Friday, August 1, 2014

Understanding the Seminary Scandal: Britain’s Crime of Complicity With the Savile Sex Abuse Scandal

 Updated below August 1
The recent scandal of sexual abuse/seduction by the head of 4 seminaries has produced two different responses in the two beis dins involved. The Chicago Beis Din (CBD) that initially investigated the claims declared the seminaries too dangerous at the present time for girls to attend. 1rst letter of CBD and IBD  On the other hand the Israeli Beis Din (IBD) that is involved stated categorically - even before they actually conducted an investigation - that the schools were safe because Meisels had been removed from the seminaries.   2nd letter of IBD July 25

What is their point of disagreement? In both case we have very intelligent and learned men who care about the welfare of others. In order to understand this better I suggest you first read the following article that appeared in the New York Times about the sickening child abuse scandal in England and then continue reading here.
The fundamental issues seems to be 1) is it better overall if we focus on saving the seminaries and their staffs from being destroyed by this scandal and accept that the scandal was entirely caused by one person who has since been removed or 2) do we focus on maximally protecting the girls even if it means destroying the seminaries and consider why this happened and what is the best way to ensure it doesn't happen in the future.

The IBD seems to accept 1) - that the saving of the seminaries is their priority. They thus view that the problem was caused entirely by Meisels' deviancy. By getting rid of Meisels there is no danger to the girls. However since the scandal has severely damaged the schools and the reputation of the girls who attended them. Therefore they have prohibited talking about the scandal and telling everyone to trust them to take care of any and all issues dealing with the schools. Thus they insist the problem has been properly taken care of and the seminaries should continue as in the past. This is clear from the two letters they have issued so far.

In contrast the CBD seems to accept 2). They were shocked by the testimony of degeneracy they heard. They are primarily concerned about the girls - the ones who have been molested/seduced and the girls who are planning on going there.  They don't understand how even the slightest risk can be taken with the girls and therefore they have stated that the seminaries can not be considered safe places until it is guaranteed that this won't be able to happen again. They have heard that some of the staff was aware or at least had good reason to suspect what Meisels was doing wrong - and yet did nothing to stop it. (See letter of July 30, 2014).  What protocols are in place now that will prevent even passive complicity? It is clear from the British and other sex abuse scandals that people tolerate horrible crimes - in order to protect their parnossa, careers or the reputation of their institutions or simply to avoid embarrassment. The CBD is well aware of this and knows that getting rid of Meisels is only the first step - not the final step to protect the girls. Until all safeguards are in place - girls should not leave the safety of their families and pay $25,000 for an unprotected year in Israel.

update August 1 -  There is a significant problem of transparency in the conduct of both the CBD and IBD. I would suggest the following information be made public in order to regain the trust of parents and the Orthodox World.

1) It needs to be acknowledged publicy by both the IBD and CBD that they disagree  regarding not only fact findings but that they have different goals which need to be stated. 2) CBD needs to provide more specific evidence concerning the extent and type of teacher collaboration or silence 3) What safeguards does the CBD require before they remove their caution and financial blockade 4) A clear statement that they have not authorized IBD to replace them 5) A clear statement of the role of Rav Feldman i.e., whose side is he on 6) Approximate number of victim - i.e., how serious was the problem. and did it involve only seduction? 7) Are criminal charges and/or civil lawsuits  envisioned 8) It needs to be stated clearly that Meisels is guilty as charged by both IBD and CBD. It realy  is not clear that the IBD agrees that he is guilty as charged 9) Is Meisels required to pay for therapy and admit guilt? 10) Why did the CBD apparently renege on their promise to withdraw their caution if this sale went through? 11) What program is in place to ensure it doesn't happen at any seminary? 12) Serious discussion needs to be done regarding the value of spending a year in Israel away from family and spending $25,000 to accomplish it 13) Serious discussion needs to be done regarding the problem of having males run a female school or even teaching there.


