Apr 26, 2018

Interesting Psak: Fake Divorce

30 years ago Mr and Mrs got married in Uzbekitan. At some point they made aliya to Israel and lived in netanya, expanding their family with two children. 18 years ago Mr and Mrs show up at the local beis din asking for a divorce, and presenting a signed divorce settlement.

The settlement stated that Mr agrees to give the apartment in Netanya to Mrs. He also agreed that she would have full custody of the kids and that he would pay her 1500nis child support (monthly).

Now, 12 years later, Mr shows up in beis din requesting to cancel the divorce and the settlement saying it was fictitious and the purpose was only to avoid losing the apartment to his debtors. Mr explains that the restaurant he was running went into bankruptcy and he was stuck with heavy debt. They decided to fake a divorce in order to  avoid the debtors and the Hotzaa Lapoel - the Bailiff's Collection Agency. They came up with this plan and signed a settlement giving her all the assets, though immediately after the divorce was finalized he moved right back into the house, lived normal lives and even had another child together - nobody around them even knew they were officially divorced. Now they are actually fighting and possibly separating, so he wants his property back.

Mrs confirms the story but insists he willingly gave her his portion of the property, so it is hers.

The beis din discussed the issue and investigated the story and decided that the first divorce was valid, even though they meant it to be fictitious, but because they went back to living together as husband and wife, and even had another child together, to separate now they would require another divorce.

Regarding the original settlement, the beis din decided there was nothing unusual or extraordinary about the terms of the settlement, the two parties signed on it willingly and that is declared in the document and they also declare in the document that they will not appeal the validity of the document or any of the claims therein. The settlement is valid from both halachic and legal perspectives, so she owns the property. The beis din rejected the appeal to overturn and revoke the original settlement.
source: Kipa





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Headline of the Day

Putin eats matzah all year round, says Russia's chief rabbi

  -- Ynetnews

Rabbi Berel Lazar further said, "Putin eats matzah while drinking tea....Putin said matzah is tasty, easy and healthy to eat. He eats the matzah I bring him," 

Is he makpid on hand matza or machine matza? shmura or plain? if he eats it with tea he clearly eats gebrokts (aka shruya), unlike Rabbi Lazar who brings it to him. I'd like to see Putin eat his matza over a bag like a real Chabadnik!




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Oren Chazzan's elevator pitch

if I had to be stuck in an elevator for a few minutes with anyone, I am pretty sure Oren Chazzan would be at the top of the list. Chazzan is sure to keep things light and funny. Nava Boker disagrees with me, but he seems pretty good at diffusing a tense situation..



more details from the Times of Israel..



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Picture of the Day



this is from the kipa march in Germany and that is a Muslim woman wearing a colorful kippah atop her hijab in solidarity with the German Jewish community


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will the Knesset get a female Rabbi?

The Knesset recently published a tender for a new Rabbi of the Knesset. The responsibilities assigned to this position include responsibility for all religious issues such as kashrut, the Knesset shul, installing and maintaining mezuzot, selling the chametz, and more.

Initially the tender required applicants to hold rabbinic certification from the Rabbanut of Israel at the level of "Yoreh Yoreh". That requirement was just removed after the Reform Center For Religion and State petitioned the relevant parties with a complaint that this is discriminatory against women as the Rabbanut does not allow women to take their certification tests.

The Knesset authorities accepted the petition and changed the requirements to requiring applicants to hold minimally an academic BA along with certification as mashgiach kashrut for the Rabbanut - a certification women are able to attain.
sources: Srugim, Actualic
So theoretically, a woman, or any mashgiach kashrut, or any other non-rabbi meeting non-rabbi requirements, can qualify for the job of Rabbi of one of the most important government institutions.

Strange. I am even surprised the Haredi MKs did not block this change, as they have done with similar attempts in many other places in government.

Maybe we will soon see a female rabbi of the Knesset. That will definitely be interesting to see...



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Apr 25, 2018

John Oliver on reconsidering the Iran deal (video)

woah..that was unexpected


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Synagogues of Australia (video)







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Apr 24, 2018

they can criticize the extremists - when they want to

The Admor of Vizshnitz Bet Shemesh came out harshly criticizing the extremists in RBS B.

Over Pesach, Deputy Minister Meir Porush had been invited to the kehilla and when he arrived he came under attack from hundreds of the extremists.

The rebbe criticized them, said Porush is a welcome guest and is someone who helps anyone who needs help, no matter who they might be, and even invited him again to his grandsons bris. The rebbe said Porush should not be afraid from this minority of people who are regularly destroying the city. He said it is fine and nice that they do not take money from the State but they cannot come out against people. They can debate ideas and argue against opinions and methods, but they cannot go personally against any person.
source: Kikar

I dont know why he waited 3 weeks or so before saying anything, but ok. I am sure he has his reason. What I do find interesting is that he said anything at all. We regularly hear excuses when refusing to condemn the extremists about how we have nothing to do with them, they do not listen to us, we are not them and they are not us, it is insulting to be lumped with them that we have to condemn them, etc etc etc. Sure enough, when someone want to he has no problem condemning them.

Further, this raises the question why only when it affected his small community could he say something, and not when it is more general, when they do things affecting the entire city. He even says in his attack on them now that they are regularly doing things that destroy the city. So why not condemn them at other times? Let them know, and let everyone else know, that what they are doing is wrong. Maybe if important people speak up they will eventually feel pressured to stop.




