Thursday, November 28, 2019

To Even Close the Yeshivos?

Parshas Toldos, 5780


By Binyomin Feinberg, Contributor to The Jewish Press*

FeinbergBinyomin@gmail.com

*  The perspectives and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of The Jewish Press.


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Despite recent political disfunction, it was just reported that Israel may nevertheless be heading for some form of a limited-scope Unity Government (between both Likud and Blue and White mainstream blocks). That means the religious parties will be asked to, or seek to compromise to join. Will they compromise on the drafting of girls? The saintly Brisker Rov ZT"L [whom many of those elected officials acknowledge as a Gadol] held it was better to close all the Yeshivos than to draft girls, even into Sheirut Leumi, if indeed ever faced with such a dilemma ("The Brisker Rav," Vol.3, pp. 49–51, 56–57).* However, the religious parties, in contrast, now allow the drafting of girls to pass quietly, apparently under the pretext of helping their own institutions.  Additionally, the religious parties now have an increasingly resonant national-defense argument against expending resources on drafting religious girls, if they'd ever be inclined to use it. The Army needs the girls like a Katushya in the Knesset. Galei Tzahal Radio reported months ago that the IDF is encumbered with a 5-digit troop surplus. On the other hand, anti-missile defense is sorely inadequate. Several weeks ago, it was reported that Netanyahu recently requested four BILLION shekel for missile and drone defense, in light of the threat illustrated by the game-changing Sept.14 drone attack on Saudi oil production. The "HaKotarot" (Nov.25, in Ivrit) just reported a former Israeli Air Defense official in the Air Force, Tzvika Heimowitz, interviewed in The Jerusalem Post, warning about the inadequacy of Israeli missile defense in event of a serious conflict with Iranian proxies. R"L, thousands of missiles would rain down from multiple sources, and would overwhelm current defenses. [In that context, one could see the recent missile barrages not so much as practice runs, as much as merely testing Israeli responses, to feel out weaknesses, and prepare for a far graver mutlipronged assault, dwarfing anything Israel haa ever experienced (including the first Gulf War).] Thus, the entire "Equality-justified" emphasis on chasing teenage girls to fill up an already over-staffed army is easy to argue against, in context of geostrategic realities.

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To check for updates throughout the week please visit ("Updates for Cheshvan" at: )

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11EUa2a_8OwXs7T1vMfek3MehHfC2Rd9mWt6NetNxLm0/edit?usp=sharing

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Female IDF Refuseniks - Cheshvan


Female IDF Draft Update: Parshas Toldos, 5780

Nov. 27, '19

By Binyomin Feinberg, Contributor to The Jewish Press*

FeinbergBinyomin@gmail.com


*  The perspectives and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of The Jewish Press.

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It was recently revealed that yet another Jewish girl, Donna bas Haddas, has been languishing in an Israeli military prison (number 4) - for over two and a half weeks - refusing to succumb to immense pressure to enlist in the IDF. Having just turned 20, and being engaged to be married, Donna was arrested on Nov. 10. She had had been represented by a public defender. She is facing an vigorous legal battle. (Her draft date was in March, '18.).

She very much needs our immediate support.  The Israeli government wouldn't persist in persecution of girls who refuse military service if there would only be sufficient protest from enough individuals in Diaspora (especially American) Orthodox communities.

Moreover, far more than she needs us to help her - WE need to help her. That is because her profuse tears are being carefully counted in the Heavenly Court, to determine precisely how much Divine Justice will rain down on us - and on whom specifically - for tolerating these ongoing travesties involving innocent girls suffering untold pain in the military justice system, all for their steadfast refusal to be forced into military service.  We know from our Sages that "He extends His Wrath," but, ultimately, "He collects His dues." 

B"H, another girl, O. H., a 19 y/o Chareidiah from the south, was just released this week, after languishing perhaps about two weeks in Military Prison number 6. She too had been incarcerated for a quite a while without public awareness of her plight. She still seeks to secure her military exemption.

°°°

While some may expect the government to be preoccupied with it's own dysfunction, and  unprecedented missile threats from multiple staging areas, the terrorization of young women seeking to avoid being forced into the military continues. As does the overall deafening silence of the ostensibly rightwing and religious parties.  Even when there was a Jewish military which operated al-pi-Torah, under a King and the Sanhedrin, immorality put our national security in grave danger. (See VaYikra 18). How much more so does that danger apply nowadays, given the rampant immorality within the IDF.

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To check for updates throughout the week please visit ("Updates for Cheshvan" at: )

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11EUa2a_8OwXs7T1vMfek3MehHfC2Rd9mWt6NetNxLm0/edit?usp=sharing

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Russian Propaganda Seen Fusing With Republican Ukraine Narrative | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Hayes Explains 3 Ways The ‘America First’ President Puts Americans Last | All In | MSNBC

Why Trump Is Bad for Business

https://fortune.com/longform/trump-policies-bad-for-business-trade-immigration-taxes-regulations-us-economy/

But wait—how can today’s environment be bad for business? Stocks have been hitting new record highs. Inflation is low. Interest rates are extraordinarily low. Though the labor market is ultra-tight, more workers are reentering the labor force in response, and consumers have more money to spend. Isn’t this close to business nirvana?

It ought to be, but look closer. Sentiment in some previously friendly quarters has turned powerfully against Trump. CEO confidence, which leapt in Trump’s early days, has since plunged to levels not seen since the darkest days of the financial crisis in 2009. “The Trump administration lost the C-suite in 2018,” says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a Republican who ran the Congressional Budget Office from 2003 through 2005 and now heads the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank. “I think the cause is mainly trade.” (Fortune interviewed several corporate executives who largely shared Holtz-Eakin’s view but were wary of saying so on the record. The White House, for its part, did not respond to several requests for comment.)



Friday, November 22, 2019

No, That Mac Factory in Texas Is Not New

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/us/politics/trump-texas-apple-factory.html
President Trump said on Wednesday that he opened a facility that makes computers for Apple. It’s been operating since 2013.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/11/21/20975979/donald-trump-apple-plant-austin-texas-tim-cook

Tim Cook is just letting Trump lie about Apple

Trump keeps saying Apple just opened a plant in Texas. The problem: The facility in question has been around since 2013.