NY Times    The Westminster inquiry will investigate not just the rape and assault of children at group homes going back decades but also accusations that child abuse by politicians and other public figures was deliberately covered up or even facilitated by members of the elite. The same Parliament has, it seems, spent 30 years failing to catch the pedophiles in its own house. Before the inquiry was even announced, it emerged that 114 files concerning allegations of abuse against children involving senior political figures had mysteriously disappeared. 

The tradition of the British establishment’s looking after its own is only now understood to its full and chilling extent.

In Britain in 2014, it is no longer a shock to see the face of a once beloved celebrity or well-known politician on the news in connection with pedophilia. During the past two years, the press has been peppered with reports of allegations and prosecutions of all manner of public figures, from politicians and pop stars to television hosts and senior staff members at exclusive private schools. 

The saga began in 2012 when it was revealed that Jimmy Savile, a former children’s television host and charity campaigner who died in 2011, had raped and sexually assaulted hundreds of children. This was a seismic event: A BBC staple, Mr. Savile was an entertainer with the household currency and cultural centrality of Johnny Carson or Oprah Winfrey.

Worse, it became clear that a large number of people in show business knew about this abuse and did nothing because of Mr. Savile’s power and prestige. The entertainer, who was a friend of Margaret Thatcher, used his status to gain access to vulnerable young people in schools and even hospitals.[...]

Rivky Stein & Yoel Weiss:The Jewish Press withdraws its support for Rivky Stein's "beit din"

Update by RaP August 1:

It can now be confirmed that The Jewish Press was NOT making a mistake when it withdrew the name of Yoel Weiss from its "seruv listing" column on its previous "Family Issues" page. The latest Friday, August 1st, 2014 edition of The Jewish Press on Page F1, has once again NOT published the name of Yoel Weiss on its "SERUV LISTING" confirming last week's report that they had therefore withdrawn their recognition of Rivky Stein's "Beit Din Zedek of Marine Park and Mill Basin" that presumably they too have concluded is either a fraudulent set-up or does not exist, or both! It remains to be seen if The Jewish Press will issue an explanation and hopefully an apology to Yoel Weiss and his family that has been shamed needlessly and admit it was duped by Rivky Stein and by whoever sent them the name of the fake "beit din"!

Guest post by RaP

Rivky Stein loses credibility by the day. The pro-Aguna organization ORA has disassociated itself from Rivky Stein's "beit din" then conflicting posts have stated that, first on Rivky Stein's page that her self-appointed "beit din" address is at "72nd" (also happens to be the same street address as a Chabad house there) while someone on this blog has stated that they have called that Chabad house and they deny a connection with any "beit din" on its premises! Truly mystifying self-contradicting information that awaits further clarification!

Now comes The Jewish Press which for many weeks has added the name of Yoel Weiss to its "SERUV LISTING" -- that is up until the Friday 18 July, 2014 edition (page F1), while the latest edition of The Jewish Press, the Friday July 25, 2014 edition (page F1) has DROPPED the name of Yoel Weiss from that same "SERUV LISTING" column! Why?

What was it that has made The Jewish Press do that? After all, they have been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of Agunas against recalcitrant husbands for decades, essentially pioneering the use of Jewish media as a weapon to publicly shame and thereby force stubborn husbands into coming to genuine batei din and giving their wives a get.

The Jewish Press does not mince words. Every week, on its "F1" "FAMILY PAGE, Naomi Mauer and Shandee Fuchs, Editors" starts with a "warning": "Attention Readers! this section contains sensitive topics and should be monitored"

and continues:


The names below are Mesarev Ledin or have been Harkhakot D'Rabbeinu Tam [sic].

A Beth Din has issued a seruv against each person listed below for a) withholding a Get upon being order [sic] to grant one, b) refusing to appear before a Beth Din in matters pertaining to a Get, or C) otherwise failing to follow the order of a Beth Din in matters pertaining to a Get. For the Halachot [sic] regarding how one should treat a person who is Mesarev Ledin, please consult a competent Orthodox [sic] rabbi."

