Friday, October 7, 2022

Shadowy "modesty squads" police ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn

The Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada, housed on the second floor of a Williamsburg row house, issues guidelines on modesty, but says it does not explicitly enforce any code.

“We give out proclamations,” Rabbi Yitzchok Glick, its executive director, told the Times. “We don’t enforce. It’s like people can decide to keep Shabbos or not. If someone wants to turn on the light on Shabbos, we cannot put him in jail for that.”

But others, community members say, have used force and coercion to enforce the code.

“There are quite a few men, especially in Williamsburg, who consider themselves Gut’s polizei,” Yosef Rapaport, a Hasidic journalist, using the words for “God’s police,” told the Times.

“It’s somebody who is a busybody, and there are quite a few of them — zealots who take it upon themselves and they just enforce. They’re considered crazy, but people don’t want to confront them.”

The Mod (read modesty) Squad Gets Aggressive

THE CLASHES BETWEEN THE two communities are about control of public space and turf, activists say. According to Dr. Benjamin Brown, senior lecturer in the department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University and an expert on ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel, Beit Shemesh is a “bastion of zealots.”

Many of these people have moved to Beit Shemesh, Brown says, not merely because of the available housing, but also because they want to escape their rabbis, who have tried to restrain their extremism. These zealots, Brown says, will listen to no one but their own. “Even the most venerable rabbis and leaders hesitate to issue rulings,” says Brown, “for fear that they will be publicly disobeyed by the extremists.”

Thursday, October 6, 2022

What Happened to the Jews of Arabia?

Did you know that Saudi Arabia once hosted a thriving Jewish community? For almost a thousand years (three times longer than the Jews have been in America), Jews lived in the oases of Teyma, Khaybar, and Yathrib (later known as Medina), in the northern Arabian Peninsula. According to Dr. Hagai Mazuz, an Orientalist specializing in Arabic language, Islam, and Islamic culture, “The Jewish community of northern Arabia was one of the largest ancient Jewish communities in the history of the Jewish people.”1

They were powerful and wealthy. They were respected by the local Arabian tribes for their religion, culture, erudition, and literacy. They built castles on mountaintops and developed productive plantations. They had military prowess, horses, and advanced weaponry. And they were almost totally annihilated in the short span of a few years.

The 7th-Century Massacre of Arabian Jews, and Its Legacy

The turning point came after one of those tribes, the Banu Nadir, chose to sit out a battle rather than fight alongside the prophet—because they didn’t want to fight on Shabbat. When he was defeated, he took out his rage on these Jews:

Muhammad’s atrocity against the Qurayza Jews

In AD 627, Muhammad committed an atrocity against the last remaining major tribe of Jews in Medina: the Qurayza.

He beheaded the men and the pubescent boys and enslaved the women and children. In doing this, he wiped an entire tribe "off the map" to use the language of the President of Iran, recently.

The purpose of this article is full disclosure and straightforward analysis about early Islam. How and why did this atrocity unfold?

Herschel Walker's 'Baggage' Becoming 'Unbearable': Georgia GOP Lt. Governor

"And if we're being intellectually honest, Herschel Walker won the primary because he scored a bunch of touchdowns back in the '80s, and he was Donald Trump's friend. And now we've moved forward several months on the calendar and that's no longer a recipe to win."

What Jewish-free zones mean on campus

Anti-Zionism is flatly anti-Semitic. Using "Zionist" as a euphemism for "Jew" is nothing more than a confidence trick. Like other forms of Judeophobia, it is an ideology of hate, treating Israel as the "collective Jew" and smearing the Jewish state with defamations similar to those used for centuries to vilify individual Jews. This ideology establishes a conspiratorial worldview, sometimes including replacement theory, which has occasionally erupted in violence, including mass shootings. Moreover, Zionism is an integral aspect of the identity of many Jews. Its derogation is analogous, in this way, to other forms of hate and bigotry.