On Wednesday, Cook accompanied Trump, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, on a tour of a manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas. Both at the plant and after, the president suggested that the plant had just opened and that it was the result of his presidency. No one at Apple corrected him, even though it’s not at all the case: The plant, which is run by a company called Flex, has been making Mac Pro computers there since 2013.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s false claim about Apple plant


President Donald Trump tried to take credit Wednesday for opening a plant that’s been in business for years.

He also tried to blame House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for closing Congress, but she didn’t.

TRUMP: “Today I opened a major Apple Manufacturing plant in Texas that will bring high paying jobs back to America. Today Nancy Pelosi closed Congress because she doesn’t care about American Workers!” — tweet early Wednesday evening.

THE FACTS: Neither happened.

Trump visited a factory in Austin, Texas, that has made the Mac Pro for Apple since 2013.

Apple announced in September that it would continue having the Mac Pro line made in Austin, after the Trump administration agreed to waive tariffs on certain computer parts from China. It also plans to expand its already deeply rooted business in Austin and said Wednesday it has started construction of its new campus in the city.

Rav Malinowtiz zt"l Levaya Recording



Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu will be indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust


https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/21/middleeast/benjamin-netanyahu-charges-israel-intl/index.html

Charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust have been unveiled against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in three separate corruption cases, the Attorney General announced on Thursday evening, marking the first time in Israel's history that a sitting PM faces indictment in criminal investigations.

During a final pre-indictment hearing last month, Netanyahu's high-powered legal team tried to convince prosecutors to close the cases, including the most serious charge of bribery. But Avichai Mandelblit, a Netanyahu appointee who once served as his cabinet secretary, is moving forward. "It is a very sad day for Israel and for me personally," said Mandelblit, adding that the decision to indict "is not a matter of politics, of right and left."
Speaking in Jerusalem on Thursday night, Netanyahu described the charges as "an attempted coup against a Prime Minister."


Thursday, November 21, 2019

Rav Chaim Malinowitz: Understanding suffering and revenge

The following are my recollections of Rav Chaim Malinowitz's words said Shabbos morning in his shul in Beit Shemesh - Shabbos Parshas Matos - July 19th, 2014. He did not review this and any errors are soley mine. I felt that during these difficult days - they are relevant to all of us.
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He noted that it had been a difficult two weeks, he just finished Shiva for his brother - Rav Zalman Malinowitz z"l - on Sunday and there was the ground invasion of Gaza.

In this week's parsha (Bamidbar 31:1): G-d commands Moshe to avenge the Jews by attacking Midian because they had risen against the Jewish people. Then in (Bamidbar 31:3) Moshe commands them to attack Midian to avenge G-d. Rashi says, "That when Midian rose against the Jews it was as if they had attacked G-d. Therefore we see that an attack on the Jewish people is to be viewed as an attack against G-d. A person who is attacked because he is a Jew needs to be avenged because we are G-d's people.

While the Jews were clearly commanded to take revenge against Midian [and not Moav see Rashi], there is a problem in understanding the nature of revenge. We know that psychologically revenge is extremely sweet. Yet we know that the Torah prohibits taking revenge [Vayikra 19:18/however see Yoma 23a – difference between Torah Scholar and money] On the other hand we have the gemora that indicates it is a great thing.
Berachos (33a) R. Ammi said: Great is knowledge, since it was placed at the beginning of the weekday blessings. R. Ammi also said: Great is knowledge since it was placed between two names, as it says, For a God of knowledge is the Lord. And if one has not knowledge, it is forbidden to have mercy on him, as it says, For it is a people of no understanding, therefore He that made them will have no compassion upon them. R. Eleazar said: Great is the Sanctuary, since it has been placed between two names, as it says, Thou hast made, O Lord, the sanctuary, O Lord. R. Eleazar also said: Whenever there is in a man knowledge, it is as if the Sanctuary had been built in his days; for knowledge is set between two names, and the Sanctuary is set between two names. R. Aha Karhina'ah demurred to this. According to this, he said, great is vengeance since it has been set between two names, as it says, God of vengeance, O Lord; He replied: That is so; that is to say, it is great in its proper sphere; and this accords with what ‘Ulla said: Why two vengeances here? One for good and one for ill. For good, as it is written, He shined forth from Mount Paran; for ill, as it is written, God of vengeance, O Lord, God of vengeance, shine forth. [Rashi - when revenge is needed it is a great thing]
We see from this gemora that revenge is comparable in greatness to knowledge and the Beis Hamikdosh- but only when it is for the proper reason – otherwise it is bad.

In essence we have two types of revenge. That which is because of personal hurt or embarrassment – which is prohibited and that which is concerning G-d or justice. He noted that Rav S. R. Hirsch says that the root of the word for revenge is קם to stand or raise up. Rav Hirsch says that revenge taken in order to correct an obvious injustice is in fact desirable but one which is done to feel good against someone who has hurt us is wrong. 

He gave other examples. Midian was also attacked as revenge because of selling Yosef – even though it had been done many years before. We also find that the last thing that Dovid did was to instruct Shlomo to take revenge against someone who had commited the capital crime of rebelling against him - but that he had promised not to personally  harm. Both of these cases were not personal revenge for personal satisfaction but rather done entirely to correct an injustice which had been done in the world - that was needed for the greater good.

The other issue he talked about was connected to the recent petirah of his brother. Since it was Shabbos he said he was not going to give a hesped or say words that caused pain. Rather he was going to talk about some lessons which he felt applied to all of us that needed to be inculcated in ourselves and our children.

He noted that many people came during the Shiva. He said the high point of the shiva was the visit of Rav Don Segal. When he came, the non-family members were asked to leave so he could have a private meeting with the family. He noted that Rav Segal said many things and he was asked many questions and they felt a deep comfort and understanding from his words. In the course of half an hour, 3 basics points were expressed that he felt were critical to emphasize that everyone needs to inculcate them in themselves and their children. While they might seem obvious – it is necessary to work on understanding them and see and know them in reality and not just have them as religious beliefs. In fact he asked Rav Segal whether a person should pray that he know them to be true and not just believe them to be true – and Rav Segal said yes.