[then in the July 18th, 2014 edition it lists nine names and the batei din that are dealing with them. At the bottom of the lists it states:]

"YOEL WEISS of Brooklyn, New York, issued by Beit Din Zedek of Marine Park and Mill Basin, March 2014"

However, the latest July 25, 2014 edition of The Jewish Press DROPS that last name and there is absolutely no mention of either "Yoel Weiss" or the so-called "Beit Din Zedek of Marine Park and Mill Basin"!!

What does that mean? Is The Jewish Press now also making a "typological error" and inadvertently leaving out that information that it has been posting for a while now? Of course, waiting another week will tell if that was a "mistake" of if now even a famous pro-Aguna advocate like The Jewish Press has added its tacit admission of being fooled and duped by printing things based on falsified information by retracting the mention of the name "Yoel Weiss" and of a "beit din" and its actions that does not exist in the real world. If so, will The Jewish Press also issue an explanation as well as an apology? Hopefully!

Stay tuned, time will tell, and it will not all that long either!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Exodus: Why Europe's Jews Are Fleeing Once Again

Newsweek   The mob howled for vengeance, the missiles raining down on the synagogue walls as the worshippers huddled inside. It was a scene from Europe in the 1930s – except this was eastern Paris on the evening of July 13th, 2014.

Thousands had gathered to demonstrate against the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. But the protest soon turned violent – and against Jews in general. One of those trapped told Israeli television that the streets outside were “like an intifada”, the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation. 

Some of the trapped Jews fought their way out as the riot police dispersed the crowd. Manuel Valls, the French Prime Minister, condemned the attack in “the strongest possible terms”, while Joel Mergei, a community leader, said he was “profoundly shocked and revolted”. The words had no effect. Two weeks later, 400 protesters attacked a synagogue and Jewish-owned businesses in Sarcelles, in the north of Paris, shouting “Death to the Jews”. Posters had even advertised the raid in advance, like the pogroms of Tsarist Russia.

France has suffered the worst violence, but anti-Semitism is spiking across Europe, fuelled by the war in Gaza. In Britain, the Community Security Trust (CST) says there were around 100 anti-Semitic incidents in July, double the usual  number. The CST has issued a security alert for Jewish institutions. In Berlin a crowd of anti-Israel protesters had to be prevented from attacking a synagogue. In Liege, Belgium, a café owner put up a sign saying dogs were welcome, but Jews were not allowed.

Yet for many French and European Jews, the violence comes as no surprise. Seventy years after the Holocaust, from Amiens to Athens, the world’s oldest hatred flourishes anew. For some, opposition to Israeli policies is now a justification for open hatred of Jews – even though many Jews are strongly opposed to Israel’s rightward lurch, and support the establishment of a Palestinian state.[....]

Is Lonna Kin trying to get an annulment?

GUEST POST: by Shmuel Halevi

After many years of producing many false Seiruvim against Meir Kin, and after her using the Social Media and ORA to condemn Meir, Lonna has appealed to a new Bais Din, “The International Beit Din” of Rabbi Simcha Krauss and Rabbi Ronnie Warburg. This Bais Din was specifically formed for the purpose of issuing annulments. The Frum Orthodox world has never accepted annulments; but only under very rare and exclusive conditions. See: Jewish Week and  Jewish Weekly a letter from the Rogatshover below, strongly condemning annulments.

However a recent Summons to Meir Kin from this Bais Din hints to the upcoming annulment.

