Thursday, July 19, 2018

Conservative rabbi married a 'mamzer' Rabbinical courts: Conservative rabbi married a 'mamzer'


This is a man who married those prohibited from marriage who were at the time mamzerim, something which is criminal and forbidden by law - something that every Jew who fears Heaven condemns. In addition, he evaded arranging registrations as demanded by law,” the court administration said.
It should be noted that such a marriage, which is contrary to halakha and the law, is liable to bear children barred from a large part of the Jewish marriage pool and create a halakhic obstacle for much of the Jewish people. A wedding ceremony for those prohibited from marriage is not only forbidden under the Marriage and Divorce Registration Ordinance, but also under the Penal Law.
Dov Hayoun was questioned on suspicion of an offense under section 7 of the Marriage and Divorce Ordinance, which prohibits private marriage and divorce, and establishes a two-year prison term for marriage or divorce without registration, and on suspicion of an offense under the Penal Law.
Israel Police also stated that "It is the duty of Israel Police to investigate any offense committed in violation of the law, particularly in light of the binding decision of a competent judicial institution in Israel. In this case, too, the police opened an investigation following a decision by the Rabbinical Court in Haifa according to which the court instructed police to investigate the rabbi after he violated the Penal Code and the Marriage and Divorce Ordinance in Israel. "

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Historians Say President Trump Smashed U.S. Leadership Conventions During Rocky Europe Trip


 Plenty of U.S. presidents have created commotion in their travels abroad, but none as much as President Donald Trump.
The president’s tumultuous trip across Europe, historians say, smashed the conventions of American leaders on the world stage.
Trump’s “America first” approach to foreign policy had him seeming to accept the word of a hostile power over his own intelligence agencies, insulting allies and sowing doubts about his commitment to the NATO alliance.
“We’ve never had a president go abroad and not only lecture to our NATO allies, but also to embarrass them,” said Russia expert William Pomeranz, deputy director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center. “We’ve never had our president go on a foreign tour and categorize our allies as foes. And we’ve never had our president hold a joint news conference with a Russian leader where he assigned blame, from his perspective, to both parties, but in fact dedicated most of his time to blaming the U.S. Justice Department and intelligence services.”
While past presidents have had difficult foreign trips and been criticized for their summits with Soviet leaders, Trump’s behavior has few parallels, in the view of presidential historians and longtime Russia watchers.
Franklin Roosevelt was accused of “selling out” to Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference in 1945; John F. Kennedy and his aides admitted that he’d been unprepared for his 1961 Vienna summit with Nikita Khrushchev; the Reykjavík summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 was seen at the time to have ended in failure; and George W. Bush was mocked for telling reporters in 2001 after meeting with Putin that he had “looked the man in the eye” and “found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy.”
Trump’s trip was different.
“Frankly, I don’t think those U.S. presidents at any point came off as not pursuing U.S. security interests, as being taken in by the Soviet leader they were meeting with,” said Alina Polyakova, a foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution. “I think even President George W. Bush’s meeting, where he had that famous quote about looking into Putin’s eyes and seeing into his soul — this summit dwarfs that by a factor of a thousand.”
Indeed, even before he departed Washington, Trump had made clear that he was itching for a fight. He criticized members of NATO, the decades-old military alliance, for failing to spend enough on defense and suggested he might not be interested in “paying for Europe’s protection” any longer.
In his first appearance at a pre-summit breakfast in Brussels, he went after German Chancellor Angela Merkel, claiming Germany was “totally controlled” by Russia and later asked on Twitter, “What good is NATO.” The summit ended in a whiplash-inducing proclamation from the president that NATO was stronger than ever as he claimed he’d secured new commitments to defense spending, which those present later disputed.
The drama continued as Trump headed to his next stop, the U.K. His first official visit was overshadowed by fallout from the rhetorical grenade he’d lobbed at British Prime Minister Theresa May before arriving. In a tabloid interview, he criticized May’s Brexit plans, said he might no longer be open to a trade deal with the U.K., and said one of May’s political rival would be an excellent prime minister, undermining her at a time when her government is in turmoil.
Then came yet another interview, this one from one of his golf courses in Scotland, in which Trump categorized the European Union as a top geopolitical “foe.”
Nothing, however, had quite prepared the world for Trump’s comments in Helsinki after hours of meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded, meddled in the 2016 election, hacked Democratic Party emails and disseminated them in an effort to help Trump win.
Standing side-by-side on stage with the man accused of complicity in an attack on the very bedrock of American democracy, Trump said his intelligence people “think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this I don’t see any reason why it would be.” He also went after his Justice Department, calling its investigation into Russia’s efforts and potential collusion with Trump’s campaign a “disaster for our country.”
It was a stunning comment from an American president — one that he partially tried to walk back 24 hours later by blaming a grammatical glitch. But he did not retreat from a number of his other comments giving credence to Putin’s denials of election interference
“Trump 0 – Putin 1,” blared the front page of Finland’s Kauppalehti newspaper.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

