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.”

scribd removes acess to Meir Pogrow 2012 MasterTorah Tax Form

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Trump suggests separation of families at border is a negotiating tool


Separating Families at the Border Was Always Part of the Plan

ny magazine
President Trump is still trying to avoid responsibility for his administration’s brutal policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border, but a new report confirms that Trump and his advisers had been considering the extreme measures for as long as they’ve been in power. According to the New York Times, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller was “instrumental” in convincing the president to enact the policy, which applies a zero tolerance approach to prosecuting undocumented immigrants caught entering the U.S. — even if that means taking children away from their parents in the process. And while some members of the Trump administration have reportedly been uneasy over the policy and subsequent fallout, Miller is not one of them. “It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period,” Miller told the Times, “The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law.”
As outrage intensifies over the separations, President Trump has insisted he’s powerless to change the policy, in an attempt to hide his real agenda. “I hate the children being taken away,” Trump claimed on Friday, and he has continued to repeat the lie that Democrats are the ones responsible. In fact, as reported by the Washington Post, Trump believes that continuing to enforce the policy amid the uproar provides him with political leverage over Congress and could help him force Democratic lawmakers to meet his demands on border security and restrictions on legal immigration. Put another way, the president of the United States is effectively holding thousands of migrant children hostage — and likely causing them irreparable harm in the process — in the hope it will better his chances at enacting the nativist political agenda he campaigned on.

The zero tolerance practice of immediately imprisoning, prosecuting, and deporting immigrants who illegally enter the United States has been around since 2005, but the George W. Bush and Obama administrations were morally and pragmatically opposed to separating immigrant children from their families, even if some adult immigrants were clearly taking advantage of that compassion.
“That’s not who we are,” a team of Obama officials concluded after briefly considering the separations, according to former domestic policy adviser Cecilia Muñoz. Another Obama administration veteran, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson, told the Times that efforts to deter undocumented immigrants from entering the U.S. are ineffective. “Whether it’s family detention, messaging about dangers of the journey, or messaging about separating families and zero tolerance, it’s always going to have at best a short-term reaction,” he explained.
But President Trump and his policy makers, having risen to power on the back of Trump’s xenophobic campaign rhetoric, employ a darker and more morally flexible pragmatism. The Times reports that Trump officials began discussing the division of immigrant families at the border soon after taking office, and that the Department of Homeland Security even did some trial runs separating children from their parents last summer in Texas. Implementing the border separation policy has always been part of their plan, it just took a little longer than people like Stephen Miller had hoped. After all, the Trump administration has arguably enjoyed no greater success than in its efforts targeting immigrants and all forms of immigration. Zero tolerance, especially toward immigrants, isn’t just a policy proposal to this president and his allies — it is the ideology that animates the entire Trump phenomenon, and a defining characteristic of the world as they want it to be.


According to reporting by Washington PostThe , White House officials said President Donald Trump has calculated he will gain leverage in congressional negotiations by enforcing a policy he claims to hate.
"I hate the children being taken away," Trump said Friday morning. But Trump suggested Friday in an interview on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" he would not reverse his administration's policy unless Democrats agreed to his longstanding immigration priorities.On Friday, Trump suggested he would not change the policy unless Democrats agreed to his other immigration demands, which include funding a border wall, tightening the rules for border enforcement and curbing legal entry. He also is intent on pushing members of his party to vote for a compromise measure that would achieve those long-standing priorities.\\\

America is better than this’: What a doctor saw in a Texas shelter for migrant children

wash post

The small shelter along the Texas border to Mexico held 60 beds and a little playground for children. Rooms were equipped with toys, books and crayons. To Colleen Kraft, this shelter looked, in many ways, like a friendly environment for children, a place where they could be happy.
But the first child who caught the prominent pediatrician’s attention during a recent visit was anything but happy. Inside a room dedicated to toddlers was a little girl no older than 2, screaming and pounding her fists on a mat. One woman tried to give her toys and books to calm her down, but even that shelter worker seemed frustrated, Kraft told The Washington Post, because as much as she wanted to console the little girl, she couldn’t touch, hold or pick her up to let her know everything would be all right. That was the rule, Kraft said she was told: They’re not allowed to touch the children.
“The really devastating thing was that we all knew what was going on with this child. We all knew what the problem was,” Kraft said. “She didn’t have her mother, and none of us can fix that.”
The girl had been taken from her mother the night before and brought to this shelter that had been redecorated for children under age 12, Kraft said staffers told her.
The little girl is among the multitude of immigrant children who have been separated from their family as part of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, meaning any adult who crosses the border illegally will face criminal prosecution. That also means parents were taken to federal jails while their children were sent to shelters.
Nearly 2,000 immigrant children were separated from their parents during six weeks in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said colleagues who were alarmed by what was going on at the border invited her to see for herself, so she visited a shelter run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
“We needed to see what was happening and tell the country and the world about it,” she said.
One thing immediately became clear to Kraft: Those who work at this shelter, whom she declined to name for privacy reasons, were doing what they could to make sure the children’s needs are met. The children were fed; they had beds, toys, a playground and people who change their diapers. But there are limits to what workers could do. Not only could they not pick up or touch the children; they could not get their parents for them.
“The really basic, foundational needs of having trust in adults as a young child was not being met. That contradicts everything we know that the kids need to build their health,” Kraft said.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

anti-zionism or anti-semitism in the chareidi world - guest post seeking clarification

horatio -

9:37 PM (1 hour ago)
to me
Rav Eidensohn, thanks for posting my previous message. Hopefully it
was of benefit.