After Meir Kin  left her a Get in 2008, see Mishpat Tzedek and Mishpat Tzedek. Lonna still wants to remain obstinate and continue to pretend that she is an Aguna. Meir has remarried with a Heter Mea Rabbonim after years of her prosecuting him in the civil courts and obtaining a Gag-order prohibiting him from divulging certain facts to a Bais Din that would of awarded him custody in a Bais Din. In the next few weeks their son Moshe will be Bar_Mitzva and thanks to Lonna, she had arranged once again in the courts that Meir cannot attend  the Bar Mitzva celebration .  It is after seeing  Lonna for years  maliciously prosecuting Meir in the civil courts, coupled with her muzzling him via the Gag-Order, and refusing to come to Din Torah to dissolve their marriage, did the Bais Din issue a Heter Meah Rabbonim to remarry. Boruch Hashem the new couple seem to be very happy together. While most women after seeing their ex-husbands remarry, end their conflicts and move on, Lonna has refused to do so and instead chooses to pursue  an annulment. Unfortunately ORA has empowered these women to never “NEGOTIATE” a divorce but believe in hard-line arm-twisting, Hamas-style tactics to achieve their goals. Lonna and ORA have even succeeded in getting Meir expelled from Shul. (This in  itself is a future topic for discussion if the Chabad rabbis were justified in doing this to a man who has A Bais Din justifying his position.) 

We have seen these similar social media  tactics play out before, in the Rivky Stein  and Gital Dodelson . see: Youtube   and Youtube    (see the segment at 21:38 minutes where Lonna hints to wanting an annulment.)    One can notice from Rabbi Ronnie Warburg’s letter that   a) his demeanor diminishes any right of Meir in choosing a Bais Din.  Also notice that he doesn’t offer an alternate Bais Din or Zabla option   b)  it shows clear and concise refusal of Lonna to accept his executed GET   c) He declares without ever seeing the GET or hearing testimony from anyone at the GET writing, that it’s a “gerushin al tenai” D) He  clearly acknowledges that A  GET has been prepared on her behalf and if in fact he issues her an annulment despite the GET,  it would be the first time that an orthodox Bais Din would issue an annulment EVEN AFTER LEARNING THAT  A GET HAS BEEN EXECUTED!   

Rabbi Ronnie Warburg, will you be issuing an annulment or another false Seiruv #4 , against a man who responded to your summons? Why would Lonna Kin after issuing Meir 3 false Seiruvim, using strong arm ORA tactics for 10 years with multiple ORA rallies , condemning Meir in the public eye,  suddenly go to a different  Bais Din?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chofetz Chaim disagrees with Rabbeinu Yona about lashon harah said in public

The Chofetz Chaim states that he built his understanding of lashon harah on Rabbeinu Yonah.
(Introduction to Chofetz Chaim):

"I have taken these halachos from all the scattered places in the Talmud and the writings of those who have issued rulings concerning lashon harah. In particular from the Rambam, the Semag and Rabbeinu Yonah's Shaari Teshuva - who have illuminated our eyes in these halachos."

"The reader should not find it astounding that even though my entire sefer is based on halachic principles and conclusions, but I nevertheless cite in a number of places proofs from Rabbeinu Yonah's sefer – Shaarei Teshuva which is a mussar book [not halacha]. That is because if one examines Rabbeinu Yonah's words in a number of places it is clear that he was very careful with his words and they do not deviate from the halacha. In particular this is true concerning his writings about lashon harah. In fact everything he wrote there is a source in the Talmud as I will explain G‑d willing in this sefer. However he is very sparing in his words and he doesn't cite his sources contary to the practice of Rishonim. Nevertheless, in most cases I did not depend exclusively on the rulings of Rabbeinu Yonah – except in circumstances where a leniency could be inferred (and this is true for other Mussar books)."

Chofetz Chaim (Lashon Harah Be'er Mayim Chaim 10:7.1-23): The majority of this Kelal (10) is drawn from Rabbeinu Yonah in Shaarei Teshuva or his views cited by Shitah Mekubetzes.
 However it is interesting to note, that when dealing with the leniency of the gemora [Arachin 15b] that negative words stated in the presence of three people or said before the person - are not considered lashon harah - he significantly deviates from the view of Rabbeinu Yonah. Futhermore the Chofetz Chaim does not acknowledge this disagreement and in fact he claims that Rabbeinu Yonah supports his view as do all rishonim - except for the Rambam.