is every medical cure problematic?????

Our Rabbis taught:10 King Hezekiah did six things; of three of them they [the Rabbis] approved and of three they did not approve. Of three they approved: he hid away the Book of Cures; and they approved of it; he broke into pieces the brazen serpent,11 and they approved of it; and he dragged the bones of his father [to the grave] on a bed of ropes,12 and they approved of it.13 Of three they did not approve: He stopped up the waters of Gihon,14 and they did not approve of it; he cut off [the gold] from the doors of the Temple and sent it to the King of Assyria,15 and they did not approve of it; and he intercalated the month of Nisan during Nisan,16 and they did not approve of it. But did not Hezekiah accept the teaching: This month shall be unto you the beginning of months:17 [this means] that this is Nisan and no other month shall be Nisan?18 — He went wrong over the teaching enunciated by Samuel. For Samuel said: The year must not be declared a prolonged year on the thirtieth of Adar, since this day may possibly belong to Nisan;19 and he thought: We do not pay heed to this possibility.20

רש"י מסכת ברכות דף י עמוד ב
שגנז ספר רפואות - כדי שיבקשו רחמים.

מהרש"א חידושי אגדות מסכת ברכות דף י עמוד ב
שגנז ספר הרפואות נמי אף על גב דבעיני אדם אינו טוב לגנוז שמבקשים ברפואות הרופא גם שניתן רשות לרופא לרפאות מ"מ בעיניך הוא טוב שאל יסמוך אדם על הרפואות ויהא לבו נכנע לבקש רחמים וק"ל
it seems clear from Rashi that prayer is better than medicine. so medicine is perhaps allowed but is not desirable

ספר בניהו בן יהוידע על ברכות דף י/ב
שם רבי לוי אמר שגנז ספר רפואות. נראה לי בס"ד הטעם שבא למצוא לו עזר מדבר זה לתפילתו, והוא כי מה שגנז ספר רפואות טוב עשה כדי שיהיה לבני אדם בטחון בהקב"ה, אך ודאי לעיני המון העם לא טוב עשה, ולא ניחא להו בהכי, ולכן אמר אם לא יתרפא מחולי זה ויחיה, עתה המון העם יחזיקו בסברתם לומר לא טוב עשיתי בגניזת ספר רפואות, ולכך זה היה העונש מדה כנגד מדה שלא נרפא מאותו חולי, ולא הועילה לו תפילה, לכך תרפאני כדי שבזה אדרבה יתברר האמת ולא יטעו העולם בהפך, ולזה אמר [מ"ב כ' ג'] והטוב בעיניך עשיתי, בעיניך דייקא ולא בעיני המון העם, שקשה להם דבר זה, ואם לא אתרפא יהיה להם פתחון פה לומר הפך האמת, ונראה ודאי כי ספר הרפואות ההוא היה בחכמת העשבים, והיה להם זה מחכמתו של שלמה המלך עליו השלום, דהיינו עשב זה יועיל לאדם אם אוכלו שלא ישלוט בו חולי הצרעת, ועשב זה שלא ישלוט בו בולמוס, ועשב זה שלא ישלוט בו אסכרה וכן לא ישלוט דבר וחולי מקוליר"א, וכיוצא מדברים המתהווים מעפוש האויר, ולכן גנזו כדי שיבטחו בה' להסיר מהם החולאים, ויתפללו אליו ולא יסמכו על הטבע, אך ודאי נשאר לרופאים דברים לרפאות את האדם מן חולאים המתהווים מטבע, הן מחמת אכילה או דבר אחר שמתהווה מהם קדחת, וחולי הראש, והבטן, וכיוצא בשאר אברים:

רמב"ם על משנה מסכת פסחים פרק ד משנה ט
ספר רפואות, היה ספר שהיה בו סדר רפואות במה שאין מן הדין להתרפות בו, כגון מה שמדמין בעלי "הטלסמאת" שאם עושין "טלסם" בסדר מסוים מועיל לחולי פלוני וכיוצא בזה מדברים האסורים, ומחברו לא חברו אלא על דרך הלימוד בטבעי המציאות לא כדי להשתמש במשהו ממה שנכלל בו, וזה מותר כמו שיתבאר לך שדברים שהזהיר ה' מלעשותם מותר ללמדם ולדעת אותם, כי ה' אמר לא תלמד לעשות ובא בקבלה אבל אתה למד להבין ולהורות. וכאשר קלקלו בני אדם ונתרפאו בו גנזו. ואפשר שהיה ספר שיש בו הרכבת סמים המזיקין כגון סם פלוני מרכיבין אותו כך, ומשקין אותו כך, וגורם למחלה זו וזו, ורפואתו בכך וכך, שכשיראה הרופא אותם המחלות ידע שסם פלוני השקוהו ונותן לו דברים נגדיים שיצילוהו, וכאשר קלקלו בני אדם והיו הורגין בו גנזו. ולא הארכתי לדבר בענין זה אלא מפני ששמעתי וגם פירשו לי ששלמה חבר ספר רפואות שאם חלה אדם באיזו מחלה שהיא פנה אליו ועשה כמו שהוא אומר ומתרפא, וראה חזקיה שלא היו בני אדם בוטחים בה' במחלותיהם אלא על ספר הרפואות, עמד וגנזו. ומלבד אפסות דבר זה ומה שיש בו מן ההזיות, הנה ייחסו לחזקיה ולסיעתו שהודו לו סכלות שאין ליחס דוגמתה אלא לגרועים שבהמון. ולפי דמיונם המשובש והמטופש אם רעב אדם ופנה אל הלחם ואכלו שמתרפא מאותו הצער הגדול בלי ספק, האם נאמר שהסיר בטחונו מה', והוי שוטים יאמר להם, כי כמו שאני מודה לה' בעת האוכל שהמציא לי דבר להסיר רעבוני ולהחיותני ולקיימני, כך נודה לו על שהמציא רפואה המרפאה את מחלתי כשאשתמש בה. ולא הייתי צריך לסתור פירוש זה הגרוע לולי פרסומו. ויתבאר שמותר לעבר השנה כל אדר ועושין אותה שנה שני אדרים, ומן הכללים שיש לנו אדר הסמוך לניסן לעולם חסר אם נסמוך על החשבון. ואם היו שני אדרים יהיה הראשון שלשים יום, ובא חזקיה ביום השלשים של אדר ועבר את השנה ועשה החדש הנכנס אדר שני, ואלו לא עבר את אותה השנה היה יום שלשים של אדר יום אחד בניסן כמו שביארנו, והרי עבר את השנה ביום שהיה ראוי להיות תחלת ניסן, וזה אסור לפי שהכלל אצלינו אין מעברין את השנה בשלשים של אדר הואיל וראוי לקבעו ניסן, והוא אינו סובר לדין זה כלומר הואיל וראוי לקבעו ניסן.

Trump caved spectacularly to Putin. Here's what might happen next


President Trump gave his detractors plenty of ammunition while standing beside Vladimir Putin.
At yesterday's Helsinki press conference, Trump refused to side with the findings of his own intelligence community that Putin's government used illegal hacking to influence the election. Instead, he said, "I don’t see why it would be" Russia, and contrasted that with Putin's "extremely strong and powerful" denial.
He then pivoted to "Hillary Clinton's emails," the server and the fact that he beat her in the election.
In a strange way, Putin seemed to take the indictment of 12 Russian military officers more seriously, saying he'd look into having his country's law enforcement cooperate with the Robert Mueller probe (though I wouldn't hold my breath).