DeSantis Warned by Fox's Rivera He Will 'Feel the Wrath' of Latino Voters

Fox News host Geraldo Rivera warned that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will suffer losses at the polls from Latino voters upset with the governor for transporting migrants to Martha's Vineyard last month.

"Governor DeSantis will soon feel the wrath of Florida's Latino voters outraged by his toying with the lives of those Venezuelan refugees he exploited," Rivera wrote in a tweet Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Jerusalem Haredi phone store destroyed in fire; owner claims foul play

A cellphone store in Jerusalem was gutted by fire overnight Sunday, with the shop’s owner claiming it was a deliberate attack over for his refusal to stop selling a certain device considered by some to be “non-kosher.”

העדה החרדית במכתב לציבור: התפללו לרפואת הראב"ד

בית הדין של העדה החרדית בירושלים במכתב קריאה לציבור להעתיר בתפילה לרפואת הגר"מ שטרנבוך, עקב חולשה ומצבו הבריאותי • בפנים: שמו המלא לתפילה

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Wall Street Journal rips Trump’s ‘death wish’ rhetoric

The Journal’s editors wrote on Sunday that “Trump could be working and spending money to elect a GOP Congress, or to help his home state of Florida recover from Hurricane Ian.”

“Instead he’s attacking Mr. McConnell and his wife as part of a personal political vendetta, and putting every Republican candidate on the spot to respond to questions about the Trump rant,” they added. “Mr. Trump always puts himself first, and with this rhetoric he may put others at genuine risk of harm.”

Bennett has reservations about Lebanon deal: It's different from what I knew

Channel 13 News reported that Bennett held several discussions on Monday in which he examined the agreement on a security and political level, and he is expected to formulate a clearer position before the discussion in the cabinet on the agreement. Bennett believes that it is very important to settle the matter and allow continuous activity of gas production. He has not yet decided whether to exercise his right to veto the agreement, although it is not certain that it is at all relevant, because of the ongoing legal proceedings against the agreement.

When It is Medically Required to Eat on Yom Kippur


Ideally, one should try to space them every nine minutes.

The view of Rav Chaim Na-eh for food is 8 minutes (See Shiurei Torah 3:15).

Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l writes (Igros Moshe OC IV #41) that b’dieved – in a case of need, they should have a gap of 4 minutes between them.


In regard to liquids one should shoot for a nine minute gap, but if not – a four minute gap.

If this is not possible, then, for liquids, one should try to fulfill the view of the Chasam Sofer (Responsa Volume VI #23) of a gap of at least two minutes.

The timing is based on the concept of the eating of a Pras – four eggs. The Mishna Brurah writes 618:20 that the shiur for this is nine minutes. These are the main views

Religious Israeli Political Parties: "Put up or Shut Up"


Religious Israeli Political Parties: "Put up or Shut Up"

ANOTHER IDF-Refusenik Girl Languishes in Israeli Military Prison, In Wake of "Religious" Political Perfidy

Oct. 3, '22/ 8 Tishrei, 5783 (Parshas Ha'azinu)

By Binyomin Feinberg, former contributor to 'The Jewish Press'

Three days before the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, at about 4 AM Israeli time on Oct.2, a 20-year-old sefardic girl from near Jerusalem got a rude awakening, when she was hauled away to IDF Military Prison Ten (near Netanya). Her "crime:" compliance with the Torah prohibition against serving in the Israeli military. Unfortunately, in flagrant violation of Torah law (and, le'havdil, basic human rights norms), Israel drafts 18-year-old girls to serve in the immoral exploitative military environment.  Her draft date was November 19, 2020. Thus, according to the Israeli Army, she has been absent from for almost two years.  That carries significant penalties in Israeli Military Court. Consequently, Maital bas Tamar - experiencing her second military incarceration "al-Kiddush- HaShem" since early January 2021 - now ranks among the meritorious women of Israel who demonstrate by example the self-sacrifice ("mesiras-nefesh") the Torah demands of them - and of every one of us - to resist the abomination of drafting women into the Army.