This is not simply an esoteric hair splitting issue. This leniency of the gemora which is clearly supported by Rabbeinu Yonah according to its plain meaning - is one of the major justifications to allow newspapers and blogs. 

The Chofetz Chaim (2:2-3) claims that the gemora is only talking about those things which are ambigious and therefore can be understood as lashon harah or as innocent words (avek lashon harah). The Chofetz Chaim states that saying ambiguous statements in the presence of 3 is permitted - and that this is agreed to by all rishonim and poskim (See Clall 2 Be'er Maim Chaim 1) - except the Rambam [and the Maharal].

 However it is clear that Rabbeinu Yonah did not understand the gemora as the Chofetz Chaim did. Furthermore - contrary to the Chofetz Chaim - the Avodas haMelech says it is a dispute in the poskim whether it applies only to avek lashon harah.

 Rabbeinu Yona (Shaarei Teshuva 3:228): Now it is necessary to think deeply about this matter to understand its root. We have said previously that it is permitted to speak disparagingly about a sinner because of the wrong which is in his hands, if it is known that he has not repented. Thus it is permitted to degrade sinners that steal or rob, or cause damage or oppress, humiliate, embarrass, shame or slander others. This applies also to those who do not return what they stole or do not pay for the damage they have caused or have not asked forgiveness for the harm they have caused others. 

However those who want to do things in the best way will first speak with the sinner in the hope that they will succeed - by chastising him - to get him to repent his evil ways. However if he adamantly refuses then they can publicize his ways and his evil deeds. There is an important reason for first chastising the sinner – [even though the halacha doesn't require it]. If he publicly disparages the sinner after he has discovered the bad things that the sinner has done and he explains from a variety of perspectives why these deeds are so bad – then the speaker will be suspected of simply being a slanderer who is concerned only of destroying the other's reputation. People will say, "Even if what he says is true, the proper thing is to try and correct the sinner by educating and chastising him first." From the fact that he didn't first chastise the sinner, the listeners will suspect that the speaker would not have said such derogatory things in the sinners presence but would have flattered him instead ["Yet let no man strive, neither let any man reprove" Hoshea 4:4] – and thus view him also as a hypocrite. Thus they will say the speaker was solely motivated by the pleasure he gets from talking about the guilt of others and he rejoices in their transgressions and thus he feels he gains honor by degrading others – when not in their presence. Consequently he is viewed as simply a gossiper and the dust of slander clings to him.

However there is another reason for chastising the sinner before condemning him. If he fails to chastise first it is possible that the listeners will think that he is lying and that he simply made up all the slander and that is why he didn't first reveal his claims directly to the sinner but concealed his words from him.

This principle of first chastising helps explain (Arachin 15b), that everything which is said in the presence of the one being talked about is not considered lashon harah. In other words if one first openly chastises a sinner for his deeds and the sinner doesn't repent, then it is possible to publicize the transgression of the sinner and his bad character – because the speaker will no longer be suspected of being motivated simply by the desire to destroy the reputation of another person.

Similarly, if the speaker has an established reputation of not being biased against anyone and not flattering anyone. If he will not talk differently about a person whether he is there or not - meaning that everything he will say when not in the person's presence is the same as when he is. And furthermore that he is not afraid of any man and he has a reputation for always telling the truth. In such a case he will not be suspected when speaking about another man's sins - even when the sinner is not present. This idea is alluded by our Sages (Arachin 15b), Rabbi Yossi said," 'I never said a thing and turned back". In other words, "I never said anything about a person when he wasn't there which I would have suppressed if he had been present. Similarly (Arachin 16a), "Everything which is said in the presence of 3 people is not considered lashon harah." In other words, "Since I made the statement in public therefore it will become known by the person I am speaking about and therefore it is like I said it in his presence."

Motti Elon is honored speaker: Dealing with sexual predators in our neighborhoods.

 JPost - Elon convicted of sex crimes agains minors

The notice below highlights a major problem. What do you do with a child molester/sexual predator and how do you interact with him on a daily basis. What honor can be given and what access to children and women? 

