in the kesuba was wrong.  He said she had requested, and he had agreed to, the sum of 26,000nis (1000 times the name of God). The rabbi mistakenly wrote 260,000nis. He says it went unnoticed because when the rabbi read the kesuba aloud, the rabbi only said "the sum as agreed to" and did not say the amount aloud. Had he heard the amount, he would have fixed it right away.

The beis din decided that the wife's behavior is reason for divorce, but not reason to prevent her from receiving her payment as obligated in the kesuba. Regarding the amount, basically the decision was that he signed the kesuba and obligated himself, and he should have paid better attention to what he was signing if he thinks it was mistaken.
source: Kikar and Haredim10

Basically, nothing new except the interesting story the claims are made on.
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hechsher problems in Jerusalem Iryah event

Kikar is reporting about a special session of the Jerusalem municipality that was due to meet in honor of Yom Yerushalayim. It was discovered he food to be served was certified as kosher under the supervision of the Beit Yosef hashgacha, which is not considered reliable enough for the UTJ representatives. The UTJ reps said they would either not participate or would participate without eating the food.

After some scrambling, the Mayor, Nir Barkat, resolved the predicament by having other food brought in for the UTJ representatives.

While I would not have reacted that way, I do appreciate that they felt they needed to, as public representatives. They did not want to, or could not, set an example or precedent, in eating the food.

What is surprising is that this happened at all. Is this the first time food is being served at a city hall function? Do they not have some sort of protocol in place to serve food that keeps all the members happy and find acceptable?




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the miracle of the smartphone

The BBC is reporting about a miracle that happened to save a life in the explosion during he terrorist attack in Manchester last week.

Surprisingly enough, perhaps, the miracle happened via a smartphone.

According to the BBC, Lisa Bridgett was using her smartphone when the attack happened. A nut from the bomb would have hit her and killed her if not for the smartphone she was using at the time. The nut went into the phone and its path was diverted or slowed down and only injured her.

While I am skeptical the smartphone was the source of the miracle, as a kosher phone could have done the same, as could have a book or  many other objects, and it was probably more something in her personal life that made her worthy of the miracle and the phone she was using was just the medium through which the miracle manifested itself, one cannot but appreciate and smile at the humor in the BBC headline, at least from an Orthodox Jewish perspective in which smartphones are not exactly considered worthy of meriting a miracle.



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what's a soldier to do when a woman sings...

Chief Rabbi Rav Yitzchak Yosef in his weekly shiur gave some instructions to soldiers as to how they should behave in a situation where they must be present when kol isha is involved.

Rav Yosef said that soldiers in such a situation should lower their glasses, so as not to look at the women singing, and pick up a sefer and bring it close to the eyes and read from thee sefer in such a public way that everyone can see they are not listening to the female singer.

Rav Yosef pointed to himself as an example, saying he himself has done this.
source: Kikar

Rav Yosef's instructions are very well and good, except for two problems:
1. not all soldiers have glasses to publicly remove
2. most of the time soldiers are not carrying seforim, nor are they able to even if they would want to. Perhaps during downtime on the base they might have access to a sefer and be able to follow Rav Yosef's instructions in such a scenario, though I don't see such a scenario happening. If they are going to an official ceremony, which is where these problems usually happen, the soldiers will not be carrying seforim with them.

Rav Yosef should give them some more realistic, or plausible, instructions that will actually be helpful.



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Minister Naftali Bennet: I know my place in the government (video)







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One on One with Alan Dershowitz - May 25, 2017 (video)








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A Clever Lesson In Self Worth (video)







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Gal Gadot Auditioned for Wonder Woman Without Knowing It (video)







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Shavuot Medley with Micha Gamerman (Official Animation Video)







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May 26, 2017

chilul shabbos prevented

MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) discovered that the Electric Company has been doing repair work on one of their power stations for the past 6 weeks and that this week employees were instructed to prepare to work on Shabbos.

Maklev did what he does, and the EC agreed to cancel the work orders and chilul shabbos was avoided.
source: Behadrei

The Electric Company's only mistake was that they did not schedule this work to be done on the Shabbos right before Lag bOmer. Had they done so, nobody would have cared.



