Monday, November 9, 2009

R' Tropper: Is the transcript of Rav Reuven false?

It is interesting to note the rapidity with which R' Tropper comments about the "inaccuracy" of material on my blog. He has longed claimed that my purpose in posting material concerning him and EJF is only because of my obsession to attack him - and it has nothing to do with the validity of the questions. Given R' Troppers view of me and his accusations that I lack integrity and perhaps the competence to understand the halachic literature, I am anxiously waiting for him to accuse me of fabricating this transcript and to charge that Rav Reuven never said those things and I am only posting it to try to embarrass him and Rav Reuven Feinstein,chas v'shalom.

In short I challenge R' Tropper to claim that this material is a lie. I would love to hear him say - that since he has been meeting with Rav Reuven at least once a week for a long time that he knows exactly the views of Rav Reuven and of course diligently follows the views of Rav Reuven - that it is inconceivable that Rav Reuven has said the words that I reported in the transcript.

Alternatively I would like to hear how R' Tropper justifies his actions - which he claims are done under the guidance of Rav Reuven Feinstein - which are appear blatantly at variance with the views reported here in the name of Rav Reuven.

In sum, either the transcript is false and is full of lies or R' Tropper needs to explain why he doesn't listen to the views of his halachic authority or he alternatively needs to explain how Rav Reuven fully agrees with his progam of conferences in California, Arizona and the Lavie Hotel despite saying he doesn't.

Sen. Lieberman:Likely Moslem terrorist act

Crisis in Israel -United States relations


Relations between Israel and the United States are in crisis. This is the conclusion that stems from the difficulty in arranging a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama.

The White House wanted Netanyahu to sweat before being granted an audience with the president, and wanted everyone to see him perspire.

The delays in finding a time to meet, and pushing it to a late hour - after the news programs on Israeli television - make Netanyahu look as if Obama threw him a bone. In such circumstances, it is no longer important what will be said at the meeting, and the extent to which there will be an attempt to present it as an achievement. The prime minister of Israel was humiliated before all.[...]

Cellphone converted into medical microscope


MICROSCOPES are invaluable tools to identify blood and other cells when screening for diseases like anemia, tuberculosis and malaria. But they are also bulky and expensive.

Now an engineer, using software that he developed and about $10 worth of off-the-shelf hardware, has adapted cellphones to substitute for microscopes.

"We convert cellphones into devices that diagnose diseases," said Aydogan Ozcan, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and member of the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, who created the devices. He has formed a company, Microskia, to commercialize the technology. [...]

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Justice: Harvard Prof Sandel #6

Wife abuse at the Shabbos table



ח קורמן, מי שעומד בראש ארגון חרדי המטפל באלימות במשפחה, טוען כי
במגזר החרדי יש נשים מוכות - לא פחות משאר המגזרים בארץ. הוא סבור ששולחן
השבת משמש כאמצעי השפלה בידי הבעל המתעלל, ומסכם: "היום הנשים החרדיות כבר לא לבד"

Proving you are a Jew

One day last fall, a young Israeli woman named Sharon went with her fiancé to the Tel Aviv Rabbinate to register to marry. They are not religious, but there is no civil marriage in Israel. The rabbinate, a government bureaucracy, has a monopoly on tying the knot between Jews. The last thing Sharon expected to be told that morning was that she would have to prove — before a rabbinic court, no less — that she was Jewish. It made as much sense as someone doubting she was Sharon, telling her that the name written in her blue government-issue ID card was irrelevant, asking her to prove that she was she.

Sharon is a small woman in her late 30s with shoulder-length brown hair. For privacy’s sake, she prefers to be identified by only her first name. She grew up on a kibbutz when kids were still raised in communal children’s houses. She has two brothers who served in Israeli combat units. She loved the green and quiet of the kibbutz but was bored, and after her own military service she moved to the big city, which is the standard kibbutz story. Now she is a Tel Aviv professional with a master’s degree, a job with a major H.M.O. and a partner — when this story starts, a fiancé — who is “in computers.”

This stereotypical biography did not help her any more at the rabbinate than the line on her birth certificate listing her nationality as Jewish. Proving you are Jewish to Israel’s state rabbinate can be difficult, it turns out, especially if you came to Israel from the United States — or, as in Sharon’s case, if your mother did.[...]

Conversion confusion in Israel


Many converts wishing to get married face objections by chief city rabbis, religious councils who refuse to register them, claiming they 'do not observe mitzvot' [...]

R' Leib Tropper & Modern Orthodox/ R' Slifkin

This is not an endorsement of R' Slifkin's views. I am simply posting it as a summary of how this saga is playing out from a non-chareidi point of view. It is not as R' Tropper likes to say that I have a personal vendeta against him or his absurd claim that I have manipulated the Bedatz and Rav Sternbuch to attack him in order to defend R' Slifkin. There is a more fundamental question being addressed here, why is it necessary - in the pursuit of universally accepted conversions - to create major divisions amongst the segments of the Orthodox Jewish socieity?

R' Slifkin

One problem, which unites such disparate forces as the Badatz of Jerusalem and the Roshei Yeshivah of YU against EJF, is the charge that EJF encourages proselytization. This has been discussed at great length by R. Daniel Eidensohn on his blog Daas Torah. [...]

Friday, November 6, 2009

Irwin Katsof's campaign against gossip

Words Can Heal is a national campaign to eliminate verbal violence, curb gossip and promote the healing power of words to enhance relationships at every level. Words Can Heal has captured the imagination and commitment of an unprecedented coalition. Our board includes top governmental leadership, Wall Street’s most influential CEO’s, America’s leading clergy, Hollywood celebrities and community leaders of every stripe.

Life sentences for juveniles


Iraq doesn't do it. North Korea considers it a cruel form of punishment. But in the United States sentencing a juvenile to life in prison without the possibility of parole is legal.

But on November 9, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up two cases involving juvenile offenders in Florida who claim their life sentences for rape and robbery violate the cruel-and-unusual-punishment clauses of the Constitution.

There are about 2,500 juveniles (ranging in age from 13 to 17) currently sentenced to life in prison in the United States. No other country in the world currently has adolescents serving this sentence, reports the Frank C. Newman International Human Rights Law Clinic. [...]