Objectively, Trump has emerged from the summit a diminished figure.
He looked weak. He was obsequious to the stone-faced Russian leader and came across as unprepared and outmatched. He looked as far as it is possible to be from his own self-image as a bullying tough-as-nails dealmaker, the man who boasted at the Republican National Convention in 2016 that "I alone can fix it."
The myth of Trump as an American strongman may never recover.
It is already clear that the summit is a short-term political disaster for Trump. For a man who jealously guards his image, the mockery will sting and will provoke a backlash.
Top Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan, who normally don't criticize him, put distance between themselves and Trump.
"The President must appreciate that Russia is not our ally, there is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia," Ryan said in a written statement.
Even Newt Gingrich, a Trump supporter, rediscovered his roots as an old Cold Warrior.
"President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin. It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected -- immediately," Gingrich tweeted.
Trump tried to clean up his mess in tweets as he flew home across the Atlantic.
"As I said today and many times before, 'I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people,'" he wrote. "However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past -- as the world's two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!"

chareidim interested in moving to Israel

Sunday, July 15, 2018

More Analysis of Rabbi Greenblatt's Heter

A core group of people have figured out virtually the entire outline of how the Heter for Tamar Epstein to remarry came about. It took years, finesse, a team of people in America and in Eretz Yisrael to piece it together, and Siyata D'shmaya. I give Hakaras HaTov to all who've contributed to discovering the details in an effort to strengthen the Torah.

Rabbi Greenblatt gave the Heter. To do so, he compared the case involving Aharon Friedman and Tamar Epstein to a theoretical model. Since the Friedman-Epstein case matched the model, in the Rabbi's estimation, then the Heter was issued.

There is a basis to attack the model on multiple fronts. In a previous post I demonstrated that the model leads to absurdity. I'm going to focus here on demonstrating that the model does not seem consistent with requirements for a true Mekach Taus.

Once I show the model is invalid, it follows that the Friedman-Epstein case, even if it follows the model, does not merit the issuing of a Heter to Tamar Epstein to remarry.

Let's first examine the model.

Take the case of a Jewish man and woman who get married with valid Kiddushin.

After the marriage takes place the husband manifests speech and behavior that causes the wife to want a divorce.

Nevertheless, she stays in the marriage.

At some point, her husband has contact on some level with a mental health professional. The professional diagnoses the husband with a mental illness.

The professional determines that
-the husband's condition is incurable
-the wife was unaware that her husband had an incurable mental illness before she married him
-she only became aware of her husband's condition after the marriage
-she leaves immediately after realizing her husband has the condition.

This is a model of Mekach Taus. The wife says that the marriage was based on a mistaken premise. In this case, the presumption she had was that her husband did not have a mental illness as defined by mental health professionals. Had she known her husband had a mental illness as diagnosed by a doctor, then she would not have married the man.

I say that that this model is fundamentally flawed.

Let's examine why.

Mental health professionals generally make mental illness diagnoses through observations of someone's behavior and speech.

Therefore, there is nothing about the husband's behavior and speech that the professional observes that the wife did not also observe. For example, if the husband mumbles incoherently, the doctor notes it. The wife also notes it.

And if the wife happens to miss it, than it can't be a basis for her making a claim of Mekach Taus anyway.

Thus, the entire cluster of symptoms that led to the diagnosis was known to the wife while she continued to live with her husband.

The only thing that the doctor's diagnosis does is give that collection of symptoms a name. The condition, though, is well known to the wife before that.

You might say, though, that the wife was unaware that the condition was considered incurable by mental health professionals.

But it is generally known that mental health professionals use the term "treat mental mental illness", not "cure mental illness". Thus, mental illness, as defined by mental health professionals, is incurable.

To summarize: the wife did not become aware of her husband's condition when she received the diagnosis. The woman was aware she was living with a man with behavior and speech that made her realize she wanted a divorce for quite awhile.

The argument could be made that the wife only knew her husband was "strange", but not "ill". I say that that distinction is irrelevant. The way mental health professionals diagnose people is on a spectrum. According to the mental health profession, virtually everyone suffers from mental illness. "Strangeness" is not far from "illness" and vice-versa within much of the universe of the mental health profession. Anyone requiring proof of this need only research how historical figures are routinely retroactively diagnosed with mental illness by forensic mental health professionals. Even the President is not spared such armchair diagnoses.

Thus, the model fails, I think, because it's difficult to find a case where a wife doesn't stay with her husband for a while after becoming aware that her husband has what mental health professionals describe as an incurable, pre-existing mental illness. The only thing she may have been unaware of was the name that the mental health professionals assign to the behavior and speech she was observing.