This applies to people such as Dovid Weinberger, Elimelech Meisels, Mordechai Tendler, etc etc. Once upon a time when such crimes were either swept under the rug or the perpetrator banished to someone else's neighborhood - not much thought was given to this problem - because it officially didn't exist. However with the major change in the last few years, we now have sexual predators who are highly talented, personable and well known - in our neighborhoods - even as next door neighbors. There is no mesora for how to deal with these child rapists, adulterers and predators. What should be done? In addition how do you react to people such as Rabbi Druckman who insist on giving honor to predators such as Motti Elon and/or insist against clear evidence that they are innocent?

update:  Hannah @AMotherInIsrael 
I took the picture and posted it on my blog. Not sure why it appears here without credit or link. 

A Time for a New Unity Between Secular and Religious Jews

Guest post by RaP

The last few weeks in Jewish history have been extraordinary! Shocking deaths and the outbreak of war have rattled the world to the core. The Jews of Israel are fighting for their lives. If Hamas and the fanatical Islamists have their way, as they openly shout, not only do they plan to uproot Israel, get rid of its Jews ch"vsh, but they plan to march on and create a global Islamic "caliphate" and a prelude to that can now be seen in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon as the crazed Islamists there butcher their way to dominance.

Unashamedly Hamas and its allies shed Jewish blood with impunity, having created one of the most complex underground war machines not seen since the times of the Maginot Line and the Nazi bunkers, and have brazenly undertaken a rocket war befitting the blitz of England by the Nazis that no modern nation has sustained, only Israel in its last war with Hezbollah to the north. Israel has had no choice but to defend itself and this time it will not stop until, as it openly says, it has totally demilitarized Gaza, meaning Hams is headed for a major defeat and brought quiet to Israel's south as the world looks in agape and aghast at this vibrant chutzpah of the Jews to defend themselves.

But something else has also happened simultaneously and needs to be encouraged and grown, the winds of Jewish unity among all sectors is starting afresh not seen for a very long time, if at all on such an obvious scale. It started with the national and international Jewish mourning for the three innocent teens murdered on their way home from their yeshivas. All echoed live all over the world in an age of instant communications. It filled the sails of Israel and gave the leaders the courage to make difficult choices and for every man, woman and child to come forth in an unparalleled spirit of national unity not seen since the days of the 1967 Six Day War almost 50 years ago!

Looking closely at serious news not given their rightful due, the Israeli Prime Minister in the middle of this came to the Charedi parties and asked them to join his government in "National Unity" befitting the crisis and the needs of the people. This about-face was reported in many news sources but few chose to REALLY focus on what it meant!

In light of the creation of the anti-Charedi monstrous Lapid-Bennett-Netanyahu axis following the last Israeli elections, the Charedi Jews of Israel faced and unprecedented full and brutal assault on all fronts. Cuts in funding. Exclusion from key decision-making. Decrees to conscript yeshiva bochurim. Arrogant demands that the tried and proven millennia-old system of Torah-true education be changed, gloating and hate from all sides befitting Der Sturmer with the "sense" that the time for finishing off ch"vsh the Charedim had finally come! But it was not to be as we can see God had other plans. So now along comes Netanyahu & Co begging the Charedim to come on board, and the news reports that they were very polite and nice to him declining his formal offer but told him that they would fully "support the government" from the outside. In return Netanyahu reportedly undertook to DROP ALL anti-Charedi actions, motions and activities in the Knesset! Also not noticed was the departure of the leftist Peres and the nomination (with the direct help of the Charedim in the Knesset) of Rivlin (an open ally of Charedim, mostly) as the new president. And so it is that all are united (for) now. But it runs deeper than that as sensitive observers can feel it in their bones!

