Mar 23, 2017

outrage at fum guy taking selfie at scene of terror attack

The following picture from the scene of yesterday's attack in England has sparked outrage, at least in news headlines.


in the bottom left corner you can see a frum guy taking a selfie at the scene of the attack.

In case you think this might not be what it looks like, a video has been published in which you can see he is clearly Jewish and taking selfies, and his wife also appears in a snood.


It might seem insensitive, but I do not know why or what the big deal is. other people are also taking pictures. Perhaps he is taking pictures and video and posting it to social media or a website and "reporting" on the situation to the wider public - and then what makes him different than the professional media who are all there taking pictures as well and have cameras pointed on their reporters? Right next to him is someone else taking a picture -  outrage should be directed at him simply because he is including himself in his pictures?




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Quote of the Day

The time has come to have equality regarding inspections among all the educational institutions that are funded by the State. There is no reason to discriminate specifically against the torah institutions, to count them as if they are refugees or prison inmates, while academic institutions are granted complete independence..... when will there be equality in inspections and reviews between all funded institutions both higher education academic and torah institutions?

  -- MK Yisrael Eichler (UTJ), after a number of yeshivas were recently subjected to inspections on Purim day and sanctioned for students not being present.

The main difference, I think, between the types of institutions is that in the "torah institutions" (read: yeshivas and kolels) basically anything goes - there might be a test for admissions into the yeshiva, but after that there is no measure of performance, no tests, no graduation, no critical development, while in academic institutions there is regular testing and submissions of work and performance reviews.. it is far easier for the State to know what is going on and examine that which is produced by the academic institutions and therefore fund them, than it is to do so by the yeshivas. By the yeshivas they are flying blind and have no idea if the money is going to further education or to line someone's pockets or if it is being used efficiently for the purpose for which it is given. They don't even know who really shows up and who does or does not do any work in the yeshiva system, while in academic institutions attendance is taken and test results are published, etc.  They have to perform somewhat regular inspections on the yeshivas to get at least some minimal information.





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Israel Baseball vs Palestine Baseball

will we one day see Israeli teams, or an Israeli National Team, play baseball against Palestinian teams and a Palestinian National Team? Peace would probably have to come first, and we know how likely that is...






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"Algeria, where are your Jews?" - Hillel Neuer at UNHRC's day against Israel (video)







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Eri silkworms have two connections to the Bible - one is that silk is a material mentioned in the Bible, and the other is that this particular species feeds on the castor bean plant, which many identify as the kikayon - the tree that shaded Jonah. But perhaps the most powerful religious aspect of this creature is the sheer inspirational wonder of it! 





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Synagogues of Massachusetts (video)










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Carpool Karaoke With Strangers (video)

On a cold winter day in New York City I decided to break the ice with strangers and sing their favorite songs in Carpool Karaoke With Strangers. Inspired by the James Cordin Carpool karaoke series I hit the streets of Manhattan to sing song with new friends. Enjoy! 





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Mar 22, 2017

Proposed Law: paying victims of terror abroad

If the "heritage rule" was good for Team Israel in the recent World Baseball Classic tournament, it has to be good enough for the victims of terror...

The Knesset yesterday passed a law by which the State of Israel will pay compensation to victims of terror attacks abroad, even if the attack was not directly directed at Israel or the Jewish people. Payment would be made to a victim of a terror attack performed by a terror organization who has in its charter the stated goal to attack Israel, Israelis or Jews.

The law qualifies the payment to allow it to be lessened in cases where the foreign country in which the attack took place also pays compensation for the attack, or for other reasons to be determined later.
source: Kikar

My main question or concern would be, who qualifies for payment? Only Jewish victims? What about any victim of ISIS terror, or some other jihadi or Islamist group that wants to destroy Israel and kill Jews, among whatever other goals it has - will Israel start paying out money to victims of Islamic terror all over the world? Syria wants to destroy Israel - does Israel now have to pay all the Syrian victims of the civil war, and especially of ISIS, compensation as victims of terror?




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Mar 21, 2017

Facebook Status of the Day




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Interesting Psak: selling land in Eretz Yisrael

Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, Rav of the Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq, issued an interesting psak regarding selling unused land in Eretz Yisrael.

Someone inherited a piece of land but had nothing to do with it. The parcel of land is located in a rocky and mountainess area and he basically has nothing to do with it. He came to Rav Zilbershtein asking about the possibility of selling it.

Rav Zilbershtein responded that right now it seems worth little to him but in the future one day it will be extremely valuable.

This is not just astute real estate advice being handed out by Rav Zilbershtein, but something more esoteric.

Rav Zilbershtein explained that in the future the value will jump and increase tremendously. He quoted a "Chacham Laniado" who said (quoting a medrash) that all the stones of Eretz Yisrael will be very valuable as every single stone has a hidden "segulah" associated with it but at some future time all those segulahs will be revealed.

He gave some examples of stones that will be good for causing peace (Netanyahu and Abbas should get some of those now!), others that relieve tooth pain, stop bleeding, cut through other stone, remove kidney stones, etc.

Rav Zilbershtein concluded quoting his brother in law Rav Chaim Kanievsky that mashiach is going to be coming literally at any moment, so the land is surely worth holding on ot until it will be very valuable in the days of Mashiach.
source: Kooker







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grandfathered city rabbi being forced out of his position

The Ministry of Religious Affairs is reportedly trying to force the Chief Rabbi of Kfar Saba, Rav Avraham Shlush, to retire. Rav Shlush is 87 years old and they have discovered through reports and investigation that he is hardly functioning. It seems that he only goes into his office once a week for a short amount of time and he does not even live in the city - he lives in Jerusalem.

The problem is that despite the fact that the law was changed a while back limiting city rabbis to a maximum age of 70 with the possibility of an extension to 75, Rabbi Shlush is grandfathered into the old system of the appointment being for life. And the law now is that a city rabbi must live in the city he is rabbi of.  A further problem is that Rabbi Shlush was never formally appointed to the position, but started functioning in it unofficially in the 1950s and it just became his.

So they want to push him out, but the Minister of Religious Affairs, David Azoulai, is fighting to keep him in place, as it seems he and his family want him to retain the position.

In my opinion, this is the biggest support for the forcing of a retirement age. Here you have a rav not functioning and the city suffers because of it, but there is really nothing anyone can do about it. I do think that because he is grandfathered in, he should not be forced out and taken to court. He is a remnant of the old system, and that's the way it is, and this is the reason the law was changed. He should be pressured to retire with perhaps some coordination regarding the granting of an honorary position and title that might make him happy. Surely he and his family can be persuaded that for the good of the city it is time to move on and let a younger rabbi take this leadership position.


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Picture of the Day



when the extreme yeshiva guys started wearing blue shirts....


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Chag HaSemikhah 5777 Highlights (video)

I like the name "Chag HaSemikhah"..





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Prague's Old-New Synagogue gets first new Torahs since World War Two (credit: REUTERS) (video)







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Mar 20, 2017

Facebook Status of the Day




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NAS Daily and the Abrahamic Reunion (video)




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