Sunday, June 24, 2018

Liberal Jews are destroying their own religion


American Judaism is broken.
When two of the Jewish community’s most celebrated writers, Michael Chabon and his wife Ayelet Waldman, write an open letter stating that: “Any Jew, anywhere, who does not act to oppose President Donald Trump and his administration acts in favor of anti-Semitism; any Jew who does not condemn the president, directly and by name, for his racism, white supremacism, intolerance and Jew hatred, condones all of those things,” you don’t have to look far to see why.
American Judaism is broken because the Jewish left broke it.
A tiresome fixation on “tikkun olam,” which literally means “repair of the world,” has allowed Judaism to fall into disrepair.
The phrase “tikkun olam” was quietly lifted out of context from a Jewish prayer before the Second World War to mean social justice. It was popularized in the 1970s and 1980s by radicals like Michael Lerner, who founded the extreme left-wing magazine, Tikkun.
Since then, we have been led to believe that the purpose of the Jews in the world is to campaign for higher taxes, sexual permissiveness, reduced military spending, illegal immigration, opposition to fracking, the banishment of religion from the public square and every other liberal cause under the sun — all in the name of God.
But the truth is that tikkun olam and its leftist politics have no basis in Judaism. Tikkun olam is not Judaism at all but a distinct religion, whose adherents, it might be said, have culturally appropriated this ancient faith. This religion of tikkun olam commands the allegiance of most non-Orthodox Jews (and some Orthodox ones), who make up the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community. The dogma of this religion is appealingly simple: Judaism is tikkun olam, which is social justice, which is liberalism. The Jews are called upon to do no less — and no more — than cultivate a liberal paradise in America.
In this, liberal Jews have often had the hypocritical backing of the celebrity corps — literati, Hollywood executives, academics, politicians and financiers — who say one thing in public while, in several cases, doing unspeakable things in private.
But above all, this liberalism — this tikkun olam — teaches that the Jewish People is an outdated and chauvinistic relic, with no need for a nation-state of its own in its ancient homeland. Consequently, Jewish social justice activists help to defame Israel and weaken America’s bond with the Jewish State.

תהיו 'שוואנצונעס' - לא 'באטשים' • שיטת הקודש שמנחיל הרבי מויז'ניץ

הרוחות בעולם החסידות בכלל, ובחסידות ויז'ניץ בפרט, סערו בשבועיים האחרונים סביב שיחותיו הנוקבות של האדמו"ר מויז'ניץ הצעיר - אותן נשא בפני חסידיו, הן בארה"ב והן בישראל. בשיחות, שנמשכו שעתיים ויותר, לימד הרבי את חסידיו שיטה קדושה בכל הנוגע להתנהגות חסיד לרבו והמשמעויות של כך.

לא היינו נזקקים לכתוב על כך ב'בחדרי חרדים', שכן דבריו של הרבי נאמרו בעיקרון בשיחות סגורות לחסידיו, כבדק בית בלבד. אך הקלטות מהשיחות דלפו היישר לרשתות החברתיות, ולקבוצות הנייעס העוקבות אחר הנעשה אצל הרבע'ס - כך שכל חסיד מחסידות כזו ואחרת התחרה עם חברו מי משיג ראשון את ההקלטה של הרבי, ומי שמע כל מילה.

השיחות הפכו נחלת הכלל, כאשר כמה מילים ספציפיות מתוכן, כמו למשל 'באטשי' ו'שוונצע', הפכו ללקסיקון חרדי רב תפוצה. זאת, לצד השיר שאותו שר הרבי, עם המילים "די שיטה הקדושה פון די הייליגע ישועות משה, דהיינו שוואנצונעס" - שיר שאינו מושר רק בקרב חסידי ויז'ניץ, אלא עלה גם לרשימת השירים הפופולרית בחתונות בארה"ב. בה בעת, חסידי ויז'ניץ אף החלו כותבים את המילה 'שוואנצונעס' בכל מודעת ברכה לחסידים.
"אין לו מה לחפש"
בדרשה שנישאה בסעודת מלוה המלכה במוצאי השבת האחרונה, נודע ל'בחדרי חרדים' כי הרבי הורה לחסידיו בבירור לשיר את שיר ה'שוואנצונעס' לאחר שיעורי התורה ברבים, כשהוא מוסיף כי - "אם מישהו יוצא באמצע השיר, להגיד לו שאין לו יותר מה לחפש פה אצלנו".