But this has not sunk in and sunk down the pipeline of Israeli society. First of all the current Gaza war is going to be a very long one. Israel is committed to destroying "all the tunnels" and in effect that means they will be busy for a long time because the so-called Gazan attack tunnels are in reality part of a vast underground other-Gaza that is so huge no one even knows how far, deep and how wide it stretches. Hundreds of miles of well-fortified warrens, halls, caverns, befitting an underground city-state as depicted in macabre movies. Like a personification of a Gehinom Hades cauldron with weapons stashed in every nook and cranny capable of mass destruction to human lives even without nuclear warheads. At the same time when some Charedi enforcers tried to beat up a soldier there was an outcry from Charedi leaders that this cannot and should not be allowed. As that old song said "something strange is happening"!

All over the world one can watch all the Israeli channels report and all the talking heads jabber away at the situation simply by clicking on a free service that streams every last Israeli channel. The over-riding impression one gets is that the talking-heads and the newscasters have no clue of the cataclysmic seismic shift (good pun for a war against underground tunnels) as tectonic plates are shifting below them as they talk away, an apt measure for measure for a war that is taking place in equal intensity above-ground and below-ground! The talking-heads are still talking the OLD LANGUAGE of finding some middle ground to "negotiate" with the Palestinians when that is no longer the coin of the realm. That is "old talk" and no one is buying it, even old-time leftist admit they were wrong to put faith in the PLO and Gazans. In reality, the Palestinians like all Arabs have only TWO CHOICES: make peace with the Jews and live in peace or make war and face total defeat.

There is no more talking and negotiations because Israelis from all walks are tired of fighting endless Gaza wars and shuddering about prospects of internal Intifadas. The collective Jewish voice has said, no more and enough is enough! The ball is in the court of all Arabs, make peace with the Jews and there is something to talk about, you cannot keep up with the double-talk smiling on one side and shooting rockets and crawling underground aiming to kill Jews and threaten the world on the other side. People have wizened up.

Now here is the REAL CHALLENGE: For all Jews to finally bridge the gap between all sectors among all Jews.

Charedim talk about "miracles" saving them, but that kind of talk is true always and everywhere since all of life is one big miracle! Conception and birth are the biggest miracles, surviving the modern world and making it to old age in good health is an open miracle etc etc etc! Secular Israelis see that the faith of the religious soldiers and even if they are honest with themselves the silent yet open and heartfelt support they have from almost all Charedim, as they told Netanyahu they will support him in time of war, is something real and from that point onwards everyone can and will proceed into the future.

Once this war is over and even while it goes on, secular and religious Jews will unite more and more. The virulent antisemitic hate in Europe, in the Arab world, from all over, is so irrational and visceral, it is something that makes all Jews recoil and do a din vecheshbon! Jewish unity is the only rational response from the gut and from the brain! All sides must start talking to each other and they are.

On the news channels they have all sorts of academics and whatnots spouting and pontificating. How more inspiring would it be for them to reach out and invite spokespeople from the Charedi communities to talk and to teach how to start the process of healing the rift between them and how to mend the way back to genuine reconciliation. In fact there are a number of Charedi news sources and channels that are already doing it!

At this time the contributions of all sides is so starkly different and needed and no one is arguing. The old saying goes that "there are no atheists in FOXHOLES" and certainly not in facing and eliminating underground attack tunnels when soldiers go down into those pits to fight a shadowy murderous enemy. No one envies such a job, yet thousands of Israeli soldiers are clambering down those hell-holes and getting killed clearing out the "snakes and scorpions" in those hate pits that make Joseph's well look like a dream.

And of course everyone needs the prayers and Torah learning of the righteous Torah scholars and of the pure children learning in Torah schools all the time. Even General Moshe Yaalon the Defense Minister allowed rabbis into his office and the height of these battles to put on Tefilin and say Shma Yisrael to be mekabel ol malchus shomayim as a zechus for safety and victory. When last did such a thing happen? There are Breslovers and Lubavitchers going to the frontlines to inspire the troops. And on the home front the Gedolei Yisroel of the Torah army in the yeshivos, kehilos and bais yaakovs have stated that there will be no "bein hazmanim" everyone must continue to learn Torah as a merit for the survival of the Jewish people. Because this war is taking so long, it is starting to look like the days of the Holocaust when the Jews in Eretz Yisroel prayed for the success of the Allies at El Alamein because the stop for the Nazis had they won chalila would have been Yerushalayim and so all the Gedolim and Tzadikim davened, and it worked. This time as well, it is no different. If Hamas wins ch"vsh, the next stop for those attack tunnels would be under every yeshiva and Jewish community religious or not, as they go on their frenzied "jihad"!