Perhaps the model would not be internally inconsistent in a case where a husband spontaneously and with no basis accuses his wife of trying to kill him and she runs out of their home never to return. If a mental health professional diagnosed the man with a pre-existing incurable mental condition that the wife was unaware of until her husband accused her, then the wife might have a case of bona fide Mekach Taus.

Yet Rabbi Greenblatt's position is that most women would not marry a man "L'chatchila" who will eventually be diagnosed by a professional with an incurable pre-existing mental illness. He gives no weight to how the man's speech and behavior actually affects the marriage. Whether the man goes stark raving mad, or whether he acts and speaks in a way where the wife puts up with it for years, it's all the same to Rabbi Greenblatt.

Dr Klafter and Rav SHMuEL Kaminetsky regarding SLIFKIN AFFAIR

6) Seeing religious leaders who are ohavei yisroel, moser nefesh for fellow Jews, humble, kind, empathic, and able to listen has a deep impact on all Jews, especially young children. When Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky shlit"a came to Cincinnati for a wedding, he spoke at our day school to all the children. My daughter was extremely young at the time, and whenever she hears the name Kamenetsky she immediately and enthusiastically states, "I met him!". This made an impact on her. 

GOOGLEBOOKSBinyamin Klafter, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry University of Cincinnati College of Medicine 222 Piedmont Ave, Suite 8500

Cincinnati, OH 45219

Phone: (513)475-8710

FAX: (513)475-8023

Email: From: Nachum Binyamin Klafter, MD

To: The Esteemed Rabbi David Feinstein, l'\11tJ'',W [ address removed]

I am writing this letter to Rabbi Feinstein in my capacity as the head of the Education Committee of the Chafetz Chaim-Cincinnati Hebrew Day School, which is a Torah UMesorah affiliated institution. I am also writing personally, as a Jew who takes seriously Rabbi Feinstein's positions in ;,::,1,;, and ;,::ipw;,. (Rabbi Feinstein may not remember me, but he has spoken to me by phone when I was referred to him by Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky for a very complicated ;,1,~w, and with Rabbi Feinstein's po::i we were blessed with another daughter 3 months ago, ';,"J.)

It has come to my attention that Rabbi Feinstein signed a ban on the books of Rabbi Nosson Slifkin which calls upon him to bum his writings and retract publicly the beliefs expressed in his books. The ban characterizes his writings, among other things, as " t:l'l'\'m mrm ;-ii,::,:, '1:11." The ban also forbids the book from being brought into any religious home. The books referred to are The Science of Torah, Mysterious Creatures, and The Camel, the Hare, and the Hyrax. The ban states that Rabbi Slifkin should no longer be allowed to teach Torah or engage in t:rp,ni :in'j?. The ban additionally states that the Torah scholars who signed approbations to his books have retracted their endorsements.

I am familiar with the contents of The Science of Torah, and Mysterious Creatures, but have not yet read the third book mentioned in the ban. Rabbi Slifkin's writings reflect the same teachings and attitudes to which I have been exposed for many years now by my own rabbis regarding statements by 't"m which appear to be contradicted by contemporary scientific knowledge. In addition, some of the ill11j? '11,'j''; staff members of our day school (who are all rmrc r:rpo,~, 1:mw 'N1') share many of these attitudes. I am very concerned that our school faculty and I espouse ideas which Rabbi Feinstein believes are "mrm ;,-,,~:, '1:11."

I am told by several individuals in close contact with the in;, ,,,,,. that the signatories of this ban were shown only excerpts from Rabbi Slifkin's writings, and that none of them read his books in their entirety. It is obviously very easy when dealing with such delicate issues (like, for example, the limitations or fallibility of our sages) to take Rabbi Slifkin' s statements out of context and create an impression that his remarks were derogatory or disrespectful to ?"m. However, the noted Rabbis who have given their m?JJD;-J to Rabbi Slifkin's books all have the impression that Rabbi Slifkin shows tremendous reverence for ?"m and thirst for their teachings. (See, for example, Rabbi Yisroel Belsky's enthusiastic ;-J?JJD;-J to The Camel, The Hare, and the Hyrax, which indicates that he studied the entire book carefully.) Would Rabbi Feinstein consider examining Rabbi Slifkin's books more thoroughly, or meeting with him for clarification about what his beliefs are? As one can imagine, the personal consequences of this ban for Rabbi Slifkin (now branded by this ban as a p?J and ,~,:,) are quite severe.