1) Everything that happens is caused by G-d. 2) G-d has a plan for what happens 3) What happens is good. 

He noted as an illustration of this, that when the great mechanech - Rav Yaakov Bender his brother's employer – had come he told his brother's son who is 15 the following. "My father also died why I was 15 and it was very painful. However over the years I have come to the realization that all that I have accomplished in chinuch and other areas is only because of the sensitivity I acquired from the loss of my father."

We need to actively look and try to understand what G-d's plan is for us and to know it is good.

Rav Moshe Shapiro’s approach to kiruv and the month of Shevat by Rav Chaim Malinowitz

The following is my summary of what Rav Chaim Malinowitz said Shabbos morning Rosh Chodesh Shevat. It has not been seen or approved by Rav Malinowitz and I take full responsibility for any errors in understanding or reporting what was said.

Today is Rosh Chodesh Shevat. The mazel of this month is known in English as Aquarius. In the secular world the Age of Aquarius is supposed be a Utopian time of love and peace – but that is a significant misunderstanding of the mazel. In Hebrew the astrological sign is referred to as the water bucket דלי. Torah is compared to water and thus it indicates the distribution of Torah. But the month has a number of other distinctions. It is also represented by Asher who was blessed by olive oil – both in Yaakov’s and Moshe’s beracha. Oil is representative of wisdom. It is important to note that oil and water don’t mix. So what does it mean to have a month which has  two components which are mutually exclusive and don’t mix?

The key to understanding this is a third factor of this month. Shevat is connected with the Giving of the Torah. We are told that Moshe started teaching Devarim or Mishneh Torah in Shevat. Devarim is different than the rest of the Torah in that it was initially said by Moshe from his own wisdom and then G-d incorporated it in the Torah [See Ohr HaChaim[1] Devarim 1:1].

In order to understand the meaning of these three factors and how they actual constitute an integrated entity, I would like to talk about Rav Moshe Shapiro who was recently niftar. There were thousands and thousands of people who had a personal kesher with him. My personal kesher with him was because of  his shiurim on seder Taharos b’eeyun which I attended. I have done a lot of reading about him and a large number of his shiurim are available on Kol HaLashon. It is well known that he was a great talmid chachom. It is also known that he was a very deep thinker who presented views that expressed kabbalistic ideas in plain language. He gave many shiurim all over Israel including a very popular Thursday night shiur at Ohr Someach.

What is less known is that he was an important Torah leader and authority for Ohr Someach and the world of kiruv. Aside from his teaching at Ohr Someach, he was involved in guiding a number of other institutions for baalei teshuva. He also was the guiding force behind the program Nefesh Yehudi that arranges Torah learning with college students. He was involved with kiruv around the world including Moscow and Paris.

However what is even less known is his understanding of kiruv. He personally did not like the term kiruv. He viewed what he was doing was simply fulfilling the mitzva of talmud Torah (Torah study). If you look at the Rambam’s description of Torah study[2] he notes that not only is it an obligation to learn – but also to teach Torah. Learning and teaching Torah are both aspects of the same mitzva. Thus Rav Shapiro’s view was that what is called kiruv is simply teaching Torah.

There are significant differences between the conventional understanding of kiruv as attracting people to be observant and Rav Shapiro's understanding of teaching Torah. But this is not the time to go into that.

It is obvious that if a Torah scholar teaches others, there are times that he needs to learn Torah himself. Often the activity of teaching and learning Torah are mutually exclusive. In fact it is like water and oil. Water – as represented by the water bucket of the mazel דלי is to distribute something to others i.e., teaching. On the other hand, learning for oneself is building up one’s own wisdom – which is represented by oil. The balance between teaching and learning is something that is unique for each individual and it is important the he/she find the correct balance in order to be successful. A teacher can not ignore learning nor can a scholar ignore teaching. This explains the significance of the mazel of Shevat (water) and the association of Shevat with Asher (oil) and how they relate to each other.

But what does the fact that Moshe Rabbeinu starting teaching Devarim in Shevat – have to do with water and oil? In addition what significance does water and oil have to do with the fact that Moshe Rabbeinu initiated what was said in Devarim and that it later became included in Torah?

We can explain how all these things are related by noting that Devarim was based on Moshe Rabeinu’s own chochma (oil). In addition the teaching of that chochma was in fact what is symbolized by water. Finally that G-d acknowledged that Moshe correctly understood the chochma of Torah and accurately conveyed it to the Jewish people by incorporating Devarim into the Torah. Thus Moshe’s chochma and teaching - and his correct balance of the two - became an aspect of the Giving of the Torah. This was Rav Moshe Shapiro’s paradigm for kiruv and is the essence of this month of Shevat.


[1] Ohr HaChaim(Devarim 1:1) These are the words, etc. The words אלה  is restrictive, especially in regard to what has been written previously. Seeing Moshe recorded in this Book only words which he had spoken on his own initiative, the Torah wishes to emphasize that only the  words of admonition recorded in the Book were spoken by Moshe on his own initiative. We are told in the gemora (Megila 31b) that Moshe personally composed the curses recorded in the Book and that even legislation which Moshe repeated in this Book he had not been commanded to repeat but did so of his own volition. The Torah was concerned that we might conclude that just as Moshe had felt free to say things of this own volition in this Book, he might have done so in the previous four books. That is why this Book commences with the words אלה הדברים  only these words Moshe spoke of his own volition, none other".