Look at the other side, the Hamas and their supporters have "supreme confidence" because as they believe it, their God (lehavdil) is on their side, r"l. It so "inspires" them they march to their deaths in a way not seen since the Japanese kamikazes in the Pacific during World War Two, also with inflated supernatural fanaticism. But the Jews who have the greatest foundation of Torah and connection with HKB"H have the final keys that will always swing the victories their own way no matter what happens.

The reality of the unity between the Jewish people is now beginning to dawn if not well upon us.

With this war the persecution of the Charedim and Orthodox Jews has essentially been forced to a halt as Israel fights Hamas and NOT the Haredim! In turn Charedim see for themselves and know that without others fighting and giving their lives so that they can be safe, letting their own blood flow in the knowledge that if they would not step up to do this then the "front line" would be another Holocaust with no mercy shown by those who plan to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth ch"vsh befitting modern Hamans and Amaleks.

In Europe they scream "death to the Jews" (r"l) while in Iran they say it even louder and in uglier terms if that is possible.

After the Aleinu prayer it says (ArtScroll translation):

"Do not fear sudden terror, or the Holocaust of the wicked when it comes. Plan a conspiracy and it will be annulled; speak your piece and it shall not stand, for God is with us....I create you and I shall bear you, I shall endure and rescue"! And quoting the Zichron Zion commentary (ArtScroll adds): "'Do not fear'...They express confidence in God's protection and are regarded as auguries of deliverance: (a) Do not fear an evildoer's intention, no matter how dangerous it seems; (b) let the enemies of Israel conspire and plan -- they will fail; (c) God remains the eternal protector of Israel, even though it has sinned."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Shaal Avicha by Rabbi Yoel Abraham - complete sefer

  שאל אביך   see previous post   Was siruv justified?

The file is free for downloading with the permission of the author. Click the link at the top which will take you to SCRIBD. Then simply download by click on any button which says download

Chareidi MKs condemn attack on soldier in Beit Shemesh by Chareidi extremists

Arutz 7   Hareidi extremists attacked a reserve soldier returning home from the front Monday, according to several reports, as he came home to Beit Shemesh to visit his parents and pray at a local synagogue. 

"His two children were very frightened," an eyewitness told Walla! news Tuesday. "The extremists cursed him, threw stones at his car, and ordered him to leave the neighborhood." 

The incident unfolded on Hillel street at about 10:00 pm, according to the report. The extremists called the reservist a "Nazi" and "vermin." 

Several other eyewitnesses told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that friends and neighbors of the reserve soldier condemned and apologized for the incident, helped him recover and offered to pay for the damage. 

The District Police has opened an investigation and "are expected to make arrests." 
Several hareidi MKs sharply criticized the incident Tuesday, with some even going as far as calling the extremists "terrorists." 

"There are limits," Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri said Tuesday morning. "The attack by Jewish extremists on a soldier as he prayed in synagogue is an act of terrorism." 

"They should be treated as we treat terrorists," he continued. "A hand that raises itself against a soldier should be smacked." [...]

What this war is about and why talk of 'proportionate force' is irrelevant.

American Gedolim against religious coercion by Israeli Gedolim

Confirmed! It's a forgery.

The signatures of Rav Yosef Rosenblum, Rav Dovid Feinstein and Rav Shlomo Miller also look forged.

It's also almost impossible that Rav Refoel Shor got involved in a communal matter such as this. He doesn't get involved in communal matters, especially if means criticizing others.

Kikar haShabbat