Ever since the early days of the State of Israel, women serving in the Israeli Army has been prohibited in the most severe terms, by Orthodox authorities across the spectrum.  Leading Torah Sages went as far as to declare women serving in the Israeli Army a sin we're obliged to sacrifice our very lives to avoid - and to oppose. No Torah-true Rabbi would ever sanction such a thing (although, what and whom you will find espousing the very antithesis of the Torah - in the name of the latter - never ceases to challenge the performance acumen of the best Hollywood has to offer).

For several thousand years, forcing women to serve in the military has been shunned by the vast majority of civilization, even under the direst of circumstances. Apparently, even the most depraved among the nations recognized that if an enemy attack compels a country to draft its own mothers and daughters into military service, then it has inflicted on itself damage surpassing what any enemy could do. AT THAT POINT, what they then would "stand for" is not worth dying, fighting, or even living for. This is a lesson which perhaps pales in comparison to the pristine vision of the Brisker Rov OB"M. The Brisker Rov, an internationally venerated leader of Chareidi Jewry, shunned most domestic demonstrations against the Israeli government, due to concerns over protesters endangering their lives. However, he himself held of - and personally participated in - demonstrations against the drafting of girls into the Israeli Army, because that's a cause for which all Jews - not just the targeted girls - are obliged to risk and even sacrifice our lives, if need be - to resist.

The codifier of the Mishna (circa 200 CE), Rebbe Yehuda HaNasi, proclaimed, in part: "Yaish kon'eh o'lamoh be'Sha'ah achas," some merit to acquire their portion [in The World-to-Come] in a solitary, enviably-short span of time, by their intensity of devotion and sacrifice (see the inspirational paradigms cited in Talmud Avoda Zorah 17a, 18a and 10b). These refusenik girls provide living examples for each one of us to be ready to emulate, when called to do so. In this sense, they are our teachers, if we accept the challenge to become their "students."

Why are we here? WHY is this type of outrage even necessary to discuss? The political power of religious/ chareidi voting blocks has grown to the point where there should be no need blog about this, or to block traffic and inconvenience commuters (who need to get to work etc.) over such state-perpetrated, antireligious, misogynist persecution of innocent women protecting their personal purity. This type of arrest, and all others akin to it, should have been prevented with one phone call. In fact, the phone call should have been rendered obsolete by an across-the-board universal service-exemption for all women, religious or otherwise. In fact, the Brisker Rov declared the war against drafting ANY girl even more vital than ensuring the exemption for those boys who dedicate their lives to a career of toiling in Torah (as we've cited previously from Sefer Yelled Sha'ashu'im p. 348; cf. p. 350).

So, precisely WHY is it that, instead of safeguarding our most precious national treasure, one of the most spiritually dangerous places for "peripheral" Jewish girls to grow up is -- in the ostensibly Jewish State, which - "by law" - forces tens of thousands of Jewish girls and young women to serve in the only Mideastern co-ed military between Cairo and Tehran?

Is it not, in grave measure, due to the consistent dereliction of duty of the ostensibly religious/ Chareidi political parties who make sure to employ their increased political power in directions other than saving ALL women from the indignities of the military draft? Let it be known than any such "religious" Israeli political party that refuses to genuinely, publicly, consistently, and unequivocally push for a universal service exemption for ALL women is in truth NOT Chareidi, NOT religious, and not genuine. Period. Anyone who votes for such "religious" parties, as if they would be what they claim, should at least acknowledge his or her employment of "willing suspension of disbelief."

Let's daven for Maital bas Tamar and all those like her. If we can do harm, we can be far more effective in doing good.

Have an uplifting Yom Kippur and a Gmar Chasima Tova.


"... And if someone, like Pinchos, is one among a multitude, and every man is against him when he dares to speak out for truth and to fight for the Law -- the more lonely his stand, the greater the number of his adversaries, the more powerful is his word, the mightier his deed."

--  Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch OB"M (1808-1888), (in "Judaism Eternal," vol. 2, p. 293)