[2] רמב"ם (הלכות תלמוד תורה פרק א:א-ד):
הלכה א
נשים ועבדים וקטנים פטורים מתלמוד תורה, אבל קטן אביו חייב ללמדו תורה שנאמר ולמדתם אותם את בניכם לדבר בם, ואין האשה חייבת ללמד את בנה שכל החייב ללמוד חייב ללמד.
הלכה ב
כשם שחייב אדם ללמד את בנו כך הוא חייב ללמד את בן בנו שנאמר והודעתם לבניך ולבני בניך, ולא בנו ובן בנו בלבד אלא מצוה על כל חכם וחכם מישראל ללמד את כל התלמידים אף על פי שאינן בניו, שנאמר ושננתם לבניך מפי השמועה למדו בניך אלו תלמידיך שהתלמידים קרויין בנים שנאמר ויצאו בני הנביאים, אם כן למה נצטוה על בנו ועל בן בנו, להקדים בנו לבן בנו ובן בנו לבן חבירו.
הלכה ג
וחייב לשכור מלמד לבנו ללמדו, ואינו חייב ללמד בן חבירו אלא בחנם, מי שלא למדו אביו חייב ללמד את עצמו כשיכיר שנאמר ולמדתם אותם ושמרתם לעשותם, וכן אתה מוצא בכל מקום שהתלמוד קודם למעשה מפני שהתלמוד מביא לידי מעשה ואין המעשה מביא לידי תלמוד.
הלכה ד
היה הוא רוצה ללמוד תורה ויש לו בן ללמוד תורה הוא קודם לבנו, ואם היה בנו נבון ומשכיל להבין מה שילמוד יותר ממנו בנו קודם, ואף על פי שבנו קודם לא יבטל הוא, שכשם שמצוה עליו ללמד את בנו כך הוא מצווה ללמד עצמו.

Levaya Of Hagaon HaRav Chaim Zev Malinowitz ZATZAL


https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/boruch-dayan-emmes/1803045/levaya-of-hagaon-harav-chaim-zev-malinowitz-zatzal.html


The Levayah will be held at 9:30AM at 34 Nachal Refaim in Bet Shemesh. Kevurah will take place in Rechovot.

Boruch Dayan HaEmmes…

https://matzav.com/rav-chaim-zev-malinowitz-ztl/
https://www.kikar.co.il/337621.html


The levaya for HoRav Malinowitz will take place at Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham on Erev Shabbos.

Hespedim will begin at 9:45 AM.

WOMEN: In Ulam Shabsai (with audio and visual connection to the hespedim) with chairs. Speakers will be set up outside for overflow.

MEN: In the Beis Medrash and Ezras Nashim/Vasikin. There will be some chairs set up for the older men. Speakers will be set up outside for overflow.

The Kevura will take place in the Rechovot Cemetery, on Yehuda Gorodiski street (בית העלמין רחובות רחוב גורודיסקי).

Plan to finish by 1 PM, the latest.

Gordon Sondland’s impeachment testimony on Trump and Ukraine adds up to bribery

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/11/20/trump-impeachment-sondland-quid-pro-quo-bribery-column/4248092002/

Sondland not only confirmed the Ukraine quid pro quo, he unequivocally tied it to Trump and his requirements for personally beneficial investigations.


Sondland declares quid pro quo, pundits call testimony damaging to Trump


https://www.foxnews.com/media/sondland-declares-quid-pro-quo-pundits-call-testimony-damaging-to-trump

The Donald Trump mega-donor who was awarded with an ambassadorship stepped into the impeachment spotlight Wednesday and said the president basically did what Democrats are accusing him of doing.

Gordon Sondland, who had already changed his testimony once, delivered a torrent of words, but none more important than these: “Was there a quid pro quo?...The answer is yes.”

What’s more, the ambassador who was once cast as a pro-Trump witness provided a road map to the Ukraine mess, made clear many top officials were involved, and said it was done at the “express direction” of the president. “Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.”

The high-decibel rebuttals from the GOP could not drown out the fact that Gordon Sondland’s appearance was, to put it mildly, not helpful to the president.

Ingraham: Storytime with Adam Schiff

Judge Napolitano: Sondland gave the most compelling testimony of any Trump impeachment witness to date

Judge Andrew Napolitano claimed Wednesday that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was the most compelling witness of the Trump impeachment inquiry hearings to date.
Napolitano told Neil Cavuto on "Your World" that Sondland "painted a picture" that described President Trump's overtures to Ukraine in a negative light.

Wallace On Sondland's 'Blowtorch' Testimony: 'Today Changed Everything' | MSNBC



Gordon Sondland May Have Just Sealed President Trump's Impeachment




https://time.com/5735157/gordon-sondland-trump-impeachment/



Fox's Chris Wallace rips Trump over Sondland's bombshell testimony

A Pentagon official unexpectedly blew up Trump's defense in the Ukraine scandal and Gordon Sondland threw everyone under the bus. Here are the biggest takeaways from Wednesday's impeachment hearings.


Sondland was initially believed to be the key witness on Wednesday, but Cooper took the spotlight when she revealed damning new information that undermined President Donald Trump's entire defense in the snowballing Ukraine scandal.

Here are the biggest takeaways from Wednesday's hearings:
Cooper revealed that her staff received two emails from the State Department on July 25 asking about US military aid to Ukraine.

Petur Nafshi At Risk?


BS"D

By Binyomin Feinberg, Contributor to The Jewish Press*

FeinbergBinyomin@gmail.com

* The perspectives and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of The Jewish Press.

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To check for updates throughout the week please visit ("Updates for Cheshvan" at: )


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We received late word of the incarceration of yet another innocent Orthodox girl, Adel bas Ilana Naavah, a 19 y/o languishing in Military Prison number 6. We hope to provide more details as confirmation becomes available.

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Parshas Chayei-Soroh, 5780 °° Nov. 21, '19 (ver.2)


Major News Relevant to IDF Female Draft: Psychological Military Exemptions Under Fire


Just about a week after Maariv reported on the IDF goal of targeting 40% of national religious high school girls for military service (see https://daattorah.blogspot.com/2019/11/online-updates-in-culture-wars-parshas.html ) -- Maariv reported (Fri., Nov.11) on another major development that could have a massive impact on religious girls of all sectors seeking IDF service exemptions. In the wake of the recent difficulties in obtaining Religious Exemptions (Petur Dat), many girls have been advised by some organizations (like Bnos Melech) to seek the primary alternative legal avenue - heretofore more acceptable to the IDF - a "Petur Nafshi," an exemption for psychological reasons. The IDF has been particularly accommodating of this type of exemption. That government policy has encouraged many, many religious girls, via many of the activists helping them, to avail themselves of this legal provision, especially where the alternative is a frequently uncomfortable dispute with the government over a Religious Exemption.