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Supreme Court upholds law about holding cellphone while driving

The Supreme Court has upheld the police position, and the law as defined until now, by rejecting the appeal of a Jerusalem driver who had been ticketed with a 1500nis fine, and revocation of his drivers license, for holding his cellphone while driving.

The driver first appealed in the lower courts and lost his appeal twice, so he continued to appeal further to the Supreme Court. he must have money to burn, considering he had already lost on appeal twice.

Mr Driver felt he had a good case, admitting he had been holding his phone but claiming he had not been using it. Further, he claims to have been stopped at a red light at the time, and not actually in motion.

The courts decided to accept the claims of the police that he was actually in motion, though they also stated that being stopped at a red light is still considered being in a traveling vehicle and is the same as being in motion. The court therefore upheld the punishment levied on Mr Driver.

I would add that it has been stated before by the courts that just being stopped is not enough and one would actually have to have put the car in park - though I do not know if you put the car in park at a red light if that would be good enough or if you have to first pull over to the side of the road and park properly.

Back to the case, the Supreme Court stated that a driver of a car must hold the steering wheel (or handlebars) with both hands whenever the car is in motion. The driver can remove one hand from the steering wheel only if he needs to perform an action necessary for the integrity of the car or for fulfilling the rules of driving. As well, the court stated, his use, or lack thereof, of the phone while driving is irrelevant, as simply holding the phone while driving is prohibited and punishable.
source: Maariv

I would guess that this means to set the blinkers to warn drivers of your impending right or left turn, to hit the hazard button, to adjust the windshield wipers, and the like. As I have asked before, I do not know why it is ok to fiddle with the radio, considering the severity of the laws of holding cellphones and recently even holding or drinking coffee (and other drinks) or checking waze while driving. Adjusting the radio has nothing to do with rules of the road or integrity and safety of the car, so I dont get why adjusting the radio is not a ticketable offense. Or maybe it is and now it is time to figure out those newfangled buttons on the steering wheel that control the radio.

Regardless, drive safely. Forewarned is forearmed. Get a dash mount, keep your phone in your pocket, put it in the glove compartment, leave it at home - whatever, just don't hold it while you are driving.






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will one candidate become two or three?

Municipal elections are about 6 months away, and the situation in Bet Shemesh is already heating up.

For a city with 1 mayoral candidate, the incumbent, what could possibly get heated up?

The various news media have, nearly daily, articles about potential opponents to Mayor Moshe Abutbol. The main, and really the only, point of debate right now is whether Degel Hatorah will field a candidate against Shas's Abutbol. There is also some debate as to who that candidate might be, but for now the main issue is whether they will decide to support Abutbol or field their own candidate.

Degel leaders recently went to the rabbonim to discuss the issue but have so far been holding things close to their chest. Whatever it is they are waiting for, they have not announced any decision as of yet. It could be that no decision has yet been arrived at, it could be they are trying to improve their negotiating power trading support in bet Shemesh for more jobs and power or support elsewhere in the country.

Interestingly, this morning I heard an interview on the radio with MK Menachem Eliezer Mozes (UTJ) about the situation in Bet Shemesh, and more specifically about a letter of support the Hamodia newspaper printed today for Moshe Abutbol. Mozes thinks, like Hamodia and Aguda, that Abutbol should be supported and he hopes Degel decides to not field its own candidate but to also support Abutbol.

What Mozes  said was interesting though. Mozes is concerned that if Degel will field its own candidate, the city could fall into undesirable hands. He never said a name or even implied who or what type of person that might be, but I found the concern interesting considering the fact that Abutbol is the only candidate, and if Degel fields a candidate that means there will be two candidates, both Haredi. So who could he possibly be concerned about? Does he consider the possible Degel candidates (likely Shmuel Greenberg, maybe Moshe Montag, possibly an external candidate) to be undesirable and dangerous for Haredi interests?

If Mozes is worried that others might see a Haredi split and field a third, non-Haredi, candidate and might win due to a Haredi split, it would be easy enough to revisit the issue in such a scenario and agree to re-unite behind one candidate so as not to split the Haredi vote. He also did not say that if Degel fields a candidate another, non-Haredi, party might as well, so perhaps he considers anyone other than Abutbol (with whom Mozes is very close) to be undesirable and dangerous, even other Haredi candidates...

Regardless, the coming days will be interesting as decisions are made. Also regardless, who ever thought that an election campaign with just one candidate could be so interesting and filled with so much intrigue?



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Oren Chazzan against Natalie Portman (video)

he is such a clown, he is always fun to watch and listen to, even when he is being serious..




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Have you ever heard of Israel's Drip irrigation? (video)







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what's the problem with independent kashrut, such as Tzohar's? (video)







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Synagogues of Australia (video)







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Nishma - Lecha Dodi (Under the Sea) A Cappella (video)







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Apr 23, 2018

police make arrests for pulling down flags

According to this report in Actualic, Arabs from East Jerusalem have been pulling down flags in the French Hill neighborhood from parked cars. Police acted quickly and have arrested 3 people involved.

This tells me one of two things:
1. The police in Jerusalem function far more efficiently, and much more like actual police, than the police in Bet Shemesh
2. The Arabs are just not lucky enough to have been Haredi. For the same crime they would have been ignored.






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