In other news, R Yaakov Shapiro of Bayswater, Long Island, NY ? , SIL
of R Yerucham Gorelick, just wrote a 1300 page book against Zionism
called "The Empty Wagon" and seemingly it went for a second printing
within a month or two.

Zionist sympathizers are of course not happy, and one spin throws bad
accusations at him.

I don't know how to evaluate the truthfulness/falsehood of these
things. I also do not know what is the correct course of action,
neither on the assumption that the accusations are true nor on the
assumption that they are false. There is also the idea that
ולא אמרן אלא דלית ליה אויבים אבל אית ליה אויבים אויבים הוא דאפקוה לקלא
(יבמות כה. מו"ק יח:)

I forward the information to you for your decision and action, and I
withdraw. I only add that I believe that if appropriately pursuing
this will hurt the cause of anti-Zionism, so be it.

ברוב הוקרה וברכה

5 towns jewish times

‘The Empty Wagon’: A Review Of R’ Yaakov Shapiro’s Attack on Zionism

By Rabbi Yair Hoffman
Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro’s “The Empty Wagon” is one of the most controversial books to hit the Orthodox world in decades. Its 1,373 pages deal with the reaction to the Zionist movement within the Orthodox Jewish world and attempt to debunk much of what the Torah community believes about Israel’s modern history.
Most interesting to me is Rabbi Shapiro’s claim throughout the book that the Six Day War was not “miraculous” at all and involved no nissim whatsoever. Rabbi Shapiro attempts to back this up through Internet searches, citations of a few U.S intelligence reports, and quotes from the Satmar Rebbe, zt’l.
I choose to believe other sources, especially Rav Chaim Shmulevitz, zt’l, the Mirrer rosh yeshiva.
In Az Yashir we read the reaction of the nations in the aftermath of the exodus from Egypt: “Then the chieftains of Edom were startled; as for the powerful men of Moab, trembling seized them.” Rav Chaim Shmulevitz, zt’l, notes that this pasuk seems to be revealing some great chiddush or insight. Yet is it not obvious that when faced with open miracles people are startled and tremble? (Hagaddah of the Roshei Yeshiva of Mir, p. 226)
Rav Chaim Shmulevitz answers that it is not. It is the nature of people not to change themselves even after seeing open miracles. “This explains why people around us now are not changing after seeing the open miracles of the Six Day War,” adds Rav Shmulevitz. This shmuesswas delivered in June 1967 in the Mirrer Yeshiva in Yerushalayim. The Mir experienced an open miracle when a bomb that crashed through the ceiling did not explode.
So there we have it. Rav Chaim Shmulevitz, zt’l, says straight out that there were open miracles. He also explains exactly why Rabbi Shapiro refuses to recognize the open miracles of the Six Day War.
So who do we go with: Rav Chaim Shmulevitz, zt’l, or the author of this book?
Reb Dan Waldman, who fought in 1967, recollects the following:
“We had 200 planes. They had three entire air forces. Rabim b’yad me’atim — we had 2.5 million Jews; they had four entire nations. There were numerous miracles.
“There was no feeling like it in the world. I remember soldiers saying that they will not liberate Yerushalayim from Shaar HaAshpa [Dung Gate]; they went in through the Lions’ Gate. Everyone realized that these were open miracles — chareidim in Bnei Brak and even the most secular people.
“Hashem won us this war not in six days but in six hours. There were such nissim. The Jordanians knew that our planes were bombing those of the Egyptians. They sent a message to Egypt. Hashem made it that they changed the codes the previous day and did not inform the Jordanians. This was Yad Hashem. The complete destruction of the Egyptian Air Force in hours. This was Yad Hashem.”
On a personal note, my entire family and I were in Yerushalayim at the time, and my parents, aleihem ha’shalom, never stopped talking about what happened in Yerushalayim that week. My mother and uncle were hit by shrapnel on their way to the bunker we stayed in while being shelled. The entire nation, both religious and irreligious, experienced nissim and niflaos — from the soldiers who liberated the Koselto the Jewish families in the bunkers.
Thus, the author’s abnegation of the opinions of gedolei olam, the bomb in the Mir miraculously not exploding, the experiences of soldiers and run-of-the-mill citizens, and my parents’ personal experience, leaves me with an unpleasant aftertaste.
Throughout the book, Rabbi Shapiro attempts to demonstrate that the strongly anti-Zionistic view of the Satmar Rebbe, zt’l, was the same view of the gedolim of the past and the yeshiva world. In this reviewer’s opinion, his analysis is fundamentally flawed. To say that this premise is grossly inaccurate is a serious understatement.

As Trump tweets about North Korea, Neville Chamberlain has a warning for him

washington examiner

President Trump's post-North Korea summit rhetoric almost perfectly replicates in tone that of former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain following his September 1938 meeting with Adolf Hitler in Munich.
As with Trump, Chamberlain had gone to a summit to meet a foreign adversary to forge a diplomatic compromise for peace. And as with Trump, Chamberlain left Munich with a piece of paper and a declaration of peace. But consider the deeper comparisons.
On Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to declare that "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea." Trump added,
That "sleep well tonight" line reminded me of Chamberlain's words nearly 80 years ago when he returned from Munich having accepted Hitler's annexation of areas of Czechoslovakia in return for the Nazi leader's promising against future expansionism. Addressing the crowds from Downing Street, Chamberlain declared triumphantly "I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."
Like Trump, who now claims that North Korea will enter a glorious new era of wealth, happiness and peace, Chamberlain was exuberant about the future. "The settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem which has now been achieved," Chamberlain noted, "is in my view only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace ... here is the paper which bears [Hitler's] name upon it as well as mine."