However, as repeatedly warned about by a leading Giyus Banos opponent, Rabbi Laizer Yehuda Weiss, the government accommodation of a Petur Nafshi (PN) may be short lived, and, worse, serve as a trojan-horse method of calling into question the exemptions already granted to hundreds of religious girls, girls who were unwilling or unable to fight for their Religious Exemptions, or, in many cases advised not to bother.


The IDF claims that in 2018CE, applications for PN rose 30% from 2017, from about 3,500 to 4,500. According to the Army numbers, over 53% of those 4,500 [total] PN 2018 exemptions were for religious youth.

Moreover, over a TWO year period, in the secular community, PN exemptions rose about 30%, while among religious boys they rose about 50% (from 262 to 391 religious boys) in just one year. Interestingly, the statistics for religious girls weren't provided in that report. (If indeed the IDF plans on targeting past exemptions of girls en masse, R"L, it is feared that they may now opt to draw public attention to the boys, and away from girls.)

The article indicated that the IDF plans on vigorously investigating this PN phenomenon, a trend which until now they've actively encouraged, while sometimes illegally denying Religious Exemptions to girls seeking that conventional path. The government now may likey crack down on the PN exemptions, not only going forward, but even retroactively. Such a policy shift could potentially endanger the status of many, many hundreds of girls who were advised or compelled by circumstances to seek a PN exemption. This could spell disastrous for untold numbers of families. (We're informed that roughly about 45 years ago the IDF had disqualified a large number of IDF exemptions retroactively, and required their recipients to redo the exemption process. If that would recur nowadays, given recent human and religious rights abuses perpetrated under the "rightwing" government of Netanyahu in their forced enlistment of girls, the scenario could become one of bedlam.)

At this point, it's imperative for any draft-age girl in Israel, including dual citizens from Chutz La'Aretz visiting Eretz Yisroel, to ensure that she obtain sound advice in securing her IDF exemption, if at all possible by securing her legal rights to a religious - rather than psychological - exemption. (She should also ensure she obtain her permanent exemption, not just a temporary deferment).


The "Chomosaich" volunteer network has been providing advice on such an approach, recently attaining a 95% success rate of obtaining Religious Exemptions. Call them 24/6 (in Israel: ) 03-545-6770 for free expert assistance anytime day or night. Chomosaich provides information for girls regardless of their religious affiliation or background.

Israel May Hold New Elections After Netanyahu's Rival Fails To Form Government


https://www.npr.org/2019/11/20/781260650/israel-may-hold-new-elections-after-netanyahus-rival-fails-to-form-government

Israel is set to continue without a government and may be heading to new elections after Benny Gantz, rival of longtime Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Wednesday that he missed a deadline to form a government.

Netanyahu, who is facing the possibility of imminent indictment on corruption charges, also failed to form a coalition following the hotly contested election in September.

Gantz's announcement that he could not meet the deadline set by President Reuven Rivlin doesn't automatically trigger new elections. Rather, it kicks off another wave of political haggling — Israel's parliament has 21 days to nominate another lawmaker to try to form a majority government. If no other lawmakers are successful, it could usher in a third and unprecedented election this year, which Netanyahu has described as "institutional insanity."

Gantz, a longtime military leader and relative political newcomer, said his Blue and White party did everything it could.

Get Me'usa explicit treat only?



On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 11:39 PM Rav Shalom Chaim Spira ; wrote:
Shalom Aleikhem Ha-Rav ha-Ga'on R. Daniel Eidensohn, shlit"a,
Thank you for the honour of the question. In response, I am enclosing a scan of Be-Netivot ha-Halakhah Vol. 1 (KTAV Publishing, 1996), pp. 47-52, where R. J. David Bleich answers your question [in the specific context of the 1992 New York Get Law] by arguing that even an implicit threat of financial coercion - if understood as such by a typical husband - will disqualify the resulting get. Of special interest is footnote 16, where Rav Bleich raises a havah amina that perhaps his "implicit coercion" thesis is at odds with Chazon Ish, but then answers Chazon Ish in such a manner to be consistent with his thesis. To this student, it seems intuitive that Chazon Ish is in harmony with Rav Bleich's thesis; see Section L of my prenup essay <http://www.scribd.com/doc/176990434/Prenuptial-Agreementswhere I present Chazon Ish as such. 
Now, although you did not specifically ask me about the South African Get Law identified by Iggerot Mosheh, Even ha-Ezer IV, no. 106, I see that in your post you raised the issue, so allow me to refer you to Section J of my aforementioned where I offer different approaches to that South African responsum. 
[N.B. My prenup essay assumes that Vol. 7 of Iggerot Mosheh (which includes the South African Get Law responsum) represents the considered ruling of R. Moshe Feinstein - delivered while he was in good health - and therefore needs to be carefully studied-and-applied like the first six volumes of the same work. However, after I already published my prenup essay (which I am no longer at liberty to modify since it is now being studied by a secular Canadian court, and be-Ezrat Ha-Shem Yitbarakh this will result in a very positive blessing for Canadian Jewry), this student discovered that Rav Bleich has issued contradictory indications on whether he accepts the provenance of Vol. 7 of Iggerot Mosheh. I refer to this concept in footnote 239 of my brain death essay at <http://www.scribd.com/document/375175373/Halakhic-Bioethic >. In any event, I don't think this will result in a practical halakhic difference: neither for coerced gittin nor for brain death. It's more of an academic fascination. And, of course, Kevod Torato ha-Rav has publicized this academic fascination at http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2019/01/who-wrote-late-volumes-of-igrot-moshe.html ]

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

‘It was no secret’: Sondland says Trump ordered Ukraine pressure campaign


https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/20/gordon-sondland-impeachment-testimony-071708

President Donald Trump’s top Europe envoy Gordon Sondland told House impeachment investigators Wednesday that Trump conditioned a valuable White House meeting for Ukraine's new president on his willingness to launch investigations into Trump’s Democratic adversaries, including former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’” Sondland — a close Trump ally and longtime GOP donor — said in his opening remarks to the House Intelligence Committee. “The answer is yes.”

New Haven rabbi convicted of 4 felonies wants new trial, claims witnesses intimidated


https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/New-Haven-rabbi-convicted-of-4-felonies-wants-new-14846214.php

Lawyers for Rabbi Daniel Greer, who was convicted on four counts of risk of injury to a minor and is due to be sentenced Wednesday, have filed a motion asking for a new trial because, the attorneys allege, “an admitted agent of the state harassed and attempted to intimidate” two defense witnesses.