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Larry Teren Chronicling Synagogues (video)



Chronicling Synagogues & their history in Chicago and many other American locales.




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Soon By You Episode 4: The Dates | Soon By You (video)

David and Sarah finally go on their first date. Jacobs explores foreign avenues for a love connection and Noa, Ben, and Z take up volunteering. 

“Soon By You” is a new comedic web series about six young Orthodox Jews living the single life in NYC. 





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Gershon Veroba - Let Me Be [Official Music Video]

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, a day known as “Yom Yerushalayim.” Even while the US president arrives to pray and support, Jews in Israel are still under global pressure to forget, to give up, to leave... even disappear. Angry protesters spread ignorance and resentful neighbors won’t leave us alone.

In a statement of pride, producer/performer Gershon Veroba’s new Ani Yisrael album shows him at his best, fusing many musical styles in one place, similar to how Israel unifies all Jews. 

In the album’s first video, we’re assured that all Jews are considered Israelis. This time, “Let Me Be” is Gershon’s more serious protest anthem that reminds the world that we are wasting time and lives. It reiterates our unbreakable connection with Jerusalem and simply says “enough is enough.”

As before, filming was done on location in and around Jerusalem, including the beautiful Castel Museum, where Gershon drove home the importance of history with a 157 year-old grand piano.

“Let Me Be” is dedicated to producer & musical genius Larry Gates, Gershon’s friend and the only one he chose to collaborate with on his own two songs from the album. Larry completed his work on the album in the final months of his heroic 7-year battle with cancer, passing away a week after release. 

Now in Israel , the wondrous miracle of life continues, but we’d like to live that life in peace. 
“Let Me Be” highlights that life and struggle... a struggle we will carry into the future if we must. 




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May 25, 2017

rabbinate and politics should not mix

Behadrei has an interview with Deputy Defense Minister Rav Eli Ben Dahan about the upcoming elections for chief rabbis of a number of cities, including Bet Shemesh and Tel Aviv, among others.

Ben Dahan is running the campaign on behalf of Habayit Hayehudi to position religious zionist rabbis in [some of] the relevant cities.

The interview focuses on the possibility of deals to be made with Shas to divide up the cities and grant a religious zionist rabbi the position in Tel Aviv while granting a Shas-affiliated rabbi the position in Bet Shemesh (and other cities would be considered as well for discussion).

Regardless of who gets what, who grants who what, which city gets which rabbi, and what, if any, agreement, the two political parties arrive at, in my opinion this is, once again,, a sad situation. And I have said it before.

Instead of the best candidate being chosen or elected; the rabbi with the best qualifications, the best match for the city residents, the most dynamic or knowledgeable or capable... the positions will be filled by political considerations, with or without a deal (i.e. shas would appoint shas-affiliated rabbis and habayit hayehudi would appoint DL-affiliated rabbis, or they'll make a deal to do that with agreement), and itt does not make a difference to them if the rabbi is good for the city and its residents. They would each elect the rabbi they wan to advance based on foreign considerations.

The rabbinate appointments are good for the politicians. If they happen to be good for the residents, that is a side issue. This is because there is too much politics in the rabbinate, and why the rabbinate must be removed and separated from the politics.



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Tweet of the Day







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$100 per day to sit in jail

According to reports, Satmar in NY will be supporting and encouraging the fights of the Peleg Yerushalmi in Israel and paying anybody forced to sit in jail for being  deserter from the IDF to the tune of $100 per day.

Two heroes have already been granted the first awards; Zvi Dov Friedman from Bet Shemesh was awarded $7400 for sitting 74 days in jail, and Yisrael Toledano was awarded $6300 for sitting 63 days in jail. Each was granted the money upon their recent release from jail.
source: Ynet, Srugim, INN, Walla News

This is significantly more money than what kollel brings in, so I think a significant percentage of people in the relevant groups might consider this a strong incentive.

BH there is a lot of money in the Jewish community, enough for everyone to support the causes dear to their hearts. At least the recipients of this award will be just a few less people they will be knocking on our doors to support. Unless you give your donations to Satmar who will need to fundraise to pay the awards...






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