עוד סח הרבי בשיחתו, כי בשבוע שעבר ישב אברך ליטאי ב'בית תורה' - חדר סמוך לבית מדרש של ויזניץ - והגה בתורה. במהלך לימודו ענה האברך לשיחה טלפונית שקיבל במכשיר הסלולרי שהחזיק, כשהוא אומר במהלכה בין השאר את המשפט הבא: "אני לומד פה בבית עבודה זרה". אברכים ששמעו זאת, תפסו את הלה והעיפו אותו החוצה מבית המדרש. הרבי הוסיף ואמר: "נהניתי כששמעתי על כך. כך צריך לנהוג עם אנשים כאלה".

בנוסף ביקש הרבי, על פי הדיווח שהגיע לידי 'בחדרי חרדים', כי כל מודעה הנתלית בבית מדרש כלשהו של החסידות, תישלח אליו להגהה. "כל דרשן שמגיע לנאום במוסדות שלי - שיתאמו איתי", דרש הרבי.

כמו כן, אמר הרבי: "כשנכנסים אלי כל מיני אנשים ומתלוננים על כל מיני דברים שקורים בחסידות, ומציעים לי כל מיני הצעות - "לא משנה מי זה, גם דיין גם ראש הקהל, שלא יבואו אליי. מי שלא נאה לו יכול ללכת, אני לא אבכה אחריו".
לא מתביישים
חסידים עמם שוחחנו, מסבירים ל'בחדרי חרדים', כי כל החסידים מקבלים את הדברים באהבה רבה. "צריך להבין, הרבי הוא אבא שלנו לכל דבר, וכשהוא אומר את הדברים - גם אם הם נשמעים קשים, אנחנו מצייתים. הרבי רוצה שכך החסידות תיראה, וכך היא תהיה. כולנו חיילים של הרבי. בכל דבר אנחנו לא מתביישים". 

Rav Chaim Malinowitz: Rav Feldman is mistakenly transforming this outrage against the Torah into a mere dispute of poskim

Guest Post
first published two years ago

this is relevant to rav Shmuels claim that there is a machlokes haposkim if Tamar can remarry without a Get

The tragedy of Rav Feldman's letter , besides the emotional reference of some unspecified behavior by unspecified people being worse than being mattir an eishess ish to remarry without a Get (!) , is, in my opinion, the language in the letter relegating what has occurred to - "I respectfully disagree". The damage done by such a weak description is incalculable.

We now have a machlokess what berachah to make on rice cakes ; a machlokess about the shiur of a kezayis; and a machlokess about allowing an eishess ish to remarry without a Get based on a hired person (hired by one party) writing a report about another party's mental health without ever meeting that second party and then using that report to shop around till someone is found who will pasken that no one but no one would ever deign to live with such a person (despite the first party actually having done so for a significant period of time) and who will actually allow remarriage without a Get;  and this without a proper investigation that this "condition" actually existed at the time of the kiddushin!; and  all this without the presence or knowledge of the second party (who certainly needs to be heard from by  a Bais Din as to what he has to say to the claim of mekach to'us (may we assume that it is no worse than if I sold you a tape recorder and you claim mekach to'us?) ; and  with everyone subsequently denying that they were mattir (wasn't me, it was him; no, it wasn't me, it was him; no, no,  it wasn't me, it was him)

And this, I now read, is simply a disagreement between Poskim!

Talking about "worse"-- the cover-up is worse than the crime.

Rav Chaim Zev Malinowitz

Have Undocumented Immigrants Killed 63,000 American Citizens Since 11 September 2001?


On 22 June 2018, in the middle of a family separation crisis caused by the Trump administration’s botched “zero tolerance” policy, United States President Donald Trump himself recycled a claim that undocumented immigrants committed an abnormally large number of homicides in the United States.
“Sixty-three thousand Americans since 9/11 have been killed by illegal aliens,” the president said. “This isn’t a problem that’s going away, it’s getting bigger.”
Not only is there no evidence for his claim, it would require a seemingly superhuman murder spree by the nation’s roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants.
The event was held amid a cascade of public outcry against internment camps established by the government for undocumented children, which prompted the Trump administration to quickly change course and order undocumented families to be held together — while seeking the ability to do so indefinitely. But while the president accused reporters of failing to cover this alleged rash of homicides, the numbers do not support this claim.
According to data provided for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 260,743 homicides in the United States from 2002 through 2016 (the most recent year available.) It thus seems mathematically impossible that undocumented immigrants, who make up roughly 3 percent of the population, would have committed just under a quarter of all homicides in the United States during that time period. The bogus figure appears to have originated in a May 2006 post by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa complaining about the “Day Without An Immigrant” campaign calling attention to the contributions of immigrants to U.S. community.
Without undocumented immigrants, he said, no one would smuggle drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border, and non-immigrants would be safer:
The lives of 12 U.S. citizens would be saved who otherwise die a violent death at the hands of murderous illegal aliens each day. Another 13 Americans would survive who are otherwise killed each day by uninsured drunk driving illegals. Our hospital emergency rooms would not be flooded with everything from gunshot wounds, to anchor babies, to imported diseases to hangnails, giving American citizens the day off from standing in line behind illegals. Eight American children would not suffer the horror as a victim of a sex crime.
A rate of 33 “deaths” per day for the roughly 4.5 years between the 9/11 attacks and the publication of King’s unsubstantiated claim would come out to 48,180 deaths in total, a rate that would far surpass the 63,000 number by 2018 — if it was legitimate.
Three years later, in 2009, King (who has a history of racist public statements) misrepresented a report from the Government Accountability Office, claiming that 25,064 undocumented immigrants had been arrested for homicides between 2004 and 2008. In fact, the statistic covered the time period between August 1955 and April 2010, a difference of nearly 51 years. The first, fraudulent timeframe would work out to about 17 arrests per day; the real timeframe works out to approximately 1.25 arrests of undocumented people for homicide per day, or 456 arrests per year.
If we multiply that figure by eighteen just to be generous (11 September 2001 to 22 June 2018), we get a final figure of about 8,218 arrests, as opposed to the faulty metric, which yields a total of around 112,790 homicide arrests in the same timeframe. (We will, for now, ignore the fact that arrests are not the same as convictions, and note that we did not factor in leap days.) So the numbers in the claim fall flat on both the amount of murders committed and the arrests and convictions made in those murders.
In March 2018 an Arizona woman, Mary Ann Mendoza, reportedly related to the president the claim that “63,000” United States citizens had been killed by undocumented immigrants. Mendoza’s son was killed in 2014 by an undocumented drunk driver.

Friday, June 22, 2018

charles krauthammer

Rav Shmuel acknowledges the problematic nature of Tamar's remarriage without a get

audio link

The specially convened Feinstein Bais Din was a sham.

The Bais Din was constituted for one, and only one, purpose: to issue a ruling for Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky. The Bais Din decided that Tamar Epstein is halachically married to Aharon Friedman.

After the court reached its conclusion, there was no communication between Rabbi Dovid Feinstein and Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky regarding Tamar Epstein separating from Adam Fleischer, the man she currently lives with.

The audio indicates that Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky acknowledges the Psak of the Bais Din. He stops there and does not take the next logical step to tell Tamar Epstein and Adam Fleischer to separate.

I would like to draw an analogy.

A man was concerned that he may have cheated one of his clients. This client never complained. Nevertheless the man asked a Bais Din to hear his case.

The Bais Din ruled the man indeed cheated the client. But the Bais Din did not order the man to compensate the client.

The man chortled to himself, "I was unsure before if I acted criminally. Now I am certain I acted criminally!" And he retains the ill gotten gains.

In our case, Rabbi Kamenetsky salvaged his reputation by characterizing the fiasco as a Machlokes HaPoskim. Tamar Epstein and Adam Fleischer engage in Ni'uf and Rabbi Kamenetsky washes his hands of the matter, while the Philadelphia Community Kollel collects the checks.

Rabbi Kamenetsky's statement that he is uninvolved is surreal, as any follower of the Daas Torah blog is aware. He was certainly intimately involved in every step of the case, including signing a letter bereft of Halachic basis demanding that Aharon Friedman is obligated to divorce Tamar Epstein.

Joe Orlow

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

trump and his supporters view child separation as a deterrent to illegal immigrants and blackmail to opponents of $6 Bil wall - threaten torture instead

Since Trump has admitted he hates separating children and is only using it as a deterrent or blackmail against hes opponents

he needs to be informed it isn't accomplishing either and he needs to up the pressure - perhaps torture or branding or amputation or perhaps hiring pedophiles as border guards

i Was a Navy Admiral. Here's Why Ending 'War Games' With South Korea Would Be a Grave Mistake


Admiral Stavridis (Ret.) was the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and is Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
At the final press conference of a whirlwind summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, President Donald Trump announced off-hand that the United States would end what he called its “provocative war games” with South Korea. While the summit itself is a reasonable beginning to what may turn out to be a diplomatic solution to this knotty international problem, to immediately fulfill that promise would be a grave error. After decades as a senior military officer, I cannot imagine simply stopping these useful, sensible and necessary military exercises without first seeing tangible progress in terms of not only denuclearization by North Korea, but also demilitarization by that nation, which fields the fourth-largest army in the world.
Let’s begin with the basics. First, these are not “war games,” which are generally considered to be tabletop exercises that intellectually probe various tactical and strategic options in a given scenario. These are operational military exercises in which ships, aircraft, ground forces and special operators actually practice executing defined war plans. These are like a football team running plays in practice until the movements of the various team members becomes utterly instinctive; or a tennis player hitting thousands of topspin forehands until she can effortlessly nail the shot in an actual match. To have forces forward-deployed without the benefit of this kind of practice would be negligent in the extreme, and it could lead to major combat losses in a real fight.
Second, it is important to understand the scale of these exercises. We do them constantly, often on a weekly basis, with larger events monthly and truly grand-scale exercises a couple of times a year. A weekly exercise might be a U.S. engineering company working alongside our South Korean partners to practice clearing battlefield obstructions. Each month might see our fighter jets in mock combat over the skies of South Korea. A big semi-annual event would include warships from the U.S., Japan, Australia, Singapore and other allies operating together at sea off the coasts of the Korean peninsula. One of the largest annual exercises is Ulchi Freedom Guardian, scheduled for this fall, which could bring about 70,000 U.S. and South Korean troops together to practice warfighting. If we were to unilaterally stop all of those exercises, our readiness would suffer considerably, given all they do to prepare us to “fight tonight” — the motto of U.S. Forces Korea.
There is also a highly negative impact on the seriousness with which our allies — notably South Korea, but also other Indo-Asian partners like Australia, Singapore, and India — view our military capability. One of the reasons our allies, partners and friends want to operate with the United States is the professionalism and readiness of our military. All of that is honed by these exercises — and reduced when we stop conducting them. This announcement shocked them. It will cause our allies to hesitate in aligning with us going forward.
Finally, the U.S. military itself would suffer a drop in morale if not allowed to practice for war. Nobody knows better than our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines how important exercising the military is to the chances of victory. As the military saying goes, the “more you bleed in practice, the less you die in war.” Training hard and realistically — along with providing proper equipment and leadership — is part of the bedrock of the U.S. military ethos. Additionally, the announcement seemed to catch the Pentagon by surprise, and the cavalier way in which the President rolled it out will diminish the confidence that the troops — and the Secretary of Defense himself — have in the Commander-in-Chief.
What is particularly troubling is that we’ve provided this bargaining chip seemingly without getting anything in return other than vague promises for eventual denuclearization. Even if that actually happens — and it has been promised before with no actual results — the North Korean massive conventional force (including a million-plus man army) would pose a significant threat to the south. Without U.S. military presence and these exercises, there is every possibility that North Korea would become the dominant actor on the peninsula, especially with Chinese backing. Stopping the exercises plays into the hands not only of North Korea but also of China, right as it reduces America’s readiness for dealing with military contingencies.

Toddlers Separated From Parents at the Border Are Being Detained in 'Tender Age' Shelters

Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned.
Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday.
Since the White House announced its zero tolerance policy in early May, more than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, resulting in a new influx of young children requiring government care. The government has faced withering critiques over images of some of the children in cages inside U.S. Border Patrol processing stations.
Decades after the nation’s child welfare system ended the use of orphanages over concerns about the lasting trauma to children, the administration is standing up new institutions to hold Central American toddlers that the government separated from their parents.
“The thought that they are going to be putting such little kids in an institutional setting? I mean it is hard for me to even wrap my mind around it,” said Kay Bellor, vice president for programs at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which provides foster care and other child welfare services to migrant children. “Toddlers are being detained.”
Bellor said shelters follow strict procedures surrounding who can gain access to the children in order to protect their safety, but that means information about their welfare can be limited.
By law, child migrants traveling alone must be sent to facilities run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services within three days of being detained. The agency then is responsible for placing the children in shelters or foster homes until they are united with a relative or sponsor in the community as they await immigration court hearings.
But U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement last month that the government would criminally prosecute everyone who crosses the U.S.-Mexico border illegally has led to the breakup of hundreds of migrant families and sent a new group of hundreds of young children into the government’s care.
The United Nations, some Democratic and Republican lawmakers and religious groups have sharply criticized the policy, calling it inhumane.
Not so, said Steven Wagner, an official with the Department of Health and Human Services.
“We have specialized facilities that are devoted to providing care to children with special needs and tender age children as we define as under 13 would fall into that category,” he said. “They’re not government facilities per se, and they have very well-trained clinicians, and those facilities meet state licensing standards for child welfare agencies, and they’re staffed by people who know how to deal with the needs — particularly of the younger children.”

Monday, June 18, 2018

Haifa, Israel - In Rare Ruling, Haifa Rabbinical Court Voids Marriage In Divorce Refusal Case -

vos iz neias

 In a significant and rare ruling, the Haifa Rabbinical Court voided the marriage of Oded Guez, a well-known divorce refuser, freeing his wife after more than four years as an agunah.
The ruling follows a groundbreaking ruling earlier this month by a private rabbinical court annulling the marriage of a woman who was an agunah for 23 years, although that was a more complex and controversial case and the ruling was more revolutionary from the standpoint of Jewish law.
The Haifa Rabbinical Court sealed the ruling and details of the decision and the reasoning in Jewish law behind it will not be made known.
The Guez case became notorious after rabbinical court rulings were issued for him to be publicly shamed and ostracized because of his divorce recalcitrance, and his continued defiance of the court and insistence that nothing would induce him to grant his wife a divorce.
Voiding a marriage is a rarely used tool by the state rabbinical courts, which finds fault with the original marriage ceremony or with another aspect of the wedding, which can then be used to retroactively void the marriage.
The court has, however, sealed its ruling and prohibited its publication, so exact details of the decision will not be known.
In the notification about the ruling, the court said specifically that the marriage had been voided, in a decision made by a two to one majority of the three-man panel.

The Rackman Center at Bar-Ilan University, which represents Guez’s ex-wife in the civil family court praised the rabbinical court “for freeing Ms G from her torturous marriage, expressing its hope that this brave ruling will present the way forward for many more to come in other hard cases of chained women.”