Attorneys David Grudberg and William Dow III have charged that Lawrence Dressler, whose blog, www.larrynoodles.com, has contained “hundreds of negative items regarding Daniel Greer,” confronted witnesses Jean Ledbury and Thomas DeRosa near the courtroom and at DeRosa’s home in Southbury.

Utah nanny convicted of all counts in childhood abuse of rabbi


https://www.deseret.com/2019/11/15/20965657/utah-nanny-convicted-of-all-counts-in-childhood-abuse-of-rabbi

His decision to come forward publicly in a February Deseret News article set off a #MeToo movement within the Orthodox Jewish world. He received an outpouring of messages of support and encouragement, including from over 20 people who said they were also survivors of sexual abuse.

Among those cheering the guilty verdicts Friday were Elizabeth Smart and Rabbi Peretz Chein, the co-founder of the Chabad House at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Rabbi Zippel’s disclosure inspired Chein to come forward forward as a survivor of sexual abuse earlier this year.

Smart, who was kidnapped at age 14 and sexually abused, said Friday she is “so happy to hear justice was served today.” She has advised Rabbi Zippel throughout the case and attended a February preliminary hearing.

“It takes a great deal of courage for a victim to share their story to anyone. It takes even more to take the witness stand to testify and be cross examined,” Smart continued.

Alexander Vindman: In The Country That I Served, Right Matters | The Last Word | MSNBC

<

Chris Cuomo: If GOP is desperate for truth, why hide witnesses?

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell 11/19/19 | Lawrence O'Donnell MSNBC News NOV 19, 2019




Fox's Neil Cavuto RIPS Trump for criticizing Chris Wallace in viral speech


Tuesday’s impeachment hearings were a disaster for Republicans

In theory, the makeup of Tuesday’s House Intelligence impeachment hearings could have led to a balanced day, with some good news for Democrats and some for Republicans.

The first part of the hearing featured testimony from two witnesses called by the Democrats: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official who listened in on President Trump’s call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, and Jennifer Williams, a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Mike Pence. The second part was devoted to two witnesses called by the Republicans: former US ambassador to Ukraine Kurt Volker and former Trump foreign policy adviser Tim Morrison.

But Tuesday’s testimony was, from practically top to bottom, a disaster for the president and his Republican allies.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Republicans Smear And Slander Ahead Of Testimony | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Say Impeachment Hearings Won't Change Their Minds


https://www.npr.org/2019/11/19/780540637/poll-americans-overwhelmingly-say-impeachment-hearings-wont-change-their-minds?sc=tw
But 65% of Americans say they can't imagine any information or circumstances during the impeachment inquiry where they might change their minds about their position on impeachment. And 30% say yes, it's possible.

Shock at Yeshivah


https://ajn.timesofisrael.com/shock-at-yeshivah/

THE appointment of former Yeshivah Committee of Management (COM) member Michael Goldhirsch to the Yeshivah Centre Limited (YCL) board has been met with shock by sections of the community.

Chabad Institutions of Victoria Limited (CIVL) announced this week that Goldhirsch is a new member of its board, and that it has nominated him as one of three representatives on the YCL board, which is the roof board of CIVL and Yeshivah and Beth Rivkah Colleges.

Goldhirsch was a member of the COM until soon after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2015.

During the time he was on the COM, children were sexually abused within the organisation and victims were re-victimised when they came forward.

Israel's nurses bear brunt of teetering healthcare system


https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5622515,00.html

A report published by the OECD last week shows that in Israel there are five nurses for every 1000 citizens. This is far lower than the average for developed countries, which stands at nine nurses for every 1000 citizens.

"This is an unbelievable travesty," says Ilana Cohen, head of the Nurses' Union.

"The impossible overcrowding has finally reached the public consciousness," she says.



"There is no resemblance between how hospitals are told to operate by law and the facts on the ground. We are seconded for immunization campaigns with no replacements. It's time to settle the issue. We can't wait for a new government to form," she says.

West Bank settlements not illegal, Pompeo announces in historic shift


https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/West-Bank-settlements-not-illegal-US-decides-in-historic-US-policy-shift-608222

In a historic reversal of US policy, the Trump administration announced on Monday that it does not view Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal. The policy change was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington.
“After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with president Reagan,” Pompeo said in reference to Ronald Reagan’s position that settlements were not inherently illegal. “The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.

What Does Rudy Giuliani’s Son Do?


https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/11/andrew-giuliani-white-house/602110/

Yet for the differing opinions on the nature of Giuliani’s role, the officials I spoke to were certain that Giuliani had nabbed a White House post in the first place because of his father. A second former senior White House official plainly called it “a nepotism job.” But Munisteri said that anyone who frames it this way “has an ax to grind.” He added that Giuliani, a former professional golfer, was qualified on his own for this particular role, because “it’s the type of position where you need someone with an outgoing personality.” (Andrew Giuliani didn’t return a request for comment.)



Saturday, November 16, 2019

Injurious': Trump Attacks Impeachment Witness During Testimony | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC


HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR SAYS TRUMP ATTACKING WITNESS DURING IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS IS ANOTHER 'IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE

 https://www.newsweek.com/trump-attacking-witness-impeachable-offense-1472095

President Donald Trump attacking a witness during his impeachment inquiry hearings on Friday is a separate "impeachable offense," a Harvard Law School professor opined.

Trump tweeted attacks at ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch—whom the president described as "bad news" in his controversial July 25 call with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy—as she offered her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

"Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad," Trump tweeted on Friday morning. "She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President's absolute right to appoint ambassadors."

Harvard law professor John Coates noted, "the President of the United States is publicly attacking a witness in a Congressional impeachment hearing while she is testifying."

He is lying about her, her record, and the Constitution, and is threatening her—itself an independent impeachable offense," Coates concluded.

Coates added that "once caught in a crime, Trump's mob-schooled instinct is to intimidate witnesses—yet another crime," and shared a link on whether Trump committed witness tampering.


Roger Stone Found Guilty of Witness Tampering, Lying to Congress

https://time.com/5730128/roger-stone-guilty/

Roger Stone, a longtime friend and ally of President Donald Trump, was found guilty Friday of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election bid.

Stone was convicted of all seven counts in an indictment that accused him of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.

He is the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Rav Tendler's addendum to Igros Moshe

I was asked recently whether this is consistent with the view of Rav Moshe found in Igros Moshe קIV #106
שו"ת אגרות משה אבן העזר חלק ד סימן קו
בענין ההשתדלות לעשות חוק שיהודי הנפרד מאשתו בגירושין של המדינה יצטרך לפוטרה בגט כשר. 
כ"ב מר - חשון תש"מ מע"כ הרה"ג מהר"ר יעקב הכהן זעלצער שליט"א הגאב"ד דקה"י עדת ישורון ביאהאנעסבורג יצ"ו. 
הנה בדבר ההשתדלות שיעשו חוק בפרלאמענט שכל מגרש אשתו כשהוא בן ברית יהיה מחוייב לפטור את אשתו גם בגט כשר בב"ד כשר של ישראל, ודאי הוא ענין גדול מאד, ואין בזה משום עישוי ע"י נכרים מאחר דבידו שלא לגרש כלל גם לא בגירושין (דיווארס) של המדינה, ורק מחמת רצונו לקבל גירושין של המדינה להפטר מחיוביו לאשה זו ולהיות רשאי ליקח אשה אחרת והם לא יתנו לו בלא גט כשר של ישראל רוצה ליתן הגט, דדמי זה ממש לאחד שלא רצה ליתן גט וכשנתנו לו איזה אלפים שקלים נתרצה ליתן גט דלא נחשב עישוי מאחר דרצונו בהממון עדיף לו מרצונו שלא ליתן גט ומעשים בכל יום שמשחדים להבעל ליתן גט בכל תפוצות ישראל, ועישוי שהוא פסול הוא כשמכין אותו או מחזיקים אותו בבית האסורין או עושין לו יסורים אחרים כדי שיתן גט הוא נחשב מגרש באונס שפסול, וכן אף אונס ממון בכה"ג שיחייבו אותו המדינה ליתן לה משלו לעונש על שאינו נותן לה גט הוא נחשב מגרש באונס ממון שלא יפסיד, וכן כשאחד יחטוף מהבעל סך גדול ולא יחזיר לו עד אחר שיתן גט הוא נחשב מגרש באונס, אך יהיה הנידון אם אונס ממון הוא בדין מגרש באונס עיין בש"ע אה"ע סימן קל"ד סעי' ד' ברמ"א ובפ"ת ס"ק י"א, אבל כשנותנין לו ממון שירצה בשביל זה ליתן גט הוא פשוט שאינו אונס כמעשים בכל יום, וכמו כן ממש הוא כשיתן גט מחמת שרוצה להשיג גירושין של המדינה. ואף באסור בבית האסורים בשביל איזה ענין אחר, והאשה היה לה מי שישתדל להוציאו לחפשי כשיתן גט נמי אין זה בחשיבות מגרש באונס, דמאחר דלא היו היסורין שלו כדי שיתן גט אלא בשביל ענין אחר ונתינת הגט היתה להצלתו מהיסורין הוא רצון גמור והוא דבר פשוט ומסתבר, וזה גט כשר אף כשליכא חיוב גירושין. 
אבל יצטרכו לראות שהחוק יקבעו בצורה שלא יתנו גירושין של המדינה אלא אחרי שיפטרנה בגט בב"ד כשר ותהיה מותרת להנשא לאחר מצד התורה והאמונה, דאם יקבעו בלשון שבן ברית צריך להיתר נישואיו לאחרת לא רק לגירושין של המדינה אלא גם גט כשר מב"ד של ישראל ואם ישא אשה בלא גט כשר יענש כמו מי שנושא אשה בלא גירושין של המדינה, לא ברור אצלי להחשיב שהוא בלא אונס מאחר דלא היה הגט לעיכוב להשגת גירושין של המדינה אלא שקבעו חוק למי שהיה נשוי שאסור לו לישא אחרת אף שיש לו גירושין של המדינה כשאין לו גם גט אף שידע זה מתחלה ונתרצה לזה, הרי נמצא כשחזר בו ואינו רוצה לגרשה ומצד יראת העונש אינו חוזר בו ומגרשה שהוא נותן הגט מצד עונש הגוף דחוק המדינה שאפשר נחשב אנוס אף דמתחלה הבטיח ליתן מצד רצונו בגירושין של המדינה, ולכן צריך שיהיה לשון החוק דלא יתנו לו גירושין של המדינה עד שיגרש את אשתו בגט כשר. 
גם כיון שבעוה"ר איכא קהלות הרשעים שהם הרעפארמער וקאנסערוואטיוון צריך להשתדל שיהיה החוק שיתן לה גט כשר אצל ארטאדאקסי /אורטודוקסי/ ולהסביר להם שמה שהוא גט כשר שנעשה ע"י רב ארטאדאקסי יהיה כשר גם אצל הרעפארמער וקאנסערווטיוון וגט של ב"ד רעפארמער וקאנסערוואטיוון אינו כלום אצל כל ישראל. 
ובדבר שאלה השניה שאם השופט דמדינה יטיל על הבעל כשאינו רוצה לגרשה תשלום דכסף למזונותיה ולכל צרכיה עד שיגרשנה בגט כשר אם נחשב זה גט מעושה, הנה הא עד שתתגרש מבעלה הא הוא חייב במזונותיה ובכל צרכיה מדינה ורשאה לילך לערכאות שיכופו אותו ליתן לה מזונותיה וכל צרכיה, ואף שהם יוסיפו שצריך לזונה אף כשהיא עושה מלאכה ומרווחת נמי כשיחייבוהו שיתן לה למזונותיה ולכל צרכיה בכל אופן פשוט שאם יגרשנה ליפטר מחיוב זה אין זה בחשיבות גט מעושה ויהיה גט כשר לכתחלה. 
ודבר גדול הוא מאד והשי"ת יצליח אותם בדבר הגדול לתקנת בנות ישראל. 
ידידו, משה פיינשטיין. 
I responded it is dealing with a different question i.e. whether Get me'usa requires an explicit or implicit threat if husband does not give get and indicates only explicit threats are problematic







Turkish media paints White House visit as Erdoğan triumph over Trump


https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/470559-turkish-media-paints-white-house-visit-as-erdogan-triumph-over-trump


Turkish media are seizing on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s comments that President Trump had “no reaction” to his returning the American leader’s notorious letter to him, saying it shows a clear victory over Trump.

A headline in Sabah Daily, a pro-government media outlet, said that international media were reporting that Erdoğan returned the “scandalous” letter to Trump and the American president was “silent.”

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Rudy Giuliani’s Op-Ed Defense Of Donald Trump Backfires Spectacularly


https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rudy-giuliani-op-ed-wall-street-journal_n_5dcbc31ae4b0d43931cc8308

Giuliani, in the piece titled “The Case for the Impeachment Defense,” attempted to defend Trump by noting how the president spent only a fraction of his July phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky (which sparked the impeachment inquiry) asking him to investigate potential 2020 rival Joe Biden allegedly in exchange for withheld military aid.

“The focus was on Ukrainian corruption broadly speaking and out of a five-page transcript Mr. Trump spent only six lines on Joe Biden,” Giuliani wrote on the eve of the public impeachment hearings.

Online Updates in the Culture Wars - Parshas VaYaira, 5780 °° Nov.14, '19



BS"D

Online Updates in the Culture Wars

Parshas VaYaira, 5780 °° Nov.14, '19


By Binyomin Feinberg, Contributor to The Jewish Press*


feinbergbinyomin@gmail.com


* The perspectives and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of The Jewish Press.

~~~~~~~~~~~

To check for updates throughout the week please visit ("Updates for Cheshvan" at: )

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11EUa2a_8OwXs7T1vMfek3MehHfC2Rd9mWt6NetNxLm0/edit?usp=sharing

~~~~~~~~~~

Update on Ziva bas Mazal:

This week, the Army called Ziva yet again to harass her over her steadfast fidelity to Jewish Law and personal modesty in her unwavering refusal to enlist in the Israeli military. She responded with characteristic firmness, stating that she is religious and therefore cannot and will not enlist, and there is really nothing to talk about.*

{* Ironically, it is this demonstrably resolute young woman whom someone recently described as "weak," in regards to her ability to resist the religious persecution of IDF. That individual was seeking a pretext to propose that Ziva avoid fighting for her religious exemption (and instead, to obtain a different type of exemption, but in a quiet manner, which would allow the Army to continue to continue to deny religious exemptions with impunity).}


For background on her case, see:

Giyus Banos: The Outrage Continues

https://daattorah.blogspot.com/2019/10/outrage-upon-outrage.html

https://daattorah.blogspot.com/2019/10/making-racism-great-again.html

***

IDF ANNOUNCES MASSIVE CRUSADE AGAINST GIRLS IN THE NATIONAL RELIGIOUS CAMP:


The IDF is targeting a whopping 40 percent of the graduates of National Religious girls' high schools for the military draft by the year 2022, according to the military reporter for Maariv (Nov.5).

According to the IDF, the number of religious girls now being drafted is approximately 2,500 per year (which includes 27 percent of girls from National Religious schools).
The IDF recruits these girls with effective marketing techniques and appealing enticements often aimed at weaker girls. It should be emphasized that this agenda is aimed at Torah-observant girls who are legally exempt from serving.

°°°

In related news, Olga S., an 18-year-old baalas teshuva, reports that she was denied her religious exemption despite properly following procedures, at an August 14 hearing at the Tel HaShomer Draft Office.

The officer reportedly told her that the army decided not to provide her an exemption, without providing any legal rationale or pretext. Consequently, she was given a draft-date of October 27.
She refused to enlist, and thus lives daily under the threat of imminent arrest.

Her strength of character is inspirational to the activists helping her. There are multiple girls like her, about whom we don't hear - until an arrest, if then.

Is she being discriminated against because she's a baalas teshuvah without a support system?

~~~

Israel may be heading for a Unity Government, comanaged by the Likud and Blue & White mainstream blocks. That means that the religious parties will be asked to, or seek to compromise to join. On what will they compromise? Will they agree to sacrifice on the drafting of girls, for which they failed to properly advocate when they had the power in the government to meaningfully protest? The saintly Brisker Rov ZT"L (see "The Brisker Rav," pp. 49–51, 56–57), to whom many of them pay lip service as a Gadol, held that it was better to close all the Yeshivos if need be rather than to draft even one girl. But the political parties, in contrast, allow the drafting of girls to pass quietly, apparently under the pretext of helping their own institutions.

~~~

UK Clergy Push Back Against LGBT School Requirements


Recently, the British Confraternity of Catholic Clergy issued a statement in response to rules in Great Britain requiring UK schools to teach respect for conduct that the Torah regards as immoral.

It declares, in part: "Parents are the principal educators of their children and their right to teach their own children about matters of human intimacy and relationships must be maintained. The right to withdraw children from lessons parents judge to be age inappropriate, insufficiently tailored to their childs unique needs or against their own legitimate religious beliefs must be held as an unassailable principle." ( http://www.confraternityccb.org.uk/ )

We wish the Catholics in England success in their campaign to resist state overreach. On this issue, we are in the same boat. We, too, must be prepared to tell New York state that we will not go along with any educational requirements requiring us to teach our children values that stand in contrast to those of the Torah, particularly the LGBTQ agenda, which is the flagship crusade of the NYS Democratic Party Establishment -- which been pushing for the Educational Equivalency Regulations, and which has been advancing LGBTQ indoctrination in Public Schools since well before it enacted it in 2010 (in the Dignity for All Students Act).
~~~

According to the Akeidas Yitzchak on this week's parsha (VaYairoh, 20). Even Sodom didn't sink to the depth of depravity of celebration of sodomy. They employed Sodomy as a evil method of detering visitors, but did not revel in it as a normal mode of activity.
Even Sodom did not host Pride Parades. Even Sodomites didn't clamour for "rights" for flagrant practitioners of sodomy. But in what passes for modern Civilization, this abomination (VaYikra 18:22) is celebrated. Do we expect a favorable